Posted On: Mar 12, 2014 In: In the Spotlight, Other, Uncategorized
Nerd Nite gets mysterious tonight. We’re going to learn about the enigmatic James Bond of page and screen, the mystery of Big Foot and his other fantastical brethren, and the cryptocurrency known as Bitcoin. Check out the full details on our local Nerd Nite page.
Live and Let Dine: James Bond as an Effete Gourmet Assassin
The James Bond Bedside Companion
The only book to cover all aspects of the James Bond phenomenon in a single volume, it includes: a) An intimate portrait of Ian Fleming as remembered by his friends and colleagues; b) a character study of James Bond—his background and early life, his clothing and other personal habits, his preferences in food and drink, his attitudes toward women and marriage; c) The by-products of Bondmania and the merchandising of 007; d) Detailed analyses of every James Bond novel by Ian Fleming, as well as those written by other authors through the 1980s; e) A critical look at the 007 film series—the producers, screenplays, directors, actors, soundtracks, and special effects; f) over 100 photographs; g) An Introduction written by Ernest Cuneo, perhaps Fleming’s closest American friend; h) And enough facts, figures, and miscellaneous Bondian trivia to satisfy even the most ardent fan.
007 James Bond: A Report
The earliest analysis of Fleming’s novels and the Bond character.
The James Bond Dossier
Another early analysis of the Bond character written prior to Amis’s writing of the Bond novel, Colonel Sun.
Life of Ian Fleming
John Pearson’s famous biography remains the definitive account of how only Ian Fleming could have dreamed up James Bond, for he led a life as colourful as anything in his fiction, which in turn became a covert autobiography. Charming, debonair and a ruthless womanizer, globetrotting from wartime Algiers to beachside Jamaica, Fleming was as elusive and opaque as his imaginary creation.
Annotations and Chronologies for Ian Fleming’s Bond Stories
Provides details about each of Fleming’s novels, their chronological relationship to each other, notes about unusual items and events mentioned in the novels, and estimates of the number of days spanned by each novel.
Check out our Ian Fleming books. One of these is not like the other.
Websites that are all things Bond
The James Bond Dossier
James Bond MI6
Snipe Hunt: Cryptozoological Creatures and the Stories They Tell
Matthew Lord & Kent Smith
Throughout our history, humans have been captivated by mythic beasts and legendary creatures. Tales of Bigfoot, the Yeti, and the Loch Ness monster are part of our collective experience. Now comes a book from two dedicated investigators that explores and elucidates the fascinating world of cryptozoology.
Daniel Loxton and Donald R. Prothero have written an entertaining, educational, and definitive text on cryptids, presenting the arguments both for and against their existence and systematically challenging the pseudoscience that perpetuates their myths. After examining the nature of science and pseudoscience and their relation to cryptozoology, Loxton and Prothero take on Bigfoot; the Yeti, or Abominable Snowman, and its cross-cultural incarnations; the Loch Ness monster and its highly publicized sightings; the evolution of the Great Sea Serpent; and Mokele Mbembe, or the Congo dinosaur. They conclude with an analysis of the psychology behind the persistent belief in paranormal phenomena, identifying the major players in cryptozoology, discussing the character of its subculture, and considering the challenge it poses to clear and critical thinking in our increasingly complex world.
Monster the A-Z of Zooform Phenomena
Zooform Phenomena are the most elusive, and least understood, mystery `animals`. Indeed, they are not animals at all, and are not even animate in the accepted terms of the word, but entities or apparitions which adopt, or seem to have (quasi) animal form. These arcane and contentious entities have plagued cryptozoology – the study of unknown animals – since its inception, and tend to be dismissed by mainstream science as thoroughly unworthy of consideration. But they continue to be seen, and Jonathan Downes – the Director of the Centre for Fortean Zoology – who first coined the term in 1990, maintains that many zooforms result from a synergy of complex psychosocial and sociological issues, and suggests that to classify all such phenomena as “paranormal” in origin is counterproductive, and for researchers to dismiss them out of hand is thoroughly unscientific. Author and researcher Neil Arnold is to be commended for a groundbreaking piece of work, and has provided the world’s first alphabetical listing of zooforms from around the world.
Bigfoot : I not dead
In his eagerly anticipated follow-up to Me Write Book, Bigfoot returns from exile to share his inspiring, hilarious, and often deeply disturbing experiences as a misunderstood forest gentleman and tragic media darling. These entertaining and often grizzly stories stand not only as a testament to the greatness of the legendary man-beast, but also as a chilling cautionary tale of the downside of a life of celebrity, cannibalism, celebrity cannibalism, wanton violence, and lack of toilet training. As in Me Write Book, full-color glossy spreads depict every intimate, disgusting, and downright insane moment of Bigfoot’s life. Bigfoot: I Not Dead is an unforgettable memoir that will stay with readers long after his foul scent has dissipated.
The oversized Hellboy hardcover series continues, collecting the climatic “Death of Hellboy” storyline from Mike Mignola and Duncan Fegredo, and one-shots by some of the greatest talents in comics! Hellboy has racked up multiple awards, numerous spinoffs, a novel line, video games, cartoons, and two feature films. Hellboy Library Edition Volume 6 collects two complete trade-paperbacks: The Storm and The Fury and The Bride of Hell and Others, as well as an extensive selection of previously unreleased art.
Cryptomundo is a place to enjoy the adventures, treks, theories, and wisdom of some of the most respected leaders in the field of Cryptozoology. This is a place for all ages to share, read, see, and learn about the finds and evidence of the most elusive and rare animals (cryptids) on this planet Earth … Bigfoot, Yeti, Chupacabras, Ivory Billed Woodpecker, Nessie, Yowie, and more. Come back often and be part of the community for Cryptozoology breaking news, new views, fun, and yes occasional humor. We’re glad you’re here and look forward to hearing from you soon.
Cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin: Such money. Very technology. So future. Wow.
The original essay about Bitcoin by Satoshi Nakamoto, creator of Bitcoin.
A helpful youtube video explaining what Bitcoin mining.
Posted On: Feb 12, 2014 In: In the Spotlight, Other
Don’t worry, we won’t get too romantic on you guys. This evening’s Nerd Nite is exploring the nature and myths of love. Whether it’s the myth of the perfect family, the perfect relationship, or questioning roots of violence against women (which is too often couched with the term love). For full bios and descriptions check out our local site. Grab a beverage and prepare to question the very nature of affection and romance.
The Myth of White Picket Fences: The American dream confronted in Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson.
Housekeeping in all of it’s formats!
Idioms, currencies, and fantasies: An exploration into the tenants of relational satisfaction
Casing interpersonal communication: Case studies in personal and social relationships by Dawn O. Braithwaite
Why we love: The nature and chemistry of romantic love by Helen E. Fisher
Anthropologist Fisher argues that much of our romantic behavior is hard-wired in this provocative examination of love. Her case is bolstered by behavioral research into the effects of two crucial chemicals, norepinephrine and dopamine, and by surveys she conducted across broad populations. When we fall in love, she says, our brains create dramatic surges of energy that fuel such feelings as passion, obsessiveness, joy and jealousy. Fisher devotes a fascinating and substantial chapter to the appearance of romance and love among non-human animals, and composes careful theories about early humans in love. One of her many surprising conclusions suggests that, since “four-year birth intervals were the regular pattern of birth spacing during our long human prehistory,” our modern brains still deal with relationships in serially monogamous terms of about four years. Indeed, Fisher gathered data from around the world showing that divorce was most prevalent in the fourth year of marriage, when a couple had a single dependent child. Fisher also reports on the behaviors that lead to successful lifelong partnerships and offers, based on what she’s observed, numerous tips on staying in love. And though she’s certain that chemicals are at love’s heart, Fisher never loses her sense of the emotion’s power or poetry.
She comes first: The thinking man’s guide to pleasuring a woman by Ian Kerner
As women everywhere will attest, when it comes to understanding female sexuality, most guys know more about what’s under the hood of a car than under the hood of a clitoris. And while it seems that men have struggled valiantly since the dawn of time to find ways to reliably elicit the female orgasm, rare is the guy who has the modesty to ask: “What do I do?” Ironically, the answer has always been right there on the tip of his tongue. Welcome to the world of She Comes First, where the mystery of female satisfaction is solved and the tongue is proven mightier than the sword. According to Ian Kerner, clinical sexologist and evangelist of the female orgasm, oral sex has long been deemed an optional aspect of foreplay, but, in fact, it’s coreplay — simply the best way for leading a woman through the entire process of sexual response. Fun, informative, and easy to read, She Comes First is a virtual encyclopedia of female pleasure, detailing dozens of tried-and-true techniques for consistently satisfying a woman and illustrated step-by-step instructions to ensure success. These simple methods represent a new era in sexual intimacy, one in which the exchange of pleasure occurs on a level playing field and fulfillment is mutual. She Comes First exuberantly offers a fresh new sexual philosophy that inspires every man to make a mantra of Rhett Butler’s infamous line to Scarlett O’Hara, “You should be kissed, and often, and by someone who knows how.”
Against Love by Laura Kipnis
Against Love examines the meaning and cultural significance of adultery, arguing that perhaps the question concerns not only the private dilemma of whether or not to be faithful but also the purpose of this much-vaunted fidelity. It offers no easy answers. Rather, it intends to engage you in a commonsensical and brave examination of the plight of the modern personality, caught between the vicissitudes of desire and the decrees of social conformity.
Sex matters: The sexuality and society reader by Mindy Stombler
This anthology of more than 50 readings from contemporary scholarly literature, trade books, and popular media, looks at the dual forces of social construction and social control of sexuality.
Massage and Loving by Anne Hooper
Great sex: A man’s guide to the secret principles of total-body sex by Michael Castleman
Author Michael Castleman is the nation’s top journalist specializing in men’s sexuality. He has been a sex educator, counselor, and writer for 30 years, including 5 years as the expert who answered the sex questions submitted to the Playboy Advisor. Written with the help of an advisory board that includes some of the nation’s leading sex therapists, Great Sex is certain to help you overcome your sex problems; become a better, more confident lover; and enjoy the sex of your dreams.
No Means No: Shining light on violence against women and how hope and healing persevere
Gina Egan, PhD
Half the Sky by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl Wudunn
New York Times columnist Kristof and his wife, WuDunn, a former Times reporter, make a brilliantly argued case for investing in the health and autonomy of women worldwide. “More girls have been killed in the last fifty years, precisely because they were girls, than men were killed in all the wars of the twentieth century,” they write, detailing the rampant “gendercide” in the developing world, particularly in India and Pakistan. Far from merely making moral appeals, the authors posit that it is impossible for countries to climb out of poverty if only a fraction of women (9% in Pakistan, for example) participate in the labor force. China’s meteoric rise was due to women’s economic empowerment: 80% of the factory workers in the Guangdong province are female; six of the 10 richest self-made women in the world are Chinese. The authors reveal local women to be the most effective change agent.
The New Soft War on Women by Caryl Rivers
Rivers and Barnett’s (She Works/He Works) vital study of the state of women in the labor force draws upon statistics, interviews, and cultural analysis, to argue that, contrary to the widespread belief that women are outstripping men in the classroom and workforce (“the myth of female ascendance”), the situation is far from ideal. Moreover, the authors claim that gains that women have made since the early part of the 20th century, such as access to contraception, are in danger of disappearing. Although the copious use of statistics to debunk myths can become tiresome, it’s hard to ignore overwhelming evidence that shows the undesirable and unsustainable conditions women face in the 21st century. Though many struggles sound old hat-whether women are natural caretakers and subordinates, the struggle to balance career and family, the undue influence of a woman’s appearance, the disparity in wages-this book will move readers who believe that feminism is an outdated movement, or that gender discrimination is a thing of the past. Although the book doesn’t offer comprehensive strategies to win the “soft war,” it effectively shows how old ideas are still at work and unveils their contemporary manifestations.
The Invisible War
Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Kirby Dick investigates the troubling epidemic of rape in the military while speaking with courageous victims who have refused to be intimidated into silence. In 2009 alone, 16,150 service members were sexually assaulted. Meanwhile, it’s estimated that female soldiers in the U.S. military are more likely to be raped by a male soldier than shot by an enemy combatant. Despite the overwhelming evidence presented by these victimized soldiers, however, only 2% of rape accusations in the military end in prosecution. In some cases, male soldiers have even been awarded medals for bravery and professionalism while being investigated for rape. In addition to hearing from women who have been sexually assaulted while serving their country, we also learn how systemic corruption allows the vast majority of their attackers to walk free and what is now being done to ensure that no crime goes unpunished.
Jackson Katz’s TedTalk: Violence against women -it’s a men’s issue
Domestic violence and sexual abuse are often called “women’s issues.” But in this bold, blunt talk, Jackson Katz points out that these are intrinsically men’s issues — and shows how these violent behaviors are tied to definitions of manhood. A clarion call for us all — women and men — to call out unacceptable behavior and be leaders of change
Websites Gina recommends.
V-Day is a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls. Vday.org is their website.
Another website is A Call To Men aims to end violence towards women by educating men.
http://knowyourix.org/ educates students about their rights under title IX.
David Lisak & Paul M. Miller’s paper on Repeat Rape and Multiple Offending Among Undetected Rapists
Posted On: Jan 15, 2014 In: In the Spotlight, Other
What is nerd nite? Aside from awesome, it’s a monthly lecture event that strives for an “inebriated, salacious, yet deeply academic vibe.” (credit: Nerd Nite – San Francisco)
Check out our local chapter’s website to learn more.
After the lectures tonight, be sure and check out our resource lists if you want to get nerdier with games, puzzle and video ones alike.
From Heisenberg to Parker Brothers: Cracking the Soma Treasure Map
My Best Mathematical and Logic Puzzles by Martin Gardner
The noted expert and longtime author of Scientific American‘s Mathematical Games column selects 70 of his favorite “short” puzzles. Enthusiasts can challenge their skills with such mind-bogglers as The Returning Explorer, The Mutilated Chessboard, Scrambled Box Tops, Bronx vs. Brooklyn, and dozens more involving logic and basic math. Complete solutions included.
How to be a Genius by John Woodward
Taking a sometimes humorous approach, this heavily illustrated encyclopedic love letter to the human brain covers such topics as memory, the five senses, creativity tricks and illusions, and the brain’s evolution-not to mention how one’s gray matter actually works. One spread illuminates how the brain processes data, labels experience and creates stereotypes by using photographs of a grass snake (the brain associates the harmless grass snake with other venomous snakes); another section utilizes a cartoon robot in a discussion of the development of good and bad habits. Photographs, flowcharts and activities work in tandem to create an accessible, fast-paced and informative read. Ages 9-12. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Riddles of the Sphinx and other Mathematical Puzzle Tales By Martin Gardner
Solving these riddles is not simply a matter of logic and calculation, though these play a role. Luck and inspiration are factors as well, so beginners and experts alike may profitably exercise their wits on Gardner’s problems, whose subjects range from geometry to word play to questions relating to physics and geology. We guarantee that you will solve some of these riddles, be stumped by others, and be amused by almost all of the stories and settings that Gardner has devised to raise these questions.
How to Solve It By George Polya
In this best-selling classic, George Polya revealed how the mathematical method of demonstrating a proof or finding an unknown can be of help in attacking any problem that can be “reasoned” out–from building a bridge to winning a game of anagrams. Generations of readers have relished Polya’s deft instructions on stripping away irrelevancies and going straight to the heart of a problem. “How to Solve It” popularized heuristics, the art and science of discovery and invention.
Power-ups and Ammo Crates, or How I Saved the World Today: The Allure of Modern Video Games and How This Fringe Cultural Phenomenon Turned into a Titan of the Entertainment Industry
Extra Lives by Tom Bissell
Grand Theft Auto IV is both a waste of time and “the most colossal creative achievement of the last 25 years” according to this scintillating meditation on the promise and discontents of video games. Journalist Bissell (Chasing the Sea ) should know; the ultraviolent car-chase-and-hookers game was his constant pastime during a months-long intercontinental cocaine binge. He’s ashamed of his video habit, but also ashamed of being ashamed of the “dominant art form of our time”; by turning the eye of a literary critic on the gory, seemingly puerile genre of ultraviolent, open-ended “shooter” games, he finds unexpected riches. Bissell bemoans the “uncompromising stupidity” of their story lines, wafer-thin characters, and the moronic dialogue, but celebrates the button-pushing, mesmeric qualities and the subtle, profound depths these conceal-the catharses of teamwork and heroism in the zombie-fest Left for Dead, the squirmy moral dilemmas of Mass Effect, the “mood of wistful savagery” suffusing the rifles-and-chainsaws-bedecked denizens of Gears of War. Bissell excels both at intellectual commentary and evocative reportage on the experience of playing games, while serving up engrossing mise-en-scene narratives of the mayhem. If anyone can bridge the aesthetic chasm between readers and gamers, he can. (June 8) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Reality is Broken by Jane McGonigal
As addictive as Tetris, McGonigal’s penetrating, entertaining look into gaming culture is a vibrant mix of technology, psychology, and sociology, told with the vision of a futurist and the deft touch of a storyteller. For the nearly 183 million Americans who will spend an average of 13 hours a week playing games, McGonigal’s book is a welcome validation of their pursuits. But for those who don’t understand, or who may worry that our growing preoccupation with games is detrimental to society and culture, McGonigal argues persuasively that games are in fact improving us. “Game design isn’t just technological craft,” she argues, “it’s a 21st Century way of thinking and leading.” And games, she argues, particularly the new wave of Alternative Reality Games, are not about escapism but a powerful new form of collaboration and community building. The book moves effortlessly from Herodotus to Halo, stitching together an intellectually stimulating view of human culture past, present, and future. And while not downplaying the potential for negative consequences, such as “gamer addiction,” McGonigal makes an inspiring case for the way games can both enhance our personal happiness and help society. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Game Boys by Michael Kane
Readers of a certain generation are surely thinking, video games hit the big time? Get serious. But their children or grandchildren know what the author is talking about. Today’s video games can be as exciting as movies; they can require as much skill as more traditional sports; and they are very big business. The author follows two video-gaming teams, Team 3D and CompLexity, as they battle for supremacy in the Cyberathlete Professional League (CPL), which was formed in 1997. For a sport that many consider to be marginal (if a sport at all), gaming is highly competitive and full of players who are just as idiosyncratic, determined, and flashy as any other pro athlete. Kane does a nice job of catching us up in the excitement—no easy task, as we are reading a book about people who play a game on a computer screen. Like any good sports book, this one is about the game and the personalities in equal measure.
All Your Base Are Belong To Us by Harold Goldberg
This highly informative book, written by veteran gaming columnist Goldberg, is billed as the first of its kind, spanning 50 years of video game history with its zany personalities, many trends, and marketing coups. The video game industry boasts revenues equaling that of Hollywood and a huge consumer base of 70% of Americans playing its games, Goldberg reveals. He details the ebb-and-flow of video game history and stories of its creators such as Ralph Baer, Nolan Bushnell, Hiroshi Yamauchi, William “Tripp” Hawkins, Dan and Sam Houser, Graeme Devine, and Jason Kapulka. His coverage of the development of games like Tennis for Two, Donkey Kong, Pac-Man, Dungeons & Dragons, Myst, Sims, and Grand Theft Auto will appeal not only to nerds and gamers in Goldberg’s easily accessible anecdotes but to those who grew up with these games through generations. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Jane McGonigal’s Ted Talk: Gaming can Make a Better World
Games like World of Warcraft give players the means to save worlds, and incentive to learn the habits of heroes. What if we could harness this gamer power to solve real-world problems? Jane McGonigal says we can, and explains how.
David Perry’s Ted Talk: Are Games Better than Life?
Game designer David Perry says tomorrow’s videogames will be more than mere fun to the next generation of gamers. They’ll be lush, complex, emotional experiences — more involving and meaningful to some than real life. With an excerpt from Michael Highland’s film “As Real as Your Life.”
Posted On: Jan 7, 2014 In: In the Spotlight, Other
What books make you, you? We asked staffer Fisher to pick the most significant books to him, from childhood to adulthood, and here they are!
Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? by Dr. Seuss
According to my mom, this was the first major book that I fell in love with as a toddler. I used to ask her to read it 10, 20, or even 30 times in a single sitting. It must have made a huge impact on my early development if I wanted to hear it read to me that much. Looking back on it now, I feel bad that my mom had to make all those animal sounds over and over again. Read More..