Archive | Sci-Fi and Fantasy

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Nerdy Fun Fact of the Day #19 – TSR (Dungeons and Dragons)

Posted on 09 June 2014 by The Secular Nerd

 

 

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“Dungeons and Dragons was created by the team of Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson, and first published in 1974 by Tactical Studies Rules, Inc. (TSR)” – [Source]

The Secular Nerd

I have been playing Dungeons and Dragons since I was 8. I have played all the versions of Dungeons and Dragons. Did you know that Wizards of the Coast purchased TSR on April 10, 1997? They purchased it for $25 Million – [Source]

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Secular Sunday Matinee #2 – Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life

Posted on 08 June 2014 by The Secular Nerd

 


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If you are looking for some slapstick comedy, blasphemous zingers, and all around fun this Sunday, then Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life is for you. Enjoy such hits like “Every Sperm Is Sacred” and the “Galaxy Song“!

From IMDB

Why are we here, what’s it all about? The Monty Python-team is trying to sort out the most important question on Earth: what is the meaning of life? They do so by exploring the various stages of life, starting with birth. A doctor seems more interested in his equipment than in delivering the baby or caring for the mother, a Roman Catholic couple have quite a lot of children because ‘every sperm is sacred’. In the growing and learning part of life, catholic schoolboys attend a rather strange church service and ditto sex education lesson. Onto war, where an officer’s plan to attack is thwarted by his underlings wanting to celebrate his birthday and an officer’s leg is bitten off by presumably an African tiger. At middle age a couple orders ‘philosophy’ at a restaurant, after which the film continues with live organ transplants. The autumn years are played in a restaurant, which, after being treated to the song ‘Isn’t It Awfully Nice to Have a Penis?’ by an entertainer, sees the arrival of an extremely fat man. He can eat a lot, but also throw up quite copiously. The Grim Reaper brings for the final stage of human life, death, a visit to a mansion, where the people are rather interested in him. But life doesn’t stop at death. It’s onto heaven, where it’s always Christmas.

The Official Trailer for Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life

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Nerdy Fun Fact of the Day #15 – Lucy Lawless and Battlestar Galactica

Posted on 05 June 2014 by The Secular Nerd

 

Producers wanted Lucy Lawless to audition for the role of Colonel Tigh’s adulterous wife. She turned them down, but was interested in the role of the Cylon agent D’Anna Biers. – [Source]

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Science and Religion: 5 Questions – Edited By Gregg D. Caruso

Posted on 05 June 2014 by The Secular Nerd

science and religion

Announcing the publication of *Science and Religion: 5 Questions* edited by Gregg D. Caruso—a collection of interviews with thirty-three of the world’s leading philosophers, scientists, theologians, apologists, and atheists.

Description: Are science and religion compatible when it comes to understanding cosmology (the origin of the universe), biology (the origin of life and of the human species), ethics, and the human mind (minds, brains, souls, and free will)? Do science and religion occupy non-overlapping magisteria? Is Intelligent Design a scientific theory? How do the various faith traditions view the relationship between science and religion? What, if any, are the limits of scientific explanation? What are the most important open questions, problems, or challenges confronting the relationship between science and religion, and what are the prospects for progress? These and other questions are explored in Science and Religion: 5 Questions—a collection of thirty-three interviews based on 5 questions presented to some of the world’s most influential and prominent philosophers, scientists, theologians, apologists, and atheists.

Contributors include a Nobel Prize winning physicist, three Templeton Prize winners, two “Humanist of the Year” winners, the “Most Influential Rabbi in America” (Newsweek, 2012), “the leading American expert on Tibetan Buddhism” (New York Times), a National Humanities Medal winner, a National Medal of Science winner, a Star of South Africa Medal winner, a Carl Sagan Award winner, a National Science Board’s Public Service Medal winner, a MacArthur Fellow, a Lakatos Award winner, an Erasmus Prize winner, a “Friend of Darwin Award” winner, a “Distinguished Skeptic Award” winner, the first Muslim to deliver the prestigious Gifford Lectures, and many more.

Contributors: Simon Blackburn, Susan Blackmore, Sean Carroll, William Lane Craig, William Dembski, Daniel C. Dennett, George F.R. Ellis, Owen Flanagan, Owen Gingerich, Rebecca Goldstein, John F. Haught, Muzaffar Iqbal, Lawrence Krauss, Colin McGinn, Alister McGrath, Mary Midgley, Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Timothy O’Connor, Massimo Pigliucci, Rev. John Polkinghorne, James “The Amazing” Randi, Alex Rosenberg, Michael Ruse, Robert John Russell, John Searle, Michael Shermer, Victor Stenger, Robert Thurman, Michael Tooley, Charles Townes, Peter van Inwagen, Keith Ward, Rabbi David Wolpe

Now available at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/8792130518

Many thanks,

— Dr. Gregg D. Caruso

www.greggcaruso.com

www.scienceandreligion5questions.com

@GreggDCaruso

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Nerdy Fun Fact of the Day #14 – Darth Vader

Posted on 05 June 2014 by The Secular Nerd

 

In a story development session for Return of the Jedi, George Lucas toyed with the idea that after Luke removes dying Vader’s helmet, he puts it on, proclaims “Now I am Vader” and turns to the dark side. – [Source]

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Breaking: Reading Rainbow Kickstarter gets funded in one day

Posted on 29 May 2014 by The Secular Nerd

Screenshot right when it hit 1 million at 6:58pm Central Time

 Screenshot right when it hit 1 million at 6:58pm Central Time

 

 

Well folks, LeVar freakin Burton did it. In one day, he managed to get “One Million Dollars” for a web based Reading Rainbow expansion. As A kid, I grew up with Star Trek and of course Reading Rainbow. His Kickstarter barely even had a chance to exist on the internet, and he got backing. That whooshing sound you heard, were the thousands of netizens opening up their wallets.

This speaks volumes for the impact Reading Rainbow had on all our lives, and to have it continue to new generations gives me warm fuzzy feelings inside.

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Falling prey to World of Warcraft and Lost

Posted on 07 October 2012 by The Secular Nerd

Mists of Pandaria

As with any other person who plays World of Warcraft more than they do normally when an expansion pack comes out, I have fallen prey to the devils game again. As of this post, I have a level 47 Pandarian Monk. It should be a lot higher now, since the game came out last week, but I have also been working, spending time with That Heathen Girl, and watching Lost for the fourth time.  I’ve been keeping a steady dose of everything, just so I don’t get sucked into the game again. I guess you could say that I have an addictive personality. World of “Warcrack” as I call it, can be extremely addicting when a new expansion pack rolls out.

The thing with this expansion pack this time around, is that I have an overabundance worth of things already on my plate. I started work on a major project that I will call “Project: Secular Awareness” for now. I have also been working hard on my Freelance contracts. On top of that, watching Lost again has been rewarding. Each time I watch it, I catch new things. That Heathen Girl has been watching with me for the first time. It’s always fun watching her predict what will happen. A lot of times, she has been spot on. Other times, it’s scary how much she can call it.

Getting back to World of Warcrack, I have actually been having fun just goofing around this time with it. The new pet battles (read as Pokemon) is actually kind of fun. Not a whole lot of strategy involved with it, but if you pay attention to the strengths and weaknesses of your pets, compared to your opponents, you could seriously have the upper hand. The Pandarian island is beautiful. I love what they made. It’s very appealing to the eyes, because I love Asian culture. The Pandarians themselves are cute (except for the male ones). I love the new Monk class. Healing seems extremely balanced. I have dabbled in DPS some with it, but healing is where it’s at for me. So much so, that I have decided this monk is my new main. I am moving my Druid to second place.

If you are anything like me, with how you play World of Warcraft, I would highly recommend picking up the new expansion pack if you are on your usual hiatus. It’s worth it.

– The Secular Nerd

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My story, told by someone else

Posted on 30 August 2012 by The Secular Nerd

World of Warcraft Logo (c) Blizzard

A lot of people suffer, or have suffered from depression and/or social anxiety disorder in their lives. It can affect anyone at any time. What a lot of people don’t realize, is that video games can not only be therapeutic, but also used as treatment for depression and social anxiety disorder.

I encourage everyone to take the time to watch this video, come back, and see the rest of this post. You won’t regret it, I promise you this.


That is Boogie, and you can find his Channel on YouTube, and his page on Facebook. I have been following him for awhile now, watching the silly videos, the serious videos, and watching his transformation as he works on controlling his weight.

You might be asking, why is this so important? It’s because he told my life’s story exactly, from the games, the living situation, the mental illnesses, to the resolution. He’s not alone either. From helping soldiers with PTSD to anger management, video games have a beneficial therapeutic response. Boogie, myself, and others have come to find the benefits of on-line, off-line, and real world table top gaming to help us get through our darkest hours and come up on top.

A quick search on YouTube revealed this video about a former High School football player who found video games to be therapeutic, a huge confidence booster, and a purpose for him. Stories like these greatly contradict the negative press video games get, from blaming them for murderous rampages, theft, etc. As a rather avid video gamer myself, I have never felt compelled to go off on a murderous rampage, steal a car, or find a prostitute, bang her, and leave her for dead in an alley way (completely random, but Grand Theft Auto has been blamed for a prostitute death).

– The Secular Nerd

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The Hunger Games Series: Review

Posted on 25 August 2012 by That Heathen Girl

The Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins Review
(Warning! Major Spoilers)

Let me start off by saying how much I was looking forward to reading the series after I found out the movie was coming out. The idea of something so messed up like that peaked my interest, as I’m always looking for interesting reads. Basically the story is about Katniss Everdeen and her family and friends of District 12; the area that specializes in coal mining for the Capitol, which is a huge city that houses President Snow. Every year the Capitol hosts the Hunger Games, which was created in order to remind the citizens of the 12 districts who was boss. Back in the day a rebellion within the districts had broke out and in order to keep his people from turning on him, he instituted the Hunger Games and wiped District 13 off the map.

At the reaping, Katniss’s worst fears are realized when her sister, Prim, is selected and she volunteers to replace her. Now, I won’t go into a huge spill on details since I’m assuming you read the books. She and Peeta are taken from their homes and forces to compete in a battle to the death between two other kids from each other district, a boy and a girl.

I have to say that the first two books were phenomenal. The detail of the food alone in the Hunger Games made it seem so real, and quite often I found myself hungry or cold or thirsty just from the description of Katniss’s senses. In Catching Fire, I was quite shocked to see that Katniss and Peeta were once again to take part in the Hunger Games, a ploy in which President Snow stated that the reaping would be using only winners of the Hunger Games as participants. The Quarter Quell was more interesting as far as the characters in the games, who were much older and wiser than the children they once were. The arena was even more fascinating; a large dome that resembled a clock, so that at certain times of the day specific areas would bring on deadly occurrences to kill the tributes. One section of the clock included jabberjays, birds that could mimic voices to trick them and drive them to madness.

Now, like I said, the first two books were pretty good. However, in Mockingjay, it seemed that Suzanne Collins just gave up. After they retreat to District 13, a place they once thought didn’t exist anymore, they settled into a very routine lifestyle, where they planned to fight the Capitol and use Katniss as a propaganda piece for their rebellion. You would think after the endless torment Katniss had to suffer along they way she get a bit of a break, but no. She ends up in the hospital two or three more times. Her friends die one by one, one of which was a guy who had just gotten married to his long time sweetheart. She was also a former tribute winner and was kidnapped by President Snow and had just reunited with him. Peeta ends up being batshit insane, having been tortured using tracker jacket venom to rewrite his memories so he’d kill Katniss. The worst part is, that after she manages to sneak into the Capitol and disguise herself to get closer to the mansion that houses Snow, she sees her sister, who was supposed to have been in District 13, get blown to bits along with a whole group of children. Best part is, and I hope you can sense the sarcasm there, she ends up being with Peeta after all the crap he did to her! I get that he was “tricked” but she even says he still has freak outs at the end of the book, but she just deals with it.

I can understand what she was trying to accomplish (Collins). I’ve written stories where the main character gets shit on constantly, not really catching a break until the very end. However, in this instance, I don’t feel like Katniss ever really caught a break. She didn’t even get to kill Snow like she wanted, she had to watch him die of whatever disease he already had. I just think she went too far with the sister dying. That was the whole point of her volunteering at the reaping. She could have saved herself so much misery. I really think that if Prim had been taking into the area she would have died, and Peeta would have won. Sure the whole mockingjay symbol wouldn’t have happened, but I think she still would have fought for the rebellion and I think they still could have won.

As for Peeta vs. Gale, I think she probably picked him just because he’s the only one that really understands her insanity.

All in all I’ll give this series a 3 out of 5 stars. If the last book hadn’t been such a let down I’d give it a better rating.

-That Heathen Girl

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The Dalai Lama had a point…

Posted on 24 August 2012 by That Heathen Girl

Image ©dreamstime.com

“This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.” – Dalai Lama

What if all the religions sacrificed the need to build monuments and temples to their faith and instead built schools, houses, even hospitals. If they instead used kindness to their fellow man instead of living in fear of some unknown entity. Helping their fellow man because they care, not out of fear of some unknown entity. Not to say I condemn them for their beliefs, because I’m just not that kind of person. I live in the bible belt, and there can be up to 10 churches in one town around here. That’s just way too much! If they used that money to help the community instead of building fancier and fancier churches, they could help their fellow man.

I’m That Heathen Girl, and I figured since the Secular Nerd posted such a thorough opening post I’d introduce myself.
You can check out our bio’s to learn more about us. We will also have links to our personal sites at a later date.

The kind of posts you can look forward to from me are going to be the entertainment reviews. Some of my nerdy points of interest are:
– Books & Movies
– Graphic Design & Photography
– PC Gaming

Welcome to the site and enjoy!
– That Heathen Girl

 

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