Category Archives: Random Nerdom

News and information that does not fit the norm… not like there is much on this site that is normal to begin with.

Breaking: Gary Busey is the spokesperson for Amazon Fire TV, makes me want Amazon Fire TV

Gary Busey is a madman. Gary Busey has been in movies with Steven Seagal, another equally mad man. Gary Busey likes to start sentences with Gary Busey. Gary Busey also likes things that listen to Gary Busey. Enter Amazon Fire TV.

In this commercial just released from Amazon on Youtube, Gary Busey gives us a glimpse into the world of Amazon Fire TV, which is Amazon.com’s new streaming device that can show 1080p video, link with Netflix and your Amazon Prime account for a huge viewing library, as well as play video games and, of course, features a voice listening feature that not only listens, but learns what you like – especially if you like Gary Busey.

Amazon Fire will give users access not only to Netflix and Amazon Prime, but also Hulu Plus, Flixster, Youtube, Vimeo, Pandora, Crackle, Showtime, and many other streaming channels of brand-name film and television content. Tapping into the gaming market (and thus killing the Ouya sadly), Amazon Fire will also allow you to play Minecraft – Pocket Edition, Asphalt 8, and NBA 2K14, among other games coming out soon.

Amazon Fire TV starts at $100, and you can also purchase their game controller for $40, which will be out in early May. Gary Busey sold separately.

Gary Busey.

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Dark Horse to create merchandise for “Avatar: The Last Airbender” & “The Legend of Korra”

Dark Horse Comics and Nickelodeon are expanding their incredibly successful publishing partnership to include a wide range of Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra collectable items. These brand-new products ranging from figures to plush will debut at International Toy Fair in New York February 2014, and will be released in May.

This new program extends the success of the certified best-selling Dark Horse art books and graphic novels, based on the work of series creators and executive producers Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino, into the realm of collectable products.

A full list of products in development include: limited-edition statues, figurines, and busts, as well as, featured plush, drinking glasses, cups, coffee mugs, coaster sets, magnets, playing cards, badges, pins, lunch boxes, sculptural pins, among other items.

“Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra are some of the finest animated television shows ever created,” said David Scroggy, Dark Horse Vice President, Product Development. “We feel a strong responsibility to bring forward the creators’ vision as accurately as possible in the style they have established, and we are excited to bring these products to fans.

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While the above was part of the official press release from Dark Horse, while I was at Toy Fair I scooped up some press materials with more info that are not being made available online at the time of this post.

I can report that there will be a Korra coffee mug with the main case on it for $12.99, a magnet set for $8.99, the lunchbox you saw above for $14.99, and a very cool set of four shot glasses with the various symbols from the world of Korra for $19.99. All of these items will be available in May.

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“No Man’s Land” Play Review, starring Patrick Stewart & Ian McKellen

Can you imagine seeing Captain Picard, Magneto, and Dr. Manhattan all in one spot? If you live in New York City, you can make that dream a reality by seeing either of the plays at “Two Plays in Rep” at the Cort Theatre on Broadway. Get ready for a departure from the typical review, as we delve into a live stage play for the first time on Nerd News Today, and why not since it contains an A-list of nerdom stars!

You already know Sir Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellen from their respective roles in “X-Men”, “Lord of The Rings”, “Star Trek: The Next Generation”, and plenty of other dramatic roles, and hopefully you are familiar with their Shakespearean acting backgrounds as well. When this pair joins forces with Billy Crudup (from “The Watchmen”) and and Shuler Hensley (international star of stage and screen), you have a tour de force of acting prowess all on one stage, and doing the modern classics no less. “Two Plays in Rep” rotates two different plays, depending on the day, with this quartet of actors; Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot”, or the play I saw, Harold Pinter’s “No Man’s Land”.

Heads up – since this is not your usual Nerd News Today article, expect me to wear my critical analysis hat as I ruminate about the in’s and out’s of this play itself, as well as review what I saw on stage that night.

“As it is,” asks Spooner (McKellan), as he dances around the stage, while Hirst (Stewart) stiffly sits in his chair, lost in himself. The setting is a lone room in London, the home of famous writer Hirst, a reclusive alcoholic who comes in and out of lucidity when he is not drowning in a bottle of Scotch. Spooner is a writer as well, a braggart of a floundering poet who has not tasted the riches and success that his host has. The two are strangers, with Spooner inserting himself somehow into Hirst’s evening, and the two are on opposite sides of the spectrum.

McKellen nimbly moves with the energy of someone half his age in his role as Spooner, gladly accepting the hospitality of Hirst, who may or may not even really be aware that there is someone in his home, pouring him his fifth drink in ten minutes. Foster (Crudup)and Briggs (Hensley) soon enter, the housekeepers for Hirst (which we do not know until Act Two), and protectors of him – whatever that could mean.

Stewart plays a man constantly in flux, sometimes unpredictable and erratic, others friendly and jovial, but all those facades lead back to his poised and cold mind that is hardly a part of waking life. He has an intense personality, whether he is telling a story from his university days at Oxford, or telling his recurring dream of drowning. His housekeepers act cold and cool around him, the fast-talking Foster being more light-hearted than his explosive friend, Briggs.

No Man's Land Cort Theatre

The pony-tailed Spooner is the intruder in Pinter’s play about mental paralysis, an invader in “No Man’s Land”, where nothing moves, but only grows icy and cold. The way McKellen interacts not just with the other actors, but his environment, is majestic and graceful. He carefully inspects the scenery that feels oft-familiar to him, the scenery that Stewart has become glued to, his character rarely unattached to a chair. The magic between the pair of veteran actors is clear when they converse in act two, a more aware Hirst believing Spooner to be an alumni of his (even though he is not, but Spooner cleverly plays along), but the complexity of their relationship is seen strong in the opening act, when Hirst first begins his transformation into his more harsh and paranoid personality.

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Crudup and Hensley are up for the task when it comes to sharing the stage with such prolific actors, playing mysterious and powerful characters with very distinct personalities that mirror each other. However, these personalities merge when it comes to meeting the demands of their master, which usually relates to keeping him locked into his routine of going nowhere fast. Most people “fall in love” with Foster right away, while most don’t like Briggs at all, but with their character traits complimenting each other, they ultimately form one character, which I feel is the house itself.

The costumes and scenery design by Stephen Brimson Lewis stands out in this play, with the two things also working in tandem to create a unified cold and unmoving world. The round room with no corners traps the audience and the characters in Pinter’s story is augmented by the repetition of shapes and colors within it, whether it’s the shirt of Foster resembling the prison-line grid pattern on the house walls, or the ethereal blue color palette that pervades into the clothing that Hirst wears (whose clothing always seems to have those jail bars as well). The repetition of shapes also comes into play with the furniture, which Foster at one point notes that even the furniture has eyes – and they do, with every chair, cabinet, and even table cloth having two circular or spherical elements to it, keeping an eye permanently on its inhabitants. If you stay in one place long enough, you become that place, and this is a prime example of visually showing that. Even the round carpet on the floor has an endless feeling of falling into the deep blues hues, watching whoever sits above it to keep them trapped in a moment in time.

Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

From the spry and nuanced performance of McKellen, to the sometimes reserved and sometimes unhinged performance by Stewart, and the one-two punch of Crudup and Hensley, “No Man’s Land” was a great experience that sent chills down my spine by the end of it. It reminded me a great deal of James Joyce’s short story, “The Sisters”, a tale of characters paralyzed and in their own version of no man’s land, and rightfully so since Pinter was influenced by Joyce. I enjoyed every minute of the play, and recommend you check it out while you can before it closes (or check out “Waiting for Godot”, which I have heard equally excellent things about).

You can order tickets through the “Two Plays in Rep” official website, but hurry since the play closes on March 30!

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NYCC 2013 Cosplay Photo Gallery – Part 2

New York Comic Con is the hub for East Coast cosplayers to show off their finest threads, tentacles, tails, and sometimes cybernetic attachments. While we were unable to get photos of every single costume parading around the Javitts Center, we did get a decent amount to share with you, continuing here in our second part of this two-article gallery. From cute and sexy, to creative or accurate, to the just plain weird, check out over 40 shots of some of what we saw!

And don’t forget to check out part one of this post at this link here!

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NYCC 2013 Cosplay Photo Gallery – Part 1

New York Comic Con is the hub for East Coast cosplayers to show off their finest threads, tentacles, tails, and sometimes cybernetic attachments. While we were unable to get photos of every single costume parading around the Javitts Center, we did get a decent amount to share with you, starting here in part one of this two-parts. From cute and sexy, to creative or accurate, to the just plain weird, check out over 40 shots of some of what we saw!

Check out part two of this cosplay gallery at this link here!

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Additional thanks to Bigg Caz, Luis Toledo, and Shawn Baran for their photos!

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LucasFilm Announces Second Annual “Star Wars Reads” Day

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Lucasfilm, Disney Publishing Worldwide, and its publishing partners announced today the second annual Star Wars Reads Day to be held this October 5, 2013. Last year, 30 authors and 1,500 costumed volunteers participated in over 1,200 Star Wars Reads Day events across North America. On October 5 of this year, Star Wars fans, authors, and artists will again come together in this multi-publisher initiative that celebrates reading and Star Wars. Participating publishing partners include Abrams, Chronicle Books, Dark Horse, Del Rey, DK, Quirk Books, Random House Audio, Scholastic, Titan Magazines, and Workman.

“Star Wars Reads Day is the kind of initiative that we at Lucasfilm love to support” says Carol Roeder, Director of Publishing at Lucasfilm. “Reading and Star Wars have gone hand-in-hand since 1976, when the novelization of the original Star Wars movie was released. Over the years, many fans have discovered the joy in reading through Star Wars books, and we hope to continue encouraging more people to read.”

Official Star Wars Reads Day author events are already confirmed at the following locations:

Ann Arbor, MI – Barnes & Noble

Austin, TX – Barnes & Noble

Carle Place, NY – Barnes & Noble

Cincinnati, OH – Joseph-Beth Booksellers

Denver, CO – Tattered Cover

Madison, WI – Barnes & Noble

New York, NY – The Scholastic Store

Portland, OR – Wordstock Festival

Redondo Beach, CA – Mysterious Galaxy

Richmond, VA – bbgb

Roseville, MN – Barnes & Noble

San Francisco, CA – Books Inc.

Seattle, WA – University Bookstore

Warwick, RI – Barnes & Noble

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Mimoco announces limited edition Sulu flash drive

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Oh my! Mimoco, makers of the MIMOBOT line of designer USB flash drives, under license by CBS Consumer Products, are proud to announce the second installment in the Star Trek x MIMOBOT Series.

Hikaru Sulu MIMOBOT, a limited edition of just 1,000 hand-numbered pieces, joins Spock, Kirk, Picard and Data in MIMOBOT flash drive form and function. Sulu, the suave helmsman on the Enterprise as portrayed by actor George Takei in Star Trek: The Original Series, is brought to digital life in Mimoco’s stylized MIMOBOT appearance, suited in Sulu’s gold Enterprise command uniform. Sulu is a jack-of-all-trades who climbed the Starfleet ranks from lieutenant to captain, dabbled in botany and astrophysics, and now adds storing your data to his lengthy resume.

Available in up to 128GB and USB 3.0 capabilities, Sulu MIMOBOT also comes preloaded with bonus Mimory® and the MimoDesk personalization suite of wallpapers, icons and avatars. It also comes equipped with MimoByte sound software powered with an offering of iconic Star Trek sounds and Sulu character dialogue that plays each time Sulu MIMOBOT is inserted or ejected from one’s computer.

“After the success of our first Star Trek x MIMOBOT series, we’re excited to add Sulu Mimobot to this growing collection” explains CEO Evan Blaustein, “Always up for a new challenge, Sulu MIMOBOT can co-pilot all of your adventures and transport up to 128GB of all your personal documents, music, photos and data!”

Sulu MIMOBOT flash drive joins fellow Star Trek MIMOBOT characters and is now available at www.mimoco.com in a limited-edition production run of 1,000 pieces.

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Lego sculpture & photo collab gallery, “In Pieces”, going on in NYC

New York based LEGO sculptor Nathan Sawaya and Australian photographer Dean West collaborated on a new exhibit called “In Pieces” which is currently exhibiting at the OPENHOUSE Gallery in SOHO until March 17th. The exhibit will allow you to see LEGOs in an entirely new way and will inspire your children to try to create fantastic pieces out of LEGOs and perhaps other household objects!

Born in Colville, Washington and raised in Veneta, Oregon, Sawaya’s childhood dreams were always fun. He drew cartoons, wrote stories, perfected magic tricks and also played with LEGO. Sawaya attended NYU School of Law and became a practicing attorney. But soon he realized he would rather be sitting on the floor expressing himself with LEGO bricks, than sitting in a board room negotiating contracts. It was then that Sawaya rediscovered his LEGO bricks and indulged in his inner child to create a new job for himself, as well as, what many believe is a new art revolution using LEGO.

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With full-time working studios in New York and Los Angeles, Nathan has 2.5 million LEGO bricks at his immediate disposal to craft large-scale sculptures for collectors, galleries and companies.

His work is obsessively and painstakingly crafted and is both beautiful and playful. Sawaya’s ability to transform LEGO bricks into something new, his devotion to scale and color perfection, the way he conceptualizes the action of the subject matter, enables him to elevate an ordinary toy to the status of fine art.

Nathan’s art form takes shape primarily in 3-dimensional sculptures and oversized portraits. He continues to create daily while accepting commission work from around the world. In addition, he shows his art year-round in galleries in New York, Paris Miami and Hawaii.

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Enter our contest and win “Here Comes the Boom” on DVD

Greetings members of the NerdNewsToday! It’s contest time! Up for grabs are a few copies of “Here Comes the Boom” on DVD! If you have not seen the movie yet, former college wrestler Scott Voss (Kevin James) is a 42-year-old biology teacher in a failing high school. When cutbacks threaten to cancel the music program and lay off its teacher (Henry Winkler), Scott begins to raise money by moonlighting as a mixed martial arts fighter. Everyone thinks Scott is crazy – most of all the school nurse, Bella (Salma Hayek). But in his quest, as Scott becomes more and more committed to fighting for the students, he becomes a sensation that rallies the entire school.

The Blu-ray and DVD bonus features include 18 deleted scenes, a gag reel and “Here Comes the Cast,” a featurette on the star studded cast. The Blu-ray also exclusively includes an additional five behind-the-scenes featurettes: “The Pros” gives fans a look at the real MMA fighters that appear in the film; “The Three Amigos” showcases the camaraderie of Mr. Voss’ training team – Rutten, Winkler and DellaGrotte – and the fun they had on set; “Back To School” is a peek at Winkler showing off his classroom; “Learning How To Fight” takes a look at James getting schooled in the world of MMA; and “Gino Vs. Richie” chronicles a fun on-set challenge.

How do you win this DVD? Easy, all you have to do is tweet your friends to follow us on twitter. For example:

“Follow @nerdvolution for the best nerd news on the interwebs!”

Easy as pie! Don’t have twitter? You can do the same thing on facebook, just promote our fan page instead. Once the contest is over I will randomly choose who wins. Contest ends on February 28, so hurry!

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Enter our contest and win “Maximum Conviction” on DVD & Blu-ray

Hey? You like winning stuff? Sure, you do! Then why not enter our contest and win a copy of Steven Seagal and WWF/ WWE champion “Stone Cold” Steve Austin’s newest direct-to-DVD/Blu-ray feature film from Anchor Bay, “Maximum Conviction”!

When former black ops operative Tom Steele (Steven Seagal) and his partner Manning (Steve Austin) are assigned to decommission an old prison, they must oversee the arrival of two mysterious female prisoners. Before long, an elite force of mercenaries assault the prison in search of the new arrivals. As the true identities of the women are revealed, Steele realizes he’s caught in the middle of something far bigger than he had imagined. Fists will fly and bones will shatter as the situation escalates with every passing minute.

How do you win this set? Simple – use the power of the force to coax me into sending it to you. No, not really, but it’s the usual twitter contest goodness. All you have to do is tweet to your friends on Twitter to follow my Twitter account to win, using the hashtag #thefightnerd to make sure I see your entry. Here is an example:

“Follow @nerdvolution for the best news, reviews and videos on all things nerdy #nerdvolution”

Feel free to get creative with it too, as long as you have my account and hashtag, you are entered to win! If you want to increase your chances, have those same new followers tweet me back and let me know who sent them to join me. You can enter as many times as you want, but only TWO people will be chosen to win (who I will get in touch with after it wraps up). Contest ends on November 10, so hurry, hurry, HURRY!

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