Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

October 7, 2013 at 1:31pm

Nerd Alert!: Gravity, Star Wars Reads Day, Zero Charisma and Paint the Mall Pink

"Zero Charisma" is an ode to nerds from every realm.

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Houston in the blind, this is Nerd Alert, the Weekly Volcano's recurring events calendar devoted to all things nerdy. I myself am a Star Wars fan, mathlete, and spelling bee champion of long standing, so trust me: I grok whereof I speak.

As I write this, my head is still reeling from Alfonso Cuarón's Gravity - though that may be residual motion sickness. The more I reflect on it, the more I believe it's a true thinking man's sci-fi flick, conveying volumes of astrophysics with deceptive ease and slipping inside Sandra Bullock's helmet for unobtrusive first-person storytelling. I urge you to see it in IMAX 3-D, if only the LieMAX at Lacey's Regal cineplex. Finally, an action movie that doesn't reduce matters of galactic import to fistfights or devolve into "we have a situation"-level clichés. Kudos to Bullock, and to Framestore's ingenious zero-gravity FX.


If you've a geek of a certain age, it's highly likely that a chunk of your formative period was spent sitting around tables, rolling multicolored dice and battling imaginary troglodytes. Some of us may, in fact, still dabble in Gygax-style fictional worlds. These folks'll find much to enjoy, even cogitate upon, in the cinematic comedy Zero Charisma, opening Friday. It stars Sam Eidson as Scott, a dungeon master who finds his life upended when a popular hipster invades his circle of gamer friends. JoBlo's Movie Emporium referred to Zero Charisma as "Taxi Driver for fanboys." It played well to festival audiences, who probably spent a few hours around the D&D table themselves back in the day ... perhaps even yesterday. Far be it from us to pass judgment! Mighty Pelor the sun god would never forgive us.


Technically, Oct. 5 was Star Wars Reads Day, a celebration of youth lit highlighting the "Expanded Universe" of books and comics set in that galaxy far, far away. The Puyallup Public Library may be a tad late to the game, but they're chiming in hardcore with "astromech builder" and history buff Cole Horton. He's capping off a series of events by revealing how George Lucas's science-fantasy universe was influenced by the pop culture of his youth. It's a great way to introduce younglings and Padawan learners to the Light Side of both reading and 20th-century history. (And while we're on the topic of Star Wars tomes, check out J. W. Rinzler's massively comprehensive The Making of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, which hit bookshelves Oct. 1.)

FROM GOLDEN AGE TO A GALAXY FAR WAY: A STAR WARS READS DAY EVENT, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Puyallup Public Library, 324 S. Meridian, Puyallup, no cover, 253.841.5454


On a serious note, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and if there's one thing geeks of all genders, political stripes, and orientations can agree on, it's that breasts are the tits. Breast cancer currently affects one out of every eight women. That is simply unacceptable! Please give generously to protect these beautiful national resources. You could, for example, visit the Macy's corner of Tacoma Mall this Saturday the 12th, for a "Paint the Mall Pink" celebration that includes $1,000 worth of awesome giveaways. Coincidentally, the Gritty City Sirens perform their Spooktacular Soiree that same night at 502 Downtown. Check out other worthy events at KomenPugetSound.org.

Until next week, may the Force be with you, may the odds be ever in your favor, and may next weekend be sunny and bright for Seattle's epically distaff GeekGirlCon.

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