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8-Bit Nostalgia, Pokemon Farts, and Being First: What We Learned At Nerdist This Week

What is it about being a nerd that makes so many of us want to be first for everything? A nerd-centric movie comes out and the queue for the first midnight show snakes around the multiplex. A new, hot gadget or phone or console comes out and there’s a line at the store a day (or two, or three) early. We can’t even wait for a minute. We’re online, searching for the best way to get what we want before anyone else. Pre-order? Find a store that nobody else knows will have it? MUST HAVE NOW.

I’m not immune. When I was in college, before you could get event tickets online (yes, I’m old. Leave me alone), I was the guy who knew the ticket outlet nobody else knew, the record store right across the street from the Ticketmaster where all my classmates would spend the night in a long line for concert tickets. I’d sleep in my own bed, sneak into the record store through the back door at the appropriate hour, buy the tickets, sneak back out, and greet my classmates as they returned by waving my tickets at them with a big grin. “How’d you… where’d you… you weren’t on line!,” they’d sputter. And I’d just smile, secure in my knowledge that I’d broken the code. I was first in a line nobody else knew existed.


Fast forward to today. I don’t remember whether I wrote here or at one of my other venues about my dying cell phone, but it’s time to retire it. I held on as long as I could — it’s about three years old, a decrepit HTC Touch Pro with a penchant for overheating so much that the coating on the battery cover melted off — but when the thing came close to flatlining while I was in Chicago, I realized I had to make a decision fast. Like so many others, I held on as long as possible to see what Apple would unveil this month, and like so many others, I was disappointed that it wasn’t the real next generation with 4G or a larger screen, but I decided for several reasons into which I won’t go here that it makes more sense than my carrier’s 4G offerings, so it’s the iPhone 4S for me. Don’t judge.

So they announced the presale for this morning, and I figured, okay, sometime Friday I’ll order one. And then they said that the online pre-orders would start at midnight Pacific… and I started to sweat. I start work at 3 am Pacific. Midnight? I’m asleep. OH, NO. HAVE TO GET UP. HAVE TO ORDER AT STROKE OF MIDNIGHT. MUST BE FIRST.

And then sanity kicked in. I’m in front of the computer at 3 am anyway. People aren’t THAT insanely desirous of this thing, right? Three hours won’t make a difference.

Unless… unless it DOES. Unless I miss out and end up having to go to the Apple Store and queue up all night. Unless… no, no, 3 am should be fine, I told myself. I did not sleep easily. It took me a while to drift off.

The next thing I knew, it was 3:10 am and my backup alarm was blasting KFI at top volume. 3:10! I’M TEN MINUTES LATER THAN I PLANNED! DISASTER! I raced to the computer and COULDN’T GET THROUGH! AAUGH! OH NO I WON’T GET IT ON THE VERY FIRST DAY! MY LIFE IS…

Oh, wait. It’s working.

They’re taking my money. The order’s in. Delivery on day one.

Well, then, what a lovely day this is.

Of course, I could have waited until later in the day. I can live waiting a few more weeks to replace the old brick. I don’t need to be first. But what fun would THAT be?

Fun, of course, is what we had all week here at Nerdist. Like:

1. Kyle kicked things off with a review of the final episode of the current Doctor Who series. I haven’t seen it, so I had to edit it and immediately erase it from my mind. Or at least that was the general plan. Didn’t work.

2. The John K Simpsons couch gag was exactly as mindbendingly weird as only John K can get. Also great.

3. We found a great gallery of title screens from 8-bit and 16-bit games. Nostalgia galore.

4. Real or not, this 4-year-old boy’s reaction to The Empire Strikes Back‘s big reveal was pretty damn funny.

5. Jake served up another “5 Most Intentionally Funny Videos This Week,” including Albert Brooks on Leno and a particularly disturbing episode of Eddie Pepitone’s Puddin’.

6. Pogo returned with a Mighty Boosh remix. Even if you’re not a fan of Vince and Howard, you’ll enjoy it.

7. A fan, Mark LaCroix, did his own version of the Nerdist TV show opening sequence, in 8-bit-style animation. It’s really good.

8. NASA’s taking applications for astronaut training. Hey, Matt!

9. Hey, our own NerdMelt got named “Best Place to Get Your Geek On” in LA Weekly‘s “Best of L.A.” issue. We’re proud.

10. We couldn’t show you the art of the Butcher Kings, because they like a little mystery. Let’s just say that if you go to the show at Gallery 1988 Melrose in L.A. (through the 29th), you’ll see pop culture put through a blender. And meat grinder. And an industrial-strength shredder.

11. Steve Jobs died and even Apple detractors had to tip their hats to a guy who led an amazing life and accomplished amazing things.

12. Kyle found a video compressing the entire Series 6 of Doctor Who into 89 seconds, and offered trailers from five horror movies you may never have seen.

13. From the folks who brought you Adventure Time, we saw a farting lesson from Ash and Pikachu of Pokemon. Was there ever a Pokemon Brown?

14. Matthew B. found a highly addictive website of animated GIFs. Really, go there and before long you will have lost several hours.

15. Jake took a look back at Richard Jeni and the comedy of the previous standup generation. Still funny.

16. Are you a Cosplayer? Going to the New York Comic-Con? A webseries wants you.

17. Becca fixated on a song by NewVillager for the Music Geek Track of the Week, and also found a new go-to music blog.

18. We need some Node Warriors for Portland. Come on, the Blazers’ preseason isn’t happening, so you have time.

19. Nerdist Podcast: Emma Caulfield and Penn Jillette came by and were awesome.  And, at the last minute… Hostful!

20. Podcasts: The Indoor Kids had Tom Lennon on to talk about his gaming life (and addiction). Comic John Mulaney joined Riki to talk about Making It. If you can’t figure out what Sex Nerd Sandra and Dave were talking about on an episode called “Booty Basics,” you probably aren’t a subscriber anyway. Ben had Peter Gould, Kerry Ehrin, and Bridget CarpenterBreaking Bad and Friday Night Lights right there — on the Writer’s Panel. And Todd Glass hosted his former roommate Mike Koman.

And we’ve arrived at the weekend. Enjoy etc.  Remember, you don’t get anything for being “FIRST!” in the comments.  And, no, I don’t want to talk about the Phillies right now.

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