April 14, 2011 Volume CXXIX Issue 11

Nerd culture becomes mainstream

By AVA JORDAN
Opinion Editor

In our technologically-driven society, the “nerd” is quickly becoming a major social player. Instead of being a negative stereotype, the nerd is now in a position of power and, as such, is seriously influencing contemporary American culture. The nerd’s influence is far-reaching and is growing almost daily. It’s quite likely that you have encountered and enjoyed these pieces of nerd culture, perhaps even found them funny. Here is a salute to nerd humor.

Webcomics: While comic books have long been a staple of nerd culture, their online cousins, the webcomics, have recently started being noticed by mainstream culture. Some popular nerd-centric webcomics include xkcd and PhD comics. XKCD is drawn by Randall Munroe, a former robotics engineer for NASA. Many of his comics focus on math, physics, or nerd culture as a whole. Another popular nerd-based webcomic is PhD, Piled Higher and Deeper, which was created by Jorge Cham, who works with robots and brainmachine interfaces. PhD focuses on the life of grad students at Stanford University.

Web memes: There is a whole host of internet memes floating around tumblr.com, primarily based on animals commenting on college majors. These provide a specialized form of nerd humor for the more discerning nerd. A very short list includes English Major Armadillo, History Major Heraldic Beast, Science Major Mouse and Computer Science Penguin. There are, however, dozens of these available for a wide variety of subjects.

Television: By far the most obvious evidence of nerd culture infiltrating television is “The Big Bang Theory,” a hilarious show based on the lives of physicists and their much less nerdy neighbor. The show covers all sorts of nerd humor, from physics jokes, science fiction references, math humor (what is that?), programmer humor and more. Many average viewers will not get all of the jokes, but there still seems to be something for everyone who has even the slightest interest in the lives and culture of nerds.

The world is full of intellectual humor and a growing nerd culture. If you have not yet run across nerd humor, I recommend seeking it out. You might find that you enjoy it more than you think. Nerd culture is the popular culture of the future, so getting in now will make the future that much more enjoyable.

Source: xkcd.com

Even the identity matrix doesn’t work normally.


WRITING CENTER HOURS FOR EASTER WEEKEND

The GC Writing Center will close
early, at 4:30 p.m., Thursday afternoon
April 21–the day before
Easter Break.

The Writing Center will re-open
Easter Sunday night, April 24, from
7-11 p.m. so that students can get
help with research papers when
they return to campus
that evening.


SENIOR SPOTLIGHT: MICHAEL CANNON

By HILLARY JONES
Copy Editor

Michael Cannon refused to leave Daytona Beach last summer.

Graduation is just around the corner. This thought has placed itself at the forefront of the minds of graduating seniors and causes a mixture of emotions for most, but senior Michael Cannon from the illustrious Stamping Ground, Ky. can sum up his feelings in one word: relieved.

This Music Education major and self-proclaimed funny guy seems to have a positive outlook on the end of his undergraduate career at Georgetown.

To answer the question of whether being a senior had really hit him yet, Cannon says, “It hit me sophomore year…and since I’m student teaching this semester, I don’t really feel like I’m a student anymore anyway.” If only we could all be so confident.

Though he is excited about his future after Georgetown, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t enjoy the many things GC has to offer. He states that he was originally drawn here because, “It was close to home, I got a lot of scholarship money and it was small.” He has found plenty of added bonuses along the way.

Cannon is highly involved in the Music Department and has been a member of Concert Choir and Chorale, as well as Lyric Theater Society, CMENC (Collegiate Music Educators’ National Conference) and SNATS (Student National Association of Teachers of Singing).

Cannon has also been recognized for his talents as Outstanding Freshman Music Major and Outstanding Music Education Major, and has performed in his share of concerts and recitals. You’ve probably seen him in a few CEPs or may even recognize him as Marco from LTS’s fall production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s “The Gondoliers.”

This involvement stems from Cannon’s passion for music education. He decided he wanted to spend his adult life affecting young lives and getting them interested in music after being inspired by his own teachers and directors.

His passion for music is further evidenced by the fact that he had trouble deciding which music class was his favorite, finally narrowing it down to Secondary Vocal/ Choral Methods or Chamber Opera, both taught by Dr. Hunnicutt.

Cannon also named Dr. Hunnicutt as a favorite professor, along with Dr. Griggs from the education department.

Cannon’s favorite GC experience is, “Probably when LTS went to Hawaii in 2009. We spent a week on the beach, had two performances…it was fantastic.”

If he weren’t so passionate about music and education, Cannon’s dream job would be being a beach bum. If he won the lottery, he would “move to a beach and pursue my lifelong dream of a beach bum.”

If he were to be stranded on a deserted island, he would want his iPad, WiFi and a significant other. On second thought, this might play in perfectly with his beach bum dreams, and he would be still be able to actively participate in his hobbies, which include reading, long walks on the beach and dinner by candlelight.

Not all of Cannon’s interests revolve around music and the beach. His favorite color is blue, his favorite book and movie series is “Harry Potter” and his favorite on-campus food is the Kentucky wrap from the Grille. Oh, and his idea of a perfect day is “…April 25th. Because it’s not too hot, not too cold, all you need is a light jacket.” (Ten points if you caught that movie reference.)

After graduation happens, Cannon hopes to get a job teaching music in Ky. or one of the surrounding states.

But before he begins to inspire future generations to enrich their lives with music, he leaves a piece of advice for his underclassman peers here at GC: “Try your best. Know when to say ‘no;’ don’t get too involved, but have fun and be social.”

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