Superheroines and Hitchhiker’s Guide – Geekout 8

It seems I got fairly lucky in the beginning of this, because I’ll again be defeated. I can, however, get two of the three on today’s page! This page-a-day geekout calendar is an interesting challenge, and it really is a challenge sometimes. For today’s challenge, I’ll need to list Six Female Comic Book Superheroes, Two Characters from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and Four Heroes from Masters of the Universe.

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And of the comics, sci-fi, and fantasy prompts on this page, only the fantasy one eludes my area of expertise.

Six Female Comic Book Superheroes

Glad they went big on this one, because there are a lot of great female superheroes that don’t get enough attention. My wife and I went to an interesting symposium on Wonder Woman where there was quite a bit of discussion about female superheroes. One of the speakers discussed the idea that there could (and should) be a difference between a “superheroine” and a “female superhero”. In it, he pointed out that the latter is the female version of the male counterpart, and the former has a different approach to things.

Wonder Woman

I’m obviously starting here, since I already mentioned a symposium on the character. She’s an extremely powerful character, sure. The significance of the character, however, is in how she uses her power. She shows much more empathy and understanding than many of the beat-the-villain-to-a-bloody-pulp heroes. She has a lasso that restrains rather than kills. Does this mean that all interpretations of the character follow these rules? No, certainly some have made her a beat-em-up hero who seems to be around as eye-candy.

Supergirl

This is one strong Kryptonian who’s currently featured in her own TV series. The show is on my list of shows I want to watch, but timing is often a challenge. I’ve heard reasonably good things about it, so I’m on board. I’m sure most people know that she’s the cousin of Superman. I was going to include Power Girl in the list as well, since my wife and I find her outfit a bit ridiculous. She was complaining that it would be cheating to include her. For the record, the alternate reality version of me is not me.

Kamala Khan – Ms. Marvel

Starting only a few years ago, this new Ms. Marvel is awesome. I’ve only read one book about her (my wife left it sitting around), but she seems like a great person to hold this mantle. Who wouldn’t love a story about a teenage Muslim-American living in New Jersey? In addition to being a superheroine, she’s also able to reflect on some situations many readers won’t have experienced. Looking forward to great things from her!

Sakura – Cardcaptor Sakura

I am going to consider the magic of magical girls to be a super power, so she’s totally going to count for this. There are plenty of other magical girls to choose from, but this one is covering the bookshelves to my right at this moment. This is shōjo manga from Clamp, which is the way of saying Japanese comics for teenage girls. Sakura is a very young girl who uses magical cards to cast spells. The cards have powers, and I like to joke that she uses “Windy” for everything. I’m told that’s just because it’s her first card, but it seems to apply in nearly every situation!

Hawkgirl

I don’t know my Hawkgirls well enough to pick one of them. My knowledge of the character mostly comes from cartoons and the new Marvel TV shows. And since those are different Hawkgirls, I’m not going to choose one. Flight has always been a popular power. Some characters’ flight powers are never explained, but wings are fairly obvious. She’s a very skilled fighter and wields melee weapons, which is totally awesome. Being one of those reincarnating-types, she’s also got lifetimes worth of knowledge and training, making her a very worth superheroine!

Carol Danvers – Captain Marvel

While she was once Ms. Marvel, and has been successfully replaced by Kamala Khan,  she took on the mantle of Captain Marvel. Carol has had a whole host of powers longer than I want to name. Let’s just say that she’s by far one of the more powerful supers out there, and she’s been involved in plenty of great team-ups and crossovers over her many years.

Two Characters from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Now here’s a ridiculous book! I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, which I received as a gift when I was in college. Surprisingly, I hadn’t read it before that! My wife gave me a copy of this book!

Arthur Dent

Our protagonist for this book, this guy is lucky (or unlucky) enough to escape Earth with the character I’ll name next! He’s kind of clueless when it comes to traveling the galaxy. And with the story being a bit ridiculous, he’s in for quite the challenge!

Ford Prefect

An alien friend of Arthur Dent’s, Ford rescues Arthur during Earth’s destruction at the novel’s start. Not a spoiler, considering how early that happens! He’s a galactic hitchhiker, and you can start guessing where things go from there. Even better though, read the book!

Four Heroes from Masters of the Universe

Didn’t watch the show, so this will end quickly (and with fewer answers than I should have).

He-Man

Not even sure if this one counts, since it’s “He-Man and”. And if you want to argue that, give me a break, because I’m missing the other 3 anyway. And yes, I did turn on that ridiculous “Heyeayea” video while I was writing this.

Wrap Up

So I’ve bombed three questions now. I’m worried what will appear for tomorrow. Crossing my fingers!

Failing to Geekout – Geekout 7

And my streak of successfully listing answers for the page-a-day calendar comes to an end. I can’t get this one. Today I’ll need to list Two Named Animals from Beastmaster, Four Dr. Seuss Book Titles, and Two Named Victims in Assassin’s Creed.

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Here goes…

Two Named Animals from Beastmaster

I don’t know Beastmaster at all, so I don’t have anything to list for this one. I did a quick search, and it seems like it might be a movie.

Four Dr. Seuss Book Titles

This is more of a “do you remember your childhood” question than anything all that geeky. Did non-geek children read something else? Well his books are certainly some of my favorites today. Not just because of how well-written and entertaining they are, but also for all of the great lessons they teach.

Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

I’m not really the adventurous type, but this book does make life seem like a wonderful journey. The places I’ve gone have been interesting.

The Sneeches and Other Stories

Some sneeches have stars on their bellies others don’t. None of them are better than the others, but before anyone learns that lesson, everyone is willing to pay a lot to always be the “better” type of sneech.

I think there are plenty of things you can take away from this story, beyond the obvious ideas of equality among people. You could also interpret that you don’t need to always be chasing the popular things to do. If everyone is buying the greatest new stuff, you don’t have to. You can be yourself. You’re already pretty great!

Green Eggs and Ham

I’ll admit, I’ve never tried green eggs and ham, and I don’t try as many new things as I probably should. I do know in my mind, however, that making judgements without information is a mistake. Whether that be about food or something else doesn’t matter.

The Lorax

Speaking for the trees is an important thing, since they can’t speak themselves! I admit, I need a thneed, but I’d rather find a more sustainable way to get my thneed. Perhaps we could try cutting and replanting the trees only in one place? Assuming we could produce enough thneeds for everyone’s needs, I think we’d be OK.

Two Named Victims in Assassin’s Creed

And this page gets me again. I’ve played only the first of this series. I own a few of them, but I want to play them in order. Having started the first a few times, but never completing it means I don’t know any target names.

Wrap Up

I did not expect two on the same day to end that streak. I guess I need to get around to playing Assassin’s Creed again. One of these days I’ll finish it, but I’m always distracted by other games I’m playing. Too many games, books, movies, etc. Too little time.

Aliens, Mermaids, and Old Films – Geekout 5

It would seem that I can list quite a few things. Without thinking too hard yet, this one includes a more challenging question than the previous ones! I’ll now need to choose, Four Named Fictional Aliens/Extraterrestrials, Four Franchises in which Mermaids appear, and Two Prohibition Era Films. Did you identify the difficult question?

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Well, here goes nothing. It’s time to answer a Sci-Fi, a fantasy, and a general geekiness prompt!

Four Named Fictional Aliens/Extraterrestrials

I could name four each easily from a variety of franchises including: Guardians of the Galaxy, Star Trek, Star Wars, Stargate, Justice League, Mass Effect, and more! I won’t do that. I’ll keep it to one per franchise.

Also, is the author of this just a conspiracy theorist, or is there something the author knows that I don’t? Are there known, non-fictional extraterrestrials?

Quark – Star Trek

Along with his brother, Rom, Quark runs the best bar on Deep Space Nine! One of my favorite Star Trek characters, this was an easy choice. While there are so many aliens from so many series (most of them quite awesome). Quark is just too much fun to pass on!

And if Quark reads this, I’m sure he’ll agree that it never hurts to suck up to the boss – rule of acquisition number 33.

Admiral Ackbar – Star Wars

When I started answering this question, it took longer than I expected, because… It’s a trap!

Sorry. Had to do that. Now at least everyone knows that I’m talking about the Mon Calamari admiral leaving the Mon Cal Cruiser in the battle of the second Death Star who let’s us all know why the shields are up.

Since they’re from another galaxy, I guess that would make all of the characters aliens…

Thor – Stargate SG1

I bet some people were thinking of the Avengers character before I said SG1. And of course I chose the alien from SG1. The Asgard were one of the best additions to SG1. The concept of ancient gods being powerful aliens is a very cool idea, and the Egyptian gods had been the villains in the beginning. It made it very cool when the team first learns about the Asgard and learns of the protection offered to some worlds by the Asgard.

While he may show himself to the more primitive humans as a hologram of a strong Viking warrior, he is actually a little alien who wields power through technology rather than physical might. They’re brilliant allies of the humans, dealing with far more than is fair for one species to put on themselves. Truly honorable aliens everyone would want living nearby.

Lavos – Chrono Trigger

Spoiler alert! Lavos, the final boss in Chrono Trigger is an alien. Had to include this, because the game is too much fun to not find a way to include! If you’ve not played this, you should. For being as old a game as it is, it’s held up very well. Much of this is due to the style of game it is, being from the SNES days. It was at the end of those, so it benefitted from a lot of the advances made along the way.

Four Franchises in which Mermaids appear

A wonderful idea from classic fantasy storytelling, mermaids are one of many sea-dwelling creatures. And also like a lot of those, some stories make them benevolent, helpful creatures and others have them more mischievous than helpful. Choose the style you like, but sea-dwelling creatures like this certainly spark an imagination!

Peter Pan

While I don’t remember these being in the book, I’ll count the mermaids in the franchise from Disney’s animated adaptation added them in. And because of that, I’m sure Disney included them again in their other works.

Dungeons & Dragons

Now some people might say that I’m cheating by including a rules system franchise, but I’m not! The novels written about the worlds of Dungeons and Dragons include merfolk as well.

Pirates of the Caribbean

Not common in the franchise, but I remember at least one mermaid scene and it wasn’t a friendly one either! Almost seems that way at first, but becomes very ominous quickly…

The Chronicles of Narnia

Again, not too common in the series, but they do make an appearance in Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Not that I want to get into how or why that encounter occurs.

Two Prohibition Era Films

While I don’t remember the exact dates of prohibition, I do know it encompassed the 1920s, so I’ll name some films from that decade. Being much too young to have lived during prohibition, this was the challenging one I mentioned, since I’d have struggled if the number were increased to 4 or 6.

Nosferatu

While not an American film, I believe it made it to the US still during Prohibition, so I’m counting it! This is a fantastic, classic horror film. If you’ve not seen it, I’d recommend it. It’s clearly a knockoff of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, avoiding using the names, but the vampire being a “Count” kind of gives that away.

It’s 1920s-style scary, so you’re probably relatively safe to watch it, even if you don’t like horror movies.

The Jazz Singer

Could I really leave this one out? If I’m not mistaken, this is the film credited with the rise of sound films and the decline of silent films. While clearly a product of its time period, the film is still well-known and respected today. Not that I get around to seeing old films. It’s not really my thing.

Wrap Up

Glad I made it through that one OK. I may have to go re-watch some things now!

Conventions, Races, and Slytherin – Geekout 3

On this third day of the year, I’m feeling great! I got some good work done, and I’m ready to tackle this geekout challenge. It looks like I’ll need to list: Two U.S. Comic Book Conventions, Four Races from the Star Wars Universe, and Two Characters from the House of Slytherin in Harry Potter.

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Maybe January is the warmup round for this, because these could use larger numbers to be challenging! Looks like our categories today are Comics, Sci-fi, and Fantasy.

Two U.S. Comic Book Conventions

There are so many small ones all throughout the US. It’s sad that the question limits on that even, since there are so many great ones outside of the US. I think I’ll go a bit obvious here!

Comic Con International – Various

The most attended of these must be the San Diego one, but there are others as well. This is a crowded event that I doubt I’ll ever attend, if only due to the number of people. Cosplay is likely what these are best known for, but there’s much more than that at comic book conventions.

Wizard World – Various

Again I’m going with another group of conventions. Wizard World conventions are all over the country, so you can go to one that’s somewhat local. The local ones will be much lower-key, but can still be a blast. You can look online to see which celebrities will make appearances at them as well.

Four Races from the Star Wars Universe

If there’s one thing your sci-fi needs, it’s aliens. OK, that’s not really true, but Star Wars certainly shows that you can include plenty of aliens without getting too crazy (all that often).

Cathar

Considering that I’ve named one of my cats after Juhani, the Cathar in Knights of the Old Republic, I had to include the Cathar first. It also doesn’t hurt that I’m also a big fan of Aric Jorgan, a Cathar companion in The Old Republic and a character voiced by one of my favorite actors.

Chiss

Anyone who’s read any of the books now considered legends should have read about a Chiss named Grand Admiral Thrawn. He’s been added into the cartoons, so he’s no longer just a “legend” character. He’s canon now.

This Chiss are blue-skinned, red-eyed humanoids that have been part of the empire in all of the non-movie sources.

Twi’lek

Having such interesting and often vibrant skin colors, the Twi’lek are best identified by the lekku that extend from the back of their heads. They’re the big tenatacle-headed, colorful aliens.

Jawa

While we don’t see them too well in the series, these aliens are quite interesting. Somewhat mysterious under their cloaks, these junk-loving aliens will try to push R2 units with bad motivators on you if you’re not careful!

Two Characters from the House of Slytherin in Harry Potter

The house of cunning, ambitious, resourceful people is my house. No, we’re not all evil!

Horace Slughorn

Harry’s potions teacher in his sixth year at Hogwarts was none other than Horace Slughorn! We don’t know much about him, but we assume he was a member of the Slytherin house as a student based on his being the Head of Slytherin house. I don’t remember it being said explicitly that he was in the house, but I’d think you would have to have been in order to head a house!

Regulus A. Black

At the end of reading the sixth book in the series, we all remembered the brother of Sirius Black. We all assumed that the R.A.B. carved into the locket must have been someone we already knew, and this is the character who fit the bill.

He was one of the first fighting the battle that Harry fights in book 7, so we must have some respect for this man.

Wrap Up

Wondering if there’ll be a gaming convention question along the same lines as this comic book convention question. We’ll see what we get!

Elves, Cameos, and Companies – Geekout 2

On today’s Geekout challenge from my page-a-day calendar, I’m supposed to list: Two Middle-earth Elves, Two Celebrities [who] have Made Cameo appearances on The Big Bang Theory, and Four Video Game Companies.

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Looks like those icons must indicate the category, I’d guess it’s fantasy, general geekiness, and games.

Two Middle-earth Elves

I’d say the toughest part for this one is choosing from which of Tolkien’s texts I should make my selections. I’ll admit that I’ve never finished the Silmarillion, but I’ve read half the book more than once. The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, however, each have more than enough elves to choose from.

Elrond

Appearing in The Hobbit, The Fellowship of the Ring, and The Return of the King, this elf stays important throughout the series, unlike some who make appearances in only The Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit. Additionally, he always seems somewhat mystical, and is relatively nice to the characters we’re following.

Thranduil

The more reclusive and less-trusting elf, Thranduil and his elf brethren create an interesting challenge for Bilbo and his Dwarven allies, imprisoning the dwarves until their barrel-riding ally manages to plan their escape. While I’m not too happy with his portrayal in the recent movie adaptation, I like the character, since he offers such a different view of the Elves than we received earlier in the book while meeting Elrond. Not all elves share the same opinions it would seem!

Two Celebrities with Cameos on The Big Bang Theory

Now here’s finally a tough question for me. I’m not much of a fan of The Big Bang Theory. While it’s got some good geeky humor, the show seems to ridicule nerds and geeks, casting us often in a poor light. There are funny points, and jokes that are certainly for us exclusively! Maybe it’s just me though!

Wil Wheaton

As a child actor, I was not a fan, however, I’ve come around to Wil Wheaton following his roles on Leverage and The Guild. I do know that he was on an episode of The Big Bang Theory. I didn’t watch the episode, but I heard something about the cast and him. For some reason I’m remembering something about bowling. Maybe I’m way off on this one.

Brent Spiner

I heard about this as well, so I hope I’m right here. I remember something about it, since it made for a double Star Trek cameo. I recall something about a birthday. Either way, Data is an awesome character with really interesting development in The Next Generation, and Brent Spiner really played him well. Since Star Trek, I’d have to say my favorite of his characters was in Independence Day. So many people didn’t even notice it was him!

Four Video Game Companies

Now this is a laughably small number of game companies to name. I’m guessing someone thought four would be a large number, since most of the questions so far have asked for two.

Square Enix

As a fan of many classic RPG franchises, including Chrono Trigger/Cross, the Final Fantasy series,  and the Star Ocean series, it would be difficult to exclude the creators of those games who now comprise Square Enix.

Their current direction is somewhat questionable at times, however, I am hopeful that the FF7 remake will not be the disappointment many predict. In addition, I’ve appreciated some of the games they’ve published, including Life is Strange.

Blizzard Entertainment

Talk about a company that really got in a decades long groove. Warcraft was a good game, and I remember IPX connection games of Warcraft II so long ago! Everything changed with Diablo, Starcraft, and Battle.net! Talk about an acquisition, Blizzard North bringing along Diablo set the stage for this company’s triumph in online gaming. Never again was there a need to try and get LAN games going with friends. Online gaming was now easy.

This company is never the first in their genre, but when they show up, they take over. Their development efforts seem to stretch on forever, but if they let a game reach release, it’s impressive. These days I think Heroes of the Storm is the closest they have to a non-success, but only because it’s not the top MOBA.

Quantic Dream

A company close to my heart, Quantic Dream does not disappoint. No, not even with Beyond: Two Souls. The creators of Heavy Rain and Indigo Prophecy, two of my favorite games. Interestingly, Indigo Prophecy was originally called Fahrenheit outside the US, a crazy thing, since we’re nearly the only country using that system.

The games this studio creates aren’t for everyone; story-focused games are their expertise. As a player, you’re guiding a movie more than anything else. There are skill-based challenges and story-impacting decisions to make which determine how the story will end. I’ve watched the endings of their games more times than I’d like to admit, and I’ve played through each game quite a few times as well.

BioWare

At this point, you may have noticed my story-driven, role-playing game focus. I must include the creators of the Baldur’s Gate series of games. Yes, I cite them for that, since that’s where I first experienced their games. Those games used D&D rules, so that was quite fun for me!

Using similar rules to D&D, their Star Wars game, Knights of the Old Republic, was (and still is) one of my favorite games. If you’ve not played it, I recommend giving it a try sooner rather than later. It’s not a new game, so the controls are starting to show their age. The story and adventure are quite fun though! They were not the creators of Knights of the Old Republic II, however, they came back to the series with The Old Republic, their MMO that I do still play!

Now, before anyone tries to have me strung up, yes, I played and loved Mass Effect and Dragon Age! They’re great games that show that BioWare can take those same skills and transition from D&D and Star Wars to their own worlds with Dragon Age and Mass Effect respectively.

Wrap Up

It seems I’ve managed two of these posts in a row. That won’t last, however, I’m hoping that The Big Bang Theory questions doesn’t become a trend – I’ll exhaust that expertise quickly!