July’s Geek Beers Meetup

I don’t have a voice that carries very well. When I’m out in a crowded place, with a lot of chatter all around me, even I have trouble hearing myself.

Last night I attended my city’s monthly tech meetup, #GeekBeers, where other work-from-home types and tech enthusiasts meet up for a night of good food and drink and conversation.

Some of the conversation turned to what we’ve been doing to keep ourselves entertained in the month since we last saw each other. We covered music, movies & documentaries, television, and books. The following is what I had to offer in terms of what I’ve been reading/listening/watching and what I had recommended for those interested to read/watch/listen to.


I’ve been listening to the Wayward Pines series by Blake Crouch on my 1-month trial of Kindle Unlimited. It’s a strange story that follows a secret service agent as he investigates the disappearance of two other secret service agents in the seemingly perfect town of Wayward Pines. Everyone behaves too perfect, like they’re all in on a secret. Lots of unexpected turns in the story, and I’ve been highly entertained in the series so far. I’m half done the second book in the three-book series.

God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything” by Christopher Hitchens. Another audio book I listened to during my drives to and from work. I was previously unaware of Christopher, and I haven’t looked too much into his other work. I watched a few YouTube videos where he argues against religion. The book, read by Christopher himself, is basically an essay on why he thinks religion is bad.

That led me to seek out another God-related book and I settled on Penn Jillette’s “God, No! Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales“. I loved it. Very light on religion, it’s more of an autobiography structured around “one athiest’s ten suggestions”. Very funny, highly recommended. Especially in audio book form as it’s read by Penn himself. Note: It does not answer why he paints one of his fingernails red, but my hypothesis is it’s meant to distract his audience while Penn performs magic.

Movies & Documentaries

The God stuff was kicked off by http://unbelieversmovie.com/ which follows evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins and theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss as they tour the world lecturing about the importance of science. There’s an anti-religion agenda to the documentary which is what brought Christopher Hitchens to my attention. There’s a scene before Lawrence lectures at a university where he’s reading “God Is Not Great”.

I mentioned the eclectic collection of documentaries I have at home which span everything from games development (Indie Game The Movie, Us And The Game Industry, and the upcoming GAME LOADING: Rise Of The Indies) to obscure game genres (Get Lamp: The Text Adventure Documentary) and Nerdcore (Nerdcore Rising and Nerdcore For Life). Those last ones begged the question, “What is Nerdcore? And what would you recommend as an introduction to someone who wants to learn?” which I’ll get to in the music section below.


I finally finished watching “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey”, hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson. I loved it. I thought it was pretty cool that only two days after the last episode aired on TV, the series was available for purchase in stores.

At the suggestion of another, I started watching “Through the Wormhole”, hosted by Morgan Freeman. Coincidentally, the first episode focused on the creation of the universe and whether a God was responsible for its creation. While I have in the past month sought God-related media, this one was unintentional though not unwelcome. Someone at #GeekBeers asked about the difference between Cosmos and Wormhole. Someone else told him that Cosmos focuses on the how and why of a specific topic, while Wormhole covers a topic with broad strokes, more as a documentary form. I agree. I love both series.


One person, he appeared to stream most of his music through the Google Play Music service. He mentioned XX which got a, “Me too!” from someone else. I’d never heard of XX before. I was asked to elaborate on what Nerdcore was, and I struggled to give examples of what made Nerdcore Nerdcore. I used MC Frontalot, the god-father of Nerdcore, as example. But when I thought back through his catalog nothing came to mind as inherently geeky. The best I came up with is “Tongue Clucking Grammarian” and “Hassle, The Dorkening”.

I also offered Schaffer the Darklord as example (The Bender, as a nerd rapping goofy about a serious topic) and MC Chris as a more mainstream artist (Fett’s Vette, because Star Wars).

As for what I listen to, at work I mostly listen to “The Ultimate 100” channel on Songza. I’ve downvoted probably half the songs in the stream, but the ones left in rotation are great. It’s helping me branch out from what I’d normally listen to, and new songs make it into the mix every week or so.

This is all from memory, with a little more elaboration here. As I said before, my voice doesn’t carry well in a noisy place so for those there last night who may have misheard me or not heard at all, above is my summary.

Feel free to reach out to me via Facebook or Twitter if you want to carry on the conversation.

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