Monday, May 9, 2011

Nerd Candy

by Laura Bickle

I have sort of a dream dinner party. With members of my nerd pantheon, chatting about robots and physics and ancient Rome. Fear not - my husband approves, though he'd likely have a few additions to the guest list to include his own female nerd crushes. He has volunteered to grill steaks for this get-together, and I'll go find some decent wine.

I guess that this makes it more of a dream barbecue, but you get the picture. I would just want to sit and listen, perched on a bar stool to soak in all the talk of subatomic particles swirling in the glasses and crazy anecdotes about robots gone berserk.

This, my friends, would be my idea of the ultimate good time. Because I'm nerdy like that.

On my fantasy guest list, in no particular order:

Grant Imahara and his robot army. 
Occupation: Roboticist and modern-day MacGuyver appearing on Mythbusters.
My favorite quote: "Well, I like danger."

Mike Rowe. 
Occupation: Opera singer, dirty guy from Dirty Jobs.
My favorite quote: "I want so badly to be competent."

Dr. Neil DeGrasse-Tyson. 
Occupation: Astrophysicist, director of the Hayden Planetarium.
My favorite quote: "The most I learn about the universe, the less convinced I am that there's any sort of benevolent force that has anything to do with it, at all."

Dr. Michio Kaku.
Occupation: Theoretical physicist and bestselling author.
My favorite quote: "There are 60 sub-atomic particles they've discovered that can explain the thousands of other sub-atomic particles, and the model is too ugly. This is my analogy: it's like taking Scotch tape and taping a giraffe to a mule to a whale to a tiger and saying this is the ultimate theory of particles. ... We have so many particles that Oppenheimer once said you could give a Nobel Prize to the physicist that did not discover a particle that year. We were drowning in sub-atomic particles. Now we realize that this whole zoo of sub-atomic particles, thousands of them coming out of our accelerators, can be explained by little vibrating strings."

Professor Peter Weller. 
Occupation: Former RoboCop, current Roman historian.
My favorite quote: "“For us to believe what we see, feel and touch in time, linear time as we know it, is the only extant context in which life happens. I think it's fairly naive, man, you know. So, you know, who's to say there's not a parallel universe?”


  1. Zomg, I'd have the entire cast of Mythbusters over. I'd even reserve a seat for Jamie's mustache.

    and Mike's voice... ~fans self~

  2. Oh, yes, Mike's voice! It deserves a chair of its own, too!

    And I love everyone on Mythbusters. It's one of my favorite shows. Incredibly satisfying to watch things blow up every week.

    But we have not seen much of Buster, lately. Do you think they've retired him?

  3. Grant is cool, but we'd invite Jamie over. My owner's OtherHalf could have been related to Jamie: they not only got the same kind of beard and mustache, they even have the same kind of headshape. He's told often by people he looks like Jamie.

    ps: i'm beginning to understand where Harry comes from ;-)

  4. Jamie is definitely cooler than Adam. Love the deadpan delivery and the 'stache!

    Hee...yes, I will confess to having a crush on Harry. ;-)

  5. Sullivan, you're so right! Harry IS these guys!!

  6. Laura, can I come to your party? I'll just sit in the corner and look and listen. Nothing sexier than innovative ideas -

  7. Oh, yes! All friends are welcome! :-)

  8. OMG!! Me, too! Me, too! So many string theory questions and no one to ask who won't laugh in my face! And the Mythbusters, too? I'm not sure my heart could withstand the geeky awesomeness, but I'd sure want to try. If I cashed it in at your BBQ, at least I'd die happy!