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Geekosystem Podcast Episode 18: “Bouncy Duck/Hoppy Frog”

Plus an interview with author John Abramowitz!

Unimpressive Flappy Bird Score

After a small snowpacolypsemageddondome that kept us from recording last week, the gang’s all here to talk about how much Victoria loves Flappy Bird, how much Glen hates Flappy Bird screencaps, and how over Facebook Look Back videos Dan is. Carolyn’s here too, but she’s pretty calm by comparison.

Check out the episode right here, or you can subscribe in iTunes. While you’re there, maybe leave a nice review of the show.

Glen and Victoria can’t agree on what constitutes an impressive score in Flappy Bird or what’s worth bragging about. We also come to the conclusion that we’ve hit peak Doge, and while we still enjoy the meme we realize it’s all downhill from here.

Speaking of downhill, it only took a matter of days for Dan to be completely over the Facebook “A Look Back” videos, and worse–parodies of them. We question if their popularity could lead to a never-ending cycle of looks back at “A Look Back” videos ad infinitum, and what that means for the future of humanity.

This week we have a special interview with author John Abramowitz. He’s written Atticus for the Undead and Identity Theft in his Hunter Gamble series of legal thrillers about a lawyer (Gamble) who defends members of the arcane community. Atticus is a really fun read and the Kindle versions of both books are currently $2.99 on Amazon.

Abramowitz talks about both the ease and challenges of self publishing. If you’re a self-publishing author he also recommends his cover artist Steven Novak, and if you’re looking for an editor you can contact Abramowitz through Twitter @onthebird.

As for your Editors’ Picks this week, Carolyn doesn’t like anything that’s been created recently, and instead thinks you should check out last year’s documentary Leviathan— if you can stomach it.

If you’re at all prone to motion sickness or squeamish about blood, I’d advise against watching Leviathan, my favorite movie of 2013. This documentary follows a commercial fishing ship in the same North Atlantic waters where Moby Dick was set, using twelve cameras to capture life at sea from totally new perspectives. Watch the trailer here to feel what it’s like to be a seabird trapped in a sail or a poor little fish about to be gutted.

Leviathan doesn’t have much of a narrative, although when you do get a glimpse into the lives of the ship’s grizzled crew, it’s fascinating. It’s also hypnotic to the point of inducing sleep, horrifying, and an amazing look into an environment and industry most of us know nothing about. I would definitely check it out if you’re a fan of documentaries and, again, not a seasick landlubber.

Dan is on board with Genes in Space a game we told you about last week that can actually help researchers parse cancer data. Turns out it’s actually kind of fun.

Genes in Space is a free game for iOS and Android that generates levels in an asteroid-blasting space shooter using real cancer data from Cancer Research UK. When you play the game, details on how you complete each level helps to parse actual cancer gene data for short-staffed cancer researchers, and it’s a lot more fun than just looking at actual cancer data (just a guess).

At least now your mobile game addiction can serve a purpose other than helping you avoid human interaction.

I was all set to tell you about the graphic novel Snowpiercer, but that will have to wait for next week because it got trumped by a series of geeky children’s books by Andrew & Sarah Spears called My Little Geek.

geeky childrens books

Copies of My Little Geek ABCsNerdy Numbers, and Sci-fi Shapes were sent to our friends at The Mary Sue, but as I have an actual human child to test these on they fell to me. As a grown geek I really loved these. The numbers book goes through 1 through 10, but also includes pages for the speed of light, 404 Not Found, 42, and more. All three books met with my one-year-old daughter’s seal of approval as well, as she made me reread each of them to her a number of times. Their heavy board construction has held up pretty well to slobber so far.

Victoria limited herself to a single pick this week, and it’s Broken Age by Double Fine.

She says:

My pick this week is Broken Age, the new Double Fine adventure game. The first part is admittedly pretty short for the price, but if you buy it now, you’re helping the creators finish up the second installment for this summer. Trust me, it’s worth it: the two protagonists’ stories are incredibly interesting, the world building is compelling, the voice acting is all top notch, the visuals are breathtaking, and the puzzles aren’t too incredibly difficult (some might even say they’re pretty easy at times, but I don’t always play adventure games for the puzzles). Definitely worth your time.

As always our beep-boopy theme music is “A Theme for Harold” by Kevin MacLeod, and if you like the show you should leave us a nice comment on our iTunes page and rate us.

(Cover image via Victoria’s unimpressive Flappy Bird score)

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Glen is a comedian, writer, husband, and father. He won his third-grade science fair and is a former preschool science teacher, which is a real job.