The Week in Geek, July 18-24: Minds, Mindlessness, and Mind-Control

It's not supposed to go below 80 degrees Fahrenheit for the foreseeable future, so the events for this Week in Geek will not be physically taxing. We are not sadists. Even the Renaissance Fair in Gloucester is indoors.

However, that does not mean that our picks will not be mentally taxing! Oh, no -- we will not let that grey matter dissolve in the swelter. There is a conference on Cognitive Sciences, an observatory event, a skillsharing DIY festival, and a couple of cerebral satires. But if even mental acrobatics seems too much for you during this mercilessly hot week, there's also a movie about a zombie-fighting mama's boy.


[drama on ice on stage] Tonya and Nancy Rock Opera @ Club Oberon 8pm

Before Alien vs Predator or Freddy vs Jason, there was the equally brutal, epic clash of Harding vs Kerrigan -- a story of two rivals and one baseball bat, made hilarious by the fact that it involved two dainty, graceful figure skaters at the 1994 Winter Olypmics. The now-classic headline is brought to life on stage at the Oberon for a three-night engagement.

[pizza] Get Naked with Naked Pizza 5:30 to 7:30

Is this event necessarily nerdy? I answer this hypothetical question with another: do the words "free pizza" mean anything to you? Okay, not free, exactly. There is a suggested donation of $10 (that goes to the new Brookline Teen Center) for this epic pairing of Naked Pizza + Urban Grape Wine. But that's totally worth it, and so is the food.


[bibliophilia] Nina Sankovitch of Read All Day @ Harvard Book Store

It would be impossibly difficult to find a bigger book nerd than Nina Sankovitch. From October 2008 to October 2009, she read a book every single day., then wrote a book review on each for her blog. (For the morbidly curious, a full list of the books she read can be found here.) She comes to Harvard Bookstore this week to read from a title of her own, Tolstoy and the Purple Chair, which chronicles her literary adventure.

[thinking about thinking] CogSci2011 Meetup @ Boston Park Plaza Hotel till Sat July 23

This week, the Cognitive Science Society will host its annual meetup right here in Boston. It will unite those who of study artificial intelligence, education, anthropology, neuroscience, philosophy, linguistics and psychology for one massive conversation on thought and the human mind.

[singing stars] "Music of the Spheres" - a Harvard-Smithsonian Observatory Summer Special  7:15pm
Within the past several decades, scientists have used the sounds that stars give off to study their composition. This multimedia lecture will allow viewers (and listeners!) to hear the "music" of the stars, adjusted to frequencies observable by the human ear.


[writercon] Northeastern Writers' Conference @ Bristol, RI till July 24

When the words "camp" and "horror" are uttered in the same sentence, they usually evoke the memory of the ‘80s slasher franchise. But Camp Necon is something friendlier- an annual "camp" or New England writers of the horror genre. This small mystery/horror writers' conference in Rhode Island is a bit of a hike, but a must-attend for any local writer looking for camaraderie, talent competitions, team sports and discussion of the literary craft.

[holmes!] The Hound of Baskervilles @ Central Square Theater 7:30pm

Sherlock Holmes is the nerdiest badass/badassest nerd in literature, and the Central Square Theatre's adaptation--which will feature exactly three actors playing dozens of roles--is a farcicle nod to his greatness. It runs from this week until the end of August.


[comedy.0] Tosh.0 @ the Wang Theatre 7pm

Daniel Tosh has made a living bringing videos from the internet, making jokes about them, and putting them on the TV screen (like RWJ for people without the internet access? Or something?) and now, with his ToshTour On Ice, he's on stage doing comedy from his TV show which in turn draws inspiration from the internet. It's not actually On Ice, because that would involve too many degrees of separation.

[film/brains] Dead Alive (Braindead) @ Coolidge Corner Theatre 11:59pm

This Peter Jackson-directed film tells the story of the love between a boy and his mother, which transcends the fact that she has become a ravenous, destructive, murdering zombie. He tried to conceal her nature from the nosy neighbors. Hilarity and infinite gore ensue.

[film/brainwashinig] A Clockwork Orange @ Somerville Theatre 11:59pm

Alex is a typical teenage boy, except that he loves perpetrating extreme acts of violence upon those around them. This acclaimed adaptation of Anthony Burgess's acclaimed novel explores the power of punishment and manipulation in harsh critique.


[diy] Allston DIY Fest @ Ringer Park 10am

Allston's Ringer Park is about to get indie-fied (moreso than usual.) The DIY Fest incorporates all the best things in life: music, art, bikes, DIY culture and free fun. Described as "a really, REALLY free market!" The event will feature skillsharing, zines, records, over 20 local acts, and even free opportunities to jam for a crowd of over 1,000.

[yon faire] Abbadia Mare Festival 11am Sat + Sun
What better place to have a Renaissance Faire than an old castle? This weekend, the Abbadia Mare Festival goes down at the Hammond Castle (also called Abbadia Mare, or "the abbey by the sea") in Gloucester, MA. There will be music, magic, vendors, and food, plus tours of the castle.


[steampunk'd] Dr. Grymm Book Signing / Steampunk Meetup @ Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation 3pm

Writer and Steampunk City 2011 Mayor Dr. Grymm presents his new book, 1,000 Steampunk Creations: Neo-Victorian Fashion, Gear and Art. There will also be a Steampunk Gear swap, so bring along the lacy corset you never wear and trade it for something golden and clockwork.

[how I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb] Dr. Strangelove @ Somerville Theatre 11am
The Somerville Theatre presents this subversive classic comedy about the ins and outs of nuclear apocalypse. From the fiendishly genius minds of Terry Southern and Stanley Kubrick, it stars Peter Sellers in three main roles (and Sterling Hayden and George C Scott in one role apeice).

For more events, check out our geekified listings portal. If you've got any geek-related events you'd like us to post, contact us! Follow us on Twitter @LaserOrgy! Follow our RSS feed! Tell your friends!

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