Director Nerd, Writer Nerd

Paul Greengrass (English film director and screenwriter) was born on August 13, 1955

Paul Greengrass is an English film director, screenwriter and former journalist. He specialises in dramatisations of real-life events and is known for his signature use of hand-held cameras. Bloody Sunday (2002), depicted the 1972 Bloody Sunday shootings of Northern Irish anti-internment activists by British soldiers in an almost documentary style; it shared First Prize at the 2002 Berlin Film Festival with Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away. Bloody Sunday was inspired by Don Mullan’s politically influential book Eyewitness Bloody Sunday (Wolfhound Press, 1997). Mullan was a schoolboy witness of the events of Bloody Sunday. The book is credited as a major catalyst in the establishment of the new Bloody Sunday Inquiry chaired by Lord Saville. The inquiry, the longest running and most expensive in British legal history, lead to an historic apology by Prime Minister David Cameron on 15 June 2010. Mullan was co-producer and actor in Bloody Sunday. Based on that film, Greengrass was hired to direct 2004’s The Bourne Supremacy, a sequel to the 2002 film The Bourne Identity, after the first film’s director, Doug Liman left the project. The film starred Matt Damon as Jason Bourne, an amnesiac who realizes he was once a top CIA assassin and is now being pursued by his former employers. It proved to be an unexpectedly enormous financial and critical success, and secured Greengrass’s reputation and ability to get his smaller, more personal films made.

Computer Nerd Event

The IBM Personal Computer was introduced on August 12, 1981

The IBM Personal Computer, commonly known as the IBM PC, is the original version and progenitor of the IBM PC compatible hardware platform. It is IBM model number 5150, and was introduced on August 12, 1981. It was created by a team of engineers and designers under the direction of Don Estridge of the IBM Entry Systems Division in Boca Raton, Florida. Alongside “microcomputer” and “home computer”, the term “personal computer” was already in use before 1981. It was used as early as 1972 to characterize Xerox PARC’s Alto. However, because of the success of the IBM Personal Computer, the term PC came to mean more specifically a microcomputer compatible with IBM’s PC products.

Computer Nerd, Technology Nerd

Steve Wozniak (American computer engineer and programmer) was born on August 11, 1950

Stephen Gary “Woz” Wozniak is an American computer engineer and programmer who founded Apple Computer, Co. (now Apple Inc.) with co-founder, Steve Jobs, and Ronald Wayne. His inventions and machines are credited with contributing significantly to the personal computer revolution of the 1970s. Wozniak created the Apple I and Apple II computers in the mid-1970s. Wozniak has several nicknames, including “The Woz”, “Wonderful Wizard of Woz” and “iWoz” (a reference to the ubiquitous naming scheme for Apple products). “WoZ” (short for “Wheels of Zeus”) is also the name of a company Wozniak founded. He is sometimes known as the “Other Steve” of Apple Computer, the better known Steve being co-founder Steve Jobs. He is of mostly Polish ancestry. Wozniak portrays a parody of himself in the first episode of the television series Code Monkeys; he plays the owner of Gameavision before selling it to help fund Apple. He later appears again in the twelfth episode when he is in Las Vegas at the annual Video Game Convention and sees Dave and Jerry. He also appears in a parody of the “Get a Mac” ads featured in the final episode of Code Monkeys’ second season. Wozniak is also interviewed and featured in the documentary Hackers Wanted and on BBC. On September 30, 2010 he appeared as himself on The Big Bang Theory dining in The Cheesecake Factory where Penny works and is approached by a robot Sheldon. Leonard tries to explain to Penny who Steve is, but she says she knows him from Dancing with the Stars.

Computer Nerd, Science Nerd, Technology Nerd

Jan Rajchman (American electrical engineer and computer pioneer) was born on August 10, 1911

Jan Aleksander Rajchman was an American electrical engineer and computer pioneer. He received the Diploma of Electrical Engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich in 1935, and became a Doctor of Science in 1938. Rajchman emigrated to America in 1935. He joined RCA Laboratory directed by Vladimir K. Zworykin in January 1936. He was a prolific inventor with 107 US patents among others logic circuits for arithmetic. He conceived the first read-only memory, which was widely used in early computers. He conceived and developed the selectively addressable storage tube, the ill-fated Selectron tube, and the core memory. He was a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He is also a member of Sigma Xi, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the Physical Society, the New York Academy of Sciences, and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Franklin Institute. He received the 1960 IEEE Morris N. Liebmann Memorial Award and the 1974 IEEE Edison Medal For a creative career in the development of electronic devices and for pioneering work in computer memory systems.

Science Nerd, Technology Nerd

Marvin Minsky (American cognitive scientist in the field of artificial inelligence) was born on August 9, 1927

Marvin Lee Minsky is an American cognitive scientist in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), co-founder of Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s AI laboratory, and author of several texts on AI and philosophy. Isaac Asimov described Minsky as one of only two people he would admit were more intelligent than he was, the other being Carl Sagan. 3D profile of a coin (partial) measured with a modern confocal white light microscope. Minsky’s inventions include the first head-mounted graphical display (1963) and the confocal microscope (1957, a predecessor to today’s widely used confocal laser scanning microscope). He developed, with Seymour Papert, the first Logo “turtle”. Minsky also built, in 1951, the first randomly wired neural network learning machine, SNARC.

Computer Nerd, Female Nerd, Internet Nerd, Television Nerd, Writer Nerd

Virginia Heffernan (American journalist and cultural critic) was born on August 8, 1969

Virginia Heffernan is an American journalist and cultural critic. She has worked as a staff writer for The New York Times — first as a TV critic, then as a magazine columnist, and then as an opinion writer. She has also worked as a senior editor for Harper’s, a founding editor of Talk, a TV critic for Slate, a fact checker for The New Yorker and a national correspondent for Yahoo News. Her most recent book, MAGIC AND LOSS: The Pleasures of the Internet, argues that the Internet is a “massive and collective work of art” and a “work in progress”, and that the suggested deterioration of attention spans in response to it is a myth. Heffernan is known as a playful, stylish and erudite writer; in 2014 Ben Yagoda in the Chronicle of Higher Education named her among his top candidates for “best living writer of English prose”, and she has been called “one of the mothers of the Internet”.

Uncategorized

Real Genius was released in the US on August 7, 1985

Real_geniusReal Genius is a 1985 satirical comedy film directed by Martha Coolidge. The film’s screenplay was written by Neal Israel, Pat Proft and Peter Torokvei. It stars Val Kilmer and Gabriel Jarret. The film is set on the campus of Pacific Tech, a technical university similar to Caltech. Chris Knight (Kilmer) is a genius in his senior year working on a chemical laser. Mitch Taylor (Jarret) is a new student on campus who is paired up with Knight to work on the laser. The film received positive reviews from critics. The film grossed $12,952,019 at the United States and Canadian box office. To prepare for Real Genius, Martha Coolidge spent months researching laser technology and the policies of the CIA, and interviewed dozens of students at Caltech. The screenplay was extensively rewritten, first by Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel, later by Coolidge and Peter Torokvei. Producer Brian Grazer remembers that when Val Kilmer came in to audition for the role of Chris Knight, he brought candy bars and performed tricks. Kilmer remembered it differently. “The character wasn’t polite, so when I shook Grazer’s hand and he said, ‘Hi, I’m the producer,’ I said, ‘I’m sorry. You look like you’re 12 years old. I like to work with men.'”