Science Fiction Nerd, Writer Nerd

Harlan Ellison (American writer) was born on May 27, 1934

Harlan Jay Ellison is an American writer. His principal genre is speculative fiction. His published works include over 1,700 short stories, novellas, screenplays, teleplays, essays, a wide range of criticism covering literature, film, television, and print media. He was editor and anthologist for two ground-breaking science fiction anthologies, Dangerous Visions and Again, Dangerous Visions. Ellison has won numerous awards including multiple Hugos, Nebulas and Edgars. Ellison moved to California in 1962, and subsequently began to sell his writing to Hollywood. He wrote the screenplay for The Oscar, starring Stephen Boyd and Elke Sommer. Ellison also sold scripts to many television shows: The Flying Nun, Burke’s Law, Route 66, The Outer Limits, Star Trek, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Cimarron Strip and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour. During the late 1960s, Ellison wrote a column about television for the Los Angeles Free Press. Titled “The Glass Teat”, the column addressed political and social issues and their portrayal on television at the time. The columns were gathered into two collections, The Glass Teat and The Other Glass Teat.

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Actor Nerd, Animation Nerd, Music Nerd, Writer Nerd

Matt Stone (co-creator of South Park) was born on May 26, 1971

Matthew Richard “Matt” Stone is an American actor, voice actor, animator, screenwriter, producer, musician, best known for being the co-creator of South Park along with his creative partner and best friend, Trey Parker. Stone and Parker launched their largely collaborative careers in 1992, making a holiday short titled Jesus vs. Frosty. Their first success came from Alferd Packer: The Musical, subsequently distributed as Cannibal! The Musical. From there he made another short title Jesus vs. Santa, leading him and college friend Parker to create South Park, which has been airing for over fifteen years. He has four Emmy Awards for his role in South Park, winning for both “Outstanding Programming More Than One Hour” and “Outstanding Programming Less Than One Hour”.

Movie Nerd Event, Science Fiction Nerd Event

Geek Pride Day (aka Star Wars Day) began on May 25, 1977

Geek Pride Day is an initiative to promote geek culture, celebrated annually on May 25. The date was chosen as to commemorate the release of the first Star Wars film, A New Hope on May 25, 1977 (see Star Wars Day), but shares the same date as two other similar fan “holidays”: Towel Day, for fans of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy trilogy by Douglas Adams, and the Glorious 25th of May for fans of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld. The initiative originated in Spain in 2006 as “Día del Orgullo Friki” and spread around the world via the internet. Tim McEachern organized unconnected events called Geek Pride Festival and/or Geek Pride Day 1998 to 2000 at a bar in Albany, New York, which are sometimes seen as a prelude to Geek Pride Day. In 2006, the Spanish blogger Germán Martínez known online as señor Buebo organized the first celebration, the day was celebrated for the first time in Spain and on the Internet, drawing attention from mainstream media. The biggest concentration took place in Madrid, where 300 Geeks demonstrated their pride together with a human pacman. A manifesto was created to celebrate the first Geek Pride Day, which included a list of the basic rights and responsibilities of geeks.

Animation Nerd, Artist Nerd, Writer Nerd

Mo Willems (American writer, animator, and children’s books author/illustrator) was born on May 24, 1968

Mo Willems is an American writer, animator, and children’s books author/illustrator. After graduating from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Willems spent a year traveling around the world drawing a cartoon every day, all of which have been published in the book You Can Never Find a Rickshaw When it Monsoons. Returning to New York, he kicked off his career as a writer and animator for Sesame Street, where he earned six Emmy Awards for writing during his tenure from 1993 to January 2002. During this period he also performed stand-up comedy in NYC and recorded essays for BBC Radio along with making a promo for Cartoon Network and animating the opening for a show on Nickelodeon. He later created two animated television series: The Off-Beats for Nickelodeon’s Kablam, and Sheep in the Big City for Cartoon Network. Sheep in the Big City was a success with the critics but ultimately failed to attract sufficient viewership and was canceled after two seasons. Willems later worked as head writer on the first four seasons of Codename: Kids Next Door, created by one of his colleagues from Sheep, Tom Warburton. He left the show to pursue his writing career.

Inventor Nerd, Music Nerd, Technology Nerd

Bob Moog (American pioneer of electronic music) was born on May 23, 1934

Robert Arthur Moog, commonly called Bob Moog, was an American pioneer of electronic music, best known as the inventor of the Moog synthesizer. The Moog synthesizer was one of the first widely used electronic musical instruments. Early developmental work on the components of the synthesizer occurred at the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center, now the Computer Music Center. While there, Moog developed the voltage controlled oscillators, ADSR envelope generators, and other synthesizer modules with composer Herbert Deutsch. Moog created the first voltage-controlled subtractive synthesizer to utilize a keyboard as a controller and demonstrated it at the AES convention in 1964. In 1966, Moog filed a patent application for his unique low-pass filter U.S. Patent 3,475,623, which issued in October 1969. He held several dozen patents. Moog employed his theremin company (R. A. Moog Co., which would later become Moog Music) to manufacture and market his synthesizers. Unlike the few other 1960s synthesizer manufacturers, Moog shipped a piano-style keyboard as the standard user interface to his synthesizers.

Computer Nerd Event

Windows 3.0 is released on May 22, 1990

Windows 3.0, a graphical environment, is the third major release of Microsoft Windows, and was released on May 22, 1990. It became the first widely successful version of Windows and a rival to Apple Macintosh and the Commodore Amiga on the GUI front. It was followed by Windows 3.1. Windows 3.0 originated in 1989 when a group of Microsoft programmers independently decided to develop a protected mode Windows as an experiment. They cobbled together a rough prototype and presented it to company executives, who were impressed enough to approve it as an official project. Windows 3.0 succeeded Windows 2.1x and included a significantly revamped user interface as well as technical improvements to make better use of the memory management capabilities of Intel’s 80286 and 80386 processors. Text-mode programs written for MS-DOS could be run within a window (a feature previously available in a more limited form with Windows/386 2.1), making the system usable as a crude multitasking base for legacy programs. However, this was of limited use for the home market, where most games and entertainment programs continued to require raw DOS access.

Movie Nerd Event, Science Fiction Nerd Event

Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back was released on May 21, 1980

Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (also known as The Empire Strikes Back) is a 1980 American epic space opera film directed by Irvin Kershner and written by Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan, with George Lucas writing the film’s story and serving as executive producer. Of the six main Star Wars films, it was the second to be released and the fifth in terms of internal chronology. Following a difficult production, The Empire Strikes Back was released on May 21, 1980, and initially received mixed reviews from critics, although it has since grown in esteem, becoming one of the most popular chapters in the Star Wars saga and one of the most highly-rated films in history. It earned more than $538 million worldwide over the original run and several re-releases, making it the highest grossing film of 1980. When adjusted for inflation, it is the 12th highest grossing film in the USA and Canada as of 2010. In 2010, the film was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress for being “culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant.”