Actor Nerd, Animation Nerd, Artist Nerd, Comedy Nerd, Director Nerd, Music Nerd, Writer Nerd

Seth MacFarlane (American actor, animator, screenwriter, comedian, and director) was born on October 26, 1973

Seth Woodbury MacFarlane is an American actor, voice actor, animator, screenwriter, comedian, producer, director, and singer. He is the creator of the show Family Guy (1999–2002, 2005–present) and co-creator of American Dad! (2005–present) and The Cleveland Show (2009–2013), for which he also voices many of the shows’ various characters. A native of Kent, Connecticut, MacFarlane is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design where he studied animation, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. Recruited to Hollywood during the senior film festival by development executive Ellen Cockrill and President Fred Seibert, he was an animator and writer for Hanna-Barbera for several television shows, including Johnny Bravo, Cow and Chicken, Dexter’s Laboratory and I Am Weasel and his own Family Guy sort-of ‘prequel’, Larry and Steve. MacFarlane created his own series for 20th Century Fox called Family Guy in 1999. MacFarlane went on to co-create American Dad! in 2005 along with Mike Barker and Matt Weitzman for the “Animation Domination” lineup on Fox. Also for the same network lineup, he co-created The Cleveland Show in 2009. He later served as executive producer on the Fox sitcom The Winner.

Artist Nerd, Writer Nerd

Fred Marcellino (American illustrator and later an author of children’s books) was born on October 25, 1939

Fred Marcellino was an American illustrator and later an author of children’s books who was very influential in the book industry. Publisher Nan Talese said that Marcellino could “in one image, translate the whole feeling and style of a book.” Such was the case with his evocative painting for Judith Rossner’s August, published and edited by Talese. Among many other commissions, he was responsible for the covers of Margaret Atwood’s novel The Handmaid’s Tale, Tom Wolfe’s The Bonfire of the Vanities and the 1987 Dell Laurel Leaf edition of Allen Appel’s Time After Time. Born in Brooklyn, Marcellino began as an abstract expressionist painter and spent 1963 studying in Venice on a Fulbright Scholarship. Returning to the United States, he went in a new direction as a designer and illustrator with the main focus on LP cover art illustrating the albums of such singers and groups as Loretta Lynn, Manhattan Transfer and Fleetwood Mac. By 1969, he was creating record album covers for Capitol, Decca and PolyGram. He entered the book publishing field by 1974, producing 40 jackets a year for 15 years. He is sometimes credited with having revolutionized the style of book cover design in the United States in the 1970s and 1980s with notable work on such books as Anne Tyler’s Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant and William Wharton’s Birdy.

Fantasy Nerd, Science Fiction Nerd, Writer Nerd

David Weber (American science fiction and fantasy author) was born on October 24, 1952

David Mark Weber is an American science fiction and fantasy author. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Weber began writing while in fifth grade. His first published novels grew out of his work as a war game designer for the Task Force game Starfire. Weber wrote short stories set in the Starfire universe for Task Force Games’ Nexus magazine, and wrote the Starfire novel Insurrection (1990) with Stephen White after Nexus was cancelled; this book was the first in a tetrology that continued through their last collaboration, The Shiva Operation (2002), which made the New York Times bestseller list. His novels range from epic fantasy (Oath of Swords, The War God’s Own) to space opera (Path of the Fury, The Armageddon Inheritance) to alternate history (1632 series with Eric Flint) to military science fiction with in-depth characterization. A lifetime military history buff, David Weber has carried his interest of history into his fiction. He is said to be interested in most periods of history, with a strong emphasis on the military and diplomatic aspects of it.

Actor Nerd, Comedy Nerd, Director Nerd, Music Nerd, Writer Nerd

“Weird Al” Yankovic (American singer-songwriter, musician, parodist, satirist, music video director, actor, and author) was born on October 23, 1959

Alfred Matthew “Weird Al” Yankovic is an American singer-songwriter, musician, parodist, record producer, satirist, music video director, film producer, actor, and author. Yankovic is known for his humorous songs that make light of popular culture and often parody specific songs by contemporary musical acts. Since his first-aired comedy song in 1976, he has sold more than 12 million albums (as of 2007), recorded more than 150 parody and original songs, and has performed more than 1,000 live shows. His works have earned him three Grammy Awards among nine nominations, four gold records, and six platinum records in the United States. Yankovic’s first top ten Billboard album (Straight Outta Lynwood) and single (“White & Nerdy”) were both released in 2006, nearly three decades into his career. Yankovic’s success comes in part from his effective use of music video to further parody popular culture, the song’s original artist, and the original music videos themselves, scene-for-scene in some cases. He directed later videos himself and went on to direct for other artists including Ben Folds, Hanson, The Black Crowes, and The Presidents of the United States of America. In addition to recording his albums, Yankovic wrote and starred in the film UHF and The Weird Al Show. He has also made guest appearances on many television shows, in addition to starring in Al TV specials on MTV.

Actor Nerd, Director Nerd, Movie Nerd, Television Nerd

Spike Jonze (American director, producer, screenwriter, and actor) was born on October 22, 1969

Spike Jonze is an American director, producer, screenwriter and actor, whose work includes music videos, commercials, film and television. He started his feature film directing career with Being John Malkovich (1999) and Adaptation (2002), both written by Charlie Kaufman, and then started movies with screenplays of his own with Where the Wild Things Are (2009) and Her (2013). Jonze is well known for his music video collaborations with Fatboy Slim, Weezer, Beastie Boys, and Björk. He was a co-creator and executive producer of MTV’s Jackass. He is currently the creative director of VBS.tv. He is part owner of skateboard company Girl Skateboards with riders Rick Howard and Mike Carroll. He co-founded Directors Label, with filmmakers Chris Cunningham and Michel Gondry, and the Palm Pictures company. He has been nominated for four Academy Awards: Best Director for Being John Malkovich, and Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay and Best Original Song (“The Moon Song”) for Her. He won the Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay, the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Original Screenplay, and the 2014 Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for Her.

Science Nerd

Wolfgang Ketterle (German physicist) was born on October 21, 1957

Wolfgang Ketterle is a German physicist and professor of physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). His research has focused on experiments that trap and cool atoms to temperatures close to absolute zero, and he led one of the first groups to realize Bose-Einstein condensation in these systems in 1995. For this achievement, as well as early fundamental studies of condensates, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2001, together with Eric Allin Cornell and Carl Wieman. Ketterle was born in Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg, and attended school in Eppelheim and Heidelberg. In 1976 he entered the University of Heidelberg, before transferring to the Technical University of Munich two years later, where he gained his master’s diploma in 1982. In 1986 he earned a Ph.D in experimental molecular spectroscopy under the supervision of Herbert Walther and Hartmut Figger at the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics in Garching, before conducting postdoctoral research at Garching and the University of Heidelberg. In 1990 he joined the group of David E. Pritchard at the MIT Research Laboratory of Electronics (RLE). He was appointed to the MIT physics faculty in 1993. Since 1998 he has been John D. MacArthur Professor of Physics. In 2006, he was appointed Associate Director of RLE, and began serving as director of MIT’s Center for Ultracold Atoms. After achieving Bose-Einstein Condensation in dilute gases in 1995, his group was in 1997 able to demonstrate interference between two colliding condensates, as well as the first realization of an “atom laser”, the atomic analogue of an optical laser. In addition to ongoing investigations of Bose-Einstein condensates in ultracold atoms, his more recent achievements have included the creation of a molecular Bose condensate in 2003, as well as a 2005 experiment providing evidence for “high temperature” superfluidity in a fermionic condensate.

Computer Nerd

Patrick Volkerding (founder of the Slackware Linux distribution) was born on October 20, 1966

Patrick Volkerding is the founder and maintainer of the Slackware Linux distribution. He is the “Slackware Benevolent Dictator for Life.” Volkerding earned a Bachelor of Science in computer science from Minnesota State University Moorhead in 1993. For a short while, Chris Lumens and others assisted with his work on Slackware. Due to the lack of a continuing revenue stream following the sale of his publisher, Walnut Creek CDROM, to BSDi (which was ultimately sold to Wind River Systems), these people had to be let go. For the last several years Patrick Volkerding has managed Slackware with the help of many volunteers and testers. Volkerding brings out new releases of Slackware roughly once a year. Patrick is a SubGenius affiliate/member. The use of the word Slack in “Slackware” is a homage to J. R. “Bob” Dobbs: “I’ll admit that it was SubGenius inspired. In fact, back in the 2.0 through 3.0 days we used to print a dobbshead on each CD.”