Comedy Nerd, Director Nerd, Writer Nerd

Judd Apatow (American film director and screenwriter) was born on December 6, 1967

Judd Apatow is an American film producer, director, and screenwriter. Best known for his work in comedy films, he is the founder of Apatow Productions and also developed the cult television series Freaks and Geeks, Undeclared and Girls. Apatow’s work has won numerous awards including a Primetime Emmy Award (for The Ben Stiller Show), a Hollywood Comedy Award, and an AFI Award for his movie Bridesmaids. His work has also been nominated for Grammy Awards, PGA Awards, Golden Globe Awards and Academy Awards (for Bridesmaids). In October 2012, Vanity Fair announced that Apatow would be guest-editing their comedy Issue, the first person to ever do so. It has also been reported that Apatow will guest-write on an episode of The Simpsons that is due sometime in 2013-2014. In 2007, he was ranked #1 on Entertainment Weekly’s The 50 Smartest People in Hollywood. In the 2013 Critics Choice Award Nominations from the Broadcast Film Critics Association, Apatow’s film This Is 40 was nominated for Best Comedy as were Leslie Mann and Paul Rudd for their performances in the film. On January 10, 2013, the Broadcast Film Critics Association awarded Apatow the “Critics’ Choice Louis XIII Genius Award” named after a cognac. On October 3, 2013, The San Diego Film Festival awarded Apatow the esteemed “Visionary Filmmaker Award”.

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Director Nerd, Math Nerd, Science Nerd, Writer Nerd

Peter Pohl (Swedish author and former director and screenwriter of short films) was born on December 5, 1940

Peter Pohl is a Swedish author and former director and screenwriter of short films. He has received prizes for several of his books and films, as well as for his entire work. From 1966 until his retirement in 2005, he was lecturer in Numerical analysis at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. Peter Pohl was born on 5 December 1940 in Hamburg, Germany. He lost his father during World War II and moved to Sweden with his mother in 1945, where he started school in 1947. He went to the Södra Latin gymnasium in Stockholm until 1959. During this period, he engaged in medium-distance running, with good results, but he quit running when he was 19 years old. From his 15th until his 30th (1970), Pohl was part of the schools summercamp at Värmdö and later at Blidö. This period of his life is described in the books that form the Rainbow Series and are of particular influence of his other books. He studied mathematics and physics and was a research assistant at the Swedish Defence Research Establishment for several years, starting in 1963. Pohl soon returned to university in order to graduate at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, where he received his doctorate in Numerical analysis in 1975. He became a lecturer in Numerical analysis and wrote several textbooks on this subject.

Computer Nerd, Writer Nerd

Eric S. Raymond (American computer programmer, author, and open source software advocate) was born on December 4, 1957

Eric Steven Raymond, often referred to as ESR, is an American computer programmer, author and open source software advocate. After the 1997 publication of The Cathedral and the Bazaar, Raymond was for a number of years frequently quoted as an unofficial spokesman for the open source movement. He is also known for his work on the popular Roguelike game Nethack for which he wrote the Guidebook, in addition to being a member of the “Dev-Team”. More recently, he is recognized in certain circles for his 1990 edit and later updates of the Jargon File, currently in print as the The New Hacker’s Dictionary. Born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1957, Raymond lived in Venezuela as a child. His family moved back to Pennsylvania in 1971. Raymond said in an interview that his cerebral palsy motivated him to go into computing. Raymond has spoken in more than fifteen countries on six continents, including a lecture at Microsoft. He wrote CML2, a source code configuration system; while originally intended for the Linux kernel, it was rejected by kernel developers. Raymond attributed this rejection to “kernel list politics”. Linus Torvalds on the other hand said in a 2007 mailing list post that as a matter of policy, the development team preferred more incremental changes.

Fantasy Nerd, Writer Nerd

George Saunders (American writer of short stories, essays, novellas, and children’s books) was born on December 2, 1958

George Saunders is a New York Times bestselling American writer of short stories, essays, novellas and children’s books. His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, McSweeney’s and GQ. He also contributed a weekly column, American Psyche, to the weekend magazine of The Guardian until October 2008. A professor at Syracuse University, Saunders won the National Magazine Award for fiction in 1994, 1996, 2000, and 2004, and second prize in the O. Henry Awards in 1997. His first story collection, CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, was a finalist for the 1996 PEN/Hemingway Award. In 2006 Saunders received a MacArthur Fellowship. In 2006 he won the World Fantasy Award for his short story “CommComm”. His story collection In Persuasion Nation was a finalist for The Story Prize in 2007. In 2013, he won the PEN/Malamud Award and was a finalist for the National Book Award. Saunders’s fiction often focuses on the absurdity of consumerism and corporate culture and the role of mass media. While many reviewers mention the satirical tone in Saunders’s writing, his work also raises moral questions. The tragicomic element in his writing has earned Saunders comparisons to Kurt Vonnegut, whose work inspired Saunders.

Computer Nerd, Internet Nerd, Technology Nerd, Writer Nerd

Leo Laporte (American technology broadcaster, author, and entrepreneur) was born on November 29, 1956

Leo Gordon Laporte is an American technology broadcaster, author, and entrepreneur. Laporte studied Chinese history at Yale University before dropping out in his junior year to pursue his career in radio broadcasting, where his early radio names were Dave Allen and Dan Hayes. He began his association with computers with his first home PC, an Atari 400. Laporte said he purchased his first Macintosh in 1984. He operated one of the first Macintosh-only bulletin board systems, MacQueue, from 1985 to 1988. Laporte owns and operates a podcast network, TWiT.tv. It is available on iTunes and other podcast subscription services. Before the expansion to new facilities in 2011, Laporte said TWiT earns $1.5 million annually on a production cost of only $350,000. In a 2012 Reddit posting, he commented that revenue is approaching $4 million. Laporte calls his audio and video shows “netcasts,” saying “I’ve never liked the word podcast. It causes confusion … people have told me that they can’t listen to my shows because they ‘don’t own an iPod’ … I propose the word ‘netcast.’ It’s a little clearer that these are broadcasts over the Internet. It’s catchy and even kind of a pun.”

Internet Nerd, Writer Nerd

Jason Calacanis (American Internet entrepreneur and blogger) was born on November 28, 1970

Jason McCabe Calacanis is an American Internet entrepreneur and blogger. His first company was part of the dot-com era in New York, and his second venture, Weblogs, Inc., a publishing company that he co-founded together with Brian Alvey, capitalized on the growth of blogs before being sold to AOL. As well as being an angel investor in various technology startups, Calacanis also keynotes industry conferences worldwide. Calacanis’s biggest success to date is Weblogs, Inc. which got sold to AOL in 2005. Before forming Weblogs, Inc., Calacanis was founder,CEO of Rising Tide Studios, a media company that published print and online publications. Amongst them was the Silicon Alley Reporter, a monthly paper that featured New York’s Internet, Web and new media industries. During the dot-com boom, Calacanis was active in New York’s Silicon Alley community and in 1996 began producing a publication known as the Silicon Alley Reporter. Originally a 16-page photocopied newsletter, as its popularity grew it expanded into a 300-page magazine, with a sister publication called the Digital Coast Reporter for the West Coast. Calacanis’s tireless socializing earned him a nickname as the “yearbook editor” of the Silicon Alley community. The company organized as well conferences in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco on the same focus on the Internet/web/New Media. With the end of the Dot-com bubble, Silicon Alley Reporter failed. The company’s flagship publication was folded and the company was sold out of bankruptcy to a private equity firm.

Internet Nerd, Writer Nerd

Merlin Mann (writer and blogger) was born on November 26, 1966

Merlin Dean Mann III is a writer and blogger best known as the founder of and writer behind 43 Folders, a blog about “finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.” On August 18, 2009, Mann announced that he was writing a book titled Inbox Zero, which will be “about how to reclaim your email, your attention, and your life.” As of November 2011, the book has an Amazon.com launch date of February 21, 2012. He has since spoken about the book on MacBreak Weekly 154 and launched the Inbox Zero Tumblr, where he documents the book’s progress. April 22, 2011 Mr. Mann announced that he had quit his book project. Mann also writes for his personal blog, Kung Fu Grippe. In the past, Mann has written articles for the magazines Macworld, Make, and Popular Science.