Voting is closed for Jor-El Region, Round 1—results are posted on the main Geek Madness page, along with the Bombadil and Do’Urden Region, Round 1 results.
And now the last of the Round 1 brackets, Lobot Region is now open for voting, and will close on Sunday, Jan. 11th at 8 pm EST. Next up, Do’Urden Round 2, the winners of which will move on to the Geek 16.
Read about all the matchups and go vote, after the break.
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Jonathan Coulton vs. Angus MacGyver
Jonathan Coulton: Singer/songwriter known for tech-savvy music with high geek appeal, most notably through his “Thing A Week” project and the end credits song from the video game Portal (“Still Alive”).
Notes: Earned title of “Internet Superstar” by gathering a large, loyal following by employing online tools to enable his audience to find him; among his viral hits are “Code Monkey” and an acoustic cover of Sir Mix-a-lot’s “Baby Got Back”; major advocate of Creative Commons.
[FULL DISCLOSURE: Tournament hosts often tour with Mr. Coulton.]
Angus MacGyver: Television action hero from 80’s/90’s show MacGyver.
Notes: Solved problems and got out of jams using technical knowledge; capable of creating WMDs from common household objects; Bouvier constituency extremely loyal and vocal.
Bill Nye vs. Seth MacFarlane
Bill Nye: Science educator, mechanical engineer, and comedian popularly known for his television show “Bill Nye the Science Guy“.
Notes: May not have made science “cool”, but his humorous and engaging techniques at least showed kids that science did not have to be dreaded.
Seth MacFarlane: Writer/actor/comedian/composer/singer best known for cartoon series “Family Guy“.
Notes: Sprinkles episodes with pop culture references, many of them sci-fi/fantasy; has participated in the Star Trek, Hellboy, and Adult Swim franchises; nomination would open up possibilities for self-lampooning administration.
Doctor Who vs. Larry Lessig
Doctor Who: Time-traveling character of self-titled BBC television sci-fi series.
Notes: An alien “time lord” who travels the universe righting injustice and fighting cheaply-rendered monsters, The Doctor’s intellectual curiosity and eccentric fashion sense have long been a favorite of British geeks, and then American geeks when the series was rebroadcast on PBS stations in the 1980s; has a cool ride.
Larry Lessig: Academic and activist, founding board member of Creative Commons.
Notes: Vocal proponent of the “Free Culture” movement; was a colleague of Obama’s when both were teaching law at the University of Chicago; would be disqualified if actually selected to head the FCC.
Joss Whedon vs. Ken Plume
Joss Whedon: Writer/producer/director; creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (film/TV), “Angel” (TV) “Firefly”/Serenity (TV/film) and Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog (interwebs)
Notes: Has strong track record of creating television shows marked by clever dialogue, smart and interesting characters, fantastical elements, and extremely short lifespans; ridiculously devoted following; as if geek cred wasn’t strong enough, was one of the co-writers of Toy Story.
Ken Plume: Internet nabob; runs Quick Stop Entertainment website; co-host of The Ken P.D. Snydecast.
Notes: One of the better-connected people you’ve probably never heard of (sometimes referred to as “The Nexus”), Plume’s fabled Rolodex is filled with contact info many geeks would sever a limb to have; has X-Men-like ability to compel people do his bidding; as the operator of a big media company, has large megaphone with which to broadcast agenda. [FULL DISCLOSURE: we are in Ken’s Rolodex.]
Lisa Simpson vs. John Lasseter
Lisa Simpson: Elder daughter and brainy middle child of cartoon family The Simpsons.
Notes: Expresses the soul of geekdom in every aspect of her life; brilliant though often misguided by her own compassion; watching her cope with her own social awkwardness can be cringe-inducing yet reassuring to the similarly inflicted.
John Lasseter: Animator; director/co-director, Toy Story, A Bug’s Life, Toy Story 2, Cars; chief creative officer at Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios. Principal Creative Advisor for Walt Disney Imagineering.
Notes: Led the charge in making computer animation a viable, profitable medium for major motion pictures—and, more importantly, continually emphasized quality and entertainment value above all other considerations, leading to a nearly-unbroken streak of award-winning, universally-acclaimed films. (The jury is still out on Cars)
Danica McKellar vs. Stan Lee
Danica McKellar: Actress best known as Winnie Cooper from television’s “The Wonder Years“; author of New York Times bestsellers Math Doesn’t Suck and Kiss My Math.
Notes: Survived childhood acting career (as a surrogate “first girlfriend” for thousands of late-1980s adolescents), eventually graduating summa cum laude with a mathematics degree from UCLA; has written two books encouraging the fight against the stereotype that girls can’t/shouldn’t do math; co-author of her own theorem.
Stan Lee: Comic book writer, editor and former driving force of Marvel Comics.
Notes: Co-created Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, Iron Man, the Hulk, Thor, Daredevil, Doctor Strange; pioneered new storytelling forms throughout his career; major player in transforming a format previously written off as “kids’ stuff;” also, “Excelsior!”
Tom Servo & Crow T. Robot vs. Eddie Deezen
Tom Servo & Crow T. Robot: Wise-cracking robots from “Mystery Science Theater 3000“.
Notes: Personal development of an entire generation of geeks likely influenced by these smart, snarky characters’ observations and delivery style; unafraid of esoteric references and show tunes.
Eddie Deezen: Actor known for portrayals of nerdy characters in ’70s/’80s films, notably in Grease and WarGames.
Notes: While arguably more “nerd” than “geek,” unmistakably marked an evolution from the Arnold Stang/Jerry Lewis “Nutty Professor” type towards a character more unapologetic about and proud of his braininess and obsessiveness; also, appeared in both “Dexter’s Laboratory” and “The Weird Al Show“, either one of which would earn him ample (un)cool points.
Felicia Day vs. Ernie Kovacs
Felicia Day: Actress/creator/writer of geek-centric internet show “The Guild“; broadened recognition with role in Joss Whedon’s Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.
Notes: A genuine gaming enthusiast (not some Hollywood pretender) whose geek profile exploded in 2008; a genuine grass roots new media success story of a “homemade” internet show that, offered for free on YouTube, garnered a large following and eventual media sponsorship that manages to maintain a geek-friendly distribution model; also an accomplished violinist; has noticed us.
Ernie Kovacs: Early television/comedy pioneer known for oddball humor.
Notes: Pushed the envelope of television technology and surrealist humor to make people laugh; influenced future geek-appeal programs and individuals including Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In, The Uncle Floyd Show, Saturday Night Live, Captain Kangaroo, Sesame Street, and David Letterman.
You mean, I gotta choose between JoCo and MacGuyver?
You continue to make these difficult choices. Joco wins over Mac because he exists (mostly).
And while I’ve been a Kovacs fan for a while, I had to vote for the Whedon minion.
Beyond JoCo and MacGyver, I think some of these other matchups are damn near impossible. McKellar Vs. Lee? What am I supposed to do with that? I mean, she might be the most qualified for this position in real life, but then Stan Lee is Stan Lee. Same problem with Day Vs. Kovacs. I love Dr. Horrible and The Guild, and she’s a touchstone of current geek culture. But Kovacs is one of the reasons I’m a geek at all. “Bell, Book, and Candle” is just aces.
Do you understand the pain you have inflicted on my mind, Mrrs. Paul and Storm? This voting may well drive me insane.
Ken Plume all the way. If I could vote for him a million times, I would. I guess you can call me a “Plumehead”.
1) Uhh, JoCO? ‘Nuff said.
2) Bill Nye. I saw him on some random TV show once on a panel for something. You know how they do “name bars” on tv shows, where it displays your name and like your job, or a book you wrote, etc. For Bill it said “Bill Nye” and for the second like it just said “Science Guy.”
3) Larry Lessig. I’ve said this before, but free culture is an extension of free software. Creative Commons (if done correctly) is to music, art, etc. what free software (that is, software that respects the user’s freedoms to run, study, adapt, and share the software).
4) I went Plume, but I’ll be honest with you, I didn’t feel too particularly pulled in either direction.
5) Lisa – she’s very smart, and has some great environmental knowledge and stuff that will be a huge plus in her job. Plus, she plays the saxophone, which is an AWESOME instrument.
6) Stan Lee. Well, I voted for Stan, but looking back I might go the other way, given the theorem thing. On the othe hand, Obama is apparently a huge fan of comic books, so he might be partial to Lee.
7) I’m pretty partial to MST3K, as are I’m sure many others who lurk around these parts.
8) (Sunglasses ftw). Felicia Day. The Guild? House? Dr. Horrible? Plus, she’s pretty.
As a final/side note type of thing, Neil Gaiman on Twitter (@neilhimself has some hilarious posts. If you see him, or if he sees this, I hope he knows how much I truly appreciate them.
Oops, forgot the right parenthesis after @neilhimself. Also, if I can pimp myself for a minute here, while I speak of Twitter, I am @romanv by the way.
what free software is to software*
Wow, I should try posting sometime other than 2 in the morning, sorry about that.
Why you gotta make this round so hard, Paul and Storm? Why?
1. No, seriously, why? You’re making us choose between JoCo, a man thoroughly immersed in and a contributer to geek culture in many different forms, and MacGyver, a character with a drastically cool improvisational mind, coming up with ideas that, in a general sense, *actually might work in reality*? Geez. I have to side with JoCo on this, citing my usual “real vs fictional” tiebreaker.
3. I mean, I understand waiting until the SECOND round to watch us squirm, like in the Jor-El Region with Wheaton vs. Crusher, but you pull out the heavy guns in round one in Lobot? The Doctor has decades of history and story, awesome toys, an eccentric personality (er… several eccentric personalities over time), downright wicked curiosity at times, and he’s just a fun character overall. On the other hand, Lessig’s work with Creative Commons is a fundamental base for many geek pursuits both in philosophy and execution. Not to mention there probably should’ve been full disclosure that the tournament hosts and one of their close friends and tour regulars are users of one of his ideas (CC license). Lessig takes my vote.
4. On the one side, we have a man who has, quite honestly, an excessively obsessive fanbase. On the other side, we have the man who is partly responsible for me finding P&S in the first place. And several other interesting internet music acts. Sorry, P&S, but if WhedonWatch never turns out results, I won’t miss the browncoats. Plume takes it.
5. An animated character versus an animator? While the latter IS responsible for the modern movement to computer animation in cartoonery (which is laudable), he is ALSO responsible for the near-death of traditional cel-drawn animation, which is still a cool artform in and of itself, even if it IS computer-backed these days. Lisa, in addition to being a geek in and of herself, is evidence that, perhaps, there still IS room for traditional animation. Lisa’s got the vote.
6. This one’s again hard. On one side is someone I’ve never heard of. On the other is Stan Lee, who, stories tell, has rather a bit of an ego about him. But, unlike, say, RMS, I both respect Lee’s work AND don’t quite have a specific reason to vote against him.
7. Sorry, Deezen. You may never have thought it would happen, but you’ve just been outgeeked.
8. Both names are familiar in some respect, but neither really stand out and scream anything to me.
1. MacGyver. Sorry, gotta go with the Mac. I haven’t heard of Coulton, and MacGyver’s a kindred spirit to Mythbusters.
2. Bill Nye. Haven’t heard of either, but don’t like Family Guy.
3. Dr Who. That one’s easy, in any time.
4. Joss Whedon. What can I say. I liked Toy Story.
5. John Lasseter. Lisa’s smart (and blow a mean sax), but she gets a bit whiny from time to time. And I have a hard time voting against Pixar (yes, even Cars, great movie).
6. Another “heard of x, not y, so voting for x”: Stan Lee
7. Gotta go with MST3K
8. See #6. Ernie Kovacs this time.
First, which Doctor? That makes a huge difference.
But further down the line, I demand a Danica McKellar vs. Felicia Day showdown.
Larry Lessig and “free culture” is great and all, but has he ever saved us from Daleks? I doubt it.
Quick note to Paul and Storm: The Ken Plume link is incorrect; it points to Wil Wheaton’s wikipedia page.
You put Felicia Day and Jonathan Coulton in the same region? You wicked, wicked bastards!
That’s a positively embarrassing turnout for Ernie Kovacs. People should be ashamed of themselves.
Nothing against Felicia Day, but the ass-kicking she’s giving the unparalleled genius, Ernie Kovacs, is a shameful indication of today’s historical ignorance.
I know it’s been said before, but seriously? Danica McKellar vs. Stan Lee is just inhuman cruelty. I ultimately chose Lee, simply because I’d not heard of McKellar ’til now (was born mid-80s) while Stan Lee has been a personal staple ever since I was old enough to know what superheroes are, but I kinda’ wish I could change my vote.
Also, since I wasn’t aware of this project during that round of voting, I’ll state now the same goes for pitting Penny Arcade against Sarah Vowell. Whoever wins, we all half-lose.
At least the contest between Lee and McKellar is close, as well it should be.
who the hell’s Joss Whedon?
KEN “PLUMEY” “sigh” PLUME
Fortunately it looks as if the round one contest should eliminate nearly all of the fictional characters from the competition.
1 – JoCo by a mile. Not just ’cause his music is filled with teh awesome, but I really admire the way that he has embraced Creative Commons and integrated available technology in just about all aspects of his music career. A hero to all modern musicians. (A god to the geeky ones.)
2 – Bill Nye. I’m all over science education. Family Guy, not so much.
3 – Larry Lessig. His brain is so big. Truly a revolutionary thinker.
4 – Maybe it’s the fangirl in me, but Joss Whedon. Who’s this “Plumey” guy? Seriously, while, I know he’s got the geek cred (as evidenced by you, JoCo and Hodgman), I haven’t been all that impressed with Quick Stop.
5 – Lisa Simpson. Despite the awkwardness, still a great little geek. While Lasseter may be talented and successful in his field, I’m not so sure he’s qualified to speak on behalf of the geeks.
6 – Danica McKellar, because geek girls RAWK! Especially the real ones.
7 – Tom Servo & Crow. Eddie Deezen may have played nerds, but is he nerdy enough himself to represent us?
8 – Felicia Day, also for the geek-girliness, though I’m second-guessing my choice. While I’m not familiar with Kovacs except by name, I’m certainly a fan of the things that he influenced. Oh, well. Too late.
JoCo has yet to escape a room with a bomb in it using a paperclip, a tube sock and a coat hanger. It is never too late for JoCo to take part in the Angus MacGyver School of Escape. (Of course, since you don’t get college credit for participating, JoCo wins.)
Bill Nye gets our vote. BINARY BITS OF INFORMATION!
Fourth Doctor was the best Doctor ever. Tenth Doctor comes in a close second. Given that each doctor seems to be younger and younger, I’m willing to bet the Fifteenth Doctor will be a foetus.
Joss Whedon is no contest. Which is why I have him batling JoCo in the future.
Stan Lee is my pick for the Penultimate Four. EXCELSIOR!
Felicia Day FTW since NPH is not listed. (Imagine him as the Twelfth Doctor. Rose Tyler would have to watch out!)
I must take exception to CaptainSpam’s assertion that Lasseter is responsible for the “death” of traditional animation. Without Lasseter, I don’t think Disney would even invest a penny in traditional animation at this point. It was Eisner who pushed the company to move to more computer animation, disbanding the animation team in Florida in the process. When Lasseter took the helm as head of Animation at Disney, he worked very carefully to rebuild the demoralized traditional animation team. That’s why the company produces films like “Bolt” and the upcoming “Frog Princess.” I think Lasseter recognizes the value and artistry of traditional animation. He’s maintained for years that the method of animation is really not important compared to building a great story, and I believe him when he says it.
First of all, I have to say that I am amazed that there is somebody on Paul and Storm’s website who hasn’t heard of Jonathan Coulton. He co-starred with Paul and Storm in Monkey Shines, for heaven’s sake! Don’t you remember?
1) In a way, I don’t want to vote for JoCo, because it would interfere with his songwriting and touring. But in another way, the position I’d be electing him to does not exist. So JoCo.
2) I’ve never see anything either of them have done, but I have Bill Nye’s theme song on my iPod. So I’ll vote for him.
3) I vaguely remember not liking Doctor Who when I was a kid, but I considered voting for him because I didn’t recognise Larry Lessig’s name immediately. Then I read Lessig’s description, and of course I’ll vote for him. I like Creative Commons.
4) I won’t vote for Joss Whedon for the same reason I won’t vote for Wil Wheaton or that other guy I get confused with them (Will Wright? something like that.) And although the Quick Stop website is awful to navigate, Ken Plume does twitter about pants from time to time, so I guess he deserves my vote.
5) Lasseter. If he can stand up to Steve Jobs (and he’s the only person I know of who can), he can stand up to Obama. Also, I love Pixar movies.
6) Never heard of either of them, but McKellar is a mathematician! Being one myself (at least by training) I’m all for mathematicians getting paid jobs. I think I’ll vote for her.
7) Never heard of either of them, so I won’t vote.
🙂 I’ve heard a lot of chatter about Felicia Day on teh internets lately. But the only thing I’ve seen her do is sing Still Alive with JoCo. This is still enough to get her the vote, I think, because I’d never heard of Ernie Kovacs… though I wonder if Kovacs deserves it more, as a comedy pioneer. The show in that list I’m the most familiar with is Sesame Street, which doesn’t really set my geek-o-meter dinging, but if he was involved in Monty Python stuff, he might be worth a vote. Oh, who am I kidding? Felicia Day’s surely going to be winning this by too much for my vote to matter. I may as well just vote for her.
Wow, was I ever right about Felicia Day!
Well now that comment is going to look silly until the one above it is moderated.
1. JoCo. I’ve noticed a bias on my part against fictional characters, and I was never into MacGyver. I might have watched one episode, maybe.
2. Bill Nye is a much more public nerd.
3. Larry. I’ve been into CC for years, and again, I’m biased against fictional characters.
4. Whedon. I’ve been exposed to much more of his work, I suppose.
5. John Lasseter. I’m biased against fictional characters, I’m a huge Pixar fan, and there’s one nerdy detail you left out: he drew an early version of the BSD “daemon” mascot. It’s too bad you don’t have Larry Ewing in the tournament, though.
6. Stan Lee. As I mentioned in Twitter, I think this is a generational thing. When Danica was a tween heartthrob, I was in college, and she would have been disturbingly jailbaitish if I’d even been aware of her; this is honestly the first I’d heard of her.
7. I wasn’t familiar with Eddie Deezen, so I violated my fictional character rule and voted for the robots.
8. I’m a sucker for a pretty nerd. Felicia.
Sheesh look at all the brown nos..errr coats.
I’m only revealing that I voted for Lisa and Danica, because smart girls (real or fictional) should get their kudos too.
Wow, was I ever right about Ken Plume twittering about pants!
I can’t help wondering if it’s just a publicity stunt to get more votes.
The Whedon votes are probably more the general Whedonistas than the Browncoats (there really is a difference). The influx was almost certainly triggered by Felicia Day linking the site in a tweet. For this type of forum, Day’s minions are possibly even more scary (though smaller in overall number) than the Whedonistas. Last spring, when The Guild won the Greenlight award at SxSW, Day posted that night that she had just found out that it was also up for the YouTube award. Within an hour of her blog post, The Guild’s votes went from 30 to over a thousand,and The Guild won the award by almost as wide a margin as she has here.
– A Day Minion and proud of it
I’m a sucker for a pretty nerd.
And yet you voted against Danica McKellar?! Dude, did you see her picture? Even if you didn’t watch The Wonder Years, she is one hot summa cum laude, theorem-co-authoring mathematician nerd! 😉
Hey everyone, FYI – Lawrence Lessig – the founder of Creative Commons and a contestant in match 3 of this round, will be on Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report” this week on the 8th of January. Check your local listings for times and stuff.
Colleenky: Oh, yes. I saw her picture. She’s unquestionably hot. But I hadn’t heard of her before this contest, which means that she didn’t register on my nerd index. I at least knew Felicia Day from Dr. Horrible (and Twitter, and her having performed with JoCo).
If you notice, the first choice in each match has the highest vote percentage.
@mtgordon: But, but … she’s hot … and graduated summa cum laude in maths from one of the top universities in the country … and co-wrote a theorem. What more could anyone possibly need to know? 😉
@mtgordon I hadn’t heard of her before either, but I still voted for her. Granted, I hadn’t heard of her competitor either.
Christopher, note the score in the Danica McKellar vs. Stan Lee match. The high score is on top when you view the results because it puts the high score on top, but the McKellar is first choice in the match (and trailing)
My prediction: This will end up as a contest between John Hodgman, Wil Wheaton, Randall Munroe, and Felicia Day. Wheaton knocks out Hodgman, Day takes out Monroe, and Felicia Day pulls it out in the end based on the “hot girl who’s one of us” factor.
Well, if that’s how it works… I’m also a female geek who sings along with JoCo (badly) to Still Alive in concert. If I get a makeover to look ‘hot’ (ugh! Do I have to?) can I win?
one: I went with JoCo, though it pained me to do so at the expense of one of my adolescent idols. Unable, with my curly hair, to grow a non-Mike-Seaver-esque mullet when Mullets Ruled the World, I was able at least once a week to follow the adventures of one of the greatest Mullet-Powered Thinkers of all time. sigh. Did you guys go through any sort of seeding procedure for each bracket? ‘Cause this feels like a 1-3 match up that you would expect in a later round rather than a 1-16 that would make more sense for a tournament. Just saying.
two: I actually took this one kind of seriously and imagined a cabinet meeting involving each of these two candidates. One meeting had no fart jokes in it. I went with Nye.
three: I went with Doctor Who. While I think that Creative Commons licensing is a fantastic idea(l) and his work is a major benefit to current society, The Doctor is the epitome of Geek in almost every incarnation and he knows people on other planets. Fictional or not, I still vote for the Doc. That’s what’s up….(ok, that was bad, but I’m not deleting it)
four: Joss Whedon, mainly because he has gained his popularity as a writer in a visual industry. With the possible exception of JMS, I don’t know of any other TV or Film writers (the pic above was the first I’d ever seen of Mr. Whedon) who have garnered such fame due to the popularity of the worlds and characters they have made without being in front of the camera (a la Kevin Smith).
five: John Lasseter. I work regularly with the WDI folks, albeit in a very tangential way, so it would be good for job security. I like job security.
six: In very different ways, both of these people provided me with a way to escape from the jock-laden hell that was junior high and high school. But I simply can’t forgive Danica for the godawful titles of her books. Kiss My Math? Seriously? Thhhpppppttttt!
seven: Tom Servo & Crow – the debate regarding the gender of Mr. B Natural alone is enough to win my vote.
eight: Was Kovacs an innovator, a comic genius and an extremely creative man? Absolutely. Was he a geek? Nope. My vote goes to Day.
Aahhh, Mr. Kovacs, you fought hard for my vote… You were incredibly funny, and I wish I could vote for you, but Ms. Day, she steeeeaaaals my vote from you.
While it seems that Mr. Kovacs will not go on to the next round, I have to give it to P&S for filling me in on just who Ernie Kovacs was. I find it a shame that up to this point, the only Kovacs I knew was Rorschach.
I’m surprised Lee is struggling against McKellar. I mean, Stan gave us EVERY MARVEL CHARACTER EVER. There are many hot chicks, and many mathematicians, but creating Spider Man, the X-Men, Hulk, Thor, and Iron Man? Just ONE of those would be enough for my vote.