Great Moments in Nerdery

Rubik’s re-imagined on Google’s Chrome Cube Lab


To commemorate 40 years of Rubik’s Cube and support Google’s timely Doodle earlier this week celebrating Ernő Rubik’s iconic brainteaser, our Nerds worked with Google to help build Chrome Cube Lab  with the intent of letting other devs use Google’s API to re-imagine Rubik’s Cube, and play with it in all new ways. Read more

Chrome Cube Lab marks Rubik’s@40 – and today’s Google doodle

RubiksIn an awesome act of creative collaboration (and a lot of sweat), The Nerdery helped Google this morning to launch Chrome Cube Lab to honor the 40th anniversary of the Rubik’s Cube (see today’s timely Google doodle). Originally created by Ernő Rubik, the Rubik’s Cube is a logic puzzle that has been a favorite of engineers and mathematical types since its debut.

Written in Google Go, Chrome Cube Lab provides a showcase for a fantastic rebuild of this puzzle inside of the web browser.  It leverages JavaScript, CSS3 and a whole host of awesome technologies to provide a real-time interactive spinning cube. Even cooler? It’s open to spin-offs and new interpretations of the cube. Read more

One small step for nerds, one giant leap for Nerderykind

The Nerdery marked its 10-year anniversary by launching a coin etched with company core values and vision into space – and shot video with Earth as the coin’s backdrop as the weather balloon and its payload hits its peak altitude, 97,364 feet. The Nerdery Astronomical and Space Alliance’s (or, NASA) Project Icarus launched from Eagle Lake Observatory in Norwood Young-America, MN. Icarus landed just east of Bay City, WI.

The first 30 seconds of the video are launch footage, then the next 30 seconds is images from the craft at its highest elevation (18 miles high). The next minute (slowed down so you can see it) shows the weather balloon bursting and the craft getting thrown into some chaos, and the last 20 seconds shows the actual crash (87 miles from where it launched). (The Nerdery’s) NASA expected Icarus top out at around 70,000, but benefited from warmer weather.

“As it was descending, we were pretty scared that it was going to land in the Mississippi river,” said (the other) NASA’s Bob Amaden. “It ended up on a wooded spit of land sticking into the river. Only about a hundred yards from the water! Our onboard GPS Spot Tracker led us pretty much to the exact spot where it landed. Even though it was surrounded by tall trees, it was on the ground and fully intact. We got really lucky. The fact that we were able to actually find it before the sun even went down feels like a huge win for us.”

Commemorating a decade of Nerdery by launching a the company’s core values coin into space kicked off Core Values Week, which will conclude Friday, November 1 with a 4 p.m. staff viewing of Nerdery CEO Mike Derheim’s Ted Talk, titled “What if everyone at your company was a Co-President? Moving toward its vision to be the best place in the world for nerds to work, The Nerdery analyzed past decisions from its history to ensure that future choices are grounded in company core values: “Constantly push boundaries; Integrity in all circumstances; Solve problems pragmatically; Be humble; Win by empowering people.”

Space-bound supplies were paid for in part by Nerdery staff (Nerds) purchasing shirts and patches commemorating the interactive design and development company’s 10-year anniversary. Per usual, co-founders Mike Schmidt and Mike Derheim were on the hook for footing the rest of the bill, same as it ever was for Nerdery boondoggles of this ilk. “Thank you to everyone who contributed funds, and the Mikes for cheerleading us on! ” said NASA’s (again, not that NASA) Gabrielle Suglia. “That’s one of the things we love about this place is that we all help each other reach our goals!”

“The colder temperatures resulted in a sort of thin, frosty coating on the lens,” said (Nerdery) NASA’s Amaden.”Fortunately, you can still see everything; you can totally tell that our coin is up above the atmosphere in space. The launch went most excellently, and the equipment functioned perfectly. We were able to track the entire flight path and follow its turbulent descent into the woods a few miles East of Bay City, Wisconsin. The onboard Spot Tracker allowed us to walk right up to where it landed and recover the entire payload, including all still photos and video footage.”
 
Mikes and core values coin, back from space Nerdery coin, spaced200 feet

MikeD@TEDx

Returning to his hometown of Minot, ND, to give a TED Talk, “What if everyone at your company was a Co-President?”, Nerdery CEO and co-founder Mike Derheim talked about the power of distributed leadership. Mike talked about his belief that if millennials feel entitled to autonomy and purpose in their work and lives, leaders should embrace this so-called entitlement generation by further empowering them. He challenged established leaders to consider engaged, emerging leaders as Co-Presidents, and encouraged everyone to make themselves Co-President of whatever it is that they’re truly passionate about, in work and in life.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience.

The White House Responds to the Death Star Petition

The White House’s response to the Death Star petition hit over the weekend. If you missed it, go read it. It includes this line:

Why would we spend countless taxpayer dollars on a Death Star with a fundamental flaw that can be exploited by a one-man starship?

Blink to the Future: A Dr. Who/Back to the Future Mashup

Marching Band + Video Game = Nothing but Goodness

If you missed it when @the_nerdery tweeted it this morning, this video of the Ohio State University paying tribute to classic video games really is a wonder to behold. If you’re the impatient type, fast forward to six minutes and just watch the running horse bit. It’s amazing.

50 years of The Jetsons & Why They Still Matter


To celebrate the 50th anniversary of “The Jetsons” which premiered on TV September 23, 1983, the Smithsonian’s Paleofuture blog is recapping all 24 episodes of the show.

Kicking off the recap is 50 years of The Jetsons and why the show still matters a deliciously nerdy bit of wonderfulness that includes a small style guide at the end to talk about why Orbity will not be talked about in the recap series.

“But it’s just a cartoon, right? So what if today’s political and social elite saw ”The Jetsons” a lot? Thanks in large part to the Jetsons, there’s a sense of betrayal that is pervasive in American culture today about the future that never arrived. We’re all familiar with the rallying cries of the angry retrofuturist: Where’s my jetpack!?! Where’s my flying car!?! Where’s my robot maid?!? “The Jetsons” and everything they represented were seen by so many not as a possible future, but a promise of one.”

Curiosity Landing Turns Everyone into a Space Nerd

Really, what else there to say today except Mars, Mars, Mars, Mars, MARS!

Also, nice work Oreo.

Physics Students Ruin Batman with Facts


Four physics students in the UK had a paper called ‘Trajectory of a Falling Batman’ published in the University of Leicester Journal of Special Physics Topics where they proved that there’s no way Batman could casually glide from building to building to ground with just his cape. Now before you get all “No, duh” about the fact that of course Batman couldn’t, you’ve got to hand it to the kids for coming up with such a creative topic. You know who else deserves kudos, the headline writers at Gawker who came up with this gem: Nerds Ruin Batman for a Different Group of Nerds.