THE WEEK IN GEEK IN THE SOUTH SOUND >>>
And we're back! Nerd Alert is the Spew blog's recurring events calendar devoted to all things nerdy. I myself am a Star Wars fan, mathlete, and spelling bee champion of long standing, so trust me: I grok whereof I speak. As a matter of fact, this column took me hours to write because I kept getting distracted by the Scale of the Universe website.
Monday, April 23
Ken Jennings, you'll remember, was the Mormon mentat who won 74 straight games of Jeopardy! back in 2004. All in all, Jennings earned more than $3 million on the show, only to have his carbon-based heinie handed to him by Watson the IBM supercomputer. He then went on to win half a million bucks on Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?, author three books, and top the rookie division of the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament in his first time competing. This personable, telegenic specimen from the next phase of human evolution will be at Powell's City of Books tonight, signing his national bestseller Maphead and generally reminding you what a moron you are by comparison.
[Powell's City of Books, Ken Jennings book signing, free, 7:00 p.m., 3415 SW Cedar Hills Blvd., Portland, 503.228.4651]
Wednesday, April 25
Olympia Satanists hold their monthly meeting in the Olympia Center. Personally, I have no interest in standing with the cloven-hooved Lord of Ordure - that South Park movie effectively declawed Old Scratch - but I advertise his conclave chiefly to counter the actions of a club of Evergreen fundamentalists who keep removing Satanists' flyers. (Not cool, Christians. A simple "get behind me" will do.) I was surprised to learn Olympia Satanists have a blog and a Facebook page; topics covered there include a hidden egg project, prayers of gratitude for fornication, and how to grow a silly "Satanic" Penn Jillette beard. Even more diabolical, they promise to lure you into their evil embrace through the strategic application of cookies. Not the Internet kind-just...cookies. Those fork-tailed bastards.
[The Olympia Center, Olympia Satanists gathering, free (unless you value your mortal soul), 7:30 p.m., 222 Columbus St. NW, Olympia, olympia.worshipsatan.org]
Friday, April 27
Furries unite - it's Procession of the Species weekend in Olympia! Yes, it's Oly's beloved 18th annual tribute to natural selection, human creativity, and the flora and fauna of planet Earth. Friday sundown brings the Luminary Procession, culminating in the release of glowing gossamer balloons over Sylvester Park Capital Lake. It's effing magical. Then, on Saturday afternoon, about 30,000 members of species H. sapiens will gather to watch a few more thousand hominids dress as gregarious wildlife. Ironically, the parade enforces a strict "no pets" policy, which seems more than a little anthropocentric for the occasion. Procession policy does, however, allow human spectators to join in the parade at any point along its route.
[The Procession of the Species, Friday, April 27 9:30 p.m., Saturday, April 28, 4:30 p.m., free, Cherry St. and Legion Way, Olympia, 360.705.1087]
Friday also marks the release date of The Pirates! Band of Misfits, a whimsical kiddie flick about, as you may well predict, a band of hapless buccaneers. We mention this movie only because it's the latest release from Aardman Animation, the quirky English outfit that gave us Chicken Run and the classic Wallace and Gromit shorts. It's been out for several weeks in the U.K., where it earned an impressive 92 percent score on the (Rotten) Tomatometer. In other words, you could do a lot worse ... like, say, The Raven, which enjoys a "freshness rating" of 23 percent as this column goes to press.
Until next week, may the odds be ever in your favor, the Force be with you, and your Darwin fish car magnet unmolested.