In the rural fastness of Western Minnesota, a legend grows. A man so nerdly that his infamy spreads far and wide; when people see shell-less molluscs, his name leaps to their lips; when geeks and nerds gather, they all whisper the same thing: "Pee-Zee" (or, as the Canadians and Dr Who fans would say, "Pee-Zed.")

Yes, in yet another of a string of geek honors, I have been invited to the GeekProm, to be held in the Science Museum of Minnesota on 22 April. There will be spaz-dancing, cow-eye dissections, and a talent show, and some couple will be crowned King and Queen Geek.

Obviously, I deserve to go to this. What you may not realize, O Unsuspecting Readers, is that by reading this site you too are now fully certified Geeks and Nerds. Sorry about that, but it is infectious, and you have only yourselves to blame. I'm also afraid that there aren't any scientists interested in working on a cure, so you're just going to have to live with your punishment…and show up to out-spaz me on the dance floor.

See you all there.

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Cow eye dissection! I can do that! I was close to an expert when I taught that stuff. I even had them determine which eye they had (left or right) based on tapetum and optic nerve exit.

Great fun. Ask me about sheep/human brain....

Too bad I am hoards of miles away.

By John M. Price (not verified) on 03 Apr 2006 #permalink

Me, a geek?! Damn, a pocket protector just doesn't go well with my Armani sport coat, I guess I'll have to rethink my wardrobe...

But... but... I'm a girl.

Oh, well. Embrace my inner geek!

(My fiance, looking over my shoulder, says I seem to have done a pretty good job embracing my inner geek this whole time. So, OK. I'm an atheist libertarian ex-RPG'er who wants to be an engineer. But lots of girls do that, right?)

By speedwell (not verified) on 03 Apr 2006 #permalink

You say "Geek" and " Nerd" like it's a bad thing!

Who invented radio? television? computers? the internets?

Geeks and Nerds, that's who!

Our society idolizes Hollywood actors and professional athletes, but if it weren;t for geeks and nerds, you'd find out the latest sports scores by word of mouth!

Geeks and Nerds run this planet - and we're not going to take any more shit from the Man!

Having said that - Geek Prom - I'm jealous. I'm guessing that there will be for the most part extroverted nerds attending (they're the ones that stare at your shoes rather than their own shoes). I am giving my Physics of Superheroes talk in Western Illinois, otherwise I would be so there!

Face front, true believers!

Compare the hourly earnings of Bill Gates to, oh, say, Michael Jordan. Jordan would have to be dunking and juking until he's 205 to come close to Gates' total, and by then Gates will have enough money to buy all the planets farther out than Mars.

In the money game, geeks win. Let the games begin.

By Ed Darrell (not verified) on 03 Apr 2006 #permalink

I want to go! It would give me an excuse to see my super-handsome, super-geeky boyfriend in a tux (muahaha!), and I'm a shoo-in for the spaz dancing contest, since I am actually spastic. Unfortunately, it's really far away! I'm now wondering if I (and maybe some other like-minded Ontarian geeks) can convince the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto to hold a Geek Prom too.

I want a geek prom in NYC. Museum of Natural History, maybe? I'd probably see half the alumnis of my alma mater (Stuyvesant) spazing out on the dance floor.

A rockin' good time it shall be.

Am I the only one that read that as GeekPorn?

There will be spaz-dancing, cow-eye dissections, and a talent show,...

Um.."AND a talent show"? After the spaz-dancing and cow-eye dissections, mightn't the talent show be a bit redundant, not to say anti-climactic? Actually, now that I think of it, the whole night should just be spaz-dancing.

by then Gates will have enough money to buy all the planets farther out than Mars.

Made me laugh out loud! Thx ED. I kinda hope he does it, too. As long as it gets us out there. Speakin' of which ..

Mmmh hmm, "cow-eye dissections" absolutely sounds like Talent Show material to me. Have a great time Pee-Zee.

Neat! My wife's been telling me for years I'm a geek. Nice to finally get official recognition for it. :)

Actually, Pee Zed sounds like a name that would earn you some serious street cred, assuming you have sidewalks. That, and your new Koufax award! Get out on the floor and do the Squid for all of us who can't make it.

Holy Crap! I'm a nerd! That explains the glasses, the ugly fashions and the bad haircut. I'm a Far Side character come to life!

I'm up here for the Science fair with my son. We just had the science museum to ourselves (last night) and tonight we have our own geek party evening (kids and adults separate of course).

Wish the timing would have been different, I would have loved to met you. But then again, I'm not sure I would be able to buy you a beer at the Science Museum.

A note on the usufructs of geekiness:

Walking the waterfront during my work break this morning, I watched the yacht Tatoosh glide oh, so smoothly to moor at Bayboro Harbor in St. Petersburg. The Tatoosh belongs to Arch-Geek Microsoft co-conspirator, er, founder Paul Allen. It is a gorgeous thing, a sleek 310 feet, sporting both a 40 foot launch and 40 foot sailboat, and a helicopter. Suspected price is $100 million. Pretty good for a nerd who never finished college. [Best thing about the scene was the mother/child bottle-nosed dolphin duo that escorted the ship in, clearly curious about it.]

I can't help thinking what a marvelous platform for marine research that vessel would be.

I'm now wondering if I (and maybe some other like-minded Ontarian geeks) can convince the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto to hold a Geek Prom too.

I'd drive up from Waterloo for that.

Geeks have all the fun!

By Buffalo Gal (not verified) on 03 Apr 2006 #permalink

Coming from a girl who removed corneas from bovine eyes at the tender age of 12, I have to say if we are reading your blog, we have embraced our geekness and our nerd-dom are probably more than passing proud of it.

I want no cure, and have fun PZ.

By archeogirl (not verified) on 03 Apr 2006 #permalink

PsiMan: No.

By Molly, NYC (not verified) on 03 Apr 2006 #permalink

Um, shouldn't that be "rural vastness"?

Well, I'm about to get a math degree, I've been inventing languages since the age of 2, I know substantial portions of the AD&D 2nd edition manuals by heart, and I've watched the first episode of Firefly 3 or 4 times (most of the rest I've only watched once, shamefully, and the movie I've watched twice).

I object!

Geekism and nerdiness are not infectious! They are genetic conditions, but fortunately, will never be wiped out because the only people capable of working out how to do so are the ones afflicted by them. And we're having too much fun poking metaphorical screwdrivers into the universe innards to want to change, right?

You WILL be posting photos, yes? Please include a wide sampling of the environment, including at least one (or five) of you spazing out on the dance floor.

By Praedor Atrebates (not verified) on 04 Apr 2006 #permalink

I'm pleased to learn that I am not the only one who thinks of you as Pee Zed. Sounds a bit sci-fi, doesn't it?
Have a good time at the GeekProm. Be careful with the punch.
Regards from Canada, Chris

It's Pi - Zeta in geek!

(Or is that greek?)

By Deacon Barry (not verified) on 04 Apr 2006 #permalink