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This Week in Nerd History | Aug. 21 – 27

Nerd culture is a vibrant tapestry of events, releases, and milestones that have shaped the entertainment landscape. From iconic movies to groundbreaking games and significant literary contributions, this article takes a trip down memory lane to explore the notable nerd culture events that occurred from August 21st to August 27th in history. Let’s celebrate these cherished moments that have left an indelible mark on the hearts of fans around the world.

Photo Credit: SyFy

August 21, 1998 | Blade

On this day, Blade released. Blade tells the story of a half-human, half-vampire hero who fights against a powerful vampire lord and his army of bloodsuckers. The film is based on a Marvel Comics character and stars Wesley Snipes as Blade, the ultimate vampire hunter.

Nerdy Fact: The character of Whistler, who is Blade’s mentor and friend, was not originally from the comics. He was created for Blade’s cameo on Spider-Man: The Animated Series (1994). He was liked so much by Marvel’s CEO that he was adopted into the Marvel universe. Whistler was played by Kris Kristofferson in the Blade movies.

Photo Credit: Old PC Gaming

August 21, 1998 | Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six

On this day, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six released on PC. This tactical first-person shooter video game series by Ubisoft, based on the novel of the same name by Tom Clancy, puts players in the role of elite counterterrorist operatives from a secret international organization called Rainbow.

Nerdy Fact: The game was one of the first to feature realistic weapons, tactics, and environments, as well as permadeath for the player’s characters.

Photo Credit: HomestarRunner.com

August 22, 2001 | The First Strong Bad Email

On this day, Strong Bad Emails was born. This popular webcartoon series from the world of Homestar Runner, featured a sarcastic and witty Mexican wrestler named Strong Bad who answers fan emails in hilarious and often absurd ways. This series gave birth to pop culture favorites Trogdor, Teen Girl Squad, and LimoZeen. The first Strong Bad Email was titled “some kinda robot” and featured Strong Bad answering an email from a fan who asked if he was a robot. Strong Bad denied being a robot and proceeded to mock the sender’s poor grammar and spelling.

Nerdy Fact: The Strong Bad Emails have been praised by critics and fans alike for their creativity, originality, and comedy. They have won several awards and have been featured in various media outlets, such as Wired, NPR, Entertainment Weekly, and The New York Times. They have also influenced other webcartoons and internet culture in general.

Photo Credit: MO&JO

August 23, 2007 | The First Hashtag

On this day, Chris Messina, who worked as a developer for Google and Uber, suggested using the hash symbol (#) followed by a word or phrase to group and sort messages on Twitter in a tweet. This was the origin of the hashtag.

Nerdy Fact: The first hashtag he posted on Twitter was #barcamp, which was the name of an unconference event that he attended in 2007. He asked other attendees to use the same hashtag to share their thoughts and experiences about the event. His idea was not immediately adopted by Twitter, but it gained popularity when other users started using hashtags for various purposes, such as reporting on breaking news, expressing opinions, creating memes, or launching social movements.

Photo Credit: Escapist Magazine

August 25, 1997 | GoldenEye 007

On this day, GoldenEye 007 released on the Nintendo 64. This classic first-person shooter game was based on the James Bond film of the same name and featured realistic graphics, varied gameplay, and a groundbreaking multiplayer mode that allowed up to four players to compete in different scenarios. It is widely considered one of the best and most influential video games ever made.

Nerdy Fact: The game was developed by only nine people, eight of which had never worked on a game before.

Photo Credit: WhatCulture

August 26, 1991 | The Only Successful Wrestling Wedding

On this day, a special wedding ended the WWF SummerSlam pay-per-view. The wedding of Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth was a memorable event that marked the culmination of their on-screen romance and the celebration of their real-life marriage, which had taken place seven years earlier. It was dubbed “A Match Made in Heaven” by announcer Gene Okerlund, and it featured a lavish ceremony, a star-studded guest list, and a heartfelt exchange of vows.

Nerdy Fact: While still kayfabe (storyline), this was the only wedding ceremony held on WWE programming that didn’t go wrong. Every other storyline wedding (of which, there have been several) has had either a major outside interruption or at least one unwilling participant. Instead, the disruption didn’t happen until the reception, which was filmed and aried the following night, leaving SummerSlam ending on a happy, heart-warming note.

Photo Credit: Glitchworlds

August 26, 2001 | Mario Kart: Super Circuit

On this day, Mario Kart: Super Circuit released. This fun and challenging racing game for the Game Boy Advance features eight Mario characters, 40 tracks, various items and modes, and the ability to play with friends using a link cable.

Nerdy Fact: The game features all 20 tracks from Super Mario Kart as unlockable extra courses, making it the first Mario Kart game to include retro tracks from previous games in the series. This has become a standard practice in every Mario Kart game since.

Photo Credit: Business Insider

August 27, 1964 | Mary Poppins

On this day, Mary Poppins released. This musical fantasy film tells the story of a magical nanny who arrives at the Banks family’s home in London and takes their children on a series of whimsical adventures with her friend Bert, a street performer.

Nerdy Fact: The word “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”, which is used in one of the most memorable songs in the film, was added to the Oxford English Dictionary with the definition “extraordinarily good; wonderful”. The origin of the word is unclear, but some sources claim that it was coined by the film’s composers, Richard and Robert Sherman.

Photo Credit: IGN

August 27, 2020 | Bill & Ted Face the Music

On this day, Bill & Ted Face the Music released (in theaters, despite the COVID-19 pandemic still causing issues). This American science fiction comedy film follows the titular duo as they travel through time and the afterlife to meet their future selves, save their daughters, and join forces with various historical and musical figures in order to create the song that will save reality from collapsing and fulfill their destiny laid out in the first movie.

Nerdy Fact: The film was one of the first major studio releases to adopt a hybrid distribution strategy, where it was available on both premium VOD and in select theaters simultaneously. This decision was made due to the uncertainty and challenges caused by the pandemic, which forced many theaters to close or operate at limited capacity. The filmmakers and Orion Pictures wanted to give the fans a choice of how to watch the film safely and comfortably.

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Station Manager of LTN Radio and co-host of the "Nerd History Podcast" & the "Two Words Podcast". Matt is a third-generation radio station manager who has done pretty much every job in the radio industry. Matt is the father of two boys and a little girl. It's probably the best thing about him.

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