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Today in Nerd History | February 10

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 on February 10th in history. Let’s celebrate these cherished moments that have left an indelible mark on the hearts of fans around the world.

BILLY MADISON | 1995

In 1995, Billy Madison premiered in theaters. Billy Madison is a comedy film about a spoiled and immature man who has to repeat all 12 grades of school in order to inherit his father’s hotel empire.

 

Nerdy Facts:

  • The mansion where Billy lives is the same one used as Professor X’s School for the Gifted in the X-Men movies.
  • Adam Sandler made some of his kid co-stars cry by using his silly voices and faces, which they found scary instead of funny.
  • Chris Farley, who plays the bus driver, references another movie that he and Adam Sandler starred in, Airheads, by wearing a T-shirt of the fictional band The Lone Rangers.
  • Robert De Niro, one of the most respected actors of all time, has said that Billy Madison is his favorite movie.
DEEP BLUE BEATS CHESS CHAMPION | 1996

In 1996, a computer beat a human chess master for the first time. IBM’s Deep Blue became the first computer system to defeat a reigning world chess champion, Garry Kasparov, in a single game, though it lost the overall six-game match under standard tournament controls.

 

Nerdy Facts:

  • Deep Blue was one of the world’s most powerful supercomputers, built by IBM with a specific goal in mind: to beat humanity at its own game. For IBM, billions of dollars worth of business clout was on the table, and to a certain extent, Kasparov was playing for the fate of chess itself. He had never lost a multi-game match in his entire career.
  • In the first match in 1996, Kasparov lost the first game, but came back to win the match 4-2. He later accused the IBM team of cheating, claiming that they had human intervention during the games. IBM denied the allegations, and Kasparov challenged them to a rematch.
  • In the rematch in 1997, Deep Blue won the match 3.5-2.5, becoming the first computer to defeat a reigning world chess champion in a match under tournament conditions. The final game was controversial, as Kasparov made a blunder in the opening that he later attributed to a bug in Deep Blue’s software. He also claimed that Deep Blue had displayed human-like intuition and creativity, and demanded to see its logs. IBM refused, and dismantled Deep Blue shortly after the match.
  • Kasparov later admitted that he had underestimated Deep Blue’s capabilities, and that his own play was affected by psychological pressure and paranoia. He also acknowledged that Deep Blue was a remarkable achievement of computer science, and that chess was not a measure of human intelligence. He said that he had changed his views on the match after analyzing it with modern computers.
MARIO KART 64 | 1997

In 1997, Mario Kart 64 was released in the US for the Nintendo 64. Mario Kart 64 is a go-kart racing game that featured 3D graphics (for the first time), various items, and 16 unique tracks.

 

Nerdy Facts:

  • The game was originally planned to be a launch title for the Nintendo 64, but it was delayed by several months due to the development of Super Mario 64.
  • The game has a hidden feature that allows you to display your current Time Trial record for Mario Raceway on the title screen by pressing the R Button. This is because the developers considered Mario Raceway to be their favorite course for speed runs.
  • The game has a different music track for Rainbow Road in the Japanese version. The international version uses a remix of the Super Mario Kart theme, while the Japanese version uses an original composition that is more upbeat and cheerful.
THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE | 2017

In 2017, The LEGO Batman Movie premiered in theaters. The LEGO Batman Movie is an animated superhero comedy film that follows Batman as he tries to save Gotham City from The Joker’s hostile takeover while learning to work with others and lighten up.

 

Nerdy Facts:

  • The actors who played Batman and Robin, Will Arnett and Michael Cera, had previously worked together as uncle and nephew in the sitcom Arrested Development.
  • Billy Dee Williams, who voiced Two-Face, had originally been cast as Harvey Dent in Tim Burton’s Batman (1989), but never got to play the villainous alter ego.
  • The movie references many previous incarnations of Batman, from the comics, TV shows, movies, and video games. Some of the Easter eggs include the Bat-Shark Repellent Spray from the 1966 Batman movie, the giant penny and dinosaur from the Batcave in the comics, and the Bat-nipples from Batman & Robin (1997).
  • The movie has a cameo appearance by Mariah Carey, who voices the Mayor of Gotham City. She also recorded a song for the movie’s soundtrack, called “Get That Dirt Off Your Shoulder”.

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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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