Right Here, Right ‘Bao’

Oakland and the surrounding East Bay Area is a welcoming, casual town. The standard uniform of jeans and a hoodie is a ticket to pretty much anywhere: a Warriors game, a UC Berkeley lecture hall (as a student or even as the professor), a Michelin-star restaurant, R&B paint night at the Complex. The few exceptions are three-fold: the Piedmont School District, an available slice of sweet potato pie at Lois the Pie Queen after 10:00 AM, and Pixar Animation Studios.

I have lived in the East Bay for more than twelve years, and I have never gotten closer than peering through the iron gates while driving past to get my son to badminton practice. Until now.

To celebrate the upcoming in-home release of Bao and Incredibles 2, Pixar opened their gates to The Nerds of Color as well as other media outlets for dinner and interview opportunities with their creators.

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Gender and Tech: The New Boss, Same as the Old Boss

My name is Julie, and I am an actual woman in tech. Sometimes it’s hard being me in tech, because I am a woman… of color… with children… who hasn’t watched a single Iron Man or Wolverine movie. Call me Unicorn.

Have you read about the latest study that shows how shitty it still is to be coding while female (or, I assume, presenting as female)? The way they controlled for geekiness is especially awesome. There aren’t many surprises in this study’s findings; women in Computer Science and tech in general have always been excluded, implicitly and explicitly, and it seems the majority still likes to protect its vanguard.

The article’s flaw, in my opinion, is labeling Dungeons & Dragons, Star Trek, and other geek institutions as “masculine.” That’s too easy to dispute, and therefore, dismiss. We all can see why “masculine” is not the most accurate adjective to use: there are plenty of counter-examples of masculinity that have nothing to do with that stuff, and of course there are plenty of femmes who like that stuff. It is rather more a slice of the pop culture universe that is indeed white male dominated, but takes its identity from fandoms, the objects of those fandoms, and the general quest for purity within those fandoms. So for the rest of this article, I’m going to call this cultural archetype “ubergeek.”

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NOC Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

If Agents Mulder and Scully from The X-Files formed a New Wave synth band, what would they sing about? Kituria from Project Fandom and I unite forces on this all-important issue, and the predictions were nothing short of #nerdgirlmagic.


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NOC Recaps Game of Thrones: Dicks and Stones

Last week on Game of Thrones, most of the attention was focused on underground extremist movements in various parts of the realm. This week’s episode, “Kill the Boy,” turns the lens again towards those  in power, especially Daenarys Targaryen and Jon Snow.

However, we at NOC know what’s on everyone’s mind:

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NOC Recaps Game of Thrones: Arya Gonna Go My Way?

Last week on Game of Thrones, we witnessed various examples of people dealing with their demons, either literally (as with Dany and her dragons) or figuratively (Tyrion dealing with his new role as Dadslayer). This week’s episode, “The House of Black and White,” continues the first episode’s pacing and purpose: we pay visits to the characters we hold dear, but we also get treated to new glimpses of new countries and cultures.

If I had to guess at one overarching theme of this episode, I would say it was the struggle for female empowerment. Arya, Brienne, Cersei, and Daenerys took huge steps this episode into taking a seat at exclusively-male-dominated tables. Ellia Sand seems eager to lead an army to war. Even Gilly is learning how to read! It is becoming very apparent that the future of Westeros, no matter who comes out on top at the end, can very well rest in the hands of a woman.

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NOC Recaps The Legend of Korra: Battlefield Earth

Episode Eight: “The Terror Within”

Note from Julie: This week, I’m going to keep the recap brief in order to discuss Nickelodeon’s decision to pull The Legend of Korra off the air into online-only distribution, and to showcase some choice cosplay from San Diego Comic-Con this past weekend!

Korra is already metalbending like a champ, but Bolin has yet to bend any metal at all. Combine that with Opal leaving for the Northern Air Temple to train with Tenzin, and he is despondent, uttering lovesick schlock such as “Every time I eat raw kale, I’m gonna think of you.” Opal still is charmed by him, bless her heart.

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NOC Recaps The Legend of Korra: I am the Son and the Air

Episode Seven: “Original Airbenders”

This episode showcased the rise of the new Air Nation. Tenzin is the master teacher of about a dozen new recruits, and in his typical way, is pedantic and tone-deaf to their needs. He drones on about the histories of various ancient monks, while his brother Bumi and the other recruits die of boredom.

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NOC Recaps The Legend of Korra: Sister From Another Mister

Episode Five: “The Metal Clan”

Team Avatar and Lin Beifong are taking a break in an idyllic valley. Naga is in full retriever mode, wanting Lin to play fetch with her. Lin responds thusly:

Alas, poor Naga!

The team is headed to Zao Fu, the home of the Metal Clan, as there are reports of a new airbender there. Lin doesn’t want to go, because apparently, she doesn’t want to do anything. Lin, you know I love you, but remind me not to travel with you!

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NOC Recaps The Legend of Korra: We Are Family

Episode Three: “The Earth Queen”

We begin with a sparring session between Uncle Bumi and Kai, led by Jinora. Uncle Bumi’s stance is all old-school fisticuffs, and Kai makes easy work of him. Jinora’s crush on Kai grows deeper, and Kai starts the charm offensive on her.

Screen Shot 2014-06-29 at 10.31.22 AM
KaiNora shippers, you know this will not end well.

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NOC Recaps The Legend of Korra: Gotta Catch ’em All!

Episode Two: “Rebirth”

Team Avatar (minus Mako the Brooding Teenager) is ready to set off for Operation Air Nation. Pema, Kya, Ikki, and Meelo are staying on Air Temple Island in order to receive any potential pilgrims. But first, two words: HOLY AIRSHIP.

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NOC Recaps The Legend of Korra: There’s Magic in the Air (Bending)

Episode One: “A Breath of Fresh Air”

Korra Nation, our waiting has finally come to an end!

Two weeks have passed since Avatar Korra’s amazing triumph against UnaVaatu during Harmonic Convergence. The portals between the Spirit World and the human one have remained open all this time, with at least one annoying side effect: giant Spirit Vines have been growing all over Republic City, taking over entire buildings and displacing many people from their homes. Korra has yet to figure out how to deal with the vines, so her approval ratings are down to a dismal 8%, with even President Raiko distancing himself from her. Our poor teenage Avatar is questioning whether her victory was a victory at all.

On Air Temple Island, however, things are on the up-and-up. Uncle Bumi, after chasing Bum-Ju off a cliff, has discovered he can now… airbend!?!?

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The Legend of Korra Third Season Trailer and Surprise Release Date

Team Korra, we have a date! On Friday afternoon, Nickelodeon announced that the first THREE episodes of the third season of The Legend of Korra will air this Friday, June 27, starting at 7 PM/6 Central. They will then take a week hiatus for 4th of July weekend, then air weekly on Fridays at 8 PM.

And of course, being the NOC’s resident Korra experts, Rodrigo and I will be on-hand to recap every episode!

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NOC Recaps Game of Thrones Part Two: Valar Morghulis

[Ed note: The season finale was so epic, we couldn’t contain our thoughts in just one post! So to accommodate all the thoughts and feels from the Season 4, Episode 10 “The Children,” we’ve called on the heroic trio that led us the last ten weeks — Anna, Julie, and Alice — to each share their thoughts on the finale and the season overall. Part one is here.]

Wow wow wow wow wow! Best season finale ever!!!!

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NOC Recaps Game of Thrones: They Might Be Giants

Episode Nine, “The Watchers on the Wall,” starts with an awkward discussion between Jon Snow and Sam Tarley. Sam presses Jon for details on what sex with Ygritte felt like and wonders whether the vows they took called for strict celibacy or just forbidding marriage and children. Jon, as per usual, mumbles and cannot express himself eloquently (nor properly dry his hair).

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NOC Recaps Game of Thrones: Don’t Push Me Cuz I’m Close to the Edge

When we last saw Tyrion, he was spitting righteous vitriol at his trial. The seventh episode “Mockingbird” shows a softer, more introspective man: basically, he knows he just signed his own death certificate and merely wants to make amends before his trial by combat. He admits to Jaime that he fell in love with a whore, and he chose not to cooperate with the deal Jaime made with their father out of spite. At his most powerless, Tyrion was still able to take away some happiness from Tywin, who was thisclose to having Jaime back as his heir. Tyrion goes on to tease Jaime about his foibles and penchant for incest, and oh, by the way, Jaime, will you be his champion?

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NOC Recaps Game of Thrones: Nice Day for a Weird Wedding

Occasionally, it sucks to live on the West Coast: the Purple Wedding damn near broke Twitter hours before I was scheduled to livetweet the episode, and it took all my fangirl strength not to take a peek. But on my honor as a Tully, on my honor as a Stark, I kept my eyes pure until 9:00. Anything for my NOCs!

Let’s cut to the chase: by now you surely have heard that this was the episode featuring the wedding of King Joffrey of House Baratheon and Lady Margaery of House Tyrell. But that wasn’t the biggest news that came out of that wedding by any means: THERE WAS AN ASIAN WOMAN IN ATTENDANCE!

Okay fine, she was a performer, not a guest...but progress is made one step at a time.
Okay fine, she was a performer, not a guest… but progress can be measured one contortionist at a time.

Oh wait, did something else happen as well?

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Six Signs Daenerys Targaryen is Actually Asian

Join us tomorrow, April 13, at 9:00 PST for the live-tweeting of the second episode of Game of Thrones: hashtag #GOTNOC. I’m up to bat this time, though I usually recap The Legend of Korra, I hope I don’t slip and accidentally call Daenerys Targaryen a Firebender. I align Chaotic Good, and therefore am House Targaryen all the way. I’m also a hardcore Brienne-Jaime ‘shipper, but that’s a discussion for another day.

To whet your appetite, I list six reasons why I imagine Dany, Mother of Dragons, just might be Asian… or at least she should be.

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NOC Recaps The Legend of Korra: Who Run the World? Girls

Episode Fourteen: “Light in the Dark”

Continued from Episode Thirteen

The Republic’s finest ships and zeppelins are circling the city. General Iroh, sultry-toned leader of the United Forces, sits in wait, wondering what kind of enemy he’s about to deal with. In flies UnaVaatu, decimating the ports of Republic City with Spirit Vines of Evil.

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Live-Tweets from Doctor Who‘s 50th Anniversary Special

On Saturday, at 11:50 Pacific Time, the 50th Anniversary episode of Doctor Who, “The Day of the Doctor,” premiered in homes and movie theaters worldwide via simulcast. The Nerds of Color held a live-tweet during the entire 75-minute episode, dishing with other Twitter Whovians about the War Doctor, the charm and cheek battle between Ten vs. Eleven, all the surprise twists, the winningest quotes, and of course… the surprise guest star appearing near the end of the episode.

Here are some highlights (MAJOR SPOILER ALERT):

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NOC Recaps The Legend of Korra: Friends in All the Right Places

Episode Twelve, “Harmonic Convergence”

The second half of this week’s exciting installment of The Legend of Korra set things up for what seems like a VERY dramatic finale.

We find Team Avatar on Varrick’s zebra-striped warship, heading south. Quick history lesson: that stripe pattern was actually a real form of battleship camouflage during World War I called “razzle dazzle.” It made it difficult to guess the size, type, speed, and heading of a ship.

Varrick’s ship, the Zhu Li
Varrick’s ship, the Zhu Li
HMS Argus, circa 1917
HMS Argus, circa 1917

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NOC Recaps Doctor Who: Which Who? That Who!

“The Night of the Doctor,” secret webisode by Steven Moffat

The mini-episode starts chaotically, with a brown-haired British girl at the helm of a crashing spaceship. It takes us a couple seconds to realize that it is not Clara, the current companion to the Eleventh Doctor. Her name is Cass, and she is very brave and snarky even in the face of certain death, which makes her prime companion material. But we are getting ahead of ourselves.

A flash! Then a very familiar face appears on board.

Paul McGann's surprise return
“I’m a doctor. But probably not the one you were expecting.” NO ONE was expecting The Eighth Doctor, but what a sight for sore eyes!

At this point, all of Who-fandom raised their fists into the air, growling “MOFFAT!  I love you, you sneaky bastard!” This webisode was a complete surprise, you see, and now we are getting the feeling that this is a direct prequel to the 50th Anniversary episode premiering in 9 days.

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Calling All Whovians!

If you have ever eaten fish sticks and custard or felt the urge to stroke a blue police box and call it “Sexy,” you probably have November 23 circled in TARDIS blue on your calendar.  That is the worldwide premiere date for “The Day of the Doctor,” a special episode of Doctor Who meant to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the epic British sci-fi drama.

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