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Tips for living out the essence of nerdiness

By Kristen Howell
On April 7, 2014

The rise of the hipster has caused nerds everywhere to make an unlikely move from uncool losers to very trendy. And, since I was a nerd before it was cool (obviously, because I’m not a poser), I have plenty of ideas to help you wannabes join the club and some great free-time options for those of us super cool people who have always been nerds.

So, without further ado, I present “How to be a nerd: A lifetime process”

1. The Discovery and History Channels are your best friends. Find a niche, whether it is Shark Week, Mythbusters or Pawn Stars and soak up the knowledge. The more obscure the show, the better. Then, feel free to add your tidbits of information into conversations and annoy those who have no idea what you’re talking about. Don’t you feel smart?

2. Brush up on your Internet use. You should have several of the following skills—ability to write website coding, knowledge of nerdy websites, an understanding of some obscure app or social media handle, and/or a favorite news sites. The better you use the Internet, the more knowledge you have the opportunity to be exposed to.

3. You should have an obsession. The vast opportunities for nerdom span anywhere from Dr. Who to politics to literature and beyond. There is almost no limit, you just have to find your thing.

4. If you don’t have enough knowledge from your Internet and educational TV findings, museums are also a blast. The following are museums in our area, but there are endless opportunities for museums on any vacation.

- The Nelson Atkins Museum of Art

- The Liberty Memorial World War I Museum

- Exhibits put on by Union Station

- The Jazz Museum

- The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum

- Arabia Steamboat Museum

- The Toy and Miniatures Museum

- The Airline History Museum

This is not an exhaustive listing of local museums and more can be found at

5. Nerd Nite- Lawrence—This occurs on the second Wednesday of every month from 8-10 p.m. at Pachamama’s at 8th and New Hampshire in Lawrence, Kan. Speakers present on a predetermined nerdy topic, much in the style of TED Talks, while you enjoy your beverage of choice and bask in the awesomeness.

6. Netflix—Watch intellectual television series in bulk or catch up on the latest documentaries. I watched three on North Korea in one week. You can even uncover a plethora of the aforementioned TED Talks on a variety of topics.

7. Determine whether video games will be your thing. If yes, more nerd points to you. Try to find a vintage game or gaming system that is your favorite, because an obsession with Call of Duty is too mainstream. I personally recommend the Super Nintendo, and specifically, any of the Legend of Zelda games. They are some of the best RPG games ever invented. Another option is to hold the high score on several different Galaga arcade machines in multiple states, which I may or may not have done…

Follow any or all of these steps and you will be well on your way to nerdiness. Live long and prosper, and may the odds be ever in your favor.

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