Magna Nerda

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Great Nerds

List of Nerds, unsorted

Ron Soyland of Tubecrafter

Tatjana J. van Vark

Oona Räisänen

Henning Umland

Nerd vs. Geek

A Geek is a minor Nerd. There is a significant overlap in traits, but the differences are significant enough to motivate a separate category. An analogy based on biological taxonomic classification would be the distinction between monotremes, marsupials, and mammals. All are mammals. Marsupials are weird mammals who took placental birth and made is even more freaky. Monotremes are just barely mammals and we are sort of giving them a pass by calling them mammals. They lay eggs and don't have nipples (yes, they have mammary glands, but the milk just sort of leaks out of their skin.). It's like they wandered off the evolutionary path early in mammal evolution and never caught up or even seemed to try. Geeks are like that.

Pluto was never a planet

Even as a child I knew Pluto wasn't a planet. It was clearly a mistake, or rather an oversight in nomenclature where the minimum requirements for entry had not been fully considered.

It's orbit is so elliptical that is crosses inside the orbit of Neptune.

It doesn't even orbit in the same plane as the rest of the planets.

It's smaller than some moons of real planets.

It's more water than rock (though, I don't think this was known when I was a kid, and certainly not when it was discovered.)

Another body was discovered that is bigger than Pluto (Eris) and nobody was eager to label it as a new planet, except, perhaps those who discovered it. A number of other bodies have been discovered that are only a bit smaller than Pluto; and likewise, nobody was eager to label them as planets. There is a precedent of other bodies, once considered planets, being later disqualified and removed from the roster of planets. If you had lived in the 19th century you would have been told that Ceres was the fifth planet. And then there are Pallas, Juno and Vesta -- all once officially considered planets, but no longer... I wonder, do people still cry over Ceres and Eris?

So, screw you, Pluto lovers. People finally came to their senses and now the record has been set straight.

Notes on Latin page title

Latin is the nerdiest of languages, so a Latin title was chosen in keeping with the theme. As for how the Latin transliteration was decided, Nerd is not of Latin origin, and when transliterating a non-Latin word you have some freedom to choose gender for the loan word. Latin has three genders: masculine, feminine, and neuter. One does not need to contemplate long to conclude which gender to assign nerd in Latin... Neuter. It should be neuter. So a reasonable Latinization of Nerd is Nerdu. The plural of a Latin neuter noun takes the A ending, so the plural of Nerdu is Nerda. Thus Magna Nerda translates back to English as Great Nerds. Feminine singular nouns in Latin also end in A, so the interpretation would be ambiguous if one did not know the gender of Nerda. The title could also be interpreted as The Great Female Nerd.

Note that it's been over 20 years since I studied Latin; I didn't do very well in class; and I have never revisited the subject since, so everything I've said here may well be laughably wrong. Not that it matters since you probably couldn't tell the difference anyway unless you also studied Latin; scored better than I did; and still care about these things.