Betty White: An Icon of an Industry

Betty White is a living legend with an extraordinary story that shaped television. She has led a life in the spotlight, bringing focus to her highs and even her lows. Writer Ray Richmond has chosen 100 moments from Betty White’s career to display the evolution of a headstrong girl into an icon of an industry.

“Betty White: 100 Remarkable Moments in an Extraordinary Life” by Ray Richmond releases today, December 7th. The beautifully assembled 255-page biography breaks down the life of Betty White into 100 chronological moments. Each story reveals a new piece of White’s motivation, inspiration, and soul. Filled with public and private photos from decades gone by, this book brings the reader back in time. From a young Betty White, writing her own plays for her school, to a scared yet determined woman, making the choices that cemented the name Betty White into the American lexicon.

The stories are easy to read bite-sized tales to consume in our busy lives. But each bite will sustain the reader all day. Sparking imagination and motivation from within. Richmond spoke with others in the Betty White orbit to give the perspective of friends, and sometimes rivals. His writing makes for easy and fun reading. While the moments fly by as the temptation to learn more swallows you whole.

“Betty White: 100 Remarkable Moments in an Extraordinary Life” is a beautiful coffee table book. Not only entertaining for the owner but a conversation starter for any passer-by. Even a glance at some of the many pictures will have an inquisitive mind firing on every cylinder.

I greatly enjoyed learning more about a staple of my television viewing life. She was elevated to hero, and yet humanized like a friend. Ray Richmond’s “Betty White: 100 Remarkable Moments in an Extraordinary Life” is a must-read and a perfect gift for the holiday season.

Grab you copy from Amazon today!

Who Watches the Watchmen?

Who Watches the Watchmen? This phrase has become famous in Geekdom as Alan Moore’s motto for his ‘Watchmen’ comic series. In the comic, it’s a multi-layered metaphor meant to make the reader uneasy about unchecked powers over our society. The original term is “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes” which is Latin comes from a 1st-century Roman poet who wrote about corrupt law enforcement. Apt words for our latest events.

After the murder of George Floyd, the world watched the Watchmen as they used excessive force and killed a man. The impact sent waves worldwide and most gathered under the Black Lives Matter banner. We at Geek Freaks are under that banner.

We will never truly understand the struggles that our black neighbors, friends, and family face every day. But we need to listen. Listen to the stories of those we’ve lost to senseless racism. Listen to the daily life dilemmas of a big portion of our community. Listen to the history that leads to a system that disenfranchises. While many of us will never truly understand, we must listen.

If you can’t protest then try to give to those fighting the good fight. We suggest your local Black Lives Matter chapter. You can find the directory here. You can support other local funds helping like the Oakland Black Business Damage Fund. They are close to their goal and you can donate here.

Need inspiration? Take a moment to watch John Boyega give a passionate speech at a London rally.

Lastly, the father of Marvel Comics, Stan Lee, used to write an editorial at the end of his comics called Stan’s Soapbox! I want to leave you with this Soapbox entry from 1968:

Let’s lay it right on the line. Bigotry and racism are among the deadliest social ills plaguing the world today. But, unlike a team of costumed super-villains, they can’t be halted with a punch in the snoot, or a zap from a ray gun. The only way to destroy them is to expose them—to reveal them for the insidious evils they really are. The bigot is an unreasoning hater—one who hates blindly, fanatically, indiscriminately. If his hang-up is black men, he hates ALL black men. If a redhead once offended him, he hates ALL redheads. If some foreigner beat him to a job, he’s down on ALL foreigners. He hates people he’s never seen—people he’s never known—with equal intensity—with equal venom. Now, we’re not trying to say it’s unreasonable for one human being to bug another. But, although anyone has the right to dislike another individual, it’s totally irrational, patently insane to condemn an entire race—to despise an entire nation—to vilify an entire religion. Sooner or later, we must learn to judge each other on our own merits. Sooner or later, if man is ever to be worthy of his destiny, we must fill out hearts with tolerance. For then, and only then, will we be truly worthy of the concept that man was created in the image of God–a God who calls us ALL—His children.    -Stan Lee 1968Stan Lee

 

#BlackLivesMatter

 

Interview with Ahmed Alameen

This week we had the pleasure of talking with Ahmed Alameen about his new comic “The Epics of Enkidu”. This story follows a mythological hero lost in time and brought to our modern world. Enkidu also happens to be autistic, giving him a heightened understanding of his surroundings. Please join us as we discuss Ahmed’s inspiration for this project, then visit his Indiegogo page to preorder your copy!

The Epic of Enkidu

Wowhead.com

Let’s talk about one of the hardest working creators out there, Wowhead.com. This team pours through every piece of data released by Blizzard for World of Warcraft. Well first we have to say, Blizzard also works hard in creating a world we can’t wait to explore, but the trusty guide that gives us glimpses of the road before us is Wowhead.

For the live game, they compile every quest, piece of loot, or tricky talent choice and gives all the details we need to make the best choices. Wowhead has resources for all WoW players, from noob to elitist.

  • You’re stuck on a quest in Thousand Needles … Wowhead it
  • Can’t figure out why this boss is one-shotting us … Wowhead it
  • How do you play Feral Druid (good luck!) … Wowhead it
  • I need green boots that match these shoulders … Wowhead it
  • Looking for the best neckpiece once we can toss the HoA in the dumpster … Wowhead it

Outside of raw data they also develop many tools for players of every kind. They have a Talent Calculator so you can tweak your character to get that last bit of DPS. The dressing room lets you try out the gear that you don’t have yet; got to find the latest in fashion! Those pesky attunements can be hard to manage, not with Wowhead. They have guides for every attunement so you’ll be exalted with all. Character planner is perfect for that new toon with big plans. This tool suggests what you should do next, achievement you are almost done with, or missing major quests.

We use Wowhead as players and creators. We will be leaning on them heavily as we cover the latest info out of Shadowlands. We want to thank Wowhead.com, the site’s team, and the many players that contribute to the site.

Wowhead.com

FTO Nerd Talk

This week we had Dee from FTO Nerd Talk on and we discussed the new Batsuit, Marvel Dark Variants, and our Top 5 Comic Book Adaptations.

Podcast

Please check out Dee and Shaza on FTO Nerd Talk. They have an excellent podcast and many new things on the horizon.

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Thumbnail of FTO Nerd Talk Podcast

 

Website

You should also visit the FTO website with articles one the latest in Comics and Movies. The insight and knowledge behind this team shows in the their work!

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FTO YouTube Channel

The YouTube channel is picking back up soon with more news segements from Dee. Below is their announcement video.

 

And we would love for you to check out our conversation with Dee! Here is the youtube version of that episode!

Crossover

 

Happy Birthday John Williams!

John_Williams_headshotNormally Creator Corner is reserved for the indy side of things as a way to show off someone you may not be familiar with, but sometimes you just got to stop and appreciate a legend. Today is John Williams 88th birthday. He is responsible for every soundtrack that you can hum right now.

That might be an exaggeration but those classic soundtracks that take you back were so well done that they have been written into the deepest parts of our memories. Personally our friends stop to share John Williams memories often. He’s in the same ‘fan club’ level for us as Tom Hanks, John Metzen, and Kevin Conroy.  When I describe a scene, its his music you here: The helicopter flying into Jurassic Park, The text scroll that opens every Star Wars, or the approaching shark in Jaws. We will do a Top 5 for these as well.

MV5BNzVlY2MwMjktM2E4OS00Y2Y3LWE3ZjctYzhkZGM3YzA1ZWM2XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNzkwMjQ5NzM@._V1_UX182_CR0,0,182,268_AL_When you look back on Williams’ filmography you quickly realize that he creates themes that carry through in sequels and into universes. Before his Hollywood work, he was in a small Jazz band as a drummer and eventually drafted into the U.S. Air force. After the Air force he attended the Juilliard School in New York and played in many Jazz clubs around the city. He eventually started in television and a few films in Hollywood. His early works include My Gun is Quick, Gidget, and Johnny Staccato. His earliest work that I’m familiar with is the classic Lost in Space series, he is even apart of the Netflix reboot. Next the film and partnership that turned an already successful composer into and household name, Jaws. MV5BMmVmODY1MzEtYTMwZC00MzNhLWFkNDMtZjAwM2EwODUxZTA5XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTAyODkwOQ@@._V1_UX182_CR0,0,182,268_AL_He would work with Steven Spielberg in many of Spielberg’s staples. That classic “dun dun” was the first of his soundtracks that are seared into our cultural memory. Then next is Star Wars! Many critics would say the Star Wars soundtrack it the best soundtrack in film. And it contains multiple legendary pieces from the foreboding ‘Imperial March’ to the intense ‘Duel of the Fates’. After that was Superman, Raiders of the Lost Arc, Hook, Home Alone, Harry Potter and MANY more.

Below is a compilation of some of the most memorable scores into a Spotify Playlist so you can revisit this storied career.

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/37i9dQZF1DWSQeR9oTmnyj?si=2NXWeUvsSnWRVlluj-kAFw

We want to wish this titan of film a very Happy Birthday and say thank-you for all the memories.

 

Ronin Geek

1500x500Our next Creator Corner will showcase Ronin Geek. I came across this team through their podcast but they’ve been working hard since 2014 with a website focused on geek news and interesting reviews. You can check out the site here but I will mostly be discussing their amazing podcast.

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Old Album Art (missing Adam)

The Ronin Geek Official Podcast is hosted by Alex, Rob, and Adam as they delve deep into the latest in geek life. They will often discuss the news out of gaming, movies and tv but with informed opinions that often differ. Creating a lively debate over topics that any geek/nerd would be passionate about. A special bonus to the show is the DnD tales. I often enjoy DnD stories even though I don’t play. And from Rob and Adam’s stories it sounds like a blast.

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Twitter Profile

I hope you will take a moment to check Ronin Geek Official Podcast out. They are not only excellent podcasters but real pals. I have chatted with Alex in the past asking for ideas on our live show. The Ranked bored we used was his idea and worked great! Through our community we have made many podcast pals but these were one of the first! Below are the links to all thing Ronin.

Twitter

Facebook

Spotify

iTunes

Google

Small Beans

For our first Creator Corner I figured I would talk about one of the big inspirations for what we do. Small Beans is a podcast… group of podcasts under one podcast label that brings you shows with topics ranging from gaming reviews to deep discussions on depression. I want to make something very clear; while many podcasts review content, the quality, format, and research make their reviews completely unique. I’ll first break down my intro to this team, then what they do, and finish with where to find them. This will be a much bigger CC than our future articles. That’s because if it weren’t for Small Beans, we wouldn’t have tried our own creative endeavors.

 

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Abe Epperson

The founders of Small Beans are Abe Epperson and Michael Swaim. Abe is a director by trade, and I have grown to watch movies in a more careful manor due to his insights. He is much more than a director, but also an analysis, comedian, writer, and most importantly a strong supportive friend to Michael Swaim. Michael is a writer and can claim similar positions held by Abe. He has been the face in front of the camera while Abe is shooting since the beginning of their partnership in college. Like many of their fans, I discovered the team through ‘the old gig’ Cracked.com. YouTube’s algorithm finally hooked me up with After Hours, a heavily scripted show were four people discuss a pop culture topic in depth. It’s so much more than that but this article needs to return to the beans soon.

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Michael Swaim

From there I consumed all of Cracked any moment I could until the crushing collapse of the Cracked YouTube channel. Swaim and Epperson’s departure was slightly before official layoffs, but the loss felt included them with many others. After some aimlessness I was catching up on Vonneguys where Michael shouted out his new podcast, Small Beans. Quick aside for Vonneguys, this was a Cracked podcast with Michael and Alex Schmidt that went through the Kurt Vonnegut library. It introduced me to an amazing writer and a truer to form Michael Swaim.

 

Small Beans started small… of course, but after the Cracked collapse it became a respite for those creators needing an outlet and some income. Many joined the team with new shows or for guest spots. All giving the opportunity to keep the community together. Small Beans runs the community off their Patreon page (link below) and uses their funds to keep the lights on and get some funds in the hands of misplaced coworkers. They have a YouTube channel that creates excellent content, albeit not much of it. Videos are not cheap, trust me. Their highlight is in their podcasts. Below I will go over their shows and hope something sounds appealing to you.

21Upsmanship: A video game review show structured with checkpoints and a speed run that gives it a unique voice. If you’re a gamer, this is your stop. I particularly like their focus on how a game feels. The Minecraft episode is the best example of this.

Annotation 2020-01-14 232230Frame Rate: A movie review show with a director and a writer. They will usually also have a guest that is familiar with the industry. They cover familiar films but frequently introduce me to a movie I have yet to discover.

5Coen Brothers Brothers: This might be my favorite; it’s Vonneguys with Cohen Brothers. Before this show I loved Fargo and O Brother Where Art Thou but didn’t know why. Now I appreciate the filmography of this directing duo and watch along with the podcast.

3Director Piece Theatre: This is a newer show and is hosted by Adam Ganser. Adam is also a director and participates in much of Small Beans. I find myself relating with Adam the most, making for an easy listen every time.

4Rough Stuff: Join Sarah and Bridgett as they talk about all the embarrassing twist and turns of middle school. Feel like only you did that dumb thing in 8th grade, NOPE. This is a support group for those “I was such a dork” memories.

6Waveformed: Hosted by Christian, he talks to people about their ten song playlists. They will often have other creators on and discuss what the songs mean to them. This makes for an interesting look into the thinking process of people that you follow.

8Pop Culture Petri Dish: Abe and Christian compare SciFi with science. Time travel to space travel. What’s in the movies and how it might look when/if we create it in real life.

10What Dinosaur Real Good?: Funniest show hands down! Abe, Bridgett, and Michael take turns bringing a new dino to the table. After some discussions they decide if the dino is real good. That’s it, and it’s amazing.

7Tales from the Pit: This started as a discussion about depression and has evolved into other life struggles. This show has me reflecting on how I deal with everyday tasks and generally live my life. An interesting show to say the least.

11BOLD: This show looks at deep social issues like Black Lives Matter and Incarceration. They share many voices and offer a call to action.

As you can see, Small Beans offers a wide variety to their podcast feed. You can always find something interesting on their channel! You can find them on all your favorite podcast apps, YouTube, and Patreon. All the links below. Also, below will be a link to Michael and Abe’s twitter accounts. These are their main source of social media outreach. I suggest you follow them where you can. They have inspired us and will at the very least entertain you.

iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/small-beans/id1323252647

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/4qQH6G2Y1hX3G9Zj9QnfyM

SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/user-682532119

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/SmallBeans/posts

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCN0Vm92-mDeMFHX3QficymQ

Michael’s Twitter: @swaim_corp

Abe’s Twitter: @AbeTheMighty

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