(7 comments, 14 posts)

Confirmed to be a “Geek God” by some online quiz and dubbed “The Queen of Geek” by many of her fans, Julia “Jules” Sherred is a mother, writer, author, radio personality, blogger, gamer, tech enthusiast, science nerd, sci-fi and fantasy freak, hard core Trekker, has an unnatural obsession with Optimus Prime and so much more.

In early 2008, she began her career in radio when she was hired by another radio as their Programming Director. When the station finally hit the airwaves in September 2008, that is when she began to host her Geeky Pleasures radio show. Once a week for 2 hours, she played a wide variety of music including many geeky songs and discussed with her listeners some geek topic of the week. She has had some pretty well-known geeks sit across from her during her shows, including interviews with: The King of Geek Wil Wheaton, MTV Executive Producer Shane Nickerson, Bad Astronomer Phil Plait PhD and geek music sensation Jonathan Coulton. In 2009, she also took on the additional duties of Assistant General Manager of the station and launched her Geeky Pleasures website when her show and blog could no longer adequately fill the demand she was receiving to share her “unique brand of geekiness”. After helping to create and build another radio station in 2010, she decided it was time for her to move on and do her own thing, enabling her to make a specific vision a reality. With a passion for music, entertaining the world and helping others to realise their same dreams, she is extremely happy to be launching The Look 24/7, where the Geeky Pleasures Radio show, plus more, will continue to live.

Following her on Twitter @GeekyJules.

Home page: http://juliasherred.com/

Posts by Jules

Deborah Vankin, Author Of POSEURS, Geeky Pleasures Radio Show Interview Tomorrow, Live From San Diego Comic-Com

On Sunday, July 24, 2011, I’ll be doing a special Geeky Pleasures Radio Show broadcast, live from SDCC, on The Look 24/7 (@TheLook247). Deborah Vankin, staff writer for the Los Angeles Times (arts & culture entertainment and nightlife) and former editor-in-chief of the LA Times’ alt weekly publications/websites, Metromix LA and Brand X, and now graphic novel author, will be calling in at 12:30 pm PDT/ 3:30 pm EDT/ 8:30 pm in the UK for a brief chat about SDCC and her graphic novel, POSEURS.

Listening instructions for a variety of platforms—PC and smartphone—can be found here: http://thelook247.com/listen/. You are also invited to join me in chat, http://thelook247.com/chat/. This interview is expected to be quite brief, at roughly 30 minutes.

I hope to see you there.

Geeky Pleasures Radio Show Broadcast Tonight, Live From The Geek Girls Party At San Diego Comic-Con

Like many poor, unfortunate souls, I was unable to make the physical trek to San Diego International Comic-Con. However, thanks to the brilliance of technology and living in the future, I’ll still be in attendance, to some degree, and so can you!

Tonight, Geek Girls Network will be hosting their second annual SDCC GGN geek-out. The party begin at 7 pm PDT/ 10 pm EDT/ 1 am in the UK. This just happens to be the same time that I begin hosting my Geeky Pleasures Radio Show at The Look 24/7 (@TheLook247).

My friend, Arturo Garcia (@aboynamedart) is doing the music for the party. He asked me if it would be at all possible to call-in from the party and do a co-host type situation, talk about the con, talk about the party and, of course, geek-out. My response—after I contained my SQUEE—was, “Of course! We live in the future with all kinds of swell technology that allows this to be possible! This will be fun!”

But wait, it gets better! Nicole Wakelin (@NicoleWakelin), who I know through GeekMom, will also be at the party! This means she will also be on the phone tonight, live from the party, to discuss her first trip to SDCC and more. Plus, she will be helping to enable the shenanigans by running around the party, like a mad fool, and pulling other people onto the phone to talk about all things geek and SDCC related.

Sounds fun, doesn’t it?

If you are like me, poor and unfortunate, unable to attend SDCC but still would like to be there in some capacity, then we invite you to tune-in tonight, beginning at 7 pm PDT/ 10 pm EDT/ 1 am in the UK. Tuning-in is simple. You don’t even need to be at your computer. If you have a smartphone, you can listen from wherever you may be at the time. Isn’t technology awesometastic!

Listening instructions for a variety of platforms—PC and smartphone—can be found here: http://thelook247.com/listen/.

If you want a more interactive experience, then we invite you to come join us in chat athttp://thelook247.com/chat/. That way, you can participate in the conversation and ask whatever questions you may have of those who happen to be pulled onto the show. If you want to participate in chat, you will need to create an account on The Look 24/7, using a valid e-mail address in order to validate your account. Instructions and links are on the chat page.

We hope to see you there!

Google+: My First Impressions

June 29th, my Twitter feed was going nuts over news of Google+ and people asking others for invites. My first reaction was, “Who cares! I loathe Google. Wave and Buzz were severe disappointments. My gmail is used for junkmail and notifications for things I don’t care about. There’s yet to be a single Google product to interest or excite me. What is the purpose of Google+ and what use is it going to be to me?”

I walked through the Google+ tutorial and thought, “Meh. I don’t see what the hype is about.” Then I received an unexpected invite, logged in and was immediately hooked.

I’m not going to give a full walk-through of what exactly Google+ is. If you want in-depth detail, then read this very long article on Wired. What I will tell you is what my first impressions are and why I actually really, really like Google+.

First, Google+ is every thing I like about Facebook and doesn’t have any of the things that I hate, which is most of what Facebook has turned into. For years, I’ve been waiting for a good Facebook replacement. The only reason I still use Facebook is because it is the only way to keep in contact with some of my family.

Gone are the annoying adverts on Facebook. Gone is a feed filled with nothing but Facebook game updates that you are constantly having to block from your feed in an attempt to see people’s status updates—you know, the things you really want to know about people. Gone are the annoying suggestions. Being automatically added to a group and other intrusive things are gone. What is left is a stream devoted solely to the things you want to see: What your friends are saying and sharing. I’ve commented that Google+ is Facebook Lite but better.

The thing that has me most excited about Google+ is that I have complete control over how my content is shared. If I want only one person to see a status update, then I can specify that. If I only want one circle to see it, then I can specify that. I can also specify multiple circles, all circles or the entire world by having the update posted to my public profile. For me, this is the best feature! This means that I can open up my Google+ to the entire world and still maintain my privacy; something I can’t do on Facebook.

There are other nifty features such as chat, group collaborations i.e. “hangouts”, “Sparks” which are like Google alerts based on interests that you specify, you can +1 individual updates, you can share them and comment on them, you can even edit your updates and comments after you post them. This last feature also greatly excites me.

Another feature that WordPress users will probably grok the most is the toolbar at the top of Google+. It is very much like the admin bar in WordPress. It is automatically integrated into any Google page, including search, allowing you easy access to all your Google tools.

The only thing currently missing for me is the ability to automatically push my sites’ updates to Google+. Yes, I can use the +1 button on all my posts and add it to the +1 stream in my profile, but those don’t automatically show up in my stream for others to see. They have to visit my profile and click on the +1 tab to see them.

Another thing that I’m half-concerned about are the age restrictions. They are stricter than Facebook. As a parent, I appreciate that a young child cannot create an account which, without the guidance of an adult, can leave their personal and private information open to the entire world to view and leave them vulnerable to online predators. But the fact my near 16-year-old son will have to create a new gmail account and lie about his age in order to use Google+ is a little silly. I feel he is old enough to be able to use Google+.

I’m also worried that Google will mess-up the thing I really love about Google+: My right to privacy and the ability to choose what I share and with whom. Google has a lousy track record when it comes to privacy. So, we’ll have to wait and see. You can read the Googe+ privacy policy here.

It is going to take me awhile to efficiently organise all of my circles so that I can best share the content I want to share and with whom I want to share it. But it will be well worth it.

There are obviously some bugs as this is a new service and still in beta. Invites have been closed, but my friend, Eli Jones (@JuicyJones), has shared a work-around. However, Google+ is apparently at capacity and those who’ve received invites today have to wait a little bit before they can activate their accounts. That being said, if you want an invite, let me know and I’ll happily add you. I’ll happily add anyone.

Google, please don’t mess this up by turning it into another Facebook. What you’ve started with is awesome. Just work out the bugs—such as the crashes with “hangout”—add the ability to push posts for blogs and websites, and I’ll be extremely happy. Google, if you keep up the good work, I’ll never have to login to Facebook again and that is what I’ve been asking for, for years.

One last note, some have tried to compare Google+ to Twitter. For me, that is like comparing apples and oranges. Just like Facebook and Twitter have specific uses and functions for me, so will Google+ and Twitter. Maybe having the ability to push tweets to Google+ would be nice, but considering Google has Buzz—which I don’t use and never will—I don’t see that happening.

If you already have a Google+ account and want to add me, my gmail is jsherred at gmail dot com.

Check Out 'The Ministry of Chance'

Artwork by Lee Sullivan

Yesterday, a new science fiction audio drama called The Minister of Chance was officially released. I’d like to share with you my review of Episode 1 (originally posted on Geeky Pleasures), as I think it is something many of the readers here at NiB will enjoy.

If you were going to spend £1.49 today, or any day for that matter, then I highly recommend you spend it on Episode 1: The Broken World of The Minister of Chance (@ministerchance).

Officially released yesterday, The Minister of Chance, is a masterfully produced audio drama from the UK. Superbly acted, with an amazing cast of characters, and with rich, lavish, immersive soundscapes, you are magically hurled into the reality that is this story.

In Episode 1, you’ll hear the voices of:

  • Julian Wadham – The Minister
  • Jenny Agutter – Professor Cantha
  • Lauren Crace – Kitty
  • Paul Darrow – Lord Rathen
  • Stuart Fox – Porcher
  • Richard Garaghty – Match Werming
  • Lloyd Hutchinson – Menin
  • Gareth Jones – Corporal Sona
  • Petra Massey – Gurk
  • Sylvester McCoy – The Witch Prime
  • Paul McGann – Durian
  • Kane Sharpe – Rosta

The Minister of Chance is a work of wonderful science fiction, in which science has been outlawed in favour of magic, scientists are imprisoned by the ruling magic class in order to fashion weapons of mass destruction and war has broken out. The story may not be new but the way in which it is delivered certainty is. It is a wonderful commentary on many of today’s current issues in the world; from the battle between superstitious thinking and science, the struggles in the Middle East for democracy and freedom and the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. When Episode 1 was recorded last summer, the struggles of Northern Africa had not yet begun, however the Iranian protests were not a distant memory.

Entertaining and engaging, I found myself having to re-listen to Episode 1 a few times, as there is just so much going on and layer upon layer of rich sounds, which caused me to get lost in them and caused me to want to listen one more time, in order to hear all that was going on. Then that one more time became another, until I had realised I was listening to it for the forth time.

For a brief glimpse into Episode 1, listen to the trailer found here.

Normally, my brain has issues listening to audio-only which requires active listening (audiobooks as an example) rather than passive listening (music as an example). I do not do well when read to, unless I am following along with the reader. Unless I am engaged in conversation or watching a presentation, my mind gets bored and I wander and drift away into other worlds. Listening to The Minister of Chance, I never got bored as it allowed me to wander and drift into the world of Tanto and drink up the atmosphere. I could smell, taste, see and touch the environment.

Aside from the wonderful sound and voice acting, the dialogue is brilliant. It is witty, charming, intelligent, humourous and you may not want to sit down with grandmum over tea to listen. There is some not suitable for work language, however it is never gratuitous. Every thing is purposeful and I think it serves its purpose well.

I am not sure how much I want to get into the events of the first episode. I am afraid that if I did, it would end up being a spoiler. I will tell you, this is a must purchase and listen. I think The Minister of Chance will be enjoyed by all, not just science fiction fans, as the story and production is engaging enough to entertain audiences of all forms.

Before you , you will want to listen to the Prologue: The Pointed Hand. There are important bits to the plot which come to light in the prologue. It is free for download.

I do not think I can stress enough that this is a must . Not only is it highly entertaining but after Episode 2 is released in April, there will be no future episodes produced until enough funds are raised. You see, this is a completely independent project, with no outside advertiser funding, grant funding or BBC funding. There will be multiple seasons, each consisting of 6 episodes. Each episode will be produced as the proceeds from direct sales allows. It really is a wonderful sales model, but it does depend on your support.

And remember, tonight, Friday, March 18, 2011, beginning at 7 pm PDT, 10 pm EDT, 2 am (Saturday) GMT, my interviews with Lauren Crace (Kitty) and Sylvester McCoy (The Witch Prime) will air on the Geeky Pleasures Radio Show on The Force 925 (@TheForce925). We discussed a little bit of the making of, the plot and how it can be related to today’s global events, character development, other projects they’ve worked on and are currently working on and more.

About Lauren Crace

Lauren graduated from RADA in 2008. During her final year she was cast as series regular Danielle Jones in EASTENDERS for which she was awarded the TV Quick & TV Choice Best Newcomer award and two Best Storyline awards. Her Theatre credits include Cécile de Volanges in Toby Frow’s production of LES LIAISONS DANGEREUSES at Salisbury Playhouse and Young Dee in AND I AND SILENCE at The Finborough. She appeared in the GREAT GAME, part of the BBC’s recent and critically acclaimed SHERLOCK series and later in 2011 will be seen in the role of Joan in Aisling Walsh’s ROOM AT THE TOP for BBC4, as well as a guest lead in HOLBY CITY and the forthcoming BBC legal drama SILK.




About Sylvester McCoy

Sylvester came to prominence as a member of the comedy act THE KEN CAMPBELL ROADSHOW. His best known act was as a stuntman character called “Sylveste McCoy” in an entertainment entitled AN EVENING WITH SYLVESTE McCOY THE HUMAN BOMB where his stunts included putting a nail up his nose, stuffing ferrets down his trousers, exploding a bomb on his chest, and if the audience behaved themselves, setting his head on fire. As a joke, the programme notes listed Sylveste McCoy as played by “Sylveste McCoy” and, after a reviewer missed the joke assuming Sylveste McCoy was a real person, Kent-Smith adopted this as his stage name, some years later adding an ‘r’. Well known for playing the seventh incarnation of the Doctor in the hugely popular TV series DOCTOR WHO, he then revived the role in the Doctor Who television movie with Paul McGann as the eighth Doctor. Notable television appearances before he gained the role of the Doctor included roles in VISION ON (where he played Pepe/Epep, a character who lived in the mirror), an O-Man in JIGSAW and TISWAS. His stage performances range from the title role in The National Theatre’s production of THE PIED PIPER and The Fool in Trevor Nunn’s KING LEAR alongside Ian McKellen for the Royal Shakespeare Company to Mushnik in the Menier Chocolate Factory’s LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS and Puck in Welsh National Opera’s A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM. He has just finished playing ‘Grimes’ in a highly acclaimed production of Evelyn Waugh’s DECLINE & FALL and also portrayed, on the stage, two famous movie comedians: Stan Laurel and Buster Keaton. He recently guest starred in an episode of the BBC’s series DOCTORS playing an actor who once played the time-travelling hero of a children’s television series called The Amazing Lollipop Man, especially written for Sylvester. He will shortly start filming in New Zealand in the role of ‘Radagast The Brown’ in Peter Jackson’s movie versions of THE HOBBIT.

Geeky Pleasure and The Lupus Awareness Art Gallery Hacked

Hello, all! Long time, no talk! There are many reasons for that. The number one reason, getting The Force 925 off the ground and running in good order has been taking a lot of work and most of my spare time. I’ve been wanting to post something here for quite some time, but by the time I’m done with all of my other media work, I just want to crumble into a heap and fall asleep for ages.

But that is not all. There has been something else going on over the last 66+ hours that has taken up all of my time. I feel it important to inform as many people as possible. In the last 66+ hours, my Geeky Pleasures website and my Lupus Awareness Virtual Art Gallery have been hacked approximately 17 times. Interestingly enough, who’s ever doing it has left my personal blog alone and is just attacking what I would consider my important sites.


To give you an idea of these attacks, click the clip on the left. I’m not the only one who has been attacked in the last few days. No sooner do I do every thing to clean my sites, change my passwords and reinstall WordPress, they’ve hacked me again.

My fantabulous host has spent the last couple of days doing his best to track these hacks. Last night, it appeared as if I would have to completely delete Geeky Pleasures and my Lupus Awareness site and rebuild them from scratch.

However, as of 10 am PST, I am now 12 hours hack free. Up until that point, we would fix their damage, only for the hackers to play their games again within 3 hours.

This hack is a nasty one. The final steps we took was double passwording everything and ensuring that all index.php files were read only and not the default 0644 permission, plus some crazy ninja linux script which is acting as a redirect if certain things happen to come through my error logs and a bunch of other security featured have been installed.

We know for a fact that it wasn’t a server vulnerability or a backdoor in the WordPress UI or plugins. The really craptastic thing about this hack is that it doesn’t show up in the logs. During 3 attacks, my host was directly monitoring my php files to watch rewrites as they were occurring. At no time, did the affected files show up in the event logs, just the logs of me fixing the hacks. Needless to say, these guys are good.

All this being said, if you try to visit any of my sites over the next little while and you find them missing, it is because we did not succeed after all and plan “worse case scenario” had to take affect; meaning, rebuild sites from scratch. If this occurs, my websites will be down for at least 3 days, as I rebuild to 1500 posts. But there will be a handy dandy landing page with links to all of my interviews to keep you occupied over that period.

Hopefully, if you have your own website, you do not get hit with this latest assault on the cyber world.

Also, if you hear screaming and yelling and foul language that has yet to ever be uttered in the entirety of time… it’s just me.


‘Monster in my Room’ Cancer Fundraiser

There is this independent musician that I know. His name is David Ritter (@MacMufasa). He’s doing something pretty awesome for this little boy, named Aiden Reed, who has leukemia. I’ll let David tell you all about it:

This is a song I wrote after reading about Aidan Reed who is 5 and has leukemia. He likes to draw monsters and his family decided to try and raise money for the treatments by selling his artwork. It has been working!

With that spirit in mind, I wrote this song in hopes of raising more money for Aidan and his family to pay for his treatments. I have a 7 year old boy and I cannot imagine what they are going through. My heart goes out to them.

If you can, please purchase this song and help Aidan so that he will get to a speedy remission soon. If you can’t, simply spread the word about helping Aidan.

I hope you like your song Aidan.

The song is really nice. David has set the price to “pay what you want”. So what that means is, if you want to pay 0.50¢, $1.00, $2.00, or even $20.00, just enter the amount and download the song. 100% of the proceeds will be going to Aiden’s family to help pay for his medical bills.

I’ve embedded the track below. If you are viewing this in an RSS reader, you’ll need to visit the site in order to listen or you can click this handy dandy link.

Monster in My Room

There’s a monster in my room
He hangs out there at night
And eyes and teeth they glowing blue
He hangs on my wall with a screw

My Monster fights with me
against the cancer
inside my little body
My monster says:
Oh don’t you fear
My little friend
It will all be ok
Just lay your little head beside me
and I’ll hum this tune and pray

My Monster fights with me
against the cancer
inside my little body
and he says:
“Hey – I’m gonna getcha- I’m coming after you”
“I’ll get ya, track ya, bend and mix ya”
“put you on your back and pin ya”
“Cancer’s gonna lose”

All the monsters I draw
they’re all on my side
Like Indiana Jones
Treasure & adventure
If I could have my way
I’d take out my whip and slay
all of this disease and wipe
it all away
“I’ll get ya, track ya, bend and mix ya”
“put you on your back and pin ya”
“Cancer you’re gonna lose”

From www.macmufasa.com (share this quote)

Everybody Dance Now!

I like things that are extremely ridiculous. They make me stupid with giddy and joy. Below is one such example of something that I cannot help but to love. It is a bit like the video for David Hasselhoff’s  cover of ‘Hooked on a Feeling.’ It is just so wrong, it is right!

I have a plan for this dance. I’m going to learn it and do it one night, on camera, as I do my Geeky Pleasures radio show. It will be stupid and wonderful and fun! I thought I’d share the video here because every one needs some stupid and wonderful and fun in their lives.

I challenge you to be ridiculous today and learn Double Dream Hands, having fun while doing so.

The Force Is ALIVE

And I have to say, it is quite difficult to not squee all over the place! Why am I squee’ing? Remember a while ago, I told you about this radio station that I was hired to run? Well after a few bumps in the road, a name change and a few other things, the station’s website is finally online! People of the world, I present to you The Force 925 (@TheForce925)!

The site is still a work in progress, with a lot of changes to come as we get closer to launching on January 3, 2011. But you can start exploring some of the things the station will have to offer and get to know a bit about it.

Also, the station is hiring. So if any of you have aspirations in that direction, then click the clip on the right for more information on what we are looking for and what the job entails.

Hopefully soon, I’ll have some other exciting things to share that aren’t necessarily work related.

Awesome Shop Vac Video

There is this guy I’ve had the awesome fortune to interview on my Geeky Pleasures radio show. You may have heard of him. His name is Jonathan Coulton (@jonathancoulton). Yesterday was his 40th birthday. There is this other guy. You probably have not heard of him, even so I have. His name is Jarrett Heather (@spaceparanoids). I know of his work through this song contest called Masters of Song Fu. JoCo was one of the masters. For Joco’s birthday, Jarrett created the following really amazing  animated kinetic typography video.

And if you do not read JoCo’s blog, then you’ll want to check out this very special birthday video, created by his fans.

Geeky Pleasures Radio Show Coming Back Soon To A Computer Near you

I know it has been a while since I’ve posted anything here and for that, I am sorry. But  lately, my life has been more than crazy busy. Aside from my three websites, contributing here and another website, writing for a magazine and being the design and layout editor for another magazine, I have yet another new project (which has me filled with more SQUEE than should be legal) in the works. I think this new project may cause you to SQUEE as well… just maybe.

Some of you may or not be aware that I use to be the Assistant General Manager and Program Director for a radio station. Aside from those duties, I also had many radio shows. check this site for more information related to the computer science. One of those radio shows was named Geeky Pleasures. (Little Geeky Pleasures trivia, the website of the same name was created almost a year after Geeky Pleasures first aired, when my radio show suddenly became more popular than I ever thought it would be.) In a nutshell, the radio show was for 2 hours, once a week. I’d play a wide variety of music (mainstream and independent), including many geeky songs, plus there would be a topic of discussion each week. Also, there was live video and chat. Because of circumstances beyond my control, I had to step away from that radio station.

Well thanks to a very fortunate change in circumstances, it will be back, as well as my other shows! Earlier this week, I was hired, once again, as AGM and PD of  brand new radio station. I have been crazy busy doing a million different things to set up the new radio station. The station is not mine, but all decisions regarding it are run through me to sign-off on. So even so I don’t own it, it is partly my baby in many ways as how it will be shaped involves a lot of my input and ideas. I use to work with the owner of this new radio station when I was at the radio station that shall not be named. I was the one who hired him and trained him for that job, so when he asked if I wanted to come on board this new project, of course I had to say yes (for those reasons and more)!

The launch date has been set. And there is a whole bunch of other news that I hope you’re interested in, such as: when my shows will be on air, soon I’ll be searching for underlings staff (could that be you?) and a whole lot more. So, to find out  more about all of this awesometastic news plus help me choose at what times I’ll be on air, please click the clip below.

And again, I apologize for my absence here as of late and hopefully will be back here with some frequency in the near future. But as I have this HUGE FANTABULOUS project to work on at the moment. As a result,  I cannot make any promises of such until after the radio station launches.

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