Get Your Geek On This Weekend

As great as our Macs and iDevices are, there are times when we need to get out from behind the screen and do something fun with our families, friends, and/or significant others. Fortunately, this weekend offers a number of great activities that will get you out of the house, while still keeping up with those traditional geek values and interests.

Star Wars Day, May 4

Sure, it may be a little late to come to work dressed as a one of the 501st Legion or to make that Jar Jar Binks piñata, but there’s still plenty to do on May the Fourth (get it?). Here’s just a couple of ideas off the top of my head:

I’m sure you can come up with other ideas, too. Just remember: friends don’t let friends watch the prequels.

Free Comic Book Day

The first Saturday of May is Free Comic Book Day. Participating comic shops will have a selection of free comics available for all ages, from kids to adults. The big companies, like Marvel and DC, will likely have books to help promo their respective movies this summer, but many other publishers will be there, too.

If you’ve been away from the comic scene for a while (or never got into it in the first place), Free Comic Book Day is a great way to check out what’s being done with little to no cash outlay. If you’re an active collector, many stores often have other specials as well, such as x% off on back issues – I’m looking for Green Lantern Elseworlds Annual #3 and Superman: Red Son, if you’re so inclined…

Supermoon

No, this isn’t a continuation on Free Comic Book Day for those with thick accents. Saturday night, the Moon will be full, and will arrive at perigee (its closest point to the Earth in its orbit) around 10:30pm CDT. As the Moon’s orbit isn’t perfectly circular, this perigee varies in distance. Coincidentally, this particular perigee will be the closest one all year.

So what does this mean?

Effectively, the moon will be about 16% brighter than average and will likely look a little larger in the sky, too. So those of you who like taking photos of the moon, this will be one to get.

Eta Aquarids Peak

For those of you really into your astronomy, the Eta Aquarid meteor shower also peaks this weekend. The Eta Aquarids are one of two meteor showers caused by dust released by Halley’s Comet, the other being the Orionids in October.

Unfortunately, visibility of the Eta Aquarids isn’t as good as, say, August’s Perseids. Nothern Hemisphere observers can see about 10 per hour at its peak (Southern Hemisphere viewers fare a little better with about 30 per hour). The big “problem” though is that the area of the sky where they’ll be seen (the constellation Aquarius) only rises about an hour or so before dawn, making them harder to see.

However, if you’re an early riser (or don’t go to sleep until dawn) this may be a nice way to cap off a geeky weekend.


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