About the Manual

The Nerd Manual is meant to be both a useful resource for nerds and a guide for the people involved with nerds. If you're a nerd you can find information here that will help you improve your life and perhaps better understand yourself. If you're close friends with, dating, or married to a nerd, I want to give you insight into things nerds do that a lot of people have difficulty understanding.

I hope to avoid offending anyone--either nerd or non-nerd--but please understand that the manual will get into some sensitive topics, stray into contentious territories, and even use stereotypes to illustrate points. It's OK to disagree with something, but keep your comments civil.


Nerd Q&A: Can You Profile Someone in a Video Game Arcade?

Chris Ainsworth - Tron
I love this question:

What can you learn about someone by going to video game arcades (Dave & Busters, Gameworks, Chuck E. Cheese's) with them?

If you have the time, and the tokens, I think you could work up a complete psychological profile on a person just by observing them in a video game arcade. I think this merits a longer article, but for the moment I'm going to consider the simplest cues.


Robot Uprising: Ground Drones Can Now Deliver Your Groceries

Starship Technologies, a company launched by the former co-founders of Skype, started trials of its self-driving delivery robots in Greenwich, London. The company plans to expand their service into other cities throughout the U.K. and eventually into the U.S. via New York City in April of 2016.

The six wheeled, intelligent, and kinda cute robot is designed for local delivery of goods and groceries for consumers for under £1 per shipment. Much better than Amazon's $300 a year membership for their Fresh service. The robots use the sidewalk, just like pedestrians, traveling at a top speed of 4 miles per hour. The bots have a locked compartment for the goods you've ordered and won't unlock until you respond to a notification on your smart phone.

Ahti Heinla, Starship's CEO described the robots as, "a totally new class of devices that will provide a combination of low cost and convenience with less congested streets and zero emissions. The robot has been very well-received by pedestrians in all of the interactions we’ve seen so far.” Denise Hyland, Leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich said, “this technology has the potential to transform the local delivery of goods and groceries.”

Watch out pizza delivery drivers. Your jobs are on the line.

This is how the robots infiltrate our lives, with cute bots that scurry around our cities, bringing how the groceries safely and efficiently. Next, they'll be vacuuming the floors and mowing the lawns.

Wait...what...they already do that?


Real Life Nerds Grow the Building Blocks for New Eyes

What happens when nerds collaborate on a problem?

Wonderful things.

At the Osaka University in Japan, ophthalmologist Kohji Nishida and a team of researchers cultivated human cells to produce different types of eye tissue, including corneal, retinal and lens cells. Because the cells could be grown separately from each other, the group was able to remove distinct cells.

So, what does this mean? They can grow entire sheets of corneal cells that could be used for transplants to replace defective corneas.

So far, using the tissue to as a replacement has only been tried on rabbits, but it could easily be used to study how eye tissue and congenital eye diseases develop, and it's not far from being a possible cure for types of blindness in humans.

Read more about this story in Nature.