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May 25, 2012

It’s cool to get your geek on today

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If you are more Howard or Sheldon from “The Big Bang Theory” than Will Smith or Steven Tyler, know all the lines to the original “Star Wars” movies, are more enamored with Ferengi than Ferraris and think of the programming language before a cuppa when you hear “java,” then go on and let your geek flag fly. It’s Geek Pride Day.

And, it seems, it’s now a bit chic to be a geek. 

“The past year has seen a lot of very public coverage of high-profile, extremely successful ‘rock star’ technology executives –- it would seem the high public profile of these tech ‘celebrities’ has really boosted public perception of geeks in the US,” said Jack Cullen, president of IT staffing and recruiting agency Modis, in a statement. ”Geeks have essentially taken their place in the mainstream.  And rightly so!” 

As it turns out, geeks are the Dr. Phils of tech for many of us and thought to be smarter and more successful, according to a survey by Modis. Of those surveyed, 54% found them “extremely intelligent” — and that wasn’t just self-proclaimed geeks.

Their love of new and current tech doesn’t mean they don’t like a little old school too. When given a list to choose what they couldn’t live without, a whopping 71% chose good old pen and paper over PCs, smartphones and MP3 players.

But don’t make them choose between their data and their date — guess which most said would be worse to lose. Sorry, darling, it’s definitely the data.

The very first Geek Pride Day started in Spain in 2006 as “Orgullo Friki,” and, like most things cool these days, went viral.  In true geeky style, May 25 was chosen, according to various explanations online, because it’s the anniversary of the original release of “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.”

That “geek flag” may well be a towel. As it turns out, for those fans of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” and all things Douglas Adams, May 25 is also Towel Day. (If you already know the reference, then claim your geekiness now.) As a tribute to Adams after his death in 2001, a fan declared that carrying a towel on May 25 was a fitting tribute to the author, whose popular book declared the towel “the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have.” (Thanks for all the fish.)

Truly, though, these days, as technology edges further and further into our lives, we all have a bit of geek in us. So claim your inner geek and enjoy your special day.

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