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from GeekChicDaily:

If the phrase “You shall not pass!” reminds you more of Gandalf the Grey throwing down against the Balrog than something you heard from teachers in school, Mythgard Institute may be for you. You can take fully interactive online courses in Tolkien studies. The first class, “The Great Tales: Tolkien and the Epic,” explores Beowulf and other classics that inspired the world of Middle-earth. Did you already get AP credit for that? No worries. Future classes cover C.S. Lewis and modern mythic superstar Harry Potter.

Since the college is online, you won’t be able to stop by the student union for second breakfast. And Peregrin Took’s championship beer pong streak will have to go unchallenged. But not leaving your computer has one big benefit: you’ll never have to see Gimli in a toga.

As you can imagine, there’s a lot of reading to do, so lay off the pipe-weed this Labor Day and log on. You can apply for M.A. credit, audit, or if you’re like us, sleep in and grab a friend’s notes later. Maybe a certain gardener can help out? After all, Samwise Gamgee may not be able to carry the course load, but he can carry you.

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from StarWars.com:

The countdown is on for Star Wars Celebration VI, coming August 23-26, 2012 to the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. To mark this one-year countdown, here is news to get you thinking — and planning — ahead to the biggest Star Wars party this side of the galaxy.

Celebration VI will commemorate the magic of the entire Star Wars Saga: all six movies; The Clone Wars television series; books; comics; collectibles; toys; entertainment and more. There is so much to celebrate that all four days of the show will be full of choices of things to do, from mornings until late evenings.

Begin planning now, with special ticket packages, great deals on hotel rooms, and some ideas to get your Star Wars Celebration VI calendar started.

Celebration VI Hotels — The Real Deal
Book your hotel room within the Celebration VI official hotel block and save. To make sure you receive the best discounted rates available, reserve through the Celebration Travel Desk, powered by onPeak. Discounted rates are available at a number of host hotels, but they are booking up quickly! Stay near your fellow Star Wars fans, and catch the official Celebration shuttle bus to and from the Convention Center (please note the Celebration shuttle buses will not run to and from the Coronado Springs Resort). With room rates starting as low as just $65/night, your stay in Orlando has never been more affordable. Celebration VI will feature Star Wars exclusives and shopping that you will find no place else, so saving money on your hotel room could mean more fun browsing in the Celebration Experience Exhibit Hall and the Celebration Store. Book today.

What’s New for Celebration VI
There will be new guests, new entertainment, new events, new exclusive collectibles, and many hours of fun to look forward to with friends new and old. Watch for guest and entertainment announcements starting late September at starwarscelebration.com.

Celebration Favorites
It simply would not be Star Wars Celebration without costume contests, high-quality screenings, celebrities, and fan-created entertainment. Here is just a starter list of favorites to look forward to, scheduled to be back by popular demand for Celebration VI:

The Star Wars Classroom. Learn from the masters in an intimate classroom setting. Celebration V classroom offerings ran the gamut from writing workshops and Star Wars scrapbooking sessions to the art of storytelling with The Clone Wars Supervising Director Dave Filoni.

Star Wars Family Room. A place where kids can be kids, and have a great time with their parents working on Star Wars crafts, playing, or just sitting and taking a break.

Celebration Store. Returning with more creative merchandise, much of which will be exclusive for Celebration shoppers only.

Speed Dating. We made some real connections, including at least one engagement, at Star Wars speed dating at Celebration V. This popular social scene is scheduled to return. Look for more details and registration on the Celebration VI website soon.

Live entertainment. The Celebration stage, Digital Stage, Behind-The-Scenes Stage, Fan Stage, and more are planned to return, featuring live entertainment, cast and crew interviews, pop culture stars, and of course passionate Star Wars fans.

Celebration Experience Exhibit Hall. Star Wars licensees and dealers will feature merchandise that’s new and exclusive, plus you’ll find a host of photo and interactive experiences.

Celebration By the Fans, For the Fans
As with all Celebrations, the fans are not just the audience, they are the show itself. Celebration VI will feature a multitude of fan-produced programming, panels, exhibits, and events. Look for more information starting late September, including the guidelines for proposing fan programming and signing up for fan tables.

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from The Guild:

Episode 04, “Ends and Begins” is now live on the web via MSN as well as Xbox Live and Zune marketplace.

Codex grasps at emotional straws, while Clara discovers a Shiny convention booth.

If you haven’t caught up on Season 5 yet, you can find all the episodes so far via this link to Xbox Live and Zune, or this link for the videos on Bing. Special thanks to HalloweenCostumes.com, Clockwork Couture for the Steampunk outfits and Sypher Art Studios for the Steampunk booth.

Connect with us via Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr and our Fan Community. Check out behind the scenes photos in our Flickr gallery.

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from The Guild:

Episode 04, “Ends and Begins” is now available on Xbox Live and Zune marketplace, and will arrive Thursday on the web via MSN and Bing.

Codex grasps at emotional straws, while Clara discovers a Shiny convention booth.

If you haven’t caught up on Season 5 yet, you can find all the episodes so far via this link to Xbox Live and Zune, or this link for the videos on Bing. Special thanks to HalloweenCostumes.com, Clockwork Couture for the Steampunk outfits and Sypher Art Studios for the Steampunk booth.

Connecting with us via Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr and our Fan Community.

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from ThinkGeek:

We feel old.

Old like we existed before The Sims kicked gnomes, before Survivor aired, before the PS2 was released — even before Trogdor burninated the countryside.

And we have you to blame. Your support of Timmy’s world domination plan makes our 12th anniversary on Saturday, August 13th possible, and we’d like to thank you with hugs! Or is that too forward? How about a free, limited edition anniversary t-shirt, back to school goodies, and a <3? Consider it done.

ThinkGeek’s Free 12th Anniversary T-Shirt of Win
You + Us = Happy Anniversary
The 1st anniversary gift is paper. Guess what the 12th anniversary is? T-shirts.* We got you one to celebrate, free with $20 purchase. Get yours while supplies last. (*It’s actually silk, but we decided against Mecha Timmy lingerie. Maybe next year.)

Back to School
Work hard, geek hard
Whether you’re outfitting a dorm room (posters, check), thinking about what to pack in your little one’s lunches (sporks, got those too), or prepping for an eventful first day back in class (Annoy-a-trons, glad we’re not your teacher), we have it all in our Back to School section. Knock ’em dead this year!

The ThinkGeek Story – 12 years later…
ThinkGeek got started way back on Friday, August 13, 1999 to support the geeks at the front line of the internet revolution with fun, techie things and awesome customer service. Everything was going fine until a month after launch when we were slashdotted. Our server — named Gandalf and running on a PII 450 with 128 megs of SDRAM — was crippled by thousands of simultaneous visits. 12 years later, we’re better equipped. And our servers are now named after game show hosts, in case you were wondering about poor Gandalf.

Find more What’s New items at ThinkGeek!

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from ThinkGeek:

All hail the Sysadmin!

We hope you didn’t get so distracted by SDCC that you forgot to get your SysAdmin an offering a gift for SysAdmin Day! After all, they can read your email. And prevent you from updating your Facebook or watching funny videos on YouTube. That’s real ultimate power. If you forgot to snag them something, you should enter our contest and pray to Fortuna that they win. It’s an amazing prize package worthy of a SysKing or SysQueen.

P.S. We <3 you, Kodermike. You will always be our SysKing. Love, all your monkeys.

Since you asked so nicely…

You: ThinkGeek, give me a coupon code!
Us: What’s the magic word?
You: Sudo give me a coupon code.
Us: Okay.

Use code SUDO to embrace the power of a superuser and save $5 off orders of $30+ and $10 off $60+, good through through 11:59pm ET 7/29/11.

Last chance to enter to win the 2011 Sysadmin Pageant
It doesn’t matter what time it is, where you are, or what you’re doing online. Somewhere a Sysadmin is working behind the scenes to keep you plugged in. That’s why we celebrate Sysadmin Day every July 29. Thursday, July 28th is the last day to nominate your favorite Sysadmin to be SysQueen or SysKing. Our Queen & King will each win a package of amazing ThinkGeek goodies, and you could win a $500 gift certificate. All entries must be received by Thursday, 7/28/11 at 11:59 pm ET.

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from ThinkGeek:

Our dads are sad.

Know why our dads are sad? They’re sad because they are not eligible to win the ThinkGeek (Even More) Ultimate GeekDad Giveaway. We’re hoping to cheer them up with bacon-wrapped cheeseburgers and home-brewed root beer. The good news is that you and your dad could win.

The bad news? If you win, you’ll never be able to top that Father’s Day gift. Better start saving up for a Death Star retirement home.

Root Beer Brewing Kit
Brewing regular beer at work could get you into big trouble (unless you work at a brewery, of course). But there is one type of beer that’s safe for work: root beer! Now you can brew it yourself, and have deliciously creamy root beer in as little as 3 days. It’s easy and fun, and there’s nothing like drinking down all your hard (not really) work. While you’re at it, brew some at home, too. It’s a great way to get the whole family involved in making something you want to drink!

Take $5 off $30+ or $10 off $60+ orders — Pop is tops!
ThinkGeek’s GeekDads have selected their top picks for Father’s Day gifts. And whether your Dad is a sci-fi geek, a gadget geek, or an outdoors geek, we’ve got the gift that will make him declare you to be his favorite offspring. Of course, you can always pick out a few things for yourself… y’know, while you’re here. Use code DADNME for $5 off $30 or $10 off $60, good through 11:59 pm Eastern on 6/11/11.

(Even More) Ultimate GeekDad Giveaway — We really outdid ourselves
Sure, you could honor your father with a lightsaber duel, but you might need that hand one day. How about gifting him with our biggest prize pack ever? At stake is our iCade (complete with 16GB wifi iPad), a full-size arcade cabinet with custom ThinkGeek art, a $1,000 ThinkGeek shopping spree, a subscription to WIRED, a LEGO Mindstorms NXT 2.0, GeekDad shirts and books for the family, Munchkin goodies from John Kovalic, and a pair of GUNNAR gaming glasses. Don’t be a bad kid — enter by noon ET on June 17th!

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from ThinkGeek:

Can you smell the BBQ?

Sumer is icumen in, Lhude sing cuccu! Okay, maybe it’s not QUITE summer yet, but Timmy’s been taking advantage of the warm weather. It’s all about the Hawaiian shirt and the charred meatstuff. It’s a good thing we don’t depend on Timmy to code anymore because he keeps skipping out on work early to fire up the grill.

And since we’re a little short on fireflies for our feasts, we love these jars full of Dreamlight Fireflies. They’re the perfect light by which to nom pulled-pork sammiches, don’t you think?

Dreamlights Fireflies in a Jar
Solar Powered Electroluminescent Robots Under Glass
When summer rolls through and pushes the chilly spring rains away, we’re left with sultry steamy nights full of bugs. Most of those bugs are of the annoying buzzing and bloodsucking varieties, but occasionally they’re of the pretty benign luminescent set. Call them fireflies or lightning-bugs, their blinky-backside broadcasts are as mysterious as they are beautiful. As kids, many of us would capture them in jars which, looking back, may have been a little cruel. Now you can have a solar-powered electronic analogue, cruelty-free, to mesmerize and delight you all year ’round!

Take $10 Off — Do you know where your towel is?
Are you ready for Towel Day on May 25th? You’ve got your Guide to the Galaxy (aka iPad), you’ve got a reasonable facsimile of the Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster, and you’ve got your towel. Stock up on the rest of your hitchhiking needs with code TOWELDAY2011 for $5 off orders of $30+ or $10 off orders of $60+ through 11:59 pm ET 5/20/11. We recommend some Tactical Sammiches (you can never trust alien sandwich shops).

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from ThinkGeek:

Spring is sproinging!

Everywhere we turn, things are bright and cheery… except for in the meadow. It was there we discovered the bloody carnage wrought by a zombie bunny.

No ordinary rabbit, this death machine was tearing through woodland creatures until we double-bopped it on the head. Long story short, we brought it back to GeekLabs and have reproduced it — for real this time! — for your nomming pleasure. There’s plenty in stock (you know how bunnies are) so be sure to grab a few for the zombie fans in your life.

Chocolate Zombie Bunny — From April Fools to your Easter basket
Spring has sprung and all the little woodland creatures are… screaming and hippity-hopping for their lives? It’s a zombie bunny, and double-bopping him on the head isn’t going to stop his murderous rampage. Oh no, you KNEW, didn’t you? Oh, it’s just a harmless little chocolate BUNNY, isn’t it? It’s a good thing the virus turned his flesh to delicious white chocolate. Save the world; bite his head off. Yes, the chocolate zombie apocalypse is beginning and we’re ravenous for delicious candy treats.

Take $10 Off — Sproing into spring with us!
There’s nothing more serene than cherry blossoms drifting through the air over a meadow where a herd of zombie rabbits hippity-hops after their prey. Especially when you’re watching from your safehouse. Use code PREPARED for $10 off orders of $40 or more through 11:59 pm ET on 4/15/11.

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from Team Unicorn:

Love is SUPER.

Find your match today! http://superharmony.com/

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from NEW PEOPLE:

VIZ Pictures, Inc., the film distributor and producer behind the Japanese pop culture venue in San Francisco known as NEW PEOPLE, has announced that it will now operate as a newly established company, NEW PEOPLE, Inc., to re-brand and create synergy between all corporate divisions. The company’s film distribution and licensing division will now operate as NEW PEOPLE Entertainment.

NEW PEOPLE Entertainment is complemented by the launch of another dedicated film and event production division — NEW PEOPLE Productions — that will organize and manage the annual J-Pop Summit Festival as well as future film premieres, live events, and the development of original programming. The J-Pop Summit Festival takes place in San Francisco every summer and has become one of the largest events in the U.S. devoted to Japanese pop culture, film, fashion, food, art, and music. The 2010 festival attracted over 40,000 people. The 2011 J-Pop Summit Festival is currently being planned for August. More information on NEW PEOPLE Entertainment is available at: NewPeopleEnt.com.

“The re-branding and launch of these new divisions within the NEW PEOPLE organization will allow us to better execute our core mission to bring Japanese and Asian pop culture in a variety of forms to U.S. audiences,” says Seiji Horibuchi, President and CEO of NEW PEOPLE Inc., and the founder of the NEW PEOPLE venue. “We’ve also expanded our corporate operations to include a recently opened office in Tokyo that will act as a channel to help facilitate future creative endeavors and partnerships with Japanese-based artists and film and media companies, as well as work to bring select U.S. brands to Japan.”

Horibuchi has spent his career working to popularize Japanese pop culture throughout North America. He founded VIZ Media in the 80s to distribute anime and manga comics for English audiences, and the company has become one of the largest and most successful publishers of Japanese entertainment media based in the U.S. In 2005, he founded VIZ Pictures, Inc., a company dedicated to bringing Japanese live-action films to the American audience. In 2009, he founded NEW PEOPLE as a first-of-its-kind destination devoted to film, fashion, art and unique retail brands and a company to foster creative collaboration among artists, filmmakers, fashion labels, and retail brands influenced by Japanese popular culture.

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from GeekChicDaily:

“Tea. Earl Gray. Hot.” Few of us can order up food or beverages as compellingly as Captain Picard — and we refer not just to his authoritative English accent, but also the way in which his order is instantly prepared by machine as if out of thin air.

While a gadget like Star Trek’s replicator would be nice to have (especially on snow days in college), spontaneous molecular food creation is probably not in our immediate future. But the new 3-D Food Printer being developed at Cornell University’s Computational Synthesis Laboratory may soon allow you to literally download the perfect cup of tea (or an outstandingly gooey nacho sauce, we hope).

Basically, imagine a device that functions like a printer. However, instead of ink cartridges, you insert fresh ingredients. The machine processes the foodstuffs into nutritious goop and prints out food in three dimensions, using downloaded recipes. It’s not quite the Star Trek technology of drawing molecules from the air and reshaping them, but it’s still cool. We envision the first-gen tech in this field will allow you to make custom-molded cookies, breads, or cupcakes that cook in wacked out shapes.

Current proofs of concept include flourishes like letters baked inside cakes, and little edible space shuttles. Unfortunately for would-be Picards, Cornell has yet to come up with a machine that prints realistic hairpieces. That’ll probably come in this culinary technology’s, y’know… Next Generation.

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