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Video from BrickCon 2009 in Seattle

Weekly Geek video correspondent Andrea documents this year's Seattle BrickCon festivities. BrickCon is a gathering of grown-ups who still love creating with the ubiquitous little things, with an exhibition floor displaying expertly pieced together models. The event also has community building activities, presentations and other LEGO-related activities.

Check out Andrea's video which shows off some impressive LEGO mecha, minifig dioramas, and even some of Angus MacLane's LEGO CubeDudes (featured previously on SuperPunch). Looks like a fun event for the hardcore LEGO fan.

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Ask Dr. Helmig #32: "Vertically Challenged"

Looks like somebody's gonna get waffled.

Don't forget to send your qvestions to helmig@weeklygeekshow.com

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My Bag, Let Me Show You It

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A couple of years back Lifehacker ran a series of posts displaying user-submitted shots of readers' Go Bags (what you grab and haul every day) and their disgorged contents. I sat entranced for hours, leering over this voyeuristic yet impersonal display of things usually hidden away. Eventually I made my own.

More recently several editors shared the contents of their laptop bags and a similar spell was cast, I simply had to know each and every gadget and velcro wrap and oh my my is that a stainless steel thumb drive?

Hit the jump for a taste of madness. Or better yet share your own Go Bag over in the Weekly Geek Flickr Pool.

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Practical Alchemy: Crispy Salted Garlic Noodles

Pan fried crispy garlic noodles
Ever since my early cooking days I've been obsessed with noodles and different ways to make/prepare them. Today I want to cover a new technique I'm experimenting with that can elevate fresh egg noodles from their normal lofty excellence to something even better. You heard me: better than excellent! This preparation technique makes for a crispy salted exterior that crunches delightfully in the mouth while still having a rich noodley center with a bit of chew to it.

To follow along with the recipe, click through the jump.

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Podcast for 09.28.09 | Losing Your Soul

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When is enough enough? Franchises losing their luster is a main topic of discussion on this week's podcast with me, Jinny and Ross weighing in on Street Fighter, Katamari and Metal Gear Solid. We also crack open the mailbag, which was filled to the brim this week with your questions. We talk about meeting Internet People in person! We even got a few death threats. Love you all bunches. Tune in for an impromptu puzzle-solving contest, as well!

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Ask Dr. Helmig #31: "Specialties"

Seriously, send questions.

Don't forget to send your qvestions to helmig@weeklygeekshow.com

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Weekly Geek Flickr Pool Finds

Death

T-shirt winner! Death by JSMc 2082

charlotte.

charlotte. by pbm.

Every week we feature our community members' excellent photography culled from our Flickr pool. Why not submit your own geeky or otherwise interesting photos to the Weekly Geek Flickr Pool? You'll get your photo featured on the site with the added incentive that I'll pick one photo a week to win a Weekly Geek T-Shirt. Runners up get some sweet Weekly Geek swag. Click here to join!

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Practical Alchemy: The Cape Greyhound

An elephant never forgets
Sometimes you need to take a break from things and kick back with a refreshing drink. This week is one of those times so rather than a big, meaty delicacy for Practical Alchemy I instead present a cool, clean drink to whip up with some friends. The Cape Greyhound lets the sweet essences of a Cape Cod combine with the sour delight of a Greyhound.

The Cape Greyhound
In a cocktail shaker combine the following ingredients with a generous handful of ice

  • 3oz fine Vodka
  • 4oz unsweetened cranberry juice
  • 4oz pink grapefruit juice
  • a dash of fresh lime juice

Shake well and serve into two rocks glasses. Enjoy with a friend, or if your week requires a bit more refreshment enjoy with yourself. Twice.

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Podcast for 09.21.09 | The Mexican Internet

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This week is all over the board as Jinny, Ross and Qais join me in discussion about the Tesla Roadster (and how I got to drive one!), Scribblenauts (and how Ross hates fun!), the official Buddhist stance on violent video games (and how I like to alienate my friends!), the prospect of Twitter-enabled games and how to make an incredibly good Fallout 3 laser rifle. And then, sometime during the show, Qais finally puts the Kanye meme to bed. We hope you enjoy.

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Test Driving the Tesla Roadster

Tesla dealership in Seattle?!

Back in 2007 when we first heard about Tesla Motors opening up dealerships around the country, I never thought I'd get an opportunity to actually drive one. Tesla is a company fighting hard to bring the electric car to mass market, starting with their Tesla Roadster. The roadster could be described as a sporty little golf cart on steroids, but then you'd be missing the point. It's a remarkable piece of technology, but prohibitively expensive at around 100k. Tesla plans on releasing a sedan in 2011 which will be moderately less expensive, but the price doesn't really matter. What matters is that a car company has emerged that wants to do something different.

I'm going to get to the test drive in a second. First, I want you to go to the Tesla website and see what dealerships are near you. Is there one within 50 miles? Good. Now call them. Schedule a test drive. It is so very very worth it.

Tesla RoadsterNow, I am by no means a car buff. I drive an efficient little Scion xA and I am quite happy with it. I don't have to do anything to it to make it go beyond filling it with gas and giving it the occasional oil change, it just goes. I value this in an automobile beyond all else. I want it to just work. The Tesla definitely fits this bill. The roadster basically just has one moving part to its engine: the spindle. The engine is fully electric and is powered by a bank of lithium-ion batteries, the same ones that power this laptop I'm typing on right now. Instead of having to replace one giant battery (and and expensive one in the case of the Prius) you can take them out individually and get them replaced. The batteries supposedly have a 8-9 year lifespan, however, so you probably won't be replacing them any time soon. The Tesla is also completely upgradeable. Because it's mostly electronics and software, you can literally just go in and get the firmware flashed as technology advances and improve the efficiency of your car. Say Tesla develops a way to squeeze a bit more life out of the battery, or a bit more performance out of the already incredible engine, just go into your dealership and tell them to make it so. There's even iPhone apps being developed that interface seamlessly with the car.

Tesla chargerIt never requires an oil change. It costs around $4 to fully recharge and a single charge lasts around 250 miles of straight up driving. You can get a charging station installed in your garage which charges you fully within 3.5 hours. It comes with a portable charger which you can use at any RV hookup, or as the dealer I talked to pointed out, any Target store (Target apparently always has an RV hookup in the back). It is electronically locked at 125mph, though the dealer tells me it can go up to 200mph. That is ridiculous. As a matter of fact, everything the dealer told me sounded completely ridiculous. I was literally laughing out loud as he told me this stuff because of how magical it all sounds. Like Tesla the man, Tesla the car company seems to be tapping into some mystical space energy to achieve their goals. I was geeking out hardcore.

Tesla shifterBut how does it drive? I can honestly say that I have never ridden in a ground vehicle that could accelerate so fast, outside of a roller coaster. When you go zero to sixty in five seconds, you can really feel it. This car has G-forces as you accelerate. It's an incredible thing. The steering feels a bit tight and the deceleration is slightly awkward but I can tell it would be easy to eventually get used to. It has no real shifter, as it has no real gears. Driving the Tesla is as easy as driving a Power Wheels.

If you have a chance, I highly recommend trying one of these out. Even if you feel like you could never afford one, you need to experience what is essentially the car of the future. You owe it to your 10 year old self to drive an electric car named Tesla. This is the future, man. Live it. See how happy Jinny is? You could be this happy too.

Jinny in the driver's seat

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