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Nerdcore: Hip-Hop Goes Geek

The nerds are out for revenge again! Or, at least some street cred, with their latest venture – Nerdcore Hip-Hop.

Nerdcore is a subgenre of hip-hop that is created by nerds and we suppose for nerds as well. Nerdcore has sometimes been called geeksta rap and its subject matter and themes are those that would interest fellow nerds. Almost all of nerdcore is self-published and much of the music can be found on the internet for free.

MC Frontalot

There is no common sound among nerdcore musicians and individual stylings vary wildly. The nerdcore subgenre takes its inspiration from the geeky predecessors who paved the way for today’s nerdcore scene. Weird Al Yankovic and They Might Be Giants are cited as the biggest influences on nerdcore hip-hop.

The term nerdcore is a phrase that was coined by the movement’s biggest frontman, MC Frontalot. Nerdcore hip-hop is essentially “rap performed by a nerd”. In a bigger sense, the term nerdcore refers to someone who is a hardcore nerd. Look for some of these nerdcore rappers on the web: MC Hawking, Optimus Rhyme, MC Router, Commodore 64 and the master himself, MC Frontalot.

TV Test Patterns – Gone But Not Forgotten

Something not seen very often on television, if at all, is the television test card, also known as a test pattern in North America. Basically, it is a television test signal, typically broadcast at times when the transmitter is active but no program is being broadcast (often at start-up and close-down). These interesting pieces of technical design evoke the warm memories that we have for the early days of television, when TV stations actually shut down for a few hours every day. Yes, really!

Used since the earliest TV broadcasts, test cards were originally physical cards at which a television camera was pointed, and such cards are still often used for calibration, alignment, and matching of cameras and camcorders. Test patterns used for calibrating or troubleshooting the downstream signal path are these days generated by test signal generators, which do not depend on the correct configuration (and presence) of a camera.

Digitally generated cards allow vendors, viewers and television stations to adjust their equipment for optimal functionality. With the complete U.S. conversion to digital television signals, it is highly doubtful that any real test patterns (test cards) are in use today at TV stations.