This is the first in what will hopefully be an ongoing weekly round-up of positive, socially relevant geek news.
When I first founded this site it was only about what I call #AppliedGeekism (a term which, let it be said for the record, Pop Mythology is the first to have ever used and I should know because I checked everywhere and Googled it to death to make sure).
#AppliedGeekism is any time and every time someone uses an aspect of pop culture in some manner that applies to “real life,” most especially in ways that have personal and social benefits. So for a while I used to write news, features and interviews that covered such kinds of stories, but it wasn’t just news about others. Pop Mythology itself was a practitioner of #AppliedGeekism in that I wrote motivational posts using popular characters and stories as metaphors to illustrate my ideas.
A pragmatic need to make the site survive in order to continue doing this work made my team and I commercialize it somewhat and expand our coverage to regular entertainment news/reviews. But it takes an ungodly amount of work and the irony, of course, is that in this mad struggle for sustainability the very thing that makes our voice unique gets drowned out a bit.
In an attempt to re-assert that voice, here’s the first of The Week in Applied Geekism. And, by the way, if you like what we do and want us to keep doing it, one easy way to help is by following us on our social media channels:
• Pop Mythology on Facebook
• Pop Mythology on Twitter
• Pop Mythology on Google+
And share these Applied Geekism posts! You can complain about negative news or clickbait garbage all you want, but it won’t ever change until media outlets see that there’s a real demand for positive news reported without hyperbolized drama (“You won’t believe…” etc.).
Robert Downey, Jr. presents Iron Man bionic arm to disabled boy
7-year-old superhero fan Alex Pring, who was born without most of his right arm, got a nice surprise when none other than Tony Stark himself dropped by to hand deliver an Iron Man-themed bionic arm. The arm was designed by Albert Manero, a mechanical engineering student and doctoral candidate at the University of Central Florida. Manero’s Limbitless team uses 3D printers to create low-cost prosthetics vastly cheaper than most standard prosthetics. The arm was offered to Alex for free and was featured as part of Microsoft’s The Collective Project which seeks to document students around the world working together to make the world a better place.
Terry Pratchett fans raise over $40k for Alzheimer’s charity
Within just a day after beloved author and Alzheimer’s awareness activist Terry Pratchett succumbed to said disease due to complications, fans raised over $40,000 (or £28,000) for an Alzheimer’s charity chosen by the Pratchett family.
Pratchett, 66, died on Mar. 12 at home surrounded by his family. His publicist, Lynsey Dalladay, shortly set up a campaign page soliciting donations for The Research Institute for the Care of Older People in Pratchett’s name. In less than 24 hours, fans had donated over $40k’s worth.
In other Pratchett related news, fans have collected over 25,000 virtual signatures in an online petition to Death (a frequent character in Pratchett’s novels) to bring back the late author. Sure, it’s useless in pragmatic terms, perhaps, but it’s a touching homage nonetheless.
UK Spider-Man donates nights to feed the homeless
When the day ends, real work only just begins for anonymous 20-year-old bartender from Birmingham, England, who spends his evenings handing out sandwiches, purchased with his own money, to the homeless.
Of the use of his outfit, Spidey told the Huffington Post:
“Before when I was handing out food, no one would take a second look. But when they see Spider-Man handing out the food [people] come over and ask what I’m doing and are really interested. Most importantly [they] become inspired to get involved themselves.”
Bam. That, friends, is the power of #AppliedGeekism.
Also, check out the Birmingham Spider-Man’s Facebook fan page.
Sandtrooper walks across Australia to raise money for hospital
There’s always something cool going on within the ranks of the 501st Legion. Scott Loxley (of the Terror Australis Garrison) has been walking 15,000 km across Australia dressed in his Sandtrooper armor to raise money for Monash Children’s Hospital. And given the fact that so much of Australia is desert, don’t you just love that he wears Sandtrooper armor instead of just regular Stormtrooper armor? Details.
Scott’s goal is to raise $100,000 to help Monash open a new, more state of the art facility. Walk on, soldier. Y’all can offer him moral support at his Storming Australia Facebook fan page.
Pop Mythology welcomes your leads and tip-offs for any stories in the news of the current week that embodies our concept of #AppliedGeekism. Just use the contact form to let us know about it!
uplifting and inspiring—I am a Kindergarten teacher with Mesa Public Schools, music therapist, and mom to a handicapped boy–the super hero movement has helped & healed so many! Good work Pops & Daniel Jun Kim
Excellent work!! Wonderful share!!