Yeah… It Matters

After seeing video after video of friends, family members, acquaintances and celebrities douse themselves in freezing water I thought it was the dumbest stunt I’d ever heard about. How was it gonna raise money if everyone chose the bucket over the donation. But that has not been the case!!

And in fact as of yesterday the ALS Association as already raised over $15.6 million dollars to fund ALS research and support. Considering last year at this time they only raised $1.8 million dollars… I’d say this crazy stunt is doing it’s job.

To me this goes to show the power of this community known as the human race when we band together. Even if it is to dump buckets of ice water on ourselves.

Isn’t the world a scary, bleak enough place? Can’t we all use a little fun every now and again!! Imagine what would happen if every month we, as a culture, chose a cause and threw our whole weight behind it. One cause at a time. Can you even imagine what we could do? So I propose that next month we try out Pie in the Face for Parkinson’s and see what we can do there as well.

Haters gonna hate (I was one of them) but do a little reading. Have a little fun with it and accept the challenge should it come your way!!! And definitely don’t forget to donate to the ALSA!!

 

Here’s my Ice Bucket Video!

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The Good, The Bad and The Bigger Problem

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This weekend I went to see Marvel’s live show at the Barclay Center. And let me begin by saying that it was amazing! The costumes, the sets, the background CG work, the stunts, the pyrotechnics. It was a complete joy ride!

And with the partnership of characters that we can only dream of seeing in the MCU. The usual players were present: Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Black Wido, Hawkeye, Ironman, Falcon, Nick Fury and Maria Hill. Add to that a few favorite mutants: Wolverine, Cyclops and Storm. And of course the web-slinger himself (and incidental crowd favorite) Spiderman. And let’s not forget the best addition of all… Captain freakin’ Marvel!! Talk about fangirl moment, I love me some Carol Danvers!

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And the good side wasn’t the only side peppered with the fairer sex. Black Cat and Madame Hydra joined villains like Red Skull, Loki and the rest of the Sinister Six: Green Goblin, Rhino, Lizard, Doc Ock and Electro. Along with Whiplash and a passel of Chitauri baddies.

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The entire show was entertaining from beginning to end. And it was epic to see so many favorite characters on stage together.

Here comes the ugly. Ever since Guardians of the Galaxy came out, women and girls everywhere have been asking #WheresGamora. Sadly the promotional product available in the lobby has left me asking the same question.

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Yes, I understand that in years past, the comic book world has been a predominantly male one. But times are a changing. And that doesn’t happen overnight, but it does happen and more than that, it should happen!

It’s starting to feel as if Marvel doesn’t believe that boys will want toys and other products if a female appeared on it. Call me optimistic, but I can’t believe that’s true.

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I sat next to a lovely family of 3: mom, dad and son. And the son was trying to convince his mom to dress up with him for Halloween in Marvel Universe characters. In eager anticipation, this mom bought a tattoo sleeve in the lobby just to fuel her excitement about dressing up for Halloween for the first time as an adult. When she pulled the sleeve out, not a single female hero was to be found on it, to her and my dismay and yes, even her son’s dismay, “Mom, where’s Black Widow?”

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I have to ask a question, Marvel… you know boys like girls right? In fact, I believe that seeing strong representations of females in an embodiment they understand could only have a positive effect of our young men. Imagine young boys growing up knowing that women are just as strong and powerful as men are. And in Captain Marvel’s case, more powerful than some! (Chick can fly!)

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Listen, everybody understands that change is hard and takes time. The fact that there was more than just one female hero in the show was a great start. But time is up and now you need to step up your game!

Girls don’t just want girl toys. I want a Captain Marvel figure as much as I want a Captain America one. And I have a feeling that if treated correctly, you’d find boys don’t just want boy toys either!

#WheresGamora

#WheresBlackWidow

#WheresCaptainMarvel

#Wherearemyladies

Change is coming and I don’t know if you’ve heard yet but… Girls sort of Rule!!

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At the end of the day, it’s a great show worth seeing!! So if it comes near you, go! You won’t regret it.

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Kiehl’s Cares

Last night I attended big final event on the Life Ride tour. A tour that began in Milwaukee and went all the way to New York. This wonderful event is the culmination of a 5 year partnership between Kiehl’s and amFAR and their efforts to raise money for AIDS research. In fact you can go to their stores and purchase product right now and part of the proceeds will go towards AIDS research. Make sure to ask at the Kiehl’s counter for more information!

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In light of the tragedy on Monday, I think what this world needs is a little bit of hope and happiness. And this event had happiness written all over it. 

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First they stopped at the Kiehl’s flagship store on East 13th St. A store that has been there for over 100 years. I got the chance to meet Chris Salgardo, the president of Kiehl’s and hear him speak about a cause that is of great importance not only to him, but to so many of the other riders. I also had the chance to chat with a personal favorite, Katee Sackhoff (nerd royalty and BSG alumni.)

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As well as Vanessa Marcil (who I’ve watched on General Hospital since I was in the 9th grade) and Gilles Marini who is far more charming in real life, if that’s even possible!

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After that the riders headed over to the meatpacking district for the big final party. Where Mary J Blige made a quick appearance. 

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Kiehl’s sure knows how to throw a party. From grilled cheese food trucks to a pie bar to airbrush tatoos, this event was pure, unadulterated fun and hey… it was all for a wonderful cause as well!

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Let’s Start Talking About It

Robin Williams

Photo : © Matt Sayles

Today the world lost a wonderful and talented actor to a horrible disease (if the reports that are coming in are true.) And it has effected me more than I thought it would. The sad truth is that you can never perceive the internal struggles a person goes through. We saw his humor and his laughter and we thought everything was fine. We loved his movies and television shows. I grew up watching him in so many things like Aladdin, Hook, Dead Poet’s Society, Mrs. Doubtfire and so many more. My parent’s generation watched him in Mork and Mindy.

Depression is a slow and silent demon. It whispers in your ear and tells you very convincing lies about yourself. You’re not good enough. You can’t do it anymore. You have no worth. I have friends who have struggled with this disease. I’ve had periods in my life when I have struggled with it myself.

This is a disease that we don’t talk about. We, as a culture, expect people to have it all together and when they don’t, we judge them. We have to empower people to seek help for not only the detectable diseases like cancer or the common diseases like the flu.

Counseling and therapy… these are the medicines we need to embrace. And it has to be okay to seek these forms of “medication.” Until they are no longer judged, until the stigma is erased then tragedies like this will keep happening. And we will have let down those who are suffering and need us to understand!

 

If you are struggling with depression or know someone who is, please seek help!!! Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255. Head to your local church and ask for help. Call a friend… email me. Do what you need to be ok!!!

Non-profits like To Write Love On Her Arms are trying to change the way we look at this disease. Support them and their efforts.

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Rom-com Syndrome

I am a sucker for a romantic comedy

Saturday night was a lazy night of bumming it at home with some ice cream and a bunch of romantic comedies. This is a very fun activity when in a group of like minded single ladies. But I caution watching these movies alone. It’s akin to an alcoholic at home alone with a bottle of Jack. No good can come of it.

Watching romantic comedies together lowers the risk of divorce -- tell him that next time he clicks on the game. #movies #happymarriage

Don’t get me wrong, emotional cutter that I am, I love every single one. Even the terribly cheesy Lifetime Originals. Anything with Meg Ryan or John Cusack is my bread and butter. But ladies, we have got to stop. Because I gotta tell ya… the chances of you exchanging letters or emails with a stranger and that stranger ending up as the guy you secretly had a crush on all along…it’s not a thing!

P.S., I Love You (2007) a film by Richard LaGravenese + MOVIES + Hilary Swank + Gerard Butler + Harry Connick Jr. + Lisa Kudrow + Gina Gershon + James Marsters + cinema + Drama + Romance

I know you secretly hope that you’ll flit off on a grand adventure to Ireland and meet a cute, sweet Irishman who happens to be single and looking for an American girlfriend. One who, oh yeah… lives in America. Recipe for success!

What Happens When Two Women Re-Watch "Pretty Woman" - We re-watched Pretty Woman and started to wonder if this is actually a good movie. Turns out, we had a lot of feelings.

I know why we buy it. It keeps hope alive for the singletons of the world. We think, “Yeah, but Julia Roberts made it happen so there’s a chance right?” I’m not saying you won’t find love. I’m just saying you’ll probably have to settle for meeting a normal dude at some normal location under completely normal circumstances. And Tom Hanks won’t be within a 20 mile radius. Neither will Rob Reiner!

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Guardians of the Galaxy (Spoilers abound)

Before you continue… there are spoilers in this post. So only read if you’ve already seen the movie or care not to be spoiled. You have been fairly warned!!

Seriously… I talk about stuff. And if you’re looking for a critical opinion about this film… you’ve come to the wrong place. This post is saturated with happy thoughts about it!!

To start off… I LOVED EVERY MINUTE. This was Marvel’s version of Star Wars (though have no fear, Star Wars will always win.) But an unlikely band of heroes joining forces to save the galaxy.One is a cocky ladies man, one is a furry friend and hey, there’s also a kick ass female involved. Sound familiar?? Please don’t take that to be anything but me singing this movie’s praises!! Because if you at all can bring  a hint of Star Wars into your film, by all means do it! It will only make you stronger.

 

The proverbial Han Solo Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy" Star-Lord character poster, played by Chris Pratt. Visit http://Facebook.com/GuardiansoftheGalaxy for all the news and info! Roguish good looks, a talent for theft and a cocky attitude. Chris Pratt brought everything that you could want in a leading action hero like Peter Quill. A relative unknown, unless you are an avid fan of Parks and Rec like moi, Pratt was able to come into the role with a breath of fresh air. The Guardians are no Avengers. And this works in their favor. They don’t have the moral responsibilities the Avengers have and are able to bend the rules to save the world. And Starlord as their leader, embodies what the Guardians stand for. They leave enough mystery about him for future films, who is his father? And what is he exactly?

The furry friend

Guardians Of The Galaxy: New Rocket Raccoon, Groot, And Gamora Character Posters | Comicbook.com

Rocket Raccoon, the unlikely but completely lovable character voiced by Bradley Cooper, almost stole the show. When he tears up about losing his pal, Groot, my heart strings were pulled! He is sarcastic and rough around the edges in all the right ways. But has a gooey caramel center where his heart should be and you immediately want to know more about him. Definitely a favorite.

The token girl

Gamora international poster for Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy"

I go back and forth about Zoe Saldana. Loved her in Pirates of the Caribbean, but she’s not my favorite as Uhura. But in Gamora she has found her stride. She is equal parts total bad ass and anti hero on an altruistic mission (in the end.) She respects honor and sees none in Starlord at the beginning, making her the only one in the bunch with moral high ground. You can always sense when a love story is a brewing, but James Gunn keeps it at bay and doesn’t make it a focus of their relationship. And it made it wonderful to watch!

The surprise 

Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy" Drax character poster, played by Dave Bautista. Visit http://Facebook.com/GuardiansoftheGalaxy for all the news and info!

Drax was so surprisingly funny to me. His literal interpretations of everything was completely hilarious. “Nothing goes over my head, because I would catch it!” Amazing!! You don’t see his humor coming, but when it does it is a delight. Drax joins the Guardians with a single purpose, to kill Ronan and eventually Thanos. Now this interpretation of Drax is a drastic difference from the comic book version. In the comic he is created to kill Thanos and in the movie, Ronan easily bests him. As a fan of the Marvel Universe, but not a comic book aficionado, this didn’t bother me in the least and to be honest, I had to be filled in about it by a nerd friend. So some might not enjoy the difference, but I think with one member of the group outweighing the strengths of the other, it creates no need for him to band together with them. So this works well on screen.

The adorable sidekick

Groot international poster for Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy"

I mean… what can be said about Groot. I think people are saying this is Vin Diesel’s best role because he only has 4 words in the whole movie. But the way he uses inflection to convey what he’s saying, you almost don’t even need Rocket’s Groot to English dictionary. Almost, because seeing the two best friends communicate and interact is probably my favorite part of the movie. Groot is the R2D2 to Rocket’s C3PO. And it is simply wonderful!! And Groot as a sproutling at the end of the film is so adorable I could barely handle it. I want that as a GIF to share in moments of happiness.

The starring supporting case

The rest of the cast included a who’s who of stars and nerd royalty that did not get nearly enough screen time. Marvel builds their worlds so completely that you want more and more and more. I definitely would watch an entire movie about Nebula and Gamora’s sisterhood. Dr Who’s Karen Gillan could definitely stand on her own two feet in the Marvel universe.

Not to mention John C. Reilly’s Corpsman Dey. How about a romantic comedy with him and his bright pink wife? And don’t get me started on Djimon Hounsou, that was way too little screen time for the talented Hounsou! Lee Pace was dark and evil and predictably bad, but he does it so well, you don’t even care that he’s evil for evil’s sake.

And Thanos!! I can’t wait to see where the Marvel Universe takes him and how he will come into contact with our beloved Avengers in the future. One thing I didn’t know about Thanos was that he is literally courting death (another fact I had to be filled in on.) Clearly this movie wasn’t the place to delve into that story line, but how interesting. I’d watch a whole movie about Thanos becoming Thanos and with Josh Brolin behind the face? It’d be pretty epic.

Out of all the supporting cast I think Glenn Close was the biggest star with the most useless part. She is too wonderful to be relegated to Nova. Glenn Close should be a super baddie in a future Marvel film. That was perhaps the only not glowing and wonderful thing and even so she did well with what she was given (as always!)

Benecio Del Toro’s Collector was creepy and you get the sense that there is so much more to him than we were given. And I hope that’s not the last we’ve seen of him.

 

Nerd Royalty

There were a few other familiar faces that you who love TV might recognize.

Nathan Fillion – blink and you might miss it, but Fillion makes his debut in the Marvel universe as Monstrous Inmate. (I actually blinked and completely missed it.) But he’s there. If you call yourself a nerd at all you will no doubt know him from the beloved cult classic, Firefly/ Serenity universe. If you go for more mainstream then Castle may be your poison. Either way, he definitely belongs in the Marvel Universe, one way or another.

Alexis Denisof – known for his roles on Buffy, Angel and How I Met Your Mother, Denisof plays a minor role (another blink and you’ll miss it) but he comes in as The Other, a character that also shows up in Avengers.

Michael Rooker – if you don’t watch The Walking Dead, you won’t know this man and that would be a shame. Because he is an excellent actor. While on TWD he plays a complete A-hole, here he has some redeeming qualities. And when he uses that whistle arrow thingey… how freakin cool!

Brendan Fehr – Ok, those of you who weren’t 18 in 2001 may not be as excited to see this face, but when I was a young teenager I loved a show on,what back then was known as, the WB called Roswell. And Fehr played one of the leads, Michael. But again, that one may just be exciting for me!

Sean Gunn – He may not be nerd royalty but he’ll always hold a special place in my heart as Kurt from Gilmore Girls. And as the resisdent nerd on the show, I think that garners him major nerd cred!! He plays henchman to Michael Rooker’s Yondo in Guardians and is delightful as he ever was!!

All in all, Guardians of the Galaxy is an excellent addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And with a release date already set for Guardians 2 (July 28, 2017) we are already guaranteed more rollicking Guardians fun in our future. As for me I’m gonna go see it again today, mainly cause Stan Lee told me too and whatever he says goes, am I right, nerds? We do not let the Generalissimo down!!

 

PS, stay for the credits!! If at this point you aren’t staying for the credits you may not be a nerd. In fact you may not be human. Check your Intel Pentium Processor, you big robot. Cause the tag scene is awesome and unmissable and you have now been warned!!!

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Leaky Con

Yesterday was a very full and eventful day at Leaky Con.

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I simply adore Harry Potter, but I admit, I had an alternate purpose for attending this Con.
I am currently in production on a little web series that I hope to share with you very soon. And wanted to soak up the creative energy of the team from Pemberley Digital. They are doing wonderful things right now in the transmedia department and so I went to hear their panels specifically.

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Head creator and executive producer, Bernie Su and transmedia producer, Alexandra Edwards kicked the day off with a look at how they are integrating classic literature into the modern, digital age.

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Maxwell Glick and Mary Kate Wiles from The Lizzie Bennett Diaries joined them for the next panel to give us a taste of what’s next for Lydia Bennet and Mr. Collins. There’s a reason Lydia Bennett is called The Adorbs!!

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I slipped into the Howarts Alumni panel towards the end to hear from Scarlett Bryne (Pansy Parkinson), Ellie Darcy-Alden (young Lily Evans Potter), Robbie Jarvis (teenaged James Potter), Charlotte Skeoch (Hannah Abbot), and Nick Shrim (Zacharias Smith).
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Next up was the Emma Approved panel with the adorable cast of the hit web series. Bernie Su (executive producer), James Brett Isaacs(Bobby Martin), Dayeanne Hutton (Harriet Smith), Brent Bailey (Alex Knightley) and Joanna Sotomura (Emma Woodhouse herself).
They were too precious for words!!
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Then the cast of Pemberley Digital’s brand new collaboration with PBS, Frankenstein MD. We got to preview the first two episodes of the series and it was amazing. It tells the tale of the adorable Victoria Frankenstein, almost MD played by Anna Lore and her assistant Igor DeLacey played by Steve Zaragoza.

After the Pemberley explosion I had a chance to walk around the Marketplace. And I found many treasures.

I could only make it for one day of the Con, but if you love Harry P. and want to immerse yourself in that world, then Leaky Con is the place for you!!! Get there and geek out. You won’t regret it!!!

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Thank you!!

A big thank you to all my nerds on the scene and to everyone else that kept us East Coasters in touch with the Comic Con and Nerd HQ happenings!
@JennOC7
@Loud_Josh
@tellerdee
@jjkeebs
@melslien

Lots of amazing nerdy goodness headed our way in the years to come.

Check back on Friday and Saturday as I will be reporting from Leaky Con in Orlando. For those of you who don’t know what that is, check out their website.

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Sunday’s Nerd on the Scene

post by: Jenn Brown

I’m back home after an epic week. It felt like the year leading up to it was taking forever, and then the weekend flies by so fast.

NerdHQ keeps getting better and keeps topping itself. This year we raised over $260,000! That’s over 1,000 surgeries and 1,000 lives changed forever.

Emotions were definitely running high today, but we kicked it off with a really big bang!

Stephen Amell made his debut appearance to NerdHQ this year, continuing to prove that he’s a down to earth, really good guy who appreciates everyone around him. With his sold out panel and Smiles 4 Smiles, he raised $12,000. While his panel does contain some spoilers for those who haven’t watched the show, it’s still an excellent watch. C’mon, have you seen his abs?! Sinceriously. ;)
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Following Stephen, was Wil Wheaton & Felicia Day. Another sold out, standing room only panel, which apparently had a lot of talk about video games and beer. I didn’t get into this one but I do admire them both.

Then came the 2nd panel for Nathan Fillion, but this time he had to have his good buddy, Alan Tudyk, join him on stage. He again auctioned off more “crap”, and raised even more money for Operation Smile.
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Next came the cast and creators of Thrilling Adventure Hour. It’s a podcast of radio comedy shows, with a troupe that boasts the superbly talented Marc Evan Jackson (22 Jump St.), Hal Lublin, Craig Cacowski and I could go on but that would take the rest of my post. They are always entertaining, always hilarious. The highlight of the panel had to be when a little boy, not yet 4 years old, asked the creators how they made up their stories. Marc Evan Jackson fell in love with him so much, he got off stage and took a picture with him afterwards.
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Then came the Joss Whedon panel. Speculation had abounded after Joss tweeted from a hospital bed earlier in the week, following knee surgery. The show must go on as they say so fans were treated to a last minute Mystery Panel, hosted by Nathan Fillion, and featuring some of his friends; Liam McIntyre (Spartacus), Chloe Bennett (S.H.E.I.L.D), Seth Green and Alan Tudyk. They all told stories about Joss, their connection and when they’ve felt intimidated by him. About halfway through the panel, like the great Wizard of Oz, Joss appeared via Skype from London. Making his “puppets” dance, and taking a few audience questions, before signing off to rest and recover.

The last panel of the day was the cast of Supernatural. Jared Padalecki has been a panelist since year one of NerdHQ, finally last year Jensen Ackles was able to join him, so this year they brought along Misha Collins and Mark Sheppard (the man who inhabits many fandoms). I’m looking forward to watching this one myself.

This weekend was an incredible experience and a fabulous success on many levels. Not only for Operation Smile, but The Nerd Machine as well, sold nearly all the merchandise they had brought.
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As I lie in my own bed tonight, I can hardly believe it’s already over. So many memories were created, I’ll have to filter through them all once I’m rested and thinking clearly.

I will say, my biggest highlight, was probably meeting Colin Ferguson (Eureka, Haven). When we were asked via Twitter who we’d like to see at NerdHQ, I replied with his name. He replied very enthusiastically that he’d like to do it, and I was thrilled when I’d learned that he showed up for the Mystery Panel. He did a Smiles 4 Smiles afterwards and I was able to get a photo and hug from him after we recounted our humorous Twitter conversation.
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All in all, NerdHQ 2014, was epic. I’m hoping that the success of this year will lead to a 5th NerdHQ in 2015. Thank you to everyone at The Nerd Machine, who works so hard to make it happen. Thank you to all the staff and volunteers who give so much of themselves during this weekend.

I’m looking forward to seeing what heights NerdHQ will reach in the future, and that it will continue to transform lives.

For more from Jenn follow her on Twitter @JennOC7

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Saturday’s Nerd on the Scene

Post by Joshua Monroe

Welcome to Saturday! Nerd HQ is in full throttle with all S-Foils locked in attack position.
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We are halfway through the day and already the place has been hopping and we’ve seen numbers far greater than the previous days.
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Both the Walking Dead and Alan Tudyk panels opened up for additional standing room only tickets. Make sure to check the Nerd HQ app for panels later today and tomorrow as standing room only tickets at the door are likely to continue to happen on a first come, first serve basis.
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We’ve also had surprise Smiles for Smiles photo opportunities with the cast of Grimm and Sean Astin.

Also, if you’ve got young kids, the rest of today and tomorrow features a new Sesame Street tent for children! And you may be able to catch a glimpse of the Stoopid Buddies robot while you are here too.

What an amazing day so far and the rest of the day promises to hold even better moments still. Catch ya later.
MTFBWY
-Loud Josh

For more from Josh follow him on Twitter @Loud_Josh

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