The Geeky Chef Cookbook Review

Geeky chef cookbook

It’s time to get your geek on in the kitchen!

Comic-lover, avid gamer, and sci-fi and fantasy lover, Cassandra Reeder started The Geeky Chef in 2008. She creates real-life recipes for all the delicious foods you’ve seen in your favorite sci-fi and fantasy movies, TV shows, and video games.

From Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games, to Doctor WhoLegend of Zelda, and World of Warcraft, The Geeky Chef Cookbook features over 60 recipes you can re-create in your own kitchen!

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“Drawing inspiration from movies, video games and television shows, more than 60 recipes full of fantasy and science fiction are featured throughout the new cookbook. Lemon cakes – and bowls of brown if you’re, um, into that – allow you to eat your feelings after that Game of Thrones season five finale, while other fictional food formulas, including 1UP mushroom cupcakes (Super Mario Cart), Romulan Ale (Star Trek), bacon pancakes (Adventure Time) Moloko Plus (A Clockwork Orange) and lembas (The Lord of the Rings), transport your taste buds into another world.” – Creative Loafing

Photographed, step-by-step instructions show how to make Pumpkin Pasties from Harry Potter, and Lemon Cakes from Game of Thrones. Sip from a bowl of Plomeek Soup from Star Trek and enjoy with Peeta’s Cheesy Bread from The Hunger Games.

Ranging from the iconic Sea-Salt ice-cream originating from Kingdom Heartsto the Nonfat Tofutti Rice Dreamsicle that Scully munches in X-Files, this book is festooned with beauties from all walks of nerd: videogames, TV shows and books galore. As a Twin Peaks enthusiast, Battlestar nut, admitted ‘Trekkie,’ avid videogame player and someone for whom most of these are beloved treasures, this is a fantastically creative work of art. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to start cooking. (And not burn down my house in the process.)

EDIT: And drink Romulan ale. Lots and lots of Romulan ale.

Fantasy foods are fantasy no longer!

Blender Master Class: A Hands-On Guide to Modeling, Sculpting, Materials, and Rendering

Blender Master Class

Blender is a powerful and free 3D graphics tool used by artists and designers worldwide. But even experienced designers can find it challenging to turn an idea into a polished piece.

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For those who have struggled to create professional-quality projects in Blender, author Ben Simonds offers this peek inside his studio. You’ll learn how to create 3D models as you explore the creative process that he uses to model three example projects: a muscular bat creature, a futuristic robotic spider, and ancient temple ruins. Along the way, you’ll master the Blender interface and learn how to create and refine your own models.

You’ll also learn how to:

  • Work with reference and concept art in Blender and GIMP to make starting projects easier
  • Block in models with simple geometry and build up more complex forms
  • Use Blender’s powerful sculpting brushes to create detailed organic models
  • Paint textures with Blender and GIMP and map them onto your 3D artwork
  • Light, render, and composite your models to create striking images

Each chapter walks you through a piece of the modeling process and offers detailed explanations of the tools and concepts used. Filled with full-color artwork and real-world tips, Blender Master Classgives you the foundation you need to create your own stunning masterpieces.

Firstly if you are an absolute beginner in Blender, then there will be a certain amount of self searching you will have to do to pick up on certain 3D concepts and jargon to aid your understanding of what the Author is saying. But, because this book has seemingly been written with guidance from a Blender technical expert, it explains the detail of the Blender tools in enough detail without blowing your mind and sticks to the point.

The book’s projects have been well chosen are all very do-able. Your results may not turn out exactly as in the book but the processes and workflows are something that you will get a lot from and for me that element is just as important if not more so. The layout of the book can get a little confusing at times, since the author suggests on occasion that you jump to another chapter to learn a technique or get an explanation and then return to the current one, but it still all seems to gel pretty well and it didn’t cause major difficulty since these instances are well highlighted by the author.

It will be assumed that you can get to grips with a graphics editor too (GIMP/Photoshop) so if you already have one of these then you will be fine.

On a personal level, this book made me search for other third party tools that might speed up certain processes (for example, the author encourages you to use Mesh Lab at one point) but I went on and researched lots of other software and plugins to aid in the creation process (for example, the Contours retopology plugin for Blender). I also got the chance to delve into the many corners of the Blender software where I had feared to venture before and discovered some of my strengths and weaknesses while at the same time building a new and badly needed confidence with the software.

In conclusion, I’m not sure what kind of text sandwich this review is making but I have absolutely zero regrets in purchasing this book and highly recommend it.


  • Covers Blender 2.6x
  • Reflowable

Elder Scrolls Legend Is Changing it Up!

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Some would say that card games are a niche in the gaming scene and it would explain why it is so easy for a good card game to turn into a success whereas a bad card game will get ignored completely.

The unfortunate bit here is that Elder Scrolls Legends is a mixture of both. While the game may not have the best design and interface, fans of Elder Scrolls can appreciate the deep lore of the fantasy world that gets explored in a fun manner.

Even so, an upgrade for Elder Scrolls Legends is greatly needed and it appears that Bethesda is well aware of it. Reports went viral earlier today that Bethesda is now swapping Legends’ developers while ordering the new developing team to rebuild the game’s client.

The aim here is for Elder Scrolls Legends to offer a better experience than before and this is important when rival card games like Hearthstone have a bigger gamer base than Elder Scrolls Legends. We can expect a massive update on Elder Scrolls Legends to get announced at E3 next week.

Igneous Rocks and Magma

1) Introduction

Igneous rocks are defined as those rocks which have crystallised
from a silicate melt (magma) either within the Earth or at the surface. If the magma cools at depth, slow cooling will occur and a coarse-grained igneous rock will result. If cooling is more rapid, a medium-grained rock is formed ( for example at shallow depths – the hypabyssal environment – sills, centres of dykes), and if the magma erupts at the surface, cooling is very quick so a fine-grained volcanic, rock is formed. With very rapid chilling, a volcanic glass can be formed (obsidian).

Magma contains dissolved gases that remain in solution under pressure. When the pressure is released this can lead to an eruption. This pressure release is called exsolution. Such a process can lead to a fragmental or frothy rock being erupted called a pyroclastic eruption. Magma erupting underwater (sea, lake) produces characteristic shapes known as pillow lavas. These have glassy chilled margins with interiors full of holes, where gases were exsolved but trapped within the rock. The holes are termed vesicles (the sites of former gas bubbles) and are also common in lava flows.

Magmas intruded into small fissures near the surface of the Earth form dykes if vertical and discordant to the bedding, and sills if near horizontal and concordant with the bedding. These dykes and sills may have chilled margins and coarser interiors, and often show cooling joints perpendicular to the cooling surfaces.

2) Classification of igneous rocks

Igneous rocks may be classified using grain-size.
This classification roughly corresponds to plutonic, hypabyssal and volcanic environments. The crystals of coarse-grained rocks can be seen easily with the naked eye; those of medium-grained rocks need a hand-lens; those of fine-grained rocks require a microscope to be resolved.

Some igneous rocks show evidence of having undergone two stages of cooling. The magma may pause en route to the final place of intrusion or extrusion, and cool slightly. Crystals will form and grow. Subsequently eruption or final intrusion takes place and the remainder of the magma will crystallise with a generally finer- grained texture. So we see large crystals (termed phenocrysts) in a finer-grained matrix (called the groundmass). This is known as porphyritic texture.

Igneous rocks can also be classified using mineralogy and chemistry. Textural terms (above) are also useful because the same magma (for example a magma of basaltic composition) can crystallise under different conditions to give very different looking rocks. The chemical composition of the rocks will be the same, and the mineralogy may or may not be similar depending on the physical history, but the rocks may look very different.

3) Chemical definitions

Chemical analysis of igneous rocks gives a classification according to their chemical compositions. A common classification is based on the amount of silica in the rock. Note that this is the chemical amount of silicon dioxide (SiO2), not the quantity of the mineral quartz.

4) Mineralogical definitions

Igneous rocks are composed of varying percentages of mafic (ferromagnesian) minerals such as olivine, pyroxene, amphibole, biotite mica, and felsic minerals such as plagioclase, alkali feldspar and quartz. Generally, mafic minerals tend to be dark in colour and felsic ones light in colour, although this is not always the case.

The percentage of mafic minerals in a rock is called the Colour Index (C.I.) A high colour index is associated with ultrabasic and basic rocks containing >50% mafic minerals. These rocks are sometimes referred to as melanocratic. Colour indices of 30 – 50% are referred to as mesocratic, and are associated with intermediate rocks, while a low C.I. of <30%, referred to as leucocratic, is associated with acid rocks. Do not be led astray by the black obsidian glass which is not a mafic mineral.

We define igneous rocks using a combination of the percentages of quartz, alkali feldspars, plagioclase feldspars and ferromagnesian (mafic) minerals. Grain size also plays a part in naming igneous rocks.

Ultramafic rocks; These contain nearly 100% ferromagnesian minerals.

Dunite is a rock which is rich in the mineral olivine. Pyroxenite is a rock rich in the mineral pyroxene. Peridotite is a rock consisting mainly of olivine and pyroxene. All of these are intrusive rocks and therefore have a coarse or medium grain size. Extrusive rocks of this composition and mineralogy are called komatiites. These are rare today, but more abundant in the early history of the Earth when the mantle was hotter.

Basic rocks:

Basic rocks contain approximately 50% plagioclase (composition typically of labradorite >An50) and 50% mafic minerals (pyroxene). Olivine may also be present, in which case we can preface the name of the rock with the mineral name, for example, olivine basalt. Coarse-grained rocks of this composition are called gabbros; medium-grained ones are dolerite, and fine-grained ones are basalts.

Intermediate rocks:

The diorites are characterised by felsic minerals such as plagioclase (usually andesine), and ferromagnesian minerals (mafics) which may include hornblende and biotite (rarely pyroxene). The ratios are generally such that plagioclase is more abundant than mafics. Quartz and alkali feldspars also may be present. In coarse-grained form they are termed diorite or quartz diorite, and when fine-grained, andesite or dacite.

Acidic rocks:

Quartz and alkali feldspar are abundant (>50% of the total). Plagioclase is andesine or oligoclase. Alkali feldspar includes albite, microcline, orthoclase. Mafic minerals are less abundant and are commonly biotite or hornblende. Muscovite (white mica) also occurs in some granites. Coarse-grained rocks of this composition are called granodiorite or granites and fine-grained varieties are rhyodacite or rhyolite. Other types occur depending on the cooling history.

The relationship between SiO2 and the relative proportions of different minerals is illustrated by a diagrammatic model. If a sample has 50% silica, then using the model it could be ascertained that it should contain 5% olivine, 70% pyroxene and 25% plagioclase feldspar. If it is coarse-grained it would be a gabbro and if fine, a basalt.

5) Origin of basaltic magmas

Magmas are formed by the melting of pre-existing rocks. This occurs in the upper mantle, perhaps where water has lowered the melting temperature. The upper mantle is composed of peridotite.

Peridotite is a complex solid, commonly consisting of 4 minerals (olivine, clinopyroxene, orthopyroxene and spinel or garnet). Each of these minerals melts at a different temperature and so peridotite does not completely melt at any single temperature.

As the temperature rises, some minerals melt and others remain solid. The melting process is aided by the presence of water or by the release of pressure. The parts that melt first (consisting of the minerals with the lowest melting points) rise to higher crustal levels to become rocks of different overall compositions.

Mantle peridotites have been subjected to melting experiments at appropriate pressures in the laboratory, and basaltic magmas are produced in such experiments. Therefore, low P and S wave velocities in the upper mantle are attributed to local basaltic melts. The process of melting a solid to form a melt of different composition is called partial melting.

Evolution of magmas:

Once basaltic magmas have been formed by partial melting of the mantle, they rise upward towards the surface of the Earth. This is due to their buoyancy arising from the lower density of the partial melt than that of its parent. During the process of rising magmas cool and crystals begin to form. If these crystals are removed from the melt (for example they fall to the floor of the magma chamber) or are otherwise prevented from continuously reacting with the magma (formation of zoned crystals), then the magma will change in composition. This is the process of fractional crystallisation and it leads to the formation of families of related igneous rocks (sometimes called a suite or a rock series). Rocks such as basalts, andesites, dacites and rhyolites may all be erupted from a volcano beneath which a magma chamber is undergoing fractional crystallisation.This process can be repeated until acidic rocks (rhyolites) are formed. However, most granitic magmas are probably formed by another process: partial melting of crustal rocks.

Sources and References:


Earth Vs Venus – November 2017

A Lecture I attended a last year! Found the video by the Geological Society of London!

Copied Video’s Description:
Why Earth developed into the crucible of life, and Venus into a hostile wasteland

The present-day differences in the expression and intensity of volcanism on the planets of the inner solar system serves a testament to the dynamic nature of planetary formation and evolution. For example, Earth and Venus are colloquially referred to as sister planets because of their similar size and composition. However, their contrasting volcanology, atmospheric mass and chemistry, climate, and geomorphology are striking.
In short, the Venusian atmosphere and surface contains five orders of magnitude less water than Earth and the average surface temperature on Venus is 460 °C. In addition, Venus is a relatively flat planet, where only 2% of the surface is shows any appreciable topography. Earth, by contrast, has a wet and cold surface with a bimodal topography (e.g. orogenic belts and ocean basins). Suffice to say, these are not identical siblings.
Here I will show how we can combine data from rock-deformation experiments with the chemistry of the Venusian and Terrestrial atmospheres to explain the flatness and relative volcanic quiescence of Venus. In short, I will outline why Earth developed into the crucible of life, and Venus into a hostile wasteland.

Sami Mikhail (University of St Andrew’s)
Dr. Mikhail is a lecturer in Earth Sciences at the University of St Andrews (since May 2015), after spending two years as a Carnegie Postdoctoral Fellow at the Geophysical Laboratory (Washington DC, USA) and a couple of postdoctoral positions at the Universities of Bristol and Edinburgh (UK).
Prior to this Dr. Mikhail gained an BSc in Geology from Kingston University (2006), an MSc in Isotope Geochemistry from Royal Holloway and Bedford New College (2007) and a PhD on the origin of diamond-forming carbon at University College London (2011).
The motivation behind Dr. Mikhail’s research is to understand how the interior of a planet affects and controls the composition of its surface and to long-term habitability. Dr. Mikhail’s approach combines investigations of natural samples with high-pressure and -temperature experiments and theoretical models.
Dr. Mikhail has worked on diverse projects such as the source of Icelandic volcanism, diamond-formation in the deep Earth, and more recently, on linking mantle processes to atmospheric chemistry on Earth, Mars, and Venus.

Geological Society Youtube Channel:

Lecture Details:

My Personal Blog:

Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy


Image result for Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy

Your favourite marsupial, Crash Bandicoot, is back! He’s enhanced, entranced & ready-to-dance with the N. Sane Trilogy game collection. Now you can experience Crash Bandicoot like never before. Spin, jump, wump and repeat as you take on the epic challenges and adventures through the three games that started it all, Crash Bandicoot, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back and Crash Bandicoot: Warped. Relive all your favourite Crash moments in their fully-remastered graphical glory and get ready to put some UMPH in your WUMP!

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Dark Souls 2 Offline Mod

Mod that allows for persistent offline play.

A Very simple “mod” that allows for persistent offline play, without having to go offline on Steam, or disabling network adapters, etc.

In short, it works by intercepting the socket API used by the game and prevents it from initializing. It does not modify any existing game files.

Comes in the form of a GUI app, that lets you install/uninstall easily.

**Supports Dark Souls 2 (including Scholar of the First Sin).



  1. Exit the game (if running).
  2. The app should have detected the Steam path. If not, just browse to it manually. (This is the base Steam folder, which contains “Steam.exe”)
  3. Select version of Dark Souls 2.
  4. Hit the Install/Uninstall button.
  5. If successful, you can simply close the app and play the game offline. App doesn’t need to be running.



From Nexus Mods:

The Four Emerging AI Trends to Watch in 2018

Thanks to the driving momentum of modern tech innovators seeking to carve a new path forward enhanced by adaptive algorithms, the capabilities of Artificial Intelligence have grown exponentially in recent decades. Much of what once seemed implausible in the realm of AI is now a reality, and the still-emerging use cases for this technology continue to astound.

AI developments shift and change like our technology-infused world itself, but recent breakthroughs show huge potential for the not-too-distant future in this burgeoning space. If you’re intrigued by the possibilities, here are four hot AI-related trends to watch closely in 2018.

1. Autonomous vehicles hit the streets

Easily one of the most talked-about innovations in-development, self-driving cars and other autonomous vehicles remain big news. While it may be a few years before fully autonomous rides hit the market, major car manufacturers and tech companies alike are working overtime to make this a reality.

By using simulation to speed up the validation, training, and testing process, real-time technology has been a big boon to the self-driving car industry. From auto giants like Ford to newer tech startups like Zoox and 51VR, Unreal Engine is used heavily by major companies in the automotive and tech industry for running virtual simulation and AI training used in autonomous cars. It’s a lot cheaper (and safer) to train a virtual car in a world created with Unreal Engine.


51VR is one of many innovative companies using Unreal Engine to create photorealistic virtual worlds for training the future of autonomous vehicle AI.


2. Enterprise gets on-board with AI

Artificial Intelligence can be used in a wide range of applications and technologies. As it matures and evolve into greater capabilities, AI is being used by more and more companies in the Enterprise space, and that’s only going to grow in the future.

Automation has already been proven to be a powerful asset to big business, but experimenting with the many other ways AI can be incorporated into business assets is also becoming more popular and widespread. Facebook, for example, is using AI and machine learning to teach its chatbots how to be more human. Machine learning and AI-powered processes can also save tremendous time, making them an alluring asset for data and analytics-heavy business.

In much the same way we’re seeing Enterprise clients get on-board with using Unreal Engine and Unreal Studio for diverse industries like architectural visualization, product design, aerospace, manufacturing, and more, we expect AI to eventually grow and become a more integral part of these industries further down the road.


A growing number of Enterprise clients are using Unreal Engine for everything from architectural design visualization to virtual AI training and simulation.

3. Robotics takes off

On a basic level, robots have been around for a long time now, though AI advancements are making them more adaptable and interactive than ever. Each year, more exciting new robot prototypes emerge, as the latest “droids” in development showcase great potential for the future of robotics as a more integral part of our modern society.

DARPA and Boston Dynamics have built some promising robots for future defense and military applications, with robots capable of doing backflips, navigating unstable terrain, and even recovering when knocked off balance. Amazon already uses small worker robots to sort, route, and store packages at some of its warehouses. Other companies are working to lower the barrier to making robotics more accessible to the masses. NVIDIA, for example, built its Isaac robotics platform on Unreal Engine, which lets developers use high-fidelity simulation environments to test virtual robots that can be transferred to physical robots.

It won’t be long before we begin seeing more robotics integrated into everyday life in fascinating new ways.


NVIDIA’s Isaac robotics platform is built on Unreal Engine and empowers engineers to test and experiment with their creations in the safety of a virtual environment before proceeding to real-world tests.

4. Content creators turn to AI

By its very nature, the act of creating unique content feels intrinsically human, yet artificial intelligence is proving itself very capable when it comes to quasi-artistic expression or creating diverse forms of content. Artistic-minded robots are surprisingly common in the computing world, with models designed with complex AI algorithms that let them make decisions and express themselves through different styles of painting and drawing.

Beyond the realm of art, content creation is getting a fascinating boost from AI in other areas, too. Marketing and social media is one avenue seeing some interesting use of AI for content generation. Some brands and companies are tapping into the power of machine learning to create custom videos, written copy, images, social media posts, and more — all created through artificial intelligence. AI driven content will likely never replace the nuance of the human touch, but it’s interesting to see the unfolding potential here.


Unreal Engine is used extensively across many creative, tech, and design-driven industries to train AI and power robotics for a broad range of clients.
Try Unreal Engine and Unreal Studio for free and see why it’s so popular among developers in the AI space!

Where is Captain America’s Shield?


WARNING: This article contains potential SPOILERS for Avengers: Infinity War

Captain America‘s new shield is getting an upgrade for Infinity War, and will have Black Panther to thank for it. It’s a theory we’ve been building since Steve Rogers showed up with a beard, darker suit, and grimmer demeanour than usual in The Avengers: Infinity War‘s first trailer. To some, the fact that Cap is without his signature shield may be a strong thematic layering, representing his heightened vulnerability now that he has only a handful of Avengers allies left. Or, perhaps a sign that Thanos has weakened Earth’s superheroes before his coming assault. While others…. just really want Cap to get his shield back.


For those who may not remember, Steve Rogers didn’t technically “lose” his shield, despite the past visions of seeing it shattered (and him along with it). Instead, it was surrendered. After deciding that Earth’s heroes should follow their own orders, and not be made subject to the greed, politics, or inaction of world governments, he became a fugitive. It led to some headaches in Captain America: Civil War, but the film’s climax actually had little to do with that ideology. Once his battle with Tony Stark became entirely personal, and Steve defended his brainwashed best friend, Tony decided to put his armored foot down.

The first Avengers Infinity War trailer was just amazing. It has shattered the previous records of the most viewed trailer in first 24 hours. The trailer finally showed The Mad Titan, Thanos, coming to Earth and starting his assault on the heroes along with his Black Order and the army of aliens.

The Infinity gems/stones are the most powerful objects in the entire MCU. The Mad Titan will locate all the Infinity gems, assemble them and create an all-powerful Infinity gauntlet, cause a world-wide catastrophe that will force Team Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy to join forces and fight against the mad Titan.

Although the Infinity war cast is stacked up with superhero heavy-weights, but the most important comic-book character is Thanos. Till now, he has been teased in Marvel movies in post-credits of Phase 2, 3 films, but Infinity war will be the first major project where he is going to be the central antagonist pursuing his sinister ends.

In the trailer, we see Nomad Cap leading his new team of superheroes and warriors at Wakanda to prevent Black Order (Children of Thanos) from possibly getting their hands on the sixth Infinity Gem. Iron Man is seen in the Hulkbuster suit, Spiderman donning Iron Spider suit, Thor meets Guardians of the Galaxy for the first time and Thanos is stealing Infinity stones one by one and is preparing for an all-out assault.

captain america

There were many breath-taking moments in the trailer but after watching the trailer multiple times, a particular scene caught our attention and it has everything to do with Captain America who is featuring a new look and new weapon for combat, his new shield.

Steve Rogers dropped his shield when Iron Man says, “You don’t deserve it; my father made that shield” and walks away with Winter Soldier at the end of Captain America: Civil War. But the upcoming movie is all set to give him a new shield and it won’t be a typical circular shield like before.

A few weeks ago, the poster of Avengers Infinity War showed Steve Rogers sporting a beard and he is not in his usual attire of Captain America, instead, he is wearing Nomad suit from comics. Russo Brothers told Huffington Post that dropping his shield “is him letting go of that identity. It’s him admitting that the identity of Captain America was in conflict with the very personal choice that he was making.”

So how will the Super Soldier fight the Mad Titan? Well, according to the poster, he will take on the new alias Nomad which he adopted during 1970’s in Marvel comics. So yes, he will be fighting against Thanos and his ruthless alien invaders but as someone else.

We saw king T’Challa ordering his loyal soldiers to “Evacuate the city, engage all defenses and get this man a shield.” The man referred in here gotta be Steve Rogers as he is the one who uses the shield while fighting.

Later in the trailer, we saw two armies marching towards each other. One of Thanos’ aliens and the other Wakandan army joined by Black Panther, The Hulk, Black Widow, Winter Soldier, Falcon, War Machine and Captain America who is in the middle and what’s easily missed here was the thing on Captain America’s wrist. He is wearing some kind of gauntlet on each forearm which appears triangular in shape.

This is a new type of shield that Captain America is wearing that can be modified into a triangular shield if you pair both of them together. It’s the same kind of shield that was featured in the Captain America: Steve Rogers where Steve Rogers regains his super-soldier serum after the events of “Avengers: Standoff” and gives his circular shield to Sam Wilson. While he adopts a new one which can be separated into two pieces.

There is no doubt that if Black Panther has ordered his men to forge a new shield and they don’t make it. And a country full of rare Vibranium metal, it’s just a normal thing to see another shield being made in no time.

While we didn’t see any more visuals of him wearing those gauntlets, we hope to see him using his new shield in the next trailer.