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Hail to the geek

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Posted by Courtney E. Howard

The jury is still out on how President Elect Barack Obama will be as a president. Some would have us believe that he is already failing--several "talk radio" hosts come to mind, in fact--without having even taken the helm. It certainly looks like the "ship" attached the that helm is sinking, but it's not his fault--although regrettably his problem, as well as ours. I thought I'd throw my own bias into the fray, and suggest that Obama might go down as the geekiest President of the United States to date. This moniker is a not a criticism; in fact, I celebrate geeks. Heck, I love geeks--and I am not alone. (Just visit, a t-shirt of which is shown at right, and you'll see what I mean.) Geeks are cool now; huzzah! I wish that it had been cool when I was in school to be, as I was often called, "a book nerd," but I rejoice nonetheless. Our time has come; better late than never.

Now, I am a journalist and as such I cannot simply throw out a statement with no basis in fact, as subjective as my statement might seem. I have evidence that Obama is the biggest geek to take office as the U.S. President.

The Associated Press reported today that Barack Obama is Spider-Man's latest sidekick. Obama stars in a bonus story within Marvel Comics' "Amazing Spider-Man" No. 583, which hits the stands (and the hot little hands of a number of geeks) this coming Wednesday. Collectors will be at once happy and frustrated to hear that Marvel is offering for purchase two editions, each with a different cover; the future Commander-in-Chief and webbed superhero take center stage on a special Inauguration Day cover. Obama had previously revealed that he collects Spider-Man comics. Further, at one of his events, Obama greeted Leonard Nimoy with the Vulcan hand signal/salute. He also has a favorite X-Men character, and he has written poems.

Hail to the geek, I say. I am nothing but optimistic that a fellow geek will deliver a focus on furthering all things geeky: electronics technology, intellect, and maybe even a cool presidential comic. We could use a superhero.

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Welcome to the lighter side of Military & Aerospace Electronics. This is where our staff recount tales of the strange, the weird, and the otherwise offbeat. We could put news here, but we have the rest of our Website for that. Enjoy our scribblings, and feel free to add your own opinions. You might also get to know us in the process. Proceed at your own risk.

John Keller for MAE
John Keller is editor-in-chief of Military & Aerospace Electronics magazine, which provides extensive coverage and analysis of enabling electronic and optoelectronic technologies in military, space, and commercial aviation applications. A member of the Military & Aerospace Electronics staff since the magazine's founding in 1989, Mr. Keller took over as chief editor in 1995.

Courtney Howard for MAE Courtney E. Howard is senior editor of Military & Aerospace Electronics magazine. She is responsible for writing news stories and feature articles for the print publication, as well as composing daily news for the magazine's Website and assembling the weekly electronic newsletter. Her features have appeared in such high-tech trade publications as Military & Aerospace Electronics, Computer Graphics World, Electronic Publishing, Small Times, and The Audio Amateur.

John McHale for MAE John McHale is executive editor of Military & Aerospace Electronics magazine, where he has been covering the defense Industry for more than dozen years. During that time he also led PennWell's launches of magazines and shows on homeland security and a defense publication and website in Europe. Mr. McHale has served as chairman of the Military & Aerospace Electronics Forum and its Advisory Council since 2004. He lives in Boston with his golf clubs.