The first batch of Nerd Merit Badges arrived!

The first batch of Nerd Merit Badges arrived! The little inch-and-a-half embroidered patches are backed with “hook-side” velcro. They came from the embroiderer in a small plastic tube, the patches back to back, like a little stick of candy. Here they are, decanted into Ikea bins:

First batch of merit badges arrived!

Open Source "Octocat" Nerd Merit BadgeThe little Tikaro gearxels aren’t merit badges; I’m not sure what I’ll do with them, but I couldn’t resist having them made. If I ever have a squad of turtlenecked heavies, I suppose the pattches will go on their berets.

Our first Nerd Merit Badge is pictured at the right, it’s the logo for GitHub, one of the newest and shiniest hosts of open-source software. There are lot of important, thriving, and storied open-source hosts out there, but Simon Oxley‘s Octocat is our very favorite OSS-associated logo.

Randy and I printed up a bunch of cards, then put velcro dots on the cards. The result actually looks like a, you know, product!

First batch of Nerd Merit Badges!

Randy twittering the Nerd Merit Badges
Randy and I ran down to the West Chester Post Office and put a few of the first badges into the mail for the folks at GitHub. That’s Randy on the right, taking a picture of the first batch going out. He microblogged the picture, and now of course I’m blogging that microblogging.

Which is appropriate, since the next badge we’re working on is the all-important Regular Expressions merit badge. There’s nothing closer to a geek’s heart than regular expressions. When I met Kate, she was doing regular expressions to clean up museum’s collection listings. That is such an awesome nerd job that it doesn’t seem real; like maybe the heroine’s job in a romantic movie. Oh, Regular Expressions, you make everything good better, and you make everything wonderful EVEN MORE AWESOME.

Right now, we can’t decide whether we want to use a superhero-type shield on it with the motto similar to “s//*/g (substitute nothing with everything!)” or a mailed fist clutching the symbols to build the Regular Expression THAT ENDS THE WORLD: “s/*//g (substitute everything with nothing!)”

Or Will suggested the uber-regular-expression’s uber-regular-expression: “s/s/*//g/s//*/g/g “Substitute (substitute everything with nothing, globally) with (substitute nothing with everything, globally), globally”

How do you fit both CREATION and DESTRUCTION onto 1.5″ of embroidered cotton twill? I’m not sure, but I think it will involve some Perl.

You can follow our progress at!

6 responses to “The first batch of Nerd Merit Badges arrived!”

  1. An idea for the regex badge.
    Matches empty lines, ^ and $ are sort of the alpha and omega of regex. Bars in cyan, chars in yellow, on scout green background. Two thirds badge width.


  2. Sam! I’m glad you commented, now I have your canonical email at long last! Do you think we could replace ^$ with something like _$2 and _$1, turning our universe into BIZARRO UNIVERSE?
    I’m game to grow a goatee if you are!


  3. Those magnets are great but I have to say I have a preference for the octocat!
    I hope you are able to promote Tikaro in some way to get your name out at the Polar Plunge.
    PS: Sorry I missed you the other day @ the BVA- look forward to meeting you soon!


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