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10 Standout Nerds of 2011


Sure, there was a time when being labeled “nerd” — a broadly-encompassing term for a person who’s myopically devoted to science, computers, and/or esoteric cultural pursuits like “Star Wars” trivia or “Dungeons & Dragons” — was the nadir of uncoolness. Nerds were considered clueless about fashion and, well, to put it politely, socially and romantically challenged. Think of Anthony Michael Hall, the archetypical teen science nerd in 1980s movies “Sixteen Candles” and “The Breakfast Club,” and it’s easy to understand why only the truly brave dared to fly their nerd flags high — revealing their enthusiasm for trigonometric functions or disclosing their desires to compile a thesaurus for one of J.R.R. Tolkien’s elf languages.

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