#749 – Nerdy Illnesses

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I always get sick at the worst times.

I’ve come down with a pretty gnarly cold that had me taking a four-hour nap yesterday afternoon. I’d be all right with a cold, except we’ve got a trip with our high school students to Hollywood this weekend. We’ll be spending the weekend setting up for a toy giveaway that will see nearly 2,000 children blessed with presents for Christmas. It’s a great trip but not so great when I’m sneezing all over the presents.

To help me cope with my illness, here are some nerdy illnesses I’m happy I don’t have.



The genophage is an illness from the Mass Effect video game series. The disease was designed by the Salarian race to severely hinder the Krogan race’s ability to reproduce. The genophage was a biological weapon that pushed the Krogan race to the brink of extinction. I’ve still only played through the first Mass Effect so I don’t know if there’s an opportunity to reverse the genophage. Hopefully there is because stopping a potential genocide is bound to earn my character some Paragon points. Virtual genocide is bad and should be stopped regardless, but where’s the harm in gaining a few levels along the way?



Vampirism is an illness found in many different media. From the silent film Nosferatu to the sparkly abominations of The Twilight Saga, vampires are all around us. I have a tremendously irrational fear of vampires so I do my best to avoid them at all cost. However, in Elder Scrolls games like Oblivion and Skyrim sometimes it’s impossible to avoid vampires. I can’t count the number of times in Oblivion that I got bit by a vampire, contracted vampirism, went to sleep before getting cured and woke up a vampire. Every time I did that I had to reset my game and hope that I had saved recently. There’s nothing like losing an hour of gameplay because I didn’t want to spend the rest of my time in Tamriel as an ancestor of Edward Cullen.

Pon Farr


Pon farr is a Vulcan illness and its remedies are a little NSFC. Every seven years, as a part of their mating cycle, Vulcan males and females experience pon farr. Unless they mate with someone with whom they have a strong bond or engage in a ritual fight to the death, they will die. Puberty definitely has its ups and downs but the worst I experienced was some embarrassment when my voice cracked – certainly nothing as bad as death. I’d much rather have a cold two or three times a year than have to go through puberty every seven years.

I really hate being sick. I know that I just need to sleep and rest in order to get better, but there is so much I could be doing to be more productive. I’m praying that God will be my healer so I can be at full strength for our trip this weekend. If I’m not, I’ll just have to tell my students to leave me alone unless they want a fight to the death.

What nerdy illnesses do you hope to avoid?


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