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America's finest news source, The Onion, raises an important question: Where are today's black nerd role models? The fake newspaper headline reads: "African-American Community Calls For New Black Nerd Archetype: Hollywood Blasted For Failure To Portray Modern Dorks Of Color."

Here's an excerpt from the article: According to the Dweeb Diversity Coalition, nerds in the African-American community continue, like their predecessors, to be socially awkward, hilariously unstylish, and a source of embarrassment for their cooler black friends. But a recent survey of pop-cultural archetypes found that in the current TV lineup, almost all nerd characters are white.

The Onion goes on to say that it's been over a decade since the likes of Steve Urkel, in his hiked pants, walked into our lives.  Who do today's science-loving, journal-reading, microscope-staring minorities have to look up to?  Where Hollywood fails, Planet Harmony has got your back! Just check out the growing list of real life, too-smart role models on our research page.

However, according to one of our favorite nerd role models, no one should depend on role models at all.  Niel deGrasse Tyson told pH, "if I had required a dark skinned role model to become an astrophysicist, I simply would not have become an astrophysicist."

What do you think?  Are role models useful?  Are there any bookish minorities on TV right now?

Also, if you have a suggestion for a researcher we should add to our list, let us know below.

Six in ten Americans go online wirelessly using a laptop or cell phone; African-Americans and 18-29 year olds lead the way in the use of cell phone data applications, but older adults are gaining ground.
Story written by Aaron Smith of the Pew Internet and American Life Project

African-Americans and English-speaking Latinos continue to be among the most active users of the mobile web. Cell phone ownership is higher among African-Americans and Latinos than among whites (87% vs. 80%) and minority cell phone owners take advantage of a much greater range of their phones’ features compared with white mobile phone users. In total, 64% of African-Americans access the internet from a laptop or mobile phone, a seven-point increase from the 57% who did so at a similar point in 2009.

Young adults (those ages 18-29) are also avid users of mobile data applications, but older adults are gaining fast. Compared with 2009, cell phone owners ages 30-49 are significantly more likely to use their mobile device to send text messages, access the internet, take pictures, record videos, use email or instant messaging, and play music.

This report is based on the findings of a daily tracking survey on Americans’ use of the Internet. The results in this report are based on data from telephone interviews conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International between April 29 and May 30, 2010, among a sample of 2,252 adults, age 18 and older. Interviews were conducted in English. For results based on the total sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling and other random effects is plus or minus 2.4 percentage points. For results based Internet users (n=1,756), the margin of sampling error is plus or minus 2.7 percentage points. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting telephone surveys may introduce some error or bias into the findings of opinion polls.

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