Ready for your lessons from geek movies? Following up on last week's Ten Things I Learned From the Fantastic Four, we're going to pick out a few general pointers for life from the X-Men film trilogy. Without further ado, I give you: The Geek Beat -- Eight Things I Learned From the X-Men (again, movies only, not the comics):

1. Wear hats frequently, particularly ones crafted from special materials. If you are an evil villain, all you need to do to escape the dangers of Charles Xavier, leader of the X-Men and most powerful telepathy on earth, is wear a nice hat. Not only will it keep Professor X out of your brain, it will also keep your head warm during the winter months and dry during unexpected rainfall. If you design it well, it can even be a fantastic addition to your villain ensemble. Nothing says super powers like a matching cape, costume and helmet.

2. Avoid city living, as it is far too complicated and laden with troublesome people. Again, a good note for evil villains -- if you want to conquer the world, try starting someplace other than New York. The crazy city is home to half of the known superheroes in America. I know there are a lot of cool buildings around to serve as labs/headquarters/hanger bays, but country living has a lot to offer you as well. For starters, you won't find the X-Men chilling out in Montana. Granted, your enormous headquarters will probably stand out a bit, but that's why we invented underground bunkers, right?

3. Punk is chic. If you need your group to appear young, counter-culture, revolutionary, etcetera, no problem! Just give everyone torn denim, piercings, and dyed hair -- and tell them not to bathe for a few weeks. When people of questionable morality gather together to stage a protest/violent uprising against the government, they should all dress like mid-nineties disaffected youth.

4. Eyes really are the windows to the soul. Worried that your friend/family member/co-worker/mailman may be filled with absurd power just waiting to burst through at any second? No worries -- just watch his eyes. Even for those who regularly exercise superhuman abilities, when they're pulling off something big, their eyes will glaze or spark or something. So when you see the eyes of the guy in the cube next to you start changing, you'd better duck. He's about to unleash some serious fury.

5. Related to points one and three, you should always dress to impress. Or at least, to stand out. If you are the keeper of some great and mysterious power (be it granted to you by cosmic rays, genetic mutation, radiation, alien parentage, spider bite, whatever) it is your responsibility to create a cool suit which you can wear into battle, or to a fancy dress party. If your team does not offer a standard issue team suit, get creative! Helmets, capes and fancy boots always look great for the aspiring superhuman. Yellow spandex, however mocked it may be by certain team members, is also a classic look.

6. Dating is dangerous. Be careful when hooking up with that cute guy/girl in the office. Sure, they may be a great person, but you never know what deep, dark secrets they are hiding. Who knows, maybe they're possessed by an evil alien entity (or whatever the official Phoenix explanation was in the film) lurking just beneath the surface. Maybe they've got a previously undiscovered knack for sucking out your very life. Or maybe they'll cheat on you with someone else on an ice-skating rink. Not only do you risk a broken heart, you also risk total obliteration. But those are the breaks, yeah? Dating is a tricky game, and you can't win if you never play.

7. If you are different, not even your mother will love you. Life is tough for those of you who aren't like everyone else. Your community will shun you, your family will at best awkwardly pretend you are normal while secretly wishing you would just go away, and crazed government officials, military leaders, and super villains will spend their time devising new plans to separate you from your life.

8. The ends justify the means. It doesn't matter how many houses, cars, or even city blocks you destroy, if you're doing something important. Got a baddie to stop, but you need to bust your way through a sky scraper or two? No problem, just go for it! Nobody will really miss those buildings anyway, and you sure as heck don't have to pay for them, because by the time they realized what happened you'll be another five blocks down the road chasing that villain.


You know you've got a few of your own. Put on your clever hat and share them!