[syndicated profile] epbot_feed

Posted by Jen

Thanks to SuperCon in Miami, I have lots of new artists to share this month! I tried to do better this time by asking artists what wasn't available online, so I could buy more things for the give-away board that you couldn't easily get yourselves. Makes my give-away board that much more enticing, no? ;)

First up, Franciso Perez. His new take on Mario &Yoshi would be perfect in a kid's room:

 "Mario & Yoshi" 12X16 print $17

I'm also digging his minimalist Batgirl:

Check out his store for more!


I picked up one of these from Cryssy Cheung for the give-away board:

 Leia & R2D2 8X18 print, $15

I love the unusual size, and the soft watercolor background.

She also has cute 5X7 prints like these for only $5:




 Click over to Chryssy's etsy shop for more!


Melru of Ionitron doesn't have an online store - she only sells at conventions - but check out her super fun MegaMan:


And I liked Melru's Mario print so much I bought one for the give-away board! Who love ya? Huh?

 Love that soft color palette.


As John and I were walking through artists' alley we were stopped in our tracks by the most stunning painting of Spock:


Amanda Tolleson's art is so photo-realistic she's routinely accused of using actual photos, so she started taking process videos as proof. (She had one playing at her table on an iPad.) Wowza.

Her Sherlock and Supernatural art is equally jaw-dropping:


In fact, John bought her darker Castiel print for his man cave. Then I picked up that Sherlock up there for the give-away board, since Amanda doesn't have an online store.

Don't fret, though; Amanda will still sell via e-mail, if you're interested! Head over to her DeviantArt gallery to see the rest of her work, and you can contact her through her website for prints. (I don't remember the exact prices, but they were really reasonable - in the $30 range.)

 And speaking of Castiel, here's John's favorite art piece of the con:







 "Wayward Son" by Newsha Ghasemi, 13X19 print, $15

John loved how this illustrates something we never got to see in the show: Castiel rescuing Dean from hell. (And check out the hand burning his shoulder. Very. Cool.)

We've been watching Supernatural again from the beginning, so all the fanart really caught our eye this con. :)

Newsha had so many great prints, but this was my favorite:

"Someday I'll Be..." 13X19 print, $15

Check out all the Disney version homages here: Eric's wearing Ursula's shell, Ariel has a fork in her hair, and around them on the beach is Sebastian, Scully, a pipe, dancing couple, etc. LOVE. And I kind of like how both of them have tattoos; it adds more life and depth to them somehow.

And I have to say, this resin-coated print is STUNNING in person. The colors almost look metallic, the reds and blues are so vivid. The image here just can't do it justice.

And if you like that, Newsha also has a Beauty and the Beast one:

 "For Who Could Ever Learn..."

Love all the castle characters on and around the little side table.


And finally, one more big print you can only buy in person at a convention or win here at Epbot:

 Maleficent, by Danielle Otrakji

Such a great style! (And did you miss the dragon eye?)


I still have lots more to share and post to the give-away board, but my scanner suddenly isn't co-operating [>.<], so I'll have to save those for next month.  SO... give-away time!
 
Since I'm swimming in new art again (LOVE having that problem!), I'll choose TWO randomly selected commenters this month to take their pick of anything on my Pinterest art give-away board. I'll announce the winners sometime next week, and as always, I'll ship anywhere, so happy commenting!

And happy Friday, too! Hope you guys have an awesomely geektastic weekend. (John and I are happily ensconced in a major makeover of his man cave. WOOT! There will be construction pics soon!)
[syndicated profile] geekfeminism_feed

Posted by spam-spam

  • Why Captain America Should Stay Black Forever | E.Knight at Boxing With God (July 19): “Comic book fans born today should grow up knowing this is Captain America. There should be no doubt.  The idea that a black man could represent the ultimate patriot is only ironic if our society continues to insist that White is America’s default race.”
  • New Thor Will be a Woman! Five Other Heroines Who Have Taken Up a Man’s Title | Mey at Autostraddle (July 22): “Although there’s absolutely nothing wrong with feminizing a name, there is a lot of clout that comes with the name Thor. By not adding “She-,” “Lady” or “Ms.” to the name, they are saying that this character isn’t a sidekick or partner to Thor, they’re saying that she isn’t “inspired by” Thor, they’re saying she simply is Thor. [...] While Thor is the most high-profile example of this, it’s not the first. Here are some of my favorite examples of this happening before.”
  • How Big of a Problem is Harassment at Comic Conventions? Very Big. | Janelle Asselin at bitchmedia (July 22)[warning for discussion of harassment] “It’s not difficult to see why conventions can be rife with harassment. People in my survey report being harassed by fans, journalists, publishing employees, and comics creators, so there are issues at every level of the industry. Conventions involve cramming a lot of people into one space where ideally everyone gets to move around. This means there are a lot of brush-by maneuvers, awkward running into people, and a lot of general closeness. [...] This is the first time ever that SDCC has made a specific anti-harassment policy so prominent and offered a clear course of action for fans who are harassed.”
  • Killing the Messenger at Mozilla | Tim Chevalier at Model View Culture (July 21) (disclosure: Tim Chevalier contributes to geekfeminism.org): “In 2012, it was nearly taboo at Mozilla to question the individualist narrative: the story that says that Eich, like any other employee, could spend his paycheck in whatever manner he chose. In 2014, Mozillans had no choice but to engage with a more structural narrative: that it’s impossible to lead a diverse organization when you have openly and obdurately expressed animus towards members of a protected class. [...] If we take [the Mozilla leaders] at face value, they did not understand why anyone would think that queer people’s rights were relevant to an open-source software project — surely they must have been aware that LGBTQ people worked for them.”
  • WisCon…This is How You Fail | The Angry Black Woman (July 20): “Race, gender, and class have all been issues at various points for me at WisCon. Most incidents fall into microaggression territory, and as a personal philosophy I tend not to let those dissuade me from things I want to do. That is an eminently personal choice, and should not be construed as telling anyone else what to do or how to feel. If my friends stop going, then so will I.”
  • The Pay-for-Performance Myth | Eric Chemi and Ariana Giorgi at Bllomberg Business Week (July 22): “An analysis of compensation data publicly released by Equilar shows little correlation between CEO pay and company performance. Equilar ranked the salaries of 200 highly paid CEOs. When compared to metrics such as revenue, profitability, and stock return, the scattering of data looks pretty random, as though performance doesn’t matter. The comparison makes it look as if there is zero relationship between pay and performance.”
  • Coder livetweets sexist remarks allegedly made by IBM executives | Aja Romano at The Daily Dot (July 22): “Note to IBM executives: If you’re going to openly discuss why you think young women make bad hires in the tech industry, you might want to make sure you’re not having lunch next to a young mom who’s also a coder. [...] According to [Lyndsay] Kirkham, the executives listed off a number of women who are currently employed at IBM, all of whom apparently have kids, and listed the amount of time the women were expected to take off in the next few years for anticipated pregnancies.”
  • #iamdoingprogramming made me feel more alienated from the tech community | Christina Truong at Medium (July 21): “In the eight years that I’ve been in the tech industry, I’ve worked with one Black person that was in a tech role and a handful in non-tech roles (project managers) and that’s a damn shame. [...] Diversity doesn’t mean pushing those that are already there out of the group. It simply means making space for different kinds of people, different opinions and opening up the culture instead of spotlighting and finding the same kind of person over and over again. It’s about showing people that there are different ways to be successful in this industry. It’s about telling everyone’s story.”
  • Numbers are not enough: Why I will only attend conferences with explicitly enforceable Codes of Conduct and a commitment to accessibility | Jennie Rose Halperin (July 22): “I recently had a bad experience at a programming workshop where I was the only woman in attendance and eventually had to leave early out of concern for my safety. [...] What happened could have been prevented: each participant signed a “Code of Conduct” that was buried in the payment for the workshop, but there was no method of enforcement and nowhere to turn when issues arose.”

We link to a variety of sources, some of which are personal blogs.  If you visit other sites linked herein, we ask that you respect the commenting policy and individual culture of those sites.

You can suggest links for future linkspams in comments here, or by using the “geekfeminism” tag on Pinboard, Delicious or Diigo; or the “#geekfeminism” tag on Twitter. Please note that we tend to stick to publishing recent links (from the last month or so).

Thanks to everyone who suggested links.

Friday Favs 7/25/14

Jul. 25th, 2014 01:00 pm
[syndicated profile] cakewrecks_feed

Posted by Jen

A few of my favorite submissions this week:

 

Yeah! Go SPORTS!

 

Of course it's easy to focus on the mistakes, so let's take a second to appreciate that somewhere there's a professional baker who actually did this... on purpose.

("I call it, 'Barbie's Dream Petri Dish.'")

 

Could be worse, though. This one makes me want to launch a CSI investigation:

("Looks like Merle... [SUNGLASSES].... got smoked.")

And yes, I do realize "CSI investigation" is redundant.

 

SPEAKING of which...

Ow. My brain.

 

Because nothing delights a girl on her birthday quite like chopping off the head of a terrified Minnie Mouse:

"Don't worry, Minnie, this'll only hurt for seconds."

 

Just think: last week two of you loyal wrecky minions spotted this display, took a photo, and sent it in to me:

I love it when that happens! It's like Missed Connections, Cake Wrecks style!

So Sara? Brittany? YOUR DESTINY TOGETHER AWAITS.
(Dibs on the wedding cake photos.)

Oh, and I think that bamboo plant is trying to lick us.

 

A few weeks ago a couple of readers had a discussion on Twitter about Cake Wrecks, and since they kept tagging me in it, I was privy to their thoughts on how our posting misspelled cakes smacks of "intellectual snobbery," and really isn't that funny anyway.

I didn't reply at the time because the two weren't talking TO me, just ABOUT me. However, now, at long last, I believe I have an appropriate response.

Ahem hem hem.

This was supposed to say "Celebrate."

[drops mic]
[walks off stage]
[trips]
[scrambles up]
[steps on skirt]
[pantses self]
[slinks off, stage left]

YEAH.

 

Thanks to Mag D., Allison A., Mark F., Laura H., Sara E., Brittany A., & Barb F. for celetraling with us.

*****

Thank you for using our Amazon links to shop! USA, UK, Canada.

Book: The Charisma Myth

Jul. 25th, 2014 12:00 pm
[syndicated profile] accidentallyincode_feed

Posted by Cate Huston

charisma myth I quite enjoyed The Charisma Myth (Amazon), although I’m not sure how much more Charismatic I managed to become from reading it!

Charisma is behaviour (not personality!) that can be learned. Marilyn Monroe could turn charisma on and off.

A young woman went to dinner with William Gladstone and separately also with Benjamin Disraeli. She said she left dinner with Gladstone thinking he was the cleverest person in England. Disraeli made her feel like the cleverest person in England. Disraeli won the election.

Quick tips for increasing charisma

  • Lower the intonation of your voice at the end of sentences.
  • Reduce how quickly and how often you nod.
  • Pause for a full 2 seconds before you speak.

Being present shows in interactions. Charisma comes from internal mental state, not external. People can tell (from micro expressions) if you are faking it.

Transfer technique. Imagine passing off problem to something else. This can be surprisingly effective, because initial reaction to everything is “what if this were true?”

Managing negative thoughts. First, it’s normal to have them, we shouldn’t berate ourselves for it! Try not to fixate on them; see them like graffiti on the street. Don’t assume thoughts are accurate. Depersonalise. This is like The Happiness Trap book.

Warmth. This comes from feeling goodwill towards others, but also from practising self compassion towards ourselves.

Power, presence and warmth are important for charismatic speaking and listening.

Great listening skills are key to communicating charismatic presence.

Never interrupt people and occasionally pause for a second or two before you answer.

People associate you with the feelings you produce in them. Avoid creating negative associations: don’t make them feel bad, or wrong.

Make people feel good, especially about themselves. Don’t try to impress them – let them impress you, and they will love you for it.

Use visual metaphors, they are more memorable.

Use as few words as possible, and deliver as much value as possible: entertainment, information, or good feelings.

To emanate vocal power, use a slow, measured tempo. Insert pauses between your sentences, and drop your intonation at the end.

To emanate vocal warmth just smile, or imagine smiling.

We react more to how something is said than what is said, especially in high stakes situations.

Approach difficult people individually, tailor charisma style to each person.

Express appreciation for help or positive impact. Help them to rationalise action in your favour.

When delivering bad news, get into a state of compassion. Show warmth and care in your timing, body language, verbal language.

When delivering criticism, get into a state of goodwill and focus on behaviours rather than personal traits. Don’t use don’t do.

When delivering apologies, show presence in hearing them out completely, show warmth in apology. Power to correct or prevent reoccurs helps.

On the phone it is necessary to work harder to be present.

When writing emails, remove extra words. Look for I rather than you. Start with you.

Logo Low-Blows

Jul. 24th, 2014 01:00 pm
[syndicated profile] cakewrecks_feed

Posted by Jen

I know it can be scary asking a bakery to do something custom, like, say, a school or brand's logo.
But DON'T PANIC; I'm here to walk you through it.

First, print out a nice, clear image to bring in as a reference:

 

With something as simple as this Chanel logo, you can be sure there is simply NO WAY...

...that the results won't be hysterical.

 

When ordering a Saints logo...

 

...it helps to have the patience of one.

 

Oh, and when you give the baker your reference image, be sure to mention how closely you want your cake to match; some bakers take it more as a "guideline" than an actual rule.

"Why'd you use the S?!"
"Because I don't know what the F is going on!"

 

Still, the most important thing, my friends... is to be glad you aren't ordering a Texas Longhorns cake.

Because seriously, that thing is the Kobayashi Maru of cake orders:

...you can't win.

(But hey, at least this one's got heart!)

 

Thanks to Amy B., Ashley B., Candace F., Amy B., Allison, & Chris L. for getting that last one off his chest.

*****

Thank you for using our Amazon links to shop! USA, UK, Canada.

Queer intersectionality reading list

Jul. 24th, 2014 04:38 am
[syndicated profile] infotropism_feed

Posted by Skud

I recently put together this reading list on queer intersectionality for a local LGBTIQ group, as part of thinking about how we can serve a wider community of same-sex attracted and gender diverse folks. I thought it might be useful to share it more widely.

For context, this is a 101 level reading list for people with a bare understanding of the concept of intersectionality. If you’re not familiar with that you might want to read Wikipedia’s article on intersectionality.

Interview with Kimberlé Crenshaw, who named and popularised the concept of intersectionality — I think it’s important that we remember and give credit to Professor Crenshaw and the black movements whose ideas we’re using, which is why I’m including this link first.

Intersectionality draws attention to invisibilities that exist in feminism, in anti-racism, in class politics, so obviously it takes a lot of work to consistently challenge ourselves to be attentive to aspects of power that we don’t ourselves experience.” But, she stresses, this has been the project of black feminism since its very inception: drawing attention to the erasures, to the ways that “women of colour are invisible in plain sight”.

“Within any power system,” she continues, “there is always a moment – and sometimes it lasts a century – of resistance to the implications of that. So we shouldn’t really be surprised about it.”

An excellent article about the New York group Queers for Economic Justice:

“You would never know that poverty or class is a queer issue,” said Amber Hollibaugh, QEJ Executive Director and founding member. She continued: “Founding QEJ was, for many of us that were part of it, a statement of …wanting to try to build something that assumed a different set of priorities [than the mainstream gay equality movement]: that talked about homelessness, that talked about poverty, that talked about race and sexuality and didn’t divide those things as if they were separate identities. And most of us that were founding members couldn’t find that anywhere else.”

An interesting personal reflection on intersectionality by a queer Asian woman in NZ:

On the other side, if I’m having issues in my queer relationship with my white partner the discourse my mum uses is that same-gender relationships just don’t work and aren’t supposed to work. Find a (Chinese) man, get married and have babies like she did. You don’t have to love him to begin with but you will grow to love him. Like my mum did, apparently. It’s like if you’re queer and there’s problems in your relationship it’s because you’re queer and the solution is to be heterosexual. If you’re Chinese and there’s problems with your family it’s because Chinese culture is just more conservative or backward and the solution is to distance yourself away from it or try to assimilate into Pakeha culture. It shouldn’t have to be like this.

An article about intersectionality and climate justice (not very queer-oriented but some interesting stuff to think about):

On a personal level, we have to slow down and educate ourselves so that we can name the toxic systems within which we exist. We have to relearn the real histories of the land, of resistance movements and what it has taken for communities survive. We must also take the time to talk through all of the connections so that we can build a deeper analysis of the crises we face. During this process, it’s important that we commit to the slow time of genuine relationship-building, especially as we learn to walk into communities that we’re not a part of in respectful ways. From there, we create space to truly hear each other’s stories and bring people together in ways that, as Dayaneni says, “we can see ourselves in each other.”

A speech about queerness and disability:

This gathering has been very white and for the most part has neglected issues of race and racism. All of us here in this room today need to listen to queer disabled people of color and their experiences. We need to fit race and racism into the matrix of queerness and disability. I need to ask myself, not only “What does it mean to be a pansexual tranny with a long butch dyke history, a walkie with a disability that I acquired at birth,” but also, “What does it mean to be a white queer crip?”

We haven’t asked enough questions about class, about the experiences of being poor and disabled, of struggling with hunger, homelessness, and a lack of the most basic healthcare. I want to hear from working class folks who learned about disability from bone-breaking work in the factory or mine or sweatshop.

We need more exploration of gender identity and disability. How do the two inform each other? I can feel the sparks fly as disabled trans people are just beginning to find each other. We need to listen more to Deaf culture, to people with psych disabilities, cognitive disability, to young people and old people. We need not to re-create here in this space, in this budding community, the hierarchies that exist in other disability communities, other queer communities.

And finally, Beyond the Queer Alphabet (ebook) — an entire book on the subject of queer intersectionality.

If you’ve got any other recommended reading, I’d appreciate hearing about it.

Quick Mailbox Makeover

Jul. 24th, 2014 12:30 am
[syndicated profile] epbot_feed

Posted by Jen

You ever have something in or around your house that is just SO embarrassing that, even after a major makeover, it still looks like someone else's "before" picture?

This is going to be like that.

So... this was my mailbox a few weeks ago:




[cringe] They say sharing your pain is cathartic. For the record: not feelin' it.

Aaand after a couple of evenings sweating it out in the blistering sauna of our fair state (it was 98 degrees at 6:30PM today. WHY.) I managed to paint, sand, and stain our sad little lizard condo into relative submission:

I dub thee, "almost respectable again."


I know I should plant some flowers or something at the base, but did I mention it was 98 degrees out tonight? DID I? Plus John won't let me just stick some fake silk plants out there, so... harrumph. (Be glad I'm not the one in charge of plant life. I'm still lobbying for astro-turf.)

The good news is this was a no-cost makeover, since we already had all the spray paints and stains in the garage. I was able to sand all the rust off the numbers before painting & clear-coating them, and the box has at least six layers of copper paint and clear-coat on it now, so take THAT, sun! [shaking fist at sky]

And now I think I'll use my freshly freshened mailbox to send one of you that resin dragonfly necklace! Eh? (How's THAT for a segue?)

So, the randomly selected winner from my last post is... bmuir322! Congrats, bmuir (Can I call you bmuir?), and please e-mail me your mailing address!


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Posted by BrianKrebs

A Russian man detained in Spain is facing extradition to the United States on charges of running an international cyber crime ring that allegedly stole more than $10 million in electronic tickets from e-tickets vendor StubHub.

stubhubVadim Polyakov, 30, was detained while vacationing in Spain. Polyakov is wanted on conspiracy charges to be unsealed today in New York, where investigators with the Manhattan District Attorney’s office and the U.S. Secret Service are expected to announce coordinated raids of at least 20 people in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom accused of running an elaborate scam to resell stolen e-tickets and launder the profits.

Sources familiar with the matter describe Polyakov, from St. Petersburg, Russia, as the ringleader of the gang, which allegedly used thousands of compromised StubHub user accounts to purchase huge volumes of electronic, downloadable tickets that were fed to a global network of resellers.

Robert Capps, senior director of customer success for RedSeal Networks and formerly head of StubHub’s global trust and safety organization, said the fraud against StubHub — which is owned by eBay — largely was perpetrated with usernames and passwords stolen from legitimate StubHub customers. Capps noted that while banks have long been the target of online account takeovers, many online retailers are unprepared for the wave of fraud that account takeovers can bring.

“In the last year online retailers have come under significant attack by cyber criminals using techniques such as account takeover to commit fraud,” Capps said. “Unfortunately, the transactional risk systems employed by most online retailers are not tuned to detect and defend against malicious use of existing customer accounts.  Retooling these systems to detect account takeovers can take some time, leaving retailers exposed to significant financial losses in the intervening time.”

Polyakov is the latest in a recent series of accused Russian hackers detained while traveling abroad and currently facing extradition to the United States. Dmitry Belorossov, a Russian citizen wanted in connection with a federal investigation into a cyberheist gang that leveraged the Gozi Trojan, also is facing extradition to the United States from Spain. He was arrested in Spain in August 2013 while attempting to board a flight back to Russia.

Last month, federal authorities announced they had arrested Russian citizen Roman Seleznev as he was vacationing in the Maldives. Seleznev, the son of a prominent Russian lawyer, is currently being held in Guam and is awaiting extradition to the United States.

Arkady Bukh, a New York criminal lawyer who frequently represents Russian and Eastern European hackers who wind up extradited to the United States, said the Polyakov case will be interesting to watch because his extradition is being handled by New York authorities, not the U.S. government.

“I’m not saying they won’t get some help from the feds, but extradition by state prosecutors is often a failure,” Bukh said. “In fact, I don’t remember the last time we saw a successful extradition of cybercrime suspects by U.S. state prosecutors. You have to have a lot of political juice to pull off that kind of thing, and normally state prosecutors don’t have that kind of juice.”

Nevertheless, Bukh said, U.S. authorities have made it crystal clear that there are few countries outside of Russia and Ukraine which can be considered safe havens for wanted cybercriminals.

“The U.S. government has delivered the message that these guys can get arrested anywhere, that there are very few places they can go and go safely,” Bukh said.

Graduate! Celebrate! "Decorate!"

Jul. 23rd, 2014 01:00 pm
[syndicated profile] cakewrecks_feed

Posted by Jen

If you're still planning a party for the graduate in your life, then these bakeries would like you to know that they are ready and willing to provide a whole host of graduation-appropriate cake designs...

On Styrofoam.

Sure, it tends to stick in the molars a bit, but it's extremely low in fat.

NOTE TO BAKERS: Icing tends to slide off of Styrofoam when displayed at an angle.

NOTE TO CUSTOMERS: Regard all cakes stored flat with extreme suspicion from now on.

 

If for some reason you feel compelled to have a photo of your grad on the cake, then this bakery obliges with either a traditional, "boring," photo, or the hip new "green-out silhouette" option:

Also great for grads in the Witness Protection Program!

 

And for those customers who may become confused, thinking they have to purchase a cake with someone else's photo on it, this bakery provides a helpful clarification:

Congrats! You spelled "your" wrong!

 

But suppose your grad is spiritually inclined? How do you tastefully incorporate his or her religious views into a graduation cake? Well, this bakery shows us how...

...not to do it.

 

And lastly, this bakery wants you to send your graduate a really heartfelt message.

Specifically: "Your face looks like a butt."

Oh, and "your cap is ridiculous, with its teensy little robot arm."

 

Victoria W., Maya J., Denise R., Leanna P., and Patricia B., "you're thanks here."

*****

Thank you for using our Amazon links to shop! USA, UK, Canada.

[syndicated profile] accidentallyincode_feed

Posted by Cate Huston

lego men

Credit: Flickr / GabeB

The Faux Feminist

This guy will tell you that he thinks there should be more women in tech, but balks at the idea of actually… doing anything about that, and any conversation on the topic somehow goes in the direction of what is fair for the men.

He doesn’t think there should be “special” scholarships for women, for example. He’ll often support the “pipeline” argument, in so far as he never needs to take a critical look at his own environment.

He might complain about a misogynist comment a guy made near him, but he’ll never actually call them out on it. If asked, he may say that women can fight their own battles, after all they don’t want doors opened for them anymore.

The Misogynist

This guy will call women obscene words, rate them on the desirability rather than their professional skills. He’s the kind of guy who will hit on the intern. Almost every woman he works with will be deemed incompetent, maybe one will have the dubious honour of his grudging approval. Because she’s not like all those other stupid b*tches.

His friends will say, oh that guy. They’ll tell you, don’t take it so personally. Maybe they will diminish it because no-one likes that guy or rationalise that he is only joking.

He’s not really joking.

The Insecure

He’s paranoid that he shouldn’t be where he is, and could well be right. Looks for every opportunity to demonstrate his brilliance, but lack of ability and/or social awareness means his strategies is often to undermine those around him who he perceives to be weaker. If they succeed, they are seen to be taking something from him.

The already marginalised are a good target – presumed competence and rationality is on his side, after all.

It’s not an -ism, really. It’s survival of the fittest.

The Arrogant

This guy will be obnoxious kind enough to bore you with share with you his incredible mansplaining wisdom that you are unfortunate lucky enough to be near.

If you don’t listen to him, you’ve been ungrateful and he will be offended. It won’t occur to him that you might disagree; you must not understand.

If you don’t seek out his advice, you’re being unfriendly and disrespectful.

The Decent Bloke

This guy is focused on his own success, and his own life and isn’t caught up in other people’s opinion on him. He’s getting stuff done and is generally liked.

He’s sympathetic, but doesn’t really understand what you’re complaining about.

[syndicated profile] geekfeminism_feed

Posted by spam-spam

  •  how to recruit a diverse team | the evolving ultrasaurus: “There is no quick fix to diversity hiring. The easiest way to hire for diversity is to start with diversity — to start when you add the second person on your team — but if you reading this post, you likely have an imbalanced or homogeneous team. I’ve primarily written this for all-white or all-male teams in tech.”
  • The Problem With Science| Shakesville: “This doesn’t speak well of one of the industry’s leading publications. It also doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence (which, as I’ve already explained, I’m short on) that the folks making or breaking careers by deciding which papers are “sexy” enough to publish are going to have the professionalism to ground their decisions in something other than a creepy desire to excite their presumed readership of straight white cis guys.”
  • A handy template for online trolls: “It has come to my attention that you are [a person of color/woman/ LGBTQ/differently abled/immigrant] and you have posted an online essay suggesting that your situation in life is somehow challenging because of a circumstance relating to people who are not in your condition. As an Internet commenter, it is my mouse-driven duty to anonymously respond to your post. I’m not sure what would happen if I failed to do so, but I saw what happened when they stopped pushing the button in LOST so I will not take any chances.”
  • No More “Put A Skirt On It” | molly.is/saying: “Good news: the next time you draw a person or create a user avatar, you have an opportunity to fight the sexist patriarchal bullshit! Like many instances of patriarchy-smashing, it’s not actually that hard once you get the principles down. Here are 2 simple rules to keep you on track.”
  • Ninja Pizza Girl and The Thorny Tangle of Girlhood | Apple Cider Mage: “The crux of it is Jason Stark, the head of Disparity Games, relating precisely how and why Ninja Pizza Girl came to be. He talks about how the concept came straight from his childrens’ mouths but more importantly he  also describes the stumbles in his own assumptions about not only game design but also about his daughters’ growing vulnerability as they move into teen-hood and beyond. It was a bit of insight that I found intriguing, not so much as a gamer, but rather as a woman.”
  • Opinion: Selena Deckelmann on Portland tech’s gender divide | Portland Business Journal: “I was surprised and horrified to discover every woman in tech I knew had similar, and, disturbingly, far worse stories than mine. Many of these women, successful in tech and making good money, supported families and could not just quit and find another job in the small job market in Portland. Sure, they could move to another city — but with kids, spouses with jobs or in school, these decisions are rarely simple.”
  • Feminism and (Un)Hacking | Journal of Peer Production: CFP for articles on feminism and hacker/makerspaces: “With this special issue of the Journal of Peer Production, we hope to delve more deeply into these critiques to imagine new forms of feminist technical praxis that redefine these practices and/or open up new ones. How can we problematize hacking, tinkering, geeking and making through feminist theories and epistemologies? How do these practices, in fact, change when we begin to consider them through a feminist prism? Can we envision new horizons of practice and possibility through a feminist critique?”
  • San Fran tech types: what you need to know to move to Oakland | Live Work Oakland: “I’d like these young dudes coming to my town to actually see ALL the people coming up in tech in Oakland around me–the many Black, Latino, queer, female, and trans folks who, like all of us, show up in so many different ages, styles, and sizes, but who have a place, just like the white bros do. And  if these new folks coming into Oakland can’t see the folks who are already here, can’t change, I’d like them to just get the F* out of the way and take one of those corporate buses right back to where they came from .”
  • Meanwhile, in an alternate universe… | Infotropism: Read Skud’s take on what google+’s announcement re: pseudonyms SHOULD have been.
  • Canceling TRUCEConf | TRUCEConf: Trust, Respect, Unity, Compassion, and Equality: “I would say that it’s with a heavy heart that I am canceling this conference, if it weren’t for the sense of relief that comes with this announcement. I have struggled with this for long enough. The time has come to let it go.” (We covered TRUCEConf back in November 2013.)
  • “Pay a heavy price for it” | rosefox: “That’s the Frenkel story. He’s supposed to pay a price for getting what he wanted–the opportunity to harass a couple of women–but all he loses is four years of Wiscon. However, anyone who doesn’t want to be around harassers loses Wiscon forever.” (See also: the Chair of the Harassment Policy Committee responds to feedback about this decision, and more general thoughts on harassment at conferences from Publishers Weekly’s Genreville: What Conventions Are and Aren’t.)
  • Free Online Game Simulates Coming Out Experience | GLBT News: “The game is based on Case’s own coming out process, and it allows the player to choose a variety of conversational choices throughout the storyline. Characters remember what you have said, and they constantly refer back to choices that were made previously in the game. The games tagline is “a half-true game about half-truths.” The game has three endings, but like it promises at the very beginning, there are no easy or clean results. Everything is messy…just like the coming out process itself.”
  • Black Girls Hunger for Heroes, Too: A Black Feminist Conversation on Fantasy Fiction for Teens | Bitch Media: “What happens when two great black women fiction writers get together to talk about race in young adult literature? That’s exactly what happens in the conversation below, where  Zetta Elliott, a black feminist writer of poetry, plays, essays, novels, and stories for children, and award-winning Haitian-American speculative fiction writer Ibi Aanu Zoboi decided to discuss current young adult sci-fi. “

We link to a variety of sources, some of which are personal blogs.  If you visit other sites linked herein, we ask that you respect the commenting policy and individual culture of those sites.

You can suggest links for future linkspams in comments here, or by using the “geekfeminism” tag on Pinboard, Delicious or Diigo; or the “#geekfeminism” tag on Twitter. Please note that we tend to stick to publishing recent links (from the last month or so).

Thanks to everyone who suggested links.

[syndicated profile] epbot_feed

Posted by Jen

[This is a continuation of my first rose petal resin post, in case you missed it.]

I couldn't resist making just a few more necklaces with those resin rose petal gems, and this time, I experimented with linking two or more together:



I used larger chain links (harvested off an old necklace) glued directly to the backs of the resin as hefty hanging loops, and smaller O-rings for the connections everywhere else.



For this teal-and-coral set I also made another adjustable ring, since the teals matched.


The pink petal is curled at the bottom, but honestly, that imperfection makes me like it even more!

Renee (my amazing friend who made all the resin pieces) happened to send me enough matching pink gems to pull of my most complex design: 



It was incredibly easy to put together, though, since the E-6000 I used gives you plenty of open time to adjust the rings and make sure they're even on all sides.

I did learn one thing the hard way: if you put your hanging loops on the side of a gem, make sure they're at the top of each side, not the middle. Otherwise your pendant will be top-heavy and flop over while you're wearing it.

Ask me how I know. ;)

 Oopsie. 

(That's basically what the backside of all the gems look like, though; again, the links don't stick out much at all, so it's quite comfy to wear.)



The good news is you can peel the E-6000 off your resin even after it dries, so re-setting the loops wasn't a problem. Then again, that could also be BAD news, since obviously you don't want your glue peeling off in the future! Still, it took enough effort that I'm not too worried; you'd have to really yank to risk breaking off a gem.

And finally, the dragonfly necklace!


Mega thanks to all of you who weighed in on the placement; the decision was almost unanimous, so that made it extra easy on me!


You like? If so, comment below, because I'm going to send this rose petal dragonfly necklace to one of you! That's right: iiiiit's give-away time.  I'll announce the randomly selected winner in my very next post, so get to commenting! (And as always, I'll ship anywhere, so international comments are welcome!)

UPDATE: The give-away has ended, and the winner is bmuir322! Congrats, bmuir, and please e-mail me your mailing address!

What The L?

Jul. 22nd, 2014 01:00 pm
[syndicated profile] cakewrecks_feed

Posted by Sharyn

From the proud inventors of the Dewy Follicle System:

 Shhhhhh! I hear the librarians there can be a bit crotchety.

 

Jessica H., I have a feeling they're going to rip up your library card over this. Oh, and do only "past" Christians get to go to the Pubic Library? Discuss.


[Note from Jen: I couldn't take the mystery, so I looked it up. Apparently it was supposed to read "Pass Christian," not "Past."  So... THAT clears things up. o.0]

[Note from john (thoJ): I think I found the library's mascot!]



*****

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[syndicated profile] lecta_feed

Posted by Mary

Does anyone have a recommendation for an opt-in Creative Commons licencing plugin for WordPress. That is, one where the default state is not to CC licence something, but when some action is taken, an individual post or page can be so licenced.

As background: I have no desire to write, maintain, or even debug a WordPress plugin. I want to know if there is something for this use case that Just Works.

I want opt-in, because it is too hard to remember, or to train others, to find an opt-out box when posting, and thus end up CC licensing things that weren’t intended to be, or can’t be, released under such a licence.

Some options I’ve already looked into:

WP License reloaded: was pretty much exactly what I wanted but doesn’t seem to be actively maintained and is now failing (possibly because the site in question is now hosted on SSL, I’m not sure, see above about not being interested in debugging).

Creative Commons Configurator: seems to be the most actively maintained CC plugin, but seems to be opt-out, and even that was only introduced recently.

Creative Commons Generator: opt-out.

Easy CC License: perhaps what I want, although I’d rather do this with an options dialogue of some kind than a shortcode.

[syndicated profile] geekfeminism_feed

Posted by Tim Chevalier

[Content warning: sexual objectification.]

Obie Fernandez is the author of The Rails Way, the editor of Addison-Wesley’s Professional Ruby Series, and a co-founder and CTO of Javelin, a startup that builds “tools and services to help you change your world”.

Fernandez also, apparently, can’t talk about technology without reminding everybody that he has, on some occasion or another, had sex. Despite being a CTO, he also apparently doesn’t know that the Internet doesn’t have an erase button — which goes to show you that extremely poor judgment doesn’t stop you from getting copious VC funding for your company, if you’re male.


A screenshot of a tweet from Obie Fernandez, which he later deleted

Fernandez’s Twitter bio declares, “Author, Programmer, Dad”. Usually (certainly not always, I’m aware!) being a dad implies that you have had sex at least once. But it’s so important for Fernandez to remind us that he has had sex — with people of multiple ages — that he also has to inject tortured sexual analogies into what could have been a perfectly benign programming language flame war.

At 8:36 PM tonight (in my time zone, anyway, Fernandez tweeted, “still not sure exactly what I’m supposed to apologize for other than being a bit crass about 20-year old people.”

By 9:11 PM, Fernandez had evidently thought about it deeply and carefully enough to issue a retraction. I guess the “lean startup” approach is so powerful that its adherents can go from sneering at their critics (including a risible attempt to backjustify his sexism with an appeal to pansexuality — folks, we’ve been over that already) to heartfelt apology in less than 40 minutes. (I fear that his apology may not be entirely heartfelt, though, as he quickly moved on to declaring that he’s “not a sexist” and attempting to pay for his blunder by citing all the women he hires.)

Readers of this blog are aware that one asshat in tech would have little effect on his own, if he were indeed an isolated case. They are equally aware that Fernandez is no anomaly of asshaberdashery. I think the hapless Fernandez is providing us with a valuable lesson: the message to “not feed the trolls” is a dangerous one. While any given individual absolutely can and should disengage with trolls when necessary to protect their physical and mental health, engaging with them can have value. Judging from his Twitter avatar, Mr. Fernandez is at least 30 years old. That makes 30 years or more in which not a single person in his life has told him that the world generally does not need to know that he has done a sex. Perhaps his demeanor makes them afraid to challenge him. Perhaps they don’t think it’s worth the time. Who knows? But at one point in his life, one presumes that he was impressionable — one knows that he’s impressionable, since nobody acts like he does unless they get rewarded for it. Rewarded with laughs, with buddy-buddy slaps on the back from fellow bros, with congratulations on how delightfully politically incorrect he is, with 1.5 million dollars of venture capital money from the likes of Mark Suster, Eric Ries, and 500 Startups.

Back when I was first dabbling in Usenet in the mid-1990s, it was conventional wisdom that trolls were usually children sitting at a computer in their mothers’ basements. That, in other words, they had no real power other than the ability to rustle a few jimmies for a moment. It’s 2014 now, and some of those children have grown up and become technology executives — people with hiring and firing power, with a lot of control over a big part of the economy. If the adults in the room had spent a bit more time trying to socialize those children (because clearly, they weren’t getting it from their parents) and less time stating their troll-starving prowess, perhaps we would be able to attend a conference without hearing about some guy’s crotch.

Postscript: On Twitter, Matt Adereth pointed out this 2005 blog post from Fernandez:

I didn’t particularly like Ruby the first time I met her. I thought she was interesting, but a few months later (to my surprise) something changed. I started seeing her appealing qualities. My friends really spoke highly of Ruby, so we started spending time together. The love affair began in February 2005 and about a month later, things started getting pretty bad with my wife, Java. Even when I was doing Java, I couldn’t stop thinking of Ruby and how much better she is for me.

So it looks like Mr. Fernandez has been unnecessarily sexualizing technical discussions for fun and profit for quite some time. As Adereth observed, it also looks like Fernandez’s use of the “who said I was talking about women?” derailing tactic is entirely disingenuous.

[syndicated profile] evopropinquitous_feed
“We often talk about the “leaky pipeline of STEM” as a way to talk about how women and people of color drop out of STEM careers at alarmingly high rates, but it is time to abandon that language. We’re not talking about a passive system here, where people just happen to drip out of the pipeline. No, we’re talking about a system that actively creates pressure. If you take a large pipe, attach it to a smaller pipe and then a smaller one, while still pushing the same amount of water through, what’s going to happen? Either your pipe is going to spring pressure-driven leaks or you’re going to have to have holes drilled to relieve it. We’re not talking about a leaky pipeline of STEM, we’re talking about a gorram sprinkler system, actively pushing out people who were set up to fail from the beginning by the very system itself.

There are very real problems in the sciences. But right now the field is caught in an auto-catalytic cycle, where people point out ways in which we’re failing at outreach, the people in positions of power dig in their heels with cries of “but *we* weren’t offended!”, the same people then wring their hands and wonder why there isn’t more diversity in science… and continue to ignore us when answers to that question are given. And if we keep making excuses for the smaller things that hurt various groups, it’s never goin to change.”

- Skepchick | Science has an Image Problem (via brutereason)
[syndicated profile] krebsonsecurity_feed

Posted by BrianKrebs

Heads up, bargain shoppers: Financial institutions across the country report that they are tracking what appears to be a series of credit card breaches involving Goodwill locations nationwide. For its part, Goodwill Industries International Inc. says it is working with the U.S. Secret Service on an investigation into these reports.

goodwillHeadquartered in Rockville, Md., Goodwill Industries International, Inc. is a network of 165 independent agencies in the United States and Canada with a presence in 14 other countries. The organizations sell donated clothing and household items, and use the proceeds to fund job training programs, employment placement services and other community-based initiatives.

According to sources in the financial industry, multiple locations of Goodwill Industries stores have been identified as a likely point of compromise for an unknown number of credit and debit cards.

In a statement sent to KrebsOnSecurity, Goodwill Industries said it first learned about a possible incident last Friday, July 18. The organization said it has not yet confirmed a breach, but that it is working with federal authorities on an investigation into the matter.

“Goodwill Industries International was contacted last Friday afternoon by a payment card industry fraud investigative unit and federal authorities informing us that select U.S. store locations may have been the victims of possible theft of payment card numbers,” the company wrote in an email.

“Investigators are currently reviewing available information,” the statement continued. “At this point, no breach has been confirmed but an investigation is underway. Goodwills across the country take the data of consumers seriously and their community well-being is our number one concern. Goodwill Industries International is working with industry contacts and the federal authorities on the investigation. We will remain appraised of the situation and will work proactively with any individual local Goodwill involved taking appropriate actions if a data compromise is uncovered.”

The U.S. Secret Service did not respond to requests for comment.

It remains unclear how many Goodwill locations may have been impacted, but sources say they have traced a pattern of fraud on cards that were all previously used at Goodwill stores across at least 21 states, including Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

It is also not known at this time how long ago this apparent breach may have begun, but those same financial industry sources say the breach could extend back to the middle of 2013.

Financial industry sources said the affected cards all appear to have been used at Goodwill stores, but that the fraudulent charges on those cards occurred at non-Goodwill stores, such as big box retailers and supermarket chains. This is consistent with activity seen in the wake of other large data breaches involving compromised credit and debit cards, including the break-ins at Target, Neiman Marcus, Michaels, Sally Beauty, and P.F. Chang’s.

Solicitation on flipping the script

Jul. 21st, 2014 03:00 pm
[syndicated profile] geekfeminism_feed

Posted by Guest Blogger

This is a guest post by April Wright. April is a graduate student in evolutionary biology at the University of Texas at Austin. When she’s not crunching data at her computer, she teaches courses for novice biologists so they can learn some computation. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, gaming, running with her dogs and spending time in the kitchen. You can get ahold of her at her website or Twitter.

So I wrote a blog post that went a little bit viral the other day. And a lot of people have asked in the past couple days what can be done to improve the atmosphere at programming meetings. I’ve been chewing on that pretty substantially.

I’ve had a lot of good discussions over the past couple days (help yourself to warm fuzzies here).

Reader bioatmosphere made a very good point in the comments, pulled out below:

The burden to fix things shouldn’t be on you just because you’re experiencing them

She’s right, of course. And that reminded me of this post by Cate Huston, which closes with a section called “Changing the Conversation”. I’ll copy the crucial bit (do read the whole thing, though) below:

Are you doing meaningful work?

Do you feel appreciated?

Do you feel respected?

And I’m going to tack on one more:

Do you feel like you’re part of something?

Because I think that’s what really got me: I felt like I was part of something, then I didn’t. It’s not just being snubbed that hurts, it’s a sense of loss of a community I kinda thought I fit with.

Since I have some ears bent towards me for a bit: People who feel integrated in communities and happy at meetings, what about it? What about these communities and meetings that makes you feel appreciated? Or respected? Or part of something? And what could you do to help someone else feel that?

Get at me via whatever channel preferred. [Mod note: while we normally do not encourage anonymous comments, they are acceptable on this post. Please note that your IP address will be logged, but is only visible to blog administrators.]

Olaf Heats Things Up

Jul. 21st, 2014 01:00 pm
[syndicated profile] cakewrecks_feed

Posted by Jen

[Olaf:] "Oh, I don't know why but I've always loved the idea of summer, and sun, and all things hot...

[Kristoff:] "Really. I'm guessing you don't have much experience with heat."

[Olaf:] "Nope! But sometimes I like to close my eyes, and imagine what it'd be like when summer does come."

[cue music!]

♪ Bees'll buzz ♫

 

...kids'll blow dandelion fuzz,

(hurk)

 

♪ And I'll be doing whatever snow does...

In summer!

 

♪ A drink in my hand,

 

my snow up against the burning sand

 

♪ Prob'ly getting gorgeously tanned...

[...]

[...]

[...]

[...]

...IN SUMMER!!

 

Thanks to Robert H., Jaleo, Anon M., Erin T., Jaclyn O., Charwoody, Susan R., Jessica B., Marika A., Lauren A., and Kyla Q. for playing it cool.

*****

Thank you for using our Amazon links to shop! USA, UK, Canada.

5 Things I Hate About London

Jul. 21st, 2014 12:00 pm
[syndicated profile] accidentallyincode_feed

Posted by Cate Huston

IMG_5700

See part 1: 5 Things I Like About London.

1. Quality of Life

This is the main thing. The #1 worst thing by far about London. Quality of Life in London is really low. Housing is expensive. Commutes are long. As a relatively well-paid London resident I am lucky enough to have the choice of horrendous commute or hideously expensive apartment. I opted for the apartment. Most people suffer both the commute and the barely-affordable (or straight up unaffordable) rent.

This style of living has created some new words and phrases. For my apartment, my friend coined the phrase “povel” (posh hovel). For me, this is a one bedroom basement apartment, dark all year round, and also slightly damp in winter. But in Kensington and Chelsea. There’s a private garden, but no dishwasher.

The other phrase another friend and I use is “zone 1 poverty”. This is living in zone 1 (central London, although huge – I will get to that later) but that is the full extent of any extravagance.

2. Filth

London is disgustingly dirty, especially the tube which I sometimes describe as a “filthy rat hole”. In other news, I saw an actual rat yesterday.

I’ve come to think that a regular dip in mild bleach (easily located at your nearest swimming pool) is probably necessary for feeling actually clean.

3. Distance

It takes the best part of an hour to cross zone 1. Obviously leaving zone 1 takes even longer, although I confess this is something I aim to do as seldom as possible. When visiting my family, the journey time is roughly 45 minutes to the train station, 50 minutes on the high speed train to Rugby.

4. A Series of Small Towns

I love walking across cities, I think a great city has an arc, where downtown is the crescendo. London has no arc, that I have found at least. It feels like a series of small towns, connected by the aforementioned filthy rat hole. In some ways this is kind of cute, you find little high streets and residential squares. However there’s nowhere I have found where you can have everything you want, close by.

5. Londoners and Tourists

There are two kinds of people in London. Londoners, who are desperately avoiding eye contact and will never speak to you. I sympathise, I as have become this – every time I take the tube I also start to hate humanity. If they are driving a black cab, they may try to run you over. This baffles me, as surely the pedestrian is the natural passenger of the taxi. And, tourists. Tourists are typically lost, lugging large suitcases, and in the way due to the suitcases, walking slowly, or because they blocking the pavement in order to take a picture of their friends with some landmark.

Londoners hate each other, because there are too many people everywhere, and tourists, because they are in the way. I expect tourists also hate Londoners because they are horribly rude, and keep walking through their carefully staged photos.

The Sydney Project: Luna Park

Jul. 20th, 2014 11:52 pm
[syndicated profile] lecta_feed

Posted by Mary

This year is my son’s last year before he begins full time schooling in 2015. Welcome to our year of child-focussed activities in Sydney.

Luna Park entrance

by Jan Smith, CC BY

Luna Park is, honestly, essentially cheating on this project. Do children like amusement parks? Yes. They do. There you go.

In addition, I think four years old is basically about the right age for them. It’s old enough that children are aware that a giant painted face, tinkly music, and carousels aren’t a completely normal day in the world, young enough that the carousel is still just as magical as the dodgem cars. And too young to have horror-film associations with amusement parks, I think that helps too.

Luna Park ferris wheel

by Kevin Gibbons, CC BY

It’s also more accessible to a four year old than some more thrill-oriented parks. V isn’t scared of heights or speed, so he loves the Coney Island slides, and was annoyed to find out that he was too short for the Ranger (the ship you sit in that gets spun upside down about ten stories in the air) and the free-fall ride. He is, however, apparently afraid of centrifugal force parallel to the ground, and refused to go on any “octopus” rides.

Even the four year old who wants to go on the free-fall ride is still young enough for, well, frankly dinky rides like the train that goes around about five times in a circle while you pretend to drive it, and the space shuttles that turn in gentle circles and which slowly go up and down when you press a button. His big draw is the ferris wheel, which I found fairly horrifying this time as I read the signs about keeping limbs inside to him and then had to answer a lot of questions about “why? why do I have to keep my limbs inside?” while giant pieces of metal calmly whirled past us with their comparatively infinite strength. In a similar vein, V also enjoys the roller coaster past all reason and sense, whereas Andrew and I react with “this seems… flimsy…” (I love coasters, but I like them to look overengineered).

Luna Park, where there's still a space shuttle

The only things V really didn’t like were the organised dancing groups who were encouraging children to learn their (cute!) 1930s-ish moves, and the process of choosing a child from a hat to press the lever to light up the park at night (he refused to let his name be entered), because there’s some specific types of performative attention that he really loathes. But there’s plenty of children gagging to dance along and to light up the park that an objector goes unnoticed. It’s not coercive fun.

Cost: entry is free. Rides aren’t, an unlimited rides pass for the day starts at $29.95 for a young child and goes to $49.95 for a tall child or an adult. There are discounts for buying online. (The entry is free thing sounds really useless, but it’s actually good if you have several adults, not all of whom are interested in the rides and/or are looking after babies.)

Recommended: indeed. We’ve considered getting an annual pass, in fact.

More information: Luna Park Sydney website.

Disclosure: because of a prior complaint to Luna Park about opening hours (we showed up several months ago at 2:15pm to find that an advertised 4pm closure had been moved to 3pm), we were admitted free this time. No reviews were requested or promised in return for our admission.

BOO!!

Jul. 20th, 2014 03:27 pm
[syndicated profile] epbot_feed

Posted by Jen

Since Facebook changed the Page format again, I can't "highlight" your posts on the Epbot page anymore, which makes it a lot harder to share all the fun photos and links you guys post there.

SO... here's a little something that brightened my Sunday:




I get a lot of amazing costume photos from you guys, but Caitlin's Weeping Angel inspired me. So, a few minutes of photo editing later...





This is one of those times when low lighting actually helps - yay for extra creepiness!!



Thanks so much to Caitlin for sharing! (And keep an eye on her blog for more details, which I hear are coming soon!) Maybe I'll have to start featuring some of my favorite FB posts every now and then, just so the rest of you won't miss out.




Oh, and by the way...


YOU BLINKED.

Sunday Sweets... In... SPAAAACE!

Jul. 20th, 2014 01:00 pm
[syndicated profile] cakewrecks_feed

Posted by Jen

Today is Space Exploration Day, so these stellar Sweets are dedicated to everyone who reaches for the stars... and then feels a bit peckish.

(By Anna Vasilyeva)

Excited? Why, this astronaut is over the moon!

 

(By Cake Studio Rouge)

Gorgeous shading, and that number constellation? BRILLIANT.

 

So it turns out making a perfect globe out of cake is just a little difficult.

By which I mean you have to be a magician with an advanced degree in structural engineering.

But, BEHOLD!

(Submitted By Jennifer W. Baker unknown. Anyone know?)

MAGIC!!
Or talent. You know, one or the other.

 

And I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that fabulous Jupiter cake that went viral a while back. It's even pretty INSIDE:

(By Cakecrumbs, which has a Youtube tutorial here)

 

And now, the cutest little space kid and rocket ship EVAH:

(By Viva La Cake)

Why does the astronaut have little doggie ears?* I don't know. BUT I LOVE THEM. And that rocket!
Ack! I want a miniature version on a necklace, stat.

[*Apparently those are ponytails. Which I guess makes a LITTLE more sense than doggie ears. ;)]

 

Also digging this steampunk style ship:

(By Sugarrealm)

Check out all the rivets!

 

Not a great picture, but I've always loved this alien abduction cake:

(By Leigh Henderson)

It reminds me of those cow abduction lamps. Ha! Remember those?
Anyway, the plexiglass pillar is genius, and there's even an alien inside one of the windows!

 

I'm sure we all remember how a space shuttle cake can go very, very wrong, so I'm pleased as punch to see a beauty like this:

(By Scrumptious Cakes)

There's a tiny solar system on the middle tier, and constellations cover the bottom. Lovely!

 

One more the NASA buffs:

(By Cake Central user Careyl)

Best rocket cake I've seen - it looks like a model!

 

Speaking of which, my friend Jason of Red Rocket Farm paints robots and - you guessed it - the CUTEST red rockets. So naturally, this reminded me of him:

(By Sweet Disposition Cakes)

That's for you, Jason & Teeter. (Now, paint me more rockets, dangit!)

 

Who says a space cake needs fancy sculpting and modeling skills? Sometimes all you need is an airbrush and a tank load of talent:

(By Merely Sweets)

Great galloping galaxies! Now THAT is a wedding cake.

 

And finally, it's only fitting that I end with a space cake that defies gravity:

(By Erin Eason)

WOWZA.

 

Happy Sunday, everyone! Here's hoping your weekend has been out of this world.

Be sure to check out our Sunday Sweets Directory if you want to see which bakers in your area have been featured here on Sweets!

*****

Thank you for using our Amazon links to shop! USA, UK, Canada.

This Week

Jul. 20th, 2014 12:00 pm
[syndicated profile] accidentallyincode_feed

Posted by Cate Huston

Click to view slideshow.

Life

I’ve been feeling a bit flat lately, like I was doing little other than work, workout, and sleep (longer but at a lower quality than usual). So I’ve been making some changes, firstly I cut back on keeping food in my apartment – this drives me out in the morning at the weekend, and makes me more mindful about what I’m eating. I’ll venture out and get something if I’m actually hungry, not because it’s dinner time and there’s something in the fridge and I’m operating on auto-pilot. I’ve also ramped up my swimming again after having to take a break. Finally, I’m being strict about one work from home day a week, and on other days staying until 6 and leaving my laptop behind, rather than leaving early, taking it with me, and then working from home. And also not getting on the tube at the closest station, which is always super busy and stressful.

Finally, finally, I’m feeling better. More energetic, more engaged in the world, more creative. Although I think this is probably more related to discovering that something I wanted was not going to happen. I’ve been working like crazy for the last 6 months to try and set myself up for it, so I would have thought I’d be devastated. But actually I just feel… liberated relief. And I can stop working quite so hard – I think I’ve cancelled more vacation days than I’ve actually taken this year, and those that I have taken have not been relaxing! Like… moving into my apartment, giving a talk, helping out at a Stemettes event.

I’ve been saving my vacation to go to Tuvalu at the end of the year, but the friend I was going to go with can’t make it. Undecided about what I’ll do instead, maybe Thailand? I also want to go to Seoul. Probably still going to use it up for a long trip, as I plan to give up my apartment at the end of September and move somewhere new at the end of the year/start of next year.

Working on a new Secret Project with a friend, which is really fun so far.

Work

OK. There are some things that are really annoying lately, but my actual work is going pretty well. I saw something I had been working on for the last few months all fitting together, which was exhilarating.

Media

All finished The New Adventures of the Old Christine (yay), now watching Veep Season 2.

Reading The One and Only (good so far) and Gravitas.

Saw Forbidden Broadway, which was hilarious and amazing.

Places

Thai at Addie’s, Brunch at Bill’s (hummus!), tapas from Brindisa (meh), ice cream at 3BIS (amazing).

Published

On The Internet

A Swiftly Tilting Linkspam

Jul. 18th, 2014 09:02 pm
[syndicated profile] geekfeminism_feed

Posted by spam-spam

  • Why Silicon Valley needs the coder grrrls of Double Union, the feminist hacker space | Fast Company: “Unlike Sheryl Sandberg’s brand of feminism, which puts the responsibility on women to lean in, the Double Unioneers take a structural approach. It’s the system that needs fixing, not women.”
  • Why can’t Thor be a woman? Geek culture isn’t just for guys | The Guardian (July 16): “‘The burgeoning Thor controversy is part of a network of problems to do with representation in comics, but one aspect in particular weighs heaviest in this context. We, as a western culture, still struggle with androcentrism – the belief that male experience is the norm and that everything else is, at best, a derivation of the norm and, at worst, abnormal.”
  • Men interrupt more than women | Language Log (July 14): “Let’s pause and dwell on this for a sec: In fifteen hours of conversation that included 314 total interruptions, I observed a total of 13 examples of women interrupting male speakers. That is less than once per hour, in a climate where interruptions occur an average of once every two minutes and fifty-one seconds. Does anyone else think this is a big deal?”
  • For women on the Internet, it doesn’t get better | The Daily Dot (July 16): “Between 4Chan, Men’s Rights Activist groups, the Reddit Red Pill community, pick-up artist (PUA) groups, and anti-PUA groups like the one that Elliot Rodger clung to so dearly, the Internet has allowed men to band together more efficiently than ever before to threaten and antagonize women. Every woman with an online presence has a story to share about unwanted contact, sexual harassment, and predatory behavior.”
  • Dropping the F bomb | Geek Feminism (July 8): “Women in tech groups are not necessarily feminist. Some actively work against feminist ideals.”
  • Changing the World with a Breath and a Test | Marlena’s Blog (July 11): “Our mentoring relationship has been the difference between me putting this app in your hands vs. me building another fake twitter cobbled together from web tutorials and stack overflow.  That’s power.  Having someone tell me that, yes, I can do this even if I feel like an idiot, is a machete cutting deep into imposter syndrome.”
  • The problem of Richard Feynman | Galileo’s Pendulum (July 13): “But ‘Sherlock’ is fiction; Feynman was a real person, and those he hurt were no less real people than he was. Sure, it’s easy to abstract them: we don’t know the names of the women he met at bars, the wives of graduate students he emotionally blackmailed into ‘relationships’, the ‘airhead’ female undergraduates in his classes, or the waitresses he pranked just so he could get a self-satisfied story out of it later. We can justify uncomfortably to ourselves that they’re ‘just some women’, but Feynman is Feynman: he’s important symbolically for physics.”
  • Heroes, human “foibles”, and science outreach | Doing Good Science (July 13): “Science outreach doesn’t just deliver messages about what science knows or about the processes by which that knowledge is built. Science outreach also delivers messages about what kind of people scientists are (and about what kinds of people can be scientists). There is a special danger lurking here if you are doing science outreach by using a hero like Feynman and you are not a member of a group likely to have been hurt by his behavior. You may believe that the net effect of his story casts science and scientists in a way that will draw people in, but it’s possible you are fooling yourself.”
  • What’s the scariest thing in the world? Ask your teenage daughter | Polygon (July 15): More questions to Raven are met with disconcertingly direct answers. I’m shown a side of her life I hadn’t seen before. A world of loneliness and struggle where insults and exclusion are used to devastating effect. Teenage girls have problems that are far more real, and far scarier, than zombies.”
  • Gaymerx2: Internetting while Female Panel | Geeks Out (July 13): “Given the dark reality of the subject matter, this could have easily been a depressing recollection of the ugliest manifestations of human behavior on the internet. Instead, the panel struck an abidingly hopeful note and left quite a few people inspired to collectively work toward an ever-better future in gaming. “
  • Computer scientist and devoted educator Susan B. Horwitz dies | University of Wisconsin-Madison News (July 15): “An expert in programming languages and software engineering, Horwitz had been a member of the UW-Madison faculty for nearly 30 years. Among many professional accomplishments, she championed the encouragement of students who might otherwise overlook opportunities in computing…Particularly during the last decade, Horwitz strove to attract underrepresented students, particularly women and targeted minorities, to computer science and ensure their success. She was a founding member of the Academic Alliance of the National Center for Women and IT, based in Boulder, Colorado.”
  • Death by a Thousand Cuts: The Reality of Being a Woman in Tech | Social Ergonomics (July 11): “This is what is so insidious about the current state of affairs for women in the tech world. Even compliments come with strings attached. You know that even if you’re awesome and can keep up with the best of the best, you are still an outsider. Each compliment that ends with “for a woman”, reinforces the fact that according to all expectations, you’re not supposed to be comfortable with computers and technology.”

We link to a variety of sources, some of which are personal blogs.  If you visit other sites linked herein, we ask that you respect the commenting policy and individual culture of those sites.

You can suggest links for future linkspams in comments here, or by using the “geekfeminism” tag on Pinboard, Delicious or Diigo; or the “#geekfeminism” tag on Twitter. Please note that we tend to stick to publishing recent links (from the last month or so).

Thanks to everyone who suggested links.

[syndicated profile] female_cs_feed

Posted by Gail Carmichael

This past June, I designed and taught an introductory programming course through Girl Develop It! Ottawa called Learn to Program With Python.  It was a two-part course hosted at Shopify and geared toward complete beginners.  I wanted to give a solid foundation in four core programming concepts —  variables, conditionals, iteration, and functions —  using the visual context of Python's turtle module, then reinforce these concepts by building up a simple text adventure game.


You can check out the outline and delve into the detailed contents of the course here.

Overall, I'm pleased with how the two three hour sessions went.  Not only did I think that the material was about right for the length of time, it served as a test run for my arts and social science class.  I am hoping to use Turtle this fall to get my students to learn the same core programming concepts.

One negative aspect was that we had a mix of experience in attendance.  Generally those who weren't beginners would have not benefited from the course as much; I truly wanted to start from the very beginning.  Deciding how to pace the course is difficult when some students already know how to program, and just want to learn Python in particular.  It is impossible to please everyone.  That said, if I prepare myself and the TAs better for this in the future, we should be able to come up with extra challenges and things to try for those with more experience.



The general feedback was positive, and the sense of community both nights was amazing.  Alexandra sums it up well!  I think our next courses will start to delve into the core Girl Develop It tracks, which will please those with more experience.  First we need to figure out what to do about setting ourselves up properly as a foreign Girl Develop It! chapter in Canada.  I hope it doesn't take too long because it's clear there is a need for more opportunities to learn to code!

I would like to leave you with a picture one of the more experienced students Carolyn drew during the course.  She was actually a star student of mine this past year at Carleton, and came this course for a fun way to learn some Python.



The coolest part is that she showed her daughter this picture as the turtle drew it, and the daughter thought it was like magic.  Hopefully Carolyn can turn that excitement and wonder into a desire to learn some programming! :)

Thanks a million to the wonderful TAs who came out to help with this course, and to Kristyn for taking the wonderful photos you see above and in the Meetup event.

Accidentally Insulting Birthday Cakes

Jul. 18th, 2014 01:00 pm
[syndicated profile] cakewrecks_feed

Posted by Jen

I generally don't post name misspellings, because let's face it: there are people out there who spell Jennifer with a Q. Names are hard.

Still, sometimes a baker will botch a name in such a hilariously insulting way that it. is. magic.

 

Don't you agree, Whitney?

Talk about a bellyache.

 

And what "Bart" hasn't known this pain?

 

Believe it or not, this guy's not fat. He's just a little Cubby.

Good luck losing that nickname, though.

 

Is Beth happy they didn't dot that second "I"?

YOU BETCHA.

 

Funnily enough, I think Bobby did request some of these on his cake...

 

And perhaps the most subtle insult of all:

"IF that's your REAL name...."

 

On the one hand, kudos to this bakery for recognizing that a boy can like pink fairies:

On the other hand, little Jess was PISSED.

 

(If it's any consolation, Jess, they messed up Jeff's cake, too:)

 

And finally, while I don't know which name this Asian bakery thought they were writing on their display cake, I'm pretty sure it wasn't this one:

0.0

 

Thanks to Heather B., Susan F., Laura R., Beau S., Brian C., Anna G., Debi, Eric C., and Rebecca M., who will all henceforth be known as Chuckles.

*****

Thank you for using our Amazon links to shop! USA, UK, Canada.

Some Thoughts on Blogging

Jul. 18th, 2014 12:00 pm
[syndicated profile] accidentallyincode_feed

Posted by Cate Huston

how's my blogging

Credit: Flickr / Scott Beale

Things I’ve Found

Have a Backlog

I always give the same advice when people ask me about starting a blog. I say: put together a month’s worth of content first.

As far as I know, no-one who has asked me this has actually started a blog, so maybe it’s bad advice. Or, maybe it’s good advice, because if you can’t put together a month of content with no audience, you’ll probably to struggle to put together a month of content with a website and no audience.

This is why I think Medium is cool, for the person without their own platform, because it helps you find that audience, especially if you’ve already built one on Twitter.

But still, I think you need a little backlog first. Because when nobody reads your first post – and after years of writing, it often feels like nobody is reading the things that I write – you will be discouraged, and that’s not a great frame of mind to be creative in. Knowing, “well, this is the thing that is coming next, and it’s written so I may as well” is how you put out the next one.

Have a Schedule

The best thing I have done for my writing, is to give myself a schedule. A schedule of days to post on was great, a schedule of days to post on and topics was even better. It gives me a structure, and it helps keep me in balance, so I don’t get obsessed with one topic and write about it incessantly.

I think you can evolve this over time with the things it turns out you want to write about, no point dreading Thursdays every week because it’s topic-you-hate-day. I think it can change over time, my Mondays used to be travel-and-personal, and as I’ve been travelling less lately, I’ve started to expand what personal means.

For me, the schedule is purely for me. So I only write about it in the context of “this is how I get stuff done”, and not “and on Wednesdays you can expect this kind of post”. If people notice, fine, but mostly they don’t. It doesn’t matter – the schedule is for me.

Write For It’s Own Sake

A lot of the time, it feels like nobody reads what I write. I look at my traffic stats, I know it’s not just my mom, but still. Sometimes I get an email (wow!) and sometimes people tweet me nice things, and occasionally something I write gets a lot of discussion online but mostly… I just put stuff out into the void.

Sometimes that is discouraging. But I get enough out of writing – becoming a better writer, structuring my thoughts, reflecting on things in this way – that even if nobody reads something I write, that doesn’t mean it’s not without value. Even if one person reads it and hates it enough to attack me personally, it’s not without value.

Write because there are things you want to document, not because of anything external. My weekly roundups are purely for me. No-one else needs to read them for them to be worthwhile (but it’s lovely when they do! Especially when they send birthday presents as a result).

Dark Sharing is a Thing

There are certain posts I’ve written where I thought yes, people are going to read this. And then… nothing. Maybe I get a couple of tweets but it feels like… DOA (dead on arrival). But then, the traffic stats show that people are reading it, and I look at traffic sources, and it’s coming via email, or Facebook. And people are reading it, and sharing it… just not publicly.

Things I Still Don’t Know

Self Promotion

Recently I started sharing posts that I’d written, ones that were proving popular or that I felt strongly about… more than once. This was a huge step, and one that made me extremely uncomfortable. I had this temporary thing where I’d re-share things I’d written from a while ago on weekdays that I don’t publish (Tuesday and Thursday). This soon fell by the wayside.

I don’t know if I should be doing more with what I write or make, or making more with “connect with me on social networks” or if I should just keep on being “yeah this is me over here, I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing”.

Multiple Platforms

The first post I ever put on Medium, ended up on Lifehacker. Obviously I wasn’t going to replicate that success and so I had this complete blank as to what I should use Medium for, and how would I follow that? It was super intimidating. Eventually I got over it and posted something else, but I still don’t really know what to put on there.

Now, I have a HuffPost blogger account. I have no idea what to do with that either.

Sometimes I see people/platforms asking for submissions of content. I pretty much never (once this year, no response, didn’t follow up) submit anything.

Anything Regarding Monetization

I had this idea that it might be interesting goal for this year to see if I could cover my hosting and domain registration costs. Maybe I’ll gather enough data to write a separate post about this, but the short story so far is: utter fail.

I technically work on Ads now, so I installed the WordPress Plugin as an experiment to see what happens. I liked the way it laid things out for me, although I preferred the cleaner aesthetics without. So far (~4 months), 13.41GBP. Meh, probably not worthwhile and I’ll likely turn them off later.

For ages I’ve used Amazon Affiliate links, I figured I would link there anyway so I may as well. From time to time I get a giftcard which I use to offset my expensive kindle habit. So far this year: 22.85 USD.

I hear the thing to do is ebooks, and I have a couple of ideas but feel pretty ambivalent about it. I don’t find the project of publishing an ebook interesting in and of itself. Stressful, yes, how would I decide what to put in it?

What Will Be Popular

Some of my most popular posts are ones where I thought “it’s only me who needs this remedial advice, I’ll just put it somewhere where I can find it if I need it again” (like this one). Or, my solo-travel postthe original was just this stream of consciousness of things I felt had taken me too long to figure out (and I was lucky enough to get edited). Sometimes I’m just arranging a bunch of data (as with my popular women in tech posts here, here and here).

Meanwhile I have other things that I thought might be popular, but weren’t. Oh well, as I covered above: try not to care, keep writing.

Previously, I wrote up some thoughts on making progress on side projects.

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