Epcot's Easter Egg Hunt

Apr. 19th, 2014 09:30 am
[syndicated profile] epbot_feed

Posted by Jen


Disney World doesn't do much for Easter, but Epcot does have a fun little egg hunt around the World Showcase. The hunt lasts from April 10th through the 20th, so if you don't/didn't catch it, don't worry; I've got you covered. Please, walk this way:
 
While there are no Easter decorations in the park, it does fall during the Flower & Garden Festival, so Epcot is already decked out in its flowery best.
 

Plus, fun fact: Epcot is home to lots and LOTS of wild bunnies. We weren't even looking, but still managed to spot four or five different little hoppers around the park that day:



I overheard someone asking if Disney brought the bunnies in special for Easter. Hee! (Sometimes we like to mess with tourists by exclaiming how lifelike Disney's animatronics are getting - which works especially well with the deer you see along the roadways. Hehehe.)

Anyone can hunt for the eggs in each country, but to get the little map & prize at the end you have to pay $5 - super cheap for Disney, so I say go for it. Here's the map:


You place each sticker in the country where you find that egg. Easy-peasy.

The eggs you're looking for are huge - about two feet tall -  and range from "ridiculously obvious" to "kind of hard to spot" so it really is a game for all ages. Even though it's a little too easy, John and I still had fun with it - and it encourages you to really LOOK at each of the countries, which is nice. There are so many details even we locals walk by without really seeing.

Spoilers ahead, so if you don't want to know where the eggs are, GO NO FURTHER. (I don't know if they change the eggs' locations each year, but they probably do.)



 A good rule of thumb is to look up; lots of rooftop a balcony eggs.


You can only see the front of most of the eggs, so I was delighted to see both wings and back spikes painted on Figment's:


 Thumper's egg was waaaay up high on the water tower over the Cool Outpost:


Here's the most hidden egg of all. See it?


Dooby dooby doo wa dooby dooby doo...

Perry!



Mickey was another tough one; that roof top was really high, so the sun's glare made it hard to spot.

Again, most were pretty easy, though:


Or really really easy:




Whether you finish the egg hunt or not, you still get a prize when you bring your map back:

Sadly you only get one, but for me, the choice was easy.

Then I set out to find the prettiest patch of flowers for my egg's photo shoot:


:D

(There's nothing inside the egg, but it does open.)


Aaand I'll leave you with a pretty flower picture:


Happy weekend, everyone!

[syndicated profile] geekfeminism_feed

Posted by gfspamspam

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.

10 Absolutely Ridiculous Easter Cakes

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

Posted by Jen

"PHENOMENAL COSMIC POWERS!!"

"Iiiittty bitty living space."

 

Ever wonder why cake decorators use so much plastic flotsam?

WONDER NO MORE.

 

Still, where there's a will to wreck, there is a way:

Bravo, wreckerators. BRAVO.

 

Because when I think of the resurrection of Jesus, I think of splattery tie-dye:

And carrots on a cross.

(I looked it up: carrots are NOT cruciferous vegetables. Dang it.)

 

Easter egg or old pepperoni?

Either way, WOW AM I IN THE EASTER SPIRIT.

 

Q: So how hard IS it to make an egg-shaped cake?

A: Oh, about that hard.

 

"Quick! To the Dimensionally Inaccurate Carrot Car, Bun-Man!"

"I'll be right behind you in the Electro Egg!!"

*zodzodzod*

 

"It's pronounced 'Buh-THEAD.'"

"And that's MISTER Butthead to you."

 

Confession: I actually love these and want a dozen of my very own:

Mostly because they remind me of this:

video link

 

Thanks to Holly A., Kathy B., Nicole S., Jennie, Leslie G., Molly, Stacey K., Wesley T., Dimitra S., & Jenna N. for the excuse to post that clip. (The crocodile kills me. The wiggly feet! Ah!)

*****

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

[syndicated profile] accidentallyincode_feed

Posted by Cate Huston

postits

Credit: Karen Ann Glick

Kris Howard talking about productivity.

About getting stuff done like a grownup. Used to put stuff off to the weekend, and then not actually do it.

The goal of productivity is to spend less time doing the stuff you don’t want to do so that you can spend more time on the stuff you do want to do.

She’s a productivity faker, not a guru, or a ninja.

Step 1: Get absolved. Inbox zero.

  • Make a folder called dmz.
  • Go to inbox, select all.
  • Put everything into it.
  • Go and sin no more.

Idea: draw a line in the sand, and move forward. Declare inbox zero and order a nerd badge. Everything that is in there should be something you need.

Step 2: Get Organised.

  • Keep it simple, the hipster PDA is a stack of notecards in a clip, or planner diary.
  • Lots of productivity apps in the app store.
  • Pick one, try it. If it doesn’t work try something else.
  • If using apps, Toodleoo. Take advantage of syncing, sharing.
  • Calendar: recurring events are your friend.

Step 3: Get Things Done.

  • Stuff is anything in your life that is not where it is meant to be. Stuff that doesn’t have a place is in your head. Getting Things Done is the workflow for processing stuff.
  • Collect all stuff. This is the thing you are afraid of. This is the thing that stresses you out. Collect it, seems manageable.
  • Process. If under 2 minutes, do it immediately. If waiting, goes to tickler file. He suggests a physical file, the alternative is calendar.

Project pile to track the next actions.
When done, chuck it in the bin.
When put a task on the list, tag it with a context.
Iteration and review: review the tickler file, todo list.

Stay Focused.

  • Pomodoro Technique:
  • Decide on task.
  • Set timer for 25 minutes.
  • Work until dings, record.
  • Take a short break.
  • Every 4 pomodoros, take a longer break.

Build habits.

Don’t break the chain.
Mark off days when you work on that goal.
Use your chain of marked off days as a motivator.
Check out: dontbreakthechain.com

So go home, blast the crap out of your inbox, make a pile of stuff on the kitchen table, and start getting things done like a boss!

[syndicated profile] krebsonsecurity_feed

Posted by BrianKrebs

Nationwide arts and crafts chain Michaels Stores Inc. said today that two separate eight-month-long security breaches at its stores last year may have exposed as many as 3 million customer credit and debit cards.

michaelsThe disclosure, made jointly in a press release posted online and in a statement on the company’s Web site, offers the first real details about the breach since the incident was first disclosed by KrebsOnSecurity on January 25, 2014.

The statements by Irving, Texas-based Michaels suggest that the two independent security firms it hired to investigate the break-ins initially found nothing.

“After weeks of analysis, the Company discovered evidence confirming that systems of Michaels stores in the United States and its subsidiary, Aaron Brothers, were attacked by criminals using highly sophisticated malware that had not been encountered previously by either of the security firms,” the statement reads.

The Michaels breach first came to light just weeks after retail giant Target Corp. said that cyber thieves planted malware on cash registers at its stores across the nation, stealing more than 40 million credit and debit card numbers between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15, 2013. That malware was designed to siphon card data when customers swiped their cards at the cash register.

According to Michaels, the affected systems contained certain payment card information, such as payment card number and expiration date, about both Michaels and Aaron Brothers customers. The company says there is no evidence that other customer personal information, such as name, address or debit card PIN, was at risk in connection with this issue.

The company’s statement says the attack on Michaels’ targeted “a limited portion of the point-of-sale systems at a varying number of stores between May 8, 2013 and January 27, 2014.”

“Only a small percentage of payment cards used in the affected stores during the times of exposure were impacted by this issue,” the statement continues. “The analysis conducted by the security firms and the Company shows that approximately 2.6 million cards may have been impacted, which represents about 7% of payment cards used at Michaels stores in the U.S. during the relevant time period. The locations and potential dates of exposure for each affected Michaels store are listed on www.michaels.com.”

Regarding Aaron Brothers, Michaels Stores said it has confirmed that between June 26, 2013 and February 27, 2014, 54 Aaron Brothers stores were affected by this malware, noting that the locations for each affected Aaron Brothers store are listed on www.aaronbrothers.com.

“The Company estimates that approximately 400,000 cards were potentially impacted during this period. The Company has received a limited number of reports from the payment card brands and banks of fraudulent use of payment cards potentially connected to Michaels or Aaron Brothers.”

This incident marks the second time in three years that Michaels Stores has wrestled with a widespread compromise of its payment card systems. In May 2011, Michaels disclosed that crooks had physically tampered with some point-of-sale devices at store registers in some Chicago locations, although further investigation revealed compromised POS devices in stores across the country, from Washington, D.C. to the West Coast.

Michaels says that while the Company has received limited reports of fraud, it is offering identity protection, credit monitoring and fraud assistance services through AllClear ID to affected Michaels and Aaron Brothers customers in the U.S. for 12 months at no cost to them. Details of the services and additional information related to the ongoing investigation are available on the Michaels and Aaron Brothers websites at www.michaels.com and www.aaronbrothers.com.

Incidentally, credit monitoring services will do nothing to protect consumers from fraud on existing financial accounts — such as credit and debit cards — and they’re not great at stopping new account fraud committed in your name. The most you can hope for with these services is that they alert you as quickly as possible after identity thieves have opened or attempted to open new accounts in your name.

As I noted in a recent story about the credit monitoring industry, the offering of these services has become the de facto public response for companies that experience a data breach, whether or not that breach resulted in the loss of personal information that could lead to actual identity theft (as opposed to mere credit card fraud). For more information about the limitations of credit monitoring services and more proactive steps that you can take to better protect your identity and credit file, check out this story.

Frozen's Elsa & Anna at Epcot

Apr. 17th, 2014 03:44 pm
[syndicated profile] epbot_feed

Posted by Jen

Yesterday John and I went to check out the Easter egg hunt at Epcot - which I'll post pics of soon - but along the way we stopped over in Norway to check out the infamous line for the Frozen princesses. It's easy to spot, since it stretches outside the land's boundaries, and a helpful cast member informed us the wait time - on a Wednesday afternoon, mind you - was about 4 hours. FOUR HOURS. And I'm told that's about average. (!!)

Then he told us you can walk through the side gift shop and sneak a peek at the princesses through a large doorway. Sold!

Of course, that doorway had it's own huge crowd, but after waiting five or ten minutes near the back I managed to worm my way up to the rope. Then I had this view:

The velvet rope keeps the crowd back and to the side, so everyone just leans as far over as they can and sticks their cameras out. Since I was at the back and too short to lean, I just had to zoom through the sea of arms and hope for the best.

Happily I got a few Ok shots, though! Here's the full meet & greet set:



The window backdrop is really lovely, with a view of Elsa's ice castle in the distance.

Elsa and Anna themselves were true to their film personalities; Anna was a little more gregarious, while Elsa was more regal, playing it cool. [pun intended, always]

 

I only stayed long enough to see a few families come through, but it's easy to see why this is one of the toughest jobs on property, making hundreds of "magical moments" for hundreds and hundreds of families - who've waited that long! - every day, on demand. The sisters even took the split seconds between families to throw us bystanders a quick wave and a smile:



 They called this "the sister hug:"

 

 My favorite was when this little girl dressed as Elsa came through:

 

 And my favorite shot:

Look at that face! I bet that expression made the four-hour wait worth it for her parents. 
(Even if I DO think they're crazy to wait that long. Ha!)

Hope you guys are having a great week! I still have SO many pictures to sort & share, but look for the Easter egg hunt & the final FINAL batch (really!) of Megacon costumes soon.

Make Like A Bunny...

Apr. 17th, 2014 01:00 pm
[syndicated profile] cakewrecks_feed

Posted by Jen

Look, I'm not saying I've inadvertently created a legion of gutter-minded wrecky minions - I'm NOT.

However, a lot of you keep sending me one particular design of Easter cake, claiming there's something a bit "off" about it.

At first I didn't see it.

"Aw, what's wrong with this one?"

 

But over time...

"Actually, this DOES seem a little... huh."

 

[head tilt]
"Well, maaaaybe..."

 

"OK NOW I SEE IT."

 

Actual conversation between me and John:

John: See what?
Me: C'mon. You don't see it? Not even with that last one?
John: No.
Me: So you don't feel that bunny is, say, rising to the occasion? Bursting forth with glorious song? Losing his head?

[hopeful pause]

John: You're a sick, sick woman.

 

So for my confused, innocent, mind-like-driven-snow readers (and husband) who still don't see a problem: allow me to tell you the tale of Wee Willy Winkie And His Stripey Easter Sock:

He had one.

THE END.

 

Thanks to Kim A., Bonnie S., Jessica R., Fiona H., Ashley W., & Anna C. for reminding us that the Fatal Attraction bunny is still worse.

No, no that one. THIS ONE:

 

 *****

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

[syndicated profile] geekfeminism_feed

Posted by lizhenry

This morning as I was about to get on a plane back from a conference I found out that Dana McCallum, aka Dana L. Contreras, a software engineer at Twitter as well as a feminist activist, was arrested in late January and charged with several felonies including rape, false imprisonment, and domestic violence. Some details of the charges are described on SFgate: SF Women’s Rights Advocate Accused of Raping Wife.

Many of us associated with geekfeminism.org and its sister organizations would like to make a statement in response.

This is horrifying and came as a shock to many of us in feminist communities, as McCallum has been a fellow feminist activist for some time. The bloggers at geekfeminism.org would like to express our empathy and support for the victim/survivor and her family.

Another aspect of this case is that the media coverage of the rape and assault charges are almost universally misogynist and transphobic both in their perpetuation of rape culture (for one, by providing an uncritical platform for McCallum’s lawyer) and in their misgendering and obsessive focus on McCallum’s gender identity and history.  Some radical feminist activists (and their many obvious sockpuppets) have also been writing hateful “trans panic” or TERF articles and tweets. We strongly repudiate such responses.

Rape is a horrible violent crime no matter who the rapist is.

The National Center for Transgender Equality director Mara Keisling says on a comment on a post by Nitasha Tiku,

“Rape is a horrific crime. Sexual violence is never okay. But this isn’t a transgender story. We can’t speak to the specifics of this case but sexual assault knows no gender. That’s why the FBI recently revised their definition of rape. As this case gains more attention, we must avoid using it as a reason to misrepresent transgender people.”

For anyone who has experienced abuse or sexual assault, it can be helpful to turn to local or broader resources. Here is a list of trans-friendly and inclusive rape survivor organizations and resources.  In San Francisco,  San Francisco Women Against Rape is a good resource;  WOMAN Inc, the Cooperative Restraining Order Clinic, and GLIDE also provide many resources for people in the SF Bay Area who have experienced domestic violence. Please don’t go through this on your own; reach out to people around you — you’re not alone.

- Liz Henry

cosigned:

Leigh Honeywell

Valerie Aurora

Brenda Wallace

Tim Chevalier

Annalee Flower Horne

Beth Flanagan

PyCon Open Thread

Apr. 16th, 2014 04:02 pm
[syndicated profile] geekfeminism_feed

Posted by Annalee

Were you at PyCon? Did you stop by the Geek Feminism Hackerspace? What did you think of the talks? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.

[syndicated profile] krebsonsecurity_feed

Posted by BrianKrebs

Oracle has pushed a critical patch update for its Java SE platform that fixes at least 37 security vulnerabilities in the widely-installed program. Several of these flaws are so severe that they are likely to be exploited by malware or attackers in the days or weeks ahead. So — if you have Java installed — it is time to update (or to ditch the program once and for all).

javamessThe latest update for Java 7 (the version most users will have installed) brings the program to Java 7 Update 55. Those who’ve chosen to upgrade to the newer, “feature release” version of Java — Java 8 — will find fixes available in Java 8 Update 5 (Java 8 doesn’t work on Windows XP).

According to Oracle, at least four of the 37 security holes plugged in this release earned a Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) rating of 10.0 — the most severe possible. According to Oracle, vulnerabilities with a 10.0 CVSS score are those which can be easily exploited remotely and without authentication, and which result in the complete compromise of the host operating system.

There are a couple of ways to find out if you have Java installed and what version may be running.  Windows users can click Start, then Run, then type “cmd” without the quotes. At the command prompt, type “java -version” (again, no quotes). Users also can visit Java.com and click the “Do I have Java?” link on the homepage. Updates also should be available via the Java Control Panel or from Java.com.

If you really need and use Java for specific Web sites or applications, take a few minutes to update this software. Updates are available from Java.com or via the Java Control Panel. Keep in mind that updating via the control panel will auto-select the installation of the Ask Toolbar, so de-select that if you don’t want the added crapware.

Otherwise, seriously consider removing Java altogether.  I’ve long urged end users to junk Java unless they have a specific use for it (this advice does not scale for businesses, which often have legacy and custom applications that rely on Java). This widely installed and powerful program is riddled with security holes, and is a top target of malware writers and miscreants.

If you have an affirmative use or need for Java, unplug it from the browser unless and until you’re at a site that requires it (or at least take advantage of click-to-play). The latest versions of Java let users disable Java content in web browsers through the Java Control Panel. Alternatively, consider a dual-browser approach, unplugging Java from the browser you use for everyday surfing, and leaving it plugged in to a second browser that you only use for sites that require Java.

For Java power users — or for those who are having trouble upgrading or removing a stubborn older version — I recommend JavaRa, which can assist in repairing or removing Java when other methods fail (requires the Microsoft .NET Framework).

[syndicated profile] cakewrecks_feed

Posted by Jen

Ahem hem hem.

Kill da waaaabbit
Kill da waaaabbit
Kill da WAAAAAbbit....

With fire, if you please.

 

Hey, remember when the Easter Bunny didn't have giant claws?

Or a hump?

 

Invasion of the Bunny Snatchers:

How much you wanna bet it glows in the dark?

 

The longer you look at this, the creepier it gets.

Right?
Right??

 

This rabbit has smashed spiders for eyes and a ripped off Peep face for a nose:

No doubt he also has 'UUGE POINTY TEETH.

RUN AWAAAAY!

 

When you see it:

o.0
[shiver]
Gets me every time.

 

Ok, picture this: You're home alone, Easter eve. A sudden storm blows in, knocking out the power - just as you hear a slight scuffling coming from the hall closet.

You slowly walk over, creeeeeeaaaaak open the door, and see:

"'Ello, guv'na!"
"Mind if I hop on in and eat your face?"

 

Thanks to Jacquelyn H., Laureen V., Emily W., Stephanie E., Lisa F., Anony M., Tami N., & Tracey S. for the sweet dreams.

And now, your Moment of Jen:

 

*****

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

Sponsors, Mentors and Allies

Apr. 16th, 2014 12:00 pm
[syndicated profile] accidentallyincode_feed

Posted by Cate Huston

Credit: Wikipedia

Credit: Wikipedia

I don’t think we talk enough about sponsors in general, whereas at every woman in tech event, oh, another mentoring opportunity.

I’m all set for mentors, and have enough women who I offer support too that I can’t actively look for more. They are super helpful, but as I observed to the fabulous Jo Miller recently, “mentors give me perspective, but sponsors give me opportunity.” Sometimes we need to stop letting ourselves be over-mentored, stop trying to make ourselves feel better and find coping mechanisms to handle whatever situation we happen to be in… and instead find a better situation.

Sponsors help find that situation.

Sponsors can also be mentors, and they can be allies, but here’s the thing. They don’t have to be. Usually it may be better for them not to be the person you offload all your crazy on – that’s what your mentor is for (or even better! A friend).

And most importantly, they don’t have to be allies. It’s great if they are, but if I think about the sponsors who have done good things for my career of late, at least 2 out of 3 have no idea what a microaggression is. One of them persists in thinking that the grammatical problems of “they” outweighs the problems of “he”. Obviously I disagree with him on that point, but I also think that for me the good things that he’s done outweigh that particular issue.

Larry Summers, I think, is one of the best examples of this. Said some very damaging things about women’s aptitudes for STEM, but was an excellent sponsor for Sheryl Sandberg.

Ultimately, sponsorship looks like this. There’s an opportunity, and a white dude wants it, because there is always a white dude that wants it. But the sponsor advocates for the woman, or other marginalised person, who they believe will be better at it, who deserves this opportunity.

It’s not that white dudes have what they want, and other people get what’s left over. Because what is left is mostly junior, and often thankless positions (see also: the Joan of Arc CEO). Sponsorship is about having power, and using it to advocate. White men have been doing it for each other all along. They don’t have a special word for it, because for them it’s mostly just “going to work”.

And I think this is the hardest part for managers in the tech industry to grasp, however enlightened. Is that diversity means that if white dudes have to start competing with the rest of the population, it won’t always “just happen” that they are the best for the job. Sometimes they won’t be. Maybe, they never were.

A woman, or other marginalised person, will be instead.

Note: like many such things in the tech industry, women have it bad, but other marginalised groups (especially as one of my friends puts it, “multi-norities”, e.g. women of colour) have it much worse. One advantage white women have in this situation (of many) is they sometimes remind older white men of their daughters.

The Sydney Project: Powerhouse Museum

Apr. 16th, 2014 03:41 am
[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.

This was our second visit to the Powerhouse Museum, both times on a Monday, a day on which it is extremely quiet.

Bendy mirror

The Powerhouse seems so promising. It’s a tech museum, and we’re nerd parents, which ought to make this a family paradise. But not so. Partly, it’s that V is not really a nerdy child. His favourite activities involve things like riding his bike downhill at considerable speeds and dancing. He is not especially interested in machinery, intricate steps of causation, or whimsy, which removes a lot of the interest of the Powerhouse. Museums are also a surprising challenge in conveying one fundamental fact about recent history: that the past was not like the present in significant ways. V doesn’t really seem to know this, nor is he especially interested in it, which removes a lot of the hooks one could use in explaining, eg, the steam powered machines exhibit.

We started at The Oopsatoreum, a fictional exhibition by Shaun Tan about the works of failed inventor Henry Mintox. This didn’t last long; given that V doesn’t understand the fundamental conceit of museums and is not especially interested in technology, an exhibit that relies on understanding museums and having affection for technology and tinkering was not going to hold his attention. He enjoyed the bendy mirrors and that’s about it.

V v train

I was hoping to spend a moment in The Oopsatoreum, but he dragged me straight back out to his single favourite exhibit: the steam train parked on the entrance level. But it quickly palled too, because he wanted to climb on and in it, and all the carriages have perspex covering their doors so you can see it but not get in. There’s a bigger exhibit of vehicles on the bottom floor, including — most interestingly to me — an old-fashioned departures board showing trains departing to places that don’t even have lines any more, but we didn’t spend long there because V’s seen it before. He also sped through the steam machines exhibit pretty quickly, mostly hitting the buttons that set off the machines and then getting grumpy at the amount of noise they make.

Gaming, old-style

He was much more favourably struck with the old game tables that are near the steam train. He can’t read yet, and parenting him recently has been a constant exercise in learning exactly how many user interfaces assume literacy (TV remote controls, for example, and their UIs now as well). The games were like this to an extent too; he can’t read “Press 2 to start” and so forth, so I kept having to start the games for him. He didn’t do so well as he didn’t learn to operate the joystick and press a button to fire at the same time. He could only do one or the other. And whatever I was hoping V would get out of this visit, I don’t think marginally improved gaming skills were it, much as I think they’re probably going to be useful to him soon.

Big red car

We spent the most time in the sinkhole of the Powerhouse, the long-running Wiggles exhibition. This begins with the annoying feature that prams must be left outside, presumably because on popular days one could hardly move in there for prams. But we were the only people in there and it was pretty irritating to pick up my two month old baby and all of V’s and her various assorted possessions and lump them all inside with me. I’m glad V is not much younger, or I would have been fruitlessly chasing him around in there with all that stuff in my arms.

Car fixing

It’s also, again, not really the stereotypical educational museum experience. There’s a lot of memorabilia that’s uninteresting to children, such as their (huge) collection of gold and platinum records and early cassette tapes and such. There’s also several screens showing Wiggles videos, which is what V gravitates to. If I wanted him to spend an hour watching TV, I can organise that without leaving my house. He did briefly “repair” a Wiggles car by holding a machine wrench against it.

Overall, I think we’re done with the Powerhouse for a few years.

Cost: $12 adults, $6 children 4 and over, younger children free.

Recommended: for my rather grounded four year old, no. Possibly more suited to somewhat older children, or children who have an interest in a specific exhibit. (If that interest is steam trains, I think Train Works at Thirlmere is a better bet, although we cheated last year by going to a Thomas-franchise focussed day.)

More information: Powerhouse website.

Chainmaille Jewelry for Newbies

Apr. 15th, 2014 05:25 pm
[syndicated profile] epbot_feed

Posted by Jen

If you're like me, "chainmaille jewelry" brings to mind Renaissance Fairs, metal bras, and lots of intricate-but-drab steel chains.

Ah, but it turns out modern 'mail jewelry is so much more! Lookie!

 

I've been having an education through my friend Sharyn, who's recently fallen into the craft with a passion. She got me this Nouveau kit through Blue Buddha Boutique, and it's a great beginner's project; I finished in just a few hours with almost no prior experience.

The instructions in chainmaille kits are usually sold separately, but right now this one's free to download if you want to check it out.

The Nouveau kit is only for the necklace & earrings, but there were enough pieces left over that I made up this bracelet, too:


And here's another closeup of the earrings & pendant:

I loooove the colors.

(Still have to convert the earrings to clips, though. I was too impatient to wait to get the clips first!) 

In fact, all the colorful anodized rings available now are what make chainmaille SO much prettier to me. Here's a teal & orange Helm's Weave necklace Sharyn made me:


The flower bracelet is one I made back in college from a kit, back before colors were a thing, and the two next to it I had custom made at a convention a few months ago. Simple, but oh-so-pretty!

I asked Sharyn if I could show off some of her project pics, just to show you guys what's out there. Check it out:



 Patterns: "Bees to Butterflies" (a Byzantine variation) and Byzantine



The copper circles (the design is "Japanese Cross") remind me of shiny bubbles. So pretty! And that "Celtic Vision Star" pendant? Awwwwesome!

Here's Sharyn's latest project, which she's been colorfully cursing on FB:

Sharyn has a few books of patterns, but I found instructions for this one - called "Bicubix Blocks" - available as an instant download here on Etsy for $6.95. And here's a closeup of one of the blocks:

Apparently this is one of the trickier patterns Sharyn's done, so maybe hold off until you have some experience under your belt.

Oh! And speaking of things I found on Etsy, look how magical when you add glass beads to chainmaille:


This "glass caterpillar" is an original design by Etsy seller Kat Wisniewski: and she sells the full tutorial as an instant download for less than $7! Suh-WEET.

Or, if making one seems too daunting, you can also buy one from Kat for $75. Check out the rest of her shop for more tutorials and ready-to-wear jewelry like these pendants:




If you want to dip a toe in, just search for "chainmaille kit" on Etsy and you'll be inundated with choices. For tools your bare essentials are just two pairs of chain nose pliers, which are smooth inside so they won't scratch the rings. (Anodized/colored rings are extra easy to scratch, so you can further pad the pliers with plasti-dip, or improvise like I did and just wrap each side in electrical tape. :D)

I've already been having fun shopping for kits, so here are a few I'm eying now:







  Acute Helm's Weave kit & instructions, $10 - and you can choose from 14 different colors.

In addition to colorful anodized rings, there are also colorful rubber rings, so you can make stretchy bracelets like these:

"Byzantine Stretch Bracelet," kit & instructions $17


"Twist of Fate" stretchy bracelet kit & instructions, $17

And because I'm a sucker for rainbows:

"Shaggy Chainmaille Rainbow Earrings" kit & instructions, $12.50



Celtic Flower Pendant Kit & Instructions - your choice of colors, $15


Ok, I think I've given you enough shopping fodder, if you're interested! But if you want more, Sharyn recommends both Blue Buddha and Weave Got Maille for kits, supplies, and tutorials (which are sold separately.)

I've barely even scratched the surface of what's out there, of course, so if any of you more experienced 'maillers have links or advice to share, go wild in the comments, yeah?
[syndicated profile] krebsonsecurity_feed

Posted by BrianKrebs

Computer hard drive maker LaCie has acknowledged that a hacker break-in at its online store exposed credit card numbers and contact information on customers for the better part of the past year. The disclosure comes almost a month after the breach was first disclosed by KrebsOnSecurity.

On Mar. 17, 2014, this blog published evidence showing that the Web storefront for French hardware giant LaCie (now owned by Seagate) had been compromised by a group of hackers that broke into dozens of online stores using security vulnerabilities in Adobe’s ColdFusion software. In response, Seagate said it had engaged third-party security firms and that its investigation was ongoing, but that it had found no indication that any customer data was compromised.

The Lacie.com Web site as listed in the control panel of a botnet of hacked ecommerce sites.

The Lacie.com Web site as listed in the control panel of a botnet of hacked ecommerce sites.

In a statement sent to this reporter on Monday, however, Seagate allowed that its investigation had indeed uncovered a serious breach. Seagate spokesman Clive J. Over said the breach may have exposed credit card transactions and customer information for nearly a year beginning March 27, 2013. From his email:

“To follow up on my last e-mail to you, I can confirm that we did find indications that an unauthorized person used the malware you referenced to gain access to information from customer transactions made through LaCie’s website.”

“The information that may have been accessed by the unauthorized person includes name, address, email address, payment card number and card expiration date for transactions made between March 27, 2013 and March 10, 2014. We engaged a leading forensic investigation firm, who conducted a thorough investigation into this matter. As a precaution, we have temporarily disabled the e-commerce portion of the LaCie website while we transition to a provider that specializes in secure payment processing services. We will resume accepting online orders once we have completed the transition.”

Security and data privacy are extremely important to LaCie, and we deeply regret that this happened. We are in the process of implementing additional security measures which will help to further secure our website. Additionally, we sent notifications to the individuals who may have been affected in order to inform them of what has transpired and that we are working closely and cooperatively with the credit card companies and federal authorities in their ongoing investigation.

It is unclear how many customer records and credit cards may have been accessed during the time that the site was compromised; Over said in his email that the company did not have any additional information to share at this time.

As I noted in a related story last month, Adobe ColdFusion vulnerabilities have given rise to a number of high profile attacks in the past. The same attackers who hit LaCie also were responsible for a breach at jam and jelly maker Smuckers, as well as Alpharetta, Ga. based credit card processor SecurePay.

In February, a hacker in the U.K. was charged with accessing computers at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in October 2012 and stealing names, phone numbers and email addresses using ColdFusion flaws. According to this Business Week story, Lauri Love was arrested in connection with a sealed case which claims that between October 2012 and August 2013, Love hacked into computers belonging to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Sentencing Commission, Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory and the U.S. Department of Energy.

According to multiple sources with knowledge of the attackers and their infrastructure, this is the very same gang responsible for an impressive spree of high-profile break-ins last year, including:

-An intrusion at Adobe in which the attackers stole credit card data, tens of millions of customer records, and source code for most of Adobe’s top selling software (ColdFusion,Adobe Reader/Acrobat/Photoshop);

-A break-in targeting data brokers LexisNexis, Dun & Bradstreet, and Kroll.

-A hack against the National White Collar Crime Center, a congressionally-funded non-profit organization that provides training, investigative support and research to agencies and entities involved in the prevention, investigation and prosecution of cybercrime.

[syndicated profile] geekfeminism_feed

Posted by gfspamspam

  • So You’ve Got Yourself a Policy. Now What? | Stephanie Zvan at Freethough Blogs (April 10): “We know from situations in which they’ve failed that “zero-tolerance” policies, policies in which any act that is deemed to be unacceptable results in expulsion and exclusion, don’t work well. They fail in three main ways. People who are against harassment policies in general are quick to point out that they leave no room for honest mistakes. They are correct when talking about zero-tolerance policies, even if they make the same criticism about all policies.”
  • What’s Missing from Journalists’ Tactic of Snagging Stories from Twitter? Respect. | Tina Vasquez at bitchmedia (March 21): “Christine Fox does not consider herself a social justice advocate. On March 12, Fox’s timeline took a decidedly different turn. That night, to illustrate that there is no correlation between clothing and sexual assault, Fox asked her more than 12,000 followers to share what they were wearing when they were sexually assaulted. It was the first time Fox facilitated a conversation on this scale and it was also the first time she publicly shared her story as an assault survivor. She walked away from her computer that night feeling positive about what took place—and many tweeted to thank her, saying that through the tears, the discussion felt healing. But the next morning, Fox felt her hands go shaky. She felt nauseous and sweaty. She’d later learn from followers on Twitter that after reading through hundreds of tweets about assault, she had likely “triggered” herself, a term she was relatively unfamiliar with. Still, she knew something powerful had happened and she was proud to have sparked it. And then BuzzFeed came along and fucked everything up.”
  • My Cane is Not A Costume – Convention Exclusions and Ways to Think About Oppression at Cons | Derek Newman-Stille at Speculating Canada (April 7): “On a regular basis at speculative and other fan conventions, I get knocked around, shoved, pushed out of the way. People assume that because I am using a cane, I am taking up more than my fair space, after all, I have THREE whole legs on the ground (two legs and a cane). I hope this is because they assume that my cane is the equivalent to their lightsaber, a performative piece, a part of a costume… That is my hope. However, I have seen issues of systemic ableism at cons.”
  • Why are People Perennially Surprised By Internet Misogyny? | s.e. smith at meloukhia.net (April 14): “I have a confession: I was tempted to cut and paste this piece, since I’m pretty sure I’ve written it before. I realized that my desire to cut and paste was kind of an indicator of how endlessly circular this topic is, though. [...] I really don’t know how many times people need to say this before the message will sink through: the internet is a dangerous place for women. It’s especially dangerous for women living at the intersections of multiple marginalisations.”
  • Collecting Inspiration with Supersisters | Liz Zanis at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (April 3): “Published in 1979, the Supersisters trading cards were a playful, informative, and accessible way to spread feminism to younger audiences. The series was inspired by Lois Rich’s daughter, an eight-year-old baseball-card collector, who asked why there weren’t any pictures of girls on the cards. With a grant from the New York State Education Department, Lois Rich and her sister, Barbara Egerman, contacted five hundred women of achievement and created cards of the first seventy-two to respond.”

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 PinboardDelicious 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.

Take A Wild Guess Day!

Apr. 15th, 2014 01:00 pm
[syndicated profile] cakewrecks_feed

Posted by Jen

There's really only one way to celebrate this, so...

TAKE A WILD GUESS, GUYS:

Just so you know, I honestly and sincerely have no idea what this is supposed to be. I know what it LOOKS like, of course - (A baby shower cake. Eh? EH?!) - but it's so badly done, with those inexplicable pom-poms and zig-zags - and why is it blue? - that I just... I can't even... no.

Just... no.

 

What's that, John? Today is also "That Sucks Day"?

Aaaannnnd SCENE.

 

Thanks to Jennifer C. for submitting this with no details whatsoever, and also for proving once again that I couldn't make this stuff up even if I tried.

*****

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[syndicated profile] female_cs_feed

Posted by Gail Carmichael

You may recall that I was going to a conference on a cruise ship in April.  Well, I'm back from Foundations of Digital Games 2014 and am happy to report that I have found another new favourite conference and community.  The conference went well and I made some wonderful friends. Win win!

It was a strange experience, being on a cruise ship for (mostly) academic purposes.  This was my first time on one, and to be honest, I actually prefer the resort experience more when it comes to vacations.  An overwhelming sense of "fake" was prevalent on the ship, and while resorts aren't necessarily better, on a cruise all you have is the boat.  No beach, no grass, etc.  I also didn't love the dark, cavernous feeling on most decks of the boat or the lengthy process to embark and debark.  Even the mall was kept dark and lit with neon lights most of the time.


But there is a big advantage to hosting a conference on a cruise ship: nobody can leave! This was really great for building community.  It was easy to find other attendees and spend some social time with them.  For example, on one of the early nights, there was a disco party happening in the mall.  At that point I was alone, wandering around, wondering what to do.


When I ran into some friends (old and new), I finally had someone to dance with, even if we were stuck with disco for quite some time.  I would not have danced disco alone, but with them, I had a blast.

I have to admit that the upper deck with the pools was a nice place to prepare for my paper presentations (lab mates, if you are reading this: pretend I prepared weeks in advance and practised at our meetings).  Sitting on a swinging chair looking out on the ocean is a good way to relieve last-minute stress.


And boy, was I stressed.  I wasn't worried about the actual presentation being good, but rather whether the audience of heavy-hitters in the stories-in-games field would think the work itself was any good.  It was a rare moment of feeling the imposter syndrome.  To make matters worse, I had two talks almost in a row! Good to get them over with, but no chance for feedback in between.

Fortunately, everything went very well.  The talk was good, and the questions afterwards were even better.  A lot of the people I was intimidated of in the first place made a point to tell me that my talk was interesting.  Later in the conference I even got to have an extended conversation with one of them, giving me both confidence and ideas.  (Learn more about what I presented if you're interested.)

After my talks and a couple of other interesting paper sessions, I escaped on my own for a bit to decompress.  The sun was starting to set, which was the perfect time to take a stroll around the boat.



The next day, the ship docked in Cozumel, Mexico, where two of my new friends and I went on a tour of Maya ruins (apparently you aren't supposed to include an "n") and visited a gorgeous beach.  I was really glad to have my talk behind me at that point as I could completely relax and enjoy it!





The last day of the cruise included more interesting talks and a lovely reception and dinner to cap it all off.  I left the following morning on a high, and already trying to figure out how to ensure I attended next year's conference.  I left feeling like I had finally found "my people," from my awesome roommate to the researchers with the same interests.  Thanks FDG, and hope to see you again soon!


Passover These Wrecks

Apr. 14th, 2014 01:00 pm
[syndicated profile] cakewrecks_feed

Posted by Jen

Let's hear it for my Jewish homies: Oyyy yeaaah!

Ok, obviously it's a bit difficult to find professional Passover cakes - Wrecks or otherwise - considering the whole leaven thing. However, I thought these were pretty amusing.

Hey, Passover is a celebration of the Israelites escaping Egypt, right? So Moses parting the Red Sea kind of counts as a Passover cake, right?

Well, I thought it was hilariously creative, anyway, so I had to share. Thanks to Blair T. for showing us how Divinity School students rock the party.

 

These next ones are more Label Wrecks than Cake Wrecks, but I think you'll agree they're Wrecks regardless. First, Niobe found this nicely packaged "Passover Coconut Cake"...

Complete with a "rich in tradition" greeting:

But wait...what's this on the back?

"Not Kosher for Passover?!?"

Well, I guess if you are having a "a Passover rich in tradition," you'll just have to hope this cake keeps well for later.

 

At least they're upfront about it, though. Check out what I found over on Yodster's Flickr stream, titled "How a Russian Baker Makes a Cake Kosher for Passover." 

Step 1: Cross out flour on the ingredients list.

Step 2: Add a star of David.

Step 3: Kosher!

 

Happy Passover everyone!

*****

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The Emotional Expectations of Women

Apr. 14th, 2014 12:00 pm
[syndicated profile] accidentallyincode_feed

Posted by Cate Huston

Credit: Flickr / fotodispalle

Credit: Flickr / fotodispalle

The other day, I made a complaint at a service that I pay an inordinate amount of money for. I don’t think the topic or place of complaint is relevant, so I’ll leave it out. But as I was stressing about this problem, which meant I was unable to use this service without either a large amount of hassle, or paying an extra 5GBP, I mentioned that I should have gone to the other location (run by the same company, where this is not a problem).

Anyway, the guy responds to this by telling me I’ve hurt his feelings. I’m completely thrown by this, and end up paying up the extra money and going away, still annoyed.

I maintain that my complaint was reasonable, and he derailed it by making it not about what was bothering me, but about him. But even if my complaint was unreasonable, how are his feelings relevant – bearing in mind that my way of expressing my complaint was expressed in a moderate tone, free from personal insults.

Because it’s derailing – I’m not supposed to complain anymore, because of HIS feelings.

And yet, women are supposed to be more emotional.

It’s the double standard that is imposed on women – be less emotional, don’t cry, don’t make “emotional” decisions. But make sure you do the emotional labour of considering the feelings of the men around you.

Men don’t have to worry about the feelings of women, because it’s been agreed (somehow) that women shouldn’t have them. But woe betide the woman who hurts the feelings of a man.

I loathe this. I am tired of worrying about the feelings of men, how they will react to things, what kind of trouble they will cause me as a result. Demanding that women somehow be less, and more emotional is not something that we are ever going to win.

[syndicated profile] krebsonsecurity_feed

Posted by BrianKrebs

Many companies believe that if they protect their intellectual property and customers’ information, they’ve done a decent job of safeguarding their crown jewels from attackers. But in an increasingly common scheme, cybercriminals are targeting the Human Resources departments at compromised organizations and rapidly filing fraudulent federal tax returns on all employees.

Last month, KrebsOnSecurity encountered a Web-based control panel that an organized criminal gang has been using to track bogus tax returns filed on behalf of employees at hacked companies whose HR departments had been relieved of W2 forms for all employees.

The control panel for a tax fraud botnet involving more than a half dozen victim organizations.

An obfuscated look at the he control panel for a tax fraud operation involving more than a half dozen victim organizations.

According to the control panel seen by this reporter, the scammers in charge of this scheme have hacked more than a half-dozen U.S. companies, filing fake tax returns on nearly every employee. At last count, this particular scam appears to stretch back to the beginning of this year’s tax filing season, and includes fraudulent returns filed on behalf of thousands of people — totaling more than $1 million in bogus returns.

The control panel includes a menu listing every employee’s W2 form, including all data needed to successfully file a return, such as the employee’s Social Security number, address, wages and employer identification number. Each fake return was apparently filed using the e-filing service provided by H&R Block, a major tax preparation and filing company. H&R Block did not return calls seeking comment for this story.

The "drops" page of this tax  fraud operation lists the nicknames of the co-conspirators who agreed to "cash out" funds on the prepaid cards generated by the bogus returns -- minus a small commission.

The “drops” page of this tax fraud operation lists the nicknames of the co-conspirators who agreed to “cash out” funds on the prepaid cards generated by the bogus returns — minus a small commission.

Fraudulent returns listed in the miscreants’ control panel that were successfully filed produced a specific five-digit tax filing Personal Identification Number (PIN) apparently generated by H&R Block’s online filing system. An examination of the panel suggests that successfully-filed returns are routed to prepaid American Express cards that are requested to be sent to addresses in the United States corresponding to specific “drops,” or co-conspirators in the scheme who have agreed to receive the prepaid cards and “cash out” the balance — minus their fee for processing the bogus returns.

Alex Holden, chief information security officer at Hold Security, said although tax fraud is nothing new, automating the exploitation of human resource systems for mass tax fraud is an innovation.

“The depth of this specific operation permits them to act as a malicious middle-man and tax preparation company to be an unwitting ‘underwriter’ of this crime,” Holden said. “And the victims maybe exploited not only for 2013 tax year but also down the road,  and perhaps subject of higher scrutiny by IRS — not to mention potential financial losses. Companies should look at their human resource infrastructure to ensure that payroll, taxes, financial, medical, and other benefits are afforded the same level of protection as their other mission-critical assets.”

ULTIPRO USERS TARGETED

I spoke at length with Doug, a 45-year-old tax fraud victim at a company that was listed in the attacker’s control panel. Doug agreed to talk about his experience if I omitted his last name and his employer’s name from this story. Doug confirmed that the information in the attacker’s tax fraud panel was his and mostly correct, but he said he didn’t recognize the Gmail address used to fraudulently submit his taxes at H&R Block.

Doug said his employer recently sent out a company-wide email stating there had been a security breach at a cloud provider that was subcontracted to handle the company’s employee benefits and payroll systems.

“Our company sent out a blanket email saying there had been a security breach that included employee names, addresses, Social Security numbers, and other information, and that they were going to pay for a free year’s worth of credit monitoring,” Doug said.

Almost a week after that notification, the company sent out a second notice stating that the breach extended to the personal information of all spouses and children of its employees.

“We were later notified that the breach was much deeper than originally suspected, which included all of our beneficiaries, their personal information, my life insurance policy, 401-K stuff, and our taxes,” Doug said. “My sister-in-law is an accountant, so I raced to her and asked her to help us file our taxes immediately. She pushed them through quickly but the IRS came back and said someone had already filed our taxes a few days before us.”

Doug has since spent many hours filling out countless forms with a variety of organizations, including the Federal Trade Commission, the FBI, the local police department, and of course the Internal Revenue Service.

Doug’s company and another victim at a separate company whose employees were all listed as recent tax fraud victims in the attacker’s online control panel both said their employers’ third-party cloud provider of payroll services was Weston, Fla.-based Ultimate Software. In each case, the attackers appear to have stolen the credentials of the victim organization’s human resources manager, credentials that were used to manage employee payroll and benefits at Ultipro, an online HR and payroll solutions provider.

Jody Kaminsky, senior vice president of marketing at Ultimate Software, said the company has no indication of a compromise of Ultimate’s security. Instead, she said Doug’s employer appears to have had its credentials stolen and abused by this fraud operation.

“Although we are aware that several customers’ employees were victims of tax fraud, we have no reason to believe this unauthorized access was the result of a compromise of our own security,” Kaminsky said. “Rather, our investigation suggests this is the result of stolen login information on the end-user level and not our application.”

Kaminsky continued:

“Unfortunately incidents of tax fraud this tax season across the U.S. are increasing and do not appear to be limited to just our customers or any one company (as I’m sure you’re well aware due to your close coverage of this issue). Over the past several weeks, we have communicated multiple times with our customers about recent threats of tax fraud and identity theft schemes.”

“We believe through schemes such as phishing or malware on end-user computers, criminals are attempting to obtain system login information and use those logins to access employee data for tax fraud purposes. We take identity theft schemes extremely seriously. As tax season progresses, we have been encouraging our customers to take steps to protect their systems such as enforcing frequent password resets and ensuring employee computers’ are up-to-date on anti-malware protection.”

PROTECT YOURSELF FROM TAX FRAUD

According to a 2013 report from the Treasury Inspector General’s office, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued nearly $4 billion in bogus tax refunds in 2012. The money largely was sent to people who stole Social Security numbers and other information on U.S. citizens, and then filed fraudulent tax returns on those individuals claiming a large refund but at a different address.

It’s important to note that fraudsters engaged in this type of crime are in no way singling out H&R Block or Ultipro. Cybercrooks in charge of large collections of hacked computers can just as easily siphon usernames and passwords — as well as incomplete returns — from taxpayers who are preparing returns via other online filing services, including TurboTax and TaxSlayer.

If you become the victim of identity theft outside of the tax system or believe you may be at risk due to a lost/stolen purse or wallet, questionable credit card activity or credit report, etc., you are encouraged to contact the IRS at the Identity Protection Specialized Unit, toll-free at 1-800-908-4490 so that the IRS can take steps to further secure your account.

That process is likely to involve the use of taxpayer-specific PINs for people that have had issues with identity theft. If approved, the PIN is required on any tax return filed for that consumer before a return can be accepted. To start the process of applying for a tax return PIN from the IRS, check out the steps at this link. You will almost certainly need to file an IRS form 14039 (PDF), and provide scanned or photocopied records, such a drivers license or passport.

The most frightening aspect of this tax crimeware panel is that its designers appear to have licensed it for resale. It’s not clear how much this particular automated fraud machine costs, but sources in the financial industry tell this reporter that this same Web interface has been implicated in multiple tax return scams targeting dozens of companies in this year’s tax-filing season.

Sunday Sweets: Early Easter

Apr. 13th, 2014 01:00 pm
[syndicated profile] cakewrecks_feed

Posted by Jen

I know a lot of you like to make your own Easter cakes, so I thought I'd post Easter Sweets a week early this year, you know, for inspiration. [jazz hands]

Plus, I even managed to find a few Sweets we mere mortals can make, like this super-simple but oh-so-pretty Robin's Egg number:

(By The Cake Blog)

Hit that link for the step-by-step tutorial!

 

Or how about this fun and fondant-free beauty?

(By Hanielas)

I love the design - the polka-dotted bunny cookie! - and I adore those colors. It's just so gosh-darn cheerful.

 

Higher up on the skill level, but I bet a lot of you could really dig in to this bunny cake:

(By CakeCentral member SeptBabyMom)

One of the best bunny butt cakes I've seen - and how is it possible to make a carrot that cute?

 

You're probably expecting one of those traditional lamb cakes now, but after extensive research I've determined even the pros can't make them look all that great. ("Shredded coconut sheep dogs for everyone!!")

So instead, how 'bout this cutie?

(By Cake Central member JankaT)

The swirly "fur" is the best.

 

And now on to more Sweets I don't have a prayer of replicating - but that'll never stop me from dreaming & drooling, man!

(By Vanilla Cake Boutique)

It's all about that bow. And the frilly ribbon around the egg. And the teal and baby pink. Mmmm.

 

Can't decide between a bunny cake and an egg cake? Then how about both?

(By Royal Bakery)

EGGS-ELLENT.

 

These gilded sugar flowers are the prettiest pack of pastel pansies I've ever, er ... peered at:

(By Dollymix Cupcakes)

Perfection!

 

Of course you can never have just two bunny cakes, though; they tend to multiply like... well, you know. (Dry cleaner hangers.)

(By Sweet Disposition Cakes)

See, why can't cake rabbits multiply like rabbits? I'd take two dozen of this cutie!

 

And if you tossed in a bunch of these Tickled Buns, too, I wouldn't complain:

(By Sogni di Zucchero)

Lookit dat face! What do you think bunny giggles sound like? I bet it's a mixture of hedgehog hiccups and squeaky frog squeaks, myself. (Yes, I have put some thought into this - why do you ask?)

 

If I saw this next cake sitting somewhere unprotected, I'd be hard pressed not to grab the top tier and make a run for it:

(By Cecile Crabot)

I mean, the whole thing is fabulous, but that egg house? ADORBZ.

 

I remember getting a new pastel dress each year for Easter - one time with a big white sun bonnet, even, uhthankyouverramuch - and this last cake is like all those frilly dresses and bonnets and lace-trimmed socks all magically mixed together:

(By Nana & Nana Cakes, tutorial here)

LOVE.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to sit here and sigh dreamily for a bit. Mmmm.

 

Happy Sunday, everyone! And as always, check out our Sunday Sweets Directory if you want to see which bakers in your area have been featured here on Sweets!

*****

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This Week

Apr. 13th, 2014 12:00 pm
[syndicated profile] accidentallyincode_feed

Posted by Cate Huston

Click to view slideshow.

LIFE

Hectic week with lots of social commitments, out with a friend one night, at a women in tech meet-up another night, had a chat with someone about their challenges recruiting women (followed by a solo-mini-Cate-time, sushi, a book, and a long walk), met up with someone about potentially speaking at their conference, caught up with some people I used to work with who happened to be in town, and recorded a podcast interview for my upcoming talk at modevUX. Weekend was more chill, gym time, afternoon tea with friends, wondered home through Hyde Park (very pretty! There was actually sunshine!) and prep for my talk at the Lovelace Colloquium next week.

Finally traded in my busted up band for an up24, I really like the automatic syncing.

WORK

Productive, but exhausting. Couldn’t even face leaving with my laptop on Friday night (in case I wanted to work from home on Monday), just looked at it and felt can’t and left it behind.

PLACES

Dinner at Cubana (meh) and Cocochan (always fab, but expensive), and Moti Mahal (expensive but delicious). Afternoon tea at Bond and Brook, which was fab.

MEDIA

Hooked on Veronica Mars, starting to hate it because I like it too much. Still reading An Absolute Deception, and 4 Hour Body (reading slowly to try out tips as I go), and also started Manage Your Day To Day.

Product links Amazon.

PUBLISHED

ON THE INTERNET

[syndicated profile] geekfeminism_feed

Posted by gfspamspam

  • Women do not apply to ‘male-sounding’ job postings | Klaus Becker at Technische Universität München (April 3): “If the advertisement described a large number of traits associated with men, the women found it less appealing and were less inclined to apply. Such traits include ‘assertive’, ‘independent’, ‘aggressive’ and ‘analytical’. Women found words like ‘dedicated’, ‘responsible’, ‘conscientious’ and ‘sociable’ more appealing. For male test subjects, on the other hand, the wording of the job advertisement made no difference.” (Citations follow the press release.)
  • Is the Oculus Rift sexist? (plus response to criticism) | danah boyd at apophenia (April 3): “[M]ilitary researchers had noticed that women seemed to get sick at higher rates in simulators than men. While they seemed to be able to eventually adjust to the simulator, they would then get sick again when switching back into reality. Being an activist and a troublemaker, I walked straight into the office of the head CAVE researcher and declared the CAVE sexist.” Warning: as discussed at the end of the piece, boyd uses some language that trans people have criticised, explaining it as the language of her trans informants.
  • Introducing ‘Sexism Ed’ | Kelly J. Baker at Chronicle Vitae (April 2): “But look: We could lean in until our backs were permanently bent forward and still face discrimination, bias, harassment, and more recently, rescinded job offers… I’ll be writing an occasional column—I’ll call it Sexism Ed—as a way to continue the conversation on sexism and gender discrimination in higher ed.”
  • Creepshots: Microsoft discovers an on-campus peeping tom | Nate Anderson at Ars Technica (April 5): “The Muvi camera [found by a Microsoft vendor employee] contained ‘upskirt’ video footage of women climbing stairs or escalators—or sometimes just standing in checkout lines—and some of it had been shot on Microsoft’s campus.”

Lots of goodness in Model View Culture‘s Funding issue, including:

Check out the whole issue!

Book: Principle Centered Leadership

Apr. 11th, 2014 12:00 pm
[syndicated profile] accidentallyincode_feed

Posted by Cate Huston

principle centered leadership I think Principle Centered Leadership (Amazon) was the most annoying, preachy, and useless book I have ever read. Really disappointing as I got a lot out of 7 Habits (Amazon) and thought reading this would similar enough to refresh my thinking, but also something new.

Actually I hated it so much, I may never manage to read 7 Habits again either.

As far as I could make out, the first third of the book evangelised the idea of getting up at 5 in the morning. The last bit evangelised religion, and either implied or outright said the necessity of religion for being a decent human being (something that I, as an atheist, obviously completely disagree with). I don’t really know, at that point I was too annoyed to care.

In the middle he talked a lot about parenting, about family mission statements, and about his children. But only his male children.

Don’t read this book. The real mystery is why I made it to the end. I just kept thinking there must be something worthwhile in it! But there wasn’t.

Like Looking In A Mirror

Apr. 11th, 2014 01:00 pm
[syndicated profile] cakewrecks_feed

Posted by Jen

IN A WORLD...

WHERE BEAUTIFUL PEGASUS UNICORN CAKES...

(By Heather Sherman of Art2Eat Cakes)

RULE THE WORLD...

OF PINTEREST.

 

ONE BAKER...

WILL DEFY THEM ALL.

Customer: "Please tell me you're joking."

 

THIS SUMMER...

GET READY...

FOR...

CURLY RIBBON FEATHER SHARD HORROR HOOVES...

 

 

OF DOOOOOM.

 

Rated W for WTF, coming to bakeries near you.

*****

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

The Stanley Parable

Apr. 11th, 2014 09:00 am
[syndicated profile] epbot_feed

Posted by Jen

Last night John and I played The Stanley Parable, a short-but-sweet, absolutely hysterical, and completely un-replayable game available on Steam for the PC:


Don't let the PC part scare you off, though, console peeps; you can always play with a regular controller instead of the keyboard, like we did.

I've always been a strictly console girl, but over Christmas John convinced me we needed a PC gaming rig for the enhanced graphics. Since then the only thing I've played on it is the ultra-beautiful BioShock:Infinite, while John has become hardcore-addicted to modding his Skyrim houses. (I would roll my eyes here, buy DANG that game looks good with all the enhancement mods! The flowers! The waterfalls! The steampunky floating houses!)

But, I digress.

I've wanted to break into some of the quirkier PC games for a while, so when John said he found one we should play together, I was psyched.

Now, The Stanley Parable is not a game in the traditional sense. There are no points. There are no bad guys. You need no skill whatsoever to play, and it's almost impossible to "lose."

Do I have your attention, everyone who thinks they're bad at video games? :D

Also unlike most games, everyone watching The Stanley Parable will have just as much fun as the person playing, so I highly recommend playing in pairs at the very least, taking turns with the controller. Even better, get a whole group together!

Ok, so what's the game about? Well, here's the trailer:


Imagine a choose-your-own adventure novel narrated by the The Guide from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. A narrator who interacts with you, and frequently responds to your actions with a heavy dose of snark. Your actions tell the story, so the real fun of this game is uncovering all the different stories you can tell. And if you think it's tedious "starting over" after each storyline, think again. The game changes with each restart, so it's more like a continuation than a total do-over.

The graphics are rich and detailed, even though you're mostly just wandering soulless office corridors and abandoned meeting rooms. It'll remind you a bit of the Aperture offices from Portal 2, and sometimes it looks downright creepy, but the narrator ensures you're laughing your way down every dark corridor.


No, really, it's not scary. I promise.

The game is short, and can be finished in about two hours. I recommend taking your time and investigating everything you see, though, for added laughs:



If you really take your time and explore every possible ending and some of the locked achievements, you can stretch the game out to four hours like we did, but that's kind of wringing the game dry. (And I still can't believe we played that long; the hours really flew by.) Like I said: a pretty short game.

Which brings me to the only downside of The Stanley Parable, and no, it's not the length. More that, like a good mystery novel, once you know the ending (or endings) there's little-to-no incentive to go back and experience it again. And at $15 on Steam, that's like a super pricey movie rental.


That said, John tells me he's seen it on sale a few times for half-off, so maybe keep an eye out for another Steam sale. Or just bite the bullet and pay the $15, because it really is a fantastic game.

Oh, and I won't spoil anything, but there is one particular storyline with the most amazing and completely unexpected cameos. I was yelling "No way!!" at the screen and laughing with sheer delight. Don't go looking it up, because spoilers will kill the fun, but just so you won't miss it: when presented with a blue door, go through it three times. The third time is trickier. That is all.

As for game-play "strategy," I advise being as contrary as possible for the first few passes, because it's funnier that way. And after you think you've found all the different endings, go online and look up the ones you missed. There are also a couple of mildly ridiculous achievements you can unlock, for added kicks.

K, that's it for me! Hope I've convinced some of you non-gamer types to jump in with this one, or my fellow console-only types to branch out a bit. And you PC gamers, well, odds are you already know about this one, right? So you can just tell me what I should play next in the comments. Deal?

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