Monday, August 24, 2015

Project Mc2 - Stand back I'm going to try science!

Not since the Software Engineer Barbie have I been so happy to see a toy that encourages positive views on women in STEM. Bonus points because Project Mc2 is actually also a learning toy.

Project Mc2 is a multimedia campaign to encourage girls in science and technology and give them some adorkable role models to aspire to.

Netflix has started a straight to streaming video series where 3 young girls use science to solve problems and save the day. The girls are cute and savvy and excellent role models for young girls - the group are well dressed and well spoken. There's no dungeon geeks or lab coat tropes here just tween stars in a familiar youth programming format. There might possibly be a touch of manic pixie dream girl fashion sense... 3 episodes are available on Netflix and included with a subscription the service.

  ..

Along with the series an app and a toy series have also been released. The app is an investigator point and click adventure that challenges the user to act like an Mc2 girl and solve mysteries. Sadly only for iOS so far you can download it on the Apple Store



The toys are a wonderful range of the characters from the series that combine just about everything one could want in a toy - fashion doll, science experiment and a range of interests including chemistry, tech and fabrication.

These dolls offer the recipient the chance to experience what interests them in the toy rather than dictating what element should be of interest. Child safe chemistry ingredients included but adult supervision probably advised. Additional experiments can also be bought independent of the dolls including a lab kit, interactive devices and more. Buy them on Amazon or at your local toy store.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Managing bias with free resources

Unconscious biases are those triggers that without our control influence our actions. They might be the job you expect someone to have because of their appearance or the intelligence you anticipate a candidate has due to their accent.

For under represented minorities in the work place biases have real and lasting negative affects - work is attributed to another colleague, skills are down played and interviews are unsuccessful. This can be due to any manner of ethnicity, gender, sexuality, appearance, age or other diversity dimension.

When we move away from seeing diversity as more than just a pipeline issue bias management is an effective tool in finding the unfair and negative actions people commit due to their biases. For many companies today it is one of the most important trends in people management.

At Google unconscious bias training is taken very seriously with over 25000 employees having attended training. The Google bias workshop is available for free on YouTube:



Facebook is also now releasing all of it's managing bias training online. You can watch from their page via Vimeo at http://managingbias.fb.com/ Their online training is comprehensive and covers stereotypes, likeability, performance expectations and the business case for inclusiveness.




Friday, July 31, 2015

A wild cross stitch appears!

I've been looking to increase the amount of time I spend doing something that's not staring at a screen. That means real books and a lot of crafts. I'd forgotten the joy of making something physical and feeling accomplished, it sure beats heavy refreshing on Facebook.



One of my childhood joys was cross stitch and I've discovered that thanks to the internet this is now a cheap hobby that lends itself perfectly to 8 bit artwork. With some cheap thread and a hoop from the craft store and some digital downloads we're away!




Here's some great online geek cross stitch resources for all your geek crafter needs:


Back from the dead...

I've been ignoring this blog to focus on other writing projects... and that's a shame. Time to fix it!

I'll start creating new content and am always looking for other writers to join in on the community.

Thanks

Amaya


Monday, December 2, 2013

The Brain Scoop discusses the trials and tribulation of being a female STEM Video Blogger

Unsurprisingly I have a lot of Nerd Girls on my social media and one of them pointed me at this simply excellent discussion from the host of The Brain Scoop, a YouTube channel I must start watching. Being a female content creator on the web can be a sometimes daunting but always fulfilling experience. So come on Ladies, ignore the haters and lets get some more STEM content rolling.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Celebrate Ada Lovelace day with a Wikipedia Edit-a-thon



Are you interested in doing something special for Ada Lovelace day? Wikimedia New England and the Pembroke Center for Women's Studies at Brown University are holding a Wikipedia editing party to edit and create Wikipedia entries on women who have made significant contributions to the STEM fields.

If you happen to be in Rhode Island they're conducting an in person party, but encourage women from around the world to contribute remotely.

They've included a list of Wikipedia entries that need to be created as well as some suggestions on entries that need editing or cleaning up.

You can read more about their plan on their Projects page.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Backbone Zone illustrate misappropriated sexist and homophobic words

Backbone Zone have created a campaign to remind people that misused words are still a violent form of insult.  What a great and imaginative campaign; as a girl, a gamer and an LGBT supporter all of these hit home for me.







Saturday, September 7, 2013

Amazing GladOS Cosplay at PAX Prime

This effort was truly stunning, easily the most impressive Cosplay I've seen in a long time. Did you go to PAX or DragonCon? What was your favourite Cosplay?


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Vogue gives Google Glass the Fashionista treatment

Wearable tech is *the* hotness of the moment, so it makes sense that a fashion icon like Vogue would like to get in on the trend featuring a fashion spread with models in Google Glass. The shoot is a paleo-future themed beauty with hard 60s tailoring lines and retro future backgrounds.


See more on Vogue.com

Monday, August 12, 2013

Hot Topic serves up super cute Super Hero dresses

As a goth girl in America going to the Hot Topic can be a little cliche but there's a seemingly endless array of GIR shirts, Portal toys and Batman socks that call me in time and again. This Summer they've added some very cute summer dresses for the Nerd girl at large (and on the beach!)









There are even more to be had including R2D2, Power Rangers, TMNT, Captain America and Toy Story. At the bargain price of $15 - 35 these could be the easiest convention outfit you find.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

YouTube Geek Week: Girl Gamer Worship

If you're not following along YouTube is having a "geek week" special with SuperHeroes, gaming, blockbusters and more. This tribute to gamer girls tickled my fancy.

 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Retro future documentary The Power of Glove

If there's one thing I love more than computer games and documentaries it's documentaries about computer games. Throw in a healthy dose of 1980s retro futurism and this documentary on the Power Glove is sure to be the biggest hit since King of Kong.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Talks at Google: Pixar on Monsters University

Here at the Googleplex we get a lot of guest lecturers come and speak. Unsurprisingly many of them are from great geek culture icons. Here's a great conversation with some of the Pixar staff on Monsters University the new animated feature film.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Superman tells Warcraft anecdote on Leno

I'll take Batman over Superman any day of the week, but when geek hunk Henry Cavill - Superman in the new Man of Steel movie - tells a story about playing WoW on Leno he wins my heart over just a little more.

 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Lego movie may be more than just a product integration fantasy

If you're like me when you hear the words "Lego Movie" you're thinking "Battleship". Flashy Hollywood weirdness designed to destroy your fond childhood memories.

Think again.

The movie seems to tie into the humour and story telling success of the Lego video games and with a killer cast including Morgan Freeman, Will Arnett and Will Ferrell it looks like this is the next animated film to look forward to after Despicable Me 2.

 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Chief of Australian Army delivers amazing Anti Harassment speech

A fantastic public message; not only because diversity and a culture against harassment is important but presses on the idea that strength and power need not rely on putting down others. Sets a wonderful example for military service culture.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Game dev strikes back on Female Armour Syndrome


Today Gamer Girls are an accepted part of the nerd landscape. They school you at FPS and then somehow have time to make amazing costumes for conventions. Somehow though the art departments of most game developers have really never gotten over Female Armour Syndrome and the need to sell games using sexy ladies.


A female data scientist at Meteor Entertainment pulled a prank to make a great point about their Hawken mechanic poster - by working with an artist Sam Kirk to create an equally sexy poster starring a man. With a simple non violent protest she highlighted how women were being portrayed in their marketing material and convinced the CEO to listen to her voice. 

What a great story and the outcome is some great artwork. Kudos to you.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Ratchet and Clank animated feature promises Captain Qwark hilarity

I have lost countless hours, weeks even to the glorious gadget obsessive Ratchet and Clank Games. A game series I love so much it made me buy a PS3. It is also a game series with wonderful character design and delightful family friendly humour. I couldn't be happier to hear they're bringing out an animated feature with all the giggles of the games.

 

For bonus content here's a picture of some of the awesome nerd girl character design that the Ratchet and Clank team showed off at PAX Prime 2012


If you haven't played the games, start with the originals given an HD facelift with the Ratchet & Clank Collection . This is easily my favourite game series of all time, if  you haven't played it you must.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Girl Genius in strife after publisher closes



Phil Foglio author of one of the best female fronted action comic series ever made "Girl Genius" is at risk of losing his income and the rights to his own works.

He posted on Facebook and the Girl Genius site:

"So– Got a call from our agent, telling me that Night Shade Books, the American publisher of the Girl Genius novels, is folding. This made me sad. I became markedly less sad when my agent assured me that our sales were sufficiently good that any number of other publishers should be interested in picking us up, so– Hurrah! Well…maybe hurrah.

You see, there's the whole tedious business of disengaging ourselves from Night Shade, which has decided to sell our contract to another publisher in order to cover their debts. This other publisher, Skyhorse, is perfectly willing to buy Night Shade's assets (our contracts). However, they will rewrite them and everybody now gets paid a flat 10% of net sales. Let me put this another way; If I was a monkey, I'd be throwing this.

However it gets even better. A certain percentage of Night Shade authors have to agree to this hose job before the deal goes through. Yay! We're safe! You'd have to be an idiot to sign onto this! True– So let's bring out a stick and threaten you! If they don't get enough authors willing to eat this crap, then Night Shade has no choice but to declare Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Then all the books in question go into a legal limbo. No one has the rights until the bankruptcy is resolved, which might take years- or possibly, NEVER! This has happened before to way better authors than us. This means that once said books go out of print, the authors can't resell them. Can't reprint them. Can't sell any adaptation rights. Can't write any sequels. And so, because a couple of wankers took two semesters of 'Creative Writing' instead one or two in 'Business Administration' before they started their little publishing house, a whole bunch of authors have the choice of deciding if they want to give their work away for free (scum who actually took Business Administration classes collapse in orgasmic joy when some fool agrees to get paid a percentage of 'net'. Seriously, that's insulting 'amateur night in Dixie' stuff) (Yes, I've been a freelancer for 30+ years, thanks for asking), or losing control of it, possibly for years, maybe forever.

So what's going to happen? Don't know. unlike many authors, I actually have an entertainment lawyer look over our contracts before we sign them, so I'm hoping we're covered, but this is by no means a given. Even if we are, it still leaves a lot of other authors in a bad spot.

Does this seem like a Bad Situation to you? Then you should say something. Mr. Jeremy Lassen, Night Shade Books, and even Skyhorse Publishing are on Facebook. I'm sure they'd love to hear your opinions."

Comic nerds, science nerds, creative nerds and just about everyone in between should be ashamed of the potential loss here. Think that this is terrible? Reach out to the publishers involved, support Mr Foglio directly or rally for a Kickstarter!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

New Ghibli film promises up beat post war Japan nostalgia

When you think Ghibli and World War II you think Grave of the Fireflies possibly the saddest movie of all time. Thankfully this time around the legendary anime studio has turned its hand to a more uplifting story of a young girl whose hope never dies that her father might yet return from the war. Yet again Disney are distributing the English version with an amazing voice cast including Gillian Anderson, Chris Noth (oh Mr Big!), Beau Bridges and Jamie Lee Curtis.