Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A New Year is Coming; Time to Hate Yourself!

Calvin and Hobbes shaped the majority of my childhood.
Now that the holidays are coming to an end, and the New Year is fast approaching, the yearly onslaught is upon us. Every year, around this time, we are subjected to more and more ads telling us just how unhappy we are and promising that their products will make us complete and healthy members of society. I'm referring, of course, to the tradition of making New Year's Resolutions and the insane amounts of adverts aimed at subtly nudging us into making them by promising to help us actually keep them.

While spending less money, eating better, exercising more, and falling in love (because deciding you're going to fall in love with someone at some point in the next 365 days is a super healthy goal, and not at all one of the fastest ways to prematurely jump into a bad relationship) were among the Top 10 list of resolutions, according to a study by the University of Scranton on Statistics Brain, the #1 New Year's Resolution for 2014 was to lose weight. That's about as disheartening as it is unsurprising. We have been conditioned to hate ourselves, and that is super sad. Here's the thing: You wanna be more healthy? Great! Be more healthy. There, done. You don't need the pressure of media and adverts to make you hate yourself as motivation to change how you look. No one needs that. It's not inspirational, it's cruel. If you really feel like you need to make a New Year's Resolution, resolve to learn to love yourself for who you are, to be more kind, donate more of your time to those in need, to learn something new, or to simply be more thankful for what you have instead of focusing on what you want. This may all sound like a bit of New Age, hippy, after-school special rubbish, but I'm of the opinion that if you're going to bother to make resolutions then you may as well make them count. Personally, I don't think you need to make any resolutions. You can certainly chose to change something about yourself that you're not 100% proud of, but you can do that at any time of year. So, despite all the adverts subtly telling you all of the ways you're not perfect, and how much you should change to meet the standards of other people you'll likely never meet, I leave you with one of the greatest memes ever created. Any time you begin to feel down about yourself, take a look at this fantastic piece of motivational support, crack a smile, and go on about your day, you brilliant, sexy beast, you!

Super Great

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Holiday Break Is In Full Swing!

Happy Holidays from She-Geeks!!

No real post this week as the holidays have drained me, but I'd like to wish all of my readers a very Happy Holidays!! Whatever you celebrate (even if it's nothing at all), I hope you all enjoy this festive time of year in your own, geeky way!!

This was the geekiest Yule greeting I could find :( The Solstice needs some more geek love!


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Geek-O-Nomicon Happened, and I Was There

Unlike San Diego, Atlanta, or even New York, New Orleans isn't known for a particular convention, but the Gulf Coast is home to several conventions held throughout the year. It's my goal, here at She-Geeks, to showcase those smaller (but no less enthusiastic) conventions. If there is a convention in or around the Gulf Coast that you'd like to see me cover, please send the convention details to eris.shegeeks@gmail.com.

This was the first year for Geek-O-Nomicon, a community based convention out of Biloxi, Mississippi, and from all accounts it seems to have hit the ground running. For a first year convention, this one had some of the best attendance numbers I've ever seen. There were tons of fan tables, some amazing vendors in the dealer room, lots of artists and authors, and a lot of very happy attendees at this well organized gathering. So, here's my round up of some of the awesome handcrafted merch, lovely and talented cosplay, and Guinness World Record breaking fun I saw at the inaugural Geek-O-Nomicon!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

New Video Series Involves Eris Failing at Halo 2

That's right, I suck a first person shooters. Like, I really, really suck at them. Stairs are my nemesis and should I ever actually hit a target, it is unquestionably by accident. I also have anger management issues, so this is not a calm, quiet, sheepish kind of sucking. No, it's loud, vulgar, and sometimes a wee bit abusive. Check out the first of our new video series in which Brian gets me to play Halo 2 for the first time, and almost instantly regrets it. (I highly recommend viewing this on a larger screen than I can embed.) Enjoy!

The abuse is far from over! Next up: I run over Brian with a tank and set some allies on fire. Good times!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Furries are People Too, Mika.

There was a terrifying incident on Sunday that sent 19 people to hospitals. As yet unknown individuals attempted to poison a large group of people at a Hyatt hotel in Chicago with chlorine gas in what the media would normally be referring to as a terrorist act (which we may find to be exactly what this was if a motive is ever discovered). This is not, however, how this story is being reported. In the case of MSNBC show Morning Joe, the story was barely able to be reported at all because the hosts of this program were too busy laughing hysterically. Why? Because that large group of people that someone attempted to poison happened to be costumed attendees at a popular furry convention, the MidWest FurFest Convention. Watch as Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough, who call themselves professional journalists, laugh themselves off the set while attempting to report a story in which 19 human beings were hospitalized:

If this happened at a bankers convention, there is absolutely no way it would have been reported like this. No, there would be calls for justice and demands for answers from investigators while red-faced reporters emphatically called the perpetrators terrorists and speculated about their motive. But these weren't bankers or doctors or librarian or teachers or sale people, they were furries. They wear strange, fuzzy costumes (some of them even incorporate *gasp* bondage type gear) so, let's just ignore the potentially fatal assault that took place and focus instead on pointing and laughing at the freaks. I mean, if you don't understand them, they're not really people, right? Good job, Morning Joe. You guys have managed to both belittle human lives and disgrace journalism in a less than 2 minute segment. Way to start off the week.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Late Bloomer: 'The Walking Dead' Newbie

*If you're not caught up on The Walking Dead, you probably shouldn't read this*

Do you remember when you first started watching The Walking Dead? Remember how you felt about the adaptation from comic to television? Or how you reacted to characters like Shane and Lori and Daryl when you first met them? I do, because I just started watching The Walking Dead a few days ago.

For me, The Walking Dead was one of those shows that you know you should be watching, but you just aren't. Everyone else was raving about it constantly, and losing their collective minds at least once a season on social media, while I quietly sat around hate-watching Bones (or something) instead. I should have been watching. I am a huge fan of the zombie genre, and I've even read (and really loved) the comics, so I should have been part of the foaming-at-the-mouth, raving, Walking Dead lunatics. I can't explain why I didn't watch it; I just didn't. Recently, some of our most beloved friends came into town. They're traveling performers, so we only get to see them once or twice a year depending on their schedule. We went out to dinner with a group of them this past Sunday, and (since we hadn't seen them all year) accepted their offer to join the group for the Walking Dead season finale afterward. So there we were: Eight full grown adults crammed into a cozy RV with three snuggly dogs and a flat screen, and without warning, I was hooked. The next day, I began binge watching The Walking Dead. As I type this, I've just started the third season. So, take a trip down memory lane, and chuckle knowingly at my naivete, as I quickly run down my thoughts about the show before I hit 'play' on the paused episode in front of me:

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

My Dream Kitchen is Star Wars Themed

I love cooking. I love baking. I love throwing dinner parties (though the general consensus is that they will, in fact, be the death of me one day). I am a big 'ole fan of Dance Cooking in particular.

Yep, that's me and my favorite spatula.
Basically, the kitchen is where I largely find what little zen I can. It should come as no surprise then, that my kitchen is the room I most often dream about giving a badass makeover. I have a lovely vision of a posh, clean-lined oasis with a country sink, subway tile accent wall, simple but spacious cabinetry, and hammered copper fixtures. Truly, it's going to be glorious when I win the lottery and can finally afford to remodel the room where the cookies come from.* 

Just because my vision would put the studio kitchens on The Food Network to shame, however, doesn't mean it wouldn't also be a geek haven. Oh, no! One of the best things about being an adult (aside from eating dessert for breakfast or breakfast for dinner), is being able to express your geek love however much or little you may want. So, in addition to being classy as hell, my dream kitchen is also Star Wars themed, because I can. Here are my top 10 items to keep your geek kitchen chic whether you're on the Death Star or a Rebel Base:

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Why I Didn't Attend the New Orleans Comic Expo

Unlike San Diego, Atlanta, or even New York, New Orleans isn't known for a particular convention, but the Gulf Coast is home to several conventions held throughout the year. It's my goal, here at She-Geeks, to showcase those smaller (but no less enthusiastic) conventions. If there is a convention in or around the Gulf Coast that you'd like to see me cover, please send the convention details to eris.shegeeks@gmail.com.

I adore local conventions. They're more intimate, and are often more focused on celebrating their fandoms than turning a huge profit. Don't get me wrong, wanting to turn a profit is not only acceptable, but necessary if your convention is expected to survive and grow, but most small conventions aren't going to make their organizers rich. These small cons are usually done for the love of the fans, and are organized by people who are fans themselves. Not all small conventions are created equal though, and it looks like this one might have used some pretty shady tricks to increase their attendance numbers.

I learned about the New Orleans Comic Expo in late September. I found their website, and was immediately drawn to the impressive list of guests they were advertising. Names like Adam Baldwin, Jewel Staite, Sylvester McCoy, Luke Perry, and Jason Priestly are not usual for a what appeared to be a relatively small convention. While looking into the Expo, however, I noticed some things that felt just a bit off, not the least of which was that it had originally been scheduled for this past June.

What geek wouldn't swoon to see that lineup at a small, local convention?!
Looking back through their Facebook page, I noticed that there have been quite a few instances of radio silence lasting months at a time. Now, that by itself might not be suspicious, but take this little timeline into account:

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Get Your Nerd Groove On

I adore music. All kinds of music, from Tchaikovsky to Bad Religion and from Kate Miller-Heidke to Tech N9ne. What I also love is when people get super clever, and super nerdy, with their music (be it an original or a parody). So, here are just a few of my favorite nerdy songs from my music library:

Thursday, November 13, 2014

She Blinded Me with Science: Special Print-Only Edition

This is a print-only, special edition of She Blinded Me with Science (usually these posts are supplemental to my science segment on local radio show, The Week in Geek). Enjoy!

An amazing thing happened yesterday. Scientists at the European Space Agency (ESA) landed a probe on a comet for the first time ever in the history of humans.

First image from Philae of the surface of Comet 67P/C-G
After hitching a 10 year ride to reach Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on the Rosetta satellite, and a 7 hour descent to the surface, Philae bounced twice (due to the comet's weak gravitational pull), but was able to use it's thrusters to force itself back down to the surface. Despite some issues firing the harpoons intended to anchor the probe to the surface of the comet as it spins through space, Philae is currently nestled near a cliff on the comet's surface, about a kilometer from its target landing spot. Though it is currently stable on the surface, Philae is still not properly anchored. Due to its final landing location, there are some concerns about the ability for Philae's solar panels to gather enough sunlight to properly power the probe.

Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko
It wasn't a perfect landing, but it was a success nonetheless. Very rarely do complicated maneuvers like these go perfectly their first go-round, and this mission was nearly impossible to properly train for. Comet 67P/C-G is oddly shaped, a fact no one knew until July 2014, which gave project scientists an incredibly short window to calculate an appropriate landing site in a Goldilocks scenario (not too cold, not too hot, close to a scientifically active area to gather good data, but not so close as to risk damage, good timing to ensure enough surface sunlight will be available throughout the mission, etc.). Additionally, despite an imperfect landing and potential stability and power issues, the mission has been providing scientists with valuable data throughout Rosetta's 10 year flight to reach Comet 67P/C-G, and Philae has been successfully transmitting valuable and historic data images since its landing. This is an amazing thing that has occurred during our lifetime, and I feel privileged to bear witness to scientific feats such as this.

Monika Jones and Dr. Matt Taylor. Photograph: European Space Agency/PA
It is unfortunate, however, that in 2014, during a time of great scientific achievement, we are still struggling with issues of social privilege and misogyny. British scientist Dr. Matt Taylor is the ESA Project Scientist on the Rosetta Mission, and has been a recognizable and much talked about personality for the project. Much like Curiosity Rover engineer, Bobak Ferdowsi, Taylor has been lauded by the media for not being the stereotypical stuffed-shirt, lab coat wearing, old man scientist spokesperson. Unlike Ferdowsi, Taylor was not thrust into the limelight by the media. He has been at the forefront of the mission for awhile; giving news briefs and speaking publicly about the mission was an established aspect of his role in the project prior to the landing. Nevertheless, he chose to don a shirt covered in half-naked women on the day that he knew the world would be watching. Achievements like the Philae Landing are a big deal, not just for the advancement of scientific achievement, but for inspiring a younger generation to pursue study and a career in the sciences. How many young minds were opened to the fantastic world of space exploration when Neil Armstrong's foot famously touched the surface of the moon? That was in 1969, when entire families gathered together around the one, tiny television set they had between them to witness history. In 2014, when many own several TVs, computers with instant internet access, and have the ability to watch live television on their smart phones, it is mind-boggling to imaging the number of young, impressionable eyes that were fixed on bright screens to witness history, and consequently this shirt:

Now, I don't know why Dr. Taylor chose to wear that shirt. Perhaps that is simply the shirt that he wears on Wednesdays, and no thought went into his wardrobe selection whatsoever. I cannot presume to know what his motivation was when he buttoned up that brightly colored shirt covered in half naked women wearing latex and lingerie. I cannot even presume that he had a specific motivation other than to simply put on a shirt. What I can say, is that as the Project Scientist and an established spokesperson for the Rosetta Mission, that neither he nor any of the many people around him thought that perhaps wearing a shirt that sexually objectifies women on the day that Philae landed and the whole world would be watching might not be the best choice is indicative of the much larger, systemic issue of sexism in the STEM community. Now I am not, by any means, claiming that Taylor himself is sexist. I don't know him. What I am saying is that by wearing that shirt while acting as a representative of the scientific community and of the ESA, a message (intentional or not) was sent that the sexual objectification of women in the workplace is acceptable.

To be clear: I do not believe that there was any malicious intent involved here, but I do feel that it is important to draw attention to these instances when they occur. We, as a society, have collectively determined that sexual harassment is unacceptable, especially in the workplace, and this was no less an example of sexual harassment than slapping the rear end of a coworker. (Before anyone brings up that I'm projecting my American expectations onto a European society, I assure you, it's not acceptable there either.) In my opinion, ignoring this situation as a harmless, albeit unfortunate, fashion faux pas is just as dangerous as claiming "boys will be boys" when an office worker slaps the rear end of a coworker as she walks by.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Doctor Who 'Death in Heaven' Review

*This review is cross-posted to the Krewe du Who blog*

As always, DO NOT READ unless you're caught up on Series 8 of Doctor Who! As River would say: *spoilers*

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A Sober Halloween in New Orleans? Is that Even Possible??

Halloween is a big deal all over the United States, but there are a few cities that have a special association with the holiday, and New Orleans is certainly one of them. Those familiar with New Orleans know that we don't relegate our partying to specific days of the week, but when Halloween falls on a weekend, the city has a tendency to essentially explode with events and pulse with an undercurrent of potential and excitement. With Halloween falling on a Friday, this year was no exception. The question is: In a city so synonymous with professional revelry, lax open container laws, and unabashed alcoholism, how hard is it to find things to do that don't involve drinking? Follow along as my friend and I find out how much fun Halloween in New Orleans can possibly be without a single drink...


Monday, November 3, 2014

Doctor Who 'Dark Water' Review

*This review is cross-posted to the Krewe du Who blog*

As always, DO NOT READ unless you're caught up on Series 8 of Doctor Who! As River would say: *spoilers*

Friday, October 31, 2014

Pirates Plundering for the Greater Good??

Last Sunday I ventured about two hours outside of New Orleans for Comics for a Cause 2.0, the annual superhero themed fundraising event for the Crew of Ragtag Misfits. In its second year, the event featured performances by the Valkyrie Rouge Tribal Belly Dance troupe (dressed as their favorite heroes, of course), a silent auction & raffle, blood drive, and live music all benefiting the children at Our Lady of the Lake Children's Hospital as well as some local women's shelters.

Delivering toys, Christmas 2013 (Photo from Crew of Ragtag Misfits)
Since 2010, the Crew of Ragtag Misfits have been dressing up as pirates and bringing brightly wrapped toys, and big personalities, to children in hospitals and battered women's shelters in and around Baton Rouge. According to founder, Jennifer Haskell, the Crew provides gifts for sick children as well as their siblings:
"We give to everybody that's in the hospital room and we make sure that everyone's happy, to try and relieve the parents [of financial burden]."
Check out what you missed at this year's Comics for a Cause (and don't fret, you can still support their cause by donating at the Crew of Ragtag Misfits' new gofundme page):

Monday, October 27, 2014

Doctor Who 'In the Forest of the Night' Review

*This review is cross-posted to the Krewe du Who blog*

As always, DO NOT READ unless you're caught up on Series 8 of Doctor Who! As River would say: *spoilers*

Saturday, October 25, 2014

She Blinded Me with Science 10/25/14

She Geek Eris drops a knowledge egg on dat ass via her segment on local radio show The Week in Geek. Here are this week's topics:

ZOMG Ebola Is Going to KILL US ALL!!!1!!11!
Mickey Mouse is coming for your SOUL!

Listening to the news, it sounds like the end of days is upon us. We will all soon be dying a horrible, bloody, miserable death from that seemingly inescapable terror named Ebola. Thousands are dead in West Africa. Thousands more infected; many of whom are expected to die. It's already crossed the border into our great United States where we're teetering on the precipice of a full on, Hollywood style, end-of-the-world outbreak. We are all doomed. Except that we're not. Not even a little. 

Don't get me wrong, Ebola is a deadly virus that has taken the lives of over 2,000 people in West Africa in the last 6 months. The current outbreak is a serious issue, and not something to be taken lightly. Those infected require quick, professional, medical attention to ensure the victim's survival and the containment of the virus. Unfortunately, that level of care is precisely what many victims in West Africa have not be able to receive, which is why this outbreak has become the worst in recorded history. That is, however, the exact level of care an infected individual would receive in the United States. So, let's take a look at some facts about the Ebola Virus so that we can perhaps remain calm and redirect our concern back onto the less fortunate parts of the world that are actually suffering from this outbreak:

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Foods of Who

I've been working on a project involving the food referenes in Doctor Who for awhile now, and it's finally done! My idea was to create a list of distinctly British foods mentioned in Doctor Who and have Americans eat them. It's been a long running joke that Americans and Europeans have vastly different tastes in food, so this seemed like a great way to test the theory and have some fandom fun while we're at it. I recruited my friends Brian (from the Super Guillory Brother's Super Fun Show) and The General (for her mad editing skills) to help me since I'm still trying to get used to the idea of producing videos, and ordered as many food items from England as I could to keep this as authentic as possible. Hijinx ensued.

So, if you've ever pondered what Fish Fingers and Custard would actually taste like, or Jelly Babies, or Yorkshire Pudding, then wonder no more! We tried them all, so you don't have to! Below, as a kind of sneak peek for blog readers, you will find the first episode of the She-Geeks series, The Foods of Who. Bon appetit!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Doctor Who 'Flatline' Review

*This review is cross-posted to the Krewe du Who blog*

As always, DO NOT READ unless you're caught up on Series 8 of Doctor Who! As River would say: *spoilers*

I would absolutely have this nervous system mural on my wall.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Doctor Who 'Mummy on the Orient Express' Review

*This review is cross-posted to the Krewe du Who blog*

As always, DO NOT READ unless you're caught up on Series 8 of Doctor Who! As River would say: *spoilers*

I Gave Espionage Cosmetics' Nail Wraps a Shot (seewhatIdidthere?)

Espionage Cosmetics has an amazing line of nail art wraps called Nailed It! that have been seen on geeks of all shapes, sizes, and genders (Wil Wheaton, I adore you). For those who aren't familiar, nail wraps are essentially stickers you use on your nails in lieu of nail polish that can be emblazoned with all manner of awesome and intricate designs. Now, of course there's some kick ass science-y stuff going on, but the easiest way to describe them is as a sticker. These things come in all manner of geektastic designs. Want nebulas on your fingertips? They got that. Looking to wear your dice bag on your nails? They got you covered. Legos? Chainmail? Circuit boards? Star Trek uniforms? Cat faces? They've got all that and more. Being the obsessive Batman fan that I am, I chose the "Harlequinn" set to test. So, join us as my friend, The General, and I attempt to pretty up my digits:

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

CONtraflow SciFi Happened, and I Was There

Unlike San Diego, Atlanta, or even New York, New Orleans isn't known for a particular convention, but the Gulf Coast is home to several conventions held throughout the year. It's my goal, here at She-Geeks, to showcase those smaller (but no less enthusiastic) conventions. If there is a convention in or around the Gulf Coast that you'd like to see me cover, please send the convention details to eris.shegeeks@gmail.com.

This was the fourth year for CONtraflow SciFi, and though I missed half of the convention thanks to some particularly infuriating travel mishaps (I will never attempt to take a taxi in Atlanta again, ever), the parts I was able to attend were great fun. Now, before I get too far into this, I'd like to explain the convention's name: For those of you who don't live in a city that with a propensity for evacuation, the term "contraflow" refers to a practice of reversing the direction of travel lanes on specific highways during an emergency evacuation to aid in the flow of traffic. Essentially, all lanes of major highways along established evacuation routes will flow the same way (specifically, the hell out of town) in order to cut down on gridlock in an emergency.

Contraflow in action in Houston. Every lane traveling in the same direction, and still gridlocked.
It's a scifi convention (which are often populated by those of us who probably didn't fit in with the crowd growing up) named after a procedure that literally has scores of people driving against the grain. Clever name is clever.

As a scifi convention, CONtraflow does not disappoint. Recognizing that you can't have science fiction without science, in addition to artists, authors, and entertainers, many of CONtraflow's guests have strong connections to the hard sciences, including the Author Guest of Honor and physicist, Gregory Benford, author/NASA scientist, Les Johnson (who received the Frank Brewer Civil Air Patrol Memorial Aerospace Award at the convention), and Lt. Colonel Kathy Beauford of the Civil Air Patrol and Director of External Aerospace Education and Robotics Project Manager for the state of Louisiana.

One aspect of conventions that's pretty exclusive to the New Orleans area are the parade Krewes (pronounced "crew"). Everyone knows about Mardi Gras (it's inescapable here), but what many out of towners may not know is that those awesome parades are put on by the parade Krewes. There's a different krewe for each parade, and the term is thought to date back to the 1800s. There is an increasingly popular krewe here that has brought an immense amount of joy to my geeky, little heart, and had a lovely showing at CONtraflow: The Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus. Yes, it is as amazing as it sounds. If you visit for Mardi Gras, and you do not make it out to the Chewbacchus parade, you're doing it wrong.

I present to you, The Bar-ship Enterprise. A handmade, mobile, functioning bar pushed through the streets during the Chewbacchus parade.
In addition to the Krewe of Chewbacchus, the Krewe du Who LLC*, dedicated to all things Doctor Who, was also out at CONtraflow with the ever popular life sized TARDIS and The Lady Cassandra in tow:

Monday, October 6, 2014

Doctor Who 'Kill the Moon' Review

*This review is cross-posted to the Krewe du Who blog*

As always, DO NOT READ unless you're caught up on Series 8 of Doctor Who! As River would say: *spoilers*

Sunday, October 5, 2014

She Blinded Me with Science 10/4/14

*Note: I was stuck on a plane at a cruising altitude of about 30,000 ft during this week's broadcast, so this segment never reached the airwaves. It's still relavent though, so I'm posting it anyway.*

She Geek Eris drops a knowledge egg on dat ass via her segment on local radio show The Week in Geek. Here are this week's topics:

We're at CONtraflow SciFi this Weekend, and My Goal is to Avoid that Week of Ick that Follows Most Cons:

Conventions are great, but anyone who's been to a convention has at least heard of that seemingly unavoidable plague known throughout the Nation as Con Crud. Con Crud is essentially a cold or flu-like ick that con goers experience shortly after a convention ends. It is usually described as a fuzzy head, congestion, fatigue, and a general feeling of death warmed over that lasts anywhere from a few days to a week. Though it may not feel like it at the time, it is generally considered to be a mild viral infection. The prevalence of Con Crud increases with the number of people attending the convention, because larger conventions mean there are more people squeezed into tighter spaces without additional ventilation. With so many random people interacting with each other (many of whom have traveled from other geographic regions), the spread of germs is inevitable. No, you're not likely to contract ebola at your local sci-fi convention, but you'll probably come in contact with at least one carrier of the cold virus. 

That alone, however, is probably not enough to cause the prevalence of Con Crud. We don't, after all, hear nearly as many horror stories of people falling ill after the yearly librarian convention or Teacher's Association Meeting, so what is so different about conventions like CONtraflow or DragonCon or SDCC?
Well, in addition to being surrounded by strangers, con goers tend to physically interact with a large number of people by posing for photos, and shaking hands with or hugging all manner of guests, dealers, artists, etc (all of whom have shaken hands with countless random geeks already). Additionally, these conventions have a reputation of being a giant, continuous party with lots of drinking and socializing, and very little sleeping. Take all that into consideration, and it's no wonder our immune systems seem to clock out the moment we hit the host hotel.

So, can Con Crud be avoided or are we destined to suffer for our combined love of fandom? Short of wearing a full hazmat suit, there is no way to guarantee that you won't be exposed to a mild virus, however, there are steps you can take to reduce your chances of actually getting sick. Washing your hands regularly is always a good idea, and using hand sanitizer when washing your hands isn't an immediate option can help as well. Equally as important (and much easier to neglect), however, is getting enough sleep and eating well balanced meals throughout the weekend. Sorry, a bag of crisps and a reheated hot dog washed down with a rum and Coke doesn't count. Neither does a power nap in the hallway between panels. Drink a lot of water, opt for an apple or a handful of almonds instead of a Snickers bar for a snack, try to eat at least two well balanced meals a day, limit your alcohol intake, and get several hours of sleep each night. It's not easy (and I'm the first to admit that I often neglect to take care of myself a cons), but if you really need/want to combat Con Crud without donning a Fallout radiation suit all weekend, try to follow as many of these rules as you can.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Open Harassment of Geek Women is Absolutely a Thing

Internet trolling is not new. Nor is it exclusive to women. Those facts, however, do not mean that it is any less important to discuss it. There is an alarming amount of vitriol and hate pouring out of every nook and cranny aimed directly at women who dare to refer to themselves as geeks, and (even worse) decide to openly speak about their fandom. This happens regardless of what these women are speaking about, but it is particularly harsh and abundant if/when a woman speaks critically about an aspect of gaming or comics. Recently, I had a rather disturbing back and forth on Twitter with a guy who apparently saw nothing wrong with the Milo Manara Spider-Woman variant cover. It seems that some guys still feel the need to mansplain just how much women everywhere have over-reacted to the now infamous cover art (often completely misunderstanding or blatantly ignoring why we’re upset about it). In this particular instance, the guy started off with a common argument: claiming that she’s supposed to be posed like a spider. When I pointed out just how not spider-like the pose is, his true feelings quickly emerged in a string of tweets that essentially called my intelligence, knowledge of the subject, and even my own sexuality into question:

Monday, September 29, 2014

Doctor Who 'The Caretaker' Review

*This review is cross-posted to the Krewe du Who blog*

As always, DO NOT READ unless you're caught up on Series 8 of Doctor Who! As River would say: *spoilers*

Saturday, September 27, 2014

She Blinded Me with Science 9/27/14

She Geek Eris drops a knowledge egg on dat ass via her segment on local radio show The Week in Geek. Here are this week's topics:

In Honor of Banned Books Week: The Science Behind Our Love of Books

There are few scents as distinct and beloved as that of an old book. If you're like me, that musty, earthy smell seems to trigger something in your brain that makes you feel at home and comfortable. Nothing else smells quite like the pages of your favorite book, and you can thank chemistry for that.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Doctor Who 'Time Heist' Review

*This review is cross-posted to the Krewe du Who blog*

As always, DO NOT READ unless you're caught up on Series 8 of Doctor Who! As River would say: *spoilers*

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

IT LIVES!! (NYCC Anti-Harassment Policy)

It's official, cats and kittens! Not too long ago, I posted about a fantastic panel I had been invited to join by The Mary Sue to co-author the Anti-Harassment Policy for New York Comic Con. Well, ReedPOP (the event organizers) apparently liked our policy so much that they will be using it for ALL of their conventions from now on!

Along with the great ladies at The Mary Sue, the panel consisted of the following (shamelessly stolen from The Mary Sue because their formatting was flawless):

I was honored to have been invited onto the panel with so many incredible people. Everyone was a delight to work with, and it was lovely to share ideas and work together so seamlessly. I cannot suggest strongly enough that you check out the others on this panel; they all do wonderful work!

The policy itself can be found on the NewYork Comic Con's webpage, here, or via The Mary Sue's article, here.

The Geekiest, Little Bookshop in Town

There's a new bookshop in New Orleans (with a quirky name and a decidedly geeky slant), and it might just be the most adorable bookshop ever created. Tubby and Coo's Mid-City Bookshop is nestled in one half of an old, shotgun style double (duplex for those not keen on New Orleans vernacular) at 631 N. Carrollton Ave. Owner, Candice, named the shop after her grandparents who grew up in the neighborhood and influenced her love of books. A geek herself, Candice decided to turn her dream bookshop into a geek paradise. It's a place to stock up on reading material, meet like-minded bookworms, chat openly about your fandom, and even feed your reading addiction in the sitting area (complete with free wifi, because nerds.)

Monday, September 15, 2014

Doctor Who 'Listen' Review...

*This review is cross-posted to the Krewe du Who blog*

As always, DO NOT READ unless you're caught up on Series 8 of Doctor Who! As River would say: *spoilers*

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

New DC Themed Rides are Coming to Six Flags

So, I'm a slacker this week. I could make excuses, but no one wants to hear me whine. So, with sincere hopes of placating the masses, I present to you this Geeky Travel Guide I wrote for The Mary Sue:

Check out these fun, new, DC themed rides popping up at a few Six Flags parks next year!

This one is easily the most insane. I CAN'T WAIT!!!

I'm totally down for a road trip next summer, by the way. Those look nauseatingly awesome!!