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

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: