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How to Conquer Con Crud

With GeekGirlCon 2019 only days away, now might be a good time to bring up something we all know and love: Con Crud! We all know what it is, but what are some ways to make sure you don’t get it? We at GeekGirlCon care about your health and well-being, so we wanted to share some tips and tricks that have worked well for us in the past, combined with some advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A healthy Con is a happy Con!

Karen gets it.
Description: While talking on the phone, a young blond girl halfheartedly coughs into her balled up fist and says, “I’m sick.”
Image courtesy of Giphy

General Good Health Practices:

Here are some tips that will serve you well not only before, during, and after Con, but in your everyday life as well!

Wash your hands often. Hand washing is a very effective way to prevent the spread of diseases. When washing your hands, good technique is key. Wet your hands with warm water, then scrub your hands with soap for around 20 seconds. Don’t forget areas like the back of your hands, between your fingers, or under and around your nails. Rinse your hands well and make sure they are completely dry. If you don’t have access to water and soap, alcohol based hand sanitizer will work in a pinch. For more information on when and how to wash your hands, click here.

Sub Zero should be using soap…
Description: Sub Zero of Mortal Combat punches through some running water, then positions his hands under an air dryer as if preparing to strike his enemy.
Image courtesy of Giphy

Stay hydrated. Water makes up most of our bodies, and it functions best when we keep replenishing the water we lose through daily living. Try to stay away from the sugary stuff if you can. Pure H2O is best.

Eat well. Food is the fuel your body uses to live, and, in terms of energy, you can only expect to get as good as you give. Try to eat healthy, nutritious foods with a good balance of vitamins and nutrients to give your body what it needs to stay healthy.

Before Con:

The best way to make sure you don’t catch anything during Con is to prepare yourself before hand. As they say, a pinch of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

Get the flu shot. We hear this every flu season. Get the flu shot so you don’t get the flu. It is good advice that should be followed for personal protection against the potentially deadly virus, but there is another factor to consider when getting the flu shot. When you immunize yourself against the flu, you are also protecting those around you from catching the virus as well. Flu vaccines work on the philosophy of herd immunity, meaning the more people who are vaccinated, the more protection it offers to those in our society who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons (think babies, the elderly, or people undergoing chemotherapy). This is a good thing to keep in mind when you know you will be going someplace where there are likely to be a lot of people, like Con. If you have questions or concerns about getting the flu shot, talk to your doctor. More information about the flu shot can be found here.

Take immunity boosting vitamins. It can’t hurt to shore up your immune system any way you can before going to Con. Not only can taking vitamins help boost your immune system, but it can help to give you more energy as well. Vitamin mixtures such as Airborne or Emergen-C are good options to take once a day before attending Con. Please be sure to follow dosage directions on packages.

Get lots of rest and manage your stress levels. Bodies that are sleep deprived or strung out on stress have lowered immune responses. Give yourself the best shot at not getting sick by getting some good sleep and making some time to relax or meditate. A little self care can go a long way.

During Con:

Okay, here it is! The big event! It’s going to be hard, but try not to get so carried away in all the excitement that you forget about your health! Remember that there are lots and lots of people around, each bringing with them a various mixture of germs and bacteria. Many large event spaces use air conditioning, which will dry you out faster than you might imagine, so remember to keep drinking water. Think about how you feel after getting off an airplane, and take steps to keep yourself safe.

Cover your coughs and sneezes properly. Yes, there is a right way and a wrong way to cover your cough or sneeze. When you sneeze into your hands, you are getting all of the germs on your hands, which then go around touching stuff. If you feel a sneeze coming, first try to direct your body away from what you are looking at (or who you are talking to). Place your nose and mouth firmly in the crook of your elbow and let loose. Not only does your arm create a more effective barrier to flying germs, but the germs are also more likely to stay put there. For more info on correct coughing and sneezing etiquette, click here

Wow, Sneezy. Not cool.
Image: Sneezy blows away the other six dwarves with an epic sneeze explosion.
Image courtesy of Giphy

Try to avoid touching your face. Even with our best efforts, our hands still come into contact with millions of germs every day, and your face is like a gateway into your body. Touching your mouth, nose, or eyes, or any of the surrounding areas is giving germs easy access. It is a tough habit to break, but keep it in mind.

Bring a small container of hand sanitizer with you. We can’t always have access to soap and water, especially when walking around a Con show floor. We touch a vendors wares, wipe a toddlers nose, sneeze, cough, then go back to touching stuff again. We are all human and we all do these things. Just try to use a bit of hand sanitizer after.

Pace yourself and know your limits. Con is exciting and you want to cram in as much cool stuff as you can! But, you should also listen to your body if it is telling you it is tired. Take a few minutes to sit and rest. Go back to your hotel and take a quick nap. Keep hydrating and eating well. If you over-tax your body, you are making it that much more vulnerable to germs.

After Con:

Just because the Con is over, that doesn’t mean you should forget about taking care of your body. This is a critical time. Sometimes it can take a few days for Con Crud to make itself known. You should keep up with hand washing and other good hygiene practices, as well as some other tricks.

REST! Your body and mind are going to be tired. Take some time to relax and recuperate. Your body will thank you for it.

If you do end up getting Con Crud after all, please stay home. It is hard to pass on germs to other people if you keep yourself away from people in the first place. Everyone will thank you for not getting them sick too. Keep resting, hydrating, and taking vitamins. If you feel like you need to see a doctor, please do.

REMEMBER: YOU KNOW YOUR BODY BEST!

That is actually sound advice, Count Rugen.
Description: Count Rugen of The Princess Bride advises Prince Humperdink, “Get some rest. If you haven’t got your health, then you don’t have anything.”
Image courtesy of Giphy

Rebecca Anglesey
“Rock On!”

Stay Healthy!

Here at GeekGirlCon, we care about the health and safety of everyone in our community. Currently, The greater Seattle area (and many other places in the world) is facing a battle with COVID-19, popularly referred to as Coronavirus. Now is a good time to review a few ways to keep yourself, your loved ones, and your community as safe as you can. When it comes to germs, sharing is not caring.

Wash Your Hands

This cannot be stressed enough, folks! WASH. YOUR. HANDS. Hand washing is the simplest and most effective way to stop the spread of disease. Follow these simple rules while washing your hands  to give yourself the best shot at killing as many germs as possible:

  1. Use hot running water and wet your hands.
  2. Soap up!
  3. Scrub your hands for 15-20 seconds. Yeah, it seems like a long time, but that’s just how long it takes to kill the germies. A good rule is to sing Happy Birthday twice. Be sure to scrub the backs of your hands, in between your fingers, and around your finger nails.
  4. Rinse well. Don’t touch the faucet when you are done! This can re-contaminate your hands.
  5. Get a disposable paper towel and dry your hands. Use the towel to turn off the water without touching the faucet directly.

If you can’t wash your hands, you can use hand sanitizer with a minimum 60% alcohol base, but nothing beats a good ol’ wash.

Check out this funny old video about washing your hands from the Washington Department of Health:

Description: Various people enthusiastically endorsing hand washing to a catchy tune.
Video courtesy of the Washington State Department of Health

Cover Your Coughs and Sneezes

Believe it or not, there is actually a right way and a wrong way to cover a cough or sneeze. The best method is to cover your mouth with a tissue and throw it away. If you, like me, often find coughs and sneezes sneaking up on you and you don’t have time to get a tissue, then you should turn your head into the crook of your elbow. This will direct the germs away from your hands while also not spreading germy spittle across the room. Try not to cough and sneeze directly in your hands unless you have no other choice, and please wash your hands immediately.

You should cover that sneeze, little dude…
Description: A kitten sneezes adorably.
Image courtesy of Giphy

Don’t Touch Your Face

This is a really, really hard one. We touch our faces all the time, every day. When your eye itches, you scratch it. If you have dry lips, you put on lip balm.  Do you see where this is going? Your fingers are the parts of your body that will undoubtedly come into the most contact with germy surfaces, and your face houses the mucous membranes that give germs the easiest access into your body (eyes, nose, and mouth). It is like granting bacteria VIP access to your body. I know it is hard, but please try to not touch your face.

That’s just what the germs want!
Description: Will Ferrell belligerently threatens, “I’ll get inside your face!”
Image courtesy of Giphy

If You Feel Sick, Please Stay Home

Through most cold and flu seasons, we are told to stay home when sick, but are kind of pressured to go about our lives as usual. It is difficult to make the decision to stay home from work or school when there is so much to be done and people who depend on you. But please, please, please stay home if you are feeling unwell. Please keep your children home from school if they are feeling sick. Trust me, no one wants them there and they don’t want to be there.

Currently, the King County Public Health Department has put out a list of Public Health Recommendations to help combat the spread of Coronavirus. They recommend trying to work from home if you can, and to avoid large gatherings of people. We should all stay calm, but be mindful of our habits and surroundings to keep ourselves and everyone else safe.

It is important to point out that, while many people get the cold and flu every year and come out of it perfectly fine, there are also many who don’t. COVID-19 is proving to be similar. While you, a reasonably healthy adult, may just have mild symptoms and will recover on your own, there are those in our society who would not. The elderly, the very young, those who are pregnant, and the immunocompromised react much more severely to common illnesses. If we have it within our power to stop the spread of diseases that may prove fatal to the most vulnerable members of our society, then we have a moral and ethical obligation to do so. So please, protect other peoples loved ones and wash your hands.

Want a little more info? Check out our previous blog post How to Conquer Con Crud for some more tips from GeekGirlCon on how to stay happy and healthy!

And also… wash your hands!

Description: A waving hand informs us that clean hands care, protect, and count.
Image courtesy of Giphy

Rebecca Anglesey
“Rock On!”

Team Cassius: The Interview!

Ann Uland, Emily Willis and Cat Batka are the creative squad behind Cassius, a new comic series that depicts Ancient Rome as a wonderfully diverse place, and with a driving story of political intrigue and loads of strong female characters. We’ve reviewed Issue 1 here, and Issue 2 here. Issue 3 comes out in March 2016.

They took a little time out to have a chat with us at GeekGirlCon about Justin Trudeau, their favorite books, and making their own comic company!

L to R: Ann, Emily, Cat. Photo provided by Emily Willis and Ann Uland

L to R: Ann, Emily, Cat. Photo provided by Emily Willis and Ann Uland

Tell me a little about yourselves and Arbitrary Muse Comics. How did you come up with the idea for making your own publication?

Ann Uland: We first met online because I started drawing things for a story Emily was writing. When we started dating, it was pretty natural for us to start coming up with stories we wanted to tell together and comics is the perfect marriage of writing and art for us.

Emily Willis: Arbitrary Muse evolved as a small comics company to encapsulate what we do when we sell our own self-published work and help to distribute other webcomics in print as well. Cassius is our latest project because Julius Caesar is my favorite Shakespearean play and I wanted to work on something inspired by it.

JC Lau
“Rock On!”

Strong Female Character: Wendy of South Park

Written by AJ Dent, GeekGirlCon Staff Copy Writer 

When most people think of South Park, I doubt that feminism comes to mind. For years, the satirical show has been best known for its crude humor and irreverent catchphrases. To me, though, one of the most impressive elements of its ongoing eighteen-year run is the development of Wendy Testaburger’s character.

AJ Dent
“Rock On!”

June 2014 Geek About Town

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Hi, readers!

Summer is here! Let’s welcome in the warm weather and longer days with these nerdy activities all around town!

Saturday, June 7 – Sunday, June 8: Seattle Center Festál Pagdiriwang Philippine Festival
From FCHSW: The Filipino Cultural Heritage Society of Washington proudly presents Pagdiriwang, an annual festival now on its 28th year, commemorating the anniversary of Philippine Independence. Held on the first or second week of June at the Seattle Center since 1987, the event has grown into the biggest festival of Filipino arts and culture in the Pacific Northwest. This celebration is a part of Seattle Center Festál, a series of cultural programs sponsored by the City of Seattle. Pagdiriwang provides a venue for Filipinos and non-Filipinos alike to learn about the culture. It is an ideal setting for presenting art, craft, song, dance, music, history, literature, and culture to promote better understanding of the Filipino cultural heritage.

Dates between June 11 and June 29: Meet Beach Naturalists
From a staff member who attended a May event: “The Seattle Aquarium has Naturalists at various beaches in Seattle during low tides to help you learn about all the little creatures.”

Wednesday, June 11: Resident Final Rainier Scholars and Tomo Nakayama
From event webpage: In the culminating performance of Town Hall’s In Residency program, Artist in Residence Tomo Nakayama and Scholars in Residence Rainier Scholars each present the results of their terms. How do passionate, motivated students of color interpret the contributions of Town Hall to our community? Find out as the high school scholars share their diverse perspectives and insights from their spring residency.

Thursdays, June 12, 19, and 26: Coming Out All Over: Queer Film Style at the Northwest Film Forum (1515 12th Ave)
Presented by Three Dollar Bill Cinema & the Northwest Film Forum. Costume designers, the unsung alchemists of movie magic, finally get their due thanks to guest curator Mark Mitchell’s delectable selection of three couture classics. Combining his encyclopedic knowledge of the history of costume design with his queer sensibility, Mark will take us on a tour of the many-splendored world of queer film style. Come for the classy commentary, stay for the sassy footnotes, and don’t forget to get lubricated before show time during happy hour at our lobby bar!

Friday, June 13 and Friday, June 27: GeekGirlCon Board Game Night at Wayward Coffeehouse
From the Meetup page: “Do you love boardgames and enjoy teaching others how to play? Explore the board/card game hobby and meet folks happy to teach you their favorite board games! No pressure though, you can just come and play with folks who love playing games. And the best part about the GeekGirlCon game nights with our friends at Wayward? They are absolutely FREE with no cover charge! Our group is inclusive and totally newbie-friendly. We play a wide range of modern board and card games as well as some classics. Bring a game with you or just bring yourself. Join GeekGirlCon staffers, make some new friends, play some games, and enjoy some delicious organic, fair trade, and shade-grown coffee. There are also local pastries and vegetarian/vegan treats, if you get hungry during all that gameplay.”

Friday, June 13: Gearheads
From event webpage: Adult Swim takes on the Maker Movement, Steampunk, Bike Culture, and all things DIY! Grab your goggles, duct tape, and imagination. We’ll bring the beer, tools, and soundtrack! Costumes encouraged!

Our AWESOME line-up of tinkering-related activities includes:

  • Acetylene torches and welding machine demos with Studio Metal Works
  • Live blacksmithing with Big Hammer Technology
  • Carbon fiber paddle boards with Kitson Boards
  • Bike chain spirographs with Olympia Circuits
  • Harmonographs and railbikes with OlyMEGA
  • Lockpicking with Always Safe and Lock
  • Jewelry making with Shipwreck Beads
  • Collaborative Light-Up Pizza with LittleBits(TM)
  • Squishy circuits and scribble bots
  • … And GIANT room-sized collaborative Rube Goldberg contraptions and more!

Plus … pizza from Stone Creek Wood Fired Pizza and beer and wine from Marine View Beverage to fuel our imaginations! $15 cover includes one drink ticket. Pre-registration recommended.

Saturday, June 14: Belltown Burlesque Revue: Where We Came From
From announcement: When June comes to call, some people like to look back at the first half of the year and see where they came from as they plot the way forward through the rest of the year. Here at the Belltown Burlesque Revue we not only approve of this approach, we’re going to do it one better! We’re going to spend an evening looking at the roots of the neo burlesque movement through the lens of classic burlesque! It’s an evening of tributes to those who laid the foundation we dance upon and a celebration of the classic bump and grind.

Saturday, June 14 – Sunday, June 15: Festival Sundiata, presents Black Arts Fest
From Seattle Center Page: Seattle Center Festál presents Festival Sundiata – Black Arts Fest, June 14 and 15. Explore and experience the cultural roots and contemporary influences of African-American culture through live performances, hands-on activities, food, fashion and worldly gifts. Join in African dance workshops, learn traditional drumming rhythms, and take in the richness of black culture during a weekend filled with continuous entertainment. The festival is named for legendary 13th century King Sundiata of West Africa’s Mali Empire.

Wednesday, June 18: Archer TV Dinner at Central Cinema
From the Facebook event page: “Smooches and Science Presents and Sailor St. Claire Presents bring to you a night of comedy, animation, and crudeness. Join us at Central Cinema for a night dedicated to the adventure in spycraft that is Archer! Witness a night of drinks, dinner, and laughter as you watch the staff of ISIS cavort their way through adventures from the last five years.

The episodes being broadcast for this TV Dinner are:
Placebo Effect – Archer goes on a rampage after finding out his cancer drugs are fake!
White Nights – Archer heads to Soviet Russia to confront one of his possible fathers
The Limited – ISIS transports a dangerous Canadian Terrorist back to his homeland.

This event also serves as the launch party for the upcoming event The Danger Zone: Burlesque Inspired by Archer!

Come for the animation, stay for the information! Please be aware that Archer is not suitable for young children.

Reserve your seat for this event here!”

Wednesday, June 18: 2014 Seattle Association for Women in Science Awards and Scholarship Fundraiser
From AWIS: “We will be honoring Anna Wald MD, MPH and Nancy Hutchison PhD with the Award for Scientific Advancement and Award for Excellence in Science Education/Outreach respectively. Dr. Wald is a Professor in the Division of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, University of Washington
and Dr. Nancy Hutchison is the director of Science Education Partnership at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. We will also be presenting the chapter’s 2014 undergraduate scholarship recipients.”

Friday, June 20: The Venture Bras!!
From the Facebook invite: “Science is a harsh mistress. This is a lesson Doctor Venture knows all too well, and it’s reiterated when his latest invention backfires, causing ridiculous and far-reaching consequences. (With sexy results!) Will he be able to find the source of the problem before everyone in the Ventureverse loses their pants? Have Brock Samson and Molotov Cocktease finally figured out a solution to their relationship problems? Will Dr. Mrs. The Monarch ever get to just relax with her glass of wine? Join us for The Venture Bras, a burlesque play inspired by The Venture Brothers, and we’ll all find out together like real boy detectives!

GO TEAM VENTURE!

Featuring burlesque performances by Billy Scream, Bolt Action, Hattie Hellkat, Sin de la Rosa, Solange Corbeau, Jesus la Pinga, Al Lykya, and Scarlett O’Hairdye!”

Friday, June 27: Marian Call performs at SoulFood Coffeehouse. Check out the coffeehouse’s website for more details.

Friday, June 27-Saturday, June 28: You Can’t Do This On Television! Season 2!
From the Facebook page: “From the producers that brought you Undresseded Development and Strange & Unusual, Pink Kryptonite is back with a second season of You Can’t Do This on Television, burlesque inspired by our favorite television shows.

Saturday, June 28: Molly Lewis joins Marian Call in Tacoma at Metronome Coffee! Don’t miss out on this double bill of some of our favorite folks!

Saturday, June 28Iranian Festival
Seattle Center Festál presents Iranian Festival, Saturday, June 28. Explore and experience the cultural roots and contemporary influences of Iran through live performances, visual arts, hands-on activities, foods, games, and a marketplace. Partake in an Iranian tea house and join in an evening dance party. Rumi poetry, puppet shows and face painting provide a glimpse into this culturally opulent culture.

If you have any geeky events you would like to see on Geek About Town, email shubz@geekgirlcon.com. Please note that we reserve the right to include or exclude events from our list.

Shiboo_Krismer
“Rock On!”

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