Taking a look at Indivisible

In the past, I’ve shared the joy of games from my house to the GeekGirlCon community. One game I’ve mentioned is Skullgirls, by Lab Zero games. At Anime Expo this past summer, Lab Zero announced a new action/RPG game called Indivisible.

Indivisible announcement trailer. 

Their Indiegogo campaign started in early October to help fund part of game production, with a fixed goal of $1.5 million. They extended the campaign until this Saturday, December 5.

Lab Zero CEO/Producer Peter Bartholow was kind enough to answer a few questions about the upcoming game.

Adrienne Roehrich
“Rock On!”

My First Anime Expo

Written by former GeekGirlCon Manager of Editorial Services Adrienne Roehrich

I spent the 4th of July weekend at my first Anime Expo (AX) in LA. It was my first convention outside of the Seattle area, where I live. AX is the largest anime convention in the U.S.A., after its 2014 record attendance of over 80,000 people. I went with my daughter, who turns 16 in less than 3 weeks.

When we bought our passes less than a month before the convention, tickets were $80 for the 4 days. Tickets on sale now for 2016 are $50 for the 4 days. Will we go again? 

Adrienne Roehrich
“Rock On!”

Why Isn’t Bilbo A Girl? GeekGirlCon ’14 Panel Recap

Written by guest blogger Adrienne Roehrich.

“Why Isn’t Bilbo a Girl?” came with this description in the GeekGirlCon ‘14 Strategy Guide: “Comics, games, and films tend to go the ‘less is more’ route when it comes to representation. Often we only see one character of a racial, gender, or sexual minority. Even worse, some people aren’t represented in media at all. Kids grow up asking, ‘Where are the characters like me?’ Let’s have a thoughtful discussion regarding how we address this issue with kids— with an emphasis on constructive, positive, and educational answers for the kids who ask.”

The panel began with Moderator Simone de Rochefort saying the panel wasn’t about telling us how representation is important; she assumed we were on the same page about that, since we were all at GeekGirlCon. The panel was also not about The Lord of the Rings. The panel was thought up when Simone saw that some people got into a frenzy when others looked at transmedia and big franchises and asked to be represented. The panel’s title came from a story online, about a child whose mother read The Hobbit to her, and who just assumed that Bilbo was a girl.

Adrienne Roehrich
“Rock On!”

Notable Scientists: Crystallographers of Merit

This blog post was originally published on Double X Science; cross-posted with permission from the author, Adrienne Roehrich.

X-ray crystallography is a technique using x-rays for a beam of light shined onto a crystallized molecule to elucidate the structure of the molecule from the resulting pattern from the light’s diffraction. The women in this post used this technique to look at large molecules, many of which were biologically relevant.

hodgkin medal

Order of Merit medal of Dorothy Hodgkin, displayed in the Royal Society, London, 20 April 2004.

Adrienne Roehrich
“Rock On!”

GeekGirlCon ’14 Panel Recap: Diversity in Young Adult Literature

One of the five panels starting our Sunday morning at GeekGirlCon ‘14 was Diversity in Young Adult Literature. As the GeekGirlCon Strategy Guide explained, “Representation is vital for people of all races, sexualities, gender identities, and abilities. According to Malinda Lo’s 2013 Diversity in YA website, only 15% of NYT Bestselling YA Books had people of color as main characters, and only 12% of books had LGBTQ main characters. This panel will examine the market today, what readers want versus the disconnect with publisher’s diversity, and what we can do to improve the number of diverse books for teens.”

Adrienne Roehrich
“Rock On!”

Notable Scientists: Those Overlooked

Written by GeekGirlCon staffer Adrienne Roerich. This post originally appeared at Double X Science.

During the first two years of this series, I looked for women who had already been honored in some way for their work in science. Unfortunately, this means that a significant portion of excellent scientists are further missed. Because the point of this series is to highlight scientists, I hope to show more of these overlooked scientists.

Ruby Hirose

Ruby Hirose.
Image source: the Smithsonian.

Ruby Hirose (1904–1960) was a biochemist and bacteriologist who developed vaccines against infantile paralysis. She received recognition from the American Chemical Society in 1940, along with nine other women for her work. A Japanese-American, Dr. Hirose received her Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati. During World War II, her family who resided in Washington state, were imprisoned in internment camps. Dr. Hirose avoided imprisonment due to working in the state of Ohio as a chemist, far from an American coast.

Alice Ball (1892 – 1916) was a chemist working to treat leprosy. After dying at age 24 due to ill health and unknown causes, her work was assumed by a senior male colleague and her discovery credited to him for decades while she remained forgotten. Born in Seattle, Washington, she moved to Oahu, Hawaii with her family in the early 1900s, then returned to Seattle after elementary school. She received her B.S. in pharmaceutical chemistry from the University of Washington. Breaking a number of firsts, she became the College of Hawaii’s (later the University of Hawaii) first graduate student, which is even more notable due to her status as a black woman. She continued with firsts as the first black student and black woman to receive a Masters degree from that institution. She continued on as a professor there, becoming the first black chemistry professor at any school.

Alice Ball

Alice Ball, 1915.
Image source: University of Hawaii (public domain).

As previously mentioned, the University of Hawaii president Dr. Arthur Lyman Dean continued her work, which consisted of taking chaulmoogra oil and injecting it into sufferers of leprosy or Hansen disease, relieving the symptoms. It wasn’t a cure, but at the time, the relief from the nervous systems was a major breakthrough. Her method was known as the “Ball method” until Dean took over and it became the “Dean Method”. These contributions were so significant, Dean has a hall named after him at the University of Hawaii. This method of treatment was used regularly until the 1940s and even in 1999 was cited as being used in remote areas. The story of this remarkable woman was pieced together by a few individuals and is worth tracking down the stories to learn more. Ball’s awards are posthumous and consist of “Alice Ball Day” established in 2000 and celebrated in Hawaii on February 29 and the University of Hawaii Board of Regents Medal of Distinction awarded in 2007.

Marie Maynard Daly (1981 – 2003) was a passionate chemist fighting racial and gender bias to keep her father’s chemistry passion alive. Born in Queens, New York, she was encouraged at her all-female high school to pursue her love of chemistry. She received her Bachelor’s degree with magna cum laude honors in 1942 from Queens College in Flushing, New York. She accepted a fellowship to complete a Master’s program at New York University while working as a laboratory assistant at Queens College, finishing the degree in one year. She continued on in her studies at Columbia University with funding and working with Mary Caldwell, completing her Ph.D. in three years. She graduated in 1947 as the first black woman in the United States to receive a Ph.D. in chemistry.

Dr. Daly had a varied career. After graduation, she went on to teach at Howard University, then to work in molecular biology at the Rockefellar Institute in New York City, then she taught biochemistry at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, and finally became a professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in 1960, remaining there until her retirement in 1986. It was only after this last transition that she married. She was on the board of directors for the New York Academy of Sciences. Dr. Daly was committed to increasing enrollment of minority students in medical school and graduate programs. After her retirement, she established a scholarship at Queens College for this in honor of her father.

Kalpana Chawla

Kalpana Chawla.
Image source: NASA (public domain).

Kalpana Chawla (1961 – 2003) was a part of the space shuttle Columbia crew, which disintegrated upon re-entry in February 2003. Born in Karnal, India, Dr. Chawla received her B.S. in aeronautical engineering from Punjab Engineering College in 1982. She immigrated to the United States and became a naturalized Citizen while attending the University of Texas and earning her M.S. in 1984 and her Ph.D. from the University of Colorado in 1988, both in aerospace engineering.Upon graduation, she began work at NASA’s Ames Research Center. In 1994, Dr. Chawla was selected as an astronaut candidate. She became the first Indian born woman in space when she took her first space flight in November 1997. She perished with the other six members of the Columbia crew. Chawla was  posthumously awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor, the NASA Space Flight Medal, and the NASA Distinguished Service Medal.

Ruth Ella Moore (1903 – 1994) worked on tuberculosis for her graduate work in the 1930s. Born in Columbus, Ohio, she studied at Ohio State University, receiving all three of her degrees, B.S. in 1926,  M.A. in 1927, and Ph.D. in 1933 all in the field of bacteriology. She is widely ascribed as the first black woman to receive a Ph.D. in a natural science in the United States. While working on her dissertation, Dr. Moore also taught at Tennessee State College (later Tennessee State University). There are gaps in Dr. Moore’s personnel record, but she is known to take an assistant professor position in 1940 at Howard University Medical College, and chaired the bacteriology department for a time that is disputed, as either five years in the mid-1950s or more than a decade starting in 1947. She did step down from the position prior to 1960, but is noted to have continued her professor-responsibilities teaching and performing research until retiring in the early 1970s.

Adrienne Roehrich
“Rock On!”

Guest blogging for GeekGirlCon

We are always looking for awesome geeky blog posts for the GeekGirlCon blog. You could be our next guest blogger!

GeekGirlCon is dedicated to recognizing and celebrating the contribution of women in all aspects of geek culture. Connect with GeekGirlCon through social media (Twitter and Facebook) and meet other geeks at events and our annual convention. GeekGirlCon ‘15 is October 10 and 11, 2015.

Adrienne Roehrich
“Rock On!”

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