Owlcrate Review: Make it Out Alive!

Written by Guest Contributor Marissa Brantley

Owlcrate is monthly subscription box for Young Adult book lovers. Each OwlCrate box theme centers around a chosen book. Each book is a newly released Young Adult novel, and according to the creators, they will be releasing exclusive covers for the rest of the year. You also get a signed bookplate and a letter from the author with each book received. I’ve received Owlcrate boxes since, August 2016 and, I’ll be honest, I don’t always like the book. In fact, there’s maybe four so far I would have chosen for myself, but that’s the risk you take with subscription boxes. However, even if I don’t like the book, there’s usually something in the box that I do like. They also give peeks throughout the month on their Instagram of what will be in the next box so you can decide if you want it that month.

This month’s theme was MAKE IT OUT ALIVE, or as I like to call it, celebrating women who most definitely don’t need a man to survive. This box is a little different from other OwlCrates, as it contained two books, one that was released in the United States in January 2016 called New World Rising by Jennifer Wilson, and another that was released this month by Harperteen called The Sandcastle Empire by Kayla Olson. Both books feature seventeen-year-old protagonists who are trying to survive in a world that seems hell-bent on killing them. Although there are two books, you only receive the exclusive cover, book plate, and letter, from The Sandcastle Empire.

Guest Contributor
“Rock On!”

Top Tech Tips for Your Next Convention

Written by Guest Contributor Cassie Tolhurst.

Convention season is coming, and along with it, people dressed as Daenerys, Arya, and Sansa. You’ll see other characters too—some from galaxies far, far away or from universes yet unknown to the common person. Others descend from on high, ascend from down low, or step out of cities somehow twistedly familiar. You, as the duly appointed representative of planet Earth, recognize them all and herald their arrival at comic conventions every fall.

Regardless of where the characters usually dwell, their on-screen or in-book depictions claim an ability you don’t: immunity to the need for connectivity. Fortunately, the eleven tech tips listed here can grant you that power. Some you already know from attending gaming or comic book conventions in the past. Others will provide practical inspiration for the upcoming convention season.

Guest Contributor
“Rock On!”

In Defense of Video Games

Written by Guest Contributor Robert Lanterman

I can’t count how many times in my life I’ve heard video gamers referred to as “lazy.” And I guess I get it–I’ve skipped class to play video games. I’ve found myself staring at a screen instead of taking care of responsibilities. It’s natural to be lazy when something is entertaining you.

But that’s the point: anything that entertains you can be a distraction. I reject the notion that all or even most gamers are couch potatoes that don’t get enough sun or can’t socially function. I reject the notion that gamers are less than athletes, artists, or whatever else one might do with their spare time. And I reject the notion that gamers can’t be athletes, artists, etc., as if one hobby has complete say over their total identity.

Guest Contributor
“Rock On!”

Gender Roles Expire

Written by Guest Contributor Theresa Tyree

Editor’s note: With the announcement of Horizon: Zero Dawn’s DLC at the recent E3 conference last week, we’re hopeful that Aloy will continue to overthrow gender norms in Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds. In this post, ware excited to feature Theresa Tyree’s examination of the strong female character in the original revolutionary release. 

Horizon: Zero Dawn has everyone talking. Breaking ground as the first open-world game to exclusively feature a female main character, the game has thrown out the hugely expired trope of gender roles. If you’ve played through the game, you might be asking, “What the heck are you talking about? The Osram tribe is hugely patriarchal. The Carja had a civil war over different opinions about the treatment of women and outlanders. And Aloy’s tribe, the Nora, are matriarchal. Seems to me like there are definitely some gender roles happening!”

Guest Contributor
“Rock On!”

Graffiti as Art: Where Do We Draw the Line?

Since antiquity, humans have needed someone else in the world to know, “I’m here. I was here. I existed.” Creation is an intrinsic part of what it means to be human, and graffiti is a tradition derived from an ancient need to express, share knowledge, warn, defend and simply mark one’s presence.

Art has historically been used as a voice for activists, but where do we draw the line when it comes to defining graffiti’s function as an art form, versus the cases in which it can only be viewed as a crime?

Guest Contributor
“Rock On!”

One Way to Be an Ally

Editor’s note: Although this essay discusses specifically being an ally against structural racism in the United States, the concepts apply to many forms of allyship. The author has requested to remain anonymous.

 

Hi. I am white and I am an ally. I am not a perfect ally—let’s go ahead and get that out of the way. I’m not even sure I could say I am a “good” ally. I would like to be, and I strive to be the best I can. But this isn’t an essay about me. I wrote this essay because I want to encourage other allies to act where they have an opportunity and responsibility to act. This is an essay about one way in which passionate allies—even those who are shy and reclusive—can be effective.

Guest Contributor
“Rock On!”

What Wonder Woman Means To Me

Written by GeekGirlCon Twitter Administrator Kristine Hassell

Special Invitation

Join us this Saturday, June 3rd at Barnes & Noble South Center for a free Wonder Woman Day Celebration with costumes, fun activities, and a panel discussion, “Wonder Woman IRL”. You can RSVP online, right now!

A percentage of your purchases in-store on Saturday (or online June 3rd to 8th) will be donated to GeekGirlCon when you use the code 12164679.

 

What Wonder Woman Means To Me

When I was a kid, there was one television channel I could to watch without parental supervision and that was the local PBS affiliate. I absorbed all the classics: Sesame Street, Electric Company, Vegetable Soup, Doctor Who, Monty Python… okay, the last two weaseled their way in there when my mother wasn’t paying close attention to my media consumption. So believe me when I tell you that it was a big deal when my mother let me watch Wonder Woman.

If you are of a certain age, there is a good chance that you did what I used to do, or a reasonable facsimile thereof. You might have painstakingly fashioned a tiara and bracelets out of aluminum foil, and used a red marker to make the stars just right. You might have borrowed a bedsheet to wear as a cape and lastly, you might have found something that resembled a gold lasso to complete the ensemble. If you were me, you begged your mother to buy the fancy cord remnant that you found at the fabric store. Then every week, you donned your makeshift superhero costume and you were ready for the show to come on. Those animated stars exploded across the screen and that theme song kicked in!

What comes to mind when you think about Wonder Woman: the comic, the show, the cartoon, the movie? I see all those things and more. I think about what she represents to me and in turn, to others. I recall the statuesque and jaw-droppingly beautiful Lynda Carter blocking bullets with her bracelets, leaping off buildings, or spinning that iconic twirl to transform from Diana Prince into Wonder Woman. In case you were wondering, why I described my wardrobe ritual, when Diana twirled to change, I did so right along with her without fail. I’d fling the bedsheet off, whip my hair back and forth, emerging excited for the rest of the episode to see her battling against that week’s villain.

Who created the Wonder Woman twirl? End of blog has that answer… (source)

I recall the animated versions of her from the Super Friends (with all its renames and spin-offs), Justice League, and Justice League Unlimited. Side tangent for a little GeekGirlCon ‘14 trivia: in the JL/JLU universe, Wonder Woman was voiced to perfection by one of our former GeekGirlCon contributors, Susan Eisenberg! Yup, pretty cool stuff! The JL/JLU Wonder Woman held her own when fighting against Superman, had a great friendship with Hawkgirl, and was easily one of the best parts of that entire animated universe.

Guest Contributor
“Rock On!”

Join us for GiveBIG 2017!

Written by Jenn Schooley, GeekGirlCon Individual Sponsorship Manager

We’re excited to participate for a second year in Seattle’s GiveBIG and now, more than ever, we need your help!

Just what is GiveBIG?

GiveBIG, sponsored by the Seattle Foundation, is an online fundraising event designed to help Seattle area nonprofits create momentum and excitement about community philanthropy. Now in its seventh year, the program has helped participating nonprofits raise more than $75 million.

How does it work?

This 24-hour giving marathon takes place on May 10 from 12:00am to 11:59pm. Starting now, donors can pre-schedule gifts to their favorite participating nonprofits (including GeekGirlCon). Gifts won’t be charged until the morning of May 10, but it’s a great way to get your donations scheduled in advance without having to worry about it later!

Guest Contributor
“Rock On!”

Women Love Pi: Training Young Women in Computer Technology Through Raspberry Pi

By Samantha Lee Donaldson, a guest writer for GeekGirlCon

In 1992, only 21% of individuals coming from families with annual incomes of $25,000 or less qualified for admission to a four-year university, and only . 8% were minority graduates. Unfortunately, the numbers have not changed nearly enough in the last decade. However, with a significant increase in female college enrollment since the 1970s and the rise of women in technology, the ability to teach skills to students from low-income neighborhoods then can be utilized to help them succeed in life on a much larger scale is extremely enticing.

Therefore, when Eben Upton and a group of his colleagues at the University of Cambridge decided to create a cheap and efficient computer that could be used to show children the power of code and computer technology, the game was changed forever. Thus, the Raspberry Pi was born.

Guest Contributor
“Rock On!”

Programming and Code For Low-Income Schools: It’s A Piece of Pi!

By Samantha Lee Donaldson, a guest writer for GeekGirlCon

For many students across the globe coming from low-income households, trade school courses are their life, from the first day of kindergarten to their last day of high school. The skills gap remains a global problem even now. Instead, if these students were given the ability to learn more than the basics which allow them to only receive low-wage professions, they could reverse this trend and help create an economy that reflects a growing parity in no time.

Just as doctors must take the Hippocratic oath, educators are asked to take the educator’s oath. This oath says, “I promise to seek and support policies that promote quality in teaching and learning and to provide all engaged in education the opportunity to achieve excellence.” Despite this, children who come from low-income households are often neglected and the low-income schools they attend are seldom given the amenities necessary to train these children to change the world and their lives, even though studies suggest that the key to power in the workplace is education, especially for women. Therefore, when these children are provided with sub-par education, they are ultimately set up for failure from the start and not given the tools necessary to achieve their goals in life.

Guest Contributor
“Rock On!”

Join The Discussion #GeekGirlCon

Thanks to the GeekGirlCon GeekGirlCon Super Sponsors

  • SAM
  • EA
  • JONES SODA CO.
  • gay city
  • Microsoft