I was at PAX a couple of weekends back, and I briefly walked the floor. Now, I know it’s a gaming convention, so I expected to find games of all kinds, which I did. I saw some comics, some books, some artwork…and then I got the heck out of there. I’m not a gamer, and the lack of light on the main show floor (other than flashing video games and monitors) was very disconcerting to me. I figured it out pretty quickly: PAX really IS pretty much about games.
Then again, Emerald City Comicon has a lot more than comics, but I didn’t have any money earlier this year…so I sort of hoped I’d find some shiny bits to carry away with me at PAX. After I paid for them, of course. While I am attracted to shiny things, I am not the kind of crow who lines her nest with STOLEN bits of shiny!
Gather round, mes amis, and prepare to exercise your little grey cells with this recap of July’s #DIYSciFilm event–in which our DIY Science Zone experts apply their chemistry smarts to the 1990 TV adaptation of Agatha Christie’s The Mysterious Affair at Styles.
Recovering from the horrors of World War I, British Army officer Arthur Hastings hopes to find peace and quiet at a country manor in the English countryside. But when the matriarch dies during the night from strychnine poisoning, Hastings enlists the help of an old friend staying nearby with other war refugees to help solve the murder: former Belgian police detective Hercule Poirot.
DIY Scientists Torrey Stenmark and Raychelle Burks are both chemists and murder mystery fans, and their interest was piqued by the poisoning storyline. They had cause for confidence in the scientific accuracy of what they were about to watch:
Agatha Christie worked as a dispenser during both World Wars. Her knowledge of poisons was first hand. #diyscifilm
Back in June, our intrepid DIY Science Zone Events Coordinator, Torrey Stenmark, decided to apply her fandom, snark, and critical thinking by leading GeekGirlCon fans in livetweeting that 1985 masterpiece of scientific accuracy Real Genius. In between critiquing the dubious lab safety, “reasonably plausible laser science,” and unlikely hacking protocols, the livetweeters enjoyed 80s soft electronica and the “#distractinglysexy” Val Kilmer.
Can you vaporize someone from space with a laser? No. Even with a codename like Crossbow. #DIYSciFilm
You can read a round-up of the whole event over on Storify.
July’s #DIYSciFilm: The Mysterious Affair at Styles Image source: IMDb
If you’re feeling right now like you missed out on a pretty cool event, no need to worry–it was such a hit that Torrey’s planning another one for this Thursday, July 23, at 9pm Eastern/6pm Pacific. This time around it’ll be the 1990 TV adaptation of the classic Agatha Christie story The Mysterious Affair at Styles, in which Hercule Poirot investigates a poisoning conundrum. Torrey is both a chemist and a costumer, perfectly poised to critique both the science and the fashions!
Join Torrey (@tereshkova2001) on Twitter and use the hashtag #DIYSciFilm to be part of the conversation, and don’t worry if you miss it–I’ll post a summary here on Friday.
The Mysterious Affair at Styles is Series 3, Episode 1 of the BBC series Poirot, available on Netflix.
Written by GeekGirlCon Manager of Editorial Services Winter Downs.
Last year at GeekGirlCon, I had the privilege of participating in the Do-It-Yourself Science Zone teaching kids about probability and randomness.
However, being The Riddler, I had a secret agenda in mind while doing my demonstrations–I have a trio of ten-sided dice that I use to gamble with my fellow super-villains, and I wanted to figure out which of them, if any, had a bias for or against any particular number. What better way to find out than to offload the boring task of rolling those dice over and over again onto unsuspecting passers-by?
Are you a geeky parent? Do you have a child with geeky interests and tendencies? Then GeekGirlCon ‘14 is the place for your family! GeekGirlCon strives to be family-friendly, starting with the passes. The 12 & under crowd can attend at $10 for the entire weekend; 5 & under are free (but must be registered.)
Image courtesy of GeekGirlCon flickr
And what is there to do for these geeks-in-training?
The gaming floor is ever-popular with kids. With a wide variety of games and game types present, they’ll find something to enjoy. In addition to all the exciting games to try out, there’s a Paint ‘n’ Take miniatures painting session on Saturday morning from 10 am – noon.
“Imaginary Worlds for Kids” happens twice during the weekend! Saturday at 11 and Sunday at 3pm, you can bring your 10 and under to an interactive storytime for families, including a lively author reading, participatory creative and singing games, and a lot of faerie mischief. A seasoned and award‐winning spoken word artist and educator, Danika Dinsmore has performed at hundreds of events, from the Bumbershoot Arts Festival in Seattle, Washington, to the FaerieWorlds International Festival outside Eugene, Oregon. Imaginary Worlds will keep your kids buzzing with inspiration!
Bring your teen to learn all about representation in the books they (and you!) may be reading at “Diversity in Young Adult Fiction.” 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 publishers’ diversity, and what we can do to improve the number of diverse books for teens.
Image courtesy of Ryan Roehrich
We have parent-specific programming, too!
Are you a new mom or a mom-to-be? “Geek Girl Transformation to Geek Mom” is all for you! It goes without saying that everything changes when a baby arrives in your world. But for geek girls turned geek moms, there are some unique changes and challenges in store. Don’t worry—that’s what we’re here for! Join a panel full of geeky moms who know what it’s like to have your life, career, and identity turned joyfully upside down when you add kids to the crazy mix of your life.
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?” At “Why Isn’t Bilbo a Girl? Talking to Kids About Media Representation” you can 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.
Lastly, for the parents of cosplayers, or cosplayers themselves who want tips on talking to their family, come to “Cosplay, Parenting, and the Word ‘Appropriate’.” Come discuss cosplay from the perspective of children, teens, and adults who cosplay as individuals and as families. This panel of parents and kids who cosplay will cover a range of topics: How to present cosplay to your parents? How to present cosplay to your kids (and not embarrass them)? How does a parent encourage their teen to express themselves, be body positive, and consider modesty? How do you discuss appropriation vs. appreciation? Deep topics, some advice, lots of discussion!
Most of the panel programming is all ages, so please bring your family to enjoy your favorite topic. And be sure to get your passes now!
What you haven’t heard about is the panels and programming we have coming to you for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM)! One of GeekGirlCon’s goals as an organization is to encourage women and girls in these STEM fields, and we have quite a lineup at GeekGirlCon ‘14 to further our goals–and YOURS.
“Notable Women in Science” starts first thing in the morning on Saturday, October 11, at 10 a.m. in room 301. This panel highlights women in the history of science around the world, as well as discussing the role of women in science now. Adrienne Roehrich, GeekGirlCon’s own Manager of Editorial Services, is hosting this panel, and as a member of the Double X Science blog, she is the perfect person for this informative hour.
At 11 a.m. Saturday, you have a choice to make: “3D Printing 101” in room LL2, or “What’s New In Astronomy” in room 301. In 3D Printing 101, you’ll learn about this technical and creative field, and about 3D printers themselves from hosts Breanna Anderson and Ericka M. Johnson. “What’s New In Astronomy” is hosted by Drs. Nicole Gugliucci and Lisa Will, who have degrees in astronomy, physics, and astrophysics. This is not their first time with us – they guided us through plate tectonics, the making of moon craters, lunar phases (using Oreos!), and a physical model of our solar system at GeekGirlCon ‘13.
All you coders — and anyone who wants to know more about coding — head up to room 301 at 1 p.m. Saturday for “Lady Code Warriors: The Future is Coming!” This amazing group of female coders will tell you what working in their fields is like, and answer questions you have about joining them there. The FIRST Robotics Team 2930 Sonic Squirrels will also be presenting in room 303 at 1 p.m. Saturday, if you want to take a look at what this amazing team of teeangers is doing with robotics this year and into the future.
“Pathogens for Everyone?”, at 5 p.m. in room LL3, delves into diseases in the human body, and the role that Seattle Biomed, a local non-profit, plays in combating those diseases and more. Panelists Anja Ollodart, Sally Lyons-Abbott, Suzanne McDermott will steer you through these amazing and complex questions and issues.
If that isn’t enough to get your STEM juices flowing, head over to the GeekGirlConnnections room. There are tables representing tech companies from all over Western Washington, including F5 Networks, Amazon, ArenaNet, and Isilon Storage Divison/EMC. Seattle CoderDojo, Girl Scouts of Western Washington, and the Association for Women in Science are a few of the non-profit organizations who may benefit from your help, and show you how to parlay their amazing programs into benefits for your own lives. There are several tables aimed at getting you the education you need to pursue your goals in the Connections Room as well: Northeastern University – Seattle, Cornish College of the Arts, and the University of Washington Information School.
Room 204 is hosting the GeekGirlCon ‘14 Connections Programming, which you’ll see in your Program Book in the same grids as other convention programming. These panels are geared toward making connections in the working world, whether you’re looking for a job, or just looking to make new contacts in your field. There are even two Meetups happening — social time specific for Women in Tech at 5 p.m. Saturday, and Women in Science at 4 p.m. Sunday. Make contacts you need, or meet new friends!