Printing the Future … In 3D

As soon as I learned there’d be a panel on 3D printing at GeekGirlCon ‘14, I knew I had to attend it. This is the future! I’ve thought every time the machines come up in conversation. They’re an endless source of fascination for me, yet I’d never seen one in person before. Many attendees must’ve felt the same way, because the room was absolutely packed for the panel.

Presenter Breanna Anderson kicked off the discussion with an impassioned demonstration of 3D computer software. A software innovator and platform builder for over three decades, she used a wireless stylus to quickly design a chair that looked perfect for a dollhouse. Her hand was so adept at “drawing” the object—adjusting angles here, lengthening its legs there—“oohs” and “ahs” were uttered throughout the crowd several times. So cool to see someone perform their life’s work live. Even though the program was obviously extremely advanced, it made me want to jump right in and try it.

Not only did I have no idea there are so many online services for creating awesome 3D projects—I would’ve never guessed how many of them are free to use. Audience members were given a handout listing seven different modeling software sites (provided at the end of this article). The fact that these high-quality programs are available at no cost is honestly beautiful to me (similar to how Wikipedia’s values can make me weepy). Printing the products is another story, of course, as the materials and machinery require money, but it’s great that people can familiarize themselves with the software for free.

Once an object has been crafted virtually, Anderson shared, there are three options for having it printed. People can visit and utilize local printers, send it to an online company for printing, or purchase their own 3D printers. I was thrilled to learn about several Seattle-based printing options, including FATHOM Studio, located in the Fremont/Wallingford area, and Mirrim 3D Portraits, of which Anderson is the president. FATHOM sells printers and offers high-end printing services, while Mirrim offers creative items like personalized wedding cake toppers and cosplay accoutrements.

breanna anderson 3D printing

Next, presenter Ericka M. Johnson shared her expansive insight. As a designer of printed equipment for her genetics lab, she also unleashed a flurry of 3D printer facts. She taught that the three most common materials for the machines are polyamide, ABS plastic, and ceramics, and dove into their pros and cons. Polyamide, for example, is strong, slightly flexible, and inexpensive, but when used for large flat panels, it has a tendency to warp. ABS, on the other hand, is durable, recyclable, and UV-resistant, but slightly more expensive.

Finally, ceramics involve the binding of different layers of powdered clay, resulting in potentially “amazing glazes”. However, because of the nature of clay, it has to be at least three centimeters thick, and the bigger the piece, the thicker the walls need to be. Also, before the piece has cooled, if gravity is acting on areas of it that are not properly supported, it will have a more difficult time standing up, increasing the risk of damaging the entire final product.

For those interested in owning personal 3D printers, Johnson outlined three go-to options. First, Printrbot’s Simple Maker’s Kit is a steal at just $300. The easiest one to use, though, is the UP Plus 2, which acts like a “plug ‘n play” system, ready to go almost instantly. For those looking to invest a bit more, the coolest choices in Johnson’s opinion are the Ultimaker 2 (~$2,565) and the Makerbot Replicator 2 (~$2,199).

The speedy delivery of all this info (just fifty minutes to share it all!) by Anderson and Johnson indicated just how much more there is to learn. Whether you’re brand new to it or consider yourself an expert in the field, you’re welcome to check out the Seattle 3D Printing MeetUp group, as well as the other resources listed below.

I’m excited to see what else these seemingly-magical machines will make possible for humankind. In-depth articles already suggest that, thanks to them, the creation of prosthetics and even internal body parts will be easier and more affordable down the road. Designing and printing a 3D object is now on my short-term bucket list (because yes, I am a geek with both long-term and near-future lists); I just have to decide what I want to make first!

Want to learn more about the panels at GeekGirlCon ’14, or contribute your own great ideas to GeekGirlCon ’15? Follow us on Twitter to find out when programming calls open, and pick up your passes for next year’s Con today!

 

Local Seattle printers:

Mirrim 3D Portraits

FATHOM Studio

Seattle 3D Printing MeetUp

Rapid Made

 

Modeling software:

OpenSCAD (free)

Blender (free)

SketchUp (free or $590 Pro)

TinkerCAD (free)

123D Design (free)

Sculptris (free)

FreeCAD (free)

 

Online 3D printing resources:

i.materialise

Shapeways

Ponoko

Sculpteo

Kraftwurx

Staples’ My Easy 3D

 

Online resources and forums:

Thingiverse

University of Washington Open3DP

Shapeways

3D Printing forum

3D Printer forum

Functional 3D Printing forum

Ultimater

PrinterBot

 

Supplies and advanced resources:

RepRap

Fab@Home

Ada Fruit

Sain Smart

SparkFun

McMaster-Carr

 

Handy tools:

Digital caliper (a must-have for 3D printers)

 

Books:

Mastering 3D Printing by Joan Horvath

Make: Ultimate Guide to 3D Printing edited by Mark Frauenfelder

Make: 3D Printing: The Essential Guide to 3D Printers edited by Anna Kaziunas France

 

breannaBreanna Anderson is a software innovator creating solutions and building platforms that help others solve problems —and she’s been doing it for over 30 years. She helped launch the era of commercial Internet publishing as a technical founder of MSNBC Interactive. While at Microsoft in 1995, she created one of the first enterprise-scale, general purpose Web CMS systems, InterPress, with the vision of democratizing publishing through the web. She founded venture-backed SchemaLogic Inc., in 2001 to create a “techno-social collaboration platform” to facilitate better information sharing through consensus-based information standardization. She is now bootstrapping a new venture: Mirrim 3D. It merges her diverse interests to combine computer vision and modeling with 3D printing to offer a new dimension in personal portraits: super-realistic, full color 3-dimensional mini-portraits.

erickaEricka M. Johnson is addicted to projects. From creating the Steampunk Exhibition Ball, to designing and 3D printing new equipment for her genetics lab, to leading the board of Seattle Atheists, she just can’t stay idle. And now that 3D printing technology has advanced so far and become more affordable to tinkerers, she’s itching to share what she’s learned on this new maker frontier.

AJ Dent
“Rock On!”

When Did I Realize I Was A Geek?

by Chris Estey, owner of Big Freak Media (publicist for The Gods Themselves, Prom Queen, Light In The Attic Records), contributor to Three Imaginary Girls, KEXP Blog, and The Art Zone.

I never realized exactly when I was a geek, but that’s like a tree trying to figure out what a city is. Old, bearded, freaky, geezer geek. Ample, scruffy, multi-media maven, publicizing new underground music and culturally provocative books and weird cool movies from my deep nerd-pit of pop culture obsession. When I interview bands for fanzines, I do it here: a one-bedroom piled-high apartment where it seems like Octavia Butler could hang out with Nardwuar and Elvira. Musicians always give better responses when they know how deep my crates go. If you can’t bond with someone over the ideas, characters, sounds, and images that give electric meaning to our lives, you’re not trying or they’re not really in the game.

Guest Contributor
“Rock On!”

Join us: Women Lead a Changing World

Are you eager to discuss or learn more about what you can do to help shape the future for women and girls? If you live in the Seattle area, we have just the event for you!

womensfundingallianceOn Wednesday, March 27, head to Town Hall Seattle for “Women Lead a Changing World,” an event hosted by the Women’s Funding Alliance (and includes our Programming and Events Director Jennifer K. Stuller!).

Here’s the description from the event website:

“It’s a defining time for women and girls, both locally and around the world. The playing field is changing dramatically and the time for powerful, fresh leadership is now. Be among the first to hear new information about critical factors shaping the future of women and girls. Find out how five extraordinary women are leading the way, and learn how you can take action…whether you have two minutes, two hours or two days!”

We were able to catch up with Sara Reyerson, director of grant programs at Women’s Funding Alliance and coordinator of the event. Read on to see what she had to say about it … including a few sneak peeks at some new data that will be shared at the event!

Can you tell us more details about “Women Lead a Changing World?”

This event is all about what matters most to women and girls in Washington State – and how each of us can be leaders in taking action. The program features: Compelling new data about critical issues. Inspiring stories. Five extraordinary women leading change for women and girls, locally and nationally. And a motivating call to action!

Here is more event information and a link to reserve your seat.

Why do you think now is the right time to have this conversation?

This conversation zeros in on emerging trends facing women and girls. New data will be shared. A few sneak peeks:

• 72 percent of women who work outside the home are in industries that pay below our state average.
• 80 percent: The share of 10th-grade girls who report being bullied or harassed via cell phone or computer.
 Women hold less than 1/3 of our state legislative seats, and 80 percent of corporations have less than three women on their boards of directors.

Each of the speakers will share how they are leading in a movement for change – championing the well-being of girls and women across our state and nation.

What are one or two things you hope people will take away from the event?

We hope every person attending the event will see themselves in the stories and information shared by the speakers. And we hope each person leaves having an idea of how she/he can personally take action to improve the lives of women and girls!

Can you tell us more about Women’s Funding Alliance?

Women’s Funding Alliance is the leading funder in Washington State that invests in and advocates for women and girls. We build leadership and drive financial investments to make change on the most pressing issues facing women and girls. We do our work in service to a vision that every woman and girl has the opportunity to live, lead and thrive.

Thanks for answering our questions, Sarah. We hope to see some of you at “Women Lead a Changing World!”

Guest Contributor
“Rock On!”

March Geek About Town

Hello, readers! Who else is recovering from Emerald City Comicon? What a weekend!

However, if you’re like us, you’re probably already hungry for some more geeky activities. Check out these great March events in the Seattle area. There are TONS of them!

Seattle Yelp Geeks Out! takes place during the entire month of March. Admission to all events is free with an RSVP—and all you need to RSVP is a Yelp account! We’ve tagged all the events below that are part of Seattle Yelp Geeks Out!

*Yelp Geeks Out Event*
Thursday, March 7: Explore the new MOHAI with Yelp for FREE! (10 A.M. – 8 P.M.)
From the website: “The brand-spankin’ new Museum Of History And Industry is open. And better yet, it’s FREE every first Thursday of the month. So what better way to kick off Yelp Geeks Out than by meeting up together to take a free tour of this incredible new space?!”

Friday, March 8: Super Gaymer Party for the Launch of Gaming in Color! at Raygun Lounge
This is the Seattle launch party for a new documentary called “Gaming in Color”, celebrating diversity and LGBT contributions in gaming.

Friday, March 8: Ladies Night at Raygun hosted by Queer Geek
Queer Geek – Seattle is a LGBT (and friends) gaming and “geek” group. Their Friday “Ladies Night at Raygun” will be sharing the space with the Super Gaymer Party (above). Ladies Night at Raygun happens every Tuesday!

Saturday, March 9: Game Design/Development Collaboration hosted by Seattle Games Cooperative
Gathering up designers, developers, programmers, artists, etc., to collaborate on creating a full length playable game on any engine (based on preference such as a Unity, UDK, classic engines, etc.) within 8 hours.

Saturday, March 9:Second Saturday SciFi Cinema
From the website: “Continuing our long tradition of geeky movies at Wayward, join us for “Teenagers from Outer Space”, hosted by SciFiCommons. There will be MOVIE TRIVIA and PRIZES during intermission! No cover; 9-11pm.”

Monday, March 11: Pub Quiz Fundraiser for Relay for Life! at The Blue Star
Geeks Who Drink will be teaming up with Relay For Life at the UW and the American Cancer Society for a special fundraiser event. There will be a cover charge of $5 per person to participate in this pub quiz. From this money, $5 per team (approx. $75 total) will be given to the winning team, with the remaining proceeds donated to cancer research.

*Yelp Geeks Out Event*
Monday, March 11: A Superhero Barcrawl
Stop 1: Decorate Your Cape @ The Upstairs in Belltown
Stop 2: Shuffleboard @ The Lava Lounge in Belltown
Stop 3: Trivia Night @ Rabbit Hole

*Yelp Geeks Out Event*
Wednesday, March 13: Adult Nerf Wars @ The Tag Zone in Des Moines
From the event page: “This incredible event space is offering the Yelp community FREE admission to come play some Nerf wars, hang out with friends and get some complimentary food and drinks while you’re at it. Limited to just 60 people only, make sure you RSVP.”

*Yelp Geeks Out Event*
Friday, March 15: Cheers, Beer Geeks! A FREE Local Beer Sampling Event at Downtown Spirits
The final details of event are still in the works. Stay tuned to their website for more info!

The NERDprov team!

Friday, March 15: Geeky Improv Double Header at The Jewel Box Theater
Two of Seattle’s geekiest improv groups join forces for a one-night-only theatrical experience at Seattle’s Jewel Box Theatre! Seattle Experimental Theater’s own hit improvised Star Trek parody Where No Man Has Gone Before joins forces with improv tour de force NERDprov for an evening of geeky hilarity.

Saturday, March 16: Ink-Stained Amazons and Cinematic Warriors: Superwomen in Modern Mythology
From the event site: “In this lively multimedia presentation, pop-culture historian Jennifer K. Stuller will help us explore how the female hero in modern mythology has broken through the boys’ club barrier of tradition. Using comics, television and film, we will discuss female action and super heroines from the 1930s to the present day. Do social and political forces affect pop culture – and vice versa? This conversation will examine women’s representations in media and women’s roles as media makers, inspiring us to think deeper about popular culture, media, gender images and storytelling.”

*Yelp Geeks Out Event*
Tuesday, March 19: A Pinball Tournament at Full Tilt Ice Cream
From the event page: “We’re hosting a fun FREE pinball tournament at the Ballard Full Tilt location. We’ll be selecting a machine and whoever gets the highest score at the end of the evening wins a super chilly, super COOL surprise!”

*Yelp Geeks Out Event*
Wednesday, March 20: Geek Chic With Brooks Brothers at Rocco’s in Belltown
From the event page: “Bow ties!!! Cardigans?! Gingham!? Seersucker?! YEP!!! Dress up and dress smart (BOW TIES PREFERRED/REQUIRED)… !”

cheezburger*Yelp Geeks Out Event*
Thursday, March 21: A Cheezburger Tour
From the event page: “Join up for a meet-and-greet with the Cheezburger team. After checking out the office, spend your night playing Settlers of Catan, Cards Against Humanity and Foosball (and so much MOAR) with the Cheezburger crew and fellow Yelpers. Show yourself as the ultimate champion of all things games!”

Saturday, March 23: Vixy & Tony with Sunny Larsen and Betsy Tinney
From the website: “Our favorite filk performers are back at Wayward this Spring for a shiny evening of fun, friends, and geek-inspired live music. No cover; please note earlier start time, 7-10pm.”

Saturday, March 23: Intermediate Puppetry Class with Vox Fabuli’s Rachel Jackson
From the invite: “You know how to make your puppet talk, but what does she sound like? You can make him move, but where is he going? And how does he get there? In this fun, intermediate puppeteering class, you’ll learn the basics of characterization – voice, physicality and emotion – and how to apply them to your puppet. You’ll get tons of tips for making character choices and see what a big impact they can have on your puppet’s performance.” NOTE: This is a class about puppet operation, not puppet construction. Register at Brown Paper Tickets.

Monday, March 25 – Saturday, March 30: APRIL Festival and Small Press Book Expo
From the website: “APRIL’s mission is to connect readers with independent literature and the authors and publishers of this relevant and vitalizing work. The Small Press Book Expo is one of APRIL’s cornerstone events. On March 30, tons of small presses and journals from around the country will pack the ground floor of Richard Hugo House for a day of eye-opening indie lit shopping.”

*Yelp Geeks Out Event*
Thursday, March 28: A FREE Moving Screening at Northwest Film Forum
From the event page: “Limited to 110 guests, be among the first of your friends to RSVP for a FREE screening of The T.A.M.I Show. Called one of the “top three rock movies” ever made by Quentin Tarantino, this movie will have you singing in your seat!”

nwcThursday, March 28 – Sunday, March 31: Norwescon 36
From the website: “Norwescon is the Pacific Northwest’s Premiere Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention and one of the largest regional Science Fiction and Fantasy conventions in the United States. Whether you’re looking for writer’s workshops, costuming tips, artistic creativity, musical concerts, or filmmaking experience, you’ll find it here!”

sakuraconFriday, March 29 – Sunday, March 31: Sakura-Con 2013
From the website: “Sakura-Con is the oldest and most well attended anime convention in the Pacific Northwest.” Check out the list of great events, programming, guests, and exhibitors at their website!

*Yelp Geeks Out Event*
Friday, March 29: A Board Game Bonanza at Raygun Lounge
From the event page: “Settlers of Catan, Carcassonne, Agricola, Puerto Rico, Munchkin, Ticket to Ride, Arkham Horror and more … Come check them out from Raygun’s library of more than 60 games, pick some peeps to play with, sample some locally brewed Blue Dog Mead and have a blast!”

*Yelp Geeks Out Event*
Saturday, March 30: Nerdy Dancing: A Glow-in-the-Dark Dance Party!
From the event page: “Taking place at Q on Capitol Hill. You and up to TWO guests are invited, BUT you must be 21 or older (with ID) AND have received an email confirmation to attend this event. There will be a guest list at the door. So if you want in, RSVP with a Yelp account!”

Saturday, March 30: Hello, The Future
From the website: “We’re very excited to welcome Hello, The Future all the way from California for her first performance at Wayward. Hello, The Future is participating in NorWesCon and will be performing at Wayward during the con weekend. Fabulous geek-inspired satirical and fun filk music. No cover; 8-10pm.”

Saturday, March 30: Tabletop Day!
From the website: “On March 30th, 2013 , we ask you to go to your friendly local game store, neighborhood coffee shop, school auditorium, community center, or host a game day at your home and play more games.”

WOW! That’s a lot of geekery for one month.

Which events do you plan to attend?

And please let us know if we missed any!

Guest Contributor
“Rock On!”

November Geek About Town

Hey everyone! As the cold weather settles in, here are some November geeky events to keep your heart pumpin’ and your toes warm!

Saturday, November 3rd: X-Bit Halloween Bash
Chiptunes concert featuring Electric Children (Misfits Cover Set), Bright White Lightning, MCFiredrill, and Live Animals

Saturday, November 3rd: The Atomic Bombshells LIVE at Columbia City Theatre!
From the Brown Paper Tickets Site: “Hot off the heels of a headlining spot at Bumbershoot, The Atomic Bombshells, named “Seattle’s most venerable burlesque dancers” (The Stranger) and “the city’s most dazzling Burlesque troupe” (Seattle Weekly), bring their internationally celebrated brand of fabulous and polished high-camp burlesque to the oldest vaudeville theater in Washington. After a busy season of performances in New Orleans, the San Juan Islands, and the Triple Door and Bumbershoot stages in Seattle, the Bombshells return this fall to the gorgeously renovated Columbia City Theater, offering up a chance to see the country’s burlesque ALL-STARS (members include 2011’s Reigning Queen of Burlesque, and Miss Viva Las Vegas 2011) in a rare and intimate setting that has been named a “Best of Seattle” by Seattle Weekly. With a different exciting show each week, you’ll want to catch these icons more than once, as it’s their last run of shows before 2013….perfect for group events and parties, VIP tables are available for reservation! Your evening will be complete with Columbia City Theater’s full bar and delicious food. (Note: This is every Saturday in the month of November.)

Saturday, November 3rd – Sunday, November 4th: Sherlock Convention
From the website: “​The Sherlock Seattle Convention is a celebration of all things Sherlock and as such will feature many interesting and informative panels, fun and entertaining events, as well as a large screen presentation of BBC’s television production, SHERLOCK: Season 2 – A Scandal in Belgravia, The Hounds of Baskerville, and The Reichenbach Fall!” Please note: Advanced ticket sales are closed and there are no at-the-door membership sales. Please check their website for any changes.

Wednesday, November 7th: Everything vs. Everything!
From the Facebook event page: “Unnatural Redhead Productions is proud to bring “Everything vs. Everything! A pop-culture explosion of pirates, ninjas, zombies, robots and more!” to Seattle this November. Iconic heroes and monsters will vy to win the audiences’ hearts in this burlesque extravaganza. Will Godzilla reign supreme? Which will triumph in the end, pirates or ninjas? These questions and more will answered with a heaping helping of glitter to boot!”

Wednesday, November 7th: Kurtis Wiebe Signing
From the Facebook event page: “Kurtis Wiebe author of Image books: Intrepids, Green Wake, Peter Panzerfaust, Debris and Grim Leaper will be signing in the store Wednesday November 7th from 3-8pm! Come in and meet one of our favorite authors and check out his excellent books!”

Thursday, November 8th – Friday, November 16th: Where No Man Has Gone Before
From the Brown Paper Tickets page: “Adventure! Beautiful women! Exotic alien worlds! Seattle Experimental Theater is proud to present its original unscripted comedy Where No Man Has Gone Before, a fully improvised parody of the original Star Trek TV series. Each night the cast will use suggestions from the audience to create the world and plot of the show. Where No Man Has Gone Before is appropriate for all ages.”

Friday, November 9th: The Ninth of Nerdvember
Nerd music concert featuring Death*Star, Kids Get Hit By Buses, Klopfenpop, Jonny Nero Action Hero, and MC 117

Thursday, November 15th – Saturday, November 17th: Stories for Bad Children
From the press release: “ Once upon a time there were two sisters. One day they went into the woods and encountered something weird like a talking wombat or an ancient cheese-scented crone. The good sister was perfectly polite and did whatever they asked. The bad sister was all “Piss off, freaks!” So the bad sister was cursed and the good sister got to marry a prince and ride a sapphire unicorn and lived happily ever after, blah blah blah. Bored with the good children? So are we. Vox Fabuli Puppets and Kendra & Michael Hayes team up to bring you STORIES FOR BAD CHILDREN, a cabaret-style show celebrating the naughty boys and girls of the fairy tale world. (Note: This is a show intended for audiences 15+)

Sunday, November 18th: Electro-dissection with the Geek Scouts
From the event page: “Solve the mystery of electronic components by dissecting (and destroying) old devices. We will use hand-tools to disassemble a variety of electronics, identify the parts and learn what they do. We will use this process of discovery to explain key concepts of electrical devices and develop a deeper understanding of how they work. There will also be a metal-working studio tour which will including demos of a cnc plasma cutter and cnc router and a demonstration of mig and tig welding.”

Friday, November 23rd – Saturday, November 24th: EtsyRAIN’s Handmade Holiday Show
From the Facebook event page: “Thanksgiving weekend come to the annual Handmade Holiday show at Marion Oliver McCaw Hall at Seattle Center. A bigger venue, more vendors and the biggest shopping day of the year add up to the BIGGEST craft show in etsyRAIN history. The first 100 shoppers through the door EACH DAY will receive a free swag bag. More than 100 hand-selected vendors will be selling their wares on Friday, November 23 from 11-6 and Saturday November 24 from 11-5 on two floors of the lobby. This event is free to the public and promises the best selection of unique, high-quality, locally handmade gifts, art and treats.”

Got a fantastic event in November you’d like to see on Geek About Town? Email Shubz at prcontent@geekgirlcon.com! (Keep in mind, we at GeekGirlCon do reserve the right to decide what we post.)

Shiboo_Krismer
“Rock On!”

Ask GeekGirlCon: What’s your favorite Halloween costume?

Hi everyone! Halloween is just around the corner and, as we geeks all know, is a great day for cosplay! We asked our staff what their favorite Halloween costumes were, and here’s what they said:

Anna Daniel, Facebook Administrator

“My favorite Halloween costumes are little kid costumes. Specifically, the costumes that kids love so much that they wear them even before Halloween. Seeing a parent with their little Jedi, monkey, ballerina, etc. at the grocery store is adorable.” Anna Daniel

Erica McGillivray, President and Marketing Director

Erica (left) gets back-in-the-day geeky for Halloween

“My favorite Halloween costume ever was the Star Trek: The Next Generation uniform that my mom made me when I was in 4th grade. I even found a fake visor. It was also the first time I ever cosplayed. Thanks for nurturing a geek, mom!” Erica McGillivray

Tammy Vince Cruz, Vice President and Design Manager

Tammy cosplaying as the Senshi of Revolution and Time, Sailor Pluto!

“Guarded by Pluto, planet of time. I am the soldier of revolution, Sailor Pluto! Well, at least for Halloween. This was my 2nd cosplay, back in the day! I hand-carved the Time Key myself, and the Garnet Orb was even detachable! I’m hoping to reprise a new version of Sailor Pluto in 2013, 15 years later! Yup, I just dated myself.” Tammy Vince Cruz

Susie Rantz, PR Manager

Susie as Daria Morgendorffer — blank stare included

“One of my favorite Halloween costumes in recent years was Daria Morgendorffer. I LOVED Daria growing up, because she showed me that you could be smart, sassy, and challenge social norms. It was a fun costume to put together, but it was also really difficult to take photos, because I usually have a permanent smile plastered on my face.” Susie Rantz

There you have it, folks! What was (or will be!) your favorite Halloween costume?

Guest Contributor
“Rock On!”

September Geek About Town

September is a nutritious snack, as well as a month to look forward to!

Hi everyone! GeekGirlCon ‘12 came to a close early August, and we on staff are rested and ready to get back out for some nerdy events in the Seattle area! Take a look!

Friday, August 31st – Sunday, September 2nd: SOLD OUT: PAX Prime
Three-day gaming expo brought to you by the folks of Penny Arcade

Friday, August 31st – Saturday, September 1st: SOLD OUT: Whedonesque Burlesque
From the event page: “Seattle’s finest geeky burlesque performers are daring to take inspiration from the Whedonverse: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Avengers, Firefly, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-long Blog, Dollhouse, Angel, and yes, maybe even Cabin in the Woods. It’s the summer of Joss and we’re baring ourselves in his honor! This shindig is a celebration of the evil genius that is Joss Whedon AND the fans who love him.”

Saturday, September 1st Jonny Nero’s PAX Death Tour (Xbit)
Chiptunes concert by X-bit, sponsored by PAX featuring: rainbowdragoneyes, A_rival, Electric Children, Orbital Strike, Turtlesaur, Abducted by Sharks, Jonny Nero Action Hero, Live Animals, G.Diffuser (On the El Corazon Lounge Stage)

Saturday, September 1st: Another Damn PAX Party!
Nerdy music and burlesque featuring: MegaRan, Death*Star, Klopfenpop, Bill Beats, and The Glitter Vixens Burlesque (On the El Corazon Main Stage)

Saturday, September 1st Doctor Who Season Seven Premiere at 9 p.m. / 8 p.m. Central! (BBCAmerica)
Episode description: “In the season opener, ‘Asylum of the Daleks,’ the Doctor is forced on an impossible mission after being kidnapped by his oldest foe – to a place even the Daleks are too terrified to enter…. the Asylum. A planetary prison confining the most terrifying and insane of their kind, the Doctor and the Ponds must find an escape route. But with Amy and Rory’s relationship in meltdown, and an army of mad Daleks closing in, it is up to the Doctor to save their lives, as well as the Pond’s marriage.”

Saturday, September 1st – Monday, September 3rd: Kumoricon 2012
Three day anime, manga, and Japanese culture convention located in Vancouver, WA. Kumoricon 2012 is the con’s 10th year.

Sunday, September 2nd: Jonny Nero’s PAX Death Tour (Post PAX Party)
Chiptunes music with Jonny Nero Action Hero and Danimal Cannon.

Sunday, September 9th: Seattle Browncoats: Every 2nd and 4th Dominoes and Such
From the event page: “What are we doing? Dominoes (or other games depending on the mood), chatting about anything sci-fi related, drinking (caffeinated or unleaded), and general silliness. We start around 10:30 a.m. or so and play until whenever (usually 2:00 p.m.), feel free to come early or late; punctuality isn’t important.”

Tuesday, September 11th: Seattle Information Architecture and User Experience Meetup: Let’s Talk Taxonomy: Guest Speaker Gary Carlson
From the event page: “September’s meetup will center around the topic of Taxonomy. We’ll start with a talk from Gary Carlson (more info to come!) and continue discussion and networkng. We will be charging for this event, $10 covers attendance and comes with yummy pizza and beverages.”

Friday, September 21st – Sunday, September 23rd: Foolscap
From the website: “Foolscap is a small weekend conference where readers, writers, visual artists, and other people who love science fiction and fantasy meet, learn, talk to each other, and have a great time together.”

Saturday, September 22nd: Jet City Comic Show
From the website: “Jet City started in order to fill in the void for a quality one-day show for fans and dealers. A show that will be fun and entertaining for the fans, where they will have time to browse all the dealer tables or visit with their favorite creators.”

Sunday, September 23rd: Seattle Browncoats: Every 2nd and 4th Dominoes and Such
From the event page: “What are we doing? Dominoes (or other games depending on the mood), chatting about anything sci-fi related, drinking (caffeinated or unleaded), and general silliness. We start around 10:30 a.m. or so and play until whenever (usually 2:00 p.m.), feel free to come early or late; punctuality isn’t important.”

Thursday, September 27th:Seattle Analytic Philosophy Club
From the event page: “As this is a philosophy club, we will specifically focus on the moral issues related to equality of condition. The political debate over this issue has moral dimensions in addition to the usual practical ones, particularly as one side often casts the issue as one of fairness. But people of different political persuasions have different definitions of fairness. Is it more fair that those who do more get more, or that there is more equal distribution? Please see the forum post, What’s wrong with the 1%? – Equality and inequality, for a list of questions to consider before the meeting.”

Sunday, September 30th: Nectar Lounge Presents: Extremeties, Kirby Krackle, Death*Star, Soup or Villianz, Klopfenpop, MC 117, Shubzilla
From the event page: “A huge lineup with touring act Extremities (Fresh Kils and Uncle Fester feat. Relic), out-of-towners Soup or Villainz, geek rock gods Kirby Krackle, producer and performer extraordinaire Klopfenpop, the Shakespeares of Nerdcore Death*Star, and newcomers MC 117 and Shubzilla! That’s right! 7 acts of hip hop and music on 1 night at one of Seattle’s best venues, Nectar Lounge!”

What are you excited to check out in September? Leave us a comment below!

If you have a geeky event you’d like to see on Geek About Town, please email Shubz Blalack at prcontent@geekgirlcon.com. Please keep in mind, that GeekGirlCon does reserve the right to post or not post events at our discretion and all events must be in alignment with our mission statement.

Shiboo_Krismer
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GeekGirlCon ’12 Preview: Sporty Geek

GeekGirlCon ‘12 is nearly a month away. It is going to be a rocking, amazing, empowering, inspiring convention.

Don’t believe us? Well, perhaps a preview of some of the awesome panels will persuade you. Today marks the start of a series of GeekGirlCon ‘12 panel previews that will come out in the coming weeks.

Join us on Saturday, August 11, for Sporty Geek: How Roller Derby and Quidditch Are Changing the Game for Women.

Roller derby and Quidditch don’t seem to have much in common on the surface. But they share something very important. They are both thriving, grassroots sporting efforts that provide a new range of athletic opportunities for women. Geek girls are kicking ass … on skates and brooms!

Panelists Sara Weisenbach, Chelsea Hougan, and Tammy Oler will lead this moderated discussion. They will explore the intersections of geek and jock culture with two sports that challenge convention and have the power to change women’s lives.

Here’s a little more background on these sporty geeks:

Sara Weisenbach is the Alaska and Washington state representative for the International Quidditch Association. She is currently studying design illustration at the Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, where she is also co-captain from the college’s quidditch team.

Chelsea Hougan is the other co-captain from the Cornish Quidditch Team. She’s currently attending the college to pursue a degree in motion design.

Tammy Oler co-founded the Denver Roller Dolls in 2005, a nonprofit roller derby league that has not only trained hundreds of female athletes, but also contributed thousands of hours of community service. She also co-produced Talk Derby to Me, a documentary about the roller derby revival.

We don’t talk about sports a lot in geek culture, but a number of GeekGirlCon staff can be seen attending Seattle Sounders games or roller derby bouts, losing their voice at Seattle Seahawks events, running marathons, or kicking butt in fantasy football.

Are you a geek and a jock? Or are you simply interested in learning more about women and sports? This is the panel for you.

With the Summer Olympics only weeks away and ending during GeekGirlCon ‘12, we thought this was the perfect panel to highlight. So what are you waiting for? Get your passes for GeekGirlCon ‘12 before we sell out.

In the meantime, let us know your favorite sport in the comments below.

Guest Contributor
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Geek out with GeekGirlCon

GeekGirlCon President and Marketing Director Erica McGillivray (left) and Programming Operations Director Julia Santo (right) show off the TARDIS built by GeekGirlCon staff and volunteers

Do you live in or around Seattle? Are you interested in getting to know other geeks in the area?

Then you should join GeekGirlCon’s first informal meetup of the year!

In addition to hosting special events such as movie nights, art auctions, and burlesque shows, we want more opportunities to get to know all of you better and build a community of GeekGirlCon fans.

What do you love? What sort of geeky things get you excited each day?

Come discuss them at one of our meetups, which we plan to host every other week. We’ll explore areas outside of Seattle, chatting with geeks in Tacoma, Everett, and perhaps as far as Spokane. We might focus on certain topics each time, and we’ll mix up times and locations — a bar one night, a coffee shop another, and an outdoor picnic on a pretty day.

We’ll host our first meetup on Wednesday, May 30, from 6 to 8 p.m.

But we need your help to get there. Tell us where our first meeting should be. We’ll stick to the Greater Seattle area for the first one, but what neighborhood or city?

Leave a comment below telling GeekGirlCon why we should come to your neck of the woods. The area with the most comments gets the first GeekGirlCon meetup hosted in their neighborhood. And feel free to suggest great pubs, coffee shops, or other meetup locations.

 ** UPDATE: Capitol Hill is the winner. We’ll be meeting at Ada’s Technical Books. Check out our Facebook event page for all the details. **

I’m counting down the days, and can’t wait to get to know more about all of you!

                                            

Susie Rantz, PR Manager

Guest Contributor
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A Spotlight on Ada’s Technical Books

There are a number of amazingly geeky hangouts in the Greater Seattle area. Comic book stores, cafes, gaming taverns, and movie theaters. Today, we are highlighting one of these hangouts: Ada’s Technical Books. Ada’s, located on Capitol Hill, is owned by Danielle Hulton. Danielle — a bona fide “geek girl” — has been a GeekGirlCon sponsor the past two years.

We had the chance to catch up with Danielle and ask her a few questions about herself, her business, and her geeky passions. Enjoy!

Danielle Hulton, owner of Ada's Technical Books

How did you get the inspiration to open Ada’s Technical Books?
In school, I studied electrical engineering and computer science. I have also always loved to read. After working in the tech industry for four years, I decided I wanted to do something a little different. Technical bookstores aren’t something new in the U.S. and I thought it was really strange that Seattle didn’t have one. Also, I felt that I could bring a little different feel and some new ideas to technical bookstores than those that I’d been in before.

Can you tell our fans how Ada’s Technical Books got its name?
Ada’s is named after Ada Lovelace. Ada is considered the first computer programmer. She lived in the late 1800’s and was a mathematician. Click on the link for much more information. She was a super interesting person!

What were you doing before you opened your bookstore?
Before I opened Ada’s, I worked at Pico Computing as a software/firmware engineer. Pico is an FPGA platform company… really cool stuff!

What are some of your favorite books?
Oh so many! In the fiction category: Octavia Butler’s “Lilith’s Brood” and Neal Stephenson’s “Snow Crash.” I also really love “Pattern Recognition” by William Gibson and anything by Cory Doctorow. My favorite non-fiction books change pretty frequently. I loved “The Difference Engine” by Doron Swade and “Fashioning Technology” by Syuzi Pakhchyan. I also love all of Mary Roach’s books.

What are some challenges you face as a business owner?
Honestly, I think my biggest challenge is figuring out what I’m doing. 🙂 I haven’t ever studied business, so most of the time I feel like I’m just winging it. But, that makes things really fun and interesting too.

What is the most rewarding thing about owning your own business?
I love that I can have a vision for my business and then, because it’s mine, make it happen. I love seeing my dreams come to life every day at Ada’s. Also, I love meeting all sorts of interesting people through customers, authors, and conferences.

Beyond being a place to buy books, Ada’s also throws events. What were some of your favorite events?
Hmm … great question! I’ve really loved a lot of our events, but the few that come to mind right now are our events with authors Phil and Kaja Foglio, “Captain” Roberts, and Rob Flickenger. We have a big party in the works to celebrate Children’s Book Week that I think is going to be really fun too.

Because we are GeekGirlCon after all, we have to ask: what are you geeky about right now?
Vegan cooking, figuring out how to hack my Tassimo Coffee maker, and gardening. I will also always be a Star Trek TNG and sewing geek.

Thanks so much, Danielle. Now, what are you all waiting for? Head to Ada’s Technical Books now!

Guest Contributor
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