Tag: geeky

5 Nerdy Dream Vacations

I’m loving this week’s Five Fandom Friday prompt. 5 places to visit before I die? Sounds like a fun thing to write about! Let’s hope I don’t die any time soon, because this is a pretty far-reaching list.

^ A museum road trip across North America.

This would either start with the International Cryptozoology Museum in Maine. Then we’d somehow also cover: Ventriloquist Museum (Kentucky), The Glore Psychiatric Museum (Missouri), Museum of Osteology (Oklahoma City), Mexican Mummy Museum, Belhaven Memorial Museum (North Carolina), Museum of Death (LA & New Orleans), House of the Rock (Wisconsin), Museum of the Paranormal (Connecticut), International Museum of Surgical Science (Chicago), and Voodoo Museum (New Orleans).

^ Egypt.

I want to see all the ruins and study all the heiroglyphs.

Mostly I want to team up with Brendan Fraser to bring a mummy back from the dead, because that would be a rollicking good story.

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Jewish Wizards & Inclusiveness in Jo Rowling & Tim Burton’s worlds

The new Harry Potter prequel, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, has a character named Porpentina Goldstein with brown eyes, thick brows, and curly hair hair.

We never see Goldstein go to synagogue, or eat challah, or drop Yiddish. But we have a pretty good idea of what demographic this girl probably represents.

And you know what it felt like to see her on screen? For lack of a better word: magical. She has my hair and my eyebrows. She acts like me. For once, I get to be part of the wizarding world.

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This, I hope/imagine, is what it felt like to people of color when they cast a black woman as Hermione in The Cursed Child. A feeling of finally getting to join the wizards.

Of course, anyone can identify with anyone on screen. I identify with male characters, people of color, cartoons, etc, on-screen all the time.

But it’s not the same as seeing someone who looks like you. Especially if you never see people who look like you up there. It can be lonely.

The recent casting choices are a huge leap forward.

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I just wish Rowling didn’t try to take credit for them as something she’d meant all along. “Well, I never said she was white,” is a bit silly, seeing as she had a huge hand in the creation & casting of the movies.

If she wanted a black Hermione from the beginning, she should have led her illustrator and casting director in that direction back in 2000 when they were making the first movie (released in 2001). The movies are, at this point, just as much “canon” as the books.

Which is why I’m a little miffed about the “Dumbledore is gay!” revelation. He’s not gay in the books or the movies. If she meant for him to be gay, maybe it should have been in the work itself.

She has an opportunity, in the prequels, to actually depict him as a well-rounded gay man, and I hope she does so. Because then it’s canon, and not just empty words about gayness.

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Tim Burton, in contrast to Jo Rowling’s half-hearted ret-con, doesn’t even try at inclusivity in the slightest. His most recent film, Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children, has one black character — who’s the villain.

Burton could have said something like “well, I prefer to cast Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham-Carter exclusively in literally everything, and they happen to be white,” and left it.

It could have even maybe been his excuse for casting Johnny Depp as a Native American character. (Ugh.)

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Nope. Burton didn’t take that approach. He said he prefers not to get “all politically correct“:

“I remember back when I was a child watching ‘The Brady Bunch’ and they started to get all politically correct,” he said. “Like, OK, let’s have an Asian child and a black. I used to get more offended by that than just… I grew up watching blaxploitation movies, right? And I said, that’s great. I didn’t go like, OK, there should be more white people in these movies.”

He doesn’t seem to see the difference between a family looking alike and an orphanage of people from various backgrounds looking alike.

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That magic of seeing someone on-screen who looks like you will never happen in a Tim Burton movie. Unless you’re white. Very, very white. And Johnny Depp and/or Helena Bonham Carter.

I’m casting my lot with the wizards. At least they’re trying.

I Lost 200 Pounds, Made Friends, And Overcame Agoraphobia — All Thanks To Pokemon Go!

I was pumped to see lot of geeks outside playing Pokemon Go today. Who knew that forcing us nerds outside — exercising — would be so successful?

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For those of you who don’t know, Pokemon Go is an app. As you walk, when you walk past landmarks, parks, art, or points of interest, you can collect trinkets, animals (Pokemon), etc. Your phone buzzes, and you catch the Pokemon in real life. Certain areas are dense with Pokemon and drops, such as parks, cities, and college campuses. There are people catching Pokemon in hospitals, finding corpses, and committing crimes.

Here are the 3 best things about the game:

The game incentivizes exercise. I predict that people are going to lose a lot of weight playing this game. Walking and running can be sweaty and dull. It takes a long time to see results.  But if you’re collecting things, you feel a sense of accomplishment. You’re triggering feel-good hormones in association with something you hated before. Just today, for example, I went on a 3-mile run to grab some trinkets, then walked with my husband around campus to get more. Then, after dinner, we had to walk to a park to experiment with another feature of the game.

The game puts you near other people. Video games typically happen in the privacy of the home — alone. This game’s nature involves leaving the house and going to hotspots where other people might be. This afternoon, my husband and I ran into tons of people playing the game. People were exchanging tips, instructions, and locations of different areas to catch certain Pokemon. Because everyone was playing the same game, there wasn’t that socially awkward “what should we talk about?” moment. There was at least one common denominator. Talking to new people felt easy.

The game helps you discover new features of your town. One of my friends stated that this game would revolutionize the public’s interaction with public art. It’s true: my husband and I have found new parks, sculptures, murals, and dedicated benches all over town.  I’m not sure how they’re determined, exactly, but there are some awesome spots embedded in the game.

The game gets you out of the house. There’s a lot to be said for just leaving sometimes. Sunshine, fresh air, and exercise are all great for you; but sometimes one can’t be bothered. This game makes you bother, and, I suspect, will help people with agoraphobia get out of the house. It’s a project.

The game isn’t the solution to the world’s problems, but I do think that making dull things fun and rewarding is something that should be pursued further. Turning onerous tasks into games helps get them done.

I, for one, am exhausted. This Pokemaster is going to bed.

My Application to The Avengers Initiative and/or League of Justice, Whichever

Batman vs Superman blew chunks.

It’s time we all admitted that Superman needs to go — and I should replace him.

Behold my lovingly illustrated application.

Backstory

The hottest fires forge the strongest steel.

Intelligence

This spatial memory also assists with directions. Sometimes.

Strength

I am very dedicated to self-improvement. (That’s Falcon up there.)

Struggle

I can be undone by pollen, dust, cats, hay, cold, and exercise. This makes my character well-rounded. Nobody loves a Mary Sue.

Charisma

I may not always be riveting, but some of my competition is weak sauce.

Finale

In the end, the Avengers and the League of Justice admitted me to their ranks.

What does your superhero self bring to the table?

Make your own Bill Cipher Amigurumi!

If you’re depressed because Gravity Falls is over, you’re not alone.

Perhaps making a Bill Cipher will cheer you up!

Bill-Cipher

Supplies:
Yellow, black, & white yarn
F hook
Tapestry needle
Stuffing

Body (yellow):
Magic ring 6
Mark stitches 1 and 4.
Increase in 1, SC 2-3, Increase in 4, SC to beginning. Leave the markers in.
From here on out, you’re going to increase only at the ends (which you’ll be able to see because of the markers). You’ll be increasing 2 stitches every round, which will gradually increase in the triangle shape.
Keep going until it’s to the size you’d like. Stuff lightly. Then SC the bottom shut. You’ll have a puffy triangle.

Hat (black):
Magic ring 6.
Increase around (12).
SC in the front loops only (12).
Regular SC around until the hat is approximately 1/2 to 3/4 of the body’s height.
(SC, increase) around in back loops only (18).
Stuff hat lightly, sew onto top of triangle.

Limbs (black):
Chain to desired length. Chain 1 and SC back to beginning. Tie off, sew to body.
I made the legs the same length as the height of the triangle.
I made the arms about 3/4 the length of the legs.

Face (black & white):
Embroider white of eye first, then outline & four eyelashes on the top and bottom. (I did the black and filled it in, but this was a mistake. Do the white first).
The bow tie is just two triangles.

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Now that you’ve brought him into this dimension, you might be doomed. Best of luck.