Author Archives: melissagf

Angry noms

I just spotted a picture of angry bird cupcakes drift past in my Google+ stream. Unfortunately when I clicked on it, it reported the site was over quota. Oh well.

So I hopped over to flickr and found you some.

8 cupcakes in an assortment of coloured silicone cups with white icing and green or blue sprinkles. Each cupcake has a fondant ball shaped like an angry bird or green pig atop it. There is one pig with bruises and the mustached pig. They are surrounded by the single big blue angry bird, a bundle of 3 little blue angry birds, the white bomber bird, the black bomb bird, the yellow torpedo bird and the red bird.

If you feel like geeking out in the kitchen, there’s even an award winning tutorial. There’s also a few other gamer entries on the instructables competition results page.

Sisters lost this week, RIP

Four inspiring women have left us in the space of the past week.

Diana Wynne Jones, acclaimed British fantasy author, lost her life on Saturday at 76.

Ms. Jones’s work is critically acclaimed. Several of her novels have been nominated or shortlisted for awards, including the Carnegie Medal, Mythopoeic Fantasy, British Fantasy Award, Boston Globe-Horn Book, and World Fantasy Award.

Jean Jennings Bartik, one of the ENIAC technicians, died on Wednesday at 86.

Bartik graduated from Northwest Missouri State Teachers College in 1945 as the school’s one math major. She recalled living on her parents’ farm, refusing the teaching jobs her father suggested and avoiding all talk of marrying a farmer and having babies. Instead, she took a train to Philadelphia to work for the military.

There, she learned ballistics calculations and was quickly hired to work on the ENIAC, created during the war by University of Pennsylvania scientists John Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert Jr.

Bartik and her colleagues debugged the computer, which weighed 30 tons, contained about 18,000 vacuum tubes and completed the same work the women “computers” did but in a fraction of the time.

Geraldine Ferraro, the first woman to run on the national ticket of a major (US political) party, passed away on Saturday at 75*.

64 years after women won the right to vote, a woman had removed the “men only” sign from the White House door.

It would be another 24 years before another woman from a major party was nominated for vice president — Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, the Republican running mate of Senator John McCain, in 2008.

Elizabeth Taylor, actress and advocate for gay rights, took her final curtain call on Wednesday at 79, outliving the author of her obituary and turning up to her own funeral 15 minutes late, by request.

“I did not become an activist to win awards,” she said in accepting a GLAAD award in 2000. “I became an activist to try to protect people. I could not sit silently by just doing nothing. I started my activism in the 80s when a new disease emerged that was quickly and inexplicably killing people.”

“Worse than the virus there was the terrible discrimination and prejudice left in its wake. Suddenly gay people stopped being human beings and started becoming the enemy. I knew that somebody had to do something.”

“All my life I’ve spent a lot of time with gay men – Montgomery Clift, Jimmy Dean, Rock Hudson,” she added. “I never thought about who they slept with. They were just the people I loved.”

“I could never understand why they couldn’t be afforded the same rights and protections as all of the rest of us. There is no gay agenda. It’s a human agenda.”

Rest in peace, and thank you.

* See Shakesville for additional commentary on Ferraro’s passing.

Quick Hit: ConBust

Short notice and all, but if you’re in Northampton, Massachusetts and bored this weekend, then ConBust might be worth your while.

There’s a whole list of fantastic and broadly varying topics on the schedule page. Some interesting sounding ones from the social justice in geek spaces point of view are:

  • Characters and Creators: Women in Video Games
  • Gender Bending in Sci-Fi and Fantasy
  • LGBTQIPAOMGWTF: Queer Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Anime
  • Tits or GTFO: aka the Internet Survival Guide
  • Women in Science Fiction and Fantasy

It really does sound stimulating. Where’s my teleportation device already?

H/T Pendulum

From the “how did this get past the lawyers?” files

[Trigger Warning for abduction, assault, rape and treatment of women as commodities]

Duke Nukem Forever’s “Capture the Babe” CTF variant requires you to abduct a woman to score. The mode is revealed in the latest issue of Official Xbox Magazine US where they explain that Gearbox will give the option to give her a “slap” if she “freaks out” as you drag her across the map.

Err… so, um… what does the company have to say about this?

Speaking to the magazine, Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford said: “Our goal isn’t to shock people, but I think there’s some stuff that’s a bit uncomfortable. I mean, the alien’s plan is to capture our women and impregnate them to breed an alien army, so you can imagine some horrible shit happens.”


So lets get this straight. Because it’s in a game where extraterrestrial invaders* want to rape women and forcibly breed them, it’s ok that the “good guys” treat women as trophy objects who are to be abducted and assaulted if they protest.

Oh, when you put it that way. Fuck you, Gearbox.

It’s neigh impossible to find pictures online to see for yourself. Why, you might ask? Well

“You can get some things across in screenshots but not really,” he said.


* Note that a common definition for “alien” is “A person, animal, plant, or other thing which is from outside the family, group, organization, or territory under consideration.” Lets not go there. [].

The Overdue Open Thread: Pi Day, March 14.

Sorry folks, we forgot to put up a new open thread so here’s one now.

Things I found out today: Monday week is Pi Day. And apparently some people like to make a fuss over it. For example. below is a screenshot of some rather awesome Pi themed shoes on the Zazzle store. After a quick browse, these ones are my fave.

A scuff style sand shoe in blue and grey. The toe of the shoe is mostly grey and has "Pi" in big letters. The sides are blue and have a large portion of the pi value.

A scuff style sand shoe in blue and grey. The toe of the shoe is mostly grey and has "Pi" in big letters. The sides are blue and have a large portion of the pi value.

As the title of the post suggest, this is an open thread. Chatter about shoes, Pi, pie, Pi pie, or anything else that abides by our comment policy!

“But what could I have said/done?”

[Trigger warning for use of rape as an analogy for display of dominance]

This is a discussion I just saw in a project/support channel on an IRC server I frequent. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for me to stumble on similar in my travels.

I’m the “elky” in the excerpt, all other identifying factors have been excluded for the purposes of focusing on the event.

* joiner (~joiner@XXXX) has joined #projectchannel
<_douchecanoe> show your professionalism and just proof them wrong
* pingout has quit (Ping timeout: 276 seconds)
<_douchecanoe> write an article that rapes their article
* latecomer (~latecomer@XXXX) has joined #projectchannel
<_douchecanoe> bystander
<joiner> here I am joining #projectchannel and the first thing that strikes me is rape
<_douchecanoe> http://<insert a link to an article here>
<talkingtodouche> why on earth would I want to write an article for them?
<bystander> does it output an .xml file?
<elky> joiner, :(
<_douchecanoe> joiner at least you know that you’re in the right place
<_douchecanoe> talkingtodouche not for them
<bystander> for epeen
<elky> … for being…? worst thing to say.

What happened after this? Business as usual for most of the channel occupants. No apologies. Nothing. Infuriating.

Now, I don’t know “joiner”*. For all I know ze is not a survivor. For all I know joiner is an ally and this is how ze is responding. But for all I know zir comment is a genuine display of anguish and ze needs acknowledgement. Personally I prefer to not risk that the last is true.

What did I do? In the channel, I asked “joiner” if they had come in to address a need before being rudely sidelined, and when they replied happily they were compiling, I joked by exclaiming “swordfight!” and let them know I was making sure they were OK hence letting them know I am approachable.

What would you have done?

(* Not real nick. None of the nicks in the log are the real nick involved, except for my own.)

Comment note: I’m not looking for cookies, they are off-topic for this thread. Please focus discussion on how you may have approached the situation, or, if you are a marginalised person, how you personally would appreciate someone responding in a similar situation.

More real things

I think I’m going to start a new segment here, because I’ve just found another bit of awesome, nerdy stuff on the internet that would at very least amuse many geek women.

I shall call it Awesome Nerdy Shit. Yeah, I’m not so imaginative today. I’ve also retroactively tagged the Ada Lovelace Steampunk from last week and the nerdy jewellery post from last year.

Without further ado, another from the nerd couture files: The Vintage Doctor (click the screenshots to go to the product pages).

A screenshot of the website displaying a mannequin wearing a vintage style halterneck dress made of blue star wars fabric.

A screenshot of the website displaying a mannequin wearing a vintage style halterneck dress made of blue star wars fabric.

A screenshot of the shop site displaying a mannequin wearing an overbust corset with a large picture of Mario with red and white polkadot trim.

A screenshot of the shop site displaying a mannequin wearing an overbust corset with a large picture of Mario with red and white polkadot trim.

A screenshot of the shop website displaying a photo of a woman with blonde and pink dreadlocks wearing an underbust corset made of batman emblem print with yellow trim.

A screenshot of the shop website displaying a photo of a woman with blonde and pink dreadlocks wearing an underbust corset made of batman emblem print with yellow trim.

Who says geeky can’t be feminine?

A real thing in the world.

If you’ve been on The Internet a while, you may have heard of Etsy before. It’s awesome, and because of this awesomeness I was browsing it today.

Today’s browsing of awesome has enlightened me to the existence of this and I just had to share it:

A screenshot of an etsy item page, displaying a white woman in a dark red satin gown wearing a leather steampunk style corset, shoulder harness, collar and wristcuff. The words "Ada Lovelace Steampunk" are highlighted.

You’re welcome.

Open Thread: Don’t ever wear artistic jewelry…

Have any of you noticed the amount of fun geeky jewelery around at the moment? I for one have pink laptop earrings which I got from Claire’s in the US last month, HTML head tag earrings from Etsy, and today I picked up a pacman and ghost necklace pair from Diva in Australia.

Oh. And then there is my small army of robot necklaces.

Flickr / elkbuntu / creative commons attribution 2.o

Robots 1 “Lanky”, 3 “Pinky” and 4 “Brain” are from Diva in Australia. Robot 2 “Steamy” was from Bling in New Zealand last week. The 2, 3 and 4 should still be available, and in fact today I saw a ‘Best Friends’ version of Pinky, where he’s with an inversed black-with-pink-eyes friend.

I’m sure Colette would forgive me for this collection.

As this is an Open Thread, you’re welcome to post links to things you’ve found (…like moar robots for me?) and discuss issues other than geeky jewelry. It’s up to you!

Respond in style: Wear *these* shirts

[Trigger Warning: Links marked with [TW] discuss rape apologia]

[TW]Kirby Bits has thrown down the gauntlet (the one with the middle finger extended) in response to Penny Arcade profiteering via merchandise from the “Dickwolves” incident:

Which brings me to another point – where, except at PAX/PAX East, could you even wear this shirt?  Do you really want to see the kind of looks people will shoot you when their kids are asking, “What’s a dickwolf?” in the middle of the supermarket?


So, to honor those imaginary victims of imaginary rape by a mythological creature whose every limb is an erect phallus, I came up with this idea, gloriously realized by an Anonymous Graphic Design Genius:

The Dickwolves Survivors Guild.

The shirt price is $1 over the actual cost.  All of those dollars are being donated to RAINN.  Thanks to the class acts at Penny Arcade for inspiring me and my Anonymous Graphic Design Genius friend to make this and use the profit to help make the world a better place.

From the Kirby Bits comments:

I love this idea, and I love the idea of actually doing something worthwhile with the money. Keep it up! I’d really like to see people wearing *these* shirts at PAX.

This is awesome – I hope these shirts are a wall of gold at PAX!

To steal a [TW]quote from Melissa McEwan of Shakesville because she puts it awesomely (trigger warning mine):

Here’s how teaspoons work: Kirby Bits, with the help of an Anonymous Graphic Design Genius, is [TW]selling a Dickwolves Survivors Guild t-shirt, all of the profits for which will be donated to RAINN, the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network. If you would like to donate directly to RAINN, go here.