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Jen's Gems 11/20/12

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

John and I hosted an early Thanksgiving for our families yesterday, which is why I've been MIA over here the past several days. Sorry!

So now I have some catching up to do! Let's get right to it, shall we?


First up:
GREMLIN WEDDING TOPPERS!!

Mark C. spotted these at Freak Lunchbox

There's been quite a resurgence of 80's action figures being used as wedding cake toppers, and I've gotta say: I APPROVE.


The Star Wars Snowflakes are back again this year, but now with even more fantastic designs!



I think Chad W. was the first to send these in, and they're all by Anthony Herrera Designs.
Hit that link to see all 24 designs - and the best part? You can download free templates for all of them! Hellooo, easy stocking stuffers! Just print them out, roll them up, and tie the paper roll with a pretty ribbon!


Did you guys see the story about the Dad who hacked his daughter's Legend of Zelda game to turn Link into a girl? 


 (I especially love this story given all the geek girls I see cosplaying as Link anyway!)

"I'm not having my daughter growing up thinking girls don’t get to be the hero and rescue their little brothers," Hoye explains on his blog here, where he has described exactly how he changed the game and offered his patch for free so other Super Parents can change "Wind Waker" if they like.

And how cool is that - now other techie parents can do the same! Go read the rest of the article here, and thanks to Jessica, G. for the Link link. ;)


And finally, Annaliese M. pointed me to yet another amazing Kickstarter I somehow missed while it was fundraising, though happily it's been massively over-funded. In a nutshell, GoldieBlox is an engineering toy for little girls:


However, you've really, really got to see the video for it. I was a bit skeptical when someone mentioned it made them cry, but darned if I didn't get a little something in my eye by the end:

I love this. I love that we live in world where people like Debbie can make their dreams for future generations a reality, and I love that we get to help.

Speaking of which, the Kickstarter may be over, but you can still pre-order GoldieBlox on the official website for $29.95. There are also already plans in motion for a whole series, with each new story and toy exploring a new engineering principle. Like Debbie, I wish I'd had this as a kid - and my dad's an engineer! He started as an electrical and software engineer, though, so at some point I hope Debbie explores stories with basic circuitry principles. Heck, I'd get those for me NOW.

Hope you're having a great week, everyone!

Posted by Jen at 12:43 PM Labels: , , , ,

26 comments:

  1. Love the story about the Goldie Blox! Made me tear up too. So sweet to see the girls talk and get excited, especially the one who wanted to show her dad.

    Thank you for sharing!

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  2. I love that you posted about GoldieBlox!!! I saw a post about it on Facebook a couple days ago & just love the idea. I come from a whole family of engineers, and while I missed the kickstarter, I have already pre-ordered a set for my goddaughter's birthday!

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  3. I have something in my eye!! My little girl keeps asking to watch the video over and over. She really wants those.
    Thanks for sharing about the Goldie Blox!

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  4. Thank you for sharing about the Goldie Blox! I know what I'm getting my niece for her 6th birthday :?)

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  5. Ok, that did make me tear up. I'm one of those verbally-oriented girls. I KNOW this sort of book/toy combo would have worked better for me than the diagrams that came with my brother's various building toys.

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  6. This is great! When my little girl is old enough to have the motor skills, I think this will be a perfect toy for her. I am so excited that more women are encouraging others to work in engineering, and math, and science. Girls can do those things too!

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  7. I totally want a GoldieBox too! One of my sorority sisters posted the link to the kickstarter a while back on our sorority's Facebook page. I guess I should mention that we belong to Phi Sigma Rho, an engineering sorority, so we all totally dig things like GoldieBox!

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  8. Goldie Blox is the first Kickstarter I ever contributed to. I haven't told my four year-old it's coming yet, but I'm super excited.

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  9. The Star Wars snowflakes give me a great idea: Mistborn Allomantic symbol snowflakes! Definitely going to try it. Will send pics if it works.

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  10. As the mother of three girls, I am in LOVE with Debbie and her vision! My girls love math and science, and Legos are the household favorite toy. I think they're all probably a little bit too old for the Goldie Blox, but if this had been available a few years ago, I would have been all over it! Thanks for sharing this video!

    Also, my daughters will absolutely love those Star Wars snowflakes, so thanks for sharing those, too. Geek girls ftw!

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  11. Just made a Yoda snowflake! Nice!!!

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  12. COOL! I live in the city where Freak Lunchbox lives! love that store.
    hmm the viedo isn't showing for me. darn. will have to try again.

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  13. Maybe not that exact toy, but I wish I'd had something similar growing up. My parents never really had the money for toys and my grandparents only bought things from the pink aisle, so I never got the fun stuff like legos. Also, I second the wish for something a little more complicated for me now.

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  14. Like robyriker, I am a Phi Rho who definitely battled tears while watching the GoldieBlox video. I also very much understand where Debbie is coming from - I'm the only woman engineer I have met in my company so far. Anything that gives girls the confidence to say: "Yes, I am interested in math/science/engineering/general geekery" is a wonderful, WONDERFUL thing.

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  15. I LOVE the idea of GoldieBlox! I would totally buy it for my classroom, but I teach in a preschool..the recommended age is 5-9. Our kids are 3-5..the younger ones could probably do it with some additional help.

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  16. I'm a female mechanical engineer and this video totally had me tearing up. I was screaming "Yes! Yes! Yes!" (in my head, mind you, because I was at work). We definitely need more women engineers (less than 8% of my graduating class was female). Jen, thank you so much for sharing. I'm getting a kit for myself! Can't wait until April 2013.

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  17. I love the Goldie Blox. I think it's great that girls get to explore all their potential. Also, it made me remember one of my all time favorite folk songs by Peggy Seeger from 1971. "Gonna be an Engineer"

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  18. I have to say that, as a Cal grad, I was predisposed to dislike the GoldieBlox because its maker is from Stanford--but I just couldn't. My mother of 4-year-old twin girls side completely trumped my die-hard school spirit side in exactly 1.6 seconds. My girls turn 5 in April and they will absolutely be getting a set to celebrate :) Here's hoping my baby bears will weigh studying the sciences at Berkeley just as heavily as any other discipline!!!

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  19. I am a female experimental physicist and you know what an engineering kit for girls is? An erector set. Magnetix. Legos. Hell, Lincoln Logs. Not everything needs to be pink and pastel and have cute characters in order to be "for girls." The idea is cute for children who might not be mechanically-oriented, but it's not going to change the fact that science and engineering are seen as "unfeminine" and change the mindset that led to the bullying of Katie with the Star Wars lunch box.

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  20. I was always looking for something for my super bright science loving daughter when she was younger, i could never quite describe what it was, but more than pink lego and getting teased for playing with k'nex. I said i'd know the thing when i saw it, and GoldieBlox is it, its typically and essentially feminine without insulting a girls intelligence. Its perfect. Sadly its below my daughter maturity level now, but i know what my baby neice is getting for future christmas! xxx

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  21. @ Jenn - I agree all those toys are great for girls and boys alike, and that not everything for girls *HAS* to be pink and pastel, but there's also nothing inherently wrong with those colors, either. I also like the approach of combining Erector-set-like toys with books and stories, since, as the video mentioned, we girls tend to connect more strongly with story-based learning. Anyway, don't dismiss it all just yet; it will take time, sure, but I believe toys like this WILL change the mindset of future generations, and anything that gets more girls interested in the sciences should be encouraged!

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  22. Jen, if you're interested in circuitry and electronics, you should get a Roominate instead. :)

    http://www.roominatetoy.com/

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  23. my niece is about 2 1/2-3 but i'm still tempted to get it for her...

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  24. I would love to buy Goldiblocks, but I got as far as the shipping options and cancelled. The only option available to Australia - FedEx at $100.92 for one $29.95 item. Such a pity!

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  25. I guess I'm thankful, in many ways, that my father rather wanted a boy and wasn't about to let me being a girl stop him from buying "boy toys." I was allowed to keep one Barbie (and an American Girl doll), but most of my playthings were Legos, trucks, trains, and building blocks. Given how boring I found "girl toys" to be, I'm thankful for this.

    It just makes me sad that Lego doesn't target girls anymore, except for their "girl ghetto" products. All of their general line is hypermasculine and they don't make as many of the general-purpose Lego kits as they used to. Thank goodness for the "Harry Potter" Legos!

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  26. I made some Boba Fett flakes last year and left them up all year. Can't wait to make new ones! And I am so buying some Goldie Blox for my daughter. My kid calls the girl Legos Polly Pockets and thinks they are stupid.

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