Monday, September 17, 2012

Procrastination Station 9/17/12

- If you love time-lapse art as much as I do, then you're going to want to watch a bunch of MaryDoodle's 2-minute videos. Take a look at this Avengers one - and don't miss the end result; if you're like me, it'll make you laugh out loud with delight!

After this I recommend her Steampunk Batman and Runaway Robots. So fun! Then check out her website for more goodies. (Thanks to Lauren W. for the link!)

A couple of craft blogs that have been hogging my "free" time lately:

Pinstrosity - More than just craft and recipe fails, this blog puts all those super popular Pins to the test, and even explains how to turn the failures into successes with extra "How to Fix This" bits at the end of each post. Like Pinterest itself it's pretty heavy on recipes, which I tend to skim past, but I love all the craft experiments. So if you've ever wondered if this "Fairy Jar" really works,

(No, really, I'm not Photoshoppped! Hooonest.)

...then Pinstrosity is the blog for you:

(read more on this one here.)

Resin Crafts - I'm still planning more resin jewelry experiments, so this blog has been a fun resource. Most of her jewelry isn't really my style, but there are so many ideas here! (Plus mold-making!) This gal puts any and everything in resin, and shows you the results with big, step-by-step photos. I especially like her recent goldfish pendants, based on the work of that amazing artist who paints photo-realistic fish on layered resin:

What's that? You haven't seen the amazing artist who paints photo-realistic fish on layered resin?? Oooh, then you're in for a treat:

It starts a little slow, but the bit starting at 1:04 is pure magic. I literally gasped.

For those of you who can't watch vids at work, here's an example of Fukahori's work:
And yes, that fish is PAINT. See more examples here.

- This is going to make you cry, but I promise you'll be smiling through the tears by the end: A Love Story in 22 Pictures. (For those keeping score, I was bawling by #7. Seriously. Close the door and grab a tissue before you hit this link.)

- And finally, for a little heavier reading, how about this older but-still-relevant article from Kotaku that Kassia sent over: Nerds and Male Privilege.

I know the subject of geek girl equality is currently being beaten to death around the web, but I think this one addresses and raises a few interesting additions to the standard "geek cred" nonsense. Not to mention the first comment rebuts some of the author's points masterfully, so between the two you get a pretty satisfying discussion. It kind of makes me wish I had a geeky book club IRL, just so I could round table a talk on subjects like this.

For example, I don't mind being treated differently because I'm a girl, so long as I'm not treated as an inferior. (If a guy chooses NOT to playfully punch me in the shoulder because I'm a girl, I'm perfectly Ok with that. Ditto for door-holding or other small signs of chivalry, though I certainly don't *expect* them in this day and age.) I know some women find chivalry insulting, though, because they'd rather be treated exactly as equals - no gender consideration at all.  I still find beauty in the differences and dynamics between the sexes, though, and I'd hate to see them completely obliterated, even if such a thing were possible. I realize this is a hefty topic to tack on to a Procrastination post, but since I've opened this can of worms...What do you guys think?

And as always, link me up to your favorite cool stuff here in the comments or over on Facebook!


  1. Once I read the section about the love story in 22 photos, I took it as some sort of challenge. "She cried by picture #7??? I'm in an open cubicle at work, no tissues or touch-up makeup in sight... I'm goin in!"

    Wish me luck.

  2. I have always been slightly peeved at people who're fussed at chivalry. If you dig into the actual roots of chivalry, it's not 'you're inferior, so I'm going to do this', it's 'you are so awesomely amazing that I want to do this so you don't have to.' I tend to be chivalrous toward pretty much everyone in my life; people at work, my fiancee, everyone in my life.

  3. Lol, if anyone has opened a glowstick and has seen that jar, I don't know how they think that would work.

    And I'm with you on geek cred. Plus, I don't know how anyone is offended by chivalry. If ANYONE (regardless of gender) holds a door open for you, you say thank you. It's polite, not sexist.

    And since I'm not alone, I'm saving the love story link for later! :)

  4. i just did fairies in a jar with my daughter it was pretty cool and we used it as a night light that night also.

  5. I think I expect people in general to hold doors for each other. To me chivalry shouldn't be a gender issue, it should be just manners.

    I hold doors open for men, I will pick something up if they dropped it, I will run across a rather cramped mall to find a guy who left his backpack behind at the food court. No guy has ever been peeved at me for doing any of these things. I always get a thank you and I always say "You are welcome" or "No problem!" and go about my day.

    I am cool with guys opening my car door or pulling a chair for me to sit at the dinner table, I find it is just good manners on their part.

    Now if a guy is disdainful and lets it be known he thinks women are these fragile feeble minded beings that need to be taken by the hand and guided through life by a male of the species, that's a completely different thing.

    And back on cool art topic... those fish paintings are amazing!!! I am in awe, such an incredible concept. I now want a small fish bowl painting by him.

  6. Jen first off, the post is amazing.
    Second (th) I agree 100% with your last paragraph. No comment on the love story as i haven't looked at that yet.

  7. I personally haven't had too much poor treatment by male geeks. I at one point was hanging out at a tabletop gaming store regularly. Most the guys there were pretty nice to me, and if I got "different" treatment, it was mostly that they weren't as rude and sarcastic when they talked to me. Honestly I was fine with that. I'd get the occasional comment, but it was generally meant good-naturedly. When I don't show up for a few weeks and then return, one might call out "Woo, the woman's back. We get our funding again!" but then everyone laughs. I've gone to anime conventions and steampunk conventions, sometimes in sexy costumes and I've never had any terribly rude comments directed at me either. Although some of this might be that I tend to go with my (now) fiancee, so have some protection? I think the internet, particularly the comments, is where you get the worst of the behavior.

  8. I love, love, love the videos! And at the risk of sounding stupid I did tear up at the end of the first one. So very sweet. Throwing in my two cents about male chilvary, I fail to see how an act of kindness and respect offends a woman. My husband does all the little things that some find offensive. He still opens the car door for me. He gets the heavy stuff and kills spiders. Where I come from men were taught to do these tings as a sign of respect and honor.

  9. There's also an interesting article about nerdish bullying here: Felicia Day and nerdish bullying (I sent this link to you a long time ago, but don't know if you got it or not...)

    I love the link to Pinstrosity, too. I'll be spending some time there for sure!!

  10. That jar of whirly glitter, I'm going to re-mane it 'Edward Cullen's Ashes' and it's going right into my Apothecary's Cupboard.

    Sparkly vamipres? Meh...

    Than's for the procrastination station. It's one of the things the Internet really needs!

  11. *snort* When it comes to door holding, I don't consider it 'chivalrous' or sexist. I consider it 'polite'. I am a woman, and if I'm coming through the door and someone else is about to enter, I hold it open for them... EVEN IF IT'S A GUY :)I get a lot of smirks and smiles , and lots of thank-yous. :)

  12. The Avengers art? So cute! I don't typically watch art time lapse videos, probably because I am extremely jealous of their talent, but that was adorable. I saw the Love Story in 22 pictures this weekend and posted it on my Facebook. I too was crying and I gasped out loud around picture 7.

    As for being a girl geek...I wasn't always one. It has been more of a recent occurance so i really haven't had much of an issue with guys. I won't get mad at guys if they hold the door open for me. I have a friend who even in high school would run around the car to open the car door for us girls. My coworker is a male geek and he isn't a jerk about it at all. We have long discussions about the Avengers, Star Wars, Batman, Firefly, Supernatural, you name it we've talked about it. It's probably my favorite part of the day!

  13. Been reading for a while- first time commenting.

    A) Your blog is awesome. I love the diversity of things you find and share.

    B) Just had to jump in on the chivalry thing. I'm a female programmer and I can count the number of (dev) female co-workers I've had across last 3 jobs on one hand. In the work environmental I find insisted upon chivalry very unsettling. I've had more one guy balk at walking through a door I've held open. "After you" when *I'm* already hold the door open reeks of... not goodness, even when it's done with "good" intentions. Having my gender/sex emphasized in the work environmental- especially such a male dominated one- is just another reminder of how I don't fit in. I fight a daily dose of "otherness" feelings, having it rubbed in my face is sadness making. (non-work situations are different)

  14. I'm a female engineer and one of very few women in my work place. I appreciate that my coworkers treat my respectfully and are "chivalrous." The only thing I can't stand that women do, is pretend to be dumb just to get favors and to get someone else to do their work. I'm proud to be a geeky girl and I believe I'm more respected because I'm proud. Thanks to my parents for teaching me to be proud of who I am and to treat everyone with respect and expect it in return. Luckily they taught my four brothers to be respectful also.

  15. I have to admit I am tired of this argument. Either side. While it's great to have inclusion and respect in our entertainment, the fact of the matter is - you can not force anyone to do anything, no matter how you yell, insult, cajole or use logic.

    There will always be a group of people who do what they want, regardless of what people say is right. So instead of focusing all that negative attention on all those people, I believe it's better to focus attention on people who do produce things that hold your interest.

    Instead of a scathing negative review of the latest boob-fest game, do a shining review of a diverse game to encourage people to support it.

    Haters will always hate, the negative neanderthals will always be there.

    The best way to put out a fire is to smother it. The best way to handle this situation, I believe, is to stand up when it is applicable. And then leave the rest of it alone. Trolls only spout the negativity because they want the attention. Yelling at them only encourages them.

    I liked it when Epbot celebrated the star wars girl, or the girl who dressed up as Spock. Highlighting girls who stood up for what they liked regardless of gender boundaries is something worth celebrating and worth encouraging.

    Telling a large game corporation that they're insensitive/sexist/racist does little more than give a person self-righteous satisfaction.

    We vote with out money. If we want to see change, we can make those changes by buying the things that support the change we want to see. Look into kickstarter, or other indie developer sites.

    I don't intend to make anyone agree with me with this comment. I just wanted to share my thoughts and feelings. I respect that people think differently than I do, and I know that I can't force anyone to change.

    There will never be a resolution to this argument. People are still arguing over issues that are thousands of years old. The best we can do is celebrate the good. And hopefully, eventually, let the remainder rest in peace.

  16. well, that glitter thingie..

    if i had to come up with something of that effect, my first try would be: coat the inside of a jar thinly with transparent glue (maybe even just spray spray glue or even transparent acrylic spray) in there, coat the whole thing in different kinds of glitter and sparkling dust (make sure it's opaque enough so that you don't see the inside anymore, and then throw a chain of blinking leds inside, either with batteries fixed to the lid of the jar, or with the wires going out of a hole of the jar so you can plug it in.

    anyone here crafty enough to try it?

  17. If there is more variation within a category than between the two, then the categories become meaningless ie. there pretty much are no differences between men and women. Most of what is termed chivalry is just politeness and I would do the same for a man, and most of sexism is just straightforward bullying/abuse dressed up in gender issues. I don't mind playing at the lord and lady type thing in a fantasy setting, but then I don't believe that ones biology should dictate whether one plays at being the lord or the lady; why can't boys be girly too?

    I would say that on the whole the geek subculture is one of the most pragmatic and sensible when it comes to gender and sexuality and people who are dogmatic idiots about what men and women are "supposed" to do and how they are "supposed" to be are generally bringing their own issues in from outside (ask them why they feel the need to believe stuff like that).

    I want to make clear though, that I am naturally inclined towards a scientific view of sex and gender, and I recognise that gender difference is important for some people, including for religious reasons (masculine and feminine can be very important to pagans, for example). That's fine and I'm not saying that it's wrong, but I would say: never assume that other people are ok with being brought into that worldview. See the person first and their sex/gender second and you can't go far wrong.


    In other news: I can't get over those fish! Amazing.

  18. Possible future procrastination...if you liked Downton Abbey, try watching The Grand. Available for streaming on Netflix. I've only watched the first 6 or so episodes, but it's pretty good. Set in a hotel just after WWI, it follows the family who owns the hotel, the staff, and some of the guests. Beautiful costumes. Sigh...

  19. 1) Those goldfish are amazing and so realistic! I can't imagine the amount of time it takes to make them. Makes me wish I could do something like that too.

    2) While I think the article unfairly groups anyone who disagrees with it into the category of "defensive sexist person", I mostly agree with its assessment. The first poster seemed very angry to me, and while making a good point that you can vote with your wallet, ignored the fact that viewing women as sex objects is not confined within the offensive video game. The article's critique of geek culture is pretty much applicable to culture at large, which is still struggling for fairness towards women.

    I think the main argument for the article is that I'm not convinced only a tiny minority act as described. I think it's the majority, meaning that culturally we find it acceptable to treat women as sex objects. Once that changes, then the majority and I will happily vote with our purchasing and interactions in favor of women being treated as people.

    Until that happens, the issue needs to remain front and center. Sexism will still happen, but most people will understand it's wrong instead of thinking it's okay.

  20. I must be one of those rare kids that has pretty much always been okay with who I am. I'm pretty sure I've always been a geek, nerd, etc and proud of it. I spent 8 years in a Catholic school from first grade to eighth grade and was definitely not one of the cool kids. I actually recently saw someone I went to school with and we were in homeroom together for several years. She only vaguely remembered me and thought we had never been in the same class. It wasn't too much different in high school. But I've always been me. And always had the belief that I am who I am for a reason and I don't let what other people think bother me.

    That said, you like what you like. For me, it doesn't matter what people think. If guys want to discourage me, that's fine. I'm going to work harder to show them just how awesome I am. I think this is a state of mind and a set of values/lessons that kids aren't really exposed to anymore.

    Ask my hubby: of the two of us, I'm the one who can wander the aisles of Lowe's and Home Depot for hours, design and build stuff (costumes, towel towers for the bath, exercise equipment like boxes for jumping, sandbags for lifting, a DIY TRX suspension trainer, ab wheels, etc. And I don't care. Guys at those home improvement stores always ask me if I need help and if I know what I need. And I love BLOWING THEIR MINDS when I tell them I'm buying refrigeration copper, faux tin panels, PVC, hinges and springs for Halloween (or Comic-Con) costumes!

    I think I like the challenge and have just enough stubbornness to have to exceed their narrow minded-ness when I get that attitude. I take it as an opportunity to prove them wrong.

    That being said, I love it when my husband pulls out chairs for me, holds doors, opens car doors, etc. And as many have mentioned, holding a door open or helping someone as they struggle with a package or whatnot is common (maybe not-so-common) courtesy. I can do things myself so I don't like it when a guy is obviously trying to "come to my rescue" when it's something easy that I obviously have under control. Though when wearing my hand-made Slave Leia costume at Star Wars Celebration VI, I was most grateful for anyone willing to help me pick up anything I placed on the floor for a photo op or dropped - that costume doesn't have enough to it for squatting or bending much.

    The love story photos - OMG. SO SWEET!

    And thank you for the new time-hogs. I just got the pinterest app for Android and CAN'T stop pinning when I have a moment or two free to poke around on my phone. Must. Pin. It. All!

  21. Preface- Love. your. blog. Totally makes my day brighter when you post some ish.

    Chapter- I think much of the "chivalry" discussion could be reoriented into the 21st century by simply calling it politeness. I always appreciate it when a person holds the door open for me, regardless of gender or sex. If we, as females, want fair and equal we're gonna have to give what we get and I find it much simpler to return the gestures of appreciation already established by society.

    Epilogue- You and John seriously are my spirit animals.

  22. Respect for another person is always a good thing. So, if someone opens a door for you or gives up a seat on the train -THANK THEM. And then return this gift to a stranger. You will make their day.

  23. THANK YOU for sharing the Love Story link from Buzz Feed. I see individuals and couples like this all the time at Fort Sam Houston, where my husband is stationed, because it's where a lot of soldiers come for surgeries and rehab. The Center for the Intrepid here is an amazing facility DONATED TO THE MILITARY FAMILY by caring Americans. I invite anyone who was moved by this visual story to consider supporting all our wounded warriors in this cause:
    And, Epbot ROCKS ON, as does CakeWrecks, of course. When can we expect the next book?
    Cheers and continued success to you,
    Donna B.

  24. Thank you for the Pinstrosity link... I spent ALL evening there yesterday. Talk about procrastination! Made my night, I tell you.

  25. Courtesy is fine. I don't mind when my bf opens the door for me as long as HE doesn't mind when I open the door for him. "Chivalry" doesn't need to be a male attribute, it can be a PERSON attribute.

    I have been treated differently because I was a geek--and also a girl! I've been in comic books stores where I was constantly watched, looked up and down, had my boobs oogled (and I'm just a normal looking person), and I've had to search out ones where I don't feel that kind of scrutiny. Luckily I've always been able to find them and most geeks are lovely people. However the fact that I've been uncomfortable in many "geeky" places and been treated with incredulity because I'm a gamer or read comic books or anything signifies that there's something wrong. But that's ok! Nothing's perfect and as long as we recognize the problem and try to fix it then I don't have a problem at all.

  26. Maple Girl,

    Posting from work (on lunch!) so I don't have a whole lot of time to post, but I think some negative attention is necessary to draw attention to the fact that behavior X is causing person/group Y to feel bad. Celebrating the times when the Right Thing was done is just as important. However, calling out negative things and behaviors can be enough to make everyone aware of a hurtful issue and hopefully make the non-Neanderthals among us reconsider some of their own behaviors. The intent shouldn't be to force anyone into changing -- rather, to give someone reason to stop and think.


    And yes, the love story in 22 photos made me cry :)

  27. The Love Story in 22 Pictures is the reason why my husband worked 12-15 hour days every day for years at Walter Reed. He probably knows this young soldier; he was up to his eyeballs in information technology at the hospital, so he was all over the facility. And since most of the patients were there for a couple of years, he met everybody. The "can do" spirit of the wounded warriors was truly astonishing; they routinely broke all speed records in their recuperation. And their family members were, which most people don't know, actually provided a stipend by the government to stay with them and help with their therapy; it worked wonders for everybody.

    Now that the amputee center has moved to the new hospital on the Bethesda campus, he no longer works with the wounded warriors every day, and he really misses it. He felt like he was making a huge difference in the lives of so many soldiers -- little things or big things, everything from getting an eye-operated computer interface so a soldier could get online and stay in touch with his or her buddies, to setting up a video link so a wounded soldier could be "present" at the birth of a child halfway across the country, or the graduation of a sibling. And he was just one of HUNDREDS of people doing anything and everything they could for the soldiers. I was SO proud of the contributions he made!

    I'll be showing him this series of photos, and I know he's going to recognize the people and places in them. When you look at them, think of all the hundreds of people -- and therapy dogs, which were a part of therapy every day (led by First Sergeant George, a golden retriever who trained all the other therapy dogs, I kid you not!); and the motion capture studio, where the soldiers learned how to move normally again; and the incredible advances in prosthetics that allow amputees to have articulating fingers on artificial arms that they can move by their mind power alone; and on and on -- behind this beautiful couple.

    I just wanted to share what it meant to the people behind this couple to help them recover from their wounds. Their bodies might be torn up, but their spirit never wavered!

  28. Geek girls, sexism, and interesting matter. For the record, and speaking purely personally:

    I don't have a problem with men holding the door for me or opening my car door. I have a problem with men making a big production out of doing those things. And i hae a bigger problem with men refusing to let me hold the door for them. I've had lots of men (yes, exclusively men) try to get the door for me after i've already opened it for them--sorry, if you want to hold the door for me, you have to beat me to it. The way i see it, whoever gets to the door first holds it, unless that person is holding too much stuff to manage a door. And chivalry doesn't give you the right to make the rules for me, no matter how well intentioned.
    I don't have a problem with women wearing super sexy cosplay outfits, or with booth babes, or with characters in games and scifi series appearing as super sexy femme fatales. I have a problem with the complete lack of female characters under 60 that aren't dressed sexily, and i have a problem with that pattern encouraging girls to think that every cosplay or halloween costume must be consciously feminized and work in at least some elements of sweet demure princess or sex kitten.
    I don't have a problem with middle eastern terrorist characters in geeky material. I have a problem with the fact that those seem to be the only middle eastern characters we ever see. And i have a problem with us including so few people of color, and them so deliberately chosen to minimize the racial features, that they start to feel like the token scholarship kid who's just there to prove we're not racist.
    I don't have a problem with geeks making jokes about my femininity. I have a problem with geeks who don't understand the difference between jokes that make my famininity something we notice and jokes that make my femininity into a weakness. And i have a problem with men using jokes about being a girl or gay as a way to insult each other, as if losing their straight male identity is the worst thing they can think of happening.
    I don't have a problem with geeky products that cater to a male audience, and i don't have a problem with vendors making products specifically geared towards women trying to market them to that target audience. I have a problem with the assumption that anything geared towards men is the normal stuff and anything geared towards women is niche. And i have a problem with the assumption that a woman who gets into "guy stuff" (first person shooters and other mainstream games, sports, action flicks, etc.) is super cool but a man who gets into anything labelled "girl stuff" is emasculated.
    I feel pretty clear that if i can't admit to my own unearned privileges and help others do the same, i can't help us move towards equality.
    Whew! Can you tell i've built up a head of steam on this? Feel free to pitch or shorten this as you see fit, jen; i trust you. And thanks, as always, for getting us thinking.

  29. To Anon -

    While I think that pointing out faults is, on occasion, a necessary evil, I try to not call out the person right then and there.

    In my experience, pointing out faults is a tricky business, so I rarely attempt at it.

    But I never said we should ignore negativity. I think we should just not respond in kind.

    There is no one right answer to this, since it is as complicated as a human being. We all feel differently. But I agree that objectifying anyone is wrong, and should be discouraged.

    Also, I agree, intent plays a huge part in anything. Thank you for making me stop and think too. ^_^ I appreciate other viewpoints. It helps broaden my way of thinking.

  30. My sister says I am soulless with a heart of stone because she's all sappy and I'm not, but the love story had me tearing up at picture 6 so I guess she's wrong! :-)

  31. Thanks for the warning about the love story in 22 photos. I waited until my hubby got in the shower, and I am glad I did. It was beautiful though.

  32. I've been following Epbot and Cake Wrecks for a loooong time. I finally posted something to the Epbot Facebook page a little bit ago. And it was included on this post!!! Oh my goodness, I was beyond excited (and more that a little bit star struck) to see my name on Epbot.

    Thank you, Jen, for watching the Mary Doodles video and for including me in this fun, inspiring, emotional and informative post!

  33. I don't think it's right to get mad at someone for making a nice gesture, even if it may be based on inequality. I like to balance things out by holding doors open for men. It's especially entertaining to see them struggle with it, especially the older men. The looks on their faces can be priceless!

  34. Hi Jen
    You have got me really hooked on Pinstrosity now. I have spent hours chuckling over the misadventures of Pinterest fans. Thanks for the link

  35. I was totally going to weigh in (late though I am) on the chivalry issue, but stitchedwithcolor said it all. And stated it with far more clarity than I ever would have. Well said, ma'am!!

  36. I got caught in a link obsessed loop and came across this in the comments on the Ogre Snot fairy jar failure and thought it should be shared in case no one had seen it before either....

  37. Oh my! That's my 'Dr Crupper's Dead Fairy In A Jar!'

    Mummified fairies are here.

    They're crisply and smell of cinnamon.

  38. @Rhissanna

    They are both really cool! Especially love the story on the Dead Fairy in the jar one! Very cute!!

  39. I just found out that Mary Doodles has a store. Eeee!


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