Saturday, August 4, 2012

Late July Round-Up

It sounds like I'm talking about something to do with wild horses, kind of like Pony Penning Day, doesn't it? But no, it's just the links I've found interesting this last month, only somehow August started without letting me know. Not many are about sewing this time,'s mostly just science and geekery. Consider yourself warned. 
  • [UPDATED: Totally forgot to add this one in!] I love that Tina not only makes lovely clothes, but has a socially conscious brain as well...having had my fair share of being called "Oriental," all I can say is YES. THIS
  • You probably already follow Trena, but if you don't, or haven't seen her review of Overdressed, go check it out. I totally agree with her assessment that part of the reason for fast fashion is our culture of shopping as entertainment. I used to be one of those people who shopped out of boredom or (unstated) social pressure -- and I've always lived in cities with great museums, for heaven's sake! Even now, I feel weird when I'm not churning out garment after garment. The fact that I've spent the last three weeks on my Promaballoona dress is downright bizarre.
  • I'm not really a writer (minus the blogging), and I'm not an academic (minus the teaching), but I do love reading good prose; this article challenges academics to write more attractively.  
  • Speaking of good writing, I wanted to send this article to all the students I've ever taught who protested when I docked them for poor grammar, spelling, and punctuation in lab reports -- just because it's a science class doesn't mean you can get away with alot, or mixing up they're/their/there, two/to/too, and it's/its. (I'll confess that I giggled a bit when I looked at where the URL cut off the title of the article. I wouldn't hire people who use poo, either.)
  • The intersection of classic children's lit and Harry Potter: Maryline and a Wizard School in Scotland. If you've ever loved Madeline, this is a spot-on reimagining with the same style of drawing, but magical.
  • More Harry Potter, but with science: this brilliant explanation of how wizarding genes might be inherited (hint: it goes beyond Punnett squares). I really, really, really wish I had this when I was still teaching genetics for AP Bio.  
  • An Asian woman doing vaguely steampunky and definitely eco-friendly things with real science? Awesome
  • As someone who has a hard time making friends in general, and definitely had few girlfriends as a child, I appreciated this blog post on being friends with other women.
  • Part of my having such a hard time making friends with people has to do with my being a huge nerd, and while the definition of geek is slightly different than nerd, I still identify strongly as a geek girl. As such, I've really appreciated role models like Felicia Day, as well as the women who are passionate enough to cosplay and go to cons. It seems that this summer has had more than its share of anti-geek-girl social media rampages, but I'm so glad there are people out there who not only aren't threatened, but also support us. And having had a somewhat scattershot record of geek-outs myself (dinosaurs! Star Wars! X-Men! Sailor Moon! Batman Beyond! the Civil War! Zombies! Steampunk! JoCo!), I am all for the idea that anyone can be a geek. I like wearing my Superman dress, even if I haven't been reading/watching his antics since before I was born. I remember feeling so welcomed into sewing geekery when I first started sewing blogging, and I would hate for anyone to feel like they couldn't participate in geeking out about xyz just because they didn't meet somebody's arbitrary standards.
  • On a lighter note, I laughed so hard when I saw this series of photos of black cat auditions in Hollywood, circa 1961. I'm pretty sure Walnut would not have stood for this malarkey, even though he's certainly good-looking enough to be a movie star. 
Doesn't he look like he could be in one of those classic odalisque paintings?


  1. From one geeky, grammar loving seamstress/scientist/teacher to another:

    Thanks for the great links - very interesting reading. This makes me glad I found your blog!

    1. Oh my goodness, how have I not discovered your blog before?? I'm glad to have discovered you too!

  2. I just went down the Retronaut rabbit hole for way too long. I loved the vintage soviet car ads.

    I'm a grammar stickler too, and my man always points out mistakes in my blog posts if he catches them, because he knows I'd be mortified to have an its/it's their/they're/there mistake posted.....

    1. Bwahahaha I tricked someone else into losing an hour of productivity! That makes me feel better about my own wasted time ;)

      I always get slightly panicked when I have one of those obvious grammar mistakes on my blog because I feel like it's so *not* indicative of me, and I would have for readers to think I am one of *those* people...

  3. I love hyperboleandahalf! And the Alot is one my my favs because that was a pet peeve of mine since junior high (so many of her posts make me laugh til I cry!). I actually found a sketch of the Alot on a cutting table in the college costume shop I worked in for a few weeks this summer. No one else knew what it was and why I was so excited to see it. (I had to text a pic of it to a friend just to share my glee with someone, hehe.)

    Thanks for the links! Now I'm off to waste time reading all the ones I haven't seen before...

    1. The first time I discovered hyperboleandahalf I spent my whole prep period giggling madly to myself and going through all the archives. The alot is awfully recognizable and adorable to boot.

  4. Oooh, neat links! The whole "women can't be friends" thing has always made me sad and puzzled. I've always had great female friends.

    And I am a big fan of the *writing* bit of academic writing. Some of my favourite papers and scientific books to read are actually from the 1800s, back when it was *expected* to wax somewhat poetic in your writing.

    I caught just the edge of that girl-nerd-hate-on stuff. /sigh. WTF.

    1. I'm glad to hear of an academic who actually enjoys the many of my friends in grad school can't wait to be finished with the writing part. And I am totally with you on a readability of certain older works.

      I've always wanted great girlfriends, but had a hard time finding people who wanted to be friends with's much better now!

  5. Thank you - I spent a very happy half hour drinking my morning coffee and poking through the links! Especially love the John Scalzi article and his thoughtful look at what it means to be a geek/nerd. "ZOMG YOU LOVE WHAT I LOVE COME WITH ME AND LET US LOVE IT TOGETHER!" - That definitely reflects every nerd I know, from botanist to sewist to metalhead to gamer!

    1. Oh, I'm so glad to have provided for somebody's morning coffee reading! John Scalzi is pretty awesome, isn't he? And yes, let's geek out together! Things are better when enjoyed together.

  6. i absolutely do not understand the people who think you need to somehow "prove" your so-called geek credentials. if i had taken more than one social psychology class in college, i could probably write a thesis on how it is a reaction to being forced out of the "mainstream" or some such rot, but really, the point of "geekdom" is that everyone can find their own way to it. "let us love it together" FTW.

    1. I took two social psychology classes, so I guess I could've have written that paper...but yes, I think that might be part of it. Let's love Firefly and Sailor Moon together, shall we?

  7. I'm going to make a list because, well, I like to!
    1. Thank you, thank you, thank you for linking to me! This is something I feel very strongly about especially since I am a member of the "dominant" society--ignorance is not bliss, people!
    2. I'm a geek and proud of it. I'm also a host of other things that might, upon first meeting me, make people question my geekiness. What I especially like about Scalzi's response (as well as a host of others) is that it reminds us/everyone that geeks/nerds have traditionally been such a highly excluded group that engaging in the same exclusionary rhetoric/tactics really defeats some of the core geek/nerd principles. I like to think that everyone is geeky/nerdy in their own way and that embracing that geekiness/nerdiness is half the process.
    2A. I really loved reading the tweet from Felicia Day where she said something to the effect that she wished people would stop using her as the paragon of female nerd/geek in order to cut down other women. She gets it.
    3. As a creative writer AND a former (hopefully to be once again) college-level writing professor, I cannot tell you how much it bothers me that grammar, syntax, and sentence construction are not reinforced across the disciplines. Writing is a form of communication--if one cannot effectively communicate, one cannot expect to go far and succeed in their chosen career.
    4. That being said, as a creative writer, I love a well crafted story over boring detail...
    5. Part of me really wishes the science of Harry Potter genetics had been around when I was in high school! And also... I cannot think of a single book that had such an effect on my generation. These kids grew up LOVING Harry Potter and are now applying their chosen fields of study to further understanding of the series. That's awesome, really, that a work of literature touched them so deeply!
    6. I have very few lasting female relationships. Roxanne's article is definitely food for thought as to why. However, the friendships I do have, are rock solid.

    So, yeah! Thank you for sharing all of these links!

    1. I love lists!
      1) It's nice to hear someone who is part of the dominant society standing up for the rights of the non-dominant groups! I get so, so, so pissed whenever the dominant group says things like those ignorant Burdastylers, like oh but my friends don't mind that.
      2) I think it's human nature to make things into us vs. them, unfortunately. Thankfully, some people realize that tendency and then snap out of it.
      3) YES. My students are always slightly taken aback when I try to talk to them about good books to read, because science teachers aren't supposed to push reading! And my husband is just now discovering, as a science person crossing over into marketing, that writing is ALWAYS important.
      5) It brings me joy to see kids discussing these things on their own. All the interdisciplinary stuff can actually be done!
      6) I find that I can't really maintain a lot of deep friendships; it just burns me out emotionally because I'm such an introvert. A couple of them is enough for me, and of course internet friends can be entertained on my terms ;)

      Thanks for reading!


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