GeekGirlCon #DIYSciZone Act of Whimsy: Livestreaming TMNT1 NES #GGC16

I’ll be livestreaming starting at 10am sharp, making an attempt at beating TMNT 1 for the NES with a ten hour timelimit. No glitches, no level select code, but I’ll be (sparingly) using save states on my way through to save my ass in case of issues (e.g. emulator crashes or other system issues, etc).

As this will be my first run at the game in 15 years, I’ll make use of maps so I don’t flounder too badly.

The things I do in service of science! All of this is a backer “reward” for our DIY Science Zone fundraising this year, for Geek Girl Con, where I’ll be running demonstrations on the game Zombie Dice and how know when to hold ’em (brains), know when to shamble away and know when to chomp.

DIY Science Zone logo

Here’s the donation form. We bring science demos to kids on an all-volunteer basis, and the cost helps pay for this zone — without this annual fundraising, we couldn’t continue this excellent annual tradition of getting the kids who visit Geek Girl Con excited about STEM fields!

Embedded video stream may autoplay so I’m putting it below the fold!
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GeekGirlCon #DIYSciZone Act of Whimsy: Livestreaming TMNT1 NES #GGC16

A strange confession

Welcome to Frivolous Friday!

Frivolous Fridays are the Orbit bloggers’ excuse to post about fun things we care a lot about that may not necessarily have serious implications for politics or social justice. Although any day is a good day to write about our passions outside of social issues, we sometimes have a hard time giving ourselves permission to do that. This is our way of encouraging each other to take a break from serious topics and have some fun.

I have a confession to make. A totally PG, totally legal, totally “nothing to be ashamed of” confession, that’ll likely make the majority of you scoff and say “so?” and some other fraction of you decide this isn’t the post for you.

That confession is: I take baths.
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A strange confession

But where do we dine?

Dining room table, covered in junk described below.

A candid-ish peek into our lives. Our dining room table. Contents: one semi-complete Legend of Zelda anniversary jigsaw puzzle, various computer parts and tools, a pair of glasses, a 64 pack of crayons, zero space for dining.

This is me blogging, instead of fretting about various outstanding blog issues! Hello!

(I omit the fact that this is an attempt to test my freshly reflashed phone’s WordPress app’s ability to connect to our freshly launched website of course.)

But where do we dine?

Need to make some CDN changes on — bear with us

Sorry folks. Not a thing I particularly want to have to do on launch day, but I’m going to be switching things around to help resolve a few different problems that I’ve been seeing since we’ve gone live. All to do with statics — CSS, JS, images, etc. Things might get a bit weird.


Will call out the all clear as soon as I can.

Update: welp, that was easy enough. Doesn’t seem to be any real fallout from it either. Huzzah!

Need to make some CDN changes on — bear with us

John Oliver's sex ed video is better than anything I watched in school

I grew up in northern New Brunswick, where there’s a heavy French Catholic presence and a bent toward school districts setting their own curricula. I have vague recollections of some sex ed video where the girls got shuffled out of the room to another room to watch another video. I don’t remember the content of it, but I remember some years later being surprised by all the nuance it left out — like that sex wasn’t just about getting married and trying to have kids. And I’m sure it was picked specifically because it was the closest to sex ed that the French Catholics could manage to tolerate being shown, and because there was a requirement for there to be at least SOME component in their curriculum.

Thankfully I don’t recall there being a focus on abstinence, just a general glossing-over of sex as though it’s not particularly important or relevant to the idea of going through puberty. I keenly remember a heavy focus on what it’s like to enter puberty, and how your pits would suddenly start smelling, and some talk about penises that met with nervous giggles from our class, and some brief discussion about girls getting periods that elicited more than giggles, and very little about what might happen if a couple of kids decided to start spelunking the concept of sexual congress on their own.

If I was growing up today, and saw this “sex-ed video” that makes up the back few minutes of John Oliver’s piece, I would have felt a lot less uncomfortable learning that there was more to it than what little my parents and my school were willing to tell me. I would have had to do less searching in libraries and encyclopedias for adequate reading materials that could fill in the gaps, and I would have had a less rough acclimation with social interactions with girls.

Also, HUGE props to Oliver for explaining consent in such simple terms that nobody could ever possibly misconstrue or rules-lawyer against them without looking like a potentially rapey asshole. If anyone argues back against what he’s said about no meaning no, or about only sleeping with people who want to sleep with you, they are fucking creepy.

John Oliver's sex ed video is better than anything I watched in school

MRA-style blockquoting activated!

So, inspired by a conversation on Twitter, I finally did something I’ve wanted to do for a while: I created a special blockquote style for MRAs for my blog. Every time an MRA uses the word “female” instead of “woman” or “girl”, I have always heard it like a Ferengi from Star Trek, with a super-elongated first syllable and a note of disdain or horror. “A feee-male!?” So I thought that the Ferengi head would make a great replacement for the more traditional blockquote quotation mark symbol.

To wit, here’s a comment I never bothered clearing through moderation last month or so, on this post from a full year prior.

Daniel Factor:

mostly lies and smears. Mra…anyone who doesn’t believe all men are the scum of the earth. Which apparently is being anti women and sexist.

I’ll be sure to use it liberally when I next post any MRA bullshit. You should be able to use it in comments as well, much like PZ’s Gumby for Creationists. Instead of <blockquote>, use <blockquote class="mra"> .

It’s a little iffy on shorter quotes, though. But those kinda look like cartoon balloons coming out of the Ferengi’s mouth, so that kind of works regardless.

Oh, and yes, I traced that head from a screencap of DS9, showing off my professional manga art skills. I mostly did it because I wanted to make one with the Ferengi touching his own ear, which if you remember anything from the canon, is an erogenous zone. (Seeing a Ferengi touch his ears whenever there was profit to be had or a woman to try to charm always skeeved me out just a little for that reason, which I’m sure was the intent of the show’s authors.)

MRA-style blockquoting activated!

The Donors Choose challenge: outdo the rest of these rookie bloggers!

Ladies and gentlemen, if you’ll kindly direct your gaze to the third widget on the right column of this page entitled Donors Choose Challenge, you’ll notice that this blog alongside the rest of Freethought Blogs is actively soliciting donations for various projects in this year’s Donors Choose drive. I am manually selecting all the scholastic projects I can find in extremely underprivileged areas, especially those that relate to science, literature and math at all levels.
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The Donors Choose challenge: outdo the rest of these rookie bloggers!