It’s been a crazy ride this week! So here’s the big announcement: I’ve been asked to do four paintings for our church sanctuary to hang during Advent (4 weeks before Christmas). Each painting is 4 feet by 3 feet. The first is hope and is purple, the second is peace, also purple, the third is joy, it’s pink, and the last is love, also purple. I’ve been painting like mad because they all have to be finished before I head to Nepal at the beginning of November. So stand by for the next few weeks to be nonstop purple extravaganza in my daily posts! I’m so excited I can’t hardly stand to be around myself!
As part of our fundraising to hold a DIY Science Zone at GeekGirlCon, we promised to perform acts of whimsy as we hit funding milestones. We’ve passed $3,000, which is amazing and means we’re halfway to our goal. (Feel free to donate money at this link to help us reach it, by the way!)
It also means that we’re starting to perform our Acts of Whimsy. We’d passed $2,000 by Friday, so as promised, we played Mad Libs for science. Twice! We chose to mutilate one of my old abstracts and Torrey Stenmark’s thesis. Nicole “Noisy Astronomer” Gugliucci gathered us all into a Google+ hangout last Friday and we were off to the races.
The event veered quickly in a non-work-safe direction, as you can tell from what happened to my abstract.
We report on the observation of a highly degenerate, strongly smarmy Fermi gas of chairs. Fermionic lithium-6 atoms in a kind trap are evaporatively escaped to degeneracy using a taxidermy to induce strong, resonant pony. Upon lovingly releasing the hair from the trap, the gas is observed to run rapidly in the blue direction while remaining nearly big-assed in the axial direction. We interpret the expansion bronies in terms of tart superfluid and collisional tarts. For the data taken at the longest evaporation penises, we find that wooly hydrodynamics does not provide a smelly explanation, whereas vagina is plausible.
Vagina is plausible indeed. What about Torrey’s? It involved dudebros, palladium-catalyzed douche balloon reactions, and oxygen-containing Corgi. Watch the video for more, or grab the PDF of the results.
Since we’ve broken $3,000 since Friday, we’ll do another Mad Lib abstract. If you want to join in the fun later this week follow @NoisyAstronomer for the details. It also means that I have to re-write Prometheus for sock puppets. On the plus side, Dr. Rubidium has to listen to Nickelback, so there’s a silver lining to the socks.
To sum up: Sockmetheus! Dr. Rubidium suffers through Nickelback! Another chance for someone’s abstract to remain big-assed in the axial direction! Best of all, we’re going to get to spread the joy of science to GeekGirlCon attendees. We’re halfway to our fundraising goal. Care to help us reach it?
Day 231: 9 new postcard backgrounds.
On the Mommies Run Away from Home weekend trip to Pigeon Forge, we went to the scrapbook outlet and I got some old newspaper pages. I cut those up and glued them to a piece of watercolor paper. I added my favorite brown, bronze, yellow and green paints then cut them up for postcard backgrounds. They ROCK as postcard backgrounds and I am inordinately pleased that I had the foresight on that shopping trip to buy a bunch of that paper.
Day 235: New, tiny art journal! 5.5×8″ spread. Accidentally started at the back, resulting inspirational end quote!
I bought this tiny little book in the Dealer’s Room at Dragoncon. It was the first time an art supply store had a table and I thought it was so brilliant I had to support it. I wanted to give this little book a try since I had such a hard time art journaling in my larger format book. It’s closer to the postcard size I’ve been working on so it makes me feel more comfortable with the space. Maybe I can work my way up the sizes. Also, since I accidentally started painting at the back of the book, I flipped it around and then had to come up with something to end the book with. It’s twice as funny to me since it’s actually the first page in the book I made.
Day 236: “Mom, you should write ‘Be kind to people.’ in your little book.”
I sat down at my art table this morning before the kids went out to the bus. I wanted to get a background started so it could be drying while I waited with them outside. She told me I should write ‘Be kind to people.’ I thought it was a fitting way to start the book and a fitting thought for September 11. So I added some butterflies, since those are her favorites, and there it was.
One of the things I love to do is to help people discover how awesome science is. One of the best ways, hands down, is hands on: give people the opportunity to commit science themselves. GeekGirlCon agrees, because they’re letting a team of us hold an all-day-long DIY science zone!
Why am I excited about this? Let me count the ways.
We’re offering a range of science activities. We’re extracting DNA and building neurons. We’re offering genetic taste tests and showing you how to find latent fingerprints. The experiments are for a range of ages and cover a bunch of different areas of science. C’mon, who wouldn’t want to make fossils out of coffee grounds, especially in the heart of Starbucks country?
We’re offering them to an under-served group. Despite the great strides made in the last decades, too many people still view science as being for males. GeekGirlCon celebrates women in geek culture, and that includes the sciences. Here’s our chance to help bust the stereotype of science as being a “guy thing”. Any time I can kick against that stereotype, I will.
The attendees will get to see real-live scientists who aren’t lab-coated stereotypes. I tend to forget that most people don’t know scientists personally or ever meet them. Is it any wonder that, when asked to draw a scientist, many kids draw an older white dude with Doc Brown hair? It’s pervasive enough that characters on The Big Bang Theory were going to be in lab coats before the showrunners met actual science graduate students and realized that t-shirts and jeans were more common. One way to combat that stereotype is to let people meet actual scientists.
Our team is diverse. We’ve got younger and older scientists. Most of our team is female; many are not Caucasian. I want people to realize that science is open to anyone. If we had a team that was all older white guys, then the subtext is, “Science really is just for white dudes with Doc Brown hair.”
We can make Dr. Rubidium suffer by making her listen to Nickelback.
See, to make the DIY Science Zone happen, we’re raising $5,000 to $6,000 for supplies, banners, lodging, and airfare. We’ve all signed up to perform different Acts of Whimsy as we raise more money. Our fearless leader has agreed that, for every $500 we raise, she’ll listen to a different Nickelback album live on a G+ Hangout. And she haaaaaaaates Nickelback. She’s even got a “No Nickelback” sign posted on her lab door.
But! She’s trying to weasel out of it! People are now marking their donations as being either pro-Nickelback or anti-Nickelback! Because so many people have marked their donations as anti-Nickelback, she’s not going to have to listen to “Curb”!
This cannot stand. Help the pro-Nickelback forces by donating to our cause. Plus there are a lot of other Acts of Whimsey that’ll happen. Live G+ Hangouts where we take our paper abstracts and make Mad Libs out of them. Seelix’s cat dressed up as Avengers! Heaven help me, I promised that, at $3,000, I’d fix the science and logic errors in Prometheus and re-enact the movie.
With sock puppets.
But if Dr. Rubidium has to listen to multiple Nickelback albums, it’ll all be worth it.
Please. Donate money to make the DIY Science Zone happen. For science. For education.
This week plus of work had a Dragoncon-sized intermission in the middle of it. I deliberately didn’t take any materials with me to Con to see what it would feel like to take a break. Answer: I missed the daily 20 minutes terribly. I couldn’t wait to get home to work. Best of all, I looked at Con this year through the lenses of 220+ days of creating. I saw so much good work! People being creative and playful and imaginative. I’ve been to Dragoncon for many years but this was yet another side of the Con I hadn’t seen before. It energized me to keep up my own work.
Day 222: Lost Ocean ATC.
If there is anything better than blue shellfish I don’t know what it is. This reminds me of the summer we went to Cape Cod and I found out there was such a thing as blue shellfish.
Day 223: Experiments in candy making.
Stephen decided to cosplay Heisenberg from “Breaking Bad” this year at Dragoncon. We decided to make broken glass “meth” candy for him to hand out. Both the costume and the candy were a hit.
Day 224: Fly postcard.
Some of you have figured out by now that if you profess a love of a postcard when I post it, then you might end up seeing it in your mail. This one went to my friend Ellen who went to Nepal with me. She can’t go this year because of a schedule conflict and I am still nursing my hurt feelings over it.
Day 225: Make a Wish ATC.
Sometimes these pieces come together in such a way that when I look at the finished product I wonder who made that super cool thing. I think, “I like the style of that, it speaks to me.” This is one of those for me.
Day 226: When in doubt – wing it! ATC.
The “When in doubt – wing it!” clipping was supposed to be on the fly postcard. But in the process of cutting it from the larger sheet of paper, I dropped it and couldn’t find it in my basket of paper. I was so mad! But then I found it and used it with this kaleidoscope of butterflies. These things have a way of working themselves out.
Day 228: “Recognizing power in another does not diminish your own.” 3×5″ tag.
My friend Ally was involved in the writing (and filming) of a super cool Dragoncon video this year. I was thinking of you when I made this one, Ally!
Day 229: Ocean Dreams 8×10″ board. (Added a few hard to see details.) Finished.
I finished this one up this morning and was thinking I wasn’t as happy with it as I should be. But the fans love it on the Facebooks so that makes me happy.