Pop Culture

Danica McKellar’s Fun Little Bites of Mathy Goodness

Danica McKellar’s Fun Little Bites of Mathy Goodness

Danica McKellar, who has actual math degrees in addition to being an actress, is trying to get girls interested in math.  She’s starting a webseries! Math Bites!  I’m suspicious of this.  Increasing the participation of girls in science and math in the face of stereotype harm and the president of Harvard is an excellent goal, but in my experience, strategies for this tend to degrade in... »

Breaking The Fourth Wall: Pokéballs

Breaking The Fourth Wall: Pokéballs

Hello, and welcome to breaking the fourth wall, a new series where I take popular science fiction ideas and explore the different ways they could possibly work. This series will involve heavy speculation and fan theory, and is mostly just a fun exercise. I do not think that pokéballs could exist, although a man can dream. Pokémon X and Y have been out for almost a month now, so you can count this ... »

Rape as Backstory: Not Buying It

Rape as Backstory: Not Buying It

I have a problem with certain Strong Female Characters. I, as much as the next feminist, would like to see strong, complex, interesting female characters. However what I find unfortunate is when we are reduced to “strong” female characters, and those characters are given some very predictable backstories that play into certain extremely sexist stereotypes about cold women or women who hate men. On... »

Teen Skepchick’s Reality Checks 7.4

Teen Skepchick’s Reality Checks 7.4

Technology to detect moving objects through walls inspires obligatory X-ray vision analogy. (via MIT News) Prince Charles reveals his love for Doctor Who, proving once and for all that homeopaths are people too. (via BBC News) Self-consciousness reaches a physiological peak in adolescence. Nobody is surprised. (via Science Daily) Crocodiles have very sensitive skin, even without moisturiser. (via ... »

Weddings: I have to do what?!

Weddings: I have to do what?!

One of the …neatest/oddest/most annoying (choose your own adventure) things about getting married is attempting to navigate all the traditions. Which ones do I do? Which ones are stupid? Which ones have valid origins? It all started with the wedding shower kerfuffle (to have one or not to have one… or two, as it were)… This prompted me to start looking up the traditions behind th... »

The Risk of Honesty

The Risk of Honesty

I’ve recently been applying for jobs, many of them revolving around social media and communications, and many of which want to see examples of my previous work. The vast majority of my social media and communications work centers around blogging, particularly about mental health, atheism and feminism. As I comb through my past writings looking for something to send off to potential jobs, it’s beco... »

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Ever gotten annoyed or down right pissed off when Harry Potter just doesn’t make sense? For instance, why would Death Eaters put a giant tattoo on their own arms when they’re supposed to be super spies? Or, why didn’t Voldie just mail the entire Order of the Phoenix hand grenades to end the war? Why does Harry NEVER tell adults when he figures out secrets that might lead to the deaths of lots of p... »

Suspension of Disbelief: Orphan Black

Suspension of Disbelief: Orphan Black

Orphan Black BBC America Starring Tatiana Maslany (as almost everyone) Rating: 4/5 clones Orphan Black is a new series from the BBC that I got hooked on because it plays after Dr Who, and thus I was already on the correct station to start watching it. It’s only about halfway into its first season, so this will necessarily be a somewhat incomplete review, but I’ll do my best to get acro... »

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