littleBit of Video

My mom, Tara Noftsier, works for a company called littleBits an “open source library of electronic modules that snap together with magnets for prototyping, learning and fun.” She was lucky enough to go to Maker Faire 2013, in San Francisco and was interviewed, along with some other Makers. Here is a clip about the fair, some cool Makers, and my mom talking about the littleBits. Pretty cool, if I do say so myself, with all of my biases.

And littleBits have even been used in a Taylor Swift video ft. Ed Sheeran. The littleBits part starts at 2:25.

Nodds & Nends: Legos, Comics, and Stilettos

A large scale Lego X-wing. I wish making large scale models of geeky things with Legos was my job. I really do. Sigh. Then again my siblings and I entered a few Lego competitions in our time, and while creative they never measured up nor won any prizes. But it was fun. And I think we got candy.

Well, this woman is using Lego sculpting as a job, she’s making Lego Stilettos. I’m not sure I would wear these, but it is a cool idea. [via]

I sent my mom this picture of a zombie Wonder Woman because she loves zombies and Wonder Woman. I really hope she takes on this idea as a Halloween costume. She’s done a zombie Dorothy, so it’s a possibility. I’ll just have to keep pushing her to do it. :)

I recently had interactions with MovieBoozer on twitter and went and checked out their website. Basically they rate movies based on how many beers it takes to make the movie good. I like their review of Pain and Gain which I saw recently and thought was hilarious. Though I would personally call it a two beer movie because I wasn’t expecting much and actually really enjoyed it! I agree that Dwayne Johnson was the BEST PART of the movie by far!

“The movie is worth seeing just for his gentle giant, by turns filled with Jesus and Cocaine. The Rock is idiot charm itself, always meaning the best and doing the worst, and it’s a mesmerizing, rib-splitting thing of beauty to watch.”

And I realized how great of an actor he actually is. No, I’m not kidding!

Stephanie on her Read in a Single Sitting FB page posted a link to this article about writing and the survivorship bias. A very fascinating article about taking advice from the people who do not share experience from the median (or common person). Personally, I’m tired of people lecturing me about my career moves what they think is self evident based on their own anecdata (usually not even personal) experience. As if I haven’t done the things they’ve suggested or researched other avenues or tried every gd trick in the book! As if I don’t have my own personal anecdata to the contrary. I think this survivorship bias is rampant in society, and guess what?! Most people do not have that top 100 experience (by definition of a top 100), so why are we missing out on precious experience and data because it isn’t a sexy sale? We can still lead meaningful lives that aren’t based on the five steps of becoming a Kardashian . . . . Not that there’s anything wrong with that. ;)

Speaking of Stephanie, her husband and Pierre Proske have created an iPhone app called Unfinished Phrase. Basically, the app is a collaborative writing tool. I don’t have an iPhone so it wont work on my platform, but it sounds really cool!

I really love when I can find some street art on Pinterest. There are always really cool things that people do with spots and places in their environment. This whole gallery of art is really cool. I love the glasses one! But what really caught my eye was the use of street art and satellites. Did you know that there are people who purposely take pictures of houses that look like they have faces or are smiling. Check out Nest Happy Homes on Pinterest.  I love it!

An 8-bit version of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer intro. The blinking Press Play drove me nuts! But still, it’s a cool version of the intro (just the song not the clips of the show like I was thinking). [via GeekandSundry]

Doctor Who Day: Augmented Reality, Whoooo Owls, and Rory Broke the Angels

Check out this flickr account of movie and television scenes done in Lego, including a great one of Amy and the Doctor. [via The Mary Sue]

These Doctor Who Owls are quite cute and available for purchase at Etsy. At $80 they are a tad expensive, but super cute, and looking at them on the Internet is free…. well, I guess the Internet connection isn’t free. But you know what I mean.

How awesome is this Doctor Who cake? It looks a little Halloween in coloring, but is still quite fun. Because Bow-ties are cool after all.

Rory broke the Weeping Angels, because he’s bad ass like that.

Augmented reality in a TARDIS. [via RIASS]

The Doctor Puppet saves Christmas. Awww, HOW CUTE!!!! (Yes, that was my girly squeal coming out. I won’t apologize for it). [via The Mary Sue]

Doctor Who Christmas Special

The Doctor Who Christmas Special airs today, and it looks delish. I love when Matt Smith goes into Brooding Doctor its so incredibly different from his effervescent Doctor. Thanks to FM I found this wonderful video Strax giving his Sontaran version of some popular Christmas songs. I love the last one. You can also head to BBC America and watch a sneak peak if you want, I don’t feel it spoils anything, but if you don’t want to know anything then don’t go, it kind of lays out the general feeling of the Christmas episode.

You can watch the trailer here (again, I’m assuming). Did anyone else catch the snowflake with teeth? I just caught that. Shudder.

Take a personality quiz to see if you could be a Doctor Who companion. It’s more of a “have you watched Doctor Who so you can cheat on this test” kind of quiz. But it’s fun. Thanks to my cousin Breanna who I saw had taken it. LOL Ah internets.

A replica of River Song’s sonic screw driver is on preorder and only $3500. If you can get your hands on one of the fifteen that will be made. Yah. Ok. You all have fun with that.

Here’s a snowman in the shape of a Dalek. If I had snow, enough of it, and the desire to do some Doctor Who with it, I would still not create a Dalek. But it is cool nonetheless.

And here is a wonderful illustration of the new companion DeviantArt. Well, it’s the actor as Oswin, but still, it’s beautiful. You can buy it as a t-shirt or greeting card. I can only imagine why you’d want such a stricken face on a greeting card. Announcing the death of a beloved pet perhaps? I could have used many of those a long time ago.

A clip of how using the memory worm may or may not be a useful tool. It’s quite funny, clever, and spoils nothing.

A teaser with Jenny and Vastra

Holiday Giving Ideas and Prizes

I had another post planned for today, it included some lovely Doctor Who stuff, which I decided could wait. You would think this was a hard decision but it is not, because every year I try to let people know of some of the wonderful charities I’ve come across on the interwebs. Donations to charities make wonderful gifts, not only to the people themselves who maybe don’t have the funds to create their own holiday magic, but one of my all time favorite gifts was a donation made in my name to a anti-sex slavery organization (yes, I was even happier to get that then the Doctor Who/ Van Gogh mash-up necklace I wear nearly every day and the delicate TARDISes scarf I do wear every day- as all three gifts were by the same person and all three are my top three gifts I know she wont mind that I put the donation gift ahead of the others).

HOW AWESOME IS MY SCARF??!!! Thanks Sara!

HOW AWESOME IS MY SCARF??!!! Thanks Sara!

Don’t know what to get that hard to get a present for person? Want to spread around some holiday cheer? Here are some places to check out:

Geek for Tots

Geek for Tots is all about spreading the geek. For every donation of geekery this season (to a charitable organization) they will enter the donor into a pot to win a prize. All the donor has to do is post a picture on social media of them giving something geeky. Basically you can kill two birds with one stone, or actually three birds, no maybe four. For example, donate a geeky toy to your buildings holiday drive (just remember it has to be a charitable organization), snap a picture, post it and you’ve not only donated but entered to win some cool prizes. Or you could donate a geeky to to Toys for Tots, which in my building is the same drive. Plus we do holiday donations to a women’s shelter and now we have a toiletry drive. Which reminds me, I need to pick up things from CVS this weekend with my coupon for that. Or, if you need ideas for geeky gifts you can check out some of the Geeks for Tots sponsors, such as Luke’s Toy Store, which has some really cool miniatures (if you are really jonsing for something Doctor Who check this out), or Backstage Toy (check out their cool Dalek t-shirt), which has some cool plush toys to bring a smile to the geeky kid who probably is only getting tube socks for a present.

Heifer International

Heifer International is a really cool organization that donates livestock (cows, chickens, goats) and works with parents and grandparents around the world to become self-reliant, so they can give their children the opportunities they never had. The first time I heard about this organization was through my friend Sara who told me about Pat RothfussWorldBuilders team. If you donate on his team you get entered to win some cool signed books from his author friends, and he has many cool friends like Erin Morgenstern (The Night Circus), or you could win other cool things. The WorldBuilder’s goal is 500K in donations and so far they have raised $118,105.22. A mere $20 donation gets a family a flock of chickens to raise, sell, harvest eggs, and eat.

By giving families a hand-up, not just a handout, we empower them to turn hunger and poverty into hope and prosperity, but our approach is more than that. By bringing communities together and linking them with markets in their area, we help bring sustainable agriculture and commerce to areas with a long history of poverty.

Quote from http://www.heifer.org/ourwork/mission

Project Night Night

Project Night Night donates totebags with a teddy, a blanket, and a book to homeless children so they can sleep better. The Bloggess (this goes to a posting of the several charities she supports and how she worked a Holiday miracle one year) is a supporter of this organization and often when one of her excellent ideas has gone overboard and her readers have generously donated to one of her causes above and beyond what she needs, she gives the extra money to Project Night Night.

There are approximately 298,000 homeless families in the United States.*  Currently, there are more homeless children in the U.S. than at any other time since the Great Depression.  Nonetheless, family homelessness often goes unseen as most homeless families do not live on the street.**   Instead, most homeless families are transient, living in shelters, in cars, in hotels in the city’s poorest neighborhoods, or staying with friends or family members.***    These environmental stresses negatively influence a child’s early experiences  and often lead to an increase in mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, poor sleep habits, and behavioral issues.

To ease the anxiety associated with shelter living, Project Night Night distributes Night Night Packages to homeless children ages 0-10.  Each Night Night Package includes an age-appropriate book, a baby blanket which can be cuddled, and a stuffed animal which can become a cherished friend.  Finding comfort is vitally important for children in order to feel secure, loved, and valued – even in the midst of the upheaval and uncertainty attendant to homelessness.

Quoting http://projectnightnight.org/AboutUs.html

I grew up super poor. There were several years where people from our church bought groceries for my family because my parents were struggling to afford nutritious meals for a growing family of five kids. In fact, one Christmas our only presents were bags of groceries under the tree. I think every parent or guardian wants to give the children in their lives something special around the holidays and many of them are not able to, these organizations help children in small and grand ways. Personally, I wish I had more to give this year, however, I do have this blog and the ability to tell people about some wonderful ways to give this season. I may have forgone the awkward gifts this year because of financial reasons, but maybe some of my readers still need a thoughtful gift to give to great aunt Agnes who has everything she wants, including several stuff cats, and empty bird cage, and sits in her overheated apartment knitting animal clothes.

P.S. I spent much time trying to get this to format properly to no avail. WordPress is driving me just a tad nuts right now, and so I’m walking away.

Nodds & Nends: Star Wars, Creepy Daddy Long-Legs, and Cool Geek Parents

Want to have Chewbacca over for dinner? And by that I mean eat him. Check out the Chewbacca Bento Box at the link. [via] But if Chewbacca is not what is for dinner, maybe you would rather have a wooden version of him? It is completely adorable and these custom toys are to die for. Created by Amanda Visell, she also put together some awesomely creative packaging for the toys. Sweet. My current rent-a-kid, while being a big dork in no small part thanks to me, hasn’t gotten into Star Wars, yet. I need to start accumulating some more rent-a-kids. [via]

This creepy Daddy Long-legs mural  on top of the Seattle Center Armory is really disturbing. Honestly, his technique to make these look like they are crawling across this huge building is amazing. And also Ew! Check out the artist’s website to see how he did it. Thanks to RIASS for the tip.

If you are feeling a little hungry and want to take your geek out on some food check out these Planet looking suckers. I’m not really sure I’d want t actually devour one so much as set it on my desk to look cool. Or if that doesn’t fill your food cravings, how about one of these ten cakes inspired by comic books? Ugh, now I’m hungry. Thanks Stephanie (note my sarcasm).  My favorite is the Spider-Man Groom’s cake. Chocolate. Yummmmm.

Clint’s Grooms Cake By MissRobin on CakeCentral.com

Where better to eat your geeky goodies than on this dining table that also serves as a marble run toy. I WANT IT!! Even though I don’t have room for it. I WANT IT!!

Some parents have all the cool kids. I mean who wouldn’t want to build a kids bedroom based on the Legend of Zelda? Honestly this kids bedroom is the best, she has the coolest parents who have put a lot of thought and effort into the design of the room which will eventually house two little munchkins. It is also interactive and a play room. So super cool. You can read all about how the parents did this on their blog, Dork on Dime. They’ve also redecorated their nursery in a Mario Bros. theme. So head on over to their site for some awesomeness. [via The Mary Sue]

And if the wasn’t enough cute kids for you, then may I present this bit of Halloween goodness. This mother made her son into Toy Army Guy and she did an awesome job! For a few seconds I wondered if the kid was a life size toy. LOL Her baby lion was quite a adorable too.