Category Archives: News

:Come as You Are: The Diversity and Inclusion of Denver’s Comic Con

            The mission of Comic Con has always been to give fans a feeling of acceptance and inclusion. Whether you are black, yellow, orange, white, green, covered in spots, or spikes Denver’s Comic Con opens its doors in welcome. It is the meeting place of many that have felt like outcasts and weirdoes, but Comic Con is a celebration of passions and has been growing exponentially since its beginning.  In this arena we are accepted, encouraged, embraced. This theme of welcoming has attracted a slew of prevalent public figures. They are coming to share their brilliance and the line-up of amazing individuals coming to speak is growing. We shall soon be graced with the powerful words of some pretty fantastic people.

“We know that our fans—and fans of pop culture—come from all races and beliefs, and any sexual orientation. Denver Comic Con guests and programming are deliberately geared towards informing and entertaining the fanboy and fangirl in all of us!” said Bruce MacIntosh, chairman and president of Comic Book Classroom and the director of programming for Denver Comic Con. “Being inclusive of the entire community—both the communities of Denver and the pop-culture community as a whole—has been a focus of DCC since its inception.(Jansky)”

“Denver Comic Con’s diversity mission is about educating children and the general public through pop culture, comics and cartooning, and bringing together the diverse people and interests of the community regardless of age, race, gender or background. By focusing on education and providing guests, programming and events that encourage diversity, CBC/DCC “strives to promote tolerance and empower the members of our community.(Jansky)”

Joining the lineup of celebrities is a man who is a legend, and its alter ego, Adam West. Mr. West is iconic in his role as Batman almost 40 years ago. He is almost as well known for his recurring role as the notorious Mayor West from Family Guy. Adam West continues to act on a multitude of shows, is a writer, and a fantastic entertainer. He even does personalized e-cards and ringtones with his iconic voice that gives you chills. Immortalized through his legacy of work complete with his very own comic, he still remains a hero.

Adam West will also be joined by the boy wonder, Burt Ward will also be coming to the con. Burt Ward is well known for his philanthropy and charity since his time as Robin.  The line up would not be complete without the lovely and seductively dangerous Catwoman, Ms Julie Newmar will also be coming to the con. Julie Newmar has had a long and successful career as a talented actress and vixen.

The panel of impressive guests will also be graced with the presence of none other than the champion against the undead himself. He fight off demons, zombies, evil clones, soul sucking mummies wielding not much more than a chain-saw, a walker, and sense of humor.    Author of If Chins Could Kill, Bruce Campbell.

Shane Bitney Crone, human rights activist and filmmaker of the powerful documentary “Bridegroom” will be honoring our fair city with his campaign for GLBTQ rights. Fair warning, his beautiful and ultimately painful story will bring you to tears. His story of love and loss snaps strings inside your heart and highlights the feigned equality we supposedly have.

Two wonderful glass ceiling breakers and all around badass female icons Joan Hilty and Kathryn Immonen will also be coming to our lovely state. Joan Hilty is known for being a senior editor at the DC Comics/Vertigo imprint and for her syndicated comic/ tragicomic strip comic highlighting the ups and downs of life, love relationships, the tricky sides of dating and everything beyond. She is truly an inspiration for women breaking into the world of comics

Kathryn Immonen collaborates with her husband Stuart, producing comics for Marvel. She is known for writing for both Marvel and DC. She is a creative and intelligent writer known for many of her titles such as her long running work on Journey Into Mystery, telling the stories of Lady Sif and her miniseries Patsy Walker: Hellcat.  There is only more to come. Along with her husdband they “… live in a castle in the sky in London, Ontario with their very tall son and their very bad dog.(”

Peter Davidson, established actor and  fifth Dr. Who will also be joining our phenomenal line up, along with Walter Koenig (Pavel Checkov from Star Trek), Micheal Rooker and Chandler Riggs from The Walking Dead, Jason David Frank and Walter Jones from Power Rangers, Nicholas Brendon from Buffy and many more exciting guests will also be present at the Con. They are all coming to support the awesome cause of literacy for children and teens, and we should welcome them with our freak flags held high. At Comic Con this emphasis on diversity demonstrates that we are all indeed special little snowflakes, and though many of us have been limited, controlled, ridiculed, and harassed, DCC is truly is a safe place where we can meet and engage in good natured debate about our heroes and inspirations.


The World of 3D Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet!


     The fantastical brain children of some of the most intriguing science fiction writers have leapt from the page and screen into laboratories and the hands of the public. When Charles “Chuck” Hull first unveiled the 3d printer in 1983 the world marveled at his invention but none expected the possibility that this concept could be applied to living tissue except for, perhaps, a certain genre’s fiction writers.   Today we are presented with the amazing reality that scientists are beginning to print living tissue.

        Though we are quite a distance from the technology that is seen in The Fifth Element this new development is the incredible beginning. The process is even understood in much the same way, applying layers and layers of tissue along built structures that create blood vessels. Princeton University has even added tech to the generated tissue successfully creating a bionic ear. Though we are just at the beginning stages of this unbelievable discovery the applications of it are vast.  The ultimate goal of this tech is to be able to generate and transplant human organs using the recipient’s own T-Cells; which will reduce the possibility of rejection to non-existent.

        “Advances in the 3D printing of human tissue have moved fast enough that San Diego-based bio-printing company Organovo now expects to unveil the world’s first printed organ — a human liver — next year.(Mearian)” Organovo’s first liver will only be used in a laboratory and not yet for human transplant. This is an extremely important starting point. Many tests will need to be completed to discern what this liver will be capable of.  Lucas Mearian points out that:

        “Printing out sustainable organ tissue could allow pharmaceutical companies to develop and test drugs on human and not animal organs. Using human tissue yields more accurate results. (Mearian)” This will directly correlate with more effective drugs, less animal cruelty and more accurate gauges of side effects.  Princeton also believes it will in the very near future allow for realistic breast reproduction for the large amount of women suffering from breast cancer,  Once we are able to print out fully functioning organs for transplant we can stop the deaths of the 18 people that die daily waiting for organs. The stories that have painted our dreams, excited our wonder, and inspired our faith in possibility are becoming reality in our lifetime.

Awesome Sources:


Novack, Sophie,. “The Next Frontier for 3-D Printing: Human Organs, Scientists are on theirway  to 3-D printing functioning large organs. .” N.p., 27     Dec. 2013. Web. 3 Feb. 2014. <       next-frontier-for-3-d-printing-human-organs-20131227>.

Mearian, Lucas. “The first 3D printed organ — a liver — is expected in 2014, Printed tissue could vastly improve   drug testing.” N.p., 26 Dec. 2013. Web. 3 Feb.            2014.<  _liver            _is_expected_in_2014>.


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The NSA is collecting millions of text messages daily in ‘untargeted’ global sweep

   There are true threats to our country and we rely on the government to keep us safe from these threats. Allowing them tools to accomplish this task is necessary. What is also necessary is for us as a nation to uphold the freedoms and ideals we all share. Otherwise, what the hell are we fighting for? What is it exactly we are protecting?

They say there is an attack on our freedom and that it is terrorists that are to blame. The truth is much more frightening. There is an attack on freedom but the threats are the fear mongers within our own government. They have attacked our freedom and won; and they did it through weaponizing fear. They say that it is for our protection. We sacrifice some freedom so that our armed forces can protect the rest. They called us conspiracy therorists. When their lies were exposed they told us it was for our own good, and anyway, what is the problem if we have nothing to hide? When the U.S. Patriot Act was signed the largest outcries were from a group that no one expected; Librarians. They warned of the egregious evil that would come of this violation of privacy and liberty, but very few listened, and the problem just got worse.

Benjamin Franklin said, “Those who would trade their freedom for their protection deserve neither.” As we learn more details of the reach of the NSA we are finding that it is not only our citizens being victimized by this criminal behavior but also the citizens of our allies.

“The NSA’s access to, and storage of, the content of communications of UK citizens may also be contentious in the light of earlier Guardian( a publication in the UK) revelations that the agency was drafting policies to facilitate spying on the citizens of its allies, including the UK and Australia, which would – if enacted – enable the agency to search its databases for UK citizens without informing GCHQ or UK politicians.(James Ball)”

In response a spokesperson for NSA once again claimed they do nothing wrong.

“Dishfire is a system that processes and stores lawfully collected SMS data. Because some SMS data of US persons may at times be incidentally collected in NSA’s lawful foreign intelligence mission, privacy protections for US persons exist across the entire process concerning the use, handling, retention, and dissemination of SMS data in Dishfire.

“In addition, NSA actively works to remove extraneous data, to include that of innocent foreign citizens, as early as possible in the process.(Oliver Knox)”

However it was Dwight Eisenhower, a former five star general who warned of how dangerous this type of organization would be. He stated that,

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.(Oliver Knox)”

Seven years ago President Obama had an outlook that reflected that of Eisenhower. In a speech he made in 2007 he said, “This Administration also puts forward a false choice between the liberties we cherish and the security we demand. I will provide our intelligence and law enforcement agencies with the tools they need to track and take out the terrorists without undermining our Constitution and our freedom. That means no more illegal wire-tapping of American citizens. No more national security letters to spy on citizens who are not suspected of a crime. No more tracking citizens who do nothing more than protest a misguided war. No more ignoring the law when it is inconvenient. That is not who we are. And it is not what is necessary to defeat the terrorists. The FISA court works. The separation of powers works. Our Constitution works. We will again set an example for the world that the law is not subject to the whims of stubborn rulers, and that justice is not arbitrary. This Administration acts like violating civil liberties is the way to enhance our security. It is not. (‎)

It did not take long for him to change his tune. Once the illegal collection of data by the NSA was exposed the president came out to defend the unlawful actions.

To say there’s a tradeoff doesn’t mean somehow that we’ve abandoned freedom,… I don’t think anybody says we’re no longer free because we have checkpoints at airports. (Oliver Knox)”

At an August 2013 press conference, President Obama underlined: “The programs are operating in a way that prevents abuse; that continues to be true, without the reforms. The question is how do I make the American people more comfortable.” In 1961, Eisenhower tried to make Americans more mistrustful of the encroachments of a national-security state. In 2014, Obama is trying to win back their faith, as he made clear in a December 2013 press conference.(Oliver Knox)”

“This is only going to work if the American people have confidence and trust,” he said.(Barack Obama via Oliver Knox)”

Confidence and trust are earned. The trust part being lacking as of late. Our own country labels whistle-blowers as threats to our national security, even when the information they leak does in fact prove that there have been breaches to that trust. Edward Snowden remains in exile and Chelsea Manning remains in jail, not to mention the many others that suffer similar fates for violation of a prison yard mentality that our own government has seemed to adopt. “Snitchs get stitches” should not be American policy. Ignorance and blind faith for those that are in power to have our best interests at heart is the worst kind of naivety. The reach of the NSA has even extended to the point of spying on the citizens of our allies. To expect that violation of trust will not have dire repercussions is utterly ridiculous.

“Former senior NSA executive and SAAII Awardee Emeritus Thomas Drake has written that Manning “exposed the dark side shadows of our national security regime and foreign policy follies .. [her] acts of civil disobedience … strike at the very core of the critical issues surrounding our national security, public and foreign policy, openness and transparency, as well as the unprecedented and relentless campaign by this Administration to snuff out and silence truth tellers and whistleblowers in a deliberate and premeditated assault on the 1st Amendment.(David Swanson)”

“An NSA spokesperson reiterated to The Guardian that “the implication that NSA’s collection is arbitrary and unconstrained is false,” adding that the agency’s activities “are focused and specifically deployed against — and only against — valid foreign intelligence targets in response to intelligence requirements.” On Dishfire specifically, the spokesperson said “privacy protections for US persons exist across the entire process concerning the use, handling, retention, and dissemination of SMS data in Dishfire.(Josh Lowensohn)” And we should believe them. After all you could hardly suggest that they lied about tracking SMS information in the first place…right?

For trust to exist the formula our government uses in response the exposing of their crimes must change. Lying, denying, and then demanding trust when there is overwhelming evidence that our trust is consistently betrayed is bad governing. There must be transparency and accountability in our administration as well as evidence that the administration will cease the unwarranted and criminal action against our citizens as well as our allies.


Ball, James. “NSA collects millions of text messages daily in ‘untargeted’ global sweep.” The N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Jan. 2014.

Knox, Oliver. “Obama NSA speech on anniversary of Eisenhower warning, .” Yahoo News. N.p., 16 Jan. 2014. Web. 22 Jan. 2014. < on-anniversary-of-eisenhower-warning-025532326.html>.

Swanson, David. “Chelsea Manning Awarded Sam Adams Integrity Prize for 2014.” N.p., 16 Jan. 2014. Web. 22 Jan. 2014. < ticle&id=29319:chelsea-manning-awarded-sam-adams-integrity-prize-for-`2014>.

Lowensohn, Josh. “NSA’s ‘Dishfire’ program said to capture nearly 200 million texts a day.” N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Jan. 2014. < capture-nearly-200m-texts-a-day>.



Labor Day TV Marathon!

Its labor day, you are off from work and or school, what is there to do? DIVE IN to some cable TV marathons! TV Stations are lazy, so they play reruns of one show all day… but what to watch?

Below is a list of shows, their channels and times of the marathon.


*Note: the last time is when the last episode starts

SHARK MOVIE MARATHON! Sand Sharks, Jersey Shore Shark Attack, Dinoshark, Sharktopus, Super Shark, Ghost Shark, Sharknado, 2-Headed Shark, Super Shark (Syfy, 9 a.m. to 1 a.m.)

US Open Tennis (CBS, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.)

Criminal Minds (ION, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.)

Storage Wars: Texas followed by Storage Wars (A&E, 9 a.m. to 7: 30 p.m.)

Call of the Wildman and Call of the Wildman: More Live Action! (Animal Planet, 9 a.m. to 5 a.m.)

Untold Stories of the E.R. (DFH, 7 a.m. to 1 a.m.)

Two and a Half Men (FX, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

American Ninja Warrior (G4, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.)

Minute to Win It (GSN, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

Pawn Stars (History, 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.)

Arrested Development (IFC, 6:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.)

Ridiculousness (MTV, 1 a.m. to 2:13 p.m.)

Life Below Zero (NGC, 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. Tues)

The Haves and the Have Nots (OWN, 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. Tues)

Law & Order: Criminal Intent (Oxygen, 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

Beverly Hills Pawn (Reelz, 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.)

MythBusters (SCI, 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. Tues)

The Millionaire Matchmaker (Style., 6a.m. to 7 p.m.)

Long Island Medium (TLC, 6 am to 1 p.m.) followed by an episode of Long Island Medium On the Road at 2 p.m.

Castle (TNT, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.)

The Andy Griffith Show (TV Land, 8 a.m. to 5:12 p.m.)

NCIS (USA, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.) followed by an episode of NCIS: Los Angeles at 7 p.m .

Roseanne (WE, 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.)

Keeping Up with the Kardashians (E!, 1 p.m. to 10 p.m.)

Obviously I am super stoked for the shark movies and castle! How about you guys?


(list sourced from

SLYK E3 Roundup!

This past week most of us sat in awe at our TV’s or computers, literally drooling over the tech explosion that was happening in LA from the 11th to the 13th. We saw new consoles, new games and a whole heck of a lot more, below are some of our picks and favorites from the expo.


Yes Microsoft revealed its newest console (again), and with it came many criticisms, rumors of it always watching you, recording your living room and lot more. Most of these unfounded of course, whats true though, is the fact you will no longer be able to trade games! Software licenses are now one time use so you buy it, you keep it.

An octo-core AMD processor and and AMD/ATI Graphics chip power this beauty, with 8GB of system memory to run everything (3gb dedicated to the system 5gb to games). The Xbox ONE holds up to even todays top gaming rigs. Also in the machine is a blu-ray drive (finally) and a 500gb non-removable hard drive. We hope you have a new TV though as the Xbox ONE will not support Composite or Component video, the rig is going HDMI only.

I would be a fool for not mentioning the kinect is mandatory and is an added accessory in each box. The kinect sensor will need to be connected at all times for the system to function, but users will have the software option to turn off its features.

The Xbox ONE will start at $499.99, preorders are available now.

Chris’ Games to Watch For:









Sony came out of the gate swinging, they showcased that they are everything Microsoft isn’t. The PS4 is the nextgen console that doesn’t forget its roots, or so they would like you to think. The PS4 will not require a constant internet connection, you can still trade games if need be oh and it doesnt have a camera that can spy on you. Lets take a look at what the system is packing!

Much like the Xbox ONE, The PS4 will have an octo-core processor, and 8gb of RAM, the main difference here is the 8GB is unified, meaning one process can take a little more if needed. Memory wise the PS4 features an upgradeable 500GB Harddrive. As for the playstation camera, it will not be a mandatory accessory and will ship seperately for $59.

The PlayStation 4 will ship this fall and starts at a $399.99

Chris’ Games to Watch For:





Everything Else!

So one neat thing is iOS7 will start to accept some game controllers… look out mobile gaming!

Some games that coverage caught my eye but, Hey! I like shiny things!

-Saints Row 4 – Uh saints row with super powers? I AM IN!!! New to the series? Think the cartoon version of Grand Theft Auto.

-Killer is Dead – New Suda 51 game, always great style, i love the art in these games. Are you a fan of No More Heroes? Check this game out!

-Elder Scrolls Online – Its Skyrim with your friends, whats not to love?!

That is everything I thought was cool at E3, but I am sure you have read all this at some point, what are some cool things you guys found from E3?


PlayStation: The Next Generation

The PlayStation Meeting has been over for a couple of days, and here is what we now know (and maybe a little of what we’re guessing). Take a look at the facts and let us know what you think of the new installment in the PlayStation series.ps4_specs


New DualShock 4 Controller:

Improved analog sticks and bumpers

“Enhanced rumble”

Lower latency

Headphone jack

A small 2 point touchpad; second-screen gameplay, such as for maps in dungeons

Player color light bar, also indicates important game information, like low player health

“Options” and “Share” buttons (instead of Start and Select)

PlayStation Camera – stereo depth camera to detect controller positions

PlayStation Move still a thing




With Gaikai’s PlayStation Cloud:

Suspend and immediately resume games in RAM

Play while you download in the background

Instant free trials of every game

Spectate on your friend’s game, but jump in and help if they need it

For PS Vita owners, remote play of every PS4 game; rumor that some PS4 releases will include the Vita

Possible used games compatibility

Possible future Cloud streaming of previous PlayStation games

Prediction; guesses what titles you’ll like next; automatic pre-download, meaning that when you buy it, you already have it


Other important information:

PlayStation Network is still free to use!

Share button lets you stream game play with the press of a button

iOS and Android Apps-purchase, download, and install remotely, watch gamer’s streams

“Friends” interface is focused on real-world relationships



The PS4 is not backwards compatible, at least not yet. The goal is to be able to stream PS1, 2, and 3 games later on. If and when it is available, it may cost extra.

It may cost extra down the road to use pre-owned games.

Despite now running in the background, downloading and installing while playing a game will still take up RAM and could affect game play negatively, at least until the download and install is complete.

The Share button is cool for people who are into that sort of thing, but is it really necessary to have a button for it on the controller?

The interface is reminiscent of the Windows 8 Start Menu. I personally like the simplicity of Windows 8, but this could be an annoyance to others.

We still don’t know what the console will look like, but I’m going to guess it will be black……


Confirmed Developers:

Mark Cerny (System Architect; Knack)

Guerilla Games (KillZone: Shadowfall)

Evolution Studios (DriveClub)

Sucker Punch (Sly Cooper; inFamous: Second Son)

Jonathan Blow (The Witness)

Media Molecule (“record your dreams,” sculpt 3D objects with PS Move controller)

Capcom (Panta Rhei engine; Deep Down)

Square Enix (Luminous Engine; Final Fantasy title in the works)

UbiSoft (Watch Dogs)

Blizzard Entertainment partnership with Activision (Diablo III on PS3 and 4)

Bungie (Destiny)

Epic Games (Unreal Engine 4)

Over 100 more!



PS4 is set to release for the holiday season.

Will you make the purchase? Let us know below!


Year of the Console

Lately, the web has been abuzz with news and rumors concerning new console releases this year. Get caught up with our list of consoles below.

Ouya, keeping it simple and sweet.
Ouya, keeping it simple and sweet.

Ouya – This little console is tiny – dare I say adorable? It will connect to your TV through an HDMI port, and run its own version of the Android OS. According to the Kickstarter page, any developer can use it to create games, but, “That doesn’t mean OUYA is an Android port. You can create the next big title in your bedroom – just like the good old days! Who needs pants!?” Indeed, who DOES need pants? This little guy will sell for only $99, and that’s a huge price break compared to some of the consoles rumored to be releasing this year by large companies like Microsoft and Sony (note: controller sold separately for $49). Ouya was backed a great deal by crowdfunding on Kickstarter, where the developers raised over $8 million! It launches in April, but you can expect to see this at retail in June. Worth a try? You tell us.

NVIDIA's Project Shield
NVIDIA’s Project Shi



Project Shield – This is a handheld console system developed by NVIDIA, the GPU giant. It is shaped mostly like an XBOX controller, and includes a multi-touch, 5-inch HD screen. It will run Android Jelly Bean, which means it’s kind of a phone with a controller. You’ll be able to use the device by itself using the Android system, or stream games via Wi-Fi from your PC.  It sounds like it’ll be power-packed with NVIDIA’s Tegra 4 CPU, and the website makes it look pretty awesome. There is no set date or price for Project Shield, but release is rumored to occur sometime in the second quarter.



Game Stick, going all minimal n' shit.
Game Stick, going all minimal n’ shit.


Game Stick – Like Ouya, this one also uses an HDMI connection. It is equally adorable, but in a totally different way. Game Stick is pretty much a stick that plugs into your television, and has a pocket-sized controller. It will run off a version of the Android OS, and also had a Kickstarter page. Just because of its similarity to the highly funded Ouya doesn’t mean it plays second fiddle. The controller is minimal, pocket-sized, and reminiscent of an NES controller…which might be what gamers are looking for. It’s currently priced at $79 (controller included) and will also officially launch in April, after which you could probably expect a couple of months before it can be seen in stores.



Totally awesome PS4 concept. Thank you artist.
Totally awesome PS4 concept. Thank you artist.


PlayStation 4  – Obviously this one is a big deal. Sony released that it will have a PlayStation Meeting on February 20, at which the next PlayStation will likely be unveiled. There is not much concrete information about the design, but we can expect to at least get more information by E3 in June, about the time some of the other small consoles will be hitting retail stores.




An XBOX 720 concept. Unlikely, but really cool.
An XBOX 720 concept. Unlikely, but really cool.


XBOX “720” – Rumor has it that the latest in the XBOX line, “720” or otherwise, will likely incorporate the augmented reality set up that was showcased at CES, Microsoft’s “Illumiroom technology”. This one will likely be shown to the world at E3, so we can expect both the latest XBOX and the latest PlayStation to be available in retail stores in Autumn.




Piston, a Steambox prototype from Valve's partner, Xi3
Piston, a Steambox prototype from Valve’s partner, Xi3



Steambox – Okay, so it’s sort of unlikely we’ll get to purchase this year, but it’s worth a mention, because anything is possible. Valve, the company behind of Half-Life, the distribution network Steam, and the Source engine, appears to be planning a server-like console/PC. The goal seems to be to create a seamless experience between your TV, PC, and even your mobile device.





Which one will you purchase? Which one just sounds insanely stupid? Did we miss something? Let us know in the comments below!

Just maybe don’t be like this:


Techie Fun: Objectify A Male Tech Writer Day

This February 1st, many in the tech world will be celebrating a little known holiday that has a big idea behind it. What is it, you ask?

Objectify A Male Tech Writer Day!!

This first annual event follows on the heels of the #1ReasonWhy campaign, which served to highlight the way that women in gaming are treated, and why women are so few in the gaming field.

Leigh Alexander of the NewStatesman explains the trend in which women often receive out-of-place, unprofessional mention of their looks: “Yes, the intention is usually harmless, even well-meaning. But superficial compliments have nothing to do with my writing, and coming from strangers, sometimes heaps of them at once, the net effect is creepy. This is the reality that many, even most women working and writing and speaking in tech fields face on a regular basis, and the reaction when we protest – please let’s focus on my work, not my face/body/hair – is telling.” (Read: the reaction is typically negative.)

In response and with no small amount of interest and seeing what would happen if the tables were turned, Alexander proposes that on February 1st, whenever you comment or reference a technology-oriented article written by a man, include some arbitrary comment about his appearance.

Of course, this is not to say that this never happens to men, only that it is more common, and often more damaging, in women writers’ professional lives.

Alexander says, “The purpose of the exercise isn’t to “get revenge” or to make anyone uncomfortable: simply to help highlight by example what a gendered compliment looks like, and to get people talking in a funny and lighthearted way about how these kinds of comments distract from meaningful dialogues and make writers online feel like their point of view is only as relevant as how attractive they are.”

If you’d like to discuss gender roles in the technology industry, leave me a comment below! I’d love to hear what you think.

If you plan on participating on February 1st, in your tweets use #ObjectifyAMaleTechWriterDay

CNET’s $5000 Contest, Tech Buying Guides, & Key Shipping Dates

The “CNET 100: Winner Techs All Contest” isn’t just a great pun. It is an annual look back at the year in technology, and they have chosen the most important technological developments in four categories: Technology, Trends, People, and News Stories. Your job is to guess those four things by 11:59pm ET on December 10th. This contest from CNET could win you $5000, which is pretty sweet Christmas cash if you ask me. All you have to do is register for a CNET account and guess a few short answers! I’m not sure I’ve heard of an easier giveaway. There are only two days left for the contest, so you’d better head on over to CNET to see how to enter!

If you’re feeling unlucky, you can at least take a look at one of these holiday tech buying guides:

Newegg has a really great holiday buying guide right now. You can choose from different types of tech interests, stocking stuffers, and classic differentiation like gender. You can also get quick links to some of their best deals.

CNET also has a decent holiday guide, but at first glance it appears to be more for those who at least sort of know what they are wanting to gift the uber nerds in their lives. The real gems are the Gift Galleries on the right hand side, like “Best Gifts Under $50” and “Tech toys for big kids.” (We welcome any and all gifts from these galleries…wink wink.)

Slickdeals doesn’t have a holiday buying guide, but if you’re willing to do the research, you can take your ideas from Newegg, CNET, and other guides on the web, and cross-reference them with the amazing deals added on the site every day. You can even go deeper by taking your research to the forums, where you can find excellent user-submitted deals and guides, and ask for help from fellow shoppers. Or, if you’re knowledgeable about something, lend your advice to shoppers who are slowly slipping into “oh-shit-what-am-I-gonna-get-Uncle-Frank-when-he-has-everything” panic mode.

No matter how you’re shopping for the holidays, don’t forget that shipping companies can only do so much. With that in mind, here are some links for key Christmas ship-by dates:

USPS (YouTube video with packaging tips and dates)

UPS (List with a video, Christmas jingle included)

FedEx (Chart)

If all else fails, you could take the gifts yourself. Maybe all “Uncle-Frank-who-has-everything” wants this year is to spend time with family. (Ha! Who’re we kidding? He’s totally going to be playing Skyrim the whole time.)

Picture by William Brawley/Flickr