The Ultimate She Geek Buying Guide :: For This (and Every) Holiday Season

Tis the season, for what? Well that depends on you!

Some people like to reflect over the year around this time, others travel hundreds of miles to spend time with friends and loved ones, and others look forward to that sweet sweet loot. No matter how you spend this holiday season, gifts are usually a social obligation we can’t really avoid. Some people are super easy to shop for,  others are just really hard to shop for.

I’ve run a popular blog the past few years, and I find that people really dig my shopping guides. They are usually for me, but one year I did one for “she geeks”. This was a hit! (one of my most popular blog posts to date!) I got emails telling me THANK YOU! My lady/friend is so hard to shop for, and that was helpful! And other various praise.

So I have decided to compile one for The Gazetteers! Although these gifts are chosen with the feminine wobbly bits in mind, please feel free to get these for someone of any gender if you think they will enjoy them! Really who cares what gender you are, anyone can enjoy these bad ass gifts!

For the Mathematician!

Cute and Astute Necklace

Available at ModCloth!

Product Description- When you flaunt smart styles like this Monserat De Lucca necklace, everyone will take note! After starting on a whim, this L.A. brand has diligently created pieces that celebrate confident and whole-hearted self-expression – like this clever necklace. Featuring a string of metallic, math equation pendants, this scholarly style is a wise choice in any outfit.

Pop Quiz Clock

Available at Amazon.

Ahead of the Glass

mathglassesAvailable at Uncommon Goods

Product Description- Regular numbers? Those are for amateurs. Show off your mathematical prowess with every pour when you serve drinks in this numerically inclined glass set that features equivalent mathematical constants in addition to standard ounces. Each Old Fashioned glass also includes an expanded formula on its back, an embellishment that’s bound to thrill fellow geeks and pique the interests of numerical novices. Whether they join you with water during class or with something a little stronger as you celebrate cracking your latest conundrum, you’ll be glad you got your digits around these endlessly entertaining glasses. Glassware made in Louisiana, decorated in Nevada.

Cheat Sheet:
√2 (Pythagoras’s constant, the square root of two) – 1.414 oz.
φ (Phi, the golden ratio) – 1.618 oz.
π (Pi) – 3.14 oz.
e (Euler’s Number) – 2.718 oz.

The Scientist

Klein Bottle

Available a Acme Klein Bottle

Product Desription- At last, Acme has conquered topological and engineering frontiers to manufacture genuine glass Klein Bottles. These are the finest closed, non-orientable, boundary-free manifolds sold anywhere in our three spatial dimensions.

These elegant bottles make splendid gifts, outstanding classroom displays, and inferior mouse-traps. With its circle of singularities, an Acme Klein Bottle can be said to exist inside of itself — especially handy during time-reversals.

**Just a note, I have bought from them before, it’s really such a treat when you see the package, open the package, and enjoy what is inside! This is a Kristin Pick for SURE!!!!**

Microscope

A bunch of really great ones available at Scientifics Online

Mars Rover Curiousity Leggings

Available at Etsy-Shenova

Renaissance Festival Goers/Larpers!

Chainmail Coifs

Wide variety at Medieval Collectibles

Ornate Silver Elf Ears

Available at Etsy-Belethil

Rocket Ship Tankard

Available at Etsy- Aurora Illusionary

Gamer Girls

Hyrulean Crest Wine Goblets

Available at Fan Art Glassware

Tetris Lights

Available at Light in the Box

Creeper Face Shirt

Available at Think Geek

Pop Culture Lovers

David Tennant Poster

Available from Cult Classic Posters

Steve Zissou Tote Bag

Available at Society 6

Tenacious D Ipad Case

Available at Society 6

Hogwarts Pillow

Available at Universal studios

STOCKING STUFFERS!

In no particular order some great stocking stuffers!

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Fan Art :: How it Affects and Inspires Our Art

Art is something a lot of people appreciate. Whether you enjoy fine art painted by masters long gone, comic panels drawn by satirist in your newspaper’s funny pages, or art that stems from your respected fandom. We all enjoy art in one way or another. For some people, art inspired art. Favourite TV shows, movies, or books get our creative juices flowing, and make way for some considerable talent. A few of us Gazetteers are artists ourselves. And a lot of our work is inspired by pop culture media that we enjoy, or even artists who are considered fan artists themselves.

Join Kaymonster, Virginia, and Kristin. 3 talented artists, who talk about how Their favourite artists, and fan artists have affected their artwork, and their artistic careers.

Kailyn (KayMonstar):

Fan Art can take many forms such as drawings, costuming, music and filmography just to name a few. And even though fan art has many vehicles the driver is still the same. The passion for the subject matter is what makes fanart such a huge part of pop culture today. I would go so far as to say that fanart is pop-culture as we know it.
Have you ever watched a movie or show, or just experienced something so awesome it stirred something inside of you? A feeling so strong you had to get it out in any way possible? This to me is the true essence of fan art. It washes over you from a moment of wanting to show the creators that something they made gave you feelings to wanting to explore every inch of the rich worlds that have been created.
Perhaps most folks think that fanart is mostly just drawings, when in fact it overflows into other mediums. Cosplay and costuming are fantastic examples. The time and dedication that is put into crafting costumes based on characters you love is fan art.  Whether or not you are a beginner or at Yaya Han  level it doesn’t matter. What is important is that it took time to create these costumes and it shows creators that people love the characters.
Another form would be music. Adam Warrock  creates songs that reflect his passion for things. The first one that really pops in my head is Gravity Falls  and then there is Schaffer the Dark Lord’s  Ode to David Lynch Films. They’re love songs to shows and movies that inspire them. The Protomen and Megaran have created whole albums devoted to megaman.


Lastly I want to talk about fan films. They take the world that was original and expand it. They pay homage to or parody the games and movie tropes we all know and love.  When I think of fan films I think of things like Nuka Break or No Escape.  Minecraft: The last Minecraft  explores the ambiguous world that notch created. These are dedicated fans.


Fan-created projects generate more fans and inspire others to take up their own mantles of appreciation. Fan art has become a perpetual cycle of creation. Movies,TV, videogames, and music they all inspire us either by changing how we view the world or giving us the motivation to keep going when things are tough. Fan art is our way of saying thank you for letting us be a part of that experience.

Virginia:

Ed “Big Daddy” Roth represented a very specific sub-genre of hot rod culture called Kustom Kulture. He had many contemporaries such as Von Dutch and Stanley Mouse, you couldn’t call Roth the sole artist of the Kulture movement, but his work is the most distinctive, enduring and delightful as far as I’m concerned. His graphics work focused on frenzied energy, grotesque body distortion, and intricate mechanical detail. Curiously, much of his art seems simultaneously lively and very still and contained, bizarre figures riding improbable vehicles appear frozen in place, paused for an instant in the middle of a breakneck race. Ed Roth is iconic, and his work heavily influenced the movement of art in the 60s and 70s that was more DIY and counter culture than anything that had been going on in America’s art world before that time.

I have made a few Ed Roth ‘style rip’ images…

This is Artwork Virginia did of Fellow Gazetteer Kristin

This is Artwork Virginia did of Fellow Gazetteer Kristin

But Roth’s influence runs deeper than that in my own work. I discovered his work as well as the joys of earlier generations of Mad magazine when I was in my early teens but I didn’t truly respect them as art forms until I was in my twenties. I realized that there could be a blissful perfection one could achieve through the grotesque. I strive for that in my art now, whatever I happen to be drawing.

image04

Bill Wray, Christy Karacas, R. Crumb, Takashi Murakami and Lane Smith all tickle my fancy in the same way, but the next artist I want to discuss- Junko Mizuno- Had a much more significant impact on my art. Junko Mizuno, much like Ed Roth, revels in the bizarre, but her art was the first indication I ever got in popular culture that femininity and grotesqueness could go hand in hand.

image00Some of Junko Mizuno’s comic art is charmingly simple, and some of her illustration is incredibly complex and baroque in its excessive decoration, but its common theme is almost always the female form, shown in a myriad of incredible, distorted ways. Legs are long and thick and hair is intricately styled, but mouths can drip vile substances and little delicate hands can clutch weapons and vital organs. Mizuno’s vinyl figures are all the more disquieting for their physical presence, her comic art can be graphically flat and seem to only be able to exist in 2D, but somehow translates incredibly well into 3D. I first discovered Junko Mizuno in high school. This is a ten year old drawing inspired by her work I did.

image02And her influence is still present in my work today, as I portray female characters in ways that highlight anatomical function and horror and making those aspects just another facet of their beauty.

-Virginia

Kristin:

I have been a full time artist for about 3 years now. I make a decent living off of my artwork, be it original paintings,prints, graphic art jobs, or other related merchandise. I have been in countless shows, and had my work appear in galleries and businesses across the USA. Some may consider me a success, I say my career has just begun. I wasn’t always an artists, for awhile I was a bartender, barista, manager, and retail slave. It took a lot of soul searching to cast off my corporate zombie badge and start working for myself. But I won’t say it was easy, and it certainly had a lot to do with artists/people whom I truly admired. Seeing their success,especially in a field I so desperately longed to be apart of was the big push. I needed to go down this path.

The artists I tend to admire the most, and the ones who inspired me to really become who i am today could easily be considered fan artists. They are artist who take pop culture, and media around us and offer their own unique vision and perspective to that genre.

Artists like Megan Lara, a terrific artist who I am sure you are all aware of, has been capturing the hearts (and wallets) of just about everyone I know. She is responsible for those amazing art nouveau inspired shirts of beloved characters you see everywhere, as well as original creations of her own.

She’s got Science by Megan Lara

Her work is a level I would love to be able to achieve, and with every new piece she is an amazing inspiration. Some fan artists paint what is popular because it is what gets them recognition. And to that I say they are not truly “fan artists”. Megan Lara is not the case, and that is another strong reason I admire her so much.

I could go on and on, give you examples of such amazing people like Evan Bryce, Hillary White or Nicky Barkla, but I’ll leaving the extensive gushing out of this.

Ok I HAD to include an Evan Bryce Batgirl in here!

Truly it is because of fan artists that gave me the confidence and courage to really jump out of my shell and tackle the subject matter I have always wanted to do. If it wasn’t for people like them, with their talent, passion and skill, I might still be selling mattresses in a mall somewhere. So if you are reading this guys, Thanks!

Bunsen and Beaker by Kristin Frenzel

Bunsen and Beaker by Kristin Frenzel

Check out our ladies here-

Stay Tuned!

Utilizing Cartoon Lore :: Comparing Adventure Time with My Little Pony Friendship is Magic

twilighttime It is safe to say two of the hottest cartoon (and most heavily merchandised) shows on television right now are Adventure Time, and My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Both of these shows appeal to a wide range of age groups: from the younger generation to an older but maybe not as mature generation. Adventure Time is currently in the middle of its 5th season, and continues to be amazing. And Hasbro has releasing a spin-off of MLP:FiM, Equestria Girls! The fans, and buzz around these shows continues to grow and one might wonder, what makes these stand out above the rest?

Even though the shows are on different networks, and geared towards a different audience, a lot of times they share the same fans. Some Bronies (and Pega-Sisters) love Adventure Time, and Adventure Time fans might enjoy the adventures of the Mane 6. So what formula makes this work, what makes both of these shows stand out above their competitors, and what makes them some of the most cult followed cartoons of recent years?  Since they are both widely popular do they utilize the same story telling formula? See I think they do, although in my honest opinion I think one does a much better job at it then the other one.
Tread with caution friends, this article may contain spoilers!

There are some shows that strike a cord with a wider range of audiences, and both Adventure Time and My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic are a few of them. In a previous Gazetteer Article (Sexism in Nerd Culture) I defended the Bronies against people who thought that is was inappropriate, and creepy for guys to be a superfan of a cartoon that was geared towards young girls. This time around I wanted to get into why I think these shows are so good at entertaining a larger audience.  Particularly an audience that is not the geared demographic.

I’ll say it again, both shows are extremely popular with a wide age group of fans. I truly think this is more than just the wacky cartoon antics of our animated friends. I believe it has to do with the care, and effort writers and creators put into an underlying back history, stories, and set of rules that these characters have to deal with in those animated realms. With these secret parameters in place it adds a tiny bit more depth than the next animated cartoon. I truly feel that Adventure Time, and MLP: FiM are two strong examples of this. When you watch these shows there are elements of the worlds that impact relationships, the surrounding environment, and ultimately their perceived destinies. I think in a show like MLP:FiM we all knew that the main reason the show was created was to market Hasbro’s My Little Pony toy line. That gives the shows creators some constraints to work with (come on, they can’t make Pinky Pie go straight out evil, or who would buy the snuggly plush?) but it can also give them opportunities to be really creative with how and why certain elements happen to the characters. Since Lauren Faust left the show around season 2 the writers have made more brash and less creative decisions. Although I was 100% behind the decision to make Twilight Sparkle a princess, why and how they did it felt rushed, and incomplete. If you watch the show from the beginning, you really get the feeling that Twilight was being prepared and trained for something big. Being the Princess’s personal protege to me means she is being trained to have a much higher position than writing weekly reports on friendship to keep her OCD mind occupied. Even her name alluded to some sort of connection between the 2 royal sisters (between night and day there is twilight) AND her foal-sitter was a princess herself. It just all seemed to fit. But this is where the writers, and creators to me dropped the ball. When she actually wrote the new magic and proved herself to be ready to become a princess it seemed like the experience didn’t justify her worth to be upgraded to royalty. It was her writing new magic, after she fucked up the destinies of her friends, rather than the numerous times she herself had saved Equestria when Celestia or any other of the royal ponies were unable too. Not to do with more in depth reasoning with her magic abilities, or potential. No basically it was Twilight fucking up and fixing it. And I am sorry but having your friends HATE their job is not as bad as oh I don’t know, having an evil queen and her entire kingdom feasting on the love and happiness of Canterlot, or an Evil unicorn imprisoning and enslaving a lost civilization of ponies. NOPE, Apple Jack makes ugly ass dresses, so if you can fix that mess then here are your wings! They had some sort of story with this, With Starswirl the Bearded’s magic journal, and the significance that surrounded that, but they rushed it.  There is some underlying lore, and back history in MLP:FiM, and I feel like it is often untapped in season 3 (which I attribute to the loss of Faust). It is there though, waiting to be utilized! And it’s that initial history that I think added a lot of depth to the show that older audiences really were captivated by.

Adventure Time to me is the exact opposite. When you first start watching Adventure Time it seems like a hodge podge mess of entertaining nonsense. There is no apparent formula for how the story goes, it feels like a “whatever the writers/creators want to throw on the screen” sort of cartoon. But as you watch you start to see things come and go, small almost unimportant plot points pop up again, characters who were throw-aways come back and have more purpose. The story, the world and all of its characters really start to take life. Creator, Pendelton Ward, has stated there is a set of rules (almost like a D&D Manual) that they follow. It is this secret set of rules, and history within the land of Ooo that adds the magic sparkle to the show. You start to feel sorry for the Ice King, you start to wonder the true history behind Princess Bubblegum and the Candy Kingdom. You feel sad because maybe Finn really had a pillow wife, and kids, and maybe he got to the mysterious Pillow Kingdom by one of those random dimensional portals talked about in the finale of season 4. Everything has a history, everything has a reason, almost everything that happens has a future purpose. This is what really adds that extra kick to Adventure Time.There is also a balance of happy fun, and dark loneliness. That conflict in itself adds a lot to the show. It is those extra steps and such that the writers and creators tap into that MLP: FiM has, but a lot of times they do not use. To me that makes Adventure Time better when it comes down to following a certain formula for the show, and adding that extra depth to make it stand out above the rest.

Both shows have a cult following. They both have a story that fans of all ages and genders have fallen in love with. I think that the reason being is that they both have some hidden secrets, and stories that haven’t been told, but we are anxiously waiting to hear. I do think that Adventure Time and the talented people behind it have really found the perfect blend of dark, colorful, fun, and sad to make the show really shine. I do think MLP:FiM has it too, and I am WAITING for them to really tap into that and blow our socks off!

-Kristin

We are the Gazetteers

Salutations, I’m Kristin!

I want to tell all you glorious people about The Gazetteers!

The Gazetteers were founded about a year and a half ago. We are a group of women who really wanted to develop a voice in our community. Frustrated by the lack of genuine support for fellow female geeks (and sadly the biggest obstacle is fellow female geeks, but we will get into that later), we decided to start writing and blogging to get our voices heard.  We are a group of artists, scientists, writers, and engineers! We cover many different areas, and share a lot of different passions in nerdom.

Now, we aren’t here to tell you how “wicked rad” nerd girls are. Rather we just want to share and participate in our community! Look to us for entertaining articles, reviews on video games, comic books, and movies. As well as personal stories and even artwork!

Stay Tuned!

We got our start on Nerdy Show! And wanted to share some of our more popular articles from the past!

Please check out the rest of our articles on Nerdy Show!