Tag Archives: women

Internet Findings of the Week for November 1, 2015

This week I have become addicted to an awesome newsletter, I was inspired by a child with a rare condition, and I have been trying to live like an astronaut on earth.

Newsletter of the Week

Lenny

Image via Lennyletter.com

Image via Lennyletter.com

Lenny is my new favorite email newsletter.

It is the newsletter of Lena Dunham and “Girls” producer Jenni Konner. I have only read three issues of it so far, but with each issue I am excited, and overwhelmed at how perfectly they select exactly the sort of topics I want to read about right now. The articles range from outrageously funny, to serious and important women’s issues. I was totally fascinated by an article about selling human eggs, and amused, yet a little put off by the vajacial article. They also have articles about the most inspirational women like Dr. Jill McCabe and Jennifer Lawrence. Writing for this newsletter is my new dream job.

I’ve really caught on to the American obsession with email newsletters. At first I thought it would be annoying having newsletters clogging up my email account. But living in NYC where there is no cell coverage in the subway, it is a blessing to have something already downloaded that I can read offline. Other good newsletters include theSkimm and The Lightning Notes.

Story of the Week

The Girl With Her Heart Outside Her Chest

This is a moving story about a little girl who is living and loving her life, despite having her heart sticking out of her chest. It is visually shocking to watch, but so uplifting to see the little girl’s attitude and positivity towards her situation. She and her mother moved to the US from Russia last year so she could get treatment. Her condition is called the Pentalogy of Cantrell and means she has no diaphragm and no abdominal muscles. She has kidney and bladder problems, and is susceptible to illness in cold weather – part of the reason she and her mother are currently living in Florida. A crowdfunding page is raising money for her treatment.

eBook of the Week

An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield

Who would have guessed how much you can learn from an astronaut? I have been fascinated by the ISS since astronaut Chris Hadfield first started tweeting from there in late 2012. He also made brilliant YouTube videos about his experience. Since he returned to Earth in 2013, I’ve been following his progress and was so eager to read his book when it came out. It really is a brilliant book, full of hilarious anecdotes and easy-to-understand science. I am absolutely amazed at the enormous amount of preparation that goes into a space flight. I mean, I assumed there would be a huge amount to learn, but I didn’t realize the astronauts and their coworkers would actually physically act out every possible thing that could go wrong before their trip to the ISS. One of the biggest takeaways from the book is that you can never be too prepared for something. And the more prepared you are, the less fear you have. Chris talks about how people often ask him if he is scared about going into space. But he says not really, because he is prepared for a myriad of possible things that could go wrong and trusts that he and his fellow astronauts and cosmonauts will be able to respond accordingly.

Internet Findings of the Week for August 14, 2015

This week I was interested in the future of video-orientation, how hand-clapping games are still popular around the world, plus how fashion is becoming more accepting of all shapes, sizes, genders and beliefs.

Article of the Week

Are Vertical Videos the New Frontier of Small Screen Viewing?

Vertical video picture

It often frustrates me when I see people filming things with their smartphones in portrait. I want to say to them (and often do), “think about how that is going to play on your widescreen television”. Having worked in a newsroom where we were broadcasting to landscape-oriented televisions and computer screens around the country, it was always annoying when viewers sent in portrait-oriented videos of events they had witnessed. When they play on a landscape TV screen, you have to either have big black squares either side of the video, or weird echoed images from the video. Both look bad. But what if you were making videos for people who only wanted to watch the videos in portrait? This article points out that many smartphone users can’t be bothered turning their phone to landscape just to watch a video. It talks about how Snapchat videos are usually always filmed in vertical orientation. Perhaps people will one day start turning their TVs to vertical/portrait orientation so they can watch videos filmed in portrait?

Video of the Week

Let’s Get The Rhythm

I absolutely loved hand-clapping games as a child. “My boyfriend gave me an apple, my boyfriend gave me a pear, my boyfriend gave me a kiss on the lips…” are lyrics I clearly remember singing while clapping with a friend. Now a documentary has been made about how these hand-clapping games are still popular around the world, and strangely the same tunes are being sung in Ghana as they are in the USA. The documentary looks at the importance of music in bringing people together and bonding with peers. Hand-clapping games have been passed down through children for hundreds of years, and I hope they continue to be passed on, without being overtaken by smartphones or other technology.

Theme of the Week

Fashion Becoming More Versatile

I love how fashion is becoming more accepting of people of different, shapes, sizes, genders and religions. Mic.com has been covering some extremely interesting stories recently. Having lived in Dubai, I have often wondered about the fashion of Muslim women, and what clothes they are hiding under their long black abayas. Now slightly more liberal Muslim women are stepping into the fashion spotlight and wearing colorful and interesting, yet still long and modest, outfits, and posting pictures of themselves on Instagram (see  below). I think it’s brilliant that people can still express themselves through clothing, even with the restrictions of their religion. I also wrote about Hasidic fashion in a previous blog post. The other article I found compelling, is about how clothing is trending towards genderlessness. More and more clothing is being made that could be worn by a man or a woman, or a person who doesn’t want to define their gender. I’m seeing stores selling similar clothing in the mens and womens sections, and other stores which are not even defining their clothing by gender. My husband and I recently bought the exact same Nike trainers, mine in a women’s size and his in a men’s size. But they are exactly the same design. I like that people no longer have to be confined to the clothes society used to expect men and women to wear.

Internet Findings of the Week for July 10, 2015

This week I’m celebrating communities coming together to help out others, historical technology, bridging the gender-pay gap and NYC subway trains!

Video of the week

3D Printed Arms Changing Kids’ Lives

I love it when technology, ingenuity and generosity come together to help people. A global community is making awesome 3D-printed prosthetic hands for a fraction of the price of traditional prosthetics, and distributing them to children around the world. Anyone who has a 3D printer can get involved by visiting e-Nable and signing up to become a hand builder. And anyone who needs a hand can apply to get one custom made. The hands come in cool colors and kind of look like Lego!

Photos of the week

An Abandoned Soviet Space Shuttle

A Russian space shuttle. Photo by Dave Casey via Wikimedia Commons

It’s hard to believe that such high-tech, and historical machinery like a space shuttle could be left to decay for 20 years, instead of being preserved or put into a museum. An inquisitive photographer found exactly that in an abandoned hangar at a Russian space launch base in Kazakhstan. He took some amazing photos of this state-of-the-art facility, and even got inside the old space shuttle to find that much of the expensive equipment is still there. (Disclaimer: I have no way of verifying how or when these photos were taken, but they are interesting nonetheless.)

Initiative of the week

NY Bar Tackles Gender Pay Gap

This Brooklyn bar (not far from our place) had an awesome idea to help make it up to women for the gender pay inequality. Since women on average make only 77% of what men make, the owners of this bar decided that on July 7 (7/7) women only had to pay 77% of the drinks prices. I’ve heard this place also has good live music so I’m definitely going to check it out soon!

 

App of the week

Subway Cars Field Guide

I use the subway almost every day and often notice subtle differences between the trains. They have different seating layouts, different carriage/car widths, and different color schemes. But I had no idea about the different ages of all the subway trains. Who knew some of them are more than 50 years old! And that’s why some of them are more likely to have the heating or AC break down. Try this awesome guide from WNYC for yourself to find out how old your usual subway trains are.

Internet Findings of the Week for June 26, 2015

I found an interesting mix of things this week, including film news, cultural discussions and scientific breakthroughs.

Video of the week

My Hijab has nothing to do with Oppression. It’s a feminist statement.

Twenty-two-year-old muslim student Hannah Yusuf wants the world to know why she wears a hijab or head-scarf. She says she chooses to wear it, and it is not a sign of oppression. She finds it liberating in that she is not judged by her looks and doesn’t have to conform to society’s requirements for women to look a certain way. She says it’s true that many women are forced to cover up and wear hijabs, but people shouldn’t assume that all women are forced to wear it. Many choose to wear it as a form of empowerment.

Excitement of the week

First Photos from New Ghostbusters Movie Set

The original Ghostbusters HQ in NYC. Photo by Rob Young via Wikimedia Commons

I only just found out this movie is being made here in NYC! And starring three amazing female comedians! The original Ghostbusters movie starred three male comedians, Bill Murray, Dan Akyroyd and Harold Ramis, and was awesome. I think this is a fantastic idea to remake it with women leads. I have been a big fan of Kristen Wiig for a while. She is a brilliant actress, a hilarious comedian, and talented writer (she wrote and produced the film “Bridesmaids”). I discovered the versatile Kate McKinnon watching Saturday Night Live – she is equally convincing playing both Justin Bieber and Hillary Clinton. And the third comedian Melissa McCarthy is one of those comical people who shows up in all sorts of interesting TV shows and films (like Gilmore Girls and The Hangover Part III). I am so excited to see the new Ghostbusters film!

Podcast of the week

Antibodies Part 1: CRISPR

E Coli bacteria. Photo by Mattosaurus via Wikimedia Commons

A type of common bacteria called E Coli has shown scientists that it is possible to easily edit DNA. This easy-to-understand and often funny podcast explains how it is now technically possible for scientists to add in or exchange genes in an organism’s DNA and easily change the characteristics of that organism. They can pinpoint the exact gene they want to edit, and replace it. I find it fascinating that this is possible. And scientists say it will have amazing implications for genetic medicine and curing cancer. But it could also be dangerous and negatively affect evolution if done incorrectly. This method of editing DNA is called CRISPR. I like the name as it sounds like my last name.

Worry of the week

Exposure to mixture of common chemicals may trigger cancer

This is scary because scientists are saying that chemicals humans are exposed to can mix together inside the body and cause diseases like cancer. But the scariest thing is that they don’t seem to know yet which chemicals are mixing and how we can avoid them. Scientists plan to start testing combinations of common chemicals soon.

 

Internet Findings of the Week for June 12, 2015

Here is a rather eclectic mix of things I’ve been watching/reading/clicking on this past week.

Videos of the week

Seth brings Jon Snow to a dinner party


For anyone who watches Game of Thrones and is becoming wearied of all the blood, gore and unjust death, this is the video to cheer you up. Late-night talk show host Seth Meyers some how managed to get the real Jon Snow to transcend time and reality to come to a dinner party in America. Unfortunately Jon’s knowledge of 21st-century small talk is non-existent and it makes for a hilarious and awkward situation.

NikkieTutorials – The power of makeup


I don’t usually watch makeup tutorials. I’m not the biggest fan of makeup because I hate taking it off at night, and if I wear it too much I get pimples/zits. I also think women shouldn’t be expected to wear makeup all the time, and society’s perception of what makes a woman pretty needs to change. But this video is very interesting because it shows how jaw-droppingly different you can look with and without makeup. When impressionable young people see celebrities looking flawless, and they feel unhappy because they themselves don’t look like that, I have two responses:

  1. These celebrities usually have amazing makeup artists who make them look that good. So people shouldn’t compare their natural-looking selves (or their peers) to these extremely made-up people, and realise that these people do not wake up looking like this.

  2. People should know that it is possible for anyone to get that “flawless celebrity look” if they have the right tools, makeup, tutorials and time to spend getting that look.

#Hashtag of the week

#distractinglysexy

This is a brilliant hashtag that female scientists are using to get back at Nobel prize winner Sir Tim Hunt for the sexist comments he made. He reportedly said: “Let me tell you about my trouble with girls. Three things happen when they are in the lab: you fall in love with them, they fall in love with you, and when you criticise them they cry.” Now hundreds of female scientists around the world are posting pictures of themselves working hard in labs to mock Hunt’s warped perception of working with women.

Article of the week

How corporate cult captures and destroys our best graduates

This article caught my eye because I saw many of my brightest and most interesting peers head into corporate jobs like accounting, finance and corporate law. Many of them displayed great creativity in the arts, or great scientific minds while at high school, but for some reason they felt their talents would be best used for corporate jobs and that’s how they chose what to study at university. Many of them were given scholarships to study accounting, finance or law, usually financed by a company that wanted to employ them. There seems to be a perception that these are the most prestigious jobs that anyone can have. But are they satisfying or fulfilling? The world needs more scientists, innovators and creative-thinkers. But it seems the monetary reward of these finance jobs are just too hard for people to resist.

14 Resources That Women in Tech Should Know About

This post was first published on Tech Cocktail

With women only making up an estimated 12 percent of software engineers in the United States, and a growing shortage of software developers, momentum is gathering to encourage and show women that they can succeed in technology roles. Grants, scholarships, intensive developer courses and support networks are helping women realise their potential, get qualified and out into the workforce.

So why aren’t there more women already?

One of the problems which may be preventing women from getting into tech is “imposter syndrome”. She++, a documentary about women in tech, explains that girls who are just beginning in the field often worry that they can never catch up with men who have been coding most of their lives. “It was just very intimidating to be around all these people who could just hack out code and I was just struggling to write my first hello world programme,” Shubha Nabar, a development lead at Microsoft says in the documentary. But now things could be getting easier for women.

Intensive developer courses

To help encourage and fast-track women into the tech workforce, a number of organizations are offering incentives and scholarships for intensive short courses, often suitable for beginners.

Dev Bootcamp, a crash course in web development which launched in 2012, has already noticed the untapped potential of encouraging women into technology. Dev Bootcamp New York director Lloyd Nimetz is seriously concerned about the lack of women in the industry and wanted to do something about it. “We recognize that institutionalized sexism continues to limit women’s success in the technical workforce and often discourages entry.” For the nine-week courses at the San Francisco, Chicago and New York campuses, Dev Bootcamp offers both a $500 diversity scholarship for women, and in partnership with professional women’s’ group Levo League, a $2500 women’s scholarship. Nimetz says gender diversity is very important at Dev Bootcamp and the team wants it to be the norm. “While many of these forces are beyond our control, we believe that the first step is to acknowledge this reality and take some action towards addressing it. Doing nothing will only perpetuate inequalities.”

The Hackbright Academy runs an intensive 12-week software engineering program which is just for women. The founders of the Silicon Valley-based academy say “we want to do our part to equalize the imbalance, and we felt that a program exclusively for women was a good place to start”. The academy offers one full scholarship each quarter, and offers a $3000 refund to students if they get a job with a partner company.

Tech education hub General Assembly also regularly offers discounted courses and partial scholarships to women, and in the past has partnered with both Girl Develop It and Young Women in Digital to make it happen.

University grants and scholarships

For female high school students just thinking about their career paths in tech, there are also a lot of options. Each year Google’s Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship gives financial support to selected women studying computing and technology at undergraduate and graduate level. Borg worked to educate people, especially women, in the importance of technology and founded the Institute for Women and Technology in 1997, now called the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology. She also co-founded the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing Conference, which is the world’s largest annual gathering of female technologists, and celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.

The Society of Women Engineers offers a huge range of scholarships both for computer engineering majors and general engineering, in association with companies like Dell, Cisco, Honeywell, IBM, Intel, Texas Instruments and Verizon. Other scholarships and grants for women to study technology-related subjects are offered by Palantir, Microsoft, ESA, National Center for Women and Information Technology.

Individual universities also often offer specific scholarships for women studying IT or computer science.

The future

With so many organisations doing what they can to encourage women into tech, the future looks bright. The She++ documentary points out that by 2020 U.S. businesses will need 1.4 million computer scientists. “We need everyone we can get in this field, if Stanford graduated all its students in computer science, the [Silicon] Valley would hire them all,” Eric Roberts, professor of computer science at Stanford tells the filmmakers. Even The White House has realised getting women involved in tech is important, with Michelle Obama helping to promote “Women in STEM”, an initiative to encourage women to study science, technology, engineering and math. And hopefully soon there will be more strong female role models like Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg and Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer who will inspire women to follow in their footsteps.