Features

How Being Raised to to Give 100 Percent Made Me the Fanatical Asian Nerd I Am

I’m a Cambodian American geek. As I’ve talked about before, this has had its challenges, like clashing with parents who thought my geek hobbies were a waste of time and money, but standing up for myself and what I liked also helped me develop a thick skin against criticism. Another way my upbringing was a benefit to my adult geekdom is that I was raised to give everything I have to anything I choose to do. Growing up, my...

A Minnesota Maker’s Introductory Guide to 3D Printing

“What is 3D printing, and why should it matter to me?” Great question! Since you are reading this on the Internet, I am going to assume you’ve heard of 3D printing in one form or another. In the last several years, 3D printing has become more affordable, reliable, and accessible to the general public. It has also become a buzzword in the tech world and has helped craft a new generation of makers. Before I get too far ahead...

Making Meatloaf without the Meat

Over the summer, I was given 20-plus recipes to fill up a brand-new recipe book as part of a bridal shower, which is pretty much heaven for me. The one I knew I had to try first as part of my preparation for fall-is-coming excitement is a meatless meatloaf that uses butternut squash and lentils, two of my favorite things ever. I pretty much keep frozen butternut squash in my freezer year-round for my multitude of squash recipes. I...

Why I Bought My Daughter Wonder Woman’s Sword

As far as I can remember, it started with a cup. My daughter used small juice glasses during our family meals, but as she was still under three, I was hesitant to have her use actual glassware on the nights we ate dinner outside on our back patio. Spilling the glass was still a real hazard, and having it break on the cement would be less than ideal. The patio was a prime barefoot zone, plus I could no...

How Being an Asian Geek Trained Me to Stand Strong against Criticism

I’m a Cambodian American. Technically we’ve been here before: in my debut article for Twin Cities Geek, “The Surprising Difficulty of Being a Cambodian American Geek,” I brought to light—for the first time publicly—my personal experiences, observations, and difficulties with dealing with antigeek hostility in my own ethnic community. The majority of experiences were due to conflicts between the older generation, who emigrated from Cambodia as a result of the Khmer Rouge, and the younger generation, who were born...

How I Learned to Stop Rolling My Eyes and Make Peace with Lego Friends

When the Lego Friends line first came out, I was more than a little annoyed by and derisive of the product. Was a special line really necessary? If they wanted to expand the market, why not do something totally radical, like adding in more female minifigures to the existing sets? Did they have to make them so pink? Why were the minidolls a different scale than the minifigures? I swore that when my then-five-month-old daughter grew older, she wouldn’t...

Crafting the Resistance Goes beyond the Pussyhat

January’s Women’s March, during Trump’s inauguration, saw millions of protesters wearing pink hats with ears. The original “pussyhat” pattern was created by Kat Coyle, although it’s a common kind of pattern; knit or sew a rectangular bag and put it on a spherical head and voilà! Ears form! Coyle’s hat has over 11,000 individual projects on Ravelry, and that’s just one pattern—and that number only includes the knitters who are on Ravelry. But women’s marches aren’t the only kinds...

4 Vegan and Gluten-Free Websites Perfect for Your Convention Prep

When you have food allergies or restrictions, attending any event—including your favorite conventions—often involves bringing your own food. And of course, at a con, food that’s easily portable and can be eaten at room temperature or stored in a thermos is ideal. For some healthy snacks and light meals, here are a few website staples to check out. 1. Post Punk Kitchen Isa Chandra Moskowitz, who started a vegan cooking show in 2003, has built quite a brand for...

Let’s Talk about Minnesota Fan Fest’s Cosplay Policy

When the organizers of Minnesota Fan Fest—a new comic and pop-culture convention coming to the RiverCentre August 19 and 20—released their costume, prop, and weapons policy last month, the local cosplay community reacted quickly on social media. Many cosplayers wrote that they felt portions of the policy were sexist, seeing that they specified which parts of the female body needed to be covered, and that the prop limitations seemed absurdly over the top. After watching a heated discussion about...

A Coffee Geek’s Review of the Crowdfunded Arctic Cold Brewer

Back in January, Facebook had one of those rare moments when its targeted advertising was actually well targeted and let me know about the Kickstarter for the Arctic coffee system. A cold-brew pitcher was one of the few brewing methods I didn’t have at home—I would consider myself a midlevel coffee snob, and my kitchen was already stocked with a stovetop Yama siphon brewer, an AeroPress, an Alessi moka pot, and a French press. All of them are great...
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