Features

3 Graphic Novels Celebrating Geeky Interests to Enjoy with Your Geekling

The end of the school year is almost upon us, and it’s been fun looking back and seeing how my geekling has grown since Labor Day. One of the ways she’s really bloomed this year is in her reading skills, and she’s a much more fluent and adventurous reader than she was in September. As a parent, this has made me about as excited as I was for that one moment with that one character on Game of Thrones...

The Rockits Take the Golden Skate in the Minnesota RollerGirls’ Season 15 Championships

All good things must come to an end, and Season 15 was a very, very good thing for Minnesota RollerGirls. It saw some of the best roller derby in years. But on March 30, 2019, it came to an end with a bang, some glitter, and a preview of things that may be not too many years in the future. This is the season 15 championship bout. This is Skate Like UCare. And this is your Minnesota RollerGirls recap....

So You Want to Try Out for Roller Derby

If you’re interested in roller derby, there’s a good chance you’ve gone to at least one Minnesota RollerGirls or North Star Roller Derby bout. You’ve probably seen Whip It, too. And maybe you’re thinking of going out for roller derby yourself. So, what do you need to do to start? Because in the words of Razor, the coach from that illustrious movie (no, not the one played by Har Mar Superstar), “There’s more to derby than fishnets and picking...

How to Get a Smooth Finish on Your 3D-Printed Parts

3D printing for cosplay has taken off in recent years, with increasingly affordable printers giving more people access to the technology than ever before. Fused filament fabrication, also known as fused deposition modeling, is the most common type, and it involves melting down a plastic filament and building up parts in layers. These layers are usually small (100 to 300 microns, or 0.1 to 0.3 millimeters) but leave what are referred to as layer lines in prints—the bane of...

Minnesota RollerGirls’ Season 15 Semifinals Set the Stage for the Home-Team Championship

The regular 2018–2019 season of the Minnesota RollerGirls ended back in January on a frigid night, with the Rockits defeating the Dagger Dolls as expected and the Atomic Bombshells winning over the Garda Belts. In February, things couldn’t have been faster as four teams fought to survive in the fierce arena of rolling battle that is the Legendary Roy Wilkins Auditorium. Here’s how the Survival of the Fastest semifinals went down. Rockits vs. Dagger Dolls, First Half In the...

We Need to Talk About Your Kid’s Book Diet

Have you thought about your kid’s diet recently? Not their eating diet, though a balanced one is equally as important, but their reading diet. What are they reading, or, more specifically, who are they reading about? Who are the protagonists on their bookshelves? Take a look at their shelves, and look at their books that feature a human (or a humanoid). How many of those main characters resemble your child? Chances are that a fair amount do, especially if...

When You Share Experiences with a Kid, You Remember How Awesome the World Can Be

My seven-year-old daughter normally comes home from school very excited about the goings-on of each particular day (and, at this point in her life, excited is one of her default states). But one day last month, the timbre of excitement was slightly different. “Mom!” she said. “There’s going to be an eclipse on January 20th! We need to see it!” “Oh,” I replied. “We’ll see how it works out.” (Translation from parent-speak: “That sounds interesting, but there are a...

Star Wars’ Fuel Your Force Combines Fandom and Health

New Year’s resolutions are in full force; a couple days ago I couldn’t find a place to park at the gym. While it was frustrating to not be able to park my vehicle, I’m always happy for anyone who sets health goals they want to accomplish. One misconception regarding resolutions is they have to be related to physical health. Health has many categories beyond physical health, even though society puts an extreme emphasis on outward appearance. The Star Wars...

5 of the Best Gaming Moments of 2018

Video games aren’t perfect. Bugs can break an immersive experience, 13-year-olds can wreck a 20-player kill streak, and one small line of code can disrupt an entire sequence that a developer worked for years to get just right. Video games aren’t perfect, but moments can be. When done right, moments can provide perfect windows into exactly what a developer was trying to accomplish and turn a good video game into something transcendent. And 2018 was filled with a few perfect...

Kid-Friendly Minnesota Conventions for Your Geekling in 2019

If you have some young geeklings around, you may have considered finding a convention to attend as a family. Here’s the good news: the vast majority of the sci-fi, anime, and pop-culture cons in the Twin Cities welcome families, offering discounted and/or free admission for younger attendees and marking panels meant only for older audiences to prevent sudden surprises. However, just because a convention touts itself as being family friendly and offers a lower rate for kids doesn’t always...
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