Features

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...

Roller Coaster Challenge Is Problem-Solving Fun for Young Players

When I saw that ThinkFun had started a Kickstarter for Roller Coaster Challenge, a brain-teaser game that lets you build your own roller coasters, my only question was what I should pick for my backing level. Should I just get the base game, or spring for the extra challenges and bonus car? My geekling is a budding roller-coaster enthusiast who also loves the challenges from Robot Turtles, another critical-thinking and logic game from ThinkFun, and this game had her...

My First Cosplay

I nervously lace up the boot on my right leg—an uncomfortable angle when you have five-inch platforms on the bottom and the bed is too short. But I get it done. Now to do the other boot. My roommate gives me an incredulous look, somewhere between understanding and “Do you know what you’ve gotten yourself into?” The other boot takes a little more time, because the angle is even more awkward than the first one, but I’m going to...

5 Things Not to Do When You Meet a Cosplayer of Color

CONvergence is here! And, just as with other cons, thousands of cosplayers will be sitting on and in panels, competing in games, hanging in the smoking area, and circling the party rooms. I’ve been going to conventions for many, many years, and while cons of all types have been getting better in numerous ways, one aspect still seems to be confusing for some of our fellow con-goers: interacting with cosplayers of color. As you can see in the photo...

5 Easy Recipes for Your Summer Snacking

Summertime is meant for spending time outdoors and spending as little time in the kitchen making hot food. Quick and easy summer recipes are my preferred method, especially with CONvergence in mind, picnics, and potlucks. I’ve compiled a few recipes from various sources that are amazingly delicious and pretty easy to make: Sandwiches of Sweet Tomato-Currant Chutney and Smoked Turkey Breast Crunchy Potato Salad Cucumber Cups with Picnic Tofu Salad Curried Carrot Dip Rosemary Roasted Potatoes Sandwiches of Sweet...
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