Girl Geek Dinner

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On Thursday evening I went to my first ever Bath Girl Geek Dinner evening. Geek Girl Dinners was set up 10 years ago by Sarah Lamb who realised how isolated many women were in the science and technology sectors, and wanted to build a community to break down the stereotypes of women in science, encourage those with an interest in technology and figure out where the barriers were. This I can vouch for after attending computer science lectures at university where the ratio of women to men was less than 1 in 10, although as i specialised, my field has always been about 50:50. Men are by no means excluded, though the focus of the group is focused on women in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) industries. Since the original meet in London, other branches have started up not just all over the country but all over the world.

I think I first heard of the Bristol group, however I was uncertain about attending as I am not a programmer and was worried that I would have nothing to say. It wasn’t until I met the Bath ladies at one of the ‘Bath: Hacked’ events that I felt encouraged to come along

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I arrived to the fairy light and candle lit vaults of the Porter to a glass of wine and a friendly welcome. I didn’t know anybody except the organisers and speakers, so took a deep breath and started to say hello to people. After a time of meeting and mingling the talk by Leigh Dodds began. This month the topic was Bath: Hacked, the Open Data organisation in the Bath and North East Somerset authority who’s aim is to ”liberate data and make useful things” as well as promoting open data to the wider community (not just techies). You can read more about Bath Hacked in my previous posts here and here

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Then came the sandwiches which were truly delicious, I had beef ones and bacon and chicken. There were also these divine little salad pots with salad leaves, olives, croutons, cornichons and pine nuts. After a bit of chatting and munching our food Leigh then introduced us to the City Data Store hosted by Socrata to start the hands on session. Not only does it store the data but has tools for interrogating and analysing the data into reports, graphs and even maps. Its great, you can fiddle about on the site and produce results without any specialist skills.

So that was the first meet up for 2015 and the upshot is that I will definitely be going again to meet new people and learn new things 🙂

p.s. Sorry for the dark photos. Although the lighting was very lovely in the vaults it wasn’t great for photos and I didn’t want to use the flash

 

Leopard Print Duck Tape

I used to regularly pass a car accessory shop and in the window was leopard print duct tape. I thought this incredibly cool but somehow never got round to going in. However it was when I learned about the use of wash tape in crafting I thought it would be rather fun to have some (particularly for making pockets in my filofax)

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I started to look online and discovered that the tape was from the Duck company which does a mega range of pretty patterns (even Disney’s Frozen!), and though of course the various animal prints are my favourite this ‘dill with it’ one is rather cute

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Scotch do patterned duct tape also and I absolutely adore the lips pattern. Unfortunately my local The Works doesn’t have any of their tape (bottom left of collage) as they have a zebra one i’d quite like and its currently 99p

One further thing I found out is you can also get scented duck tape, however if its anything like my scented nail varnish I think i’ll stay away

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Companion Zombie short stories

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I discovered this post the other day, which although was written a year ago had never been published. The snow globe is from Think Geek

February 2014:

After reading Warm Bodies, I was eager to read the prequel The New Hunger by Isaac Marion. The book is set several years before and follows Nora and Julie as they search for refuge across the devastated country with their families. We see the lengths people take to protect their families and survive and the pain and loneliness of the individuals. We also follow a man who wakes up in the woods not knowing who he is but knowing that there is a craving and he must move forward to satisfy this hunger. This hunger is people, but is it really what he wants. This book is an insight into how the girls became who they are in Warm Bodies, and how doubt conflicts with instinct within the decayed mind.

World War Z has been permanently out at the library so I still haven’t read it yet, I have however seen (and loved) the film. I noticed this small book of short stories Closure, Limited by Max Brooks. Two of the books are related to World War Z and two are stand alone zombie short stories. They are excellent and heartbreaking. They offer melancholy rather than excitement but leave you thinking, oh wow I’m glad somebody dared to write that. They deal with the emotions of loss, hope, desperation, the drive to survive, and the disappointment of regret. It made me cry.

2014: A year in books

I started using Goodreads in 2013 and found it a great way to keep track of everything i read and also its a handy way to share it here in the little widget. Last month it popped up with “Your year in books” which i found a lovely way to visualise what i had been reading and spot genre trends; generally a lot of Apocalypse and a lot of Regency Fluff. There is also the Agatha Christie audiobook spree which i went on last year. The books are ordered by my rating of them so my favourites are at the top

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Happy New Year

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Happy New Year to everyone, may it bring you happiness and good things!

January is traditionally a time for kick starting things in your life and looking towards the future. I don’t personally make New Year resolutions, I make March resolutions. Too many times you can get really excited about something in January but then settle back in your hibernation waiting for winter to end. I find it much easier to make and both keep goals set at the beginning of spring. However the new year is a great time to give goals a boost, and especially the ones which were left to lapse as the nights drew in and the temperatures dropped. So here are my new year goal boosts for the next two months:

  • Remember to moisturise both morning and night. In the summer I’m better at this, especially with the need for spf creams, however the skin needs looking after too in the winter chill
  • Actually go to yoga
  • Make 3 new types of bread, including a sourdough starter
  • Learn a new crochet square pattern
  • Write on this blog at least once a week and catch up on my book reviews
  • Prepare the garden for spring