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Show Me Your Pink!

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month in the United States. I feel very strongly about this cause, but not because I have been affected by it. I do not personally know anyone who has had breast cancer. It hasn’t struck down any of my friends, or my family. However, as a woman, I don’t want to wait until it does before I act.

No one really knows what the cause of breast cancer is, and it affects women of all races. It also doesn’t discriminate against age, because women in their early 20’s have been diagnosed with the disease. The best weapon against breast cancer is awareness. Spread the word about early detection, mammograms, and research.

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ID:	110I guess it is no big secret that I love pink, and it is my favorite color. The funny thing is that it didn’t become my favorite color until I found out I was going to become the mother of a baby girl. Before I became a mom-to-be, I always loved blues, but when I started thinking about my baby girl and what kind of person she would be, I kept seeing the color pink. Pink stole my heart away, just like my Mini Me did when she was born. Pink is her favorite color, and was one of her first words. It definitely was the first color she ever recognized by name and learned how to spell!

I designed this T-shirt to show my support for breast cancer awareness. I will be designing a breast cancer awareness themed tee every day in October, and offering them for sale on my Zazzle shop!. I pledge $1 of every breast cancer awareness T-shirt I sell to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, so they can continue to fight the good fight and race for a cure!

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My Football Picks for Week 2

Since I am an avid football fan and a fantasy football player, (currently number 1 in my league) I am going to share my football picks each week here on my blog. Now picks really have nothing to do with fantasy football since that is based mostly on individual in-game stats, but I just thought it might be fun to see how I do throughout the season on picks alone.

Below is a list of matchups and in bold will be my pick the week:

Oakland at Buffalo
Green Bay at Carolina
Arizona at Washington
Baltimore at Tennessee
Seattle at Pittsburgh
Jacksonville at N.Y. Jets
Chicago at New Orleans
Kansas City at Detroit
Cleveland at Indianapolis
Tampa Bay at Minnesota
Dallas at San Francisco
Cincinnati at Denver
San Diego at New England
Houston at Miami
Philadelphia at Atlanta
St. Louis at N.Y. Giants

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Google Celebrates Freddie Mercury’s Birthday

queen_34828

On what would have been the 65th Birthday of Queen’s lead singer, Freddie Mercury, Google decided to transform their logo in his honor. In true geek fashion, they turned Queen’s classic “Don’t Stop Me Now” into an animated wonderland with Freddie as the superhero he sings about in the song. As a music artist and member of the iconic British band, Freddie Mercury’s influence is still visible today in the likes of high profile popular artists from Lady Gaga (who took her stage name from the Queen song “Radio Ga Ga”) to the Foo Fighters.

Known for his larger than life stage presence and his four octave vocal range, Freddie Mercury was also an accomplished composer who wrote many of the songs that were featured on Queen’s 15 studio albums. He died on November 24, 1991 due to complications with AIDS.

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Fantasy Football Is Not Just For Jocks

There are many comparisons on the internet that date back to the inception of fantasy football that it is nothing more than Dungeons and Dragons for jocks. However, while sports is usually associated with jocks, the fantasy football game itself is separate from that, and saying that it is just for jocks implies that geeks don’t play sports, geeks aren’t spectators of sports, and geeks don’t like sports. Conversely it reinforces that stereotype that jocks aren’t smart, nor do the have any interests outside of their sporting life. Both of those images between jocks and geeks are simply not always the case, and poor generalizations.

Which brings it back to the topic at hand, fantasy football. Some may question its value as a game and a worthwhile pastime. Some may say that only jocks would know enough about the game and its players to be any good at it. But just like any other game out there, you have rules and strategies that you can apply to it. You don’t have to have ever played actual football to enjoy and win at fantasy football. You just have to have a love for the game, a love for statistics, and a competitive spirit. Those are qualities that exist in both geeks and jocks alike when you are talking about sports. Fantasy football offers the chance for us all to be competitive together and with each other, instead of one side being in the game, and the other side just cheering on. It gives a person the chance to take an active interest in a lot more that is happening on the field than just whether or not their favorite team is winning.

I am a huge fantasy football player. I love sports, but especially football. Being a girl, I have never played the game, but still I love the excitement of watching it. I love the intensity that the players bring to the field. I think of them as gladiators; warriors going into battle with every thing they have, putting every thing on the line to win. I can remember sitting next to my grandfather on Sundays, while he would watch the games with two TVs on top of each other (before there was a thing called picture-in-picture). Now I get to share that love of the game with other fans, and not just cheering for my favorite team, or going to watch it live. I get to be invested, like I would be invested in the outcome of any game play. Yes, you can be into sports, and still retain your geek cred. Yes, fantasy football may be like D&D; you choose your warriors to go into battle for you each week. And just like D&D, geeks and girls play it a lot.

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Learning to Let Go

I don’t think it is easy for anyone to let go of things. We believe what we believe and sometimes the emotions attached to those beliefs are so strong that we can’t see anything else but what we feel. I know that sounds very ambiguous, and maybe a bit more introspective than I would like to be, but it is still very true, nonetheless.

Mini me started first grade yesterday. It was a hard thing for me to allow her to ride the bus. I have walked her to the stop each day, taken her picture, and watched her get on the bus before leaving. It took everything I had in me not to follow the bus to school and make sure that she got to class alright, but I knew that I needed to hold back that much because I don’t want her to become so dependent on me that she can not think for herself. Still, in a world of Jaycee Dugards, I think it is important to be as vigilant as we possibly can.

It’s hard knowing when and where to let go. When we go to a new place or meet someone for the first time, Mini me is apprehensive, and clings to me as if she wants to hide under my skirts (if I wore those. LOL. I prefer jeans and tees). I don’t want her to be like that, because I know truthfully that is not her. She is a very confident young girl, who is extremely articulate for her age. Yet, I see her pacing herself, and restricting herself, and I wonder if maybe that is my fault.

Maybe I am too affectionate with her, maybe she is too dependent on my reassurance. Either way, I turned to the sources of my reassurance, my mother and my grandmother, and they both gave me the same granule of wisdom; learn to let go. Learn when to hold back, learn when to step back, learn when to be quiet, learn when to listen, learn when to watch, and learn when to let go of the hand that is holding yours.

When Mini me and I go out, we always hold hands. I think it is instinctive for the both of us. She reaches for my hand, and I reach for hers. It is just common for a me to want to hold her hand and for her to want to hold mine. Now, I don’t know if it’s me who needs my hand held more, or if it’s her. All I know, is that when I have it, I don’t want to let go.

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Is the PSVita Doomed Before Its Release?

PSVita

Sony debuted its new portable handheld gaming device, the Playstation Vita (or PSVita), recently at the annual E3 convention. Now, it looks like a couple game developers are saying that they are not really interested in developing games for it. With the recent price reduction in the Nintendo 3DS, it is hard to image anyone willing to pay $299 for the PSVita.

Even though there may still be a market for hard core gamers who are loyal to portable devices, with the introduction of multifunctional tablets, the gaming industry has seen an increase in the casual gamer that has boosted tablet sales tremendously. Recently, GameIndustry.biz spoke with two game developers who shared their thoughts on why the PSVITA will fail, and how tablets have changed the market for portable gaming.

“The technology is sweet, I’m a huge fan of mobile technology, but I just don’t know there’s a market out there anymore for the hardware. I can’t see why you would want to put a device out that only does games.

The consumer has spoken. We wanted to see that world exist – more players, more opportunities for us, but at the same time people don’t want that. Unless there’s a super technology paradigm shift it’s not going to shift back.” -Lyle Hall of Heavy Iron Studios Source: GameIndustry.biz

“While it’s a nice achievement from Sony in the first step it’s not something we would take into consideration in the short term…

I can see that the multifunctions that devices like tablets offer is a big advantage of them. And I think people want one mobile device that can do multiple things.

Considering this, I think those handhelds are lacking in that area and they are losing ground, actually. I think they have to be more innovative.”  -Avni Yerli, Managing Director at Crytek Source: GameIndustry.biz

The PSVita is set to release in Japan this year, with the US and Europe the following year. The outlook is pretty grim if popular developers like Crytek (known for Crysis and Far Cry) are backing off already from developing for the device. Without a nice stable of available games during its release, the PSVita could already be looking at a price cut to make the technology more appealing to the changing gaming market.

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Is Your Fantasy Football Team Ready For Some Football?

nfl-fantasy-logo-235x235The season officially starts tonight, so how many of you think you are actually ready to be competitive in your leagues? If you are a serious player, you’ve already been doing your research, and have probably had your line-up set since last week. Here are five tips to make sure that you get off to the right start with your team this season and get into the playoffs.

1. Always check game time status.
Some players may be questionable and a game time decision. You always want to check these players at least ten to fifteen minutes before game time to be sure if they are starting or not. You could bench a player due to questionable status for injuries, and then all of the sudden, he is starting, and that could cost you major points. Or the other side to this is that you have a guy in that you know always plays injured, but this week the coach is saying no, and he’s on the sidelines while you get a big fat zero next to his name on your roster. Always check no matter what.

2. Have enough running backs and wide receivers.
In most leagues, these are the guys that are the workhorses, and make the most points for the fantasy team. You should always stack your team with running backs, wide receivers, and flex players to maximize on your point potential. Keep a look out for guys that fly under the radar through the season, but stay consistent in point averages. Sleepers can be great pickups on the waiver wire, or free agency when you need to cover bye weeks. They can also be good trade material or replacements if you find yourself in a bind due to injuries.

3. Always have a backup quarterback, but never have more than two QBs on your roster.
It’s good to get your backup QB early in the season, or even during your draft, because if your league isn’t too deep, you may be stuck with someone who will put the rest of your roster in jeopardy. There aren’t many elite QB out there. You want to have at least a starting QB who is consistent, and then someone who can replace your starter if he goes out in the first game like Tom Brady did in 2009. Also, you don’t want to wait around for your QB bye week to pick up someone. Better to have him sitting on your bench to go in during the bye, and drop him after, than scrambling to find someone who will maintain your winning average. Having more than 2 QBs is a waste of valuable roster space, though. They don’t make good trade material at all unless an elite QB like Tom Brady goes out for the season in the first game.

4. A kicker is a kicker is a kicker.
The kicker position is the easiest position to fill in fantasy football, because kickers are always consistent and are going to get their points. If they aren’t, then they aren’t playing. No team is going to keep a kicker who consistently misses. It’s just not done. Ever. If your kicker is scoring less than 3 points a week, time to get a new kicker and there are always plenty out there to get. Never have more than one kicker on your roster. During the bye you can drop your kicker, pick up a new one, and possibly finish out the season with the new kicker no problem because…well…it’s a kicker!

5. Enjoy the game!
Don’t forget that this is football, and it is meant to be intense, exciting, and fun! Watch the games, watch your league match, chat up with your friends about the plays, and above all else don’t let people tell you that NFL stands for the No Fun League!

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World Wide Web Turns 20

Tim Berners-Lee

On August 6th, 1991, the world changed as we know it forever. Tim Berners-Lee published the first website ever using the NeXT computer at the CERN in Switzerland.

As early as 1980, Berners-Lee began working on hypertext, which would become the foundation for HTML or, Hyper Text Markup Language, that is used in basic website development to this day. It was at the CERN in 1989 that he began to join the concept of hypertext with TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) and DNS (Domain Naming System) which would go on to build the World Wide Web.

Even though many of the protocols that are used on the internet were being worked on and developed by different groups around the world, it was Berners-Lee who led the charge to actually make the internet accessible to everyone by the creation of the WWW.

The first ever website was info.cern.ch

“The idea was to connect hypertext with the Internet and personal computers, thereby having a single information network to help CERN physicists share all the computer-stored information at the laboratory. Hypertext would enable users to browse easily between texts on web pages using links. The first examples were developed on NeXT computers. Berners-Lee created a browser-editor with the goal of developing a tool to make the Web a creative space to share and edit information and build a common hypertext. What should they call this new browser: The Mine of Information? The Information Mesh? When they settled on a name in May 1990, it was the WorldWideWeb.” Source: info.cern.ch

In order for there to be an actual “web”, computers had to be able to connect to web servers to view the sites that were published. Personal computers in homes were not as advanced or sophisticated as the NeXT system, so software needed to be developed to enable the average home user to easily browse the WWW.

“…a website is like a telephone; if there’s just one it’s not much use. Berners-Lee’s team needed to send out server and browser software. The NeXT systems however were far advanced over the computers people generally had at their disposal: a far less sophisticated piece of software was needed for distribution. By spring of 1991, testing was underway on a universal line mode browser , which would be able to run on any computer or terminal. It was designed to work simply by typing commands. There was no mouse, no graphics, just plain text, but it allowed anyone with an Internet connection access to the information on the Web.”
Source: info.cern.ch

After leaving the CERN in 1994, Berners-Lee founded the World Wide Web Consortium, or W3C as it is more commonly known, to establish royalty free international standards for use for the World Wide Web. W3C’s mission has been to continue to develop the World Wide Web, and maintain its accessibility to every one. Their basic principles are outlined as “Web for All” and “Web on Everything”.

So the next time you visit your favorite celebrity’s webpage, or publish your cosplay pictures to your personal web space, remember this day fondly, because it was the beginning of there actually being destinations to visit on the Information Super-Highway.

Source: Info.cern.ch
W3C.org

 

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DC Comics and Me

The recent news about DC firing nearly all of their female staff has been disturbing to me. Do I think that it was a gender based firing? No, I just think that corporations don’t readily consider things like “We need to look for and retain female talent.” I honestly believe that when the execs looked at the numbers they went “Oh Crap! We just may have alienated a large portion of our reader base.” Their response on their official blog is consistent with that line of thinking.

I guess the question is, do we punish DC for not thinking along gender lines when they began this quest to reshape their company and their catalog? With the release of 52 new issue number 1s in the next few weeks, they are taking a big risk in trying to rejuvenate their fanbase with the potential of alienating hard core fans.

But hard core fans don’t keep companies afloat in hard times.

Even though I am dismayed by the lack of female representation in DC’s workplace, I’m still a DC girl at heart, and I am just a little bit excited at the possibility of starting over, and getting back into the storylines. However, I think people should look at this as an opportunity to discover more independent artists and comic book creators.

We can’t just look to the mainstream for solutions as to why there aren’t that many female artists being published. We can’t just blame the mainstream for there not being enough strong female lead characters. We need to seek out and support the struggling artists that are out there so that the mainstream can’t ignore them.

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Iwata Issues Apology for Nintendo 3DS Price Drop

satoru iwata

If you are upset and feel like you may have been suckered in by all the hype because you purchased a 3DS at full price, then Satoru Iwata wants you to know that he is sorry. In a letter that was posted on Nintendo’s Japanese website, Iwata apologizes for the drastic cut in price to the Nintendo 3DS system to the DS faithful who purchased the handheld earlier this year.

The letter (translated below) is indicative of the new attitude at Nintendo since they saw their stock prices drop amid poor earnings reports, dismal sales for the 3DS, and a lukewarm response to the unveiling of the Wii-U. Iwata has taken a 50% pay cut and many top Nintendo executives have also taken a 20-30% cut in their salaries as well.

“To Those Customers Who Bought A Nintendo 3DS Before The Price Change

Greetings, everyone. This is Satoru Iwata from Nintendo.

Thank you very much for purchasing a Nintendo 3DS.

We have just announced a price drop for the Nintendo 3DS system effective on August 11

[August 12 in North America].

In the past, there have been price drops for video game systems some time after their release in order to broaden the user base further. However, never before has Nintendo chosen to issue such a dramatic price drop less than 6 months after a system release.
We are all too keenly aware that those of you who supported us by purchasing the 3DS in the beginning may feel betrayed and criticize this decision.

This unprecedented timing for a price cut is because the situation has changed greatly since we originally launched the 3DS. We decided it was necessary to take this drastic step in order to ensure that large numbers of users will continue to enjoy the 3DS in the future.

If the software creators and those on the retail side are not confident that the Nintendo 3DS is a worthy successor to the DS and will achieve a similarly broad (user) base, it will be impossible for the 3DS to gain popularity, acquire a wide range of software, and eventually create the product cycle necessary for everyone to be satisfied with the system.

Those customers who purchased the 3DS at the very beginning are extremely important to us. We know that there is nothing we can do to completely make up for the feeling that you are being punished for buying the system early. Still, we would like to offer the following as a sign of our appreciation to you.

[3DS Ambassador program details]

We feel a strong responsibility to develop the 3DS as a platform — to ensure that, in the end, everyone is satisfied; we will make every effort to do so.

Additionally, we know everyone is waiting for Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7. They are scheduled for release in November and December, respectively, so we ask for your patience until then.

Thank you again, and we look forward to your continued support.” Source: Giant Bomb

Nintendo America posted a similar item on their website introducing the Ambassador Program, but their response was nothing as contrite as the one posted for Japanese customers.

Source: GameIndustry.biz

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