Geek Girls Network

| Friday, February 4
So, first of all, I've been apparently living under a rock, because one of my favorite blogs, which I read quite frequently, has me linked on its front page under its "G33KTASTIC LINX"!! Yes, good ol' Geek Girls Network has little ol' me right there. And I've never noticed it until now. I feel so honored and so lame at the exact same time.

Now, why get so excited about this you ask? Well, let's start right here. If you're reading my blog, then you're probably a geek. I don't know what kinds of geeks you are, but I'm assuming you're a geek of some kind. Comics, video games, sci-fi, fantasy, cosplay, food, LEGO, toys, Shakespeare, Lovecraft, whatever.

So, if you read blogs and are a geek, then you need to check out GGN if you haven't already. It's run by an awesome group of ladies. And no, it's not just for girls. It's just *mostly* written/run by girls. The wonderful Kristin, Nicole, Amy, Katie and MANY MANY others write about pretty much anything you can think of. And a lot of stuff you've not. Some of their recent postings have been about dirty comics of old, regular comics of new, and how it's okay for kids to play video games.

Then there's the podcast. Yes, Kristin and Nicole host a bi-monthly podcast that can be found on iTunes or here. It's fun, it's silly, and they have had some incredible interviews. My favorite ones so far have been, well, I can't honestly narrow it down. Recent highlights have been an interview with MythBuster Grant Imahara (can't tell you how jealous I was!) and listening to the two hosts geek out over Kristin's recent exposure to Doctor Who for the first time ever. It's so much fun.

They've hosted some epic tweet-ups and parties, most notoriously (?) the one at SDCC that was sponsored by the Science Channel! From what I understand, that one was absolutely insane, and I'm so sad I wasn't there. I hope to get to one some day. *cough*GenCon*cough* *sneeze*Dragon*Con*sneeze* For now, I just have to experience them vicariously via the blog, Twitter, and Facebook.

So, if none of this awesomeness has convinced you yet, what about this last bit? The website is all purple-y!! My favorite color!

Teaching Science with the Force

| Thursday, February 3
I've not posted a teaching blog in quite a while, so I thought I'd throw this at you. The past two weeks in my science class at school, we've been learning about force, motion, and Newton's laws. I try to make the things I teach as easy to relate to as possible, because educational psychology has discovered in some study or another I read in grad school that the more connections a person can make to a concept, the better they comprehend and remember said concept.

So, how do I teach about force (as in F=ma)? By equating it with The Force, of course. By our 10 year-old definition, a force is a push or a pull. What is one way the Sith use the Force? Force Push. They even tried to equate a Force Choke with a pull somehow.

Picture from Force Unleashed, property of LucasArts

When discussing balanced and unbalanced forces we talked about the Jedi and Luke being the one to bring balance to the force.

Another SW reference I've used was in Social Studies (back when I was still teaching that before the winter holidays). In the pre-Civil War lesson on the Fugitive Slave Law, we were talking about bounty hunters. The kids didn't really grasp the concept until I said, "You know, like Boba Fett. And Greedo." Then it clicked.

I love being able to geek out with my students this way. About 80% of them get the Star War references. And those that do *really* get it! Like I said to a friend the other day, if I can figure out a way to connect my lesson to Star Wars or SpongeBob, it suddenly makes more sense.