Little girls are great. I don’t need to tell you that. But sometimes I feel they are kind of left out of our cultural conversations. Whether it be about who watches media. Or who plays video games. Or who is smarter in school. None of it really matters. The truth is: little girls are the best.
Stories like these fill my heart, because they capture that very thing:
Lucy and the Limbs by Edlyn Capulong
In the Beginning by Arthur Metcalf
The Girl and the Fox by Base14
If that 11 minutes or so of short storytelling didn’t cheer up your Monday, I’m of no use to you! And if it did, well brilliant. Because we need to see more stories featuring the minds of little girls.
Occasionally I share recent work projects around these parts and today is one of those days. Why? Because I freaking love this story. It’s about a brilliant 10 year old girl who likens robot construction to the human body. Go STEM!
For those that don’t know, Modular Robotics is a rad company out of Boulder, CO that is creating the toys of the future. Or, robot construction kits that require no programming, wiring or really much technical knowledge at all.
Anyway, super jazzed to be working with these folks. And double jazzed when little girls are given credit for being super genius winners.
I make videos for a living. So it should be no surprise that I’m moderately obsessed with video apps. Like way obsessed. And with the new iPhone 6 about to be mine (only a few more days!) - I fully intend to use all these apps within days.
Best for Editing: iMovie
Yes, it’s $5, which is annoying, but if you’re serious about being able to do EVERYTHING in one app (meaning cut clips, add music, add text) then iMovie is the answer. Otherwise, you’re going to be using pieces from the apps below. For me, I tend to use iMovie when I have multiple clips I want to splice together and not so much for when I have one clip I just want to perfect.
Best for adding Filters: Instagram or iSupr8
Obviously I love instagram and the whole world knows what it is, but if you want to spend a little coffee money and you have an appreciate for film, I recommend spending the $1.99 on iSupr8.
Best for Slow Motion or Adjusting Frame Rates: SlowPro
iPhone 5s brought a 120fps video recorder to our smartphones. iPhone 6 is going to double that. So just imagine the super slow mo awesome stuff you’re going to create with this app. Plus, it’s free. No excuse not to download it.
Best for adding Text: TextonVS
A lot of the other video editors will allow you to add text, but not necessarily attractive fonts. Gotta love TextonVS for this. It gets bonus points for also being the Best for changing Hue and Saturation on video.
Best for Stabilization: Hyperlapse
They just changed the game when it comes to creating awesome stable video with the iPhone. Can’t wait to see it on iPhone 6.
Best for Time lapses: Hyperlapse or Lapse It
For longer videos or for people who just prefer traditional time lapse or stop motion to that of Hyperlapse, I can’t recommend Lapse It enough. The on screen functionality for adjusting ISO, f stop and aperture are pretty spot on as well. For $1.99, you can go PRO and unlock a bunch more cool features.
Best for getting 16x9 video on Instagram: CropVS
The free version of this awesome little app allows you to scale and rotate video. AWESOME. It’s especially handy when you consider the workflow for the Hyperlapse app. If you create a landscape Hyperlapse (and why wouldn’t you, because DUH, this is video we are talking about) - you NEED this app. It will allow you to rotate crop into a square shape for the Instagram sharing awesomeness. So yes, it gets bonus points for being the Best for creating and sharing landscape Hyperlapses.
Best for adding music: FLY
Many of the apps I mentioned above will allow you to add music, but I have found that the built in automatic fade in/fade out function of FLY has made it my favorite. Just pick the song and the second marks you want for in and out points and it does the rest.
That video above was created with the following workflow: Hyperlapse for stabilization > FLY for music > CropVS for rotating and adjusting to 16x9 within square. Just a word of warning: currently if you try to import a video that was shot in landscape from Hyperlapse to Instagram, it won’t let you rotate it, so you have to add this step in your workflow.
I am a total wannabe foodie. But then I get in the kitchen and I get overwhelmed almost immediately. My grandmothers were both masterful in the kitchen. One was Italian and taught me everything there is to know about basil and noodles. The other was Scandinavian and had a real talent for meats, potatoes and breads. Yum, breads.
If I have one of their recipes in hand or in my mind, I’m set. But as soon as it gets beyond that, well, I start to feel OVER IT. And so I set out on a mission to make my kitchen conquests more geeky and therefore, more my speed. After all, if you make it high tech and dorky, it’s bound to be at least a little bit fun along the way.
1. Start with the Nerdy Recipes Archive on Being Geek Chic!
I don’t know if you know this, but Emma Carew Grovum, our resident food writer is a freaking genius. Like honestly, she makes food so much more approachable, because she tackles all my favorite things. Some of my personal favorite recipes she’s dreamed up for us: Veronica Mars Marshmallows, Death Star Popcorn Balls and Iron Man’s Arc Reactor Cookies.
2. Use a Giant Tablet for Referencing Recipes and Images
I’ve been using the AOC My Smart All in One Tablet to get access to all my favorite recipes on my family’s shared Google Drive, check out Emma’s awesome images on the blog and watch some really great cooking shows on YouTube so I can follow along with some of the funnest shows on the web. Not only does it feel super high tech, it makes my time in the kitchen feel like play time, which is both shocking and delightful. It’s also kind of shocking to me how affordable it was to add this tech to any kitchen. For under $400, you’ve got a touch screen tablet that can stream movies if you get bored, give you access to a ton of tutorials via YouTube and even let you Skype with your aunt so she can help you with the perfect onion slicing.
3. Subscribe to Bitchin’ Kitchen and other great YouTube cooking shows
I am perfectly willing to admit this: Bitchin’ Kitchen is silly as hell and I love it. Nadia G, the internet cooking show host turned Food Network host, is Italian so I feel a certain kindred spiritness with her food tendencies. Also, she is 100% who she is and I respect that. AND, she did the thing so many internet people dream of: she turned a web show into a television series. Gotta respect that. Other shows you might like to check out: Bon Appetempts is hilarious because it’s all about trying to make fancy foods and failing. And then hopefully succeeding through learning new stuff. Kitchen Vignettes from PBS Digital is just absolutely beautiful and aspirational. To put it simply: it’s food porn. It feels weird to call something PBS distributes porn, but people, it is. Blueberry Lime Cake. It’s on my list to try and make it. No promises it will look quite this beautiful. In fact, let’s just admit right now that it just won’t be that beautiful.
4. Holy geek kitchen gear. You win.
Spatulas don’t have to be boring. How about a spatula shaped like the Enterprise? Who says mixing bowls can’t be beakers? I refuse to subscribe to the idea that a Spock oven mitt is impractical. No, no my friends. It’s a winning solution to not burning your hands.
I may not be a master chef anytime soon, but by making my kitchen a bit more tech savvy and a lot more geeky, suddenly cooking feels like a game I can win.
When we think about ass kicking women in media, we don’t often consider the world of animation. And it’s easy to see why. Women in animation have been princesses and tea pots (well, one was…) for decades and never really the leader or the protagonist. But not right now. Now there are a host of incredible options.
1. Burka Avenger: this show is not in the US, but I hope it will be soon, because I’m so impressed by the message. Think Malala as a TV show for youngins’.
2. Bee And PuppyCat: This amazing series was recently successfully funded on Kickstarter for a bunch more episodes. And we are all the awesome recipients.
3. Gravity Falls: I love me some Kirsten Schaal. How can you not? Well, this kids show pairs her with her brother as they deal with growing up in a rather weird place with their creepy uncle. There is some potential for this to be weird, but I appreciate what The Mary Sue had to say about it.
4. Ametheyst: Princess of Gemworld: And here’s a blast from the past I just love and you can watch online… can you say ladies saving the prince?! Hell yeah, 80s comics!
What shows am I missing? Is there an animated web series or TV series with lady leads that you love? Clue me in, friends!
It’s my birthday today, which isn’t that exciting for you, but is very exciting for me. Because, Ice. Cream. Cake. Well, that’s only part of the reason. The real reason is because a few years ago I instituted The Birthday Rule.
What is The Birthday Rule, you ask? It’s kind of like Retta’s Treat Yo Self. On your birthday, you are required to buy yourself one present. One thing that you would not normally buy because:
1. It’s silly.
2. It’s expensive.
3. It’s inappropriate.
4. It’s just kind of dumb… but it makes you smile.
5. It’s a duplicate of or very similar to something you already own.
It’s The Birthday Rule. Just buy it. This year, I am buying myself a poster of a giant crystal structure. It’s expensive. And huge. And totally not necessary. But I love it and I want it, so thank goodness for The Birthday Rule.