learnhowtoadult:

A special foodie episode in which Emily Graslie and Emma (and, to a far lesser extent, Mike) teach you how to bake simple and delicious chocolate chip cookies!

Emma and I had a sleepover and ate sooooo many cookies. Those are the most important parts of being an adult. 

Let’s talk. 

Created a process gif of the Project for Awesome painting that was completed back in June. Check out the stills here.
Been staring at a blank canvas for a while now. 

Created a process gif of the Project for Awesome painting that was completed back in June. Check out the stills here.

Been staring at a blank canvas for a while now. 

learnhowtoadult:

In which Emily Graslie, the brilliant and wonderful host of The Brain Scoop, fills you in on how to land your dream job!

There are no magical formulas for landing your dream job, and it’s very possible in another universe I would have never stumbled into the Museum in Montana and instead I would have married my college boyfriend and been a struggling landscape artist and would have been okay with my life. But I knew at some point in all of it that the life I was envisioning for myself wasn’t what I wanted, and thus started a desperate search for the job of my dreams. 

3 years later I’m typing this from my chemistry lab-turned office at The Field Museum, surrounded by enough love and support and discovery to fill several lifetimes - and if there’s one thing I advocate for it’s taking your own destiny by the horns and leading it to where you want to go, so you can feel the same way I do. 

I hope you find this video useful, too. I’m really glad Mike and Emma asked me to write this script and let me host on their channel - I’m a big fan of the work they do and have a ton of respect for both of them as brilliant, well-adjusted adults, and I hope I can be as cool as they are when I grow up. 

So I’ve only performed spoken art once, and am so, so far from being decent, but I adore your piece so I would like to give it a shot. Apologies for my sound quality and stuttering; and thank you, Emily, for this wonderful piece and being a wonderful person through and through.

(Here is a link to said written piece if you haven’t read it yet! Read it now! It’s amazing)

wherein Kimberly does this justice. 

I wrote a thing.

We need more voices in science
to step up in defiance for those characters 
that get erased from our stories; accolades and glories granted to counterparts 
as though we didn’t have the smarts to achieve 
the impossible, believe in the improbable 
and create the unthinkable. 
It’s unthinkable to me that our hindsight is so blinded. 
Turning the cheek too many times makes me think you’re shaking your head:
no, no, no. 

"Hey - you look good in that dress today." 
Pay no mind to the mess that comment made 
of my self-confidence. It seems pretty obvious 
the words they think are innocuous are noxious, 
breeding doubt and insecurity, feeding bouts of fury in me
as I hear the same phrases repeated to the women in my classes,
our lab mates and the masses of budding genius minds
that yearn to focus on their hypotheses and methods 
but instead they’re distracted by those words left unretracted: 
"you look good in that dress today."

If you tell her that she’s pretty before you tell her that she’s smart,
don’t be startled when she starts to parcel out and pull apart 
her individuality. Trading physics books for glossy magazines. 
Instead of figuring fifty ways to solve differentials she’s counting up 
fifty ways to potentially please her partner, 
wondering - is this what is appealing? this feeling of cheapening my intelligence
because we’re terrified to be marginalized for tying to have it all,
all the while face burning, yearning tears not to drip drop while your stomach flip flops
at being called out for a love of learning. 

Just between us, from one woman to another 
it’ll take a while to recover while we wonder without ignorance
why there are so many instances of being told to be a mother
before we’re told to be discoverers. 
And I hope in twenty years or maybe less 
we’ll be blessed with plenty of reassurances that our work
is recognized for its significance, and the difference is 
we’ll be standing up for our accomplishments - not alone but with accomplices within our fields. 
Our fields. 
And it won’t be such a novelty to be so proudly standing up for our beliefs
and our discoveries. 
We need more voices in science, and not those that just say, hey- 
You look good in that dress today. 

—- 8/27/14

breaknbake said: One of my friends is getting her BFA in drawing this year and she's having a small breakdown about whether she made the right choice etc etc. She has this real fondness for beetles/bugs/larvae and is sort of lamenting that she didn't go into entomology. I described the path your career has taken (as I understand it) and her response was, "It just sounds like she got really lucky." Is that a sentiment you agree with, or do you have recommendations to pass on to her?

Saying I got to be where I am because I was lucky makes me feel kinda bad - I worked hard. It wasn’t like I was putting in the time hoping a famous YouTuber was going to “find” me - I was looking for any opportunity to publicize the Museum, to talk about the work we were doing. I was putting in 40+ hours a week at a museum while still working a job 35 hours. I cared.

 Instead of regretting or lamenting doing something you felt was right for you at the time, use your knowledge as a beneficial tool to get ahead. Seize opportunity. Put in the time to the thing your passionate about, don’t cut corners, don’t slack off, don’t wait for accolades to be your encouragement. Do it for you.

For as long as I was a student in the Rapid City, South Dakota public school system, I was told that our teachers were paid the least in the nation, so we really shouldn’t be expecting a whole lot from our education. 

To give you some figures of salaries: 

Rapid City Area Schools

First year teacher with a bachelor’s degree: $30,753
Teacher with master’s degree and 5 years experience: $37,554

 Campbell County School District, Wyo. (30 miles from Rapid City)

First year teacher with a bachelor’s degree: $46,000
Teacher with master’s degree and 5 years experience: $55,200

Obviously, we are losing our teachers to other states far within our geographic reach because of the drastic difference in not only starting salaries, but additionally what is being offered for highly-educated and experienced teachers. Because of this, 238 teaching positions, almost 30 percent of the total number of jobs posted in the spring, remained open across the state well past the end of the school year.

This is a major problem. 

I knew I fared much better at Central High School than some of my peers in rural communities across the state. And I’m speaking from a point of privilege here; both of my parents are highly educated and I was able to participate in after-school activities that kept me stimulated, involved, and invested in my future. The violin saved my life and opened up a bright future when it came to applying for scholarships to get out of South Dakota. When I’m asked if I’d ever go back to live in the state the reason my stomach sinks is because I feel strongly that South Dakota is lacking that same bright future. More than half (55%) of students enrolled at Central High School as freshman drop out before graduation. 

Comparatively, the national average of high school students reaching graduation was 80% in 2012, it is not difficult to see how drastically South Dakota students are falling woefully behind. 

The reality is this is not an issue with consequences isolated to the people of South Dakota. As one of the nation’s leading providers in the agricultural and beef industries, we are in danger of losing not only ranchers and farmers but savvy business people who are our hope for maintaining footholds in family-owned operations. They are putting food in your pantries and dinners on your plates and they deserve better educations, or we all suffer. 

I recommend calling the office of Governor Daugaard (605.773.3212and saying something along the lines of:

Hi, Governor Daugaard. As a concerned citizen I am troubled by the lack of financial support being granted to South Dakota public school teachers. As you know, we are losing a significant percentage of qualified teachers to other states with more competitive salaries and are failing to fill hundreds of teaching positions across the state. As a result, I’m worried for the futures of not only thousands of students all around South Dakota, but the drastic affects an uneducated populous will have on a national level. Let’s not have South Dakota teachers be the paid the lowest in the nation for another consecutive year. 

If the phone isn’t for you, you can also submit a form.

Sources:
Argus Leader
Rapid City Journal
US News
Washington Post

mellowblueness:

VidCon’s agenda went live recently, and I found myself curious about the degree of equal gender* representation – of the conference generally, but especially of the panels. Panels are a platform, literally, given to people perceived as legitimate and qualified to give advice; they’re a quick measure of whose opinions we value on what topics. And the representation of women on these panels is horrifyingly low.

As with everything related to media, representation matters. The lack of women on these panels both reflects and perpetrates a refusal to acknowledge the validity of women’s voices, experiences, and expertise. This is especially dangerous given the statistically young and female demographic who’ll be watching these panels at VidCon. VidCon could be an opportunity to catalyze a shift towards valuing everyone instead of, overwhelmingly, cis white men… But if the People In Charge ever DO decide to live up to that moral obligation, they certainly won’t be doing so at this year’s conference.

Below is a full list of which panels fit into the categories detailed in the above charts. If you don’t feel like reading that entire list, here are a few “highlights”:

  • Of the 4 all-women panels, all 4 of them are heavily gendered: “Beauty Bloggers”; “Women on YouTube”; “Starting A Beauty Channel”; “A Focus on Beauty”
  • Of five panelists, there are 0 women on the “Online Gaming Strategies” panel
  • Of eight panelists, there are 0 women on the “Faceless Channels” panel
  • Of seven panelists, there is 1 woman on the “YouTube and Your Music Career” panel
  • Of eight panelists, there is 1 woman on the “Writing Comedy for YouTube” panel

* a similar report on the representation of POC on VidCon panels will be coming shortly. Spoiler alert: it’s even worse than this one.

FULL LIST OF PANELS**:

Read More

I participated on 4 panels/discussions this year: “Women on YouTube,” “Education + Entertainment: Is it possible?,” “Sexism on YouTube,” and The Brain Scoop Q&A. 

There is a lot that can be changed and improved about the makeup of the panels at a convention as large and far-reaching as VidCon. I understand scheduling is a complicated process, but having the “Women on YouTube” panel occur at the same time as “The Future of Online Video” left a bitter taste in my mouth. While I’m proud to sit on a panel with some of my personal heroes and friends on “Education + Entertainment,” I can’t help but feel a sense of awkwardness at being the only woman up there. My opinions do not represent the entirety of women educators in online video. 

We also run into a frustrating problem with feeling as though we’re preaching to the choir on the “Sexism” and “Women on YT” panels - while those may arguably some of the most important discussions occurring during the convention, we’re not attracting audiences that otherwise wouldn’t be inspired to attend. When I went to ScienceOnline the first 4 hours of the conference was devoted to issues of gender and race representation inequality - so if you didn’t go to any panels you were actively choosing not to participate in the first quarter of the conference. I’m not suggesting we force people to go to a panel they don’t want to - but structuring the timing of these discussions in such a way sends an encouraging message of support from the convention organizers. It is powerful.

Next year, it’d be great to see “Women on YouTube” on the mainstage.  I would love to have a few men participate in the discussion. Let’s not see the ‘Future of Online Video’ represented solely by men. When you ask how you can help women reach a more equal platform, the answer is that you speak up, and you participate. We need your voices. 

emily-diana-ruth:

hermionejg:

jtotheizzoe:

sagansense:

laughingsquid:

A Video of Fangirls Combined With Nature Documentary Narration by David Attenborough

This man could narrate my life. And I would be completely OK with that.

"Only in very hard times, when the pride is extremely hungry, will issues of priority be settled by fighting."

This man could narrate me opening a jar of mayo and make it sound like Earth’s most epic struggle for existence.

Hello! Killjoy here. This left a little bit of a bad taste in my mouth because fangirls are not an inferior class of fans, nor are they animals. Would we have these strong reactions to fangirls were they not female? In things like this, are we not (as a friend wiser than me put it) “sidelining women’s voices by characterising them as hysterical and subhuman?” I suppose I’m just kind of sick of fangirls being the butt of the joke.

OOPS, I WOTE AN ESSAY:

This video is really well made, and it’s great satire. But it only makes me laugh if i turn off a pretty big part of my brain. Let me tell you why.

I guess any kind of stereotyping of “fangirls” (a term which I’m still not sure how I feel about) makes me pretty sad. Portraying them as crazed, rabid, disrespectful, and inhuman might be the easy joke to make, but comedy as an influencer should not be underestimated

If it wasn’t for the negative stereotypes I would probably consider myself a “fangirl”. After all I identify as female (although I’m 24 so, maybe not truly a girl anymore), and a fan of many things. When I talked to Natalie Tran at VidCon I was so nervous I don’t remember anything I said to her. I adore Taylor Swift and I’d call myself a pretty massive fan of the extremely talented people I am lucky to call my friends.

I think although it’s probably obvious, it’s worth noting first that pictured in this video are  real life SitC attendees, not actors (I believe the bit at the end with Evan was staged though). These are people who pay good money to see creators they like, they also pay good money for merch, and these are the people who allow many YouTubers to make their living. They are the people who queue for hours, sometimes in the rain, who deal with panic attacks and sometimes convention disappointment. These are the people who make conventions like SitC, VidCon, Playlist etc possible. I’d even go as far to say that these are the people who make the YouTube world go round.

And it’s also worth pointing out that all of the young women in the video were behaving entirely appropriately and understandably for a person who is seeing someone they really like, enjoying a concert, or just, you know, having a good time. It’s important to keep this in mind when all the other elements of this film (the music, the sweeping aerials, the staged shot, the slow motion, the narration) are working hand in hand to make you think otherwise. 

Except for of course, the one shot at the end which was staged, where you see a YouTuber being chased down by a group of “fangirls”. Swarming is something that I have unfortunately seen first hand at conventions, and it’s very dangerous and disrespectful and desperately unfunny. And yeah I do worry about making light of that kind of conduct, normalising it, and inadvertently inviting copycat behaviour. In light of Robin William’s death there’s a lot of discussion on the appropriate reporting of suicide as to not contribute to further similar behaviour. Bit of a healthy stretch here, but in that perspective, I wonder if trivialising this behaviour is responsible journalism. But, it’s not journalism is it. It’s a YouTube video - not the news. Anyway, getting off track.

I guess I just worry that when we portray fangirls in this way, as animalistic, as careless, as unstable, as a constant in the world of YouTube -  they in turn become disposable, voiceless and insignificant. They become strictly watchers, and nothing else. And they are one of very very very many. And I worry that this kind of thinking potentially contributed to situations that have recently come to light about YouTubers abusing their position of power and influence over their audience. And I worry that it posits “fangirls” and therefore females as merely viewers, who watch what is potentially a majority of male YouTubers. And I worry seeing this unbalance discourages females from becoming storytellers themselves and that it discourages males from identifying as part of that body of fan culture that has been so gendered. Not to mention where those who don’t identify as strictly male or female end up. I worry that we are shown a vicious sea of young women as con-goers at YouTube conventions where the average special guest list boasts a mere 29% of female creators*. That although conventions are trying to reflect and respond to YouTube celebrity they are in fact curating it. And I worry this idea of fangirls being fans, and fans only contributes to the polarisation of the viewer vs creator dichotomy. That you can’t be both. That if you don’t have a Special Guest badge at conventions that you probably don’t make anything, or at least nothing worth watching. Basically what I’m saying is that I worry a lot. 

But whether you care or not, these “fangirls” are the highest currency on YouTube - and the way you treat them will and is defining the space. So why are we allowing them to always be the butt of the joke?

I’ve talked to “fangirls” - I’m even related to a couple of them. My two younger cousins love YouTubers and I’ve spent a good chunk of time talking to them about who they watch and why. Are they the type of girls who might scream and cry at something like SitC? It’s really possible. But does that make them shallow? Dumb? Part of the herd? Talentless? Hell. No. I’d even go so far to say that they have more talent, charisma, humour and intelligence in their pinkie fingers than some of the large scale YouTubers they watch. And I’m sure this is the case for many “fangirls”. But give them that name - and that all seems to melt away. The power of a word.

Something I can’t shake is the idea that it’s a badge of pride to be a “nerdfighter” but shameful to be a “fangirl”, when both are essentially defined as being unapologetically enthusiastic about something they like. But yet, “Fangirl” is the word that has sadly come to mean a hell of a lot less than the sum of it’s parts.

And it’s pure laziness. To let the ones who shout the loudest spoil the pot when what we should really be doing is imagining them complexly - to see them as the smart, talented, thoughtful and beautiful people that they are? Who you are often seeing one tiny side of? Try to think of other situations in the real world where making that kind of sweeping generalisation would be considered careless and discriminatory.

It’s important to remember that the “natural habitat” of the “fangirl” is not at a YouTube convention - and the way they behave there is probably not an accurate representation of their daily lives.  What if you were put in the same room as a person you seriously admire, do you think you’ll be the best, coolest version of yourself? Probably not. If I ended up in a room with Taylor Swift I’d probably actually pass out. 

Do I like it when people at conventions chase YouTubers down? Do I like it when people scream? Loiter outside hotel rooms? Are verbally abusive to volunteers and staff and security? Not by a long shot. But when I condemn this behaviour I do not use the word “fangirl” in place of the word “people”. I do not put that behaviour in a box and label it with a word I do not identify as so that I can feel superior and respectful and something “other” than. 

Words have power. And you have the power to choose your words. So do it with care.

I’m not saying jokes are bad, and in some ways I did enjoy this video. But it’s hard for me to not look at the bigger picture and see how this dot can be connected to that dot and then that dot and how a small, lighthearted joke can be extrapolated into something bigger and much more damaging. 

Am I reading too far into this video? Probably. This video is merely a small piece of the puzzle, it’s just the specific piece that challenged me to say something. This is just my commentary, and I invite you to make your own. If it made you laugh, or made you upset. Try to figure out why exactly that was. Who knows, maybe this was the intention of the filmmakers all along? In fact, I really hope it was.

And in the meantime - who’s up for reclaiming the word “Fangirl”?

-Emily (a proud fangirl)

PS: Shoutout to the filmmakers who have been really cool about listening to different perspectives on this video! Discussion is a good thing.

•based on lineups as seen on the websites from 2014 SitC, VidCon, Buffer Festival, Vlogger Fair and PlaylistLive

Required reading.