Geeky Godmother

Imagine, Inspire, Invention - Your GG is Here to Help

Once Upon a Time...

My random nattering about all things geek, including family, friends and what I find to be fantastic and fun!

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Horror in Ottawa

Posted on October 30, 2014 at 9:50 AM Comments comments (0)

I've often heard people say that Ottawa is boring. Well, I'm not sure what they consider to be boring because Ottawa is jam packed with all kinds of fun and interesting people. And these people create all manner of fun things locally including games, movies, art shows, music, events, and more.


It being so close to Halloween - tomorrow actually - I thought I'd mention just some of our home grown scary fun:


  The Haunted Walk - Lots of fun, great stories, and dark Ottawa history too. If you don't live here in Ottawa, you can also find them in Kingston and Toronto too.


  Cellar Door Film Festival - Ottawa's first festival of speculative cinema. It's coming this November 7 - 9, 2014. There will be lots of local talent involved.


ZombieInfo - Our own local King and Queen of zombies - all things zombie in one place. They can be found at most events here in Ottawa. They are very active in the geek/horror community.


  Ottawa Horror - Blog and portal to everything horror in our nation's capital. They can also be found at many events here in Ottawa, when not working on creative local projects for others.


Carnival Diablo - Ottawa should be proud to claim one of the few remaining sideshows in Canada. Scott McClelland and his "freaks" are carrying on a family tradition, and updating it for the future.


 The Opinionated Monsters - A web-debate series about all things horror by a number of those already mentioned above. Funny, educational, interesting and often outrageous.


 Scream All You Want - Locally made horror webseries. I really enjoyed it. Interesting story and it's always fun to watch local talent.


The next few days would be the perfect time to check these out, but keep in mind that they give Ottawa the creeps all year long.


All the best, and Happy Halloween, your GG

Geek Hero This Week - Frances Poppy Northcutt

Posted on October 22, 2014 at 7:20 AM Comments comments (0)

This week's Geek Hero is a mathematican, an engineer and a "computress". Yes, that's what she was called when she worked for NASA in the 1960s. Frances Poppy Northcutt worked at Mission Control during the Apollo missions.


Photo from TRW (aerospace contractor) in 1969

about their employee working at NASA.


"Computress" meant she was a technical aid. She worked on data analysis. Of course they realized her potential and she was promoted to work as an engineer in Mission Control. She worked in flight control. Her first mission was Apollo 8. She was 25 years old. She was also one of the team that brought the Apollo 13 crew safely home.


from MAKERS: Women in Space


While she was working at NASA she got involved in the women's movement and civil rights. That got her interested in law and she went back to school. She became a lawyer. Today she is an attorney in Houston and is the president of the Houston and Texas chapters of the National Organization of Women (NOW).


Today Ms. Northcutt is still advocating against sex discrimination in the workplace, especially municipal government. She is a true feminist who fights for equality in all things. She is one amazing lady who I'd love to sit down with for a long chat.


All the best, your GG

Kindred Spirits

Posted on October 21, 2014 at 8:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Since reading the first two stories in the Family By Choice series by local author Caroline Frechette, I've become a fan of her writing. Even with all the strange events in each story due to the background, and ability to create fire, of the main character, Alex Winters, the overall theme is about Alex and his growth as a person.



In the latest series installment Alex's family has grown again since his successful escape from GenEx a year ago. Tom and Laurie who escaped with him are still very close and now work with him. Alex and his friends know that GenEx is still out there, but they've been living in peace since their escape. But now GenEx is back and there is much more at stake than just their lives. Their super abilities may not be enough to save the world.


Yes, that's right. The author has taken the overall story up a notch. In the first book, Alex had only himself and the small group of kids he had saved to protect. By the second book Alex had the kids at GenEx and his group at home to worry about. This time he, Tom and Laurie find out there are many more like them all around the world and if they can't change what's about to happen, the future of the human race, super or otherwise, is very dark indeed.


This is Caroline Frechette's longest story in the series and for good reason. Alex does a lot of growing up in this book. His relationship with Mr. Lupino gets much deeper. There are other strange and wonderful relationships that blossom in this one. And there's a new character added to the mix - a prosecuting attorney who can make himself invisible.This becomes quite handy, and not. Sorry, but that's all I'm going to tell you.


But that's not all. There are a number of bloody confrontations with GenEx. People get hurt. Badly. (Ms. Frechette likes injuries to be realistic) There is a lot of travel in this story - Italy, France, and Africa - to find others like them who can help. The little kid in France has the best ability, but the delivery - ewww...


I want to tell you so much more about this latest book, but I don't want to give away all the great twists and surprises.


If you've been reading the series then you're going to love this continuation. If you haven't, then definitely start at the beginning or you will be very lost. But trust me, you'll fall in love with Alex and his whole world just like the rest of us.


You can get your own copy at amazon.ca 

OR you can attend the book launch in Ottawa. Not only will there be readings and book signing, but also Halloween treats and a costume contest for those who come dressed as their favourite superheroes!




All the best, your GG

Lenore Halloween Giveaway

Posted on October 17, 2014 at 10:30 AM Comments comments (7)

Happy Halloween everyone!!!     

Well, not quite yet, but I've got some spooky goodies to give away to get you in the mood!


Once upon a time a twisted and talented artist named Roman Dirge created a cute little dead girl named Lenore. She is inspired by the poem "Lenore" by Edgar Allan Poe.This is a very dark comedy and definitely not meant for children, well maybe older children, like teenagers and people who don't feel the need to "grow up".



Lenore is well loved and I know there are a lot of fans out there, so I have something for you. A while back I acquired two Lenore comic books, then at the recent Geek Market I was charged by a generous lady to find someone who would appreciate a perfect condition Lenore doll she had (even has the tag on it!) and of course her dead kitty.


    


All you have to do in the comments below is answer one of these questions:


How old was Lenore when she died?

Name one of her friends?

How long has Lenore been around (as in the books, dolls, etc.)?


I will randomly pick a winner from everyone who answers correctly on Wednesday, October 29th.


All the best, your GG


Geek Hero This Week - Bill Fedun

Posted on October 15, 2014 at 7:15 AM Comments comments (0)

This week's Geek Hero needs very few words. He was a man well loved by everyone who knew him. He was honourable, funny, talented and simply wonderful.  Bill Fedun was everything a teacher and community leader should be.


Photo from "The Knight" at One in a Million


Bill taught sword fighting, made historically accurate armour, and so much more. He was a man of action. He was a man with a lot of heart. And he used both of these to fight the greatest battle of his life - cancer. Sadly cancer won the battle and the world lost a great man.


He is so well loved by so many people from different groups and communities that a number of them have written remembrance posts and articles, including this one from Toronto - Thanksgiving Remembering Bill. Over the years many people have written about Bill and his lovely wife Brenda. Someone even wrote a song - Bill's Song.


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There is a Memorial Mass for him today at St. Catherine of Siena Church in Metcalfe at 11:00 am. There will also be a celebration of his life at the Russell House Pub from 4 - 8 pm on November 2nd.


I'm sure this will not be the end of the honours for Bill Fedun. His life will be told in song and story, and he is sure to become legend.


All the best, your GG

Spooky Storytelling

Posted on October 14, 2014 at 6:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Recently, I received a very different kind of CD to review. Not music, but storytelling. The storyteller is John David Hickey and his latest collection of stories is entitled Did You Hear That




The CD has eight stories of demons, ghosts and haunted cottages. It's a splendid collection for this time of year. Storyteller Hickey does a fine job of reviving a very old tradition. While listening, I looked at old family photos and even did some housework. I found it a delightful change of pace from television, Youtube, and the constant barrage of images and crappy storytelling called reality programming.


Good storytellers tell tall tales and this collection of them is wonderful. There's one about a mermaid, the devil, ghosts - my favourite one being the old lady in "The Dead Don't Pay", and an enchanted canoe too.The CD is a combination of old folk tales and some Canadiana. Hickey does a great job of telling the stories and I enjoyed the fact that he was telling them to live audiences so you could experience their reactions and interactions, especially during the telling of Lex and The Devil.


Hickey's collection would be a perfect compliment to an evening by the fire with a class of wine or a bottle of beer, with the wind whistling through the branches and the moon cold and bright.


All the best, your GG

Geek Hero This Week - Sylvia Earle

Posted on October 8, 2014 at 10:00 AM Comments comments (1)

This week's Geek Hero was requested by my daughter Miranda. She is finishing high school and planning on a degree in Science (biology), specializing in animal communication. She is a big fan of marine biology and one of her heroes is Sylvia Earle.


Sylvia Earle with a custom LEGO figure of herself.

Created by her fan Maia Weinstock.

(photo by Girona7)


In 1966, after receiving her PhD, she became a research fellow at Harvard. A year later she was heading the Cape Haze Marine Laboratory. In 1969 she applied for inclusion into the Tektite project (an underwater laboratory, 50ft below the surface of the sea). Even though she had logged over 1000 hours of underwater research, she was rejected - men only. Just one year later she was asked to head an all women team for Tektite II.


In 1982 she and her husband, a marine engineer and submersible designer, started a company to create and operate robotic subsea systems. In 1990 she left the company to become the first woman to head the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In 1992 she left to start a new company DOER Marine to further advance marine engineering. It is run today by her daughter Elizabeth. Since 1998 Earle has been a National Geographic explorer-in-residence.


She has led over 100 expeditions, logged over 7000 hours underwater and participated in ten saturation dives, the most recent in 2012. She has set a record for solo diving in 1,000 metre depth too. 


She is still active today in marine conservation. Her special focus is on developing a network of areas on land and in the ocean to safeguard living systems. She has received over 100 national and international honours for her work. In 2009 she received a TED prize and with their support she has created Mission Blue to establish marine protected areas. You can see a documentary about Mission Blue, and Earle's life, on Netflix.


Sylvia Earle is still diving, and fighting to save our marine environment, at age 79. I couldn't ask for a better hero for my daughter.


All the best, your GG


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