The Usual New-Years Hubbub

I’ve been noticing a trend in recent years towards “Anti-New-Year” sentiment. The idea is that, every day is the beginning of a new year, it’s never too late to change yourself, and the Gregorian calendar is entirely arbitrary anyway.

All of this may be true, but there’s something magical about January 1st. The Gregorian calendar has been around for centuries, and while it wasn’t adopted in America until the mid-1700s, one still has several generations of adherence to the New Years traditions on the date we now recognize.

There’s a balance that needs to be struck between progress and tradition, and I feel like New Years Resolutions and all that goes with are at the very least entirely unharmful, and at best, an opportunity to better yourself as a time when everyone else is equally invested in a fresh start.

Women in Tech, United!

The last few months (since maybe September of 2014), I’ve attended a number of seminars and events hosted by a group called Girl Develop It. They’re a group of programmers and coders who are dedicated to expanding opportunities and education for women in technological fields. It’s an amazing group of women (men/allies are welcome, too!) from all levels of experience, who help each other out in amazing ways. I’m glad to be a part of it, and I always look forward to the next event.

Find a chapter near you at GirlDevelopIt.Com!

Sometimes, My Inner Anthropologist Gets A Bit Giddy

First, may I direct you here: What did ancient Babylonian songs sound like?

As an anthropologist, this makes me so happy. As an artist, this makes me so happy. As pretty much all of myself, this makes me so happy! Honestly, it’s beautiful music, and while it’s not going to be exactly like the music nobody has heard in over a millennium, they’ve been careful to cover all of thier research bases, and as Stef Conner says, “…ancient Babylonians would maybe think it sounded a bit familiar…”

You can order the album from her website.

Gearing Up

It’d been a long while since I’ve been involved in any of my own creations. I’m looking forward to getting back in the habit of making, designing, and creating. I have so many interests that it’s not fair to myself to ignore them.

I have big plans for 2015. I’m moving cross-country, officially opening the Izzy Marie Design Etsy shop with an array of new thingumabobs, and returning to my crafty roots with some good old-fashioned scrapbooking and card-making.

I can’t wait!

I’ve been busy!

I just posted two new items on Etsy: a wire-wrapped pendant, and a crystal-accented keychain. I’m actually quite proud of these, since I completed them whilst in the depths of a rather low mood. Nonetheless, they turned out beautifully–I hope they find good homes!

Speaking of good homes, I found the most adorable little accents on Etsy–little houses by thelittlereddoor. They’re hand-built ceramic houses, all of them unique and so tiny! I love their shop banner–featuring a sweet little row of houses spelling out their name :)

A quick read on the Gulf Oil Spill

I’ve been wondering what exactly will be done about this spill, which seemed dire when it first happened. According to this article, however, the worst has already essentially come to pass.

Not only is the well gushing thousands of gallons of oil into the sea, but underground leaks are threatening the structure of the entire operation. From what I understand, this article explains how the seabed itself is holding the well, but is rapidly eroding from the stress placed on it by these events, and how the entire structure will eventually collapse, possibly before the relief wells can even be put in place.

This is the price we pay, I suppose. Read the article, it’s good information. Terrifying information, yes, but good nonetheless.

Here’s some food for thought.

This article by’s David Wong talks about what’s wrong with gaming nowadays. And I, for one, completely agree with just about everything he says.

The article is called “5 Reasons It’s Still Not Cool to Admit You’re a Gamer,” and it talks about several problems in the gaming world today. For example, how the world is stuck thinking gamers are a bunch if immature 17-year-olds, because that’s what the companies treat us like. Every new game is full of either boobs, guns, aliens, or all three. There’s no more story development, just mindless mowing down of enemy pixels.

And speaking of pixels, graphics can make or break a game. I don’t mean the difference between Pong and Portal graphics, unfortunately. As Wong put it, describing a screenshot someone had taken and analyzed:

Who’s that woman Alan is talking to up there? Where are they going? How does it play into the story? What emotions is this scene going to elicit? Tension? Dread? Humor? HOW CAN YOU WORRY ABOUT SUCH THINGS WHEN THE ROLL CAGE ON HIS PICKUP TRUCK ONLY HAS A 19:25 PIXEL RATIO.

I confess that I don’t play games as much as I could, but it’s for that very reason: games now are made to run on the latest and greatest platforms available to humankind. Portal, for example, a game that I really wanted to play, wouldn’t even run on my 2GHz processor. Even Half Life 2, which is now 6 years old, wouldn’t run on my machine. Oh, and Heaven help you find a new game to play on a Netbook!

When I returned from Japan, jobless and without anything to occupy my summer, I started to look towards games that I could run on my netbook, since my laptop’s epic death took away my primary gaming platform. I found a nice article here, that lists 25 games that WILL run on a netbook. Most of them are from the early 90’s. Most of these games have one claim to fame, that makes them worth playing, despite the lack of spectacular graphics: storyline. Surprisingly, most are under $10, which brings me to the article’s next point:

People don’t pay for games. Thanks to torrents and filesharing websites, single-player PC games are dying, and dying fast. As one friend of mine put it, “there’s no need to buy any game that’s not online multiplayer. Just torrent that shit.” His thinking isn’t uncommon; why pay $50 for a game you can get for free? There’s no reason to pay the developers and programmers anything, they’re basically like volunteers, right? They do it because they love it, not because they have bills to pay or families to support.

The article talks about an indie game company that offered a bundle of games, direct to download, with no “corporate middle-men” to jack up retail costs, and no DRM to restrict players, all together worth about $80. People were allowed to make whatever offer they felt was fair, even down to $.01. The average offer? $9.18, excluding the torrents that didn’t even pay the one cent.

Read the article. Wong puts it better than I ever could. Things have to change, or else gaming is going to go the way of toilet jokes and joy-buzzers.