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29 Sep

I have just started watching the first season of Outlander, a British-American drama series where an ex-Army nurse from the late 1940s travels through time and finds herself in the Scottish highlands in 1743 and in the middle of tensions between Scottish clans men and the British redcoats. So far I am enjoying it. But there are certain elements that don’t sit well with me. But none the less, the lovely costumes and landscapes have given me inspiration to work on my own story ideas – a story I have had for years set in colonial India in the 1790s (I’ve blogged about it before). And yes, like many historical novels, involves a romance, but mine is between two women. Of course I have to have it. I love historic lesbian romances and there is something delicatable about forbidden passions and ladies wearing men’s riding breaches and boots. So with this inspiration I will make sure (setting myself reminders, setting aside a certain evening to write, even jotting thoughts down) that I write something on my story. 

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The World Science Festival & Alan Alda (!!) Coming to Brisbane

11 Aug

Sapphicscientist's Blog

I was reading an email last from the Australian Science Communcators, and I was excited to find out that the World Science Festival will be coming to Brisbane in 2016. The Queensland Museum will host the Festival for three years in Brisbane, and it will be the first time the Festival has been held outside of New York City. My brain has already wondered what the program for the Festival will hold – theatrical and comedic performances and academic talks on all things science. A science festival for adults! Yes! I have an avid interest in making science fun for adults. Science centres don’t don’t draw my interest that much as the exhibitions are aimed towards children). Celebrating science, making it fun, and using multiple communication channels to represent science, scientists and contributions to society, medicine and knowledge is one of the pinnacles of science communication practise for me. In…

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21 Jan

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Cherchez la femme fatale: film noir fashion of the 1940’s

1 Oct

Great article on the femme fatales of film noir.

Hemline Quarterly

Cinema during the 1940’s, although somewhat lacking the raw dynamism of the pre-code 30’s, allowed for the forging of some the most intriguing genres of film.  Ranging a broad spectrum the included women’s pictures, comedies, westerns, crime films, and war films, 40’s cinema showed the influence of the era.  World War II was showing some of the grimmer facets of human nature, and amidst the patriotism and war effort, there was nonetheless a sense of despair.  Film reacted to this darkness in two extremely different ways: on the light, bright end of the spectrum, there was the musical, with its over-the-top Technicolor, dance numbers, hit songs, and cheerful, smiling, triple-threat stars.  Meanwhile, on the darker side of the spectrum, there was film noir, which literally translates to “dark film”.  Film noir became a sort of subset of the crime and detective genre, but it quickly set itself apart visually…

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STEM career workshop for girls

20 Sep

Asperwomen – Thoughts

23 May

After posting Asperwomen: Adult Women with Asperger Syndrome. Moving towards a female profile of Asperger Syndrome, a reblog of a post from taniaannmarshall’s blog, along with my comments including my personal experiences, I wondered if I had revealed too much. Had I said too much about the similarity of my traits and experiences to those exhibited and experienced by women diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome? I certainly did not wish to diminish those who had been diagnosed, I was discussing my own experience. I had revealed a lot. But it did feel a little affirming and in a way an embracing of these traits. Perhaps writing from the perspective that I did, I expressed it in a way that normalised these traits and didn’t make it a point of negative difference. Perhaps also it is the way that traits are perceived that changes whether these traits are positive or negative. For example, the ability to absorb great amounts of information and the thirst for knowledge. These traits can definitely be seen as good and positive, especially in an academic / education environment.

Current Topics of Interest Continued

22 May

To add to my earlier list of current topics of interest, today I found myself interested in Asperger’s Syndrome, an Autistic Spectrum Disorders. I browsed a couple of journal papers, including one that looked at specific traits in individuals diagnosed with Asperger’s, scientists, college students and a control group comprising women and men. I am also rather intrigued about the experience of women diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, so I am going to find a few papers on this as well.

Paper –
Baron-Cohen, S., Wheelwright, S., Skinner, R., Martin, J. and Clubley, E. (2001) The Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ):Evidence from Asperger Syndrome/High-Functioning Autism,Males and Females,Scientists and Mathematicians Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 31:1

Book About Manipulation – How to Manipulate Your Man – Thanks Sunrise for Perpetuating this Image / Ideal of Women!

15 May

While I was eating breakfast at 5:15am this morning I watched yesterday’s episode of Sunrise, an Australian Breakfast TV show. The show included a story and interview on a Canadian hypnotist who had written a book about psychological manipulation (for good apparently) and mind control. The show and its presenters described the book as showing how “women can manipulate their husbands and boyfriends to get everything they want………. the methods can get women a second date and even a marriage proposal…..” What the hell?! Once the presenters interviewed the author the ideas presented in the book became more clear and it appeared to be more about identifying how you are manipulated and how you can change this. The show’s presenters did question the use of the word manipulation (with its negative connotations) and whether people should be manipulating others. But regardless, the intro to the segment and the text on the screen during the segment, focused on “manipulating your man.”

But oh it made me so mad (so much so I wrote this blog post as soon as I got on the train for my morning commute). Here is a popular show perpetuating the idea that manipulation is a good thing and the myth / perception that women want to manipulate men for their own means and that they need to do this to say get another date or a marriage proposal. Oh god!! I loathe this sort of crap!! This helps to perpetuate misogynist thinking and an unhealthy ideal of how women ‘should’ act. I.e. women should manipulate their men to get what they want. And the male presenter, although it was tongue in cheek at first, put men down describing them as unintelligent and easily manipulated. Oh jeez!!

Personally I believe we shouldn’t have to manipulate our significant others to get what we want. Isn’t a relationship a partnership of two people? If our partner doesn’t do what we want, talk about it, even get mad (and realise how silly you are for doing so – people aren’t mind readers), but for god’s sake don’t manipulate them to get what you want. It seems like such a selfish and controlling thing to do. And don’t listen to popularist TV shows, authors and magazines, especially when they perpetuate negative stereotypes of women and men.

Watch the video yourself at the Sunrise website.

16 Mar

Sapphicscientist's Blog

I was thinking about Dana Scully this morning while getting ready for work, and what an inspiration she was to me when I was a teenager. I was reminiscing about my teenage years and my daily bus ride home from the coast to my home in a small town among rainforest on a mountain. And thinking about those times, Scully popped into my head. Her character on the X-Files inspired me to pursue science, and specifically forensic science (and forensic pathology) as a career. My career path took an alternative path and headed towards microbiology, research and now administration in scientific and university environments. But I still credit the figure of Scully – analytical, scientific and strong, for me being a scientist. And as a teenage girl who knew she didn’t look like and was not like everyone else, she was an inspiration – a pretty redhead who wore suits…

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ID follow up–the next generation

6 Mar

Interesting post

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