Monday, December 11, 2017

Newly Listed: Red Creek Jasper Pi Necklace

This is straight-up one of my favorites in the shop right now, and I don't understand why it hasn't sold yet—or at least why it doesn't have more hearts/views/etc.

Sciart mathart gold pi necklace math teacher nerd gift
Pi Red Creek Jasper and Gold Necklace by Kokoba
Red Creek jasper is one of my favorite stones these days. I love the warm, earthy colors and the marble-like striping and variegation in almost every piece. It's the kind of stone where you don't need to do much with it; you can just Mother Nature do all the talking.

Sciart mathart gold pi necklace math teacher nerd gift

The spacer beads in this piece are carnelian and gold-filled beads. The clasp is also gold-filled. I usually prefer base metal, but once in a while you want to make something a little nicer. And I think this humble little jasper is nonetheless gorgeous enough to deserve a treat.

Sciart mathart gold pi necklace math teacher nerd gift

 I think now's a good time to remind blog readers that the code BLOGGETTE will get you a 15% discount on any purchase in the store, including this beauty.

Sciart mathart gold pi necklace math teacher nerd gift

I just love this necklace so much! I might make another version for my own personal consumption. Such cozy fall colors!

Friday, December 8, 2017

Friday 5: Makin' It

What skill seems like it would be really fun to learn?

I really would love to sit down and learn how to crochet. Lawyer Mom crochets, and she tried her best to teach me (I asked!) but for some reason nothing beyond a chain stitch ever really stuck with me.

I still want to learn because sometime last year, I watched an interesting TED talk about how to prepare for aging and dementia. One of the things the speaker recommended was to develop some kind of hobby to keep your hands busy, even if your brain and body give out. Reading and writing don't cut it; making jewelry can ask a lot on the eyes (and requires lots of little bits and bobs, some of which can be expensive). But crocheting just takes a hook and some yarn and you're good to go.  I know my future old lady self would appreciate it if I could just figure it out, once and for all, but it's hard to find the time!

Which of the winter Olympic sports would you love to compete in?

Is drinking hot cocoa in the ski lodge an Olympic sport? No? Too bad.

What fun craft did you make when you were a kid, in school or at camp or somewhere else?

There are two that come to mind. The first is from elementary school, when we had a year-long (or semester-long? quarter-long?) weaving project. In all of the moving overseas (and back again) that I've done, and all of the purging and downsizing (I did the Mari Kondo thing before it was a thing), I've held onto that bizarre hodge-podge of a tapestry. I just loved working on it and learning the different kinds of weaves so much. (Another skill I'd love to learn: how to weave on a proper, actual loom!)

The second one is from middle or early high school, when I was at camp: basket weaving. (Weaving: noticing a pattern yet?) Mine turned out really well, I thought, and it's one of the few school/camp crafts that I've kept around; not only did it turn out nicely, but it was the perfect size and shape to hold pencils and pencil-shaped knick-knacks.

If everyone in the world is the best in the world at some very specific thing, what are you most likely the best at?

For a long time, I was unusually good at remembering people's birthdays. Sad to say, I've since offloaded that mental task to Facebook and I can tell that I'm not as good at it as I used to be.

What’s something you own that was handmade by someone you know?

Circling back to the first question, I have a wide array of scarves, hats, wraps, and blankets that Lawyer Mom has crocheted for me. Here's one, though technically for my sambo and not for me:

I also have an adorable owl magnet that was a gift from a friend I visited in the US in August.

This is in addition to the jewelry that I make and then hoard like a freakin' dragon or something, of course!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

#TBT Pi Chain Necklace

Sometimes you just want to look punk. Or metal? Or bling-y? I don't know. My point is, sometimes you don't want beads. And that's where chain comes in!

Most of the bulk chain in here is aluminum, meaning despite the look it's actually incredibly lightweight.

Each section of chain is a different style, and has a number of strands corresponding to a digit of pi.

This would be a great piece to add a simple pendant to. if that's more your style.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

What I Read: The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet

I was really, really angry about this book.

Given the state of science fiction these days, I should clarify what I wasn't angry about:

I wasn't angry about a huge variety of characters and alien species with different ideas about gender (as well as biological sex) or cultures generally. On the contrary: I was angry that all of those cool ideas about different languages and culture and gender were hampered by a writing style that I would describe as "aggressively twee."

I was angry at Kizzy. Just. Everything about her seemed to be the worst kind of pander-y fanservice (but what a time to be alive, that fanservice can be more than just "wank material for straight dudes"...!). Other characters ranged from kind of cool and interesting to inoffensively bland, but Kizzy was The Worst.

I was angry at a romance that developed out of nowhere.

I was angry at how much was "showing and telling" rather than "showing not telling." Around a third of this book could have been taken out and the story would not suffer at all for it.

As one GoodReads review puts it, putting out a negative review of this book feels like "publicly kicking a kitten," but there you have it. Consider this kitten publicly kicked.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Friday 5: Space

Of all the spaces in your residence, which is most powerfully your space?

We don't have a lot of space in our tiny Stockholm apartment, but I've made around a third of our unnecessarily large kitchen my office, including my Art Wall corner.

I also have an entire bookshelf to myself, which is obviously very much me.

What’s the most spacious space in your everyday life?

The outside, I guess?

What’s a good song about space?

What’s under your bed?

The floor.

What are your thoughts on typing one or two spaces after sentences?

Two spaces are no longer necessary as we live in an age of digital typing and typesetting! One of the first things I do with every document I copy edit is find and replace two spaces with one. STOP DOING THIS.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

#TBT Yellow and Red Planck Bracelet

I'm categorizing this piece under the Throwback Thursday label because, while the bracelet itself is relatively new, it's a destash attempt to use up some very old stock in the ol' bead box.

Yellow Red Planck constant sciart bracelet nerd jewelry physics teacher gift
Yellow and Red Planck Constant Bracelet by Kokoba
The reds turned out very weird when trying to photograph this one. I don't know if it's the combination of weak, pale daylight (#WinterIsComing) with the overhead "warm white" LED and  fluorescent bulb in my office/the itchen, or if there's something about cherry red that's hard to capture or if I did something funny to my settings, but the first round of pictures of this bracelet came out looking hot pink.

Yellow Red Planck constant sciart bracelet nerd jewelry physics teacher gift

All the beads involved are Czech glass. The yellow ones have a cool stripeyness to them that doesn't show up well in the pictures.

Yellow Red Planck constant sciart bracelet nerd jewelry physics teacher gift

It's the yellow beads that "spell" out h (Planck's constant), as per the latest CODATA value. The red round beads are the spaceholders in between digits.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

What I Read: Ancient, Ancient

This was another selection for Austin's feminist science fiction book club. (Maybe I'm an honorary satellite member now?) I went in with high hopes and was mostly....

There were a lot of cool ideas in this book that ended up suffering from overly workshopped, possibly way too abstract writing. In a lot of ways it reminds me of Freshwater, but where Emezi takes that abstraction and works with it until you get it, grounding it with concrete language and imagery and deliberate call backs to specific mythology, Salaam just leaves it all out there, confusing and weird in a world that seems to be entirely of her own creation but without any rules or explanation.

The stories are the strongest when Salaam remains more or less in this world: "Marie," "Rosamojo," and "Ferret" were probably my favorites, as well as a very short piece about ants whose title I can no longer remember and that no one else seems to mention in their reviews so there it is. A trilogy of short stories focus on moth-like aliens who can take a human form and who harvest nectar from humans, most often by seducing them. The premise is unique enough that it really deserved to be its own book rather than a handful of short stories. So as it is, they're just kind of weird.

And unlike almost everyone else, I didn't care much for the first story ("Desire") or the last one ("Pod Rendezvous"). "Desire" is just too distracting, caught up as it is in what is (as far as my Googling can find) a fictional mythology and an unusual-and-completely-unnecessary narrative structure. The same can be said for "K-USH" and "Battle Royale," though people tend to rave less about those two. (I wonder if people pick up the book, read the first and last story, and then declare that they've read the whole book?) "Pod Rendezvous," like the nectar-gathering moth aliens, had so much in there that it should have been a proper novel rather than an overly long short story. A story should be as long as it needs to be, and "Pod Rendezvous" was definitely the wrong length.

Overall, a disappointing collection. It wasn't bad, but I made the mistake of going in with impossibly high expectations.