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Some really cool pics from the Geek Group open house. - Geeks in Training or Geek Sin Training? [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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Some really cool pics from the Geek Group open house. [Jan. 28th, 2007|09:20 am]
We put on the best show last night that we've ever done :) It was truly spectacular. This is what you missed if you weren't there!

Playing with Fire

Filling an Airzooka with CO2 and launching smoke rings at the crowd.

Indoor snow fun.

A FLOOR strike with Gemini! This actually blasts a little hole in the concrete.

Fun with Gunpowder.

Air Cannon demo.

More Air Cannon fun.

Playing with the world's largest Newton's Cradle.

Thumper demo.

Everything worked perfectly, the staff worked smoothly together and all the demos were performed flawlessly. Every person left happy and excited. :)

Good job guys!

See all the pics here.

[User Picture]From: ftmichael
2007-01-28 03:17 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: ftmichael
2007-01-28 03:35 pm (UTC)
I linked to this post all over the various education communities I'm in, along with the 'about us' blurb from the Geek Group website; many of the communities are homeschooling communities, so I wanted to ask: Do you also work with groups who are not affiliated with a school? Would it need to be some sort of official homeschool group, science club, etc., or could a bunch of parents just get together with their kids and contact you about coming in?
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From: physicsduck
2007-01-28 04:05 pm (UTC)
We exist for the passionate. It doesn't matter who they're with so long as they want to experiment, learn, and grow. Group sizes from 2 to 100, home, public, private, university....all are welcome here.
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[User Picture]From: ftmichael
2007-01-28 04:18 pm (UTC)
Wonderful! I hoped so but thought it best to check. I'll edit my posts to say that. Thanks!
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From: physicsduck
2007-01-28 04:27 pm (UTC)
Thank YOU for helping get the word out! You should be a member :)
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[User Picture]From: ftmichael
2007-01-28 04:36 pm (UTC)
:) I'd love to but I'm nowhere near you; I'm out in Boston, MA. Hard to feel useful this far away, except by spreading the word!
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From: physicsduck
2007-01-28 04:41 pm (UTC)
We have members in all 50 states and over 30 other countries ;) You don't have to be local to be a Geek.
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[User Picture]From: ftmichael
2007-01-28 04:55 pm (UTC)
Just applied; why do you need so much info? Just to confirm the applicant isn't a fake?

I and many other geeks I know would much appreciate it, by the way, if the options for sex - male and female are sex, not gender - included Other, if nothing else.
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From: physicsduck
2007-01-28 05:31 pm (UTC)
Yes, we collect the basic info to weed out the bombmakers, virus writers, and fake apps. All of the info is of course kept secure and we don't sell it or anything stupid like that.

As far as Sex, I'd never really thought of it that much. Last time I checked, with the rare exception of Hermaphroditus or other incredibly rare genetic anomaly (such as a human being born with total absence of sexual organs) all humans pretty much fall into one of two categories as far as sexual identity. There is a small percentage of people that make the long and difficult decision to change their sexual identity from one to the other (Transsexualism) but these people could simply pick their chosen gender as opposed to their birth gender, so the form is still reasonably accurate.

The Group is exceedingly supportive of all manner of sexuality so it's not something that's ever really come up before. We don't care if you're Male, Female, or if you were born with a toaster-oven between yer legs. The only gland that matters is the 1.5kg of neurons and glia between your ears.
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[User Picture]From: ftmichael
2007-01-28 05:43 pm (UTC)
Actually, intersex (hermaphrodite is not generally used out of medical textbooks and can be considered offensive, and describes a condition that's not actually humanly possible anyway) births are incredibly common - estimates range from one in 1,000 births to one in about 100 births - and many, many Transgender people do not identify as male or female. You're still confusing sex with gender, anyway. Sex is between the legs, gender is between the ears. Sex is male, female, and intersex, and has to do with your chromosomes, genitalia, hormones, etc. Gender is man, woman, boy, girl, androgynous (gender-neutral), etc., etc., and has to do with your internal sense of self and how you express yourself.

I'm glad to hear that y'all are accepting, but I'd challenge you to put your money where your mouth is. Adding an Other option to a drop-down menu is incredibly easy, and would quickly give you a reputation among the Trans and intersex as a genuinely respectful group. The fact that neither Trans nor intersex people are in the majority of the population - and I promise they are nowhere as rare as you think they are - doesn't mean they're less deserving of consideration. (Also, if you really don't care, why is that information required on the application in the first place? Does it matter or doesn't it? It's the easiest part of the application to lie on and really doesn't help you verify anyone's identity.)
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From: physicsduck
2007-01-28 06:35 pm (UTC)
Now you've given me a particularly interesting option.

Should I remove the Gender question on the app, or add extra categories? I refuse to add "Other" because that's just daft. If we're going to do this, dammit, we're gonna do it right. I'd have to add M,F, MTF, FTM, N/A, and who knows what else.

The underlying question is, why? To what end? While you're correct in stating that it's trivial to add it into the form, it's a fair bit of code to add all the extra categories into the database back end and all that jazz. And to do this for what may, in total, be a handful of people who don't really give a shit anyways IF we ever approached membership of a million.

Who really gives a shit?

The only reason we track gender is to have a rough estimate of the M/F relation in our membership which is used primarily for fundraising purposes (we try to promote more Girls In Science as it's a horribly male dominated field). Beyond that, I cannot imagine how Gender or Sexuality matters any more to any of my staff or membership then does religion, sexual preference, or favourite colour.

In fact, the only people who would really care at all I would guess, would be someone who themselves would sport the name Michael, yet lack a laryngeal prominence.

Just guessing.

And, for anyone in that position to have suffered though the hell of making that transition in today's culture, which in itself is something I can only vaguely imagine. For someone to take the time and dedication that would require, the hormone therapy and eventual surgeries. The mocking of the bigoted, the abuse from the ignorant and religious, and all the bullshit that comes with such a simple, fundamental personal choice. After going through all that work to stake a claim on becoming the being that they truly identify with, and truly wish to be, despite the random XY score they were given at birth being at odds with their brain.

Wouldn't they be thankful, and goddamned PROUD to check that M after all that work instead of being relegated into some bullshit "Other" category?

Hell if I'd gone through all that I'd feel that I'd fucking EARNED my right to check M, perhaps even more so then someone who was just born that way at birth and hadn't put ANY effort whatsoever into it.

But that's just me, what the hell do I know.
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[User Picture]From: ftmichael
2007-01-28 06:47 pm (UTC)
Indeed; what the hell do you know. I think the issue now is that you're projecting what you think you know about Trans and intersex people, and attempting to speak for them, which is flat-out offensive. You aren't Trans, and you don't know how you'd feel if you were Trans, so don't pretend you would.

There are a great many Trans people who are fine selecting Male or Female and feel no need for any other category. That's obviously fine; I'm not talking about them.

By all means, don't bother to edit your content to be respectful of all people; ignore the ones who aren't visible enough to demand that you step outside your comfort zone. But you don't make us want to do you favours. It's too bad, because you're doing great things for so many kids, but the bullshit you're spewing here is turning me off rapidly. You keep saying you don't know anything about it, but then you keep pretending that you do. It'd be far nicer of you to say something along the lines of, 'I never thought of that. Thanks for letting me know. I'll look into seeing what can be done about that. I hope you'll continue to let people know about us!'
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From: physicsduck
2007-01-28 06:57 pm (UTC)
Now hang on there, don't let my brash personality make you think I'm not interested in helping out with this. I just have a low tolerance for meaninglessness and the layer of bullshit that a lot of people surround themselves with to rose-tint their reality. I'm on your side here.

As far as my being a trans, nope. I have only one friend who is, I've met perhaps a dozen that I KNEW of and obviously countless that I don't. I worked as head DJ in large urban GLBT bar for 3 years, so my comfort zone is just about infinite and you'd be hard pressed to make me uncomfortable or offend me in most any way with whatever sexuality you could possibly name.

But don't mistake my challenging your thinking with my challenging your sexuality. While I sincerly could care less what you chose to be, that doesn't mean that I won't make you prove yourself logically in how you want ME to think about it and promote it.

Remember, I care about your BRAIN. I want you to think. So, teach me.

Teach me why you, of all people, would WANT to be classified as an "Other". If you're an FTM, then that states it pretty damn well. FTM, you were once an F (or born an F), and your MIND is M. So that is a self limiting problem. You are an M. Not by birth, but by that being what you identify yourself with.

Now I could be wrong (I often am, it's how I usually end up to getting around to being right eventually). But don't just tell me I'm an ass and go on with your day. I already know I'm an ass. Teach me something new. Teach me about how you think, and why, and why this matters.

That's what the Group is about. Teach each other.

So teach me. Because Gender is an incredibly fluid concept anyways that most everyone takes for granted. If I wanted to actually do this properly I'd have to add about 90 different choices for the form.

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[User Picture]From: ftmichael
2007-01-28 07:22 pm (UTC)
Oh good, you do want to learn. The overwhelming majority of people I deal with don't, and just argue because they like being obtuse. I was going to next respond with a (serious, not sarcastic) request that you tell me if I'm wasting my time and you're not interested in learning anything about this. I'm glad to hear that you do.

Just a note - Trans isn't a noun. It's an adjective. You're not a Trans person. And gender identity is not the same as sexuality. My being Trans is unrelated to my sexuality.

Gender is an incredibly fluid concept anyways that most everyone takes for granted. If I wanted to actually do this properly I'd have to add about 90 different choices for the form.
Very true, and I'm glad you recognise this; that's why I proposed an Other choice, because if I proposed that you add 90 choices, you (generic you) would likely run screaming in the other direction, and if you actually did add the 90 choices, someone would still feel excluded.

FTM in my case stands more for female-to-me than female-to-male. That's the terminology available, so that's what I use. I am not male-identified, nor are a lot of other people who use the term FTM because that's what's available. Some folks use FTX - female-to-something-else - instead. Others change the M to stand for Me, Masculine, or whatever else, but unless they constantly write it out, you don't know, and people do tend to assume that FTM = male-identified.

To start learning about this stuff, go to http://ftmichael.tashari.org/trans101.html and read - don't skim, read, even if you think it's stuff you already know or get. It's a lot of info, so if you have to leave it and come back multiple times, obviously that's fine. When it tells you to take out paper and pencil, actually do it. It's incredibly helpful, even if - again - you think you're past that basic level.
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From: physicsduck
2007-01-28 07:54 pm (UTC)
In all this reading (I've read the basic one you posted and am on to the ones from there) I see some names I know very well, like the Arcus foundation ;) They're based here in Kalamazoo and I've met with them several times.

And I also found a solution that works for both of us.

I shall add an Intersex category to the form.

Good job Mike :)
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[User Picture]From: ftmichael
2007-01-28 07:58 pm (UTC)
Thanks ever so. A pleasure doing business with you. :P While I'm still not represented there, I can personally deal with selecting Male. Although, again, it really doesn't matter, so I could just pick one out of a hat really.

Michael, though, if you please.
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From: physicsduck
2007-01-28 08:02 pm (UTC)
I must admit that the mental imagine of having the staff all picking their gender out of a hat on a daily basis is rather entertaining.

And welcome to the Group Michael, I approved your application and the change will be added in the 2007 version of the website that will be released within 30 days.
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From: juditiqale
2008-07-16 08:56 am (UTC)
Should I remove the Gender question on the app, or add extra categories. I refuse to add "Other" because that's just daft.
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