How Green Are You?

May 13th, 2008

I’ve been tagged by Cristiano with this green meme. The idea? This:

… to write about the ways (I currently picked 5, but you could pick less or more) you think you purposely handle things “the green way”, and then write about the things you know you should handle better.

Okay, how green am I? First off, my good points (I’m cheating a bit and stealing some of Cristiano’s stuff):

1. I don’t have a car.

I still haven’t been bothered to get a drivers license. Why should I? In the Netherlands I had a student travel card (free public transport throughout the week, major discounts in the weekend) and here in London a car is only more trouble.

2. I try to avoid using a hairdryer.

Since my new haircut 3 months ago, I’ve used my hairdryer once. The reason I stopped isn’t actually because it’s greener, but that is a nice side effect. I’ve noticed it’s healthier for my hair if I let it dry naturally; it doesn’t get that static, dried out and greasy. Plus with the way it’s cut now, I can easily put my wet hair up without it looking too “wet-looky”.

3. I buy long-lasting milk.

Again the main reason is not because it’s greener. Normal milk tends to go bad quicker than we can finish a pack, especially the milk sold downstairs here. By the way, long lasting milk tastes just like normal milk nowadays.

4. I use candles and water bottles.

I’m not sure if this is actually “greener”, but during the early stages winter I try not to turn the central heating on that often, instead using candles and water bottles. Mainly the latter is quite useful, because typically I’m cold and shivering, but Cristiano isn’t. Using a water bottle keeps me nice and warm, while not unnecessarily turning up the heater.

5. I don’t overuse plastic grocery bags.

In the Netherlands you have to pay for every plastic grocery bag, so almost everybody brings their own bags or crates with them (I don’t see anybody here in the UK with folding crates in their car; is that something Dutch?). So even here in the UK, I still bring my own bags with me and try to fit as much in them as possible.

My bad points?

1. I leave chargers in the wall.

I’m really bad with this. I almost always leave my phone and laptop charger plugged in, even if those gadgets aren’t connected. I know I shouldn’t, but sometimes I’m plain lazy. Shouldn’t chargers though be more smartly designed to realize when there’s no gadget hanging on them? The technology should be far enough to do something like that, right?

2. I throw batteries away in the normal trash.

Like Cristiano, I have no idea here where I should throw my batteries away. Back in Holland every supermarket has a special separated chemical waste bin; you just bring your batteries in a small plstic bag and throw it there away. Here, though? No idea.

3. I take long showers.

I think this may be my major transgression: my showers are way too long. Even if I try to hurry up, I’m still in there for at least 10 minutes. Shampoo, conditioner, scrub, soap, (etc) it all takes up more time than I want (but I do need it, otherwise my hair becomes a bat nest, Amy Winehouse, anyone?).

4. I don’t use a bike.

While I don’t have a car, I do use public transport a lot. Not that much of a bad thing, but for some distances using a bike would be easier and greener. I’m thinking of bringing my old bike over from the Netherlands. It’s already 8 years old, but still looks better than most bikes here.

5. I don’t reuse the water from my water bottle.

Pretty obvious, but I still don’t do it. Every time I want to fill up my water bottle, I fill the kettle with water from the tap and turn it on. Then when that’s hot, I realize I have to empty the water bottle and “throw away” the water. I’m at least thinking about it, but I know I should change this.

So those are my good and bad green issues. I’m tagging Too Sexy For My Books, Geek Chic, Geek Girl Friday, Geeks Are Sexy and A Consuming Experience.

Interesting links for May 4th through May 8th:

  • Wired’s Geekster Handbook, a Field Guide to the Nerd UndergroundCubicgarden sums up my thoughts on this exactly: “But what I wonder is where is the Dj geek? Designer geek? Movie geek? Mobile phone geek? (which I would argue, isn’t the same as gadget guy). Anyway, its all stereotypes and not real. We’re all a combination and we all wear better clothes and don’t look like we just left college.
  • UnderGear: No Boxers, No Briefs – Remember the padded underwear from the International Male catalogue? Well, here’s more from their latest magazine UnderGear (borderline NSFW).
  • Portfolio – Jennifer Maestre – These “pencil-sculptures” from Maestre; they are just gorgeous. They don’t always represent an actual animal/object and I love that they’re open for your own interpretation.
Tags: Links

Interesting links for April 30th through May 1st:

Tags: Links

RSS Awareness Day

May 1st, 2008

It’s RSS Awareness Day today! I guess maybe half of you are now tsk-ing, thinking “what’s the big deal? RSS has been around for some time”, while the eyes of the other half are glazing over and thinking I’m talking about some mumbo jumbo. Now both halves don’t run away! This day I’ve got tasks for both of you.

RSS Awareness Day

First off, for those of you who do know what RSS is, here’s your task for today: go out and explain RSS to one person who you know has never used it before. About only 5% of the internet users is aware of RSS, which is a shockingly low number. So go and proclaim the usefulness of RSS!

For those of you who don’t know what RSS is, I’m not going to explain what RSS is. Why not? Because they are already so many good explanations out there and it’s no use for me to add another one on top of that. Instead I want you to check out this video:

Still not completely sure what RSS is? I’ve got a couple more posts from other blogs who explain it pretty well. The first one is from, the organisers behind RSSday. Then Back in Skinny Jeans has a great post explaining RSS the Oprah Way. Finally, Problogger also has a great page on what RSS is.

So now you know what RSS is, get yourselves an RSS reader and subscribe to Miss Geeky. How, you ask? All you have to do is click on the Subscribe to RSS in the sidebar on the right. Easy, right?

Tags: Geeky

Interesting links for April 23rd through April 28th:

  • (Really) Stunning Pictures and Photos – Some beautiful and very creatively shot photographs. I especially love the train and the swimming pool shots. Makes me want to come up with something similarly mind warping.
  • BLDGBLOG: Hotels in the Afterlife – A collection of photos of deserted desert hotels in Egypt. Only the skeletons were built and then the whole project was abandoned. Why don’t they make a movie here?
Tags: Links

Interesting links for April 16th through April 22nd:

  • 25 Season 7 Cast Photo – First photo of the main cast of season 7 of 24. I am looking forward to this season; they seem to be taking a somewhat different direction. Some minor spoilers; nothing that hasn’t been shown in the earlier released trailer.
  • Creating ‘The (Former) General’ – Adrian Hon, one of the creators behind We Tell Stories, elaborates on the creation of the latest (and last) WTS story. Beware: don’t read this if you haven’t read the story yet (which you all should do, cause it’s great).
  • Ctrl+Alt+Del Choose Our Adventure Story – For the past 3 weeks the CAD comic did a Choose Your Own Adventure style comic series, with people having to vote at certain stages. Great idea, only it ended way too soon. Btw, check out the story tree at the end.
  • Top 10 Amazing People Who Cheated Death – The human body can take a lot of hardship. Some of these stories are just plain weird and I also question the authenticity of some of them.
  • The Empire Blog: How You Know You’ve Become A Sci-Fi TV Geek – Cute little quiz to see how much of a TV sci-fi geek you are (although I have to say they only mention the mainstream “sci-fi” shows). Without taking point 7 into account (cause that one just doesn’t make sense), I scored 63 points. How geeky are you?
  • Technology moves fast – Funny little post post from Matt Cutts about a book from 1996 he was reading where the character describes a cutting edge system.
Tags: Links

Interesting links for April 12th through April 15th:

Tags: Links

Two Days of Geeky Goodness

April 12th, 2008

With Cristiano off to the Netherlands to get his wisdom tooth removed (which I am glad to report went way smoother than mine), I thought I’d be bored out of my mind. The two past days though have just been one constant stream of geek activities. I should address each event in a separate post, but I know if I attempt to do that, I’ll end up only blogging about half the stuff. Instead I’m going to try to summarize all the stuff I’ve done here.

London Girl Geek Coffee 2

I only announced it two days beforehand on the Geek Dinners and the Girl Geek Dinners site, so I kind of knew that not many people would show up. However, I didn’t expect to find myself completely alone at the chosen time. It gave me time to check out the venue (Smiths of Smithfield), but I soon discovered it wasn’t really what we were looking for. Half an hour later, Patricia Hanrahan (Gondul) showed up, with Rachel Clarke following quickly thereafter. We spoke about a whole bunch of things, including Rachel and I explaining to Patricia what we’ve experienced so far in We Tell Stories. Here’s where this event kind of flowed into the next event:

We Tell Stories Meet-up

For the past 4 weeks I’ve been following the We Tell Stories project. As I’ve mentioned before, besides the six public stories, there’s a hidden seventh story in the form of an ARG. I’m not going to explain everything here, but a couple of days ago we (all the ARG players on the forum) found out one of the characters would be in a bar…in real life! Jacques the French bookstore clerk, depressed because his girlfriend Bella dumped him. The idea was to bring him gifts and tips on how to woo Bella back, which somehow would lead to more clues.

I completely forgot to bring something, but during the GGC Rachel convinced me to write down a song and sing it for him. Weirdly enough I agreed to do this and even stranger I chose a Dutch nursery rhyme (I have no recollection whatsoever in what prompted me to choose this particular song). Anyhow, Daisy, one of the other girls on the forum, also came to the GGC, hauling along freshly baked muffins and printed out poems.

Abandoning Trish (who would wait for the other GGCers) we went to the bar where Jacques was and there we met up with 2 others from the forum. At 17:30 we entered the bar and there he was…Jacques, looking depressed as ever and drinking red wine. We all gave our gifts and each of us received an item in return. Some of them were clearly “only” prizes for showing up (a Terry Pratchett book, for instance), but others were actual clues. I got a blue Wedgwood tray with snippets of rules of a card game. If you want to find more, check out the We Tell Stories website and the Unforum.

Jacques (on the right)

SEO Party

After the cool weird meet-up with a fictional character, I made my way back to the GGC (now expanded with Emma Persky and Weefz), only to discover that the SoS was packed. There was no way we could talk in there. I suggested to move to the Starbucks down the street where the ARGers had gone to sort out all the clues. Patricia, though, deserted us to meet up with Judith ‘deCabbit’ Lewis at an SEO party, but invited us to join her later. After a short half an hour in the Starbucks, we went in search of the SEO party.

We arrived a bit before 8 and the bar was crowded with SEOers. I was surprised to discover at least one person I had met before: Chris Hambly, whom I had met at MediaCampBucks last year. I had a short talk with him about some upcoming events, including a second MediaCampBucks and a MediaCampLondon.

Despite having no actual experience in search engine optimization, I had some interesting conversations with a couple of the SEOers there and was amazed when I realized I had been there for more than 2 hours. Around the same time, Patricia and the others decided to leave too and I slowly made my way back to home. Of course, even though arriving home at a fairly early time, I managed to only get to bed at about 3.

Social Media Cafe

Naturally, I slept through my alarm and I arrived quite late at the Social Media Cafe. I had met Lloyd Davis (the organizer of SMC) back in October in Berlin and had been meaning to come to a SMC for some time now (wisdom tooth removals and sleeping the cause of missing previous ones). I’m glad I finally made it, cause I got to meet a lot of new people (I’m not even going to try and list everyone). What I found interesting was that (if I’m not mistaken that is) this was a completely different set than the usual Geek Dinners and BarCamp crowd; most people there hadn’t even heard of those two events before!

Just when I wanted to leave, it started pouring outside (even lightning!), so I decided to stay a little longer. I talked some more with LJ Rich and after the rain cleared up, she suggested having lunch at a Vegetarian Thai Buffet close by. Great food and great conversation with both of us geeking out about TV shows, books and other stuff. Having already spent most of the day procrastinating networking, I realized I wouldn’t get any real work done today, so it wouldn’t hurt to go to:


Three words: real life rickrolling. By now there should be enough reports and videos documenting this event.

So those were my two action packed geeky days and all I want to do now is sleep. I’ve announced the next Girl Geek Coffee on both Geek Dinners sites and a new idea for another event (Geek Meet). Let me know if you’re interested in either of them by leaving a comment on one of those blogs.

Tags: Events, Geeky

Interesting links for April 6th through April 8th:

  • Battlestar Galactica Girls Go Barbarella – The three main actresses in BSG (Starbuck, Number 6, Boomer/Athena) posing in a big-hair Barbarella style photo. I find it a bit of weird advertising. BSG is exactly not that type of show.
  • Celebrity D&D Characters – What if certain celebrities were D&D characters? What kind of stats would they have? A couple of these are pretty funny.
  • Documentary Fetishism in Battlestar Galactica – Cool graph of the number of people within the Battlestar Fleet from the past 3 seasons. (No spoilers for season 4)
Tags: Links

It’s a bit last minute, but the next Girl Geek Coffee will go on next Thursday. We’re going to try out a new venue and I’m hoping it’s suitable. It’s the Smiths of Smithfield near Farringdon tube (also a potential Geek Dinner venue). I haven’t tried it out yet (so fingers crossed), but I’ve heard a lot of positive things about it.

When: Thursday, April 10, 2008, 3:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Where: Smiths of Smithfield near Farringdon
Cost: attending is free, cost for coffee and food will be on a “buy your own” basis
Upcoming: 465894

If you have trouble finding the place or are running late, you can phone me (07521 294 391) or Twitter me directly (mseckington). Please use the upcoming link or comment below to indicate your interest.

Tags: Events, Geeky