My CONvergence schedule – 2014

It’s gotten so’s I gotta put a year in the title to make it unique! How weird is that.

My CONvergence schedule is a bit thicker this year than in years past — I’m invited to participate in six panels. That’s a record for me! One of them is even my own brain-baby — the Superheroes in our Modern Day Pantheons panel.

And as usual, I’ll be hanging out in the FtB / Skepchicks “party” rooms wherein we’ll not actually be partying, but rather fending off constant attacks from the encroaching Royal Manticorian Army and Klingon rooms. Also, there will be science sandboxes, commisserating with like-minded individuals, and modest amounts of alcohol to lubricate the conversation. I might also provide hilariawful Bible games on the big-screen TV, e.g. Super Noah’s Ark 3D, if I can manage a better setup than last year.

The panels are:

Friday, July 4 • 5:00pm – 6:00pm
Alien Conspiracy Theories

The truth is out there, and we’ll help you find it! We’ll cover a wide range of alien-centric conspiracy theories and discuss the implications these have on individuals and society at large.

Panelists: JD Horn, Jason Thibeault, Nicole Gugliucci, PZ Myers, Scott Lynch

Friday, July 4 • 7:00pm – 8:00pm
Superheroes in Our Modern-Day Pantheons

Nobody really worships Hercules or Thor as Greek and Norse gods anymore, but don’t despair, because now they’re both members of The Avengers. This panel will explore the commonalities and differences between our ancient and modern pantheons.

Panelists: David Schwartz, Jason Thibeault, Roy T Cook, Jonathan Palmer, Ryan Consell

Friday, July 4 • 11:30pm – 12:30am
It’s (Not) Written in the Stars
We’ll explore the myths and beliefs of astrology and why some people still find it convincing in the modern age of science.

Panelists: Jason Thibeault, Brianne Bilyeu, Dan Berliner, Matt Lowry, Nicole Gugliucci

Saturday, July 5 • 12:30pm – 1:30pm
Criticism and Empathy Online

When people abuse anonymity to give hurtful, damaging criticism, is this merely a failure of empathy, or is there something more there? How do you criticize people without triggering a flame war? Should you even TRY to avoid flame wars?

Panelists: Miri Mogilevsky, Jason Thibeault, Wesley Chu, Kameron Hurley, Ted Meissner

Saturday, July 5 • 8:30pm – 9:30pm
Organizing Online to Make a Better World: Do We Need to Tear the Old One Down?

Criticism and even rage blazing across social media has proven remarkably effective in getting complaints heard, but what are the downsides? How do we maintain communities when anger and volume get things done?

Panelists: Miri Mogilevsky, Jason Thibeault, Beth Voigt, Stephanie Zvan, Debbie Goddard

Sunday, July 6 • 3:30pm – 4:30pm
Urban Legends: Myths, Facts, and Half-Truths

From alligators in the sewer to clowns in the attic, urban legends walk the line between total absurdity and being just so outrageous that they might be true. Where do these stories come from, and why do they capture our imaginations so effectively?

Panelists: Jason Thibeault, Anne Sauer, Naomi Kritzer, Bug Girl, Shawn van Briesen

Should Spider-Man be gay?

Spider-Man kissing dudes upside-down, sans rain. Photo by Philip Bonneau, stolen from Project Q Atlanta.

Spider-Man kissing dudes upside-down, sans rain. Photo by Philip Bonneau, stolen from Project Q Atlanta.

There’s nothing I enjoy more than watching right-wingers lose their shit over people NOT treating homosexuals as eeeevul deviant pre-verts, except perhaps watching an entire media’s fandom lose their shit over an idea for injecting novelty into their favourite franchise that involves, you know, actually changing it. This is one of those rare celestial alignment type coincidences that is probably pretty unlikely to happen again any time soon. We should take careful note, and savour it for all it’s worth.

Andrew Garfield, star of the current iteration of Spider-Man movies — a franchise that, full disclosure, I absolutely love, and for which I found the Sam Raimi movies underwhelming at best — has suggested to the director, then publicly, that he sees no reason that Peter Parker shouldn’t be gay, exploring his sexuality in a rebooted universe where it turns out MJ is a guy.

Right-Wing Watch reports that this has majorly rustled the jimmies of Charisma’s Jennifer LeClaire:

Really? Don’t we have enough gay comic book heroes? About this time last year, DC Comics outed the Green Lantern. When he’s not wearing his neon-green garb and accomplishing superhuman feats, the chiseled Green Lantern enjoys kissing his new boyfriend. As I noted in my column last year, perhaps DC Comics was trying to compete with its rival, Marvel Comics, which announced just days earlier that it would host the first gay wedding in the June 20 issue of Astonishing X-Men #51.

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SSA Blogathon – ‘The many kinds of girl’ (7 of 9)

blogathon ssa week logo

I’ve previously spoken about how media portrays women and how the general messaging leads women to believe they aren’t “pretty enough”. Comics are especially guilty of this, with women being generally identical only with anatomical impossibilities intended to facilitate the male gaze.

Some folks are trying to counter that message, though. And thank goodness. DeviantArtiste vonnie-seiyuki-chan has built a lovely image pastiche of what “beautiful women” might look like. Now comic book artists have no excuse in thinking that every woman is built like a porn star with a swivel spine!

Girls be proud of your shapes! Use them to your advantage, you’d be surprised how great you feel when you find the style that goes with your figure.

My favourite is the cute little black girl in the middle. She so adorables.

1. Tall Column (Thin with little variance in hips waist and bust)
2. Round shape (Waist is larger than hips and bust)
3. Bottom heavy 1 (Waist and bust are smaller than hips)
4. Short column.
5. Top Heavy (Large bust with hips and waist roughly the same size)
6. Square shape (Wider than column, little variance in waist, hips and bust)
7. Bottom Heavy 2 (Hips larger than waist, waist larger than bust)
8. Classic hourglass (Usually quite tall, large hips and bust small waist)
9. Cutey Hourglass (Slightly larger than the classic, often average height)
10. Itty hourglass (A very small hourglass, large breasts and hips comparative to size)
11. Apple Shape (Breast and waist larger than hips and legs) Somebody mentioned this shape so I added it, thank you, I didn’t know this shape before :3
12. Well toned (Usually small waist, small breasts, varying hip sizes. Well toned and slightly muscled) 2 people mentioned this, it’s the kind of shape common in swimmers and marathon runners.
13. Tall Round (A taller, larger version of round shape) Loosely based on Mellissa McCarthy.

The last two shapes I had wanted to add to the original picture in the first place but didn’t because 1. I’m lazy. 2. I’m not very good at drawing muscles or larger women. But I gotta practice.

If there’s any particularly different shape I’m missing you’d like me to add tell me and I might.

This is a grand effort. I can think of a few missing shapes, but it’s a start. Also, if you’re naturally “classic hourglass” (e.g. you’re what the media portrays as the only adequate body shape), your beauty rests on a razor’s edge, understand that you could lose your position of privilege at any moment — but your body type is fine too, it just doesn’t qualify you for the privilege you enjoy, and you should take especial care as a person of privilege not to mistreat others with different body types. And most of all, learn to love who you are, however you are. Especially if it changes for whatever reason.

The SSA protects you from religious bigotry. It also tries to protect you from other sorts of bigotry, like appearance. You should support them.

This is post 7 of 9 for the SSA Blogathon. Total donors is at 593 with $83,134 donated! You can still donate to the SSA by supporting other blogathoners, art contributors, personal fundraising pages or through a direct donation to the SSA. SSA Week lasts through June 17th. Spread the word!