Circuit board rings, elegant necklaces, and cufflinks from Techcycled

circuit board cufflinks blue jessie-megan-techcycled
green circuit board geek ring for menred circuit board heart necklace valentines dayblue square circuit board necklace

Clockwise: Square Circuit Board Cufflinks in Blue, Jessie and Megan of Techcycled, Blue Square Circuit Board Necklace, Red Circuit Board Heart Necklace, Circuit Board Ring in green.

Techcycled is a collective of women engineers who also make jewelry out of circuit boards. All of their pieces are packaged in jewelry boxes and come with a information card on their history.

Pieces are $30-$55. Available at Fractalspin.

Letter to Lego: “Why you still have sausage party?”

[Emailed to Lego on 5/2/2012 since they have a charlimit on their comment form]

Hey guys,

I’m a woman who has been a Lego fan since I was a little girl. I loved cars, and I loved hotel rooms, and I made the coolest spaceships and space stations from the random Lego sets my parents bought me. My style was “Airstream meets 2001: A Space Odyssey, plus Holiday Inn” (because, c’mon, every space cruiser needs a pool!). It was super fun building vehicles for imaginary adventures. Luckily, I still create stuff as an adult even though they aren’t space Winnebagos.

I gotta say though… I have yet to see one girl represented in your “Cool Creations” shout-out spread where you feature works by kids.

Granted, I may have overlooked some issues, but this kind of layout is typical.

And yet, your advertisements for your Legolands have a pretty fair split between the sexes.

What gives? It’s 2012 already, and we should be beyond this gender-skewed thing.

I’m guessing it’s one of two things. Either you’ve got a photo editor who favors boys’ creations, or you’re just not getting enough girls to submit the stuff they’ve made. If it’s the latter… that’s kind of disturbing, and I’m perplexed why you haven’t addressed it.

I love what your company represents–creativity, architecture, engineering, “building worlds” all that. But as I flipped through my last issue, I did notice it’s emphasis on superheros and cartoon drama. While that’s necessarily not a bad thing, you’ve created the heros as males, and since the viewer is supposed to identify with the protagonist, you might be turning off girls who “can’t see themselves” in that situation.

Don’t you think girls should be welcomed into fields of engineering and creating? It might be a bigger question that you as a company can simply answer and solve, but I’d really like to hear your thoughts on these issues.

Thanks for your time,
Liz McLean Knight

Rise of the “Brogrammer”: Sexism in the tech startup world

Well, apparently luring frat boys into the world of programming is the new hot thing. Great.

I read this article by a journalist at South by Southwest where she walked out of a talk by a guy who was trying to excuse the frat-boy culture he adheres to with a few off handed comments that completely alienated a segment of the audience, and then I decided to poke around some more on the subject. Apparently this is a thing. Wow. Really?


Yes, it’s a fact that math and science fields employ far less women than men, but to play up this fact and appeal to the base nature of men in order to sweep them into your new startup? That’s pretty pathetic.

From Adda Birnir, a female programmer in NYC:

“Brogrammers might lack tact, but they’re definitely marketing development in a way that appeals to a new subset of men,” she wrote. By recasting geekdom as an extension of the frat house, she believes, brogrammers are encouraging guys who might have headed to Wall Street to consider Silicon Valley. But if inclusion is the goal, she says, substituting “geek” with “bro” is equally problematic. “Because if there’s anything more alienating to women than a room full of geeks, it’s probably a room full of fratty guys.”

Here’s some reading for you:

“The Rise of the Brogrammer: Can Silicon Valley Solve Its Sexism Problem?”
Twitter’s @Brogrammer
Quora question “How does a programmer become a brogrammer?”
“”Gangbang Interviews” and “Bikini Shots”: Silicon Valley’s Brogrammer Problem”