Upcoming event: GGTP#65 – Wikipedia Edit Tea Party

Saturday 19th November 2016,Longsight Library, 10:30am – 4:30pm, ticket £4.00 including lunch, free without: https://mancggtp65.eventbrite.co.uk

Please note this event is Saturday, not Sunday

Practically everyone uses the free encyclopaedia to find out about the world – but have you ever tried adding to it?

Women are sorely under-represented in editing and contributing to Wikipedia articles, and we aim to shift the balance.

Helpers from Wikimedia UK and Manchester Girl Geeks will be on hand to help you learn and develop editing skills.

There will be support on hand for beginners and for those who already have some editing experience.

The morning session will be aimed at beginners and will focus the basics. After lunch the session will be focused on actually editing articles and so if you’ve done editing before, you may just want to come to this session.

Feel free to bring along your favourite sources and add to the body of knowledge together. As we’ll be at Longsight Library, we’ll be able to use the resources there to help bolster our editing. Longsight Library has both disabled access and a disabled parking space. 

The library is on the 192 bus line. There is a stop on Piccadilly by the Spar (Stop EP), and then it’s about 10 minutes to Stockport Rd/Longsight Shopping Ctr (Stop B), which is just outside the library.
The day runs from 10am-4pm. Refreshments and lunch will be provided.

  • The timetable of the day will be as follows
  • 10am – 1pm: Beginners session
  • 1pm – 2pm: Lunch*
  • 2pm – 4pm: Advanced/editing session

*The library is closed between 1pm and 2pm so we’ll have to leave the building. We’ll be splitting up into various groups for lunch. The lunch options are around a 5 minute walk away from the library:

  • Sanam Sweethouse (indian cuisine)
  • Mak’s (Cafe with sandwiches/wraps, baked potatoes, pizza, etc)

You can come with us to either of these or you can choose to buy your own lunch and just grab a free ticket.

What to bring:

  • A laptop / computer, on which to edit; if you don’t have one you can bring, please get in touch beforehand and we can sort something out.
  • Reference materials on topics you’d like to write about, such as books, papers or journals (optional).

Girl Geek Friendly Event: Chella Quint – Adventures in Menstruating

14368926_10153736487101104_4583096012960739443_nChella Quint
Adventures in Menstruating
8pm, Saturday 15th October

Moor Theatre Delicatessen
The Moor, Sheffield
S1 4PF

Get tickets here (£5.10 – £7.10)

Last year we had the honour to host Chella Quint and her menstru-tainment at our Girl Geeks Tea Party for Manchester Science Week.

After a stellar run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Chella (A Bleeding Shame, BBC Radio 4) brings her refreshing approach to all things menstrual to her one-womb show “Adventures in Menstruating”.

Chella Quint, Manchester Science Festival 2015

Prepare to understand more than you ever knew possible about periods as Chella deconstructs menstrual stigma with wit while inviting audiences to hang ten on a crimson wave.

Come see this taboo-breaking period comedy for menstruators and non-menstruators of all genders.

‘This show shouldn’t just be on at the Fringe, it should be on the curriculum.’ (Three Weeks)

‘Chella combines education, science and comedy into a perfectly balanced show that leaves you feeling warm and fuzzy inside.’ ***** (ScotsGay)

This performance, part of the Off the Shelf Festival, is a relaxed performance.

The event is a fundraiser for the #periodpositive project. www.periodpositive.com

Geek Mental Help Tea Party: Mood Nudging

As part of Geek Mental Help Week and in more general support of World Mental Health Day, Manchester Girl Geeks put together a  Geek Mental Help Tea Party packed with talks and workshops to help folks better understand and manage our well-being.

I’m Manchester Girl Geeks regular @ZoeEBreen and I ran the Mood Nudges workshop.

[Update: here’s the ‘science bit’ on my blog CheerUpLove.com]

What are Mood Nudges?

bookcoverIn April 2016 Jon Cousins (creator of famed mood-logging tool MoodScope – more about that at the end) published Nudge Your Way to Happiness: The 30 Day Workbook for a Happier You.

A daily mood questionnaire and scoring system to prompt readers to come up with ideas for lifestyle tweaks which might benefit their well-being. 

The 30 day programme focuses on a different area of wellbeing each day. These range from the basics like sleep and nutrition to themes such as getting outdoors, to learning something new and celebrating your successes.

There is also space to note your daily scores to see how your mood fluctuates over the duration of the 30 days as you progress through the workbook.

So each day, one questionnaire, one score. Depending on your score you are directed to complete one of three written exercises around that day’s theme.

Mood Nudges: Warm up

I was keen to see what would happen if I tested the Mood Nudges format out on our Geek Mental Help Week guests.

To get into the swing of things participants were asked to fill out one of the standard daily mood questionnaires. Luckily geeks really love filling out forms!

Depending on their score, each participant were given activity A, B, or C to fill out. The theme I chose was called ‘Exercise Helps’ (they didn’t know this before doing the questionnaire).

I then asked people who did each activity to feed back. In a very short amount of time we had some great suggestions for exercise-related mood nudges from climbing up the stairs, to doing a yoga class and walking more on a lunch break.

Mood Nudges: Experiment

I wanted to see what would happen if we introduced our own theme and applied the Mood Nudges format to it. Another recent discussion for Geek Mental Help Week had identified work stress as a common theme, so I put that out there to get things started.

We came up with three related areas: work stress, productivity anxiety and worries that your work isn’t good enough. I split the room into three groups to generate relevant mood nudges.

In just a few minutes, participants came up with some really amazing nudges for their designated sub-theme. I was blown away with both the quality and quantity of suggestions, so much so that I will share them here:

Work stress

  • Prioritise if too many things to do
  • Take a break – at work, take a lunch break & walk
  • Separating working and relaxing spaces / times
  • Breathing exercises
  • Colouring, doodling to relax


  • Make a list of things to do
  • Highlight what you’ve done
  • List achievements at the end of the day
  • Factor in breaks other self-care
  • Put breaks in Trello board
  • Big items – break into tiny tasks
  • Zen habits – one thing at a time – “half your to-do list”
  • Write something nice on a piece of paper and put in a box – opened at the end of the year!

Not good enough?

  • Make a record of your achievements
  • Collect twitter praise – like and remember your achievements – get in perspective
  • Note at least one thing you’ve done well in your career
  • Create a validation corner – visit it
  • Writing weekly what you’ve done right – self-care, e.g. sleep, diet, exercise
  • Focus on the positive

Yay! It worked

This quick workshop, which was around 45 minutes in length, demonstrates how effectively the Mood Nudges technique can be applied to a well-being related problem.

I’d like to thank everyone who took part for their contributions and I know that Jon is very keen to hear the results of my experiment too.

He kindly sent up six copies of the Mood Nudges book all the way from the USA so that I could offer them to anyone who was interested. High demand meant we had to put names in a hat to share the books out fairly. If you missed out, you can get your copy here.

Jon Cousins & Moodscope

Jon is well-known for establishing one of the earliest web-based mood logging websites Moodscope.com, launched in 2010. Since then thousands of people have used the simple system, which involves scoring emotions daily using virtual playing cards to track how their feeling over weeks, months or even years.

Jon devised the system after he’d struggled to find treatments to help his own mood swings. He found that his own awareness of his moods helped him to manage his feelings more effectively, and in 2010 launched Moodscope.com – you can out more about the science that supports it here.

Moodscope and Mood Nudges

After spending time sharing mood-lifting messages on Moodscope, Jon was delighted to hear from people who said these little snippets of advice really helped them. In May 2014 he started posting these daily gems Moodnudges.com. You can also subscribe by email to get a new mood nudge from Jon in your inbox each day.


Mood Nudges website and daily blog: http://moodnudges.com/

Mood Nudges latest research findings: On CheerUpLove.com

Moodscope (free and paid options): https://www.moodscope.com/

Geek Mental Help website

Geek Mental Help on Twitter
Thanks to Mark Brown aka @markoneinfour and my brother Ellis for helping me develop the workshop format.

[I’m @ZoeEBreen and my blog is:  CheerUpLove.com]


Upcoming Event: Girl Geek Dinner: Space Rocks On Ice – Part of MSF16

Tuesday 25th October 6.30pm- Tickets £5 including dinner

NoHo, Stevenson Square, Manchester M1 1FB

Join us for our Manchester Science Festival 2016 event, with a talk from Dr Katherine Joy of the University of Manchester.

Meteorites shed light on the origin of the Solar System and on the geological history of different planetary bodies. Antarctica is unique collection ground for meteorites – it very cold so preserves them well, the black meteorites are easy to spot against the white ice, and meteorites samples are often concentrated together on the ice along the Transantarctic mountain range. Katherine Joy will outline her experience in travelling to collect meteorites with the US Antarctic Search for Meteorites Programme, and talk about the scientific reasons we go and collect these stones from space.

Katherine Joy obtained her PhD in studies of lunar evolution from University College London in 2007, where she combined data from the European Space Agency’s SMART-1 mission and studies of lunar meteorites. She then held a postdoctoral research position at Birkbeck College where she studied data from the X-ray instrument on the Indian Chandrayaan-1 mission. In 2010 Katherine took up a postdoctoral research post in Houston, Texas where she was based at the Lunar and Planetary Institute and NASA Johnson Space Centre as a NLSI postdoctoral research fellow. She studied samples returned by the Apollo 16 mission in order to study the Moon’s impact record. In 2012 Katherine returned to the UK to work at the University of Manchester where she investigates the bombardment history of the Moon and inner Solar System. She has twice joined the US Antarctic Search for Meteorites (ANSMET) programme, spending two field season’s on the ice collecting meteorites.

Tickets: http://sciencefestival.seetickets.com/event/girl-geek-dinner-space-rocks-on-ice/noho/1011326/

Please note this is an over-12s event only


Girl Geek Friendly Event – Ladyfest Manchester

14199764_1760133340915560_4247411265348611515_nLadyfest Manchester is a collective which creates events combining music, arts and ideas, with a feminist ethos. On Saturday 8th October they are running some Women in Tech workshops at the Central Methodist Hall on Oldham Street.

12:00 – 14:00: Coding (Run by Manchester Girl Geeks!)
14:00 – 15:30: Game Design
15:30 – 17:00: Sound Engineering
17:00 – 18:30: Film Editing

The workshops are open to all genders and are free, although donations are welcome.

For more information on the workshops, check their Women In Tech event page on Facebook.

There are a number of other Ladyfest events happening from 7th – 9th October, including the main event, an evening of female fronted bands on 8th October – check the Ladyfest Live Facebook event page for more details.

And for more information on all the events check their main Facebook page.