Upcoming Event: GGTP #67 Show & Tell

Sunday 29th January, 2-4pm, MadLab
Tickets free – click here to book

1377434309924Do you have a passion for technology? What brilliant gadget did you get for Christmas? What wonder of science do you think the world should know about? Come to the next Manchester Girl Geek Tea Party and share your knowledge with people who want to know more.

We’re having another of our famous Girl Geek Show and Tell tea parties, and you’re invited to come along, learn something new and teach us about the things you find fascinating. Science, engineering, technology, maths, or anything geeky – wherever your interest lies, you’re welcome to talk for 10-15 minutes (or less if you’d rather) on a subject of your choice.

If you don’t have anything to share then just come along for the talks, a cup of tea and some cake. Feel free to bring some homemade cakes if you want to share the love, too. There’ll be a relaxed atmosphere where you can share your thoughts and ideas with like-minded ladies. If you’re new and just want to learn more, then come to listen and meet some great people.

For more details and to book, visit mancggtp67.eventbrite.com.

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GGTP #66: Festive (laser) papercrafts

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Fab Lab Manchester, Sunday 11th December, 2-5pm
Tickets £5 including all materials (non-participant tickets available)

Following our previous laser cutting workshop at Fab Lab, we’re now going to visit the branch in Altrincham, where we’ll have another laser cutting workshop – suitable for anyone including complete beginners and people who’ve had a go before.

We’ll talk you through the basics of making an image ready for laser cutting, and show you how to use a laser cutter to make beautiful festive cards and decorations. We’ll also have some other festive papercraft activities for you to try out, so you’ll come home with a bag of goodies (ticket cost includes all materials and instructions).

If you’d like to work on your own laptop, you’ll need to make sure you’ve installed the program InkScape, which is free to download from inkscape.org. If you’re not able to bring a laptop, we can lend you one, and please let us know if this is the case. It’s also a good idea to bring a pendrive to transfer your files.

We’ll have our usual tea and cake table, so please bring along your favourite festive bakes. Fab Lab is directly opposite the bus/Metrolink station in Altricham, in the same building as the library. It’s ground floor accessible, and if you have any other access requirements, please contact us (email manchestergirlgeeks@gmail.com).

To book your place, visit mancggtp66.eventbrite.com.

Upcoming event: GGTP#65 – Wikipedia Edit Tea Party UPDATE

We have now merged our event with the Voting for Change Edit-a-thon event on November 20th.wiki.png

Sunday 20th November 2016, Working Class Movement Library 10:00am – 4:00pm, free tickets: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/voting-for-change-edit-a-thon-tickets-25968895666

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.

We’re teaming up with PHM and WCML to acquire material related to the fight for the vote, and then share this knowledge on Wikipedia. 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.

Feel free to bring along your favourite sources and add to the body of knowledge together!

The library is opposite Salford uni, a short distance away from Salford Crescent train station. There are many bus links, including the number 8 from Shudehill. The day runs from 10am-4pm.

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.
  • We’re not able to supply lunch this time, but there are a few places to buy food nearby – if you bring a packed lunch there’ll be somewhere to eat it.

To book your place, visit the Eventbrite page.

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”.

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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

Productivity

  • 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.

Resources

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]