Take A Beat To Bask In The Glory of Women Scientists And STEM News

Feature image via LittleSassilie on Twitter

Notes From A Queer Engineer_Rory Midhani_640

Header by Rory Midhani

It feels a little weird to conduct my day to day affairs, lately. I feel like political news is the only thing to talk and think about, the only important thing happening. I need to find a work/life/resistance balance, I think, because right now I feel like all I do is work/resistance, interrupted by the occasional dinner break. My boss wants to have career planning conversations at work and I’m filled with utter apathy. And a tiny voice in the back of my head going, okay, you need to put forth an effort here; you’re going to regret it if you don’t.

Is anyone else feeling this? How are you dealing?

Lady Scientists

Two white women stand next to each other in a mission control room, with the text "Cassini Mission Ace" lit up in front of them. Linda Spilker is blonde and wears a blue polo shirt; Molly Bittner has glasses and a tan cardigan. There are numerous monitors lit up behind them.


  • There were a lot of women tweeting under the hashtag #actuallivingscientist (a visibility thing) over the past several days! Showing us how they dress like women (a ridiculous thing Trump said). Let us bask in their glory.

  • https://twitter.com/Marsh_Llama/status/827604487128780801


    • On Sunday, the House Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology published a press release alleging, based on questionable evidence, that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) “manipulated climate records.” It didn’t.

    Trump’s EPA pick appears to have made a false statement under oath in Senate hearing. He denies it.

    Here’s a list of all the US elected officials who deny climate change.

    It’s got nothing to do with “free data” or healing the divide. It’s got to do with corporations and their now-unimpeded plans to profit off both consumers and content creators, streaming service providers and whoever else they can make a buck off of. The reason we regulate the internet to assure neutrality is so we don’t wind up with a dystopia where a company can buy incentivized speed or priority, thus incentivizing consumers to use one service over another. Should this truly be an indication of the FCC’s direction over the next four years, it will impact independent websites and services as the dystopia expands.

  • Trump continues to wage war on truth and push his lies. We’re not buying it, and I’m actually not going to spend time rehashing the latest offenses at this particular juncture. But I’ll be in the comments if there’s anything you want to chat about!

  • Can’t Hold Us Down

    Seattle librarians are teaching kids how to spot fake news.

    Researchers analyzed more than 33,000 FOIA requests to see what successful requests had in common. (Spoiler: not actually all that much?)

    Brianna Wu Is Here, Queer and Running for Congress in Massachusetts. Continues to be a badass and a heartthrob.

    Geekery Grab Bag

    The fivethirtyeight R package package was released, with data sets from dozens of data journalism stories, including stories about police killings in the US, references to presidential candidates in hip-hop lyrics, and a complete worked analysis of movies satisfying the Bechdel Test. Seems neat!

  • Here’s a relaxing video of someone making tiny succulents out of clay:

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IjDhItMgJA

    My guess is aloe vera, fenestraria rhopalophylla, sansevieria, gollum jade, echeveria.

    Notes From A Queer Engineer is a recurring column with an expected periodicity of 14 days. The subject matter may not be explicitly queer, but the industrial engineer writing it sure is. This is a peek at the notes she’s been doodling in the margins.

    Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

    Join AF+!

    Laura Mandanas

    Laura Mandanas is a Filipina American living in Boston. By day, she works as an industrial engineer. By night, she is beautiful and terrible as the morn, treacherous as the seas, stronger than the foundations of the Earth. All shall love her and despair. Follow her: @LauraMWrites.

    Laura has written 210 articles for us.


    1. Thanks for shouting out librarians! I love libraries and am looking to utilize and support them more as community resource for information access and education. To start I’m going to seek out more librarians to follow on social media.

    2. YAY! Can’t wait to take a look at those fivethirtyeight data sets!

      Check out my profile photo: a picture of an amine scrubber I designed and built to remove CO2 from a producer gas stream from biomass gasification. #ActualLivingEngineer

    3. I am living for this woman’s soothing voice and nimble fingers. My phone autocorrected nimble to bible, so I guess I’m also secretly living for the church of clay miniatures. Thanks Laura!

    4. I absolutely relate to needing to find a work/life/resistance balance. I haven’t done laundry or bought groceries since the election because that time has gone toward protesting/other acts of resistance and now I’m like hmmm, clothing and feeding myself seem necessary so maybe I should figure out a way to make those happen.

    5. “My boss wants to have career planning conversations at work and I’m filled with utter apathy. And a tiny voice in the back of my head going, okay, you need to put forth an effort here; you’re going to regret it if you don’t.”

      100%. I enjoy my work and think it’s important (I work with kids and nature) – but am having a hard time motivating myself to do anything. The good news is that my boss is a badass who, when I asked to leave early one day to attend a protest, offered to cover my class herself so I could go. She’ll be at the march on the 22nd!

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