Hidden Figures makes superheroes out of mathematicians

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A few years ago, I was Freshly Pressed for writing a blog post about math.

I’m really proud of this because not only was I Freshly Pressed, I was Pressed for writing about something I am so uncomfortable with.

When I heard about the movie Hidden Figures, I knew I had to see it. I mean, who would have thought that in 2017, a top grossing movie would be one about black women doing math for NASA?

If this movie was made in 1998, it would have been Ben Affleck flying into space to rescue us from an asteroid. (And, I don’t want to miss a thing.)

But it’s 2017 and nerdy is the new flash. As Hidden Figures so inspiringly taught us, math is the backbone of today’s technology.

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As a daughter of an programmer, it was also really exciting to see them roll the first IBMs (International Business Machine, whoop!) into NASA. I practically squealed when Octavia Spencer’s character steals a book on Fortran from the white segregated library. Not because it was so ballsy but because I’ve never heard Fortran mentioned in mainstream media. And when she whipped out those punchcards… oh no you didn’t!

Sure, the scripting was cheesy but it was thrilling to see three minority women confidently take on math and out-calculate not just any men, but NASA’s top engineers. I hope it inspires a whole new generation of girls and women to never back down from a difficult equation or a top spot in the conference room.

Reasons for Going MIA

I’m sorry I’ve been MIA. You know what happened? Life happened. But I haven’t stopped reading! I know, by the looks of this blog it looks like I’ve been in a three month intellectual coma, watching Call the Midwife.

In the last three months, I’ve been:

  • Helping promote enrolment in Seneca College’s Social Media post-grad program (Seneca SoMe)
  • Volunteering for the Pan Am Games 2015 Recruitment Centre
  • Volunteering at Be Good Be Social York Region
  • Watching Blackfish on Netflix and becoming really passionate about saving Killer Whales from captivity (even though they are cruel)
  • Signing up for unlimited yoga classes at Hot Yoga Markham so there’s no excuse to not exercise
  • Living through what felt like the longest winter of my life
  • Being super confused after watching Noah. I still can’t figure out if I liked it
  • Reading about zombie children and the end of men. Reviews to come!

Someone asked me the other day if I was going to make blogging my full time job and I felt a little guilty thinking about how I’ve neglected Broken Penguins for a few months. But no, I have no plans of monetizing this blog — it will remain a hobby just like reading!

So what’s everyone doing now that spring’s finally arrived?

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More reasons to love Tina Fey

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler rocked the Golden Globes this year. I mean, they just nailed the opening:

I love Tina Fey so much, I listened to her memoir “Bossypants” in audiobook and couldn’t stop laughing. Out loud. On public transit. Is there some way I could get Tina Fey jokes on an endless looping audio track?

Gone Girl had me pulling my hair out

GONE_girlReading Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn is incredibly frustrating. Everything starts out a little too perfect. The characters are too shiny and it’s annoying. Then it they become unlikeable and super annoying. Then they become unbearably irritating.

Perhaps the most frustrating part is that I also couldn’t put it down!

I read this book in less than 3 days — a pace usually reserved for short stories and YA novels. It’s definitely a page-turner with all its twists and turns. There is a, to use the author’s words, major bombshell halfway through the book.

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Gone Girl is about a laid off magazine reporter named Nick Dunne and his picture perfect wife, Amy Dunne Elliot. His wife is a bit of a celebrity and has money to her name. But when both of them lose their jobs and Nick’s mother gets sick, they move out of their New York apartment and back to Nick’s hometown in Missouri. One day, Nick arrives home to find his wife missing and there are signs of a struggle.

As evidence piles up, the cops are increasingly discovering that it all points to Nick as the perpetrator. The media circus ensues — including a biased talk show host that is a startling reminder of Nancy Grace. And like any other murder case, the media automatically presumes it must be the husband.

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That’s all of the plot I can tell you without giving too much away. I found both passive aggressive Nick and little Miss Amazing Amy very irritating characters. Actually, I didn’t really like anyone in this book. I think that may be what makes Gone Girl so addictive. It’s a lot like watching the Real Housewives of Wherever. After a while, you realize that you’re only watching for the sensationalism.

It’s worth noting that the Gone Girl movie is scheduled for release in October 2014. Ben Affleck plays Nick and Rosamund Pike is Amy. Will be interesting to see how this plays out on the big screen and whether they decide to over-Hollywood-it.

The ending of Gone Girl will shock you. But if you’ve ever wondered how your parents stayed married, this will answer all your questions. Frankly, I’ll never look at marriage the same way again.

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