“We Are All Matter, and We All Matter”

In class last week, Melody pointed out her love of a sentence on the final page of the paper.

By Alex Hanson

This semester I have been granted the absolute highest honor of taking a class with my friend and HERpothesis collaborator Melody Xu. Our class focuses on feminist science studies,  science and technology studies, and tinkering in technoscience. Last week, we read a paper called “Animal Performances: An Exploration of Intersections between Feminist Science Studies and Studies of Human/Animal Relationships,” by Lynda BirkeMette Bryld, and Nina Lykke. The title is a bit intimidating, and the text offers theoretical concepts that required me to reread several paragraphs, but it is overall a really interesting look at the way feminist science studies can apply to human’s relationship and perception of animals. (If you’re interested, you can find the paper here!)

In class last week, Melody pointed out her love of a sentence on the final page of the paper: “We are all matter, and we all matter.” In the context of the paper, it is addressing each individual’s ability to blur the separation between humans and animals. On it’s own, I think this quote is beautiful because it connects humans to the rest of the universe as “matter”— that inanimate “stuff” that makes up everything but also feels very separate from us as human individuals— and addresses the individual power we hold because we are made up of that matter. Since Melody brought it up in class, I haven’t been able to get it out of my head. I made this image of the quote in order to do its some justice with bright colors and a bold font.

Saran Toure On Interning At The American Museum of Natural History

“I get to inspire them to think deeper and encourage them to deepen their interests. Those people are the reason I show up at the museum every weekend.”

Interview by Alex Hanson
Photo: Saran working at the museum. Courtesy of Saran Toure.
One of my favorite place in New York City is the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH). Naturally, I find myself there often, and on one of my most recent visits I met Saran Toure, a high school student and Saltz Intern at AMNH. Saran was posted at the upper level of the Hall of Ocean Life, at a cart fitted with tanks of plankton, dishes, and magnifying glasses. She was answering questions from museum visitors as well as facilitating plankton observation and dishing out amazing facts about the tiny sea creatures, including the fact that jellyfish are a type of plankton! I was struck by Saran’s impressive ability to share her knowledge in a fun and engaging way, so I caught up with her in an email interview in December to ask her about her amazing internship and her goals for the future.

Continue reading “Saran Toure On Interning At The American Museum of Natural History”

One Year of HERpothesis

Celebrating our contributors!

Featured image by Charlotte Southall

Hey all!

Today marks one year since HERpothesis launched as an online publication. It’s been an absolute honor to work with the women who have contributed their writing and art to the site. They see the world in so many colors and dimensions intersecting at a million points. Highlighting these intersections, fascinations, and illuminations with them, in their words, and with their art, is the most fun project I could ask for. It brings me such joy to work with these amazing ladies— their ages range from early teens to early twenties, their interests bridge STEM and the arts, and they’re tackling the big questions with curiosity and humor. I want to give them a big thank you for making HERpothesis what it is, and to thank all their friends, family, and fans for reading, sharing, and discussing their work.

Below, I want to give a shout out to every lady who has contributed to HERpothesis in the past year.  Continue reading “One Year of HERpothesis”

HERpothesis Coloring Pages

Download your own HERpothesis coloring pages!

Coloring is awesome: it’s creative, fun, colorful, and easy to turn into a social activity. All you need is a bucket of crayons and a crew of people ready to color. This is why HERpothesis paired up with Cookie and Coloring Club at NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized to for a HERpothesis coloring event! We turned a few illustrations from the HERpothesis site into coloring pages and let the fine people of Cookies and Coloring make them their own. Check out some photos from the event below! Keep scrolling to find the coloring pages we used at the event, so you can create your own HERpothesis art. Send a picture of your creation to herpothesis@gmail.com so we can share your coloring masterpiece on our social media.

Happy coloring!

Much love,

Alex Hanson

Editor-in-Chief  Continue reading “HERpothesis Coloring Pages”

Nancy Drew and the Secret to Keeping It Fresh

Long before I knew what a feminist was, when I was a mere indoorsy only child with a library card and a beige Windows 98 desktop, I was already a fan of Nancy Drew.

By Ariana DiValentino

Gif by Alex Hanson

Long before I knew what a feminist was, when I was a mere indoorsy only child with a library card and a beige Windows 98 desktop, I was already a fan of Nancy Drew.

Wishing to combine my affinity for the mystery novels with my already fully-fledged attachment to the computer, I remember telling my grandmother (also a Nancy Drew fan from her childhood) that I wished there were Nancy Drew PC games. And like a grandmotherly miracle worker, sure enough, she procured one for my 7th birthday.

I was instantly hooked, and so was the rest of my family. It took several of us to get through that first game— Stay Tuned for Danger, about a soap opera star who has been receiving death threats. But I flew through every other game in the series, and 15 years later, I’m still looking forward to diving into the next game over a long weekend.

What I immediately loved about the games, which are made by an independent gaming studio in Bellevue, Washington called Her Interactive, was that they were far richer both in game environment and in story than any other roleplay game I had played as a child. My cousins and I had come up on, primarily, Barbie games, but Barbie Detective and Barbie Spy were no match for the complex mysteries and puzzles put before Nancy Drew. They were exciting and intriguing, with more focus on writing and art than any game I’d played before (keeping in mind that this was 2002). Gameplay relied more on following actual leads and solving layered puzzles than fast reflexes or finding random items with the assumption that you’ll find a use for them later, like most PC mystery games up to this point. Continue reading “Nancy Drew and the Secret to Keeping It Fresh”

Spatial Sounds and Pikachus: An Augmented Reality Appreciation Post

“Even though the future seems far away, it is actually beginning right now.” – Poet Mattie Stepanek

By Melody Xu

Collage by Alex Hanson

The world has been taken by storm by Pokemon Go. If you don’t know what Pokemon Go is (you must be living under a rock), you’re missing out! Definitely go check out the App store and download it because your life will never be the same again. If you’re one of the millions of players already enjoying the game (please stop, you’re the reason the servers are crashing), good for you!

Regardless of whether or not you’ve already caught them all, Pokemon Go serves as a fantastic example of a game that implements augmented reality, or AR for short. By definition, any technology that inserts “digital interfaces into the real world” (according to the Salem Encyclopedia of Science) is an example of augmented reality.

People often group augmented reality together with virtual reality, but there is a stark difference between the two. While virtual reality attempts to create, in essence, a separate reality apart from real life, augmented reality aims to add (or augment, hence the name) the real world. While the fundamental concepts for augmented reality have been around since the early days, the actual term itself didn’t appear until the 1990s. Creators who utilize AR are unique in that they use the technology to enhance what users experience, rather than creating a whole new world for them. Continue reading “Spatial Sounds and Pikachus: An Augmented Reality Appreciation Post”

The HERpothesis Golden Record

Photos and songs for the alien civilization that finds this addendum to the Golden Record.

Featuring photos by Julia Arciga, Alice Liu, Alex Hanson, Megan Harger, Katie Smythe, Shelby Traynor, and Melody Xu

Playlists created by Savana Ogburn, Jo Guelas, Kylie Obermeier, and Megan Schaller of Sonic Blume Zine. Playlist graphics created by Savana Ogburn.

To The Alien Civilization That Finds This,

Greetings from Earth!

My name is Alex Hanson, and I’m the editor of HERpothesis, the website that created this Golden Record addendum: a collection of music and images to show you what life is like on Earth, our home planet (and currently the only one occupied by humans, although we have our sights set on Mars). HERpothesis is made by young women inspired by the intersections of STEM and art, and this Golden Record is our way of showing you how we see and interact with our planet today. Continue reading “The HERpothesis Golden Record”