What to wear to the End of the World.

* this article originally appeared on Carnal Nation and io9, repubbed here for the ages.

resident-evil-afterlife-movie-image-milla-jovovich-12-600x400Things are always a little sketchy, globally.  They’ve been sketchy my whole life, what with Reagan and the Cold War and acid rain and global warming and shoals of plastic bottles in the Pacific. Now that we’re all depressed, let’s talk about clothes!

Obviously, when the Apocalypse comes you want to be dressed for it. You want to look good, and have a place to keep your tools and weapons and jerky. You want clothes that are sturdy, in case you’re dragged over the desert sands behind a motorcycle, and clothes that are washable, because your drycleaner is at the bottom of the new Los Angeles Sea. You’ll want clothes that are modular, because you’re likely to be wearing the same outfit for quite a while. You may want clothes that are armored, knife-proof or bulletproof, and you’ll definitely want some fucking bad-ass boots.

Also, you should do your shopping as soon as possible, before the worldwide economic meltdown. For boots, get yourself some New Rocks. Sure, they cost a fortune, but you’ll never be buying another pair of boots anyway, on account of that EMP taking out all the electronic currency. If you must go with Demonia, the Stomp or Transformer models are good for kicking in zombie heads. The Transformer can be instantly weaponized with attachable spikes. The motorcycle gear company Icon also makes fabulous high-heeled boots for your chic cycling needs.

You’ll need a tattered skirt with lots of pockets, d-skirts and straps. I found this French-run company based in Hong Kong and Bali, Shaman Electro, by looking at the tag on the back of Carnal Nation Editor-in-Chief Theresa Ikard’s fabulous tattered skirt.

Cryoflesh-Aquarius-SkirtOr this amazing one by CryofleshOr some demented modular skirt plus pants thing. Then you need a jacket. Maybe you’ll want this fucking crazy stillsuit/desert nomad hoodie to protect you from the radioactive ash. Or how about Kevlar or Aramid lined hoodies that deflect knife cuts? Try out this razortape-print Kevlar-lined hoodie from BladeRunner in the UK. They even have a  sickening pink “ladies” version.shaman-electro-pandora1

 

If you’re protecting yourself from the elements in the frozen wastes of Brazil, you’ll want a warm coat. After much research, I’ve concluded that most women’s cold-weather gear is not hot, and therefore, by definition, sucks-not-in-the-good-way.

The only cool insulated jackets are from motorcycle gear companies—and they have the advantage of being armored at the shoulders and elbows, for when you jump out of  the speeding jacked-up BattlePrius in the middle of  the wasteland. I like the British motorcycle gear company Frank Thomas for their Armored Venus line. This jacket from FirstGear is actually electrically heated. FirstGear-HeatedJacket-2_0You can plug it in to your methane-powered hybrid motocross hoverbike!

Then you need a place to put your gear. You’ll want your hands free, so you need a utility belt or vest. Poizen Industries makes this cute bustier with zipoff pockets and ammo holders.poizen-corset2

The craziest, most amazing utility belts and holster belts anywhere are on etsy at Jungle Tribe’s shop:JungleTribe bage

 

 

 

Much, much cheaper are cloth utility belts:

Five and Diamond’s Wild Card belts are fabulous. There are Wild Card holster belts, and the Skin Graft holster belts sold both at F&D and at the Skin Graft site:

Once you’ve stashed your gear about your person in all your little pockets and pouches, you can protect yourself from the toxic rain with the Blade Runner umbrella— at thinkgeek.

The Skin Graft garter holster belt is so hot your head will fall off. And you’ll need some gloves when you’re shooting your crossbow at mutants—like Steam Trunk’s Archery gloves:

Of course, the accessory you need most of all is Milla Jovovich and her machete.

CHIP IN HEAD!!!

Kickstartered!!! Sign me up!! I am your experimental subject!!

Very seriously, I have always wanted a BCI for many reasons, and one of them is because I have chronic, severe, recurrent depression and the meds are always failing. The OpenBCI project offers a beautiful way to honor a loved one, by contributing to the development of open-source technology for direct computer-brain interaction. Neurotherapy technology like this could “reboot” depressed brains, identify and monitor them for brain wave patterns linked to suicidal ideation, or perhaps even “lock” a depressive about to self-harm until help can arrive.

I realize to many people this sounds frighteningly ripe for abuse. But for people whose brains have been trying to kill them their entire lives, it sounds like a miracle. Google pumping Viagra ads directly into your visual cortex would be a small price to pay for relief from suicidal ideation. if you want a more cheerful example, check out how badass quadriplegic Jan Scheuermann ( awesome human-robot frontier adventurer Jan Scheuermann!) is now able to use a robot arm to feed herself chocolate. She is pretty excited about the potential of BCI.

I don’t have much money, but I pledged the “Honor a loved one” amount in memory of Conor, who lost his battle with depression not long ago.

Depression is a disease, and most of us aren’t doctors.

Friday evening my phone rang, and I ignored it. I never answer the phone;  anyone who knows me texts. Then it rang again, with a number not in my contacts. I hit the end button and set it down, and it started ringing again. I picked it up then, knowing someone was dead.

“I just got the news about Conor”, my boyfriend said. His voice was gnarled with static and shock, calling from Germany, where he was at some hacker conference. “Are you ok?” he asked. He sounded terrified. He said something about Twitter. “I’m fine, baby, what’s going on?” He told me he’d heard one of our friends was dead by his own hand. He told me he was with M. and Q., that they were ready to help if I needed anything. Continue reading

Signs of the nerdcorporate Apocalypse in formerly louche, bohemian San Francisco.

So yesterday people I know got into the winter Y Combinator session. Startup madness is in the air at every party we go to; we find ourselves talking to people we love and respect about business, when we used to talk to them about art or sex. I’m glad that people I care about are doing well, I support their awesome business ideas, it’s all fine- it’s just really damn weird to be back in 1998.
I’m having a lot of cognitive dissonance, seeing all this happen here again. It seems like it’s even worse this time, but maybe it’s just me? I’ve started a new T324 pinboard to log it, since it seems we’re condemned to repeat.

What’s this horrible “shared endorsement” business of Google using your name and image for ads?

Imagine Google searching through your whole life on the internet and pulling up all your likes and endorsements and comments.

Then they pair them with your name and the photo from your Google+ profile, and display them as ads. That sounds positively….evil, doesn’t it? Remember that time you “liked” your friend’s band, even though you hadn’t seen him since college? What was the band called, PedoNecrophiliaBestiality or something?

Now stop imagining, and go change your account settings.

goog2

How you want your Google+ settings if you don’t want to Share Endorsements.

Continue reading

Extreme Gothic Halloween Values for the Discerning Geek, at 99Only.

99Only Halloween skull glass display

And now begins the High Holy Season of Geeks, the sacred month of Halloween.

The 31st falls on a Thursday this year, so expect parties both the weekend before and the weekend after. Or you can opt for Halloweek, like we’re doing. Today is the day to begin laying in supplies and planning your events, so we’ve got some tips on shopping.

Wouldn’t you know, my work T324′s longtime client 99Only.com is a truly excellent Halloween resource!

I wouldn’t have thought to go to a dollar store, because even though I’m cheap, I’m a snob. And I buy so much Halloween junk that costs plenty of money (from crack peddlars Williams-Sonoma and Pottery Barn, thanks a lot you bastards) that I probably don’t need to buy Halloween stuff that’s practically free too. However, one of my work’s big clients is local “extreme value” retailer 99Only.com. Continue reading

Go to Bar Bot, where robots will make you a pretty good Pisco Sour.

We saw Bar Bot creators Simone Davalos and David Calkins at a party this weekend, and heard great things from Simone about the upcoming Bar Bot event. It’s in a cool sekrit location and apparently our friend Jonathan Foote is building something impressively insane. Go, and have drinks mixed for you while our future robot overlords still stoop to the level of doing menial tasks for meatsacks! Mostly the robots work, sometimes they don’t, sometimes there’s a fire!

Also, see below for our rockets, robots & rayguns roundup, inspired by Simone.

We were going to write about TechCrunch Disrupt 2013, but it’s too awful.

It’s too awful. It’s too awful to read TechCrunch’s apology for the ogling/masturbating apps at Disrupt 2013.

It’s too awful to look at screencaps of douchebro Pax Dickinson tweeting threats at Anil Dash. It’s too awful that my hero Hugh Jackman has to resort to PandoDaily as a bully pulpit for social welfare messaging. It’s too awful that DC Comics posted a talent contest that involved a naked Harley Quinn attempting to electrocute herself. It’s too awful that the Penny Arcade guy still hasn’t grown up or healed or become human. The NSA situation is so awful, I really prefer not to think about it. It’s been a bad, gross week on the Internet, for technology and for geek culture.

So instead, we bring you a new T324 geek Pinterest board:

Most ridiculous results of mainstreaming and appropriation of geek culture.

Wolverine-nightlight-watches-over-your-child

Where we post the most cognitively dissonant attempts to monetize how much geeks love the things we love.

Like this Wolverine nightlight to watch over your child. Because this guy makes me feel so safe.

(You can also visit our new sister board, “Clever, knowing appropriation of geek culture in service of pop art that transcends crass commercialism and is kind of awesome or funny.”)

Because having a Wolverine hoodie means never having to say you’re sorry.

We Can Deliver It For You Wholesale, and other adventures in same-day AutoTurking.

taskrabbitSo yesterday I didn’t feel well enough to go to work and sit in front of a computer.

I felt just barely well enough to lie on the couch with a computer on my lap. My boyfriend had needs, however.

“Do we have any food?” he wanted to know. That’s code for “Sudo, make me a sandwich” in our house. He’s the primary breadwinner; I work half-time and housewife the rest.

My mom didn’t burn her bra so I could live out traditional gender archetypes, but she also didn’t plan on having a daughter with disabling health issues who’d choose to live in the second most expensive part of the US, where you can’t live without a tech worker income and tech workers work too many hours to take care of themselves. So sue me, First-Wavers. Continue reading