The Yia Yia

There’s this old Greek woman and her stocky son who live on our corner who remind me of my Yia Yia and Uncle, especially since she has this beautiful garden that he’s always tending to for her. Her house is on the way to the coffee shop I’ve been writing my thesis at a lot, so frequently I pass by and see the old woman sitting on her porch, especially now that the weather is getting nicer.

I can’t help but smile at her when I go by since they remind me of my family. She always smiled back, and our smiles have upgraded to smiles and waves. When I walked by this morning, she said to her son “That’s the smile lady!”

I’m glad I could brighten her mornings enough that she’d tell her son just from a smile. But at the same time, I think of the hundreds of other people who must walk by her and not even notice she’s there, and that it’s kind of sad that I’m notable because I just smile her way.

Called my grandparents after that.

Come see me speak at Town Hall Seattle this Monday!

Come see me speak at Town Hall Seattle this Monday!

I know I’ve been in a blog/speaking hibernation for a while – grad school can do that to you. But I’m happy to announce that I’ll be coming out of my cave to give a talk about my research at Town Hall Seattle this Monday, May 11. This talk is specifically tailored for non-biologists and will not be overly technical or jargony – at least, that’s my goal!  Here are the details for all of you locals:

What Makes Us Human: Decoding Our DNA
“What makes us human? Scientists and philosophers have been asking the question for years. This age-old query is also the subject of UW genome sciences student Jennifer McCreight’s research. She’ll compare the DNA of humans to chimpanzees, monkeys, and lemurs, sharing how genetic differences help paint a picture of how Homo sapiens walk, talk, and have larger brains.”

6:00PM, Monday, May 11, 2015

Downstairs at Town Hall
1119 Eighth Avenue (enter on Seneca Street)
Seattle, Washington 98101

$5, UW students (with Husky card) get in for free.
Double feature with Leonard Mlodinow’s talk “The Evolution of Scientific Discovery” at 7:30pm.This event is part of the University of Washington’s Engage program, which teaches effective communication skills to scientists who may not otherwise receive that training. I absolutely loved the class and recommend it to all UW grad students, and I’m excited that it gave me the opportunity to speak at Town Hall.

Please spread the word, and I hope to see you there!

Don’t mind me, just walking my Dalek


Seen on Capitol Hill Saturday night. My shoddy night time phone photography doesn’t do it justice – this looked like something off the set. It was enhanced by a number of onlookers yelling “EXTERMINATE!” for extra ambiance.

I love how nerdy this city is.

As I sat here researching Seattle mayoral candidates…

I realized the majority of people won’t even bother to vote in this primary, let alone do research to make an educated choice.

Something is wrong here :

Come see me at Nerd Nite Seattle!

I am living the dream: I’ve been invited to give a talk of extreme geekiness this Monday:

Pokébiology 101
There may not be a Pikachu Genome Project, but the unusual biology of the Pokémon Universe can teach us about biology in the real world. How do Pokémon species differ from species here on Earth? What does genomic imprinting have to do with breeding? Can an organism like Eevee actually exist? You won’t need to be a Pokémon Master or geneticist to catch the concepts, so come, have fun, and grab a beer – it’s super effective.

Nerd Nite Seattle
Monday, January 21st
7:30 Talks (Doors open at 6:30)
$5 Cover
LUCID Jazz Lounge

If you drop by, make sure to say hello!

Movin’ on up

My boyfriend and I were reading the news, and we happened to be reading an interesting pair of articles at the same time:

Boyfriend: *reading title* University of Washington research ranks fourth among world universities.
Me: *reading title* Purdue ranks second in FBI hate crime report.
Boyfriend: Well, at least it wasn’t first.

We’re number two! We’re number… …ugh.

Urgent: Friend’s car stolen in Seattle

I know I have a lot of readers in Seattle, so I want to ask you guys for help. A dear friend of mine had their car stolen in the last 24 hours. For reasons I won’t get into for privacy’s sake, they believe it was moved somewhere and possibly made to look abandoned. If you could keep your eye open for the car, it would be much appreciated.

  • 1998 White Subaru Impreza, wagon
  • Bumper stickers include Human Rights Campaig blue and yellow equal sign symbol, Burning man 2005 sticker, Mote Marine Aquarium sticker
  • Last seen in Fremont, possibly still in Fremont or nearby in Wallingford/Ballard/Greenlake, could be farther away


Photo is of the general make and model of the car, not the exact car.

Police have already been contacted, but basically they can’t really do anything until it turns up in a towing lot or someone spots in on the street. So if you see a car matching this description, please email me at blaghagblog (at) gmail (dot) com so my friend can go check and see if it’s the one.

PAX is almost here!

As you probably know, I’m a huge gamer and geek. I also live in Seattle. Which means over the next three days, I will be in absolute glee at the Penny Arcade Expo. I’m going to try my luck in the Mario Kart: Double Dash tournament and have a  blast checking out all the new and indie games. I might pass on the Pokemon League this year, since I’m not sure if I want to get my ass handed to me yet again. A lot of the panels seem interesting too. There are two – two! – panels on transgender gamers and game characters, a sex and gaming panel, a harassment panel, and I’ll be sure to check out “On God and Gaming.” Maybe I should make a protest sign along the lines of “BUT RELIGION BY DEFINITION HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH VIDEO GAMES! SPLITTERS!”

Is anyone else going to PAX? Make sure to say hello if you spot me there!

Geek Girl Con was a blast

This is only the second year for the completely volunteer-run Geek Girl Con, and I had a great time. There’s something liberating about going to a geeky con that recognizes your existence in its programming and its demographics. It actually feels strange for me to walk around a geeky con being part of the majority gender – a strange sense of security knowing that my odds of being randomly harassed or creeped on are greatly decreased. The most interesting part was probably listening to Anita Sarkeesian talk about the awful flood of harassment, rape threats, and death threats she has received…all because she made a Kickstarter to examine gender stereotypes in video games. I loved meeting random blog readers – thanks for saying hi!

I bought this delightfully geeky skirt from a blog reader, Tea Time Inc.

Pixel approves. I think.

I also bought some artwork from The Gorgonist Illustration:

 I ran into Seattle superhero Phoenix Jones:

And this little girl’s costume had to be my favorite:

GeekGirlCon and other weekend debauchery!

If you’re in Seattle, this weekend is packed with a lot of fun, nerdy, godless, feministy things for you to enjoy.

On Friday the 10th I’ll be joining the Seattle Atheists to see my friend Rebecca Watson give a talk on “How Girls Evolved to Shop, and Other Ways to Insult Women with “Science.”” Tickets are $15 but include dinner. I’ll be trying to convince everyone to go get drinks at the Narwhal afterward, because what can beat fruity drinks in a carnival themed bar filled with pinball and arcade games? Did I mention it was called the Narwhal?

On Saturday and Sunday I’ll be at GeekGirlCon! Here are the two panels I’ll be on with other fabulous ladies:

Saturday, 4:30 PM – 5:20 PM

Misogyny Online – RM205
Moderated Roundtable Discussion

Women who speak out online are often the targets of very nasty misogyny. Harmful, threatening, and degrading comments are all too common when a woman posts opinions in social media outlets or even on their own blogs. This panel will discuss how it happens, why it happens, and how to deal with it. An essential panel for women who have or want a strong Internet presence.

Presented by Jen McCreight, Rebecca Watson, Amy Davis Roth, Sophie Hirschfeld

Sunday, 3:30 PM – 4:20 PM *

Women and Skepticism – RM303
Moderated Roundtable Discussion

What is real and what isn’t? A panel of renowned skeptics will analyze some of the current claims marketed to or directed specifically at women. From psychics to super-antioxidant juices, this panel will show you how you can use the tools of skepticism to protect yourself, your family, and the contents of your wallet from pseudoscience and scams.

Presented by Rebecca Watson, Amanda Marcotte, Desiree Schell, Ericka Johnson, Jennifer McCreight, Cloe Ashton

I’m sure I’ll have absolutely nothing to talk about on that first panel after my last couple of posts.

Will I be seeing any of you there? Make sure to say hello if you spot me!

Dessert break!

If I had a kryptonite, it would be Molly Moon’s ice cream:

This particular pint is a seasonal batch called Sasquatch. Theo chocolate ice cream with chunks of dark chocolate and caramel coated granola. Holy fuckballs is it good. They aren’t serving it anymore but you can still buy pints. I may or may not have gone and bought three to hoard up.


This is post 44 of 49 of Blogathon. Donate to the Secular Student Alliance here.

Favorite thing about Seattle

Another donor asked me what was my favorite thing about Seattle.

…It’s not Indiana.

I mean, you’re making me pick one thing? How the hell am I supposed to choose? I spent my whole life trapped in Indiana, dreaming of a liberal paradise somewhere. I feel like I’ve found it. I don’t have to worry about people judging my atheism because Seattle is so godless. I don’t have to worry about how people view me being a feminist, supporting gay rights, voting Democrat, or liking nerdy hobbies. Every type of delicious food on the planet is available here, not just burgers. There’s great coffee and beer. There’s stuff to do other than going to the movie theater: HUMP, Geek Girl Con, PAX, the Solstice Parade. Great musicians come through because it’s actually a major city worth stopping in. I’m surrounded by gorgeous mountains and water, and everything is green and blooming all year long. The winters are mild instead of -15 F with 2 feet of snow and a layer of ice. The summers are the perfect temperature and not humid.

So if I had to pick my favorite thing about Seattle?

If I never came here, I wouldn’t have fallen in love with the best boyfriend ever.

*cue gagging*

This is post 41 of 49 of Blogathon. Donate to the Secular Student Alliance here.