This Ingenious Device Will Allow You to Control All Your Electronics From Your Cellphone

WeMo works with existing Wi-Fi router and any iOS or Android device. Turns electronics on or off from anywhere. Operates over Wi-Fi and mobile Internet at home and away. Allows users to put their electronic devices on a schedule. Modular system. Users can add additional switches easily any time. Control as much or as little of the home as desired. Plugs into any regular 120V wall outlet.

‘Fight Like a Girl’ First Issue Review

In the first issue of “Fight Like a Girl,” we are introduced to Amarosa. She’s a witty, spunky, won’t-take-no-for-an-answer Black girl heroine. Her brother is sick, and she is about to undergo a series of nine (potentially fatal) trials set forth by a rather mysterious council of gods (Greek, Roman and Norse) in order to save him. The gods are divided about letting Amarosa attempt the trials but ultimately send her on her merry way, secretly hoping she’ll become the next Artisan. The gods don’t say what an Artisan is, so that is left up to your imagination for now.

Amarosa gratefully accepts their permission and starts the trials. They are a series of doors, and behind each one is the next trial if she successfully completes the previous one. Along the way, she has a “friend” of sorts in a flying sprite who offers tips, tricks and hints. But will they be enough to help her survive? After seeing the first trial, I can’t wait to see what lies ahead for Amarosa behind the rest of the closed doors.

I really enjoyed Soo Lee’s use of color in this comic, which help to drop little hints about each person’s personalities. From the vibrant colors of Amarosa’s clothing against the drab background of the Pantheon that speaks to her spunky spirit, to the richness of the tropical location she lands in for her first trial, the spectacular colors combined with Lee’s richly-detailed environments makes for art that compels the reader to continue flipping the page. Lee also gives each of the gods colorful clothing that relays little hints about their personalities such as royal purple for Loki’s cape and helmet, Tartarus’ red pupils, and white-gray hair and a maroon cape for the grizzled Chronos.

David Pinckney’s writing is a force to be reckoned with in this comic. His use of witty dialogue between Amarosa and the sprite will have you chuckling to yourself with joy that in the concept that Amarosa can manage to find a silver lining in this predicament. Equally as amusing is the tongue-and-cheek way that she approaches her first subject. This flippant banter hides the true nature of her feelings, which progress from unsure to terrified to more resolved as the battle continues. Despite it all, Amarosa retains her compassion, and I get the feeling that this will be more and more important as the trials wear on.

Read more at Black Girl Nerds

Is ‘Arrow’ Making John Diggle’s Character Stagnant?

Three seasons into Arrow, we’ve seen Felicity Smoak turn MVP, Roy Harper’s evolution into Arsenal, and Sarah Lance die, become a hero and die again. We even saw the rebirth of Thea Queen when her hair went Legend of Korra, Book 4 and she morphed into fierce-Thea over a summer abroad. In the time it took you to learn the three-man weave at basketball camp, Thea learned to turn off physical pain and sword fight trained assassins. How unaccomplished does that make you feel? Now take all those feelings of ineptitude and multiply them by 55 episodes, and you might have an idea how John Diggle feels.

Diggle began as a promising character of color in the series, asserting himself as someone uninterested in “being anyone’s sidekick.” A 40-something ex-Special Forces with hero-diesel build? And he says he’s no one’s sidekick? Arrow had me going on that one. They had me going, that is, until it took under half a season for him to become just that. Not even a particularly useful one either – whenever Ollie excludes him on missions he sits back at headquarters and dreams of being appreciated. “Maybe I’ll get a code name soon,” he thinks to himself, looking up at the salmon ladder. “Or a mask. A mask would do.” It’s embarrassing. On the list of respectable sidekicks, John Diggle’s name falls somewhere under Kimmy Gibbler, Memphis Bleek, and Tails.

He’s strictly there for diversity purposes at this point – they couldn’t get rid of him so they turned him into Cole from Martin, where every time he talks about his job for a mission, everyone yells, “You ain’t got no job!” His presence onscreen solely to say things like “You’re not seeing straight on this one, Ollie” every 18 minutes. The frustrating part is his character had such promise at the start of the show, although let’s be clear – he was never written as Ollie’s equal even in season 1, and the way he was the punch line of Ollie’s daily shenanigans sneaking away in season 1 while Diggle facepalms and says “aw, shucks” was borderline offensive. Heaven forbid we break with the norm and have an interesting Black character that helps Ollie out as an equal. He was always the goofy and hapless counterpart opposite Ollie’s hero-ness, but essential enough to each mission to keep us believing in his utility on the team.

Read more from Jordan Calhoun at Black Nerd Problems

Kickstarter Campaign Started for Feature Film ‘Bar Star City’

Author of “Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci Fi and Fantasy Culture” Ytasha L. Womack is embarking on completing her first trippy feature film, Bar Star City. After reading the description for myself, I got the sensation of experiencing one of those really late-night Adult Swim bumpers on a roller coaster. Or a fever dream of the Chalmun Cantina, with Black people:

A goddess, a war veteran and the captain of a spaceship meet in a bar…

We’ve all gone to bars and met unique, quirky personalities. But what happens when seemingly ordinary people are quite extraordinary? This film follows several not-so-ordinary regulars of a bar that’s become a home for the galactic and well-traveled.

A sci-fi film with Afrofuturist themes, Bar Star City looks at love, deception, memory and alienation among a group of bar regulars who just want a place to call home.

The Kickstarter campaign to get the funds to really make a cinematic classic piece of Afrofuturist history has 16 days left to raise $9,500. For science-fiction fans who dare to dream, this Bar Star City teaser produces an aesthetic; it asks questions and thrives on our curiosity with its images and soundtrack that is worth the investment.

Womack’s book on the movement is an innovative read that builds a case for Afrofuturism’s history, present, and daring future in our stadium of artistic expression. Bar Star City is such an exciting next step for Womack and Black science-fiction cinema. Donate, share, and rave about this proposal to your clans far and wide.



11 Perfect Gift Ideas to Spark Your Child’s Engineering Curiosity

STEM toys are hot, no doubt about it. Lego announced revenues earlier this fall that made it the largest toy maker in the world for the first time ever. As Lego’s success shows, the “E” in STEM, engineering, is a natural fit for younger kids who can design, build, tweak and tinker for hours on end. Indeed, formal engineering instruction is entering more and more elementary schools, through innovative programs like Engineering is Elementary and others. And resources for informal engineering education are finding receptive audiences, as we’ve seen with the success of our own elementary-school book, “Dream, Invent, Create.”

Engineering the Holidays

But there’s lots more technical toy fun to be had than just with Legos. We found 11 great engineering-flavored toys, suitable for ages from 2 to, well, as far “up” as you like.


Magna-Tiles or Magformers. 2 and up. Coming in sets of colorful squares and triangles, these plastic tiles have magnets at the edges. They attach in any fashion imaginable, enabling the construction of houses, castles, rockets, ships, small towns and whatever else kids can imagine. One of the favorite activities in my kids’ preschool classroom, these tiles always attract a crowd after the first kid pulls them out. Some people report that Magformers have stronger magnets and are easier for small hands to maneuver.


Wedgits. 2 – 6 years. These are brightly colored building blocks of different shapes and sizes that stack, nest, balance, pile – and fall down if not arranged by sound structural principles. Full instructions are provided, but not really necessary. Kids will learn about angles, balance, weight and force, building objects of their own design or following the guidance of design cards that lead them through increasingly challenging projects. The starter kit is easy to expand upon, as kids grow and fine motor and building skills increase.