personalspaceshow: Personal Space writer Taylor Cleland talks…

Wednesday, May 18th, 2016


Personal Space writer Taylor Cleland talks about why she hopes our show is something she would have loved when she was 10 years old.

Support Personal Space on Kickstarter here!

They’re at $26,316 (of the $45k they need in order to be funded). Seven days left.

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The latest class of NASA astronauts is 50% female

Friday, January 29th, 2016

The latest class of NASA astronauts is 50% female:


The latest class of NASA astronauts, recruited in 2013 and already in training, will also be candidates for the first trip to Mars, and for the first time in NASA history, 50 percent of them are female.


The class of is made up of eight recruits in total – Josh Cassada, Victor Glover, Tyler Hague, Christina Hammock, Nicole Aunapu Mann, Anne McClain, Jessica Meir, and Andrew Morgan – selected from a pool of around 6,100 applicants. That’s a fierce 0.0013 percent success rate.

The application process alone took 18 months of rigorous medical and psychological testing, and the recruits are now going through two years of training before they’ll officially join NASA’s 46 currently active astronauts.

But what’s really cool is that they’re the first class to be candidates for the mission to Mars. “If we go to Mars, we’ll be representing our entire species in a place we’ve never been before. To me it’s the highest thing a human being can achieve,” McClain told Ginny Graves in an exclusive interview for Glamour magazine at the end of last year.

That training, as you can imagine, is pretty intense, with the candidates learning how to fly T-38 supersonic jets, practicing walking around underwater in spacesuit that weigh 181 kg (400 pounds), and surviving what’s called the vomit comet, which simulates weightlessness through freefall.

And why it’s a big deal:



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icarus-suraki: flamethrowing-hurdy-gurdy: I really love that…

Saturday, June 27th, 2015



I really love that her prosthetic was off for this. Here we are in this world where most action movies just can’t manage to shake the idea that men are always stronger unless circumstances give the woman an exceptional advantage…

…and here we have Max with a gun in his hand legit struggling to overpower a one-armed woman.

Secretly? I really love when the water from the hose splashes the camera lens. I do not know why.

It reminds me of the splatter from the blood pack that “ruined” the take in the battle scene at the end of Children of Men, and Lubezki convincing Cuarón to leave it in. Because on one level, yes, it calls attention to the fact that there’s a camera and lens there, which you’d think would break the illusion. But it’s so much more complicated than that.

We know there’s a lens there. We know it’s an illusion. But our ridiculous brains have been pretending stories are real for as long as we’ve had stories – really, for as long as we’ve had brains. That’s what brains do.

We sat around the campfire listening and watching, and when the storyteller moved her hands and made the sound of the wind we entered into that moment and were moved to tears. It’s not about realism. It’s about authenticity. Not the technical quality of the illusion, but the integrity and sincerity of the telling. That’s where the power comes from.

This fucking movie.

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lierdumoa:battlenuggalope: Jurassic World, Mad Max Fury Road, and Little GirlsFor her birthday, we…

Monday, June 22nd, 2015



Jurassic World, Mad Max Fury Road, and Little Girls

For her birthday, we took my soon-to-be six year-old to Jurassic World. Prior to that, she had watched a bootleg copy of Fury Road with me after I had confirmed that it fit the levels of violence I consider acceptable based on what I know of my daughter.

The most interesting thing to me was her reactions after each film.

After watching MMFR, she talked incessantly about it. (She had talked during the film as well, making observations, etc.) Her name was suddenly changed to Angry Cereal, mirroring two of her favorite characters. She made a new Sims game, spending more time than she ever had before perfecting the characters – and giving them all pets. A Lego car set was turned into a crazy car that could fit into the Mad Max world. Barbies were now the Wives and her dad’s Diablo figurine was now Immortan Joe. It’s been a little over two weeks and she still talks about it.

When the credits rolled on Jurassic World, she said, ‘Can we go see another movie?’ –And that was it. The only other comment vaguely related to the movie was her assertion she liked dinosaurs. Nothing else. No elaborate recreations, nothing.

I had thought with MMFR that my excitement had rubbed off on her but that doesn’t seem to be the case. After Jurassic World, I was excited, encouraging her to talk about her favorite parts. She asked for a Happy Meal. When we went to spend a gift card at Toys-R-Us the next day, I pointed out all the Jurassic World toys. They had Blue! She barely gave them a second glance.

It didn’t jive. She had tons of dinosaur books. Why was she infinitely more interested in an adult movie that was pretty much one big car chase rather than a movie about dinosaurs? Was it because despite the differences in ratings, Jurassic World had frightened her more? Maybe. But when she picked out a new stuffed animal to buy with her gift card, she informed us the little owl’s name was Splendid.

And that was it.

She had watched Fury Road in almost complete silence until the first shot of all the Wives. Then she turned to me and said, “There’s so many girls!” That was her takeaway from MMFR: there were lots of girls! All the girls were fighting together against the bad guy! The girls were the heroes! That was important to her, seemingly even more important than it was to me. Maybe because she’s just getting her first taste of playground culture where boys and girls are separate and the two don’t mix often and it’s been confusing. Maybe because she just really liked seeing girls on the screen. When I ask her, she just shrugs and says, “I don’t know, mommy, I liked all the girls. I liked Toast.”

As an adult, I’m aware of issues with representation. I don’t remember consciously noticing it as a child but I remember Leia and Uhura and Janeway being my favorites. I remember dressing up as Dana Scully. As a mom, I watch my daughter gravitate to girls and women on screen. A movie I thought would a sure thing because DINOSAURS! became a total miss because for her, there was no one on screen that she left the theater wanting to dress up as. There was no incentive for her to change her name to mimic favorite characters. I left grinning because holy shit, raptor squad! She left wanting a cheeseburger.


Children know when they’re being marginalized. They might have no idea what they word marginalized means, but they can still tell, instinctually, when they’ve been misrepresented in and/or excluded from the story.

[look, there’s even a scientific study supporting this]

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The Subtle Triumph of Furiosa’s Prosthetic Arm | Nerdist

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

The Subtle Triumph of Furiosa’s Prosthetic Arm | Nerdist:


I was recently interviewed by Kyle Hill over at about my Furiosa post. Then he wrote this fantastic article! Go check it out!

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The (Arm)y of the Furiosa !

Thursday, June 4th, 2015


submitted by mattboug 


Hello Laura!
My name is Matt Boug, I worked on the latest Mad Max Fury Road film in the costume/props department..

My main job on the film was to design and build Charlize Theron’s (Furiosa’s) Mechanical & prosthetic arm.
I read your blog review of the film the other day and was completely blown away with how you reacted to the film.

I was worried how people would react. Particularly anyone who was an actual amputee.
I hoped when I was designing and building her arm that my personal sensitivity’s to (dis)ability, feminism and empowerment would come through in the design. But also for her prosthetic arm to be “relatively” believable within the context of the film. Particularly by someone like yourself.

I wanted her arm to fit into the violent Mad Max world but to also be symbolic of her caring/protective nature and of the violence that {she} womenkind has endured throughout the ages.

I was very tears.  when I read your blog which mirrored my own feelings and opinions about this character. I felt compelled to write to you and thank you :)

The apocalypse isn’t looking as scary if the Furiosa is going to be around.

Kind Regards,

Matt Boug


Oh my gosh. O_____O

I’m so flattered that I’m even in this guy’s radar right now. Matt, thank you so much for your amazing work on the film and for your part in helping to create one of my new favorite characters of all time! <3333

Hahahhah PS love the (arm)y pun xD

Much love,


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I was wondering about Furiosa’s prosthetic btw. How does it work, if you have some idea? Are you planning on building one, and, if so, are you going to try to make it functional?

Monday, June 1st, 2015

My friends at Freeside Atlanta are actually helping me build it! I definitely want it to be as functional as possible.

Okay I’m gonna side track for a second from your actual question because here’s the thing – Furiosa’s prosthetic is actually super realistic, believable, and functional. 

This is what prostheses of the 1980′s looked like when I had one (and sadly about what most of them still look like today):


I used prosthetics up until about the age of 8, when I decided I didn’t need one and was never going to get much real benefit from one. They were HELLA expensive (a growing child needs a new one just about every year) and not fully covered by insurance, so once I was old enough to decide for myself whether I wanted one or not, I stopped getting them.

Anyway the point is, these pictures depict what most of my arm prosthetics looked like as a child. Later on, I had battery operated ones that looked like this:


Those were even more expensive and the batteries had to be recharged every 8 hours or so, lol, LAME! 

But anyway, yes her arm is totally capable of functioning I think! The series of pistons would provide the power to lift the forearm – she has a good chunk of her arm after the elbow so she could flex with that to provide the power to open and close the hand part. 

I don’t think her arm is supposed to have electric power in the canon of film – but I’m considering incorporating battery power with pressure sensors inside to open and close the hand. That’s how my battery powered prosthesis worked and it’s pretty effective. I just always like props to have moving parts when they can.

We’ll be debuting it at DragonCon this year. :)

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emmazingemma: Here’s another reason why Mad Max is important:On…

Friday, May 29th, 2015


Here’s another reason why Mad Max is important:

On the left here is my boyfriend Tommy. After gushing about this movie for a solid hour, I really got him excited to see it so we pulled a triple feature at the theatre today and saw Mad Max: Fury Road before we left. Even though I told him about all the amazing aspects of this movie, I think the selling point for him was the character Nux, featured on the right,played by Nicholas Hoult.

In the film, Nux is one of the very fascinating soldier type War Boys. These characters are interesting because even though they are warlords, their biggest killer seems to be a form of Leukemia. Whether it’s due to inbreeding or their less than steller conditions, these boys are called “Half-Lifes” because they aren’t expected to live very long. Nearly all of them have tumors protruding from their necks, and more than half of them (like Nux) require constant blood transfusions (supplied in this case by our very own Mad Max himself.) 

Even though the bald heads are not a product of chemo, and symbolize something entirely different, the imagery is there, and these boys spend the movie trying to die in battle with glory instead of wasting away with a disease. 

When Nux fails to find acceptance among his brothers and with his father/god, he turns instead to himself. Throughout the film we see Nux’s evolution from a cog in a machine to an individual human being with purpose and importance. His true goal in life is to be useful and needed, a goal that many of us can understand, especially those of us that are suffering from illnesses or disabilities. I know that there are countless posts about Furiosa on this front, but I found that for Tommy specifically Nux was a character he needed to see. 

Some of you may already know this but, about a month ago Tommy was diagnosed with stage 2 testicular cancer. Although he is well on his road to recovery, he has struggled with his masculinity, his pride, and most of all his purpose. I can tell that he feels like the world doesn’t need him sometimes, and being sick often makes you feel like a burden to those around you. Although this is not true in the slightest, it is very hard to convince him otherwise. However, tonight I watched as his eyes lit up at the sight of a very sick character making a very big difference, and being a total fucking bad ass while doing it. Please go see this movie, it is so important. 

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My Reaction to Mad Max: Fury Road and the Utter Perfection that is Imperator Furiosa

Friday, May 22nd, 2015


Okay so. Buckle up, kids. It’s time for Furiosa feels.

Here’s the thing.

I am what’s called a fetal amputee. Fancy way for saying I was born with a missing limb. I’ve written about this on here before, but it’s been a long time and I’ve gained a lot of new followers recently (hai guyz) so it might be news to some of you.

This is me. 


This is Charlize Theron as Furiosa.


I finally wound up going to see this movie Monday night after work, by myself, cause I was too thirsty for it and couldn’t wait for my friends to be available. Everyone was out of town this weekend for various reasons, so I figured I’d just wait for someone to go with, but then Facebook started talking about how amazing it was and I just couldn’t put it off any longer. So that’s how I ended up in a theater last night, completely by myself – not another soul in the room, sobbing my eyes out.

Because you guys. I am turning 30 years old next week. I’ve been a fan of action film my entire life. And I have NEVER seen a physically disabled, kickass, female lead character in a Hollywood movie EVER – not once, until yesterday.


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