Shaper Studios – create your own surfboard at the first-of-its-kind DIY studio

From the first board-shaping school.

The art of hand-shaping surfboards is being threatened by machines. Shaper Studios is changing that. The Mission Valley shaping school is allowing everyday surfers the chance to glass and paint what they ride. We drop in on owner Chris Clark, who says the studio is luring everyone from pros to groms to surf companies and bands like Foster the People.

“It’s impossible to compare surfboard shaping to anything else,” says Clark, an SDSU MBA grad student and entrepreneur who is creating a unique blend of retail and DIY manufacturing at Shaper Studios.

“Surfing is only half of surfing. The other half is making your own surfboard. When people leave here with a board they can ride, that they make with their own hands, it changes surfing and their experience with the sport forever.”

But what about people who are power-tool-phobic?

We are with you the whole time. We just taught a 12-year-old girl to use a planer (a power tool with sharp blades).

So it’s not just a bro-fest?

No way! We just did a series with French pro Margaux Arramon-Tucoo. We entered a film of her shaping at a local film fest.

Surfboards are some of the most toxic toys.

We use Marko recyclable EPS foam. We also use epoxy resins, which are odorless and have zero VOCs. It doesn’t smell in here so you can even glass your board without wearinga mask.

 

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I think my dad is a space alien

In “Alien,” the most recent TV spot from Audi, viewers are transported into the world of a child who misunderstands her dad’s looks, actions and most notably all of the technological innovations inside the Audi A6 as proof that he is a space alien.

More women in Computer Science – a simple solution from Harvey Mudd

An interesting story from the New York Times shows how current president of Harvey Mudd College, Maria Klawe, turned her school into a computer science powerhouse for women.

She started her work in 2006, amidst a big downturn in female computer science graduates. “As recently as 1985, 37 percent of graduates in the field were women; by 2005 it was down to 22 percent, and sinking.”

Harvey Mudd was even worse with graduates in the single digits. This year that rate is nearly 40% and here’s how it happened:

In 2005, the year before Dr. Klawe arrived, a group of faculty members embarked on a full makeover of the introductory computer science course, a requirement at Mudd.

Known as CS 5, the course focused on hard-core programming, appealing to a particular kind of student — young men, already seasoned programmers, who dominated the class. This only reinforced the women’s sense that computer science was for geeky know-it-alls.

To reduce the intimidation factor, the course was divided into two sections — “gold,” for those with no prior experience, and “black” for everyone else. Java, a notoriously opaque programming language, was replaced by a more accessible language called Python. And the focus of the course changed to computational approaches to solving problems across science.

“We realized that we needed to show students computer science is not all about programming,” said Ran Libeskind-Hadas, chairman of the department. “It has intellectual depth and connections to other disciplines.”

Dr. Klawe supported the cause wholeheartedly, and provided money from the college for every female freshman to travel to the annual Grace Hopper conference, named after a pioneering programmer. The conference, where freshmen are surrounded by female role models, has inspired many a first-year “Mudder” to explore computer science more seriously.

via NY Times

The rise of girl culture – Hunger Games to blow away box office

First Harry Potter, then Twilight, and now Hunger Games. Female authors and female fans are rising.

Based on the enormity of tracking for The Hunger Games,  the Lionsgate movie has the potential to score one of the top debuts of all time at the domestic box office.

Rarely does a film generate the sort of numbers that Hunger Games is enjoying. When the movie–based on Suzanne Collins‘ wildly popular young-adult novel–first popped up on tracking two weeks ago, the scores were so good that box-office observers and exhibitors immediately predicted an opening in the $70 million to $100 million range, with most betting on the higher number.

Hunger Games, which opens March 23, is even tracking better than The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1. That film opened in November to $138.1 million, the fifth-best debut of all time domestically.

via THR

 

To which the writers at ComicBook.com explain as the result of a brilliant marketing campaign from Lionsgate:

Lionsgate’s Marketing. At this point, the marketing campaign for this film should be put in a top 10 ALL TIME.  Yes, all time.  From an outstanding Twitter campaign, advance showing contests, incorporating charity with the film, and brilliantly releasing photos, interviews, and clips, Lionsgate has transformed the audience for “The Hunger Games.  A little over 3 months ago, this film was a niche film that was going to bring in respectable numbers on the backs of hardcore fans.  As of today, the audience now includes massively growing numbers of folks that haven’t read the books.  And Lionsgate did this on the cheap.  They didn’t toss out millions on a Super Bowl Commercial and crash the airwaves with ad after ad (like Disney did with “John Carter”). They did it with new media, and by empowering potential moviegoers.  The audience was part of this campaign, and as a result, they’ll see the film out of loyalty.  It’s a campaign that will be taught in film schools for years to come—or it should be.

via ComicBook.com

 

Valid points, all of them, but I still think they, Hollywood, and the entire country are missing something: the rise of the teenage girl.

Just like the teenage boy, and his brother (adult males, age 18-34), have dominated our pop culture landscape since the late 80s, I think we are witnessing the eruption of teenage girls onto the scene.

Some numbers:

Interest among younger women in Hunger Games is now at 45 percent, compared with 36 percent for Breaking Dawn. Among female over the age of 25, interest is 29 percent, versus 27 percent for Breaking Dawn.

One advantage that Hunger Games has over Summit Entertainment’s blockbuster Twilight franchise is male interest.

Monday’s tracking showed that Interest in Hunger Games among males younger than 25 was a healthy 28 percent, compared to 10 percent for Breaking Dawn. Interest among males over 25 was 20 percent, versus 8 percent for the fourth Twilight film.

via THR

 

The latter numbers show that male interest in female writers with female heroines, like in Hunger Games, can attract growing groups of men.

Even more, the former numbers show that nearly half of all teenage girls in the U.S. want to see this movie, as do nearly one out of three adult females.

Long live the rise of girl culture.