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Happy Lady Ada Day! I couldn’t let his happy occasion slip by without giving a shout-out to my favorite female uber-geek, Jeri Ellsworth. I am just so thrilled that a number of the maker-engineers that I look up to and admire are women. It’s encouraging to think of girls growing up with the likes of Jeri, Limor Fried, Amanda Wozniak, Becky Stern, Diana Eng, Leah Buechley, Natalie Jeremijenko, etc. as role models.

Here, Jeri makes flaming candy canes out of sugar, molasses, and stump remover. Yum!

And thanks for all the education, entertainment, and inspiration, Jeri!

Rocket Candy Canes

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Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture, including the first book about the web (Mosaic Quick Tour) and the Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Building Robots. He is currently working on a best-of collection of his writing, called Borg Like Me.


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Comments

  1. Gareth Branwyn says:

    BTW: Girls (and boys), DON’T take a tip from Jeri when it comes to safety! DO wear goggles and gloves when you do projects that involve any sort of potential chemical or mechanical dangers. And this particular experiment is probably best as a “Don’t try this at home.”

  2. noise_is_life says:

    LOL, I also recommend NOT holding while doing burn tests.

    For those that want to read more, here’s one of the great sites all about rocket candy.

    http://www.jamesyawn.net/

  3. volkemon says:

    Thanks Gareth..I will be nice :)

    Y’all listen now…

    PLEASE wear gloves to preserve your hands. At least until replacement hands are readily available. (I am willing to amend my position at that time.)

    @noise_is_life- ditto on the ‘no hold testing’ idea….one would think that would be a no brainer. Nice link also.I wandered there for a while…and will go back. Thanks!

    1. Gareth Branwyn says:

      You’re a true gentleman, Volkemon :-)

      Jeri is a lot of awesome things. A Safety Marshal she is NOT!

  4. groundfault says:

    I am sad that we are at a stage in our educated lives where we need a really smart woman to light off some combustible chemicals so we can both praise her daringness, while all the while decrying her (personally verified) “lack of safety”?

    No, sadly, I think this is no great feat. It is not lazy, nor simple. Ms. Ellsworth clearly worked at this. With some success and some proof of mis-estimation. All great achievers have had both. Simply put, burning things is dangerous, which is precisely why it is done with such gusto.

    However we are so desperate to create a grand coalition of “makers” that we are willing to let go the misdeeds that would vilify makers of a slightly different gender.

    Ada Lovelace has been made a heroine. This is great in and of it self. I am in no position to judge this, and no one walking this earth today is as well.

    However, the “maker credo” prohibits the concept of meanness, which oddly has given birth to the greatest most prolific creators on this planet. If you require perspective, please ask Mr. Jobs to be nice. Cordiality is no requirement for accomplishment, or the fostering of growth, innovation and success.

    Show me a mean spirited, heels dug in woman who has conquered gender and professional bias with technical and professional distinction and I will smile.

    Not in condescension, but in the same measure of respect that I pay to a colleague that has overcome the doubt and misgivings of peers.

    Because who am I to judge, save for my own accomplishments…

    Is it fair that a woman who is a “maker” also has to be nice?

    really, what is a maker anyways…sounds an awful lot like a branding gimmick to an uneducated rabble rouser like myself.

    discourse welcome and I do not fear the inevitable searing heat.