Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I'm a TEDx Organizer!

I have already told you how much I love TED and about the TEDxYerevan conferences that I took part in (also as a speaker).

I decided to actively take part in spreading the ideas of TED becoming a TEDx Activator. Now let me tell you what it is and why I'm so proud now :))

TEDx Activator is an experiment in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to support TEDx organizers who are using TEDx events to spread ideas in the developing world and unprivileged communities. Any community that does not have access to TED and TED.com qualifies.

TEDx - is an independently organized TED event by an individual who has to be granted a free license from TED. The event can be just viewing TED talks, or can have live speakers as well. TED rules state that if it's a full-day event, total 25% of talks have to be pre-recorded talks from TED.com.

In reality, TED is very strict about rules for TEDx and I actually enjoy being part of this!!! There is a strong community with many virtual collaboration tools which somehow reminded me of my beloved youth organization - AIESEC.

In the framework of the TEDxActivator program, each of the Activators will be organizing 4 TEDx events in 1 year, for the above mentioned unprivileged communities.

The first event I planned was for teenagers of various backgrounds, the others most likely will be in the regions of Armenia.

TEDxTumanyanPark organizers :)
The first event me and my friend Gohar organized on November 30, was for TUMO kids exclusively, named TEDxTumanyanPark, and made possible with the help of TEDx Activator Manager and TEDxYerevan licensee Kristine Sargsyan.  It was a viewing event with the theme "Creativity in tech". We invited 100 kids (announcing it on Facebook) to the cinema hall of TUMO.
We selected 5 short to mid-length talks with many visuals. We made sure the Armenian translations of the talks (most of which were done by me and Gohar) were there and were correct. We prepared small intros for the talks and also were telling the main points of the talks in Armenian, since some of the kids couldn't manage to read the subtitles or understand the English speech. We had a great support from the TUMO staff and it was a pleasure to work with them!
And based on what we heard from the kids - they really enjoyed it! I hope we will see TED speakers growing up out these kids who were just getting acquainted with TED :)

Here are a few official numbers about TEDx:
  • TEDx began in March 2009.
  • # of TEDx events 2009: 279
  • # of TEDx events 2010: 952
  • # of TEDx events 2011 so far (Nov. 29): 1645
  • Total # events: 2876
  • Countries: 118
  • Languages: 40+
  • Licensees: 3450+
  • Videos (TEDxTalks): 10,500+
  • Across various platforms, TEDxTalks videos have been viewed over 50 million times

Here are more pics from the event, made by my lovely cousin Semira Martirosyan.

P.S. My status msg on FB about becoming a TEDx organizer got 120 likes and 30 comments. As it turns out, there were rumors in the city that I had quit my current job and now I'm a full-time TEDx organizer :). Dear all, i'm still PanARMENIAN Arpik and I have no intention to change my job. Being a TEDx organizer does not require full time efforts, thankfully :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

a lunch with @dolboed and meeting @stevewoz at the airport. quite a day!

Often, when you wake up in the morning, you have no idea how many awesome things will happen to you on that day.

This week, I was invited to take part at the EU-Armenia Seminar on "Media Today" in Tsakhkadzor with many international guests and had a chance to get acquainted with Anton Nossik, the Russian internet guru. We had some interesting conversations over lunch and coffee and he even started following me on Twitter and 4sq! :)

You know, as a rule, I don't take photos of me with celebrities. I hate that. But i love being around them and talking to them. I get inspired by the conversations and learn a lot indeed.

Today the news broke that Steve Wozniak is arriving to Armenia to receive the Global IT award by the Armenian President. While posting a status about it I saw a Facebook suggestion to subscribe to Steve Wozniak's updates. I checked out his profile and saw his Foursquare checkin that was posted on his wall with the comment mentioning his flight number and destination - Yerevan :)
I couldn't miss the chance to go and meet him at the airport with friends. Despite not having any "i" devices to give him for signing and not quite being an Apple fangirl, it was a great chance for me to meet the Apple co-founder in person :)

My friends prepared a small surprise for Woz. He was really excited to see them (and his wife and other people there too!). He signed their iPads (they're priceless now) and got an Armenian apple from Lia (and hugged her:))

Armenian Apple fanboys meeting Woz in the airport

I was watching it from the side :)
me tweeting!
the geeks...checking in 
upd. watch the whole photo report here:  http://www.panarmenian.net/eng/photoset/1085/ 

Adrineh blogged today about the 10 reasons she loves about living in Yerevan. I can relate to the points she mentioned but would add a new one that's very true for me: life in Yerevan is full of surprises! You can hear that a legend like Woz is coming to Armenia right on his arrival day and actually rush and meet him in the airport :)

pics by Lia Mkhitaryan

Saturday, October 29, 2011

"Guinea Pigs in Technology" or geek girls are cool! my TEDxYerevan talk

As I have told you already, I was honored to be selected as one of the speakers of TEDxYerevan 2011.

I was very excited about the opportunity and I also knew that it's gonna be a tough job. I had to pass auditions with the organizing team and prepare a talk which would be:
  • short
  • fun
  • geeky
  • inspiring
After my sudden success with the BarCamp's talk, everyone expected of me something similar: just an easy, funny speech about geeks and dating. But I really wanted my talk to contain a personal story (like in most of TED talks), have a message and to inspire at least some people. So i had many conversations with various people, met other geek girls. My closest friends were particularly helpful as they were "working" on my talk all the way from the start to the final submission. I even organized some small auditions at in my apartment, asking for feedback on slides, texts and even my body language when talking (a friend even recorded my rehearsal on a video so i could watch myself).

So here I can finally present the result. I'm posting the slide deck, narrative speech (a little extended with some parts that were cut out in the final speech) and also the video of the talk. 
Do you know what guinea pigs and women in technology have in common?

This is an old joke i used to hear a lot some time ago. The popular answer is this: the common thing between women in tech and guinea pig is the fact that women are related to technology the same way guinea pigs are related to pigs. I'm here to tell you that this is complete and utter… nonsense.
Let me tell you a story.
So it’s about a girl, who was born in a very typical Armenian family. Normally her destiny would be pictured like this: she’ll go to school, enter university, find a husband, have some kids, become an exemplary housewife who can cook excellent dolma… and work as a teacher maybe.. well, in this particular family i'm going to tell you about, things went a little different.

Something somewhere went wrong and the first signs of the troubles have started to emerge as the family bought their first PC back in 1996 and their teenage daughter started to show signs of computer addiction.. becoming a «computer rat» in their words. Her initial plans to become a journalist quickly vanished and she started to dream of becoming a hacker.
Since the age of 13 she became the computer expert for her whole extended family, getting emergency calls whenever someone couldn't find a certain key on the keyboard, or couldn't change the font properties in the Word processor.

Since then, “Let Me Google It For You” has been a phrase she used a lot. Well and the RTFM.

She has been studying computer science and one day she realized that the profession she's chosen is changing her while studying databases when she was around 18 years old. She had this idea.. of being able to remember big amounts of information, to be able to connect things she heard.. and just to be able to fit in all the things she was learning. She found out how to optimize her brain's databases, arrange the tables with a 'foreign key' and index all the data, so that all the new information she gets, gets stored in the appropriate table with the keywords, and she can fetch the information quite easily. This was a remarkable moment when she realized that she somehow managed to optimize her brain the way, so she quickly connects the facts and random pieces of information and her memory is significantly improved…

One of the happiest moments of her life was buying a laptop. She needed a portable computer that she could use it even in bed and in cafes, and when she had it, it was not very common to walk in the streets with big laptop bags yet.. and she occasionally felt herself like the little Tiffany from the Men in Black.

With the web 2.0 and new media emerging, she became an early adopter, and was labeled as a tech evangelist. One who signs up for all the new social networks, manages to be aware of all the industry news… she has built some impressive online personality with big network, and with many followers and all…
She was labeled as a geek. Then she started to explore what’s in that word.

So who are geek girls?

These are the most common perceptions I’ve brought together.
  • They are not feminine 
  • They lack social skills, mostly hang out with other geeks
  • Using a lot techno-slang 
  • They must know good programming 
  • And they work just in tech industry
Some of these things are truly just myths. In reality geek girls are:

1. Independent or better to say - self-dependent people. They solve most of their own problems :)
They can easily setup a home wireless network, configure a router, even without a prior knowledge in networking. They just know how to find it out digging through search results and technical forums.

2. Geek girls are smart, witty, tech savvy

3. They are gadget and connectivity dependentEven though they don’t depend on other people for their problems, they are very much dependent on their gadgets and network availability.

4. They learn really quickly and are actually very good at quick self-learning. They know how to google stuff, or youtube things like “how to fix damaged headphones” or simply “how to gift wrap a box”.

5. Geek girls are info-junkie and love sharing. They have to be up-to-date with the latest information on their interest and they all love sharing information and useful hacks. That’s why they are active in social networks.

6. Also, geek girls can be really cute
Just like socialites. Not convincing?

Well.. for the socialites we all know that they are:
  • Obsessed with shopping and worship shoes 
  • They actually admire lady gaga for some reason. 
  • They are obsessed with SATC show and frequently quote the heroines. 
I know a geek girl who’s a shopaholic, with a particular passion for shoes. Well, she recently told us, she counted about 27 pairs in her 2011 spring-summer collection.
And not only her… among my geek girlfriends there are ones who think that Lady Gaga is actually cool. They read Cosmo and yeah, Sex and the City is one of their favorite shows of all time, they were noted to be stylish and pretty. Not quite like the perceptions, right?
Now lets go back to the girl I was telling you about in the beginning.

The netbook that’s the default accessory in her purse is actually pink. It has Google, Firefox, Android and Hello Kitty stickers next to each other. Among her 200 RSS subscriptions, there are many fashion, gossip blogs. Her smartphone has more fashion apps than you know existed J She meets her friends not by calling and asking where they are, or telling where she is. They have foursquare and other geolocation services for that. She tracks her not suspecting sister with the google latitude she had setup on her cellphone.

You can meet geek girls in some glamorous party, all dressed up, on towering heels, talking on her smartphone.. Explaining someone from her workplace how to fix the server..
You can meet a girl restarting that damn router at a café when they badly need a wifi.
This is Ani, she has written an alarm clock application for her friend’s phone, because it didn’t have one.

These girls - Nelly and Gayane, have created a very popular website dedicated to indie music all by themselves, coding, promotion and stuff.

Geek girls were active in Yerevan Barcamps’ organization, well; I was one of them and guess what? I was telling about “how to date a geek girl”. Somehow this presentation became a viral hit on the web, becoming the top presentation of the day, then week, then most tweeted and ended up getting about 20K views in couple of weeks. And I got featured in a Taiwanese website with a special mention of my netbook which turned out to be a Taiwanese pride. It got a huge positive feedback and I want to share some of the highlights.

When geek girl is dating a geek guy.. well. That’s predictable. They communicate via messengers (even when they are in the same room), they schedule meetings via google calendar invitations, their computers are sweetly connected via a shared folder in dropbox, and they express their emotions via likes and comments…

When geek girl is dating a non-geek. Either the guy gets paranoic thinking that their (potential) girlfriend can hack everything of theirs, starting with text messages on the phone, ending with email and social media accounts. And nothing good comes out of it.

You can never know that a pretty girl you’ll be flirting with in a bar, might have already checked your FB profile on her smartphone while you were looking away, and might have tweeted how bored she is with your conversations.
But, if guys are smart enough, they start exploring her ‘territory’, signing up in the social networks she’s in, following her posts and reacting to them.
If you follow these simple steps, a geek girl can give you the root password for her heart.

But actually, being a geek girl is really cool.

Being a geek girl makes you feel more confident, independent. You can solve your own problems actually. You become needed and demanded by everyone around, from your boss to your friends.

So what do guinea pigs and girls in technology have in common? Yes, they are both cute J

We, the geek girls of Armenia have decided to establish a community of our own. So i invite the girls to join us.

At last, I want to tell you that a geek’s image for girls actually comes with a ‘dumbness filter’. If you’re a geek girl, you can attract all the right guys and scare all the wrong ones J

Girls, enjoy being geeks.
The video of my talk

I'm really thankful to all the people who approached me, gave feedback, told me that they could relate to some parts of the talk and just told me they enjoyed it :) I'm thankful to fellow speakers for cheering me up when i was nervous and for all the support. I am so lucky to be part of this great team!

TEDxYerevan 2011 speakers

Don't forget to check out other talks on the TEDxYerevan website

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Eventually, everything connects

I loved this line since i first read it. I even named my tumblog like that - "Eventually everything connects".

I love finding out unexpected connections between things that i never thought could be related anyhow. Facts, people, ideas...
Actually, when i googled the phrase to find out the author, I was greatly surprised. It connected, again!!!

The full phrase is the following: "Eventually everything connects—people, ideas, objects…the quality of the connections is the key to quality per se."
The author is Charles Eames - legendary designer.. and... imagine. I've met his grandson!!! A TED speaker Eames Demetrios. Who came to Yerevan for his project Kcymaerxthaere (I'm gonna blog about it separately).

Here's Eames Demetrios' TED talk about his legendary grandparents.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Happy 20th Anniversary, my Independent Armenia

  • I am from the first generation of kids of Independent Armenia to go to school in September 1991. 
  • I remember seeing tanks from the window of my school (it was Charents school on Amiryan str.)
  • I remember the the war, the dark and cold years and studying under the candle light. And then one day the electricity turned back on and didn't go off again. 
  • I remember watching how Lenin's statue was dismantled and moved out of the Republic Square. 
  • I remember watching how the Armenian tricolor was raised on the Republic Square for the first time. I was standing there, holding my dad's hand. 
  • I've seen the developing free and independent Artsakh.
  • I've been standing, captivated and holding breath, in front of the newly renovated Republic Square fountains for the first time admiring the singing and dancing show.
  • I've been following the preparations for the 20th anniversary celebrations and I feel proud. 
  • I have seen the worst times of my independent country and me and my children will see its best times.

Few days ago friends were discussing their plans of moving to study/work abroad and have the life they deserve and want. Then someone asked me where do I want to move to? This is not a question I would think twice before answering. I don't usually go into such discussions and I never blame anyone for planning or actually leaving the country for a better life. However, for myself, I can never imagine living permanently abroad. Even in my beloved Italy. Few months at most. And it's not an exaggeration and not a selfless patriotic decision. I do truly feel good living here and I don't care about the fact that I would be earning much more and would have a more secured life if i moved to some western country. I'm not blind and I see the development here and I see the role I can have in it.

There are people who constantly criticize all good and bad initiatives (some even do manage to present entirely good and worthy things from the worst possible angle), point out all the mistakes and shortcomings of the authorities, alarm about problems and spread out all the negativity. That's their way of trying to make a change. As for me, I prefer to cross the street on the green light, never throw anything on the street, admire and share news about all the good initiatives and notice the smallest steps in the development. In my inner circle of friends there are people who are optimistic about the country's future, preferred to stay and work in the country despite of the numberless opportunities to move away. They don't spend most of their time complaining, instead, they actually try to work things out and help others to work things out with a positive attitude. I know how I can contribute to my country's prosperity and I will do it. One step at a time.

This is my post from 3 years ago: Independent Armenia -17

Saturday, September 17, 2011

the Cosmo girl in me has awakened

Finally I'm inspired to write another blog post. It's about my new favorite magazine - Cosmo!

To tell the truth, when I first heard that there will be an Armenian Cosmopolitan, i wasn't very optimistic about that... and I couldn't even imagine that I will be buying its every issue and participating in Cosmo events with such an enthusiasm. The cosmo girl in me has been awakened :) I don't remember myself buying any beauty or women's magazines. So far, the only magazine I've been buying with this periodicity was the "Хакер" when I was a teenager :)

There have been very different responses to Cosmo's appearance in the Armenian market. Many friends of mine have been mocking the articles, titles and just the fact that "those terms" sound so funny in Armenian. But is there any other way? I imagine how difficult it is for the writers and editors to translate and adapt the materials and just to find out how those things are called in Armenian! One of the biggest impacts of Cosmo in our society will be for us to finally get used to Armenian language terms for things. I didn't know Armenian equivalents for most of cosmetics items and even names of clothing (դիմափոշի for румяна, ստվերաներկ for тень, բոկոտիկ for босоножка, երանգաքսուք for тональный крем etc).

So here I'm gonna tell you why I <3 Cosmo so much :)

  • It's very professionally done. From content to the design and layout (printing quality too :))). I really enjoy browsing its pages.
  • Contrary to other beauty magazines we have in the market (which are brought from Russia), the content in Armenian Cosmo is actually targeted on us! You see the ad and you know that you can buy it here in the boutiques.
  • The fashion and beauty columns are informative, useful and with items that are accessible for us. You can see professional photo shoots with clothing that is hand picked from our boutiques by their fashion editor with prices indicated and stylists advice on how to combine the items.
  • They have a good social media strategy and a very professional website (kudos to Shushan!;).
  • They succeeded in finding their target "audience" and their first months showed us how much this magazine was demanded by Armenian young women. I'm not surprised that Cosmo is actually the largest circulation Armenian magazine in our market.
  • I'm really proud for knowing some people from the Cosmo staff personally and that's how I'm not surprised how they get such a great thing done every month :))
  • You can find useful gifts in some issues! I bought two copies of an issue that had a really cute and quality passport cover from women'secret inside. My mom started to read Cosmo after that :))))
  • They organize really cool events !!! :)
Last month Cosmo organized a "Tropic Party" in Vahakni and I went there with my cousin and met looots of friends. They had invited some beauty salons and cosmetics brands to showcase their products, had some contests and many surprises. Imagine, opportunity to have a free professional make-up (got lucky to have it!), hairdo (mine was amazing! my sister didn't recognize me at first when she saw me like that :)), free cosmopolitan cocktail (of course), great music and gifts, gifts...

me having a professional makeup (probably just 3rd time in my life :D)
here i learned about this hair gadget which makes awesome hair :))
so this was my look
me and my sister :) my hairdo consists of "broken waves" (yup, just learned the name)
this pic was featured in the September issue, I'm on it!! :D
Here's Cosmo's photo report on the party: part 1, part 2, part 3.

After the tropic party, we learned that there will be a shopping night in Yerevan, for the first time!!! They managed to get more than 80 boutiques and companies participating and actually organized a real shopping festival for Yerevan citizens.  I promised myself that I won't do any shopping before that date (financial issues, nothing else :D), but had to break my promise since I had to be a gorgeous maid of honor on my friends' wedding before the shopping night :))) [and you know, i couldn't recycle an old dress and even shoes on that wedding!]

With my shopaholics image known to the whole world, I unwillingly became a walking advertisement for the Cosmo shopping night :D I've been getting few questions on what it is and how it's gonna be held, every day. Calls, FB messages, in person... well, somehow i was really informed :) Hey Cosmo, I guess you owe me here :D

It so happened that had very limited finances [the shopping for wedding was... costly, to say the least :D]. As a true shopaholic, I already knew what's up in the boutiques, so the shopping night was planned to be just 'walking around, fitting stuff' kinda activity. And it so happened that at first, I got to be strolling from boutique to boutique with my awesome male friend :D very nice experience, I must say [well, it became a little awkward in the Etam lingerie boutique, but hey, there were few other guys in there too! :D]. Actually, in this case, I got lucky to know a guy who appreciates shopping in general and was really patient with me :)) 

late night shopping with Ani
After that I got the chance to visit the Burberry store for the first time (memorable thing, huh) and watched my friend Ani buy a beautiful new dress with a nice discount from there :))

So how was it? as my friend Gaspar noted, there wasn't so much stir and boom during the Museum night in any year :D The central streets were flooded with groups of girls, all dressed up, with full shopping bags. Some stores organized banquets and DJs playing.. with all the stir, you could think that there have been clearance sales everywhere. In reality, there were 10-20% discounts, plus gifts, contests and a promise to be open till midnight. There were queues in front of many boutiques up to late night. I managed to do a small shopping and to have this cute star pendant from Mango as a memory from this day :)

Cosmo's photo report on the shopping night: part 1, part 2.

P.S. Shopaholics among you can check out this Foursquare list I made of boutiques where I shop for clothing and lingerie.

P.P.S. I'm not affiliated with Cosmopolitan Armenia in any way (except for the people i know who work for it) and this isn't meant to be an advertisement. I just want to show my support for this 'project' and will continue promoting the stuff i like in my blog :)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

me at TEDxYerevan 2011

Just came here to share some exciting news :)

Loooots of exciting things happened to me since I last wrote here and I'm having a terrific week now.
Now I'm very close to reaching another milestone.

You know, I've always been bad at public speaking. As a shy girl since school, I've always avoided public appearances, although they somehow followed me everywhere. I always knew I was bad at it and had a big desire to improve myself, so I started to take the chances whenever I was invited to do a training or presentation. It required a lot of energy with my self-criticism and perfectionism.

I remember, at BarCamp 2009, I was just an attendee and didn't have the courage to make a presentation. Next year I volunteered for BarCamp 2010 and did 2 presentations, got a lot of feedback. This year I also did two presentations, and spoke at the opening.. all in the big main hall! ...and the feedback was awesome. I am thankful to each and every one of my friends who were there, supported me and pointed me what had to be improved.
one of my biggest public speaking challenges at a Powerpoint Karaoke event: just a blabla on something you have no idea about :D 

During these two years I did a number of presentations and trainings in various places and every time i've been noticing my own improvement.

Last year at TEDxYerevan 2010 I watched my friend preparing for her talk and other speakers presentations and thought: hey, it'd be cool if i could grow up to be a TEDx speaker :) ...

so here I am :) in a great company! looking forward to September 24 to present my ideas on "Guinea pigs in technology" ;))

Watch the TEDxYerevan 2011 teaser here:

and btw, it will be held in TUMO!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

How to date a geek girl (my #barcampevn11 presentation)

This is the presentation and slide notes for my BarCamp EVN'11 talk.

A certain person, who considers himself as ‘definitely not a geek’, inspired me to start writing a blog post about this, which was never finalized and published before this… but while i was trying to chose a presentation topic for this barcamp, and had two serious topics in mind, well… 2 days ago i had this “tadaaa” moment and that was it :) i’m here.
So .. well.. i have to say.. I’m a geek. A tech-savvy, gadgets dependent, spending tremendous amount of time being connected. There’s also a term – wired.

So i’ll be telling some insights on this topic from my own experience… a little bit spiced, however ;)
Just one thing before i start – you have to promise not to use any of these tips against me, okay?

These tips might be particularly useful for non-geeks as they give some perspective from an actual geek girl.
They will particularly work if the girl has some initial interest in you, or at least nothing against.

1. Subscribe and Follow
Geek girls, probably not everyone, but of the type i’m gonna tell you about, are quite accessible. Meaning, they are easily reachable via some social networks, have quite a noticeable online presence. Like if you google their name, you’ll get at least couple of pages of results for her profiles, blog posts, comments etc.
One of the first things you should do is - if she has a blog – definitely subscribe to it. Find her on social networks, get on to the messenger she’s using and start friending.. but not in all places at once. Note: if you’re not on any of those popular networks, you should seriously consider signing up for them, that will significantly ease the job ;)
Start exploring her online personality.. her likes and dislikes.. chances are, you’ll get pretty much informed on how she spends her days, what does she do in life, etc.. 
If you’re still interested in her after discovering her online personality… then you should start... interacting.

2. Interact
Write comments. Carefully pick when and where to comment so that you don’t annoy. Learn the netiquette and some basic ethics of online communicaton in those networks.. that’s why it’s important to observe a little bit before you act. .. so my advice here is.. don’t like or comment her every post :) or write messages like these:

3. Find her
Ok third.. find her. I mean find out where she hangs out. If you’re lucky enough to be mutually friended with her in Foursquare, then you’ll know when she hangs out in the evenings, her favorite spots.. you’ll find the good time to join her. If you’re lucky to be authorised to see her location any moment via google latitude.. that means wow.. she must really like you. You get bonus points for that :)
So basically, she'll appreciate a msg like- "r u still in Segafredo? can i join you? of course if i won't disturb".
And again here, you have to know the limits.. you’ll learn them from her reaction actually.

..and by the way, couple of words about privacy. If you find out that she has started being online for you in Facebook chat, that must be that she added you to her some kind of “online for chat” friends list. By the things that are accessible for you in her profile, you can guess how much she trusts you.. if she’s a real geek, she has to have multiple friends lists with custom privacy settings, so if you see all pictures she’s tagged in, all her wall posts, profile info.. you have pretty good chances ;)

4. Be nice
Find things that you can do that make her happy. Geek girls are not that kind of ones you can achieve by sending the standard flowers, inviting for a classic café dates.. if you notice that she’s very picky for details.. try not to do spelling mistakes when typing. That can annoy her :)
You can send her offline messages by the way.. and long emails are still trendy :)
Just don’t be too sticky.

5. Don't be always on
While you might be refreshing her wall once in every hour, checking her tweets and statuses in messengers, don’t show that you’re constantly dying to get a message from her. Make her miss you and she’ll be contacting you herself. But don’t also make her feel so it’s just her that always writes first :)

6. Be informed
Try to discuss the latest tech news with her.. like facebook’s new feature, or google… but try not to argue much :)

If you know that she’s an Android-er.. chances are that she hates everything about the “fruit” company and iPhones. Don’t bring that neverending “Android vs. iPhone” topic up :) 

If you made a gadget/app choice because of her advice – let her know about it. You’ll get your plus points :)

7. Don't play too much
You know what games i mean :) don’t leave her uncertain about your feelings and intentons for a long while. She might get pissed and take some steps. Like writing a kinda pissedoff letter, then publishing it in her blog :)

I know this list is not comprehensive and there’s still a lot to say and a geek girls can be very different… so in the end i want to give some bonus advices in case things don’t work with her after all :) or maybe you weren't meant to be together actually.

So “how to remove someone from your (digital) life” (without burning bridges, going brutal like unfriending) 

  1. Limit the accesses - -put her in limited profile friends list, so that they don’t see your activities etc, and also hide them from your newsfeed as well. The less you get reminded of the failure, the faster you get over it.
  2. Untag from the pics that had you once connected..
  3. Disable notifications for checkins in Foursquare
  4. Hide/remove/block from messengers
  5. Filter the emails (so they are marked as read and archived)
  6. Delete her number from quick contacts, or just remove from contact lists at all, in case you get drunk and want to text..
  7. … if all this doesn't work – simply do the inevitable:
  • Delete all old emails and get rid of their email address (clear it from the "autofill" in your email)
  • Delete their number out of your phone
  • Unfriend them on all social networking sites
  • Block/Delete them on your messengers
Good luck! :)

Here's the presentation file:
p.s. a tip from @netcrash - buy her a domain name if she doesn't have one already :)

if you have comments or more tips, write here in the comments, i'll update the post with them :)

update 1: Lusine Barseghyan has translated my post into Russian, thanks, Lusine! :)
update 2: My presentation went viral and became top presentation of the day/week and most tweeted on Slideshare! THANKS everyone! :)))

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Victor Ambartsumyan's legacy and my trip to Byurakan Observatory

I have already told about my passion for astronomy in my blog more than 2 years ago. This April 16 has been a very remarkable day for me. I had a tour in the Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory. It was a press trip organized by the Armenian Astronomical Society (ArAS); a step for promoting science and journalists came for help :) [note: i'm not a journalist currently, but how could i resist not to go there, with the excuse that i work for a news organization... and am a blogger? :)]
here i'm actually outside (on the balcony) the biggest (2.6 m) telescope
The trip included several presentations about the Obeservatory and Victor Ambartsumyan, contemporary issues of astronomy, science journalism and more. They were held by Areg Mickaelian - the man who organized the trip (co-president of the ArAS) and Hayk Harutyunyan - the director of Byurakan Observatory.

We learnt some amazing facts (Gayane Mirzoyan has outlined some of them in her blog (Russian) about the observatory, the telescopes etc. Here's my pick:

  • When first installed in 1976, the 2.6m telescope was the 7th in the world, now it's 45th... 
  • Couple of years ago a small observatory was set up for educational purposes in Stepanakert, Artsakh Republic.
  • A number of international astronomic conferences were held in Armenia throughout these years, 
  • In 1964 and 1971 conferences on extraterrestrial civilizations were held in Byurakan Observatory. The meeting of 1971 was the first international symposium on the problem of Extraterrestrial Civilizations and Communication with Them.  Many prominent scientists, including astronomers, physicists, chemists, biologists, philosophers, and specialists of other related fields participated in the symposium.
  • Victor Ambartsumyan has been promoting Armenian language within the science academy institutions and in his will he even wrote that "everybody, regardless the percentage of Armenian genes in their blood, should study and master the Armenian language" (source in Armenian).
Areg Mickaelian, Leading Scientist and Head of research group at the  BAO
Hayk Harutyunyan, director of the BAO
There were also talks about astronomy and astrology (turns out even some journalists didn't know the difference!).. For those who don't know me well -- I absolutely hate everything connected with astrology and get frustrated to hear people confusing it with astronomy! 

Here are some pics from the Ambartsumyan's worplace: 

Victor Ambartsumyan's desk

the amazing portrait by my former colleague William
After the presentations we had a tour in Ambartsumyan's house, which is now a museum. Then we went to see the pride of the observatory - the 2.6m telescope. I've been there couple of times by night and never seen it in the daylight. Turns out it was possible to get out to the balcony.
2.6m telescope. pride of the observatory

here is it - the largest telescope of the observatory
the control panel of the telescope
me and Gayane, to whom I am grateful for learning about the press tour

the group of the press tour
This week I watched The Contact again. I have almost forgotten how I loved that movie. And the next day I read in the news that SETI suspends its search for alien life :(

.. and I just finished translating the first Armenian TED speaker - Garik Israelian's talk about the spectroscopy and search for extraterrestrial life. Soon the Armenian subtitles will be published here. Here's the talk: