Rachel Pieper Decker
Displaced Minnesotan in Southern California.
Gamer, streamer, fiber arts enthusiast, newly into the NFT space.
Connect with me: twitter.com/HyperZenGirl * twitch.tv/HyperZenGirl
Affiliate links: https://linktr.ee/HyperZen
NFTs, Environmental Impact and Checking your Sources
It is often brought up how NFTs are bad for the environment. How is that possible? It's like saying using my computer to read articles online is bad for the environment, right? Unfortunately, as with all things, it is more complex. While both the contents of an article and the existence of an NFT are both inherently inert bytes of data, much of the functionality of the NFT is in the smart contracts that are attached to it. According to IBM, “Smart contracts are simply programs stored on a blockchain that run when predetermined conditions are met.” In the case of NFTs, the smart contracts are attached to the tokens and when NFTs are bought, sold or have actions performed on them in something like a blockchain game, the smart contracts trigger, much like one would set up automation steps in IFTTT.
9 Reasons NFTs are thriving
If we want to get really philosophical, we could ask: Why does anyone buy anything? If we look to Twitter about the general sentiment of NFTs, you’ll see comments like, “They are literally nothing. You own nothing,” and “Right-click, save, boom, I have a CryptoPunk* without paying thousands of dollars.” While these are paraphrased, they capture the overall feel of how some view these digital assets built on the blockchain. However, those who DO purchase them see more than just a JPG.
What NFTs can do for you; VeeFriends providing value outside the blockhain
The acronym “NFT” has been present in many tech and crypto news stories lately. We’re hearing about these really high-ticket sales: Banksy art had been burned and the process sold for the equivalent of $95,000 USD. A girl in a famous meme photograph has taken her image and monetized it on the ETH blockchain for the equivalent of approximately half a million USD. Jack Doresy, founder of Twitter, has also sold the digital version of his first tweet for the equivalent of 2.9 million USD. Many articles already address the “what is an NFT?” question, but I’d like to examine this new digital phenomenon from a more distilled point of view. Beyond the question of “What is it?” two of the next logical questions are, “Why would I want it? What can it do for me?” I’m going to share my experiences with NFTs that I’ve had in the past few months.
6 UX Requests for Vocal.Media devs
I’ve seen many articles pop up lately, critical of Vocal’s payment system and structure. As someone providing content on this site, I do feel that we are providing a service for an extremely low rate. However, I am also quite new to this writing scene, so I’m not going to delve into that. I am honestly enjoying having a place to write and publish and create a portfolio. What I would chime in on is some constructive criticism in the form of feature requests for the behind-the-curtain workings that us writers see, use and would ultimately benefit from.
I See a Thrift Store and I Want It All In Black
While preparing for our move at the end of 2020, I did my best to downsize the amount of clothes I had in my possession. There is a Lowe’s SMALL box, filled to the brim, almost--but not quite--ready to have a second one started and waiting to be brought to a thrift store. Oh, I don’t just give to the stores, I’m also a client! During this purge, I had to part with one of my more favorite thrift store finds. Its amazing how much can be attached to a piece of clothing.
Copyright and Crochet
When I was laid off in 2015 after working many insane (and probably illegally long) hours, I had a lot of time to do some serious thinking and self-searching. This led me to realizing that I had been working in a digital space under NDAs for so long that I felt like I had nothing to show for my first professional stint and the 5 years I had given to a fast-paced, unforgiving and high-stakes industry. Instead of 50-60 hours of my week being dedicated to completing someone else’s dream project, I now had all that time to myself. To think. And it drove me nuts. I turned to something where I could show off what I was doing and that I did have a physical item as an end product. I went back to crochet.
Was Game of Thrones a little too dark and gruesome?
Was Game of Thrones a little too gory and had a little too much sex for you? The series took the world by storm when it debuted on HBO in May 2011. The books by George R. R. Martin had already been in the public eye since 1996. Prior to the show airing, the series, A Song of Ice and Fire, had 4 books. This epic fantasy set in a medieval-esque world called Westeros contained a large number of characters, and even with reducing them for the TV version, it could still become overwhelming. The story, for the most part, revolves around the Stark family group, even as they are split up and scattered around the world.
Yarn is so pretty! How do I choose?
The first time I went to a store to pick out yarn for a project, I didn’t know how difficult it would be because of all of the options! I went by myself and I didn’t have friends that I knew of who were knitters and crocheters (I was also too shy to ask around), so I was mostly on my own for choosing the color, the weight, softness, and the type of yarn I was going to use. But, as a beginner crafter, those weren’t the terms I was using in my head. My criteria was Does it look pretty? Does it fit my budget (which, being a college student at the time, was as inexpensive as possible.)? My choice for my first project was a variegated light purple/white/dark purple. I brought it home, made a scarf for myself and, besides the lop-sidedness of it, I didn’t like it. Why? It was too rough and scratchy.* Since I had chosen my yarn based solely on color and price, the overall quality and fit for the project suffered. I didn’t know better and I’m here to provide some tips so that others aren’t as disappointed in their final products as I was.
The Process of a First-Time Writer
As soon as I put up my first article here on Vocal, my feed was filled with “how to be a writer,” “freelance writing jobs,” and “monetize your writing,” suggested reads. I read through the ones that seemed like they contained real information versus just a click-baity title. Side note: If I start writing clicky-baity titles and the content doesn’t live up to it, please reach out. It could be a coded message for help. I want to write pieces with substance and that are informative or convey a point. That’s fantastic, right?! Now I know what I want! So what are the steps I’m taking to get there?
Eisenhower, statistics, and business continuity
This morning, my supervisor sent us an email with the following quote, “Plans are worthless, but planning is everything.” The quote, found on Quote Investigator, attributed the foundation of this message to Dwight D. Eisenhower, explaining that “rigid, premade plans were often useless in conflict. It is the practice of developing plans, and backup plans, and exploring all the options that is of greatest value.” While Eisenhower was referring to war, and my supervisor was referring to software testing, my mind goes to my grad school days where we talked about disaster planning.
When your hobby is no longer relaxing
It’s probably mid-January and you just don’t feel it anymore. There are project bags in a few areas; more than you’d like to see and you’d cringe at the number if you actually counted them. You have a to-do list that you’ve written, re-organized, divided up and re-written two or three times now. Some of those projects are almost complete! But you know it will be awhile before anything gets crossed off. Where did all that motivation go?
Windows: Slice of LA Life
The street here is much busier than the one near my new apartment, and even the place I was at prior to that, a house in a cul-du-sac off of a busy freeway exit. Here, next to the Metro Blue Line, we are setting up machines for projects. It’s a location in LA that is most certainly bigger on the inside. The curb appeal is quite low for most structures in this area, but that can’t be helped with Los Angeles’ version of the L as well as one of the busiest freeways in the country across the street.