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Best Geek-Girl Podcast
Most geek-related shows will try to pass themselves off as the “cool kids” who just happened to be nerdy growing up. However, Danielle Alles, Kristal Starr Nielsen, Rebecca Frost (City Weekly digital editor Bill Frost’s daughter) and Charity Mack own being nerdy. When off-air, you might find them in cosplay at an event, drinking fellow geeks under the table, nailing every Doctor Who reference you can think of, or “pwning” you at a video game. The show’s mix of geek news and information paired with the ladies’ penchant for off-topic hilarity makes Hello, Sweetie! one of the funniest and knowledgeable podcasts in town.
Best Reality-Accepting Editorial
American Fork Citizen
In a surprisingly candid editorial, Danny Crivello, editor of Provo’s Daily Herald blog American Fork Citizen, reflected on gay acceptance in the country and within his own LDS faith after The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints launched MormonsAndGays.org, its website for gay members. While Crivello didn’t quite say that his church has erred, he situates the debate about gay acceptance in a personal and important historical context: “My grandpa served in Hitler’s army. I remember growing up ashamed of being the son of a German,” Crivello wrote. “I’m a member of a church that, in my lifetime, has discriminated against blacks. You could say that I know a bit about being on the wrong side of history.”
Best Immigrant Advocate
Centro de la Familia de Utah
Under the leadership of former activist and small-business guru Gonzalo Palza, Centro de la Familia weathered restructuring to emerge as a professional advocate and service provider for migrant workers. As Utah’s only Head Start program for migrant workers, serving low-income and mobile migrant families from one end of the valley to the other, Centro is both a trusted name in Latino advocacy and a powerful tool in improving the lives of some of the Beehive State’s most marginalized residents, along with encouraging Latino entrepreneurial talents to study and contribute to the community. Viva Centro!
525 S. 300 West, Salt Lake City, 801-521-4473, La-Familia.org
Best Doomsday Preppers
Transition Salt Lake
If your vision of the end is based on a breakdown of the fossil-fuel-driven economy rather than on hellfire and brimstone, then you might be interested in checking out Transition Salt Lake. This small end-days group teaches free monthly “re-skilling” classes, with lessons in self-reliance this current generation can’t get an app for: gardening, building solar ovens, canning fruit and more. Learn how to take care of yourself and your community at the same time, with no tinfoil hats or machetes required for membership.
4 Element Paranormal Investigations
You never know when a serious haunting might strike your home, business or that weird cabinet you bought from a gypsy lady at the fair. Luckily, Utah is the home of 4 Element Paranormal Investigations. Founded by Timothy Shirley and Lindsay Urry, this small team of spookbusters has all the necessary tools and gadgets and has studied Utah’s scariest places. For no charge, they’ll investigate anything that seems out of the ordinary, so you can sleep a little better tonight.
Best Party for Queer Women
Sex-Ed Conference & Tie One On Party
The annual October Sex-ed Conference is a space for queer women (and their allies) to become educated about sexual-health issues pertinent to those in diverse, queer and women-identified communities. Workshops offered at 2012’s conference included Let’s Be (Lisa) Frank: Safe Sex for Womyn, and a panel discussion on nonmonogamy for those curious about open relationships. In the evening, there is a speed-dating event called Tie One On, which includes prizes for the sexiest tie, and a dance afterward.
Best Communal Change
Everyone speaks of revolution, but few take real action, making Revolution United inspirational for the local community. The nonprofit uses transparency, group involvement and public donations to fund projects and events that help the community in small ways, such as cleaning up the community, adding temporary artwork to the streets, supporting rallies and creating a public forum for change, all from pocket change and spare cash.