The Mysteries of #Helix

Artwork from Helix - new SyFy TV show

If you’ve been locked in a box on Mars, you might not have heard of the new SyFy show, Helix, by Ron Moore (of Battlestar Galactica fame) which premieres tomorrow, 10 January at 10pm ET.

And if you haven’t visited the SyFy Helix microsite, you may be unaware of the mysterious videos hinting at medical research and missing people.  Is Arctic BioSystems to blame?



How creepy is that woman at the end?!?

The Arctic: (aka Poor Dr. Raver)




I’ve got to be honest here – I don’t think a job with Arctic BioSystems is really a great career move.

Will you be watching Helix?

Embrace mystery,
Jami - author and editor of the Bionic Style blog

Get your gorram frakking shtako hands off my phone!

I created this wallpaper for my phone’s lock screen the other on a whim.  Guess I was feeling a bit punchy and quite a bit geeky.  If you’re a true sci-fi fan, you’ll recognize the references to Firefly, Battlestar Galactica, and Defiance.


Want it for your own phone?
Click the image above to view it full size, then right click (or long press if you’re on an Android phone) and choose Save. Easy as pie! 🙂

I added two widgets to my screen using UCCW to display a teeny, subtle date and time.  The “unlock” function is a hidden slider thanks to Widgetlocker.

Here’s how it looks on my Nexus 4:


Stay shiny,

Rejoin the 2nd Mass! Falling Skies Returns Tonight

I’ve been anxiously awaiting the return of Falling Skies for what seems like eons. Season three premieres tonight at 9pm ET (8pm CT) on TNT! *happy dance!*

From the pretty-much-spoiler-free trailer below, it looks like many of our favorite 2nd Mass’ers are in for a helluva time. Heck, it looks like the Earth is in for a helluva time.

Falling Skies’ Season 3 Trailer:

An Exclusive Two Minute Preview of Season 3:
Warning… can be considered a spoiler since you’re getting to see two minutes of the premiere!

Will you be watching? Anyone gonna make Pope’s version of lemonade?

Here’s to lemons, grenades, and alien invasions,
Jami - author and editor of the Bionic Style blog

Slightly Geeky Inspired Color Palettes

I’d be denying my true nature if I hid my geekiness. Instead I embrace it with arms spread wide, face bearing a smirky grin.

Long-time Bionic Style readers have seen my cell phone and tablet layouts (sometimes also called UIs – User Interfaces), which usually start their life as a color scheme. And what better way to remember those pesky little hex color codes, than to tuck them all into neat color palettes?!!

My latest round of color palettes pulls inspiration from: the Iron Man movies – specifically Tony Stark’s mobile phone UI; SyFy’s awesome television show Warehouse 13; vintage art deco styling; and richly colored argyle socks!

What are your favorite methods of discovering color inspiration?

Geek flags and hex codes,
Jami - author and editor of the Bionic Beauty blog

I Am Iron Man – Android Phone Theme for Nexus 4

In honor of Iron Man 3 opening this weekend, and because I absolutely LOVE Tony Stark (and all things geeky), I gave my Nexus 4 a bit of a makeover:

This layout was inspired by the actual UI guru, John Koltai. Be sure to visit his website for photos of the UI used in Iron Man 2. I wanted my Android phone to look as accurate as possible next to the movie’s UI. Hence, I created all the widgets and icons myself.

The main difference between my “inspired-by” design, and the IM3 movie version is Tony Stark’s phone is typically shown in landscape format. However, about 95% of my use is in portrait mode and I adapted my design to that purpose. Now… on to the apps I used, the files you’ll need, and a tutorial to re-create this layout.

+ The Apps +

  • Apex Launcher Pro by Android Does. You can substitute Nova Prime for Apex if you prefer.
  • UCCW aka Ultimate Custom Clock Widget by VasuDev.  Hint: This app basically builds graphics, images, and widgets in a very similar way to Photoshop. You can even save a layered design as an image! UCCW = Awesomesauce.
  • Gallery by Google/Android. This is the default photo gallery app that comes packed with Android 1.5 and up. If you need an alternate, QuickPic by alensw would also work.
  • Simple Calendar Widget by MyColorScreen. Free on the Play Store.

+ The Files +
Due to the popularity of this home screen UI (Thank you everyone!), I have uploaded the files I used to create this UI to Dropbox. There are two zips and a jpg: one zip for the icons and dock; the other zip for the UCCW files; the jpg is my wallpaper. All of the UCCW’s can be modded to suit your own hotspots, icons, colors, etc.  The UCCW’s also include the typefaces I used which were: Roboto Light, Roboto Thin, Roboto Condensed Light, and Roboto Condensed Thin.  The Roboto font family can be downloaded on Google’s Android Developer site.

+ The Tutorial +

  • Homescreen settings using Apex Pro: 10×10 grid, portrait only mode. Set the margins, shadows, status bar, icon labels to NO/None. 3 screens. Set to allow widgets to overlap.
  • Apex dock settings: One dock with seven icons. No margins. Set dock background as custom. Icon size/scaling set to 80%.
  • Add/drag 7 applications to dock area of home screen. then long press and choose which icon to apply. For what it’s worth, I used the Iron Man ma
  • Use UCCW to create the rest of the layout.
  • Widget sizes: Top status bar= 4×1 stretched & placed on all 3 screens. Radar UCCW= 3×3. Signal Override Terminal UCCW= 4×2 & stretched.
  • Widget sizes (2): Commandeering System= 4×1 & stretched & overlapped. The 8 “buttons” = 2 UCCW widgets. Each one is 4×1 & stretched to fit.
  • Widget sizes (3): Initializing Access UCC= 4×1 & stretched. Queue UCCW= 4×3 & set to “send to back” (see below).
  • In the Commandeering System UCCW, the “loading bar” is actually UCCW’s battery bar.
  • Use Simple Calendar widget (w/ full background transparency) to place Calendar events over the Queue UCCW.
  • Download/Add at least four Iron Man blueprints/photographs/images to your phone’s internal or sdcard storage system. I found mine via a Google search for “Stark Industry blueprints”.
  • Long-press on your homescreen, add a Photo Gallery widget. Set to “album” & load a few Iron Man photos, blueprints, etc into an album on your phone.
  • Set hotspots within UCCW as you choose!
  • For finishing touches, Zedge has some great Iron Man and Jarvis sound effects for ringtones, notifications, etc.
  • Enjoy!

+ Nifty Bits & Tips +

  • Swipe across the Photo Gallery widget on the homescreen to flip through your blueprints! Just make sure all the photos/blueprints/images you want to appear in your flippable widget are in their own folder on your sd card.
  • The bar of color in the “Commandeering System” widget is alive.  It constantly updates to show the battery level of your phone.
  • There’s handy info hiding in plain sight within the “Signal Override Terminal” widget. The Port number is actually the date; SSID shows the day of the week; Strength tells you the current temperature for your location; and the Status reports your current weather conditions.
  • Instead of using the radar UCCW I included in the zip files – use a live radar app with a widget instead. Why? Because adding movement and interactivity is just frakking cool.

Be sure you have your tickets and… enjoy the movie!
Questions, comments, constructive criticism, please leave me a comment.

Cheers with buttered popcorn,
Jami - author and editor of the Bionic Beauty blog


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