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MakeShop: a hackspace in Dublin


In the Irish Times, Ruth O'Connor documents a Dublin's new MakeShop, a hackerspace launched by the Science Gallery and open to adults and children alike. It sounds like a wonderful place.

Once inside, the staff’s enthusiasm finds them, glue guns poised, creating spinning robots from sawn-up dishwashing brushes and three-volt battery packs. Gearóid Keane one of the facilitators, who helps me make a bird house-shaped clock from a Gay Mitchell election poster, says that “The workshops last around 15 or 20 minutes so we get the kids’ full concentration. We get a wide range of ages but all really interested in what they are doing.”

While the target audience is 15- to 25-year-olds, people of all ages can attend the drop-in workshops. Adults and children sit side-by-side and there is a quiet sense of community interrupted by sudden bursts of laughter and excitement. Fionn Kidney of the Science Gallery says it’s about “Taking DIY and turning it into ‘Doing it Together’. It’s about developing a spark of discovery. We want to help young people find their interests.” Fundamentally, he says, MakeShop is about getting hands-on and creative, encouraging questioning and conversation.

Niall Hunt a 14-year-old from Sandymount in Dublin was making a badge – incorporating soldering techniques with learning about circuits by connecting LED lights to a battery. “I’ve always wanted to try soldering but never had the chance before,” says Niall, who likes the idea of a space where people can try out new things. With an interest in DIY, Niall’s dad John says that MakeShop provides access to materials he wouldn’t have at home as well as being an “ideas space”.

“I think it’s important to use our hands to take things apart, to figure out how things work and to fix things rather than constantly throwing stuff out.”

It's craft - but not as we know it (Thanks, Fred!)

(Photo: Nadia Gativa/Irish Times)

Three hidden photographs found in Mac SE ROM

NewImage
The folks at the NYC Resistor hackerspace found a Macintosh SE that had been abandoned on a Brooklyn sidewalk and decided to conduct a little "digital archeology."

While digging through dumps generated from the Apple Mac SE ROM images we noticed that there was a large amount of non-code, non-audio data. Adam Mayer tested different stride widths and found that at 67 bytes (536 pixels across) there appeared to be some sort of image data that clearly was a picture of people. The rest of the image was skewed and distorted, so we knew that it wasn’t stored as an uncompressed bitmap.

After some investigation, we were able to decode the scrambled mess above and turn it into the full image with a hidden message from “Thu, Nov 20, 1986“

They say there's more curious data in the ROM that they haven't been able to decipher yet.

Ghosts in the ROM (Via Matt Richardson)

For Aileen.

My boyfriend Miles O'Brien lost his beloved little sister to breast cancer today. She was only 46 years old.

They both lost their mom to it a few weeks after I was diagnosed with the same disease.

There is so much to say about what a beautiful soul Aileen was, what a cruel and ugly and brutal disease breast cancer is, how torturous treatment is, how enraging it is that science and medicine have nothing better to offer us yet, how unjust the financial devastation a diagnosis brings to so many women is—and, most of all, what it means to those of us with cancer to have the kind of support in our lives that men like Miles provide, selflessly and heroically and with unconditional love.

But for now, I just want the world to see, respect, and remember this photograph Miles took of his sister this morning, shortly before her life ended. He brought her dog Jethro from her home to the hospice house so Jethro could also say goodbye.

Gone but still loved by all. RIP Aileen Crimmings O'Brien Graef - 10/30/64-8/21/2012

She is survived by two beautiful daughters, Katie and Aileen, whom she loved very much.

And, their dog Jethro.

Update: Miles and her daughters suggest that donations in honor of Aileen be sent to Visiting Nurses Association of the Treasure Coast (@vnatc), 1110 35th Lane. Vero Beach, FL 32960. This is the hospice center that cared for Aileen in her final days. Services at Strunk Funeral Home, 916 17th Street, Vero Beach, FL 32960. If you wish to send cards or flowers, this is the best address.

Image link (photo: Miles O'Brien).

Read the rest

Science fiction of the world

Lavie Tidhar sez, "The Apex Book of World SF 2 is now officially released and available on Amazon and elsewhere. This is the second book in the international SF/F series collecting short stories from around the world, and the only current one of its kind. It particularly focuses on African and Latin American writers, alongside writers from Asia and Europe, and includes Clarke Award winner Lauren Beukes, World Fantasy Award winner Nnedi Okorafor, original fiction from Cuba, India, China and Peru and much more." Cory

Delta refuses boarding to Poop Strong man for flying while brown and wearing the security theater shirt I designed


Back in 2007, I designed a shirt for Woot! that featured a screaming eagle clutching an unlaced shoe and a crushed water bottle, surrounded by the motto MOISTURE BOMBS ZOMG TERRORISTS ZOMG GONNA KILL US ALL ZOMG ZOMG ALERT LEVEL BLOODRED RUN RUN TAKE OFF YOUR SHOES. Among the lucky owners of this garment is Arijit "Poop Strong" Guha, who proudly wore it this week as he headed for a Delta flight from Buffalo-Niagara International Airport to his home in Phoenix.

But it was not to be. First, the TSA Delta agents questioned him closely about the shirt, and made him agree to change it, submit to a secondary screening and board last. He complied with these rules, but then he was pulled aside by multiple Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority cops, more TSA, and a Delta official and searched again. No one found anything untoward, but --

The Delta official told Arijit he wouldn't be allowed to board, and neither would his wife. Period.

When Arijit complained about this, the Niagara Transport cops got "aggressive," questioning him further and noting in their discussions that "he looks foreign." Now Arijit understood that the problem was Flying While Brown. The Niagara Transport cops had lots of dumb questions, like why Arijit's wife hadn't taken his last name, why he had opted out of the pornoscanner, and then they sicced the drug-seeking dogs on him.

Delta rebooked them for a flight the next day, but didn't offer Arijit and his wife a hotel room overnight -- and when they turned up at the airport, they discovered that their "confirmed" seats weren't confirmed, and unless eight passengers on the oversold flight agreed to fly later, they wouldn't be getting on that plane, either.

It turns out that Delta has a pattern of removing brown people from its airplanes when its pilots and passengers evince thinly veiled (or obvious) racist fears, too.

Having been booted from our flight, the transit police now began to aggressively question us. At one point, I was asked where my brother lives (he was the one who gifted me the shirt). A bit surprised by the irrelevant question, I paused for a moment before answering.

“You had to think about that one. How come?,” she asked. I explained he recently moved. “Where'd he move from?” “Michigan,” I respond. “Michigan, what's that?,” she says. At this point, the main TSA agent who'd questioned me earlier interjected: “He said ‘Michigan’.” Unable to withhold my snark, I responded with an eye-rolling sneer: “You've never heard of Michigan?”

This response did not please her partner, a transit cop named Mark. Mark grabbed his walkie-talkie and alerted his supervisor and proceeded to request that he be granted permission to question me further in a private room. His justification?: “First he hesitated, then he gave a stupid answer.” Michigan, my friends, is a stupid answer.

And then, he decided to drop any façade of fair treatment: the veil was lifted, this was about who I was and how I looked: “And he looks foreign.”

Well, Buffalo is pretty close to Canada, so maybe he thought I looked Canadian. What does a Canadian look like anyway? Whatever it is, I’m sure that’s precisely what he was thinking. Certainly he wasn’t implying that dark-skinned people are not real Americans and that white people are the only true Americans. (I wonder what those who settled this land well before the arrival of Europeans would have to say about that.)

Arijit Vs. Delta

DEVO Synthesizer featuring DEVO sounds

I've featured Remo Camerota's work and books on Boing Boing many times. He's a talented artist and designer with a love for robot art. His latest project is an iOS application that lets you design DEVO-inspired robot art and play music using unreleased DEVO sounds. They are seeking $15,000 on Kickstarter.

DEVOBOTS

NBC's The Office will end this season

One of television's most successful adaptations of a British show is finally coming to an end. Currently filming its ninth season, The Office will not be back next year, but its original showrunner, Greg Daniels, will return to cap this thing off. What does this mean? Probably guest stars, guest stars, guest stars -- but not necessarily in front of the camera. Like Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston, who is directing an episode of the show's final season today. And Steve Carell will likely make an appearance. Was this ending overdue? Maybe. But there will be two undeniably gaping holes on Thursday nights when this and 30 Rock are both gone. (via The Hollywood Reporter) Jamie

Grow up, game journalism!

Leigh Alexander on the perpetual adolescence of game culture—and a press corps only too willing to pander to it even as it makes a superficial show of fighting it:

No wonder that when the industry’s most successful creators hear of the demand for maturity and sophistication, all that results are teen-boy tropes. And we gripe in private, but we accept this. Stagnant, emotionally arrested culture isn’t anyone’s fault, it’s just how things are. What do we know about the complex craft of game development, anyway? Let’s stick to what we can comment on: at least the graphics look good, at least someone is trying. The problem is the audience, the marketers, anyone but us.

List of Satan's hobbies was a page from a dead-on Jack Chick tract parody about Governor of Louisiana, Bobby Jindal

Troy of Cult Jam Pro says:

You did a post about "Satan's Spiritual Structure" on July 18.

The list was part of a tongue-in-cheek Jack Chick tract that we at Cultjam Productions created to promote our satirical film "Ivy League Exorcist: The Bobby Jindal Story" -- which can be viewed here.

The entire Chick tract parody can be viewed on our blog.

Here's Metroactive's article about the short film.

Bruce Campbell has seen the new Evil Dead, still swears it's awesome, is probably making a cameo

The Evil Dead Reassurance Tour marches on! The new installment of the classic horror trilogy being directed by Fede Alvarez has just finished principal photography in New Zealand, and Bruce Campbell has seen the footage! He is a producer on the flick, along with Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert, and he provided some quotes to Digital Spy that 1. acknowledge how die-hard fans are not taking news of this remake very well, and 2. to quote Michael Bay, they need to chill out.

But since Campbell is not Bay, he uses much different words and actually takes the opinions of Evil Dead fans into consideration. (Read: Is less of a dick about it.)

Read the rest

Garage door that looks like a book-case


LA Observed republished this photo of a garage-door painted to look like a magnificent outdoor book-case, apparently ganked from author Robert Crais's Facebook (I don't have a FB account, so I can't verify this).

LA garage door painted to look like bookshelves (via Super Punch)

My Geek Culture recommendations on Bullseye

The latest episode of Jesse Thorne's terrific Bullseye radio show and podcast is out, and it includes my semi-regular segment on "Geek Culture recommendations." This week, I talk about "the engaging online / downloadable game Kingdom Rush and David Dufty's tale of robotics in How to Build an Android."

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Michael Jai White, Carl Jones, Rachel Dratch and Jason Brewer

Breaking Bad art show in Los Angeles

Fans of Breaking Bad, take note if you're in Los Angeles. Gallery 1988 Melrose has a show from the guys behind Breaking GIFs. I heard about it through Bob "Saul" Odenkirk's Twitter, so it's certifiably awesome.

Tool for boring a hole in coconuts


[Video Link] Cleaning stick included. Protip: Use FLVTO to rip the song from the video and play it every time you use your CocoDrill.

CocoDrill Young Coconut Opening Punch Tap Tool on Amazon for $9 (Via Dooby Brain)

Pussy Riot solidarity protests: Topless lady with chainsaw cuts down massive crucifix in Kiev

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More photos here, some NSFW.

(Via Steven Leckart.)