Juneau, Alaska, has a hackspace with the rather formal name of "the STEM satellite space of the Juneau Economic Development Council." Despite the funny name, it sounds like a top-notch hackspace, and it has just expanded its remit to cover adult use as well as kids' programs. Melissa Griffiths of the Juneau Empire has a charming profile of the space and its proprietor, Bob Vieth.
“It’s to teach the lost art of tinkering. When I was a kid, I tinkered. My father tinkered. My father was not an educated man, he was a farmer from Missouri” Bob said, pronouncing it like a true Missouran would, “But I remember when I was a kid, my dad’s hobby was to collect old TV sets that people would throw in the garbage, and taking these TV sets and building new ones that worked. He had no education, he just learned how to do it. By reading, seeing how things worked.”
The Saturday Thing allows kids to tinker with the help and supervision of Bob and other volunteers on Saturday mornings through whenever, Bob said. It starts at 9:30 and parents should pre-register their kids. Now, adults can get in on the fun too. Bob is starting a Saturday Thing (after dark) every third Thursday, starting this week. Yep, that’s The Saturday Thing (after dark) on Thursdays.
“(The Saturday Thing for kids) has been going on here in Juneau for a bit more than a year. But it didn’t originate here in Juneau. It started actually about 15 years ago by a good friend of mine at MIT in Cambridge, who runs a laboratory at the Edgerton Center, and he started opening up his door on Saturday mornings to whoever wanted to come in and tinker. It became very popular.” Bob said. “As it turns out, his college roommate when he went to MIT is a professor up at UAF in Fairbanks, who just retired actually a week ago, he started a Thing in Fairbanks about two years ago. I heard about it… and we had some extra space here in the office, so I figured ‘why not do it here?’”
Get your geek on
(Image: Michael Penn/Juneau Empire)
Alan Turing and the codebreakers of Bletchley Park invented modern crypto and computers in the course of breaking Enigma ciphers, the codes that Axis powers created with repurposed Enigma Machines — sophisticated (for the day) encryption tools invented for the banking industry — to keep the Allies from listening in on their communications.
In 1948, the Institute of Applied Science commissioned an unknown illustrator to depict a fistful of squirming, terrified criminals caught in an authoritative fist, under the headline “CAUGHT BY THEIR FINGERTIPS” — they were advertising a home Criminal Investigation and Identification course.
Larkin Jones is a hardcore Pokemon fan who loses money every year on his annual Pokemon PAX party; he makes up the shortfall from his wages managing a cafe. This year, Pokémon Company International sued him and told him that even though he’d cancelled this year’s party, they’d take everything he had unless he paid […]
The Lytro Illum dares to be different, boasting even more robust features than its first generation predecessor and a sleek design reminiscent of professional DSLRs. What’s so cool about it? Most cameras capture the position of light rays, producing a statoc 2D image. But the Illum’s cutting-edge technology records the direction of these rays, generating […]
SitePoint Premium is the ultimate e-learning library for web developers, designers, and digital professionals. Famous for their web development books written by industry leaders, they’ve expanded their content library to include in-depth video courses and short, handy screencasts partnering with A Book Apart and UX Mastery. Whatever you want to achieve in your web career, […]
Skip the technical jargon and get right to taking amazing, professional-quality photos with this complete training. The Hollywood Art Institute Photography Course includes 22 modules filled with tutorials on how to profit off of your photography, or simply capture your memories in the manner they deserve.Accredited by the Photography Education Accreditation CouncilDive into this 22 […]