Ruth from the Open Rights Group writes,
There are still some tickets left for ORGCon2013!
Don't miss out on a rare opportunity to hear John Perry Barlow speak in London, this Saturday June 8th! John Perry Barlow, co-founder of Electronic Frontier Foundation, will be headlining ORGCon2013 along with writer of The Master Switch, Tim Wu.
Debate the big issues hitting the headlines, including the cry for a Snoopers' Charter revival following the Woolwich attack, and the calls for new Internet filters in the light of April Jones' murder. As politicians use the latest tragic news stories as an excuse to regulate the Internet, now is the time to get involved with digital rights!
The final programme has the perfect mix of panel debates, workshops, rapid fire talks and guest lectures! You can look forward to sessions on the Digital Arms Trade, freedom of speech, child protection on the internet, online censorship, copyright, creative citizenship...
Plus, hear from an impressive line-up of speakers including David Allen Green of #twitterjoketrial, Jeni Tennison, Policy Head at the Open Data Institute, Richard Allan Policy Director at Facebook, Diane Duane, Star Trek and Young Wizards writer, and many more!
Individual tickets are priced at £28, £16 for ORG supporters and just £6 for students. FREE tickets if you join ORG today!
Open Rights Group - Join us at ORGCon2013!
(Disclosure: I co-founded the Open Rights Group and am pleased to serve as a volunteer advisor to it)
This coming Saturday, the SF in SF reading series is presenting
the movie SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED, followed by special guest Prof. Ken Wharton talking about "the logic - and illogic - of time travel." Tix are $25, proceeds benefit Variety Children's Charity of N. CA and Wonderfest.
Benjamin Manuel Geronimo, massacre survivor, and representative of Association for Justice and Reconciliation (AJR), speaking in the genocide trial in Guatemala City on May 9, 2010.
On Wednesday, May 29, I will be among the moderators at a very special event in Washington, DC at the New America Foundation, "Genocide in Our Hemisphere: Justice and Reconciliation in Guatemala Beyond the Conviction of General Ríos Montt." Featured speakers at the event include scholars, massacre survivors, and people who were directly involved in the genocide trial of Ríos Montt, which ended with a guilty verdict on May 10, only to be thrown out ten days later in an unprecedented move by Guatemala's Constitutional Court.
More on the event below. It's from 2-5pm. Attendance is free, but you must sign up online.
Read the rest
Photo: Protest, Guatemala City, April 19, 2013. James Rodriguez/mimundo.org.
Here's info on two special events in NYC and DC with visiting speakers from Guatemala talking about human rights accountability in Guatemala, where the historic genocide trial of former US-backed military dictator Ríos Montt has just been overturned
. Both events are free of charge, but you need to RSVP.
Read the rest
London impressario Mat Ricardo writes in with news of the next London Varieties show:
We had a ball last month at London's Leicester Square Theatre with a show that featured the very silly JOHANN LIPPOVITZ, very naughty EASTEND CABARET, very incredible LISA LOTTIE and the very legendary PAUL DANIELS - plus I risk my life! And you can watch it all right here, for free!
The next show happens on May 30th, and it's going to be a doozy. We've got the astonishing hip-hop improvisor ABANDOMAN, One of the UK's hottest stars of magic PIFF THE MAGIC DRAGON, ORIGINAL STREET DANCE, and veteran variety performer MICHAEL PEARSE, and I'll be debuting one of the most complicated juggling routines I've ever attempted!
There are only three more shows in this limited season, and they're all one time only line-ups. You can book tickets at http://leicestersquaretheatre.ticketsolve.com/shows/873489348/events
And find out more about the next show here. You can find out some of the surprises we have in store for upcoming shows, by following me on twitter @MatRicardo.
At National Geographic, you can read Rowe Findley's 1981 account of surviving the Mount St. Helens eruption
— and his deeply moving profiles of many of the people who did not. Includes this seminal quote from 83-year-old Harry R. Truman, who Findley describes as raising "the adjectival use of profanity to a new high": "It's a part of me, and I'm part of that ______ mountain," said Truman. "If I got out of here, I wouldn't live a _____ day, not a ______ day." — Maggie
Jim from the Open Rights Group writes in with the announcement for this year's ORGCon, a brilliant UK digital rights event:
Legends of digital rights, Tim Wu and John Perry Barlow, will be leading Open Rights Group's 3rd national conference on June 8th. Join us for ORGCon2013 at the Institute of Engineering and Technology, Savoy Place, London for the UK's biggest digital freedoms event. ORGCon has always been a sell-out event so grab your tickets now before they all go!
This year topics covered include:
Snoopers' Charter: What's the situation now?
Jim Killock and the author's of the Digital Surveillance report on what the Government are planning next after the defeat of the Comms Data Bill.
Lessons from creative citizens: How to win at the Internet
Sci-fi author Diane Duane (Star Trek, Young Wizards), Simon Indelicate (The Indelicates) and bassist Steve Lawson will be talking about the creative ways they have developed successful artistic careers in the digital age.
What exactly is ORG anyway? Who we are and what we do
ORG staff, volunteers, Advisory Council and Board will be sharing their role in ORG and explaining what our work is all about.
Who wins when copyright and free speech clash?
Internet law expert Graham Smith (author of the mighty tome Internet Law and Regulation) and Article 19's legal officer, Gabrielle Guillemin, will be tackling this challenging question and looking at some of the conflicting principles.
How to wiretap the Cloud (without anybody noticing)
Caspar Bowden, privacy expert, will be giving explaining the serious threat to European citizens' rights from the American law, FISAA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Amendments Act).
The right to be offensive: Free speech online in the UK
Policy Head of Facebook UK, Richard Allan and free speech law expert and Jack of Kent blogger, David Allen Green will be sharing their expertise on the danger from increasing use of Section127, and debate where the UK Government stands on free speech online.
and many many more!
Sign up here: Open Rights Group - Join us at ORGCon2013!
(Disclosure: I'm proud to have co-founded the Open Rights Group, and to volunteer on its advisory committee)
Back in January, I blogged my visit to Toronto's MakerKids, a wonderful makerspace for kids. Now, MakerKids is running a 3D printing weekend for kids at Toronto's Harbourfront centre. Andy from Makerkids writes, "This weekend, at the 11th annual Toronto International Circus Festival (from May 16th-18th at the Harbourfront Centre), MakerKids will be helping kids to do 3D printing of circus creatures! At our station at this free event, kids will design fantastical animals and characters they'd like to see in a circus using the 123D Creature app. The crowd's favourites will be 3D printed for their designers to bring home!"
MakerKids 3D Printing at Harbourfront this Weekend
Hackers often encounter public uncertainty at their craft’s virtue. With the forthcoming National Day of Civic Hacking, however, their celebration of creativity, collaboration and technical innovation sees its first “national holiday.”
Groups leading the June 1-2 event include Random Hacks of Kindness, Code for America and the investment firm Innovation Endeavors. They’re working with government agencies such as the U.S. Census Bureau, NASA and the U.S. Dept. of Labor to host activities which invite everyone to join the “civic hacker” community.
The weekend’s events will include block parties, meetups and hackathons, where participants will gather to prototype solutions to community-specific problems. “Challenges” will be identified, and made available to the public shortly before the event in each town, with invitations issued to so-called citizen hackers.
“We believe that government agencies must find groups of people, bring them together around an issue or problem that needs to be fixed, then step out of the way,” said Nicholas Skytland, program manager of NASA’s Open Innovation Program and one of the participants in the weekend’s events. “ ... let the collective energy of the people involved solve problems in creative and imaginative ways that we would never have done ourselves.”
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Starting May 17, Disney World is running a "D-Tech" event at Disney Hollywood Studios wherein you can get your head scanned and 3D printed on a Stormtrooper figurine, or trapped in carbonite:
The 10-minute experience uses the world’s highest-resolution, single-shot 3D face scanner created by our Imagineering scientists with Disney Research labs. That captured image is later sent to a high resolution 3D printer to create the figurine. The completed figurine will arrive within 7-8 weeks after the experience if shipping domestically (it takes a little longer if shipping internationally). Guests will also receive either a Carbon-Freeze Me light-up band or a collector button depending upon which option they choose.
The Star Wars – D-Tech Me experience is $99.95, plus shipping and applicable sales tax.
Star Wars – D-Tech Me Experience Returns to Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios Starting May 17, 2013
Image: Cicada, a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike (2.0) image from tinali778's photostream
So here is another line to kill space
This summer, folks on the East Coast of the US will see (and hear) an invasion of billions of cicadas in what is probably the most obvious part of the insects' 17-year life cycle. The cicadas will crawl out of the dirt, make a lot of noise, and seek out other cicadas in order to breed and create a new generation of larvae that will, 17 years from now, emerge to do the same thing all over again.
It's big news for those of us who think things like insects, evolution, and cyclical processes of nature are really, really cool.
Today, I ran across a number of Cicadasplosion-related stories and wanted to share them with you:
• First up, Carl Zimmer has a piece in the New York Times about cicadas and the evolution of seemingly strange life cycles. It includes a neat, interactive graphic showing a century of cicada blooms around the United States.
• The University of Maryland has a helpful cicada cookbook, including tips on the best times and ways to harvest the bugs. You want them young, and succulent, apparently.
• Cicadas will not hurt you, but they might land on you and there's a possibility that they may be sexually attracted to the sound of your weed-wacker.
• In 1894, The New York Times suggested pressing cicadas into a biscuit for dog food.
• If you're not a cicada fan and don't want to eat them yourself, rest assured, some of them will be eaten alive by a horrific-sounding fungus.
• Radiolab's cicada tracker is still up and running, and you can participate.
• A couple of years ago, when a different group of cicadas (on a 13-year-cycle) was hatching in North Carolina, Charles Choi spoke with chronobiologist and blogger Bora Zivkovic about why we don't yet understand cyclical systems like this.
Image: Cicada on leaf, a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike (2.0) image from frotzed's photostream
The next SF-in-SF free science fiction event looks like a seriously fabulous evening: both Austin Grossman (author of YOU
) and Robin Sloan (Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore
) will give a free reading and then take part in a discussion with host Terry Bisson. It's on Sat May 11
, and free (though donations to Variety Children's Charity are solicited).
On May 14-15, Make is hosting its second annual Hardware Innovation Workshop
in San Mateo, CA. There's a pretty amazing speaker lineup, but perhaps most exciting is a "Maker Pro Master Class"
with Andrew "bunnie" Huang, one of the great hardware hackers of our age.
The UK Open Rights Group has just published "Why the Snoopers’ Charter is the wrong approach: A call for targeted and accountable investigatory powers," a digital paper on why and how governments go terribly wrong with Internet surveillance proposals, and what a reasonable and accountable form of surveillance would look like. Jim Killock from ORG sez,
After the Snoopers' Charter debacle, the Open Rights Group asks why intrusive new laws are being suggested, if they are needed at all and what the alternatives are. Some of the UK's most prominent surveillance experts examine the history of UK surveillance law and the challenges posed by the explosion of digital datasets. Contributors include journalist Duncan Campbell, legal expert Angela Patrick from Justice, Richard Clayton of Cambridge University Computer Labs and Peter Sommer, Visiting Professor at De Montfort University.
(Disclaimer: I am proud to have co-founded the Open Rights Group, and to volunteer on its advisory council)