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SF in SF: Daniel Suarez and Andy Weir in San Francisco this Saturday

Rina writes, "Join SF in SF on Sat., April 12 for our author event! Authors Daniel Suarez (Influx) and Andy Weir (The Martian) will each read a selection from their work, followed by Q&A moderated by author Terry Bisson. Booksigning and schmoozing follows, with books for sale courtesy of Borderlands Books. The event will be podcasted by the Sword & Laser Podcast." Cory 2

Saturday: Pravic Science Fiction Extravaganza with Rucker, Davis, and Pesco (San Francisco)

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On Saturday (April 12), the excellent Pravic science fiction 'zine will hold its second live extravaganza in San Francisco. I'm honored that I've been added to the amazing bill featuring talks by two of my own big influences -- SF legend Rudy Rucker and Erik Davis, author of Techgnosis and co-host of the Expanding Mind podcast. I'll be sharing some thoughts on "Science, Art, and Magic." Hosted by Pravic commanders David Gill and Nathaniel Miller, there will also be readings by Ian Kappos, Ben Weiner, Michael Buckley, Daniel Gonzalez, Suhail Rafidi, and Nikita Allgire, music by Feral Luggage, and trivia, prizes, food, and beer! The free event is at Brainwash Cafe from 7pm-11pm. Hope to see you there! Pravic's 2nd Science Fiction Extravaganza

Tech-art making class with Kal Spelletich (San Francisco)

Ingenious tech/robot artist Kal Spelletich of Seemen and Survival Research Labs fame is teaching a maker class in San Francisco on creating art involving technology! It sounds fantastic -- a rare opportunity to learn directly from a master of this genre that blends art, science, engineering, cultural criticism, and high weirdness. (Above, a two-minute video survey of Kal's storied career.) Kal says, "We will explore: building installations, carpentry, home-brewing, guerilla gardening, electric wiring, robotics, fire-making, fixing things, plumbing, pnu-matics, pumps, water purification, high-voltage electricity, video surveillance, electronic interfaces, scavenging for materials, cooking alternatives, solar power, skinning a rabbit, lighting, remote control systems, survivalist contemporary art history, and promoting and exhibiting your art.." Kal Spelletich: Research & Survival in the Arts Class

Mary Blair gallery show at Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco


San Francisco's Walt Disney Family Museum is running an exhibition on the art of Mary Blair, one of the all-time greats of Disney history and modernist illustration and color. I've covered her work here before (for example, there's a gorgeous collection of Blair's Golden Books, and, of course, the amazing Alice in Wonderland edition featuring the rejected concept art she produced for Disney's psychedelic Alice in Wonderland animated film), and I've been lucky enough to see some of it in person while I was working at Disney, but this exhibit, called "MAGIC, COLOR, FLAIR: the world of Mary Blair," looks extraordinary.

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See PIG in San Francisco

Next Saturday (Mar 15), the SF in SF people will host a screening of indie movie PIG, an award-winning sf movie, followed by a Q&A with producer Mark Stolaroff, founder of the No Budget Film School. (Thanks, Rina!) Cory 4

Epic Disney event in San Francisco

Jeff sez, "On Saturday, March 29, 2014, there will be an epic Disney event in San Francisco. The Disney Project proudly presents: Walt, WED, and WESTCot. The evening will consist of two multimedia presentations, hilarity, videos, goodie bags, Disney Legends, raffle prizes, and more!"

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Report from Trustycon: like RSA, but without the corruption


Seth Rosenblatt reports from Trustycon, the conference formed as a protest against, and alternative to the RSA security conference. RSA's event is the flagship event in the security industry, but the news that RSA had accepted $10M from the NSA to sabotage its own products so that spies could break into the systems of RSA customers led high profile speakers like Mikko Hypponen to cancel their appearances at the event.

Trustycon sold out, raised $20,000 for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and, most importantly, got key members of the security industry to come to grips with the question of improving network security in an age when spy agencies are spending hundreds of millions of dollars every year to undermine it.

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UC Berkeley gets its first Wikipedian in Residence

UC Berkeley has just appointed its first Wikipedian in Residence: Kevin Gorman, who has been a Wikipedia editor since he was a Berkeley undergraduate. Though some 50 cultural institutions -- libraries, museums and archives -- have Wikipedians in Residence, Gorman is the first to serve at an academic institution. His own work focuses on improving gender diversity and cultural diversity in Wikipedia editing, and he's assisting professors in crafting assignments that have students using and improving Wikipedia as part of their class-work.

When I was teaching at USC, I assigned my students to help improve Wikipedia articles by sourcing and footnoting facts in articles related to our lectures, and reviewed their contributions and the ensuing discussion in the articles' Talk pages as part of our weekly classes. It was a very satisfying exercise, especially as it ensured that the work of my students served some wider scholarly and social purpose, as opposed to term papers and exercises that no one -- not me, not the students -- would ever want to read after they were graded.

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Comic explains problems with Oakland's Domain Awareness Center surveillance plan


Hugh sez, "What's wrong with Oakland's proposed Domain Awareness Center? This new comic by Susie Cagle lays out the issues."

The Testing Ground for the New Surveillance (Thanks, Hugh!)

Fogcon: cozy, Wiscon-style San Francisco science fiction convention

Keyan sez, "FOGcon is a literary speculative fiction convention in the San Francisco Bay Area. Now in its 4th year, it's big enough to be fun, still small enough not to overwhelm. This year, the theme is Secrets, and the Guests of Honor are Seanan McGuire, Tim Powers, and the late James Tiptree, Jr. It's on March 7-9, 2014."

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Continued efforts to acknowledge Emperor Norton's bridge


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While 'officials' have named the span for Willie Brown, efforts continue to recognize Emperor Norton's bridge as his own.

This in from SF Weekly:

Late Monday night, a group of unidentified artists installed a large sign at the Bay Bridge onramp at Fifth Street, commemorating Joshua A. Norton, not Willie L. Brown. Norton was a famed 19th Century San Francisco eccentric, known for his many, many proclamations, notably the one where he declared himself Emperor of the United States, and later tacked on "Protector of Mexico" to his title. In addition, Norton is best-known for his many decrees about bridges and tunnels that he had hoped to build, connecting San Francisco and Oakland.

S.F. Artists Snub Willie Brown, Install Rogue Sign Naming New Bay Bridge After Emperor Norton via SF Weekly

SF tomorrow: "Experimental Films for Kids"

Tomorrow (Saturday 1/25), San Francisco's Exploratorium is hosting an "Experimental Films for Kids" program. Films to be screened include Hans Richter's Ghosts Before Breakfast (1928), Jodie Mack's Rad Plaid (2010), and Stan Brackhage's Mothlight (1963), seen above, which the director made sans camera by collaging moth wings, flowers, and grass between strips of film splicing tape . Start 'em young! "Exploratorium: Saturday Cinema: Experimental Films for Kids" (Thanks, Kelly Sparks!)

Last Tales of the City book on sale today

As noted, today is the on-sale date for The Days of Anna Madrigal, the final installment in Tales of the City, Armistead Maupin's addictive long-running series about bohemian life in San Francisco.

Boycott RSA, attend Trustycon instead!


Several high-profile speakers have bailed on RSA's annual security conference over the revelation that the company sabotaged its products at the behest of the NSA. There's even a petition to get Stephen Colbert to cancel his keynote.

Now, there's an alternative conference that will run at the Metreon down the street from RSA's show. It's called Trustycon, and will feature Mikko Hypponen, Chris Palmer, and others. The conference is being run by EFF and Defcon, with sponsorship from Cloudflare and Microsoft.

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Help restore the Doggie Diner Heads!

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The Doggie Diner heads, icons of San Francisco's underground culture, are in desperate need of restoration. For twenty years, John Law -- pictured above with the Boing Boing crew and Adam Savage -- has cared for these lovely puppies that are now pushing 50. He and his co-conspirators have tirelessly driven them around the region to the overwhelming delight of young and old. For free. John is now seeking donations to restore them to their former glory. Please support the Doggie Diner Makeover at Kickstarter if you can! Here's what John has to say:

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