Deepest appreciation for all the piscine comestibles

Dear Hive76 community,

With appreciation for the last year and a half with great people and projects, as of yesterday, I’ve resigned from Hive76’s Board of Directors. There are some amazing things in the works for the group, and I look forward to watching it grow and helping out from time to time. The organization has grown so much since I first heard about it, and there is a strong core of smart people making it run. I am confident that even more positive changes are on the way for Hive76 and the Philly science/tech community.

Recently, I’ve had a lot of demands placed on my time, and I feel that I can do more for DIY, science education, and technology for social change, from a different context. I’ve picked up some other tech/ed projects around the city (like Random Hacks of Kindness), so while I’m moving out of the building, I’ll still be in the neighborhood. You can keep an eye on what I’m up to and get in touch over here.

Don’t be a stranger…any questions, don’t hesitate to ask. Thanks again, it’s been a blast. And stay tuned for the exciting results of Hive’s next round of elections!

Stephanie Alarcon

“Soldering is Easy!” Comic Book

Cover page to "Soldering Is Easy!"

There’s a great new comic about how to solder by Mitch Altman, Andie Nordgren and Jeff “Mightyohm” Keyzer . It’s based on a one-pager that Andie and Mitch made last year, and it’s totally cute and informative. It’s a fantastic example of friendly tech ed, and it’s shareable under a Creative Commons license. Apparently the comic will be part of a book on microcontrollers for beginners that Mitch and Jeff are publishing through No Starch Press later this year.

Here’s the pdf, and check out Jeff’s site for copies in other formats and languages, and even a no-text version if you want to make your own translation.

Get Grossed Out This Thursday!

Update: Online ticket sales are closed. A limited number of tickets will be available tonight to PAFA members and those who want to sign up for membership.

The other day, Sean mentioned that we’re helping with the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts’ After Dark event this Thursday 3/31, called “Grossed Out”. Here’s another teaser.

PAFA has been opening up their beautiful, cavernous spaces on North Broad Street so people can get down with music, drinks and hands-on diy projects, all surrounded by super classy art. This Thursday’s event, Grossed Out, celebrates the famed “Gross Clinic” and PAFA’s new exhibit Anatomy/Academy. The exhibit examines “how Philadelphia’s dynamic art and science communities… fostered knowledge of the human body… transformed the attitudes of the public towards mental and physical health, and challenged conceptions about beauty.” Music and body-bending entertainment are courtesy of the Olde City Sideshow. Yes, glass eaters at the Academy!

Hive76 and The Hacktory are building four (!) different activities for this Thursday’s event. The Hacktory has posted some updates on our progress. Here are descriptions of the activities:

Continue reading “Get Grossed Out This Thursday!”

Appropriate tech in Guatemala: AIDG biodigester

Custom PCB design
Custom PCB design at AIDG

This past winter, I spent a month in Guatemala studying Spanish, checking out appropriate technology projects, and zipping around the geologically manic country around the Western Highlands. Here’s a reportback from a visit to the offices of the Appropriate Infrastructure Development Group (AIDG). I got to check out some prototype wind and solar designs and take a peek at their new kit-built CNC machine and custom circuit board designs.  Later, I got to poke around the office and come along on a site visit to a biodigestor installation they did outside of the city.  It lets the farmers nearby turn animal waste into organic fertilizer and cooking gas while reducing greenhouse emissions.  I got to hear about the combination of technical and user friendliness challenges they encountered and saw how the system is working now that it’s been tweaked a few times.  Pretty cool stuff.

Read more, o pedir esta historia en Español

Light Graffiti with The Hacktory tonight!

Our favorite chums at The Hacktory have a cool laser graffiti event tonight, featuring art projections and a chance for the audience to play with light graffiti. It sounds awesome:

Tonight’s our big night as part of DesignPhiladelphia’s Kick-Off. Join us in the Design Lot on South Broad Street across from the Kimmel Center to explore space and time, video and graffiti, technology and art, and play with laser graffiti. More details can be found in city paper’s article.

Top Secret Rosies Premiere

What: Top Secret Rosies première
When: Thursday, Sept. 23, 2010, doors 6:30, film 7:00
Where: Franklin Institute. Call for reservations: 215-448-1254

A few weeks ago, our new friend LeAnn Erickson gave a great talk about the women who did the math and computer programming behind the scenes during WWII. Her film on that topic, Top Secret Rosies, is premièring next week at the Franklin Institute. Not only that, but she won a grant to take her film on the road and develop teaching materials for it, before it shows up on public TV. Come celebrate with her next week so you can say you knew her way back when. Tickets are free but you have to call for reservations which are running out, so don’t slack!

For immediate release:

In 1942, when computers were human and women were underestimated, a group of female mathematicians helped win a war and usher in the modern computer age. Fall 2010 marks the 65th anniversary of the end of WWII yet their compelling story has never been told, until now.

Filmmaker LeAnn Erickson announces the world premiere of her HD documentary *Top Secret Rosies: The Female Computers of WWII*, RT 60 minutes, c. 2010. *Top Secret Rosies* shares the little known story of a group of female mathematicians who did secret ballistics research for the US Army during WWII, a handful of whom went on to serve as the programmers of ENIAC, the first electronic computer.

The Franklin Institute of Philadelphia will host the première screening of *Top Secret Rosies* on Thursday, September 23, 7pm in the Franklin Theater. The filmmaker will be available for a question and answer session after the film screening.

Free reservations can be made by calling The Franklin Institute ticketing center at 215-448-1254. Space is limited, so please make your reservations early. Doors open at 6:30 pm.

In war, math may be the most secret weapon of all.

*Top Secret Rosies: The Female Computers of WWII*

Top Secret Rosies tonight!

Just a reminder to come out to The Rotunda tonight at 7pm to check out “Hidden Herstory:  The Top Secret Rosies of WWII.”  Local filmmaker LeAnn Erickson will give an illustrated lecture on the “female computers” who did the math that made US weapons accurate during WWII, and worked on some of the earliest mechanical and electronic computers.  Pretty cool stuff.  More details here.  Thanks to Sean for the flyer!  Note:  Our weekly open house should still be on, so come check out the talk before heading to Hive76 to hang out and hack.