Link Roundup: Capitalism, Anti-Science, Misogyny, and Oppression

On Wisdom.

1. Know Thine Enemy.

“Learn the ancient art of rhetoric. The elements of rhetoric, in all of their forms, are what make the world go around—because they are what prompt the decisions people make. If you develop an understanding of how they work, while everyone else is frightened by flames and booming voices, you will be able to see behind veils of communication and see what levers little men are pulling. Not only will you develop immunity from all manner of commercials, marketing, hucksters and salesmen, to the beautiful speeches of liars and thieves, you’ll also find yourself able to craft your speech in ways that influence people. When you know how to speak in order to change someone’s mind, to instill confidence in someone, to quiet the fears of a child, then you will know this power firsthand. However, bear in mind as you use it that your opponent in any debate is not the other person, but ignorance.”

-Justin Freeman, on the top 10 things we should know about in life.

2. Brevity’s Virtues.
tumblr_mk6q8r0L2R1qeubbbo1_500

3. Simple Truths.

“We will sometimes make people upset. That is ok, because we are right and they need to learn.”
-a dear friend

“While the world of public opinion may lean toward viewpoints that trivialize, slander, and demonize the experiences of marginalized populations, it’s important to note one key thing; They are wrong.”
-me (damn right I quoted myself)

Battle Armor

My manfriend can always tell when I’m having a horrific day, because I look fucking fantastic.

The conversation usually goes like this:

Manfriend: “Hello, sweetie. You look fancy.”
Me: “Thank you. I try.”
Manfriend: “What’s wrong?”

At this point I either give in to the fact that he knows me so well and spill, or I make this face:

…because clearly that’s adult.

Seriously, though. Whenever I’ve had a shit day, I’m worn out, or some troll has decided to come out of their cave and throw poop on my life, I pull out my red lipstick/flouncy dress/biker boots/all of the aforementioned and pretend none of it gets to me while secretly pouting like a WASPy socialite with her convertible keys confiscated by daddy. Or something.

Women are expected to put on such a fresh face when adversity looms; how pathetically dated. I decided to take the theme and make it purposeful and pertinent. My war paint, battle armor, the weird fan thing on the acid-spitting dinosaur from Jurassic Park.

AREN’T MY FRILLS AND SPIT SO PRETTY

or Galadriel’s “all shall love me and despair” rant:

Since everything I own is in storage during my job/apartment hunt, I have no access to most of my stuff. I feel like a Bird of Paradise without my feathers. In many ways, I am my outward form, multi-varying as it may be. It is my art, the highest expression of my self and soul and all that I am. I feel muted, drained of vibrancy. It is my last and best defense against a world that doesn’t care and doesn’t not care.

I think this excerpt of a recent post explains it best:

In a recent documentary, Tom Ford explained this scene from A Single Man, where his distraught protagonist George drags himself out of bed in order to get dressed. The scene wasn’t in the original book Ford based his movie on, but he put it in because it related to him. When he’s in a deep and dark depression, one of the things he enjoys doing is putting on a suit. “It might be false,” he said in the documentary, “but I feel like if I shine my shoes, put on a tie, and make myself look as good as I can possibly look, I feel better. That somehow it’s armor; it’s a ritual that I go through.”

“Looking in the mirror, staring back at me, isn’t so much a face as the expression of a predicament; just get through the goddamn day.” – George, A Single Man

E-Textile Particle Decay Embroidery

I got a notion in my head to embroider a bubble field – a representation of particle decay paths as they spiral off into oblivion. I’ve found them fascinating and beautiful.

If you’d like to learn more about them, check here for information on particle decay and here for information on detecting and gathering data on the particles.

I was without a frame to embroider, so I took this:

Cut out the racket strings:

Took these:

Clamped my fabric with the binder clips to the frame of the racket:

Using conductive thread, I embroidered particle decay paths ending in mini LEDs.

Finished product!

Now to frame it.

Bay Area MakerFaire 2012

I was at the Bay Area MakerFaire last weekend, and had a much different Faire experience than the previous two that I attended (last year’s Bay Area and Detroit iterations). It was… stale. Staged. Commercial. There were massive booths and displays reserved for companies that had nothing to do with makers or the maker movement. They were riding the wave of innovation that the community has fostered to hold a captive audience and misinform those who were being exposed to the world of making for the first time. There were phone companies and tech giants that, through massive amounts of cash, were able to gain priority over the hallmark agent of making: the little guy. The “hack-it-together with duct tape, spit, and hope” kind of tinkerer that is SUPPOSED to be in the spotlight. I was disgusted by some of the companies who were sponsoring crowd-sourcing projects to further their own R&D by taking the ideas of these innovators and KEEPING THEM. No rights are given to the progenitors of the illuminating inventions; a small check is cut as a prize while the company makes bank. It was tawdry, and I am disappointed in MAKE for allowing this to take place.
_____________________________________________________________

I had to take a few minutes to cool down from my MakerFaire-incited soapbox rant before coming back to anything even vaguely related. I must, however, point out two excellent parts of the Faire that I encountered. The first is the Bizarre Bazaar, the market area of MakerFaire that is specifically geared towards craftsy artisan works. I saw beautiful work there, and I’ll be posting more on some of my favorite stuff from the Bazaar later on.

The second part that I was blown away by was the utterly orgasmic paella.

Now, I’ve had some good paella. I’ve had paella in a couple cities in Spain, for chrissakes. This, this stuff is better than anything I have ever had. MakerFaire invites Gerard Nebesky (who kicked Bobby Flay’s ass in a 2008 cook-off), to preside over pans bigger than most British cars.


image via Jack Sparx

The line for this addictive crack-food is an hour long AT LEAST. It is a good idea to send someone for beer at regular intervals.

As if allowing people to taste this veritable manna wasn’t enough, dude passed out the recipe:

I made this face:

Power Racing Series Kickstarter!

I’m a part of a hackerspace here in Chicago, the oh-so-excellent Pumping Station: One. Two years ago, a member by the name of Jim Burke had the incredible idea of modding tiny children’s toy cars, putting adults in them, and racing around a track for the enjoyment of the public. Pumping Station: One Presents Power Racing Series was born.

Jump to now; the Power Racing Series is being featured in the October issue of Wired Magazine, with some amazing footage of the teams (including me!) zooming about the track with lots of crashing. There are Power Racing Series races at the Milwaukee Mini MakerFaire, Detroit and Kansas City MakerFaires, and you can also find some awesome videos on YouTube.

The Power Racing Series has become so popular that demand for it at more MakerFaires (and the possibility of a Chicago MakerFaire next year) has spawned a Kickstarter campaign. See the below video for all the details!

By the way, I’m the one on the cop bike with a billy club. Yeah. You’re jealous. I know.

Who wants to donate?! You get prizes…

Do it. The fate of absurdity depends on it!

_______________________________________________

Follow the campaign/race scheduling progress on Twitter via @PPPRS and @PumpingStation1 for info on Chicago events and projects.