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Chicago Northside Mini Makerfaire 2015

Thanks to everyone who helped make this year’s Northside Mini Makerfaire a success! Our awesome volunteers helped everyone from little kids to adults build 100 noisemaker kits. Thanks also to the donors who helped pay for the kits. Yay awesomeness!

Vinyl cut signage:
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Dalek checking out the crappy robot contest:
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Noisemaker:
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Noisemakers and volunteers:
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Ray’s chairs and tables:
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Crappy robots:
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If you’d like to see more photos, please check out Drew Fustini’s G+ link on the mailing list. Also of note is that we are going to the Detroit Makerfaire, July 25-26th. Announcements will come soon, but email jenny@pumpingstationone.org if you are interested in volunteering for the Detroit Makerfaire.

06

05 2015

1971 Movie Night

“Before Watergate, Wikileaks, and Edward Snowden, there was Media, Pennsylvania.”

For our next movie night we’d like to screen the documentary 1971: “On March 8, 1971 eight ordinary citizens broke into an FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania, a town just outside Philadelphia, took hundreds of secret files, and shared them with the public. In doing so, they uncovered the FBI’s vast and illegal regime of spying and intimidation of Americans exercising their First Amendment rights.”

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Adam Forsyth, the son of one of the eight, who called themselves the Citizens’ Commission, will be giving a talk after the screening. The screening is open to the public and BYOB. Some snacks will be provided.

Sign up for the movie here: http://www.meetup.com/Pumping-Station-One/events/221330710/

When: Sunday April 19th, 5 PM
Where: Pumping Station: One Electronics Lab upstairs

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10

04 2015

Pi Day Party – Recap

Thanks to Lyn and everyone who came for an awesome Pi Day celebration this past Saturday, 3/14/15. This year is an extra special Pi Day since we had pi to 4 digits (3.1415).

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Skittles and Justin make an Irish Car Bomb pie

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The final result

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Raspberry pie

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Pie cutting

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Flourless chocolate cake in front

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Raspberry close up

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We had 3 apple pies

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17

03 2015

Movie Night: Citizenfour

citizenfour

It’s Movie Night Time! This is an Oscar-award winning documentary by Laura Poitras about her and journalist Glenn Greenwald’s encounters with Edward Snowden as he reveals the extent of the NSA’s surveillance program in 2013.

More information about the film: https://citizenfourfilm.com/about

When: Sunday March 1st, 2015 5 PM
Feel free to BYOB. Afterwards there will be discussion. This event is open to the public.

Sign up for the meetup: http://www.meetup.com/Pumping-Station-One/events/220734479/

Where: PS:One Lounge

Trailer:
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Reddit AMA: http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/2wwdep/we_are_edward_snowden_laura_poitras_and_glenn

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26

02 2015

Preliminary Crappy Robot Competition Follow-Up

Thanks to Justin and SIGBOT for sponsoring the “Dumb Robot Competition for Dummies” or the Crappy Robot Competition last night. Thanks also to everyone who came out!

We promise to upload the video that was graciously recorded by Carl and Jimmy for us in the near future. There will also be better quality pictures. There will also be more information about the competition coming soon. In the meantime, enjoy this video of the Pizza Bagel bot!

Round 1: Everett (Unilowbrow) vs. Bioguy (Senor Abrazos)

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30

01 2015

Really Late Wine Tasting Follow-Up

So last last Friday, the 16th, member Kyle Bieneman held a wine tasting class on Pinot Noir. I’ve been meaning to get this post up earlier, but enjoy the pictures and information from the handout:

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“It’s…thin-skinned, temperamental, ripens early. It’s, you know, it’s not a survivor like Cabernet, which can just grow anywhere and uh, thrive even when it’s neglected. No, Pinot needs constant care and attention. You know? And in fact it can only grow in these really specific, little, tucked away corners of the world. And, and only the most patient and nurturing of growers can do it, really. Only somebody who really takes the time to understand Pinot’s potential can then coax it into its fullest expression. Then, I mean, oh its flavors, they’re just the most haunting and brilliant and thrilling and subtle and…ancient on the planet.” –Miles Raymond, Sideways

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Note: From Burgundy

The grape: Pinot Noir grows in tightly packed bunches (the “Pinot” in the name refers to the pinecone shape of the bunches). These tight bunches tend to be somewhat more susceptible to disease. Being thin-skinned, the grape is also at great risk from extremes in temperature. Fortunately, as it ripens early, it can be grown in cooler regions than heartier grapes (like Cabernet Sauvignon).

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Color: For red wines, color comes from the skins (it is not naturally present in the juice) in a process called “extraction.” Grapes go through a machine called a “crusher-destemmer,” and rather than being juiced as with white wine, the pulpy mass is then fermented in giant vats. Note that the skins will naturally float to the top, forming a “cap,” requiring some kind of system to circulate the fermenting juice (whether a “punch-down,” a “pump-over,” or some sort of a mixer).

Sometime after fermentation has completed, the “free run” is drained off. The remaining “pomace” is then pressed to extract all the remaining liquid. The free liquid is generally light in flavor and color than the pressed liquid, and so will often be aged separately, being blended only at the end to fine-tune before bottling.

Pinot Noir is thin-skinned with less color (anthocyanin) in the skins, it tends to extract less color, and thus is paler than most red wines. Being lighter in flavor, some winemakers will even leave the stems in for fermentation to impart more “tannins.”

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Tannins: Tannins are much more present in red wine than white wine, partly because they come from the skins during extraction (as well as seeds and stems, if present), and the oak barrels during aging. Tannins are traditionally used to turn hides into leather (“tanning”), hence the name. This is why bitter red wines often make your tongue feel dry and leathery. The “resolving” of tannins is a prime reason why many red wines get better with age.

Pinor Noir is notably low in tannins, and so some winemakers will leave the stems in for fermentation.

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Note: Australian

Flavors in Pinot Noir: As a lighter, more delicate wine, flavors tend toward the redder fruits such as cherry, strawberry, and raspberry. Less prominent notes might include vegetal (beets, green tomatoes, olives) or earthy (truffles, barnyard) flavors. Pinot does not typically display the darker fruit (plum) or spicier notes (cigar box) of other red wines. As a result of its lighter flavors, it tends to pair well with pork and fowl, rather than beef.

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Burgundy: Pinot Noir originates from Burgundy, a region in the east of France, between Champagne to the north, and Beaujolais to the south. Burgundy is divided into four major sub-regions (from north to south, and highest to lowest quality): Cote de Nuits, Cote de Beaune, Cote Chalonnaise, and Maconnais.

However, Burgundies will generally be labeled by their village, of which there are too many to list. There are about 600 “Premier Cru” vineyards across Burgundy, and only 32 “Grand Crus,” which will be more expensive, and generally superior to, the villages. The Premier and Grand Crus are designated by the French government based on the reputation of past production.

The Grand Cru red Burgundies are some of the most expensive and sought-after wines in the world, costing nearly $1000 a bottle in good years.

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Thanks again to Kyle for these notes.

24

01 2015

Beer Church Follow Up

Final updates:

On Tuesday 1/20/15, Justin helped me keg the beer. The specific gravity was 1.034 at this point, making for an ABV of 8.4%. We tasted the beer and decided not to add any black cherry extract, since the cherry flavor/smell seemed strong enough. It still has a strong chocolate porter taste. The keg was moved into the fridge. On Saturday 1/24/15, Agocs and Justin went to get more CO2 since we were out, and the beer was finally put on tap. Enjoy!

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On Tuesday 1/13/15, Ryan helped me rack the beer into a 5 gallon carboy for a second fermentation. We also added the sweet cherry puree, about 16 oz of it. The specific gravity reading was 1.036, and the beer tasted very chocolate-y.

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This past Sunday we started a brew for an Imperial Valentine Porter. We just checked on it tonight before the member meeting and it looks like the yeast has started fermenting.

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At the beginning of Beer Church on Sunday, we spent a while tasting the delicious beers that everyone brought. Selections included 2 coffee beers, a Superbier, a What the Pho porter, a stout, and a blueberry beer.

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After taking our time to enjoy the beer selection, we headed to Brew & Grow to obtain the ingredients listed on this page:

Grains:

  • 1 lb uk crystal malt (60L) (UK Paul’s Medium Crystal Malt 60L)
  • 8oz UK brown malt (UK TF & S Brown Malt)
  • 8oz UK chocolate malt (UK Paul’s Chocolate Malt #315)
  • 8lbs any UK brand dark malt extract (not sure if solid or syrup)

Yeast:

  • 1 pack Wyeast 1187 or White Labs WLP001 or Fermentis S-04

Malt Extract:

  • 8 lbs any brand UK dark

Hops:

  • 4 to 6 AAUs medium-alpha acid (such as Northern Brewer)

Later Additions:

  • 1 lb lactose
  • 1 lb Demerara sugar (we used Raw Cane Sugar from Jewel)
  • 8 oz high quality unsweetened cocoa powder (we used Nestle)
  • 1 tsp Irish moss
  • 1 tsp yeast nutrient
  • 16 US fl oz black cherry concentrate (we used sweet cherry puree)
  • 4 fl oz cherry flavoring or extract (to taste at bottling)

(Disclaimer: My memory is imperfect and since this was my first time as brewmaster, I will probably get some of these steps wrong due to unfamiliarity. Consult the wiki page for more information.)
After cleaning some equipment and some mishaps with the propane regulator, the first step after getting water to the correct temperature in between 160 and 170 degrees Fahrenheit, was to steep the grains. The grains steeped for half an hour. They smelled burnt afterwards, since they were dark grains.

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Three gallons of water were added to the mash for the next step, the boil (The goal was to end up with 5 gallons of wort). The wort was brought to a boil and 1 oz of hops was added. All of the malt extract was added as well. There was constant stirring for the duration of the boil, but a boilover still occurred once when we failed to turn down the heat quickly enough. After half an hour, another 1 oz of hops was added. The wort smelled like tea at this point. After another half an hour, we turned off the heat and added the lactose, sugar, cocoa powder, irish moss and yeast nutrient and stirred until they were dissolved. After the cocoa powder was dissolved, the wort turned a chocolate-brown color and smelled deliciously of chocolate.

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In the meantime, the other equipment we needed was sanitized using StarSan. The copper cooling coil was rinsed and placed into the boiling kettle. After another 15 minutes of rolling boil, the heat was turned off and we started pumping cold water through the cooling coil until the wort reached a temperature of about 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

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After some more sanitizing, the wort was pumped into a 6-gallon glass carboy. The yeast, after being activated, was poured into the carboy, and a cork with trap attached were inserted into the top of the carboy. The cork was sealed with wire and the carboy was placed into the fermenting area, for a first fermentation of an estimated 7-12 days. Before corking, we did take a sample for the hydrometer and obtained a specific gravity reading of 1.098, very close to the book’s suggested 1.084. The total brew time was about 6 hours (including trip to Brew & Grow).

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And after cleanup, we all got to taste the brew!

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Thanks to everyone for coming! Thanks to Eric and Justin for helping me out so much. Feel free to join us for the second fermentation and the bottling, to be announced.

24

01 2015

PS: Yum Watson Edition Follow Up

Using a beta version of Chef Watson, which had limited versatility (but was just updated recently, so another PS: Yum Watson edition will be hosted soon), we made 4 recipes. They are listed on the wiki: https://wiki.pumpingstationone.org/PS:_Yum_Watson_Edition

We spent the first half hour choosing individual recipes. Watson generates a 100 recipes for each set of ingredients that you input, ranging from a “classic” setting to an extremely adventurous one.

burgerb

Shallot burger, version b

salad

Vietnamese shallot vegetable salad

burgera

Shallot burger, version a

arturowillcooking

Cooking

prepping

Prepped toppings

 

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28

11 2014

PS: Yum Watson Edition

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Using a beta version of Chef Watson, we will attempt to create whatever wacky recipes come out of Watson’s “mind.” Come join us for some artificial-intelligence driven fun!

The way it works: you input ingredients that you have on hand into Chef Watson, which will then output a recipe for you, usually adding more ingredients. Feel free to bring your own, and we will probably be making a trip to Jewel.

Where: PS:One Kitchen
When: Tonight: Sunday November 23, 2014 at 6 PM

Article: http://www.bonappetit.com/entertaining-style/trends-news/article/how-ibm-chef-watson-works
Meetup: http://www.meetup.com/Pumping-Station-One/events/218699741/

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23

11 2014

Movie Night: The Pirate Bay Away From Keyboard

It’s Movie Night time! This is a documentary about the trial of the Pirate Bay founders in Sweden.

From http://www.tpbafk.tv/the-film/:
“It’s the day before the trial starts. Fredrik packs a computer into a rusty old Volvo.Along with his Pirate Bay co-founders, he faces $13 million in damage claims to Hollywood in a copyright infringement case. Fredrik is on his way to install a new computer in the secret server hall. This is where the world’s largest file sharing site is hidden…”

When:
Friday September 5, 7:30 PM-9:30 PM
Doors open at 7. Feel free to BYOB. Afterwards there will be discussion.

Where:
PS:One Lounge

Trailer: YouTube Preview Image

13

11 2014