All posts by Anne

Power Racing Series: Mod Your Childhood Memories

Modified car from last year's PPPRS.
Photo by Anne Petersen.

Adults who missed the thrill of Power Wheels or Little Tikes cars as a child now can go one better: by modifying the battery-powered child-size vehicles and competing at Maker Faire Detroit. Teams of DIY mechanic enthusiasts have been upgrading the small-scale cars far beyond stock performance levels to win prizes and bragging rights.

Among many other activities at Make magazine’s Maker Faire at the Henry Ford Museum in Detroit, July 31–August 1, the DieHard-sponsored Power Racing Series (PPPRS) will premiere. In its inaugural year the event was internal to PS: One, but this year brings teams together from far beyond the Midwest.

Jim Burke, a Pumping Station: One Director-at-Large and the Director of the PPPRS, said “I want Makers to meet face to face with a common project. Modifying and racing these toys is fun, creative, and challenging.”

This year, with DieHard Platinum batteries and chargers powering the series, nine teams from six different hackerspaces and makerspaces will compete in the three events of PPPRS: a drag race, a road race, and an endurance race. The PPPRS will be a main event at Maker Faire: Detroit, and families are encouraged to attend. We hope to see you there!

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300 Seconds of Fame: Tuesday Tuesday Tuesday!

Fiddling Around
Photo by Anne Petersen

300 Seconds of Fame this Tuesday:
You have 300 seconds. Make it count.

Last month we had an action-packed 300 Seconds of Fame, featuring two!–count ’em–two! related talks about pimping your work and raising funds; two!–count ’em–two! musical performances that rocked our little house; anecdotes and ideas via the balloon factory and video surveillance; a first look at a new way to use an arduino; how YOU could go watch a robot competition; and some facts about why we use our brains the way we do. How meta.

This month, we’ll have wasps (but not in-house, I hope), a sure-to-be-controversial look at password hacking, some noises out of Tomer, and more! But that “more” might require YOU. Yes, YOU.

Want to get in front of the microphone and live up to your 300 seconds of fame? Drop us a note.

If not, come along for the ride! Sure to be entertaining. Come on in at 6 or later, and we’ll start these up around 8.

p.m., that is. Since I’m sure not going to come out at 6 a.m.

And if you can’t make it, we’ll try to be sure the ustream’s up and running for you to enjoy from the comfort of your laptop. Or desktop, I suppose, if you’re all old-school. But if you’re trying it from an iPad, you’ll be SOL. Just FYI.

Be there or have less fun. I swear at least one of the 300Seconders will have better jokes than this post. Seriously.

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300 Seconds of Fame tomorrow

Uproarious - Photo by Opacity
Photo by Anne Petersen

Last month we had our inaugural 300 Seconds of Fame, featuring a wild and wooly tour through Peoplehacking (Four Formulae For The Reduction Of Operational Mass or The Engineers’ Guide to Weight Loss), Maker Faire, photographers rights, a RepRap update, and the NEW and IMPROVED solution for HACKERSPACE maintenance: BRAWNDO! (which evidently makes you good at yelling).

Tomorrow we have more great (but short!) performances to enjoy, including some EXTREMELY AWESOME facts about neuroanatomy, fiddling around, an anonymous committee, some digeridooing, arduino radio, and how to renounce your legal rights to your creations.

Read the full monty about 300 Seconds of Fame and what else the night is about via our wiki.

But to really experience the night you have to be there! Or, if you can’t, you get demoted to watching the ustream. SO BE THERE!

I should really lay off the BRAWNDO.

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300 Seconds of Fame at PS:One

Senor Cricket Bat
Photo courtesy Anne Petersen

A new new presentation format at Pumping Station: One.

We’ve had lightning talks, and we’ve had a Pecha Kucha night. To push the boundaries of fun and learning cool new things, we’re proud to present 300 Seconds of Fame.

We’re combining our presentation media and borrowing heavily from Noisebridge’s Five Minutes of Fame to create our own version. So now, 2nd Tuesdays of each month at PS:One, you! yes YOU! get to hear your fellow members, geeks, and other associated community-minded people present to whoever wants to show up, but only for 300 seconds apiece.

Basically: you’ve got five minutes. Use it wisely.

Within the time parameters, your 300 seconds can be a presentation, a musical number, a demonstration, a debate, a run-through of a proof of concept, performance art, live circuit bending, etc, etc, ad nauseum. Will it fit into five minutes, be feasible for the space, and be appreciated by an audience? Then go for it.

Questions? Check the 300SoF wiki page.

You can sign up with me (Anne) or Laurie. We’ll start talks at 8, though doors will be open to the public at 7.

2nd Tuesday of each month. Spread the word.

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Lightning Talks at Pumping Station: One

A new format for Pumping Station: One–lightning talks. One subject, five minutes. Go!

On Tuesday, we had our first round of lightning talks immediately following the general meeting. I opened with Lightning Talks 101: Recursive Talk is Recursive, then Sasha gave a preview of his speed reading class, and five other folks followed, with talks that varied from one on WordPress sidejacking and another about hard drive disposal to a promo of an in-person networking event and another about building a new social network.
Join us after next week’s meeting for more off-the-cuff info-sharing in lightning talk mode.
(Photo by John Morrison, post-processed by me.)
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