Octopuses Holding Hands

cat and kelly crafty circuits   Squeakapus and Catkeypus!

13235381795_782a5a800d_hcrafty circuits kelly cat

2nd ever Crafty Circuits! 8 attendees! Cat  worked on a Cthulhu Plush pattern in honor of the upcoming H.P. Lovecraft film festival April 11-13th. Pavel put up a hammock! Octopuses held hands and made strange sounds. Kelly worked on designing a pattern for plush rupees. Molly made a mockup of an interactive tracing the path of oil after the Deepwater Horizon Oil Release. Mathew created a paper craft spectrometer.

Join us for the next Crafty Circuits 6-9pm Monday March 31st.

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Valentine Free Zone: Co-working this Friday @Flux

 

Valentine's Cards - Snarky Valentine

Tired of the commoditization of Love? Are you ready to scream if you hear another advert announcing “Every Kiss Begins With Kay Jewelers”?
Escape the Valentines Day nonsense and have a productive work day at Flux surrounded by inspiring people.  I can’t promise to tear apart capitalism on Friday, but I can promise you coffee, wiifii, sofas and desk space. If you can, bring a boring or ugly mug to donate to Flux’s emerging kitchen. In other good news chocolates will be real cheap on Saturday!

 

11a,-6pm

Co-Working Fridays are Awesome!

melissa at flux

You’re cordially invited to escape the weirdness of Valentines day in our romance free productivity zone for Co-working Friday on February 14th 11am-6pm. Don’t forget we have TWO 3-d printers, a light table, large format scanner, soldering station and a fridge & microwave for your dining pleasure.

melora coworking fridayShout out to Melissa Santos for bringing a great group of folks down to Flux last Friday for co-working.

Shaun was using our extra computer monitor to dig into his recipe documentation for his business Hot Winter Hot Sauce.  Melissa was working on some paper crafts.  Molly & Melora worked on redesigning the website for Recode Oregon, a local non profit working to legalize sustainable building practices.

flux coworking friday

 

 

 

STFU and Listen: a programmatic approach to respectful conversation

My personal history with the STFU system is below under ‘background.’ Its also available as a one-page PDF for printing, and as a vector graphics package for remixing.  This post is an expansion of the talk I gave at the Flux opening.

Share time

Contains public domain icons from the Noun Project and CC BY (person) Taylor Medlin

Divide the number of people in the room by the length of the discussion. This is how much time each person has to speak, if everyone is to get an equal opportunity. Try to keep a rough tally of your own speaking time, and gently inform others when they are taking more than their share.

Take three seconds to think

contains CC BY icons from the Noun Project, Jens Tärning (clocks)

Pause after someone else finishes a thought, or between your own thoughts. Remind others to do the same. It takes at least three seconds to internalize what you hear and frame a response based on the actual words someone else says. A pause also allows others to enter the discussion.

Find empathy for others

Find Empathy
Picture the emotional state of those you are speaking with, both while they’re speaking and at the times in their lives that they describe to you. Frame questions to confirm that your picture is an accurate reflection of another’s state of mind, and that you recognize their emotional reactions.

Understanding isn’t necessary

Understanding Not Necessary
Realize that someone else’s experience may be so different from yours as to not be understandable, and that one life can only contain a small fraction of the range of human experience. Nobody owes you an explanation for their life, especially not within one conversation.

 Background

I thought I’d write up some more background for the talk I gave at the Flux opening (embedded below).

I was an introverted kid and spent a lot of time building things and reading books by myself. I still do. Growing up, my primary conversational contexts were school and the internet. Like talking at school, internet conversations are primarily about exchanging ideas and figuring out who is right. But that’s not actually the reason why people talk to each other in the real world. As I got older, I realized that talking isn’t usually about exchanging facts and determining the truth of those facts, it’s about developing and maintaining a rapport with the people around you. I recognized that I needed to get better people skills, but didn’t really know what to do except observe what wasn’t working.

I started to notice that a lot of people thought I talked too much. Outside the context of the boisterous nerd gatherings to which I was accustomed, it was hard to have real conversations. I was used to having to talk over my friends, raising my voice to get a word in and getting into snarky, aggressive debates about things for fun. But sometimes I would be talking at someone, and they would just tune out. Or I wouldn’t hear from someone I was hanging out with at all.

This little voice started creeping into the back of my head while I talked, saying “shut up! let other people talk!” That little voice made me a lot more social, but it wasn’t a panacea. I clearly still had issues of tone and style. I noticed that the people who tuned out when I was talking, or when one of my similarly loud friends was talking, were primarily female or persons of color. This, along with my obsessive consumption of history books, lead me to recognize that the patterns of conversational domination I was trained in –especially through school– were a part of a larger social problem of domination. My conversational style at first just seemed like an impediment to my own social life, but it was actually a small part of a serious global problem of elite Westernized men trying to tell everybody what to do, and being encouraged to do so. White supremicist capitalist patriarchy sucks, I realized, even for people like myself who benefit the most.

As someone primarily interested in machines, I needed to create a programmatic approach to fixing my own habits of domination. A system that let me take skills I was good at –like doing math in my head– and apply them to the thing I wasn’t so good at: being a good conversationalist with people of a wide variety of backgrounds. About eight years ago I began codifying and adding to a series of guidelines that gave weight to the little voice that said “shut up!”  and in honor of that little voice, I call this four point program the STFU system.  I hope you also find it helpful.  I have to remind myself of it every day.

Plastic Fantastic

plastic fantastic was awesome. Here’s Mat to tell you more:

Here are three different plastics projects we did and talked about.  You can now make your own stamps at Flux too.

Making Stamps

We made ink stamps using an acrylurethane photopolymer resin, washout detergent, some acetate transparency sheets, inkjet-ready acetates (CG7039-20 APOLLO), 1/8″ single-sided foam tape, my (Mathew) homemade UV development table loaded with four “white” blacklights ( F20T12/BL), glass panels, the Flux light table, and some light-blocking stickers made from goldenrod.  I worked out this process as a modified version of this instructable.  These supplies are all at flux if you’d like to make your own stamp.

Counter-clockwise from left: a stack of light-blocking stickers, a cutout sticker on acetate, and the finished, developed stamp:

plastic fantastic night at flux!

The first step is to put an image down on the light table and trace it onto a sticker, in reverse (because its a stamp). Then cut out the space you want developed with a craft knife.

plastic fantastic night at flux!

put the sticker down on a sheet of acetate.  Place an inkjet ready acetate, which has a rough, textured side rough side up, and tape down a dam the size of the image.  Pour in the stamp resin, wait, then place down an acetate transparency smooth side down onto the resin with the light-blocking sticker on top. Here’s Claire prepping hers.

plastic fantastic night at flux!

Sandwiched between sheets of glass, pop into the development table for 1:15 on the backing side of the stamp and 3:30 on the stenciled side.

plastic fantastic night at flux!

Wash the undeveloped polymer out in a tray with a cap of detergent and water, scrubbing with a toothbrush and dish brush.  Rinse, and harden for 15 minutes back in the developer, or laying in the sun.  Done!

plastic fantastic night at flux!

Mark Allyn’s Glowing Raincoats

Mark Allyn brought one of his homemade PVC raincoats, with his custom system of glowing side-illuminated fiberoptics. Mark is a Radical Faerie, and wanted to add some extra glow to his outfits.  He was dissatisfied with EL wire because it isn’t very bright, and it requires dangerously high voltages, especially when riding around in the rain.

plastic fantastic night at flux!

Here’s the rough layout of the side-illuminated fiberoptics:

plastic fantastic night at flux!

 

Fixing kitchen gadgets with PCL

Erin and Shaun wanted to expand the funnel of their Robocoup so they could process peppers faster.  They needed to use a food grade plastic, so they bought some Polycaprolactone (PCL).  PCL is very easy to use because it melts in hot water, and can be molded by hand.

plastic fantastic night at flux!

Using a heatgun, they were able to rework the PCL.

plastic fantastic night at flux!
plastic fantastic night at flux!
plastic fantastic night at flux!

Grand Opening!

Flux’s Grand Opening on September 27th, 2013

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Why are men involved in a feminist hackerspace? a talk by Mathew Lippincott

How Can Bikes Save the Economy? a talk by Elly Blue

Addressing Privilege in our Hackerspace. a talk by Dann Stayskal

Sarah Mirk of Bitch Media interviewing Selena Decklemann of Mozilla