23 Jan 2014

Grow your own

Author: will | Filed under: Cork, investment, Ireland, resource, start-up, technology, venture capitalist, what if

Want to play with biotechnology in the same way that others are playing with programming and 3D printing? More and more people are grappling with this question as DIYbio becomes a household word, but the first project is always the hardest.

Well Cathal Garvey, and yes he’s Cork based, aims to change that, and create a beginner’s kit for biotechnology that not only makes it easier to accomplish, but gives you the scope and fundamental knowledge to take it further at your own pace, learning by making.

To make this happen, he need your help, and your cash. He’s put together an IndieBB campaign (think KickStarter for Indie projects) to get a kit in people’s hands. In return for your commitment (and cash) you can opt to receive the bacteria and DNA that you need to undertake your first experiment in genetic engineering. You can even receive a kit containing equipment and extra goodies that set you on your way to a personal or community biolab! Or just some cool stickers.

Take a look at the project, because I know I’m probably going to try to arrange a visit to the lab, but maybe not resist uncomfortable Dr Frankenfurter jokes to his face.

The link is http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/indiebb-your-first-gmo?

Embedded Link

IndieBB: Your First GMO
IndieBB: a DNA system designed to help you and your friends to explore genetic engineering and synthetic biology by making fluorescent bacteria at home.

23 Mar 2013

Days with my feet in the clouds

Author: will | Filed under: Cork, LBC, thinking

In ancient Ireland there were three classical elements; fire, earth and a combined element we would describe as air/water. The fact that air and water used to be considered as the same element says a lot about Irish weather. And I’ve been living that combination on and off.

The weather was foggy, raining heavily and windy. Its a combination which shouldn’t exist, but it did. For a few days. Only when evening came and I ventured down the hill did the weather change, and I realised that I had spent the day inside a cloud.

So that’s where I’ve been spending my days. I’ve been quiet here. You see I’ve changed cities again, and I’m back. I’m living in the house I’ll have to pay property tax on (I’ll grumble later). And that’s where I made the simple mistake.

I thought that be getting back to my old haunts that I could get some of my old life back. I thought that I would have time denied to me while living away.

I was wrong.

I was right.

Apparently it takes 40 days for a habit to take hold. And not blogging was such a habit. I’m not actually sure where my time went. I’ll have to keep a time spending diary, unless keeping such a diary takes too much time. But in the process of trying to get a life back together, I stopped doing something which requires a bit of hard thinking.

Blogging. Some optional courses. Toy making.

Pulling this ramble back to the LBC topic; frugality is not just about cash. Frugality is not just about scrimping. Frugality is also about spending wisely. And since time cannot really be saved (unless you really have a time machine), how you spend your time matters.

Or rather you need to force yourself to spend time on what matters to you, and what matters to those around you. If you care enough you will find the time to do something.

Sometimes you’ll need to force yourself to do something, sometimes you’ll force yourself to let something lapse. Sometimes you’ll form a rigid, regimented timetable. Sometimes you’ll discover that rigidity also means fragility. Sometimes you’ll lapse thinking “I’ll do it later”, but “later” never becomes “now”.

If it matters you’ll force yourself to break the easy options (usually sleep, and boy does that compound problems for later), and  do “something” to force “now” from the loving arms of “later”.

Like finding that time to sit down in front of a keyboard and type. Eight weeks later.

Time flies away, even if you don’t spend it.

This is a Loose Bloggers Consortium post on the theme of “Frugality”.
To find out that the others in the consortium think, check out, …
Delirious, Maria/Gaelikaa, Maria SilverFox, Maxi Malone, OCD writer, Padmum, Paul, Ramana, The Old Fossil, Shackman and Grannymar.

1 Jan 2013

200km apart but may be different worlds

Author: will | Filed under: Cork, Cork City, Dublin, photo

Guess which is the Dublin calendar and which is the Cork calendar?

It seems like months ago that a US based TV crew came to film a Coder Dojo session and interview a few of the participants.

Well folks the video is up and it shows sessions in the NCS Cork and the Science Gallery in Dublin.

There are Coder Dojos all around the world now, we really need to see if Coder Dodo Antarctica is possible (I suspect a "R" workshop would be best there).

And yes that is me, looking terrible as usual, in the clip. But its also some amazing minds coding, modding and creating.

CoderDojo.com for details of your nearest Dojo.
Above all, be cool…

5 Aug 2012

For a dragon runs through it

Author: will | Filed under: Cork, Cork City, creativity, photo

Cork has its own legends, but it turns out that even the creation of the Lee Valley has its own creation myth.

A dragon carved the channel out of limestone as he rushed to the sea.

Limestone when mixed with stomach acid forms a highly flammable, lighter than air gas… Perfect for a flying dragon.

Sam Hamilton, the gentleman in the top hat, works with Cork Community Art Link and created this steam punk dragon on behalf of +Cork Pride. Cork Pride is the owner of the shiny metal beast and expect it to wander around the country for a while yet.

13 Jun 2012

OpheliaMc

Author: will | Filed under: Cork, creativity, Dublin, music, record labels, social change, social network, video

Fund:it is an unusual site. Essentially its an Irish only Kickstarter.com Kickstarter clone. What makes it unusual is that large amount of funded projects for such a small population.

I suspect that its the Irish version of the 6 degrees of separation. The theory is that all people are separated by only 6 degrees. In Ireland, with its small population and, well, habit for talking to complete strangers when bored, its about 2 degrees of separation.

That means that if you check in on the projects, you'll likely see someone you know.
Like +Ophelia McCabe .

OpheliaMc is her stage name, and its an actual stage name because she stands on stages and podiums at hip-hop gigs performing. She also works with youth projects, essentially creating a +CoderDojo for rappers, MCs, singers and hip-hop producers. She teaches the mostly female group (I expected a lot of guys) about lyricism and vocalism since 2008.

Which is how I met her.
She is one of the good guys. I would say she rocks, but I don't know if that's right for the genre.
She is an excellent artist.

And she is using Fundit to source-fund her debut solo album and own label, SPLOSION records. The FundIt link is http://www.fundit.ie/project/opheliamc–solo-debut-album

There are a lot of YouTube clips of her, so you can see if you like her sound before you pay your pounds. Or Euro, or Dollars…

And for the record, I put my money down already. I've seen and heard her live. I'd love to hear what a produced version sounds like.

30 May 2012

Red 5 with the Rebels

Author: will | Filed under: Cork, job search, video

Red 5 Studios are creating one heck of a First Person Shooter MMO. Oddly, a large portion of Red 5 Studio is made from former Blizzard employees. Guess who has their European headquarters in Cork.

Welcome to Cork Red 5 Studio.

Based on what the Extra Credits crew are saying, you are going to be a shining addition for Cork (for Browncoat shiny at least).

Google+: View post on Google+

Post imported by Google+Blog. Created By Daniel Treadwell.

8 Jul 2011

QR Photomosaic

Author: will | Filed under: advert, code, Cork, Cork City, photo, reuse, technology, thinking

This came up in a conversation on a TOG mailing list. Its source was the comment by a electronic image manipulation project and the possibility of getting extra marks from the use of stenography to hide messages within the exhibition.

What came to my mind was, well , why not create a QR Code of the message and then generate a photo-mosaic of the QR code using the exhibition pictures as the mosaic source.

He asked for an example…

Here you go…

corkprideQR Mosaic02

To generate this you need three things.

1) A large collection of photographs (or pictures) in electronic form.

2) A QR code and

3) Photomosaic software.

Photomosaics have gone out of style, so that might be why it hasn’t been done before.

In my case, I took a lot of photographs of the recent Cork Pride Festival. So my source were about 400 of the festival’s photos that were uploaded to FaceBook.

Then I needed a CQ Code. I used the Kaywa generator.  Not for any particular reason, I just wanted a quick QR code. The code above, when scanned will link to the Cork Pride Festival site.

So then I needed the generation software. I used the portable version of the Andrea Mosaic Software. It could be more intuitive, but its free with the only request being “give a shout out to Andrea Mosaic” if you use it. Perfect for an example.

So, there is the example, let me know if you have any problems scanning it. The larger version is hosted on Pix.ie, but at 5mb image meant for A3 printing, I’m not going to be e-mailing it to anyone other than the Cork Pride media team to add to their archive.

So how long before you see it being used in an advert folks?

24 May 2011

Sunshine cups

Author: will | Filed under: Cork, Cork City, photo

Broom in Bloom St Fibarres 2011-04-16-16-52-45-496

I have no idea what the flower is, but it brightens a dark day.

23 May 2011

Anthem

Author: will | Filed under: Cork, Cork City, photo

Anthem St Fibarres 2011-04-16-18-00-29-561

The notices for the hymn board in Saint Finbarre’s Cathedral in Cork City.