Category Archives: Resources

[Sa. May 4, 2013] Pumping Station One Hackerspace Birthday Party


Chicago’s coolest hackerspace, Pumping Station:One is having a 4-year birthday party / open house thingie on Saturday.

In case you’re not familiar, hackerspaces are, well–pretty self explanatory. You sign up for a membership, like a gym, and then you get to play with all the neat toys–oscilloscopes, 3D printers, drill presses, sewing machines, and a scanning electron microscope (duh!). It’s $40-$70 per month for a membership, for all that access to awesome future-creation. Also, they really do have a Tardis on the roof, just like that photo up there shows–not shopped.

7PM – Demos and reception
10PM – Live music
@ Pumping Station: One, 3519 N. Elston, Chicago IL (near Addison and Kedzie)

They also have a THUNDER SLINKY (I don’t know what that is, but it sounds awesome):

  • Souped-up Power Wheels Racers
  • DIY Quadcopter
  • Check out our new scanning electron microscope
  • Brain-based Jacob’s Ladder
  • WindowFarm
  • Other cool things!

Also, interactivity is completely smiled upon and encouraged:

  • Make art with lasers!
  • Silkscreen your own art poster!
  • Learn to solder and walk away with your very own blinkie badge!
  • Print your first object using one of our 3D printers

Liquid and light snacks will be on hand, as will music and an  LED birthday cake.

There’s a $10 donation for non-members, which will go towards building a new kitchen.RSVP here.

Lovely video on the hackerspace concept:


What’s really going on in debates over issues these days

Why are we even discussing gay marriage any more? Just yesterday this issue started being thrown around accompanied by intense debate, and suddenly our current president, Obama, vehemently takes one side all of a sudden when four years ago after he was elected he was silent.

Isn’t it funny that every so often a certain emotional issue will pop up in the news that creates such a flurry of heated debate? Have you noticed? First there’s something in the news about the role of government in one’s personal life, as in things like “jobs” “healthcare” “human rights” and so on: things that appeal to your basic sense of security as an individual. Without a job you can’t sustain yourself, and you might get sick and then have no way to pay for treatment, and you might even not be considered a human with basic rights to be treated as such when you need help! Oh no!

Now, did you wake up yesterday thinking, “Today I will focus the majority of my thoughts on MARRIAGE,” or did you read or hear something that provoked a strong emotional reaction in you that prompted you to say something about it?


I’m going to guess you did not wake up thinking about MARRIAGE until you heard someone else mentioning it and then fervently taking a stand on it. Now it seems you can’t look anywhere in social media land without people taking sides on it, passionately.

Am I right?

So, what’s going on, here?

Here’s something that’s going to show you what’s a major factor in this US election year.

Sit down first.

Here you go.

How to Start Making Electronic Music — A List of Resources

Electronic Music

Here’s a nice article over at Memeshift with a lot of resources from all over the intertrons for getting started making electronic music. Even though it’s a bit old (2008), it focuses on basic principles and components, like oscillators, filters, synthesizer programming, and sampling. A nice resource for people just getting started.

The author recommends Ableton Live as the sequencer of choice, because it allows for both live performance and more traditional sequencing and I agree. I would also add that to get some really advanced sound and have control over it at a very granular level, look into MAX / Msp. Despite the steep learning curve, and somewhat unintuitive interface, it allows for some very interesting, interactive and experimental projects, like these over at Musicthing and these over at Create Digital Music. There’s a guy who uses turntables to video mix, someone who created an invisible violin using a wii controller and bluetooth with MAX/Msp, and a crazy balloon + lights + sound installation by Monolake at Mutek.

If you just want to play with something online and get the feel for making electronic music, Audiotool (pictured above) is pretty awesome.

“How to Start Marking Electronic Music”

Also, if you live in Chicago, there are other physical humans that can help with your quest at


Meeblip: Open Source, Hackable Digital Hardware Synth


Check out this cool synth kit that’s meant to be poked prodded and programmed into whatever you wish. It’s designed by James Grahame of Reflex AudioRetro Thing, and Peter Kirn of Create Digital Music.

Here’s a demo of the kind of sounds you can make with this little hackable blippy instrument:
Meeblip bassline demo by cdm

From James:

Oscillator A & B slightly detuned, square wave on A and sawtooth on B. FM turned all the way up, distortion on. The filter resonance turned way up (hence the chirpy squeal) and the filter cutoff knob is initially open, then twiddled a bit to help the filter chirp. At the end, I just slowly turn the cutoff down. the VCF envelope modulation is mapped to MIDI velocity, which adds some sonic movement.

Take a lookGet one of your ownlearn how to make / use / modify it, and then join us in the MeeBlip group to share sounds, hacks, photos, videos, music, whatever.


Internet lessons everyone needs to learn

…Learn your own goddamn language. Once upon a time you could get away with not knowing the difference between “their” and “they’re” because in spoken conversation they sound the same. Online, everybody can see that you weren’t paying attention in fourth grade when you mix up “your” and “you’re.”

Remember that text is going to be how you make your first impression over the internet; if every third word you type is misspelled, people will automatically assume that you’re a moron. Even if the public school system fails you, there are browsers that come with spellcheck built-in.


  • Don’t Look Like an Idiot When Communicating Via Text
  • Don’t Feed the Trolls
  • Don’t Use Online Gaming as an Excuse to Act Like an Ass
  • Assume Everything is a Scam and You’ll Almost Always Be Right
  • Be Responsible with Porn

Read more: 5 Internet Lessons Parents need to start teaching kids

Cool desktop background competition "Cute Vector" at PixelGirlPresents: Win Fractalspin, iTunes, and Shanalogic gift cards

cute desktop backgrounds

Submit your cutest vector desktop and you could WIN!

Definition of Cute: attractive especially by means of smallness or prettiness or quaintness, obviously contrived to charm

Definition of Vector: the use of points, lines, curves, and shapes or polygon(s), which are all based on mathematical equations, to represent images in computer graphics. Most people use illustrator or photoshop to make vector graphics.

Winners will be announced by August 15th 2010

Grand Prize:
$50 gift card to iTunes
$100 gift card to
$50 gift card to
Free promo code for Ramp Champ (an iPhone/iPod touch game)
Free copy of Frenzic for Mac

2nd Place:
$25 gift card to iTunes
$50 gift card to
$25 gift card to
Free promo code for Ramp Champ (an iPhone/iPod touch game)
Free copy of Frenzic for Mac

3rd Place:
$25 gift card to
$10 gift card to iTunes
$10 gift card to
Free promo code for Ramp Champ (an iPhone/iPod touch game)
Free copy of Frenzic for Mac
Ready? Enter now at PixelGirlPresents