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Make: Talk Show Notes, Episode #002, March 13, 2009
Mark, Dale, and I had fun this past Friday on our second episode of Make: Talk. We’re still working out some of the technical bugs and tweaking the format, but we’re excited to have this opportunity to touch base every week, with each other, our contributors, and the maker community. See details below about next week’s show. Here are the links we promised for topics discussed during the program.

Host Tips, Tricks, and Tools
We introduced a new segment where we share our favorite new discoveries for the week:

Mark’s Picks:

  • Exif Untrasher, A program that allows you to recover trashed digital camera images.
  • Mark has gotten into hand-carving wooden spoons and is thrilled by these palm handled carving tools (when he’s not carving into his own flesh with them — they’re really sharp!)

Dale’s Picks:

  • Dale talked about a piece in the New York Times’ Gadgetwise column on the need to periodically reformat your digital camera’s Flash memory cards. I had already posted about this here earlier in the day, and from extensive comments we got, this seems to be a bogus assertion, the majority of commenters saying that regular reformatting does nothing to improve reliability or longevity of your memory cards.
  • Dale had also just come back from O’Reilly’s ETech conference were he especially enjoyed a talk (Steampunk Infrastructure), given by Molly Wright Steenson, on the 19th century infrastructure of pneumatic tubes in Paris. More here.
  • Dale also got a kick out of Christa Hockensmith’s “Jackhammers, Polymers, and Diamonds: New Applications in Explosives.” Here’s a summary of her talk. Her org, The Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center (EMRTC) at New Mexico Tech, even runs an explosives camp! Can you imagine being a kid and trying to talk your parents into sending you to “explosives camp”?

Gareth’s Picks:

  • I’ve been reading this strange, rather gossipy, but very fascinating book by Marsha Keith Schuchard, called William Blake’s Sexual Path to Spiritual Vision. It explores the surprisingly modern (and surprisingly decadent) milieu of radical artists, occultists, spiritualists, and electromagnetic/mesmeric crackpots swirling around Blake’s artistic and social circles in the late 18th century. If you think the book might interest you, check out Why Mrs. Blake Cried, the original essay upon which the book is based. On the show, I talked about The Celestial Bed, a crazy, electrified, magnetized “love machine” that was all the rage in London in the 1780s. I found this awesome cartoon of it by Tim Hunkin. Here’s a link to William Blake: Patron Saint of Makers, my article on Blake in Volume 17.
  • My other pic was a trick for creating a “third hand” for soldering by using the solder spool or a winding of solder as its own stand and then bending the solder in sort of a shepard’s hook that touches your solder point. You can see a picture of this in my most recent Make: Toolbox column, Clamps, jigs and helping hands.

Our Guest: Heather McDougal
Heather McDougal was our guest, talking about her article in the latest MAKE, “Your Own Wunderkammer,” a how-to on building a “Wunderkammer,” or “cabinet of wonders.”
Build Notes: Your Own Wunderkammer
MAKE Volume 17, Lost Knowledge issue
Cabinet of Wonders, Heather McDougal’s blog.

You can listen to Episode #002 here:

Next Episode of Make: Talk (Friday, March 20th, 12:00pm PT, 3:00pm ET)
This coming Friday, we’re very excited that our guest will be Forrest W. Mims, the amateur scientist and electronics guru, who wrote the iconic Getting Started in Electronics and the Engineer’s Mini-Notebook series for Radio Shack. Forrest also has a new column in MAKE, The Country Scientist, which premiered in Volume 17. Also, we’ll be sharing our favorite tricks, tips, and tools for the week, and giving away prizes!

And don’t forget, this is live, call-in radio. The show runs for 45 minutes. Call in during showtime (12-12:45pm PT) and ask questions. The number is: (646) 915-8698. We hope you’ll join us this Friday!

More:
Make: Talk episode 1 show notes and next episode

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture, including the first book about the web (Mosaic Quick Tour) and the Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Building Robots. He is currently working on a best-of collection of his writing, called Borg Like Me.


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