Hackerspace Happenings: Kimono Lanterns in Japan

Hackerspace Happenings: Kimono Lanterns in Japan

Are you a hackerspace member with an event you’d like to publicize? Send it to johnb@makezine.com or tweet me at @johnbaichtal and I’ll post it. Also feel free to subscribe to my hackerspaces Twitter list. Hackerspace Happenings will run weekly Tuesdays, and the next one will come out March 22nd.

Tokyo Hackerspace Helping Build Solar Lanterns

Akiba from Tokyo Hackerspace reported that the group is mobilizing to help quake victims by creating solar-powered lanterns to help residents deal with the rolling blackouts.

Things have been crazy here in Tokyo for the past few days. After the Tohoku earthquake, there’s been constant streaming of horrible visual images of the disaster on Japanese news. Along with that, there have been warnings of aftershocks up to a magnitude of 8.0, potential nuclear disasters, rolling blackouts, lack of transportation, and dwindling supplies in local supermarkets and grocery stores. It’s a stressful situation in Tokyo which has over 25M people and life is anything but normal. It’s a chore just to get to work and many feel powerless to do anything but watch the unfolding nuclear situation and hope that it can get contained before a disaster happens. In writing this post, it gives me an excuse to tear myself away from the fear mongering news streams which I’m constantly glued to.

In the hackerspace, we’ll be holding our meeting tonight and will probably start hammering out plans to figure out how and where we can help. There are many things that are needed right now in the quake stricken area. There is no power, internet access is extremely limited, food and clean water are dwindling, and transportation to the area is limited. What we decide on will probably depend on what’s needed and available at the time.

In any case, one immediate thing that can be done is to provide a source of light to people. With no electricity and limited supplies, flashlights and batteries are a luxury. In the hackerspace, we designed the Kimono Lantern as a solar rechargeable lantern to decorate gardens and patios with. However it has a much bigger use right now as the quake victims have no power and many are spending their nights in the dark. Also, parts of Tokyo will be suffering from blackouts until the power grid can get back to normal levels. With a major nuclear generating plant offline, this could take from weeks to months.

Arduino Cookbook Pre-Release Party
Scottsdale, AZ, organization MakerBench is holding a pre-release party for O’Reilly’s Arduino Cookbook, a definitive 660-page guide to ‘Duino projects. Pre-registered attendees will get a free electronic copy of the book and the organizers areface giving away a paper copy and an Arduino Uno. The event will be on March 29th. Does your hackerspace want to hold its own pre-release party? Contact Brian Jepson at bjepson–atsign–oreilly.com and he’ll help you set it up.

CNC Art Exhibit
Kwartzlab in Kitchener, ON, is holding an exhibit of Karl Williams’ CNC art. The opening reception is tonight at 7pm.

Circuit Bending at the Hack Factory
The Hack Factory in Minneapolis, MN, has announced the fifth installment of its Handmade Music Minnesota event. It’s scheduled for Sunday, March 27th at 7pm.

Handmade Music is an open event series for people who make stuff that makes music, from instruments to electronics to software. Events include workshops, get-togethers, and live music, all are welcome.

Trans-Atlantic Balloon Set For Launch

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Louisville, KY, hackerspace LVL1 is on the verge of launching SpeedBall-1, their trans-Atlantic balloon that will ride the jet stream to Europe.

SumoBot Tournanent at Hive13
Cincinnati, OH, space Hive13 has announced a Sumobot tournament for April 16th.

Multi-Hackerspace LAN Party
Scott from Beta Two Labs wrote in to inform readers that there’s a multi-hackerspace LAN party happening at the end of March. Not seeing a specific date on the site, but sign up if you’re interested in participating.

Help a New Hackerspace Set Up Their Workspace
Tyler from new Allentown, PA, hackerspace MakeLehighValley wrote in to share that the space will be organizing their work area this Thursday, March 17th at 6:30pm.

– Help organize the work space
– Setup work areas
– Help design the layout
– Short group news update to take place after.

HeatSync Granted 501c3 Status
Arizona hackerspace HeatSync Labs has been granted federal 501c3 status, joining a very small number of spaces who have been granted full and official nonprofit status. Congrats!

Flex Your Rights at Unallocated Space
Unallocated Space in Severn, MD, will be holding a Flex Your Rights Night tonight, Tuesday the 15th, discussing the 4th Amendment.

Workshop Series at InterAccess
InterAcess in Toronto, ON, will be offering a series of workshops this spring, including Monome programming, 3D fabrication, Kinect hacking and a workshop on the Atari Punk Console.

Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!

My interests include writing, electronics, RPGs, scifi, hackers & hackerspaces, 3D printing, building sets & toys. @johnbaichtal nerdage.net

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