video from Lightning Talks V

If you couldn’t make it to HacDC’s fifth round of lightning talks back in June—or you’d like to relive the experience—please enjoy this video footage of the event:

These links will take you directly to the indicated lightning talk:


HacDC Lightning Talks V: Call for Speakers

HacDC Lightning Talks are back! Our fifth round of talks will take place at 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 9, 2012, in the auditorium at St. Stephen’s Church (1525 Newton St. NW, Washington, DC). Twelve speakers will talk for five minutes each on a wide range of topics – in the past we’ve had talks ranging from digital signal processing and DIY cyborg implants to the best food near HacDC and the evolution of death. Anything is fair game, and hey, five minutes goes by in a flash – anyone can do this!

To submit a talk topic proposal, please email hidden; JavaScript is required with a title and brief description.

Why would you want to do a lightning talk?

  • To show off a project
  • Let people know what you’re into
  • Get feedback on an idea
  • Practice talking about a particular topic
  • Practice public speaking in a nonthreatening way
  • Find project contributors/volunteers/members

We’ll have a projector, microphone, and speakers set up. You’re welcome to use (or eschew) any visual aids, including slides and physical objects. We would like to record (video and still photography) talks when speakers are amenable, but if you’d rather not
have your talk recorded, you may opt out and give an off-the-record talk.

Congrats to the new board!

At last week’s Annual Meeting, HacDC members elected a new slate of board members. Congratulations to President Brian Harrington, Vice President Elliot Williams, Secretary Ben the Pyrate, Treasurer Tim Collins, and Directors-at-Large Bradford Barr and William Gibb!

Posted in Uncategorized

Cupcake Challenge Status: Cupcake Judged

the official cupcake we sent to SkullSpace in WinnipegLast month HacDC participated in the Global Hackerspace Cupcake Challenge by sending a specially-packaged cupcake through the mail to SkullSpace in Winnipeg. On Sunday, 16 January 2011, a group of us gathered at HacDC to choose, decorate, and package the cupcake. Hasufin provided home-baked cupcakes in various combinations of {ginger | chocolate | honey} cake and {chocolate | vanilla | "7-minute"} frosting/icing. We were compelled to taste these combinations to choose the best in terms of flavor and expected durability. It was a grueling task, but we persevered, and eventually we chose the ginger cake with vanilla frosting as the cupcake we would send. Our next task was decoration, since the contest rules require "at least one sugar based topper/decoration" in addition to the frosting. We experimented with tubes of cake decorating gel to see how finely we could write and draw on the cupcake's frosting. The notion of drawing a QR code on the frosting tickled our fancy for a while. We couldn't achieve sufficiently high resolution using dots of gel, given the limited surface area on the top of the cupcake, so we thought of using a stencil and aerosol food color. But the hour was growing late, and we lacked a clearly-working printer—never mind the island problem with making a stencil for a QR code—so we abandoned that idea. In the end, we chose a simple appeal to patriotism, in the form of a Canadian flag with a maple leaf drawn from red food gel and red fields formed from cinnamon imperials. For packaging, we suspended the cupcake inside a plastic tub with two bamboo skewers. We placed the plastic tub inside a styrofoam cooler along with a couple of freezer packs, a handful of vinyl HacDC stickers, and small packets of Swedish Fish as padding. A postal holiday, icy weather, and minor illness combined to delay shipping until Wednesday the 19th, on which date we shipped the package to Winnipeg via USPS Express Mail International. It arrived at International Dispatch in New York on the 20th and crossed into Canada on the 24th; Canada Post attempted delivery for a few days before succeeding on the 28th. The SkullSpace folks wrote a blog post describing the unboxing and judging and posted this video as well:The upshot: the cupcake tasted great but arrived far from intact. As a result, our overall score is not among the top contenders, but we did have a good time and learn how not to ship a cupcake. And we can certainly recommend the ginger cake recipe we used.

Posted in Uncategorized