A curious thing, that one of the most beloved carols was written by an anti-clerical atheist. And the original lyrics, while they seem pretty pious by modern standards, were apparently quite the controversy. Yet, as I come home tonight from a carol service in a local church, “Oh Holy Night” was the stand-out performance sung by a soloist and drawing the most emphatic applause of the night. For all that I love this song for its captivating enthusiasm and hopeful vibes, it's a song that gives me a strong dissonance whenever I hear or sing it, also, because I am not at all Christian and never will be.
Title says it all. For those so inclined, here's my very late notice that I'll be talking about Makerbots, Repraps and Thingiverse this Wednesday 14th in the Science Museum. The event starts at 6:30. Ignite is an event that asks “Enlighten us, but make it quick”. It was started by Bre Pettis and Brady Forrest as a way for local communities to share ideas and raise the “collective IQ”, and is traditionally composed of a little Make contest first, (like “Best Bridge Made of Popsicle Sticks”) followed by a series of five minute talks.
_Update: Keep your bacteria in the dark. I had been doing this without meaning to, and was confused to hear a fellow microbiologist growing a derivative of my cultures in her lab and getting no glow. When she grew them in the dark, they glowed again! Brief exposures have no effect. It's the prevailing light conditions that seem to decide whether to stay active. This may be due to the light breaking down the little peptide the bacteria use to detect whether there are enough of them to glow meaningfully, or it might be a deliberate evolutionary adaptation.
So, last night (being about 26 hours ago I think) I posted a challenge to the Makerbot User's Group, asking for a live mousetrap that I could print, use, and award €25 for. Team Makerbot blogged it, and threw in a teeshirt if the winner was released under an open license, which just makes it all the more cool! Today, I received 5kg of plastic from Reprapsource.com, so I'm ready to start printing tomorrow.
Update: The links to these files have always been precarious, sorry.. I've just re-uploaded the two main files, and soon I'll be reworking them into my “biohacking protocols” repository on Github in Markdown format with separate images. Enjoy! Life is, as ever these days, quite busy! I have two trips coming up, one to Ignite in Dublin and one to the Newcastle Maker Faire (where Brian Degger of Transitlab.org and I will be hosting a little workshop on a few DIYbio experiments and fun stuff).