Pre-camp Coordination 2015

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In case you landed here looking for the 2016 coordination page, go here instead:

How technology saved the yo-yo  (and the world).

A walk through the history of the modern  yo-yo, with a large collection of yo-yos (and spintops) showing the technological improvements over the last generation, and period specific trick demonstrations illustrating how the improvements led to more entertaining, mind-blowing play.  


The Chocolate Table needs your help!

(added by Robert Kaye, @MayhemBCN,
I love chocolate. Really, really love chocolate. And now I want to share my passion again with fellow ORD campers again!
For the past few years, I’ve organized the “Chocolate Room” at the Google Summer of Code mentor summit. People come from all corners of the world to attend these events, so it is the perfect opportunity to have everyone contribute a little for a massive impact. It started with Google sponsoring me to buy chocolate in various european countries and then to bring it to the summit. Over time people jumped in and started bringing their favorite chocolate from their corner of the world. I brought this to ORD Camp in 2015 and it was a great hit, so we’re going to do this again this year!
Once again, between now and ORD Camp, I’m going to buy as much tasty chocolate as I can stuff in my suitcase. I’ll be picking up a collection of German, British and Catalan chocolate here in Barcelona and I will pick up some interesting Swiss chocolate on the way to Chicago. Expect me to turn up with several kilos of chocolate to continue to kickstart the chocolate table.
I need your help to continue and to strengthen the Chocolate Table!
Please bring a bar or two of your favorite chocolate from where you are from. But, and this is a big “but”… Sadly, there is a lot of crappy chocolate in the US. Please, be very choosy when you select your chocolate. Pretty much all Hershey’s/Cadbury/Mars products are out, sorry. Scharfenberger, Vosges and even Ghiradelli qualify! Artesianal, hand crafted and/or small batch of chocolate is great. Imported chocolate is likely to be good. If you can find the chocolate at your average (american) supermarket it’s probably not worthy to be brought to ORD Camp. (A lot of the chocolate I am bringing can be bought in supermarkets in Europe, but the quality is vastly different! Sorry.)
Since many people of ORD Camp are from Chicago, we’re running the chance that we’re going to get a lot of duplicate chocolate. Rather than putting a cumbersome sign-up spreadsheet in place, I’m going to put a simple heuristic in place to will hopefully bring a diversity of high quality chocolate:
“Bring chocolate that you’re willing to defend.”
WTF does that mean? Simple. If you bring a KitKat bars, you should have a story to share as to why you brought them. Did they get you through a tough break-up? Was it the chocolate that you ate when you first moved to a strange new place and it brought you much needed comfort? But, if you find that bizarre Sardine flavored chocolate, what more but “Duh, have you ever tried sardine flavored chocolate? Your question is irrelephant!” do you need to respond? Exercise your best judgement when picking chocolate and when in doubt, bring more!
Then, bring your chocolate on the opening day of ORD Camp — I’ll setup a place where you can deposit your chocolate. And then, of course, come eat chocolate when you feel like it.
Here are some basic guidelines for keeping the chocolate area from devolving into a complete mess:
  • See some chocolate you want to try? Try it!
  • Check to see if there is some of the same chocolate open before you open more chocolate.
  • See some empty wrappers laying around? Please toss ‘em.
  • See a chocolate bar with only one piece left? It’s lonely, eat it. (Forget the “don’t eat the last piece” rule — it doesn’t apply here. It is your duty to eat the last piece!)
  • Are you a Chocolatier and fancy bringing your own creation? Please do! However, please make an ingredients sign that identifies what is in your chocolate, so that food allergens can be clearly identified.
Questions? Hit me: or @mayhemBCN

 Fractal crochet

Want learn how to make soft, cuddly fractals out of time, yarn and a stick? I’m happy to show you how.  I’ll bring the supplies. You bring your hands and some patience.

Cat Allman


Maker Lab ORD Camp

This year we are taking the Maker Lab to the next level.  We’re going to have a new part of the schedule boards that has room for Maker talks and demos.  If you are a maker type person and have something to make or teach we want you to get involved.  These types of talks require some preparation.  So far we have these:

Make your own skateboard

Make your own bottle opener

Make your own ORD Lamp

Tools we’ll have at ORD Camp include 3D Carving and milling machines, 3D printers, laser cutters, vinyl cutters.  We encourage you to bring your tools too!


Demonstrations (Science)

(added by Bill Hammack

What makes a good (science) demonstration? While working on a version of Micheal Faraday’s lectures The Chemical History of a Candle for YouTube I realized that most of the demonstrations shown to students in Freshman chemistry come from Faraday. So, bring demonstrations (I’ll show some of Faraday’s); I’ve been in contact with Mike Davis @MDScience who is interested. Also, I see we have a former magic demonstrator — Kevin Pang @pang — perhaps he might have insights into what works well.


Another Science Demonstration: Cosmic Ray Cloud Chamber

(added by Dan Yocum:

I will be bringing one.  You can see muon trails in a supersaturated ethanol atmosphere.  Building a cloud chamber is easy:

and you can practice your zen sitting while watching the particles leave trails in the chamber.  Truly become one with the universe…


Guitar Geek: Hack Your Axe

(added by Dan Yocum:

I’m a beginner guitar player and like to fiddle with things.  In this session I’m going to upgrade the humbucker pickups on my Epiphone Dot guitar live, without a net.  You hacker pros can look over my shoulder and point out what I’m screwing up and show off the mods you’ve done to your axe(s), and the folks interested in hacking your own gear can get a little “now I’ve seen it” experience, too.

We’ll talk guitars, amps, accessories, and gadgets and maybe hear the difference between the stock Epi Humbuckers and the Gibson ’57 Classics I bought for this project.


 ORDCamp Meet-O-Tron

(added by Joe Born:

I’m going to print out a 300×300 matrix of all the ORDcampers, and black squares at the intersection of people you’ve “met/know”
Just find your name on the left hand side, scroll across to put an x on the cell with anyone you’ve “met/know” (leave the column under your name blank.)
What is the standard for someone you’ve “met/know.”  It’s basically should a person thoughtfully introduce you two?  Here are two edge cases for me, not to get too personal, but I think it helps to have an example:  Jacqui Cheng, we met very briefly, but I know who she is and have a pretty reasonable idea of what she does.  I checked the box because I feel like I know enough to introduce myself.  Bo Rodda, we met very briefly, but I don’t feel I know what he does, so I probably shouldn’t discourage someone that knows us both from making an intro.  If they think we have some connection, I feel there’s a good chance I wouldn’t know about that myself.  Don’t be embarrassed if you’ve met people and forgotten their names.  If it was that casual, you probably shouldn’t check them off anyway, the standard is higher than having just introduced yourself really.
I’d love to hear folks thoughts if you try to put your x’s on it. This is an experiment, I hope we learn something from it, or it’s useful in some way.  I feel like there are a lot of social networks and ways to codify the friendships we already have, but few that facilitate people making those introductions, so hopefully this is an interesting step in that direction.  Also, I should make clear that I feel no ownership of this, feel free to add to, build up, do your own.


ORDcamp BOOZEtalk

(Added by Andrew Huff:

Scott Robbin and I plan to host a booze talk at the end of Saturday’s sessions again, and wanted to share details with you in hopes that we can get your participation and contributions.

At past ORDcamps we covered scotch and bourbon, rye and mezcal, gin, and the effects of barrel aging on liquor. This year, we’re going to experiment with — on — cocktails. Introducing the ORD Fashioned Lab.

The old fashioned is one of the simplest cocktails, and as such is one of the easiest to improvise with and experiment on. At its most basic, it’s liquor, sugar and bitters. And while bourbon is traditional, what might a mezcal old fashioned taste like? What if it’s honey instead of sugar? How do different bitters affect the flavor? Let’s find out.

We intend to offer a variety of ingredients under the Sweet, Bitter and Booze categories for folks to try in different combinations, which is where you come in. As in previous years, we’d appreciate your assistance procuring test subjects. We’ve created a spreadsheet for you to sign up to bring the strong, sweet and bitter items with hopefully not too much overlap. Please note the tabs for each component — you’re not required to bring one of each, nor to bring anything at all in order to participate. And as in the past, we’re happy to pick up liquor on out-of-towners’ behalf — just email Scott or me with what you’d like us to get for you, and we’ll work out payment later.

Scott and I (and compatriots welcome) will do a brief introduction to start the session, then open up the laboratory bar for experimentation. At the end, we’ll all share our results and collect successful recipes for an ORD Fashioned Lab recipe book (or, you know, website).



Bring and Bling Your Glass

(added by Jeff Solin:

With the new maker area happenings, I’m planning to bring a 40 Watt Epilog cutter from my lab along with a super awesome rotary attachment. The rotary attachment allows you to etch cylindrical things like glasses, water bottles, wine bottles, liquor bottles, mugs, ridiculously high-power 7000 megawatt flashlights (looking at you Fitz), etc. My plan is to run a session (if I can nab a slot) to help people design and then etch their glass. The best glasses for this are ones with flat or slightly curved sides. For example, a glass shaped like \_/ or |_| works better than a glass shaped like (_). The glass lies on its side and is spun under the laser on encoded rollers, so variations in the surface contour cause variations in focus of the laser.

Maybe we can cross-pollinate with the BOOZEtalk folks to have some “bling your tumbler then go drink something awesome out of it” type of action. If you have a favorite rocks glass / tumbler or other glass (or aluminum water bottle or anything else cylindrical) that you want to etch, bring it! I’ll help with the basics and do my best to make sure you walk away with something awesome, personalized, and one of a kind.

Below are some glasses I’ve etched to give you a little idea of what can be done. Once the design is ready to go, it takes around 10 min to etch.


Creative Fun with Industrial Waste

Pantyhose factories box up their rejects and sell them on the cheap. This rejected hosiery is my answer to duct tape. The question is not what can you do with it, the question is what can’t you do with it? Join me in making Moonballs and other creative low-tech, low-impact, but high-fun items.

Added by @KimMoldofsky


 Crappy Tools

Some of you are professional software developers, user interface designers, master craftspeople with years of training capable of producing elegant, refined tools to accomplish all sorts of goals.  These are not the tools I am curious to see.  I would like to see your crappiest most hacked together stopgap solutions that you cannot live without.  Eg. A google doc that magically tells you whether your business is profitable, a modified hand-file that’s exactly the right size for some esoteric task, the irreplaceable 30-year-old database that has all your company’s critical information in it, the website form you made to translate html into css, the code that you’d be embarrassed to show to your colleagues. Interpret that however you like. 

Added by Seth Zurer



Sandy Weisz and Andy Sabin

We’re playtesting a game we’re designing, and we’d be happy to combine the session with one other person/team who’d like a room of bodies to playtest their game. I think 30 min apiece would work nice.

 How to Fix the “L,” Part 2

At ORDCamp 2013 I talked about my ingenious scheme to expand Chicago transit. I’ve now gotten funding and sponsorship from a downtown business group to prepare a white paper elaborating on this plan. A genius team has been assembled and work will start soon. The goal of this session, assuming I can elbow my way through the schedule board scrum, is to (a) explain the current plan and the rationale for it, both of which have evolved over the past two years, and (b) get feedback, ideas, and generous offers of assistance, up to and including 500 million dollars.

Added by Ed Zotti,  


Add more things to coordinate here 🙂



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