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Greetings from the cage! I’m the newbie down here in The Edge’s headquarters and my first day as Communications Intern was full full full. I've been tasked with handling the communication campaign for The Edge's website re-launch which is happening in a few weeks, and we kind of hit the ground running this morning. Beck (the Communications Manager) and Tegan (the Digital Designer) gave me their project brief, and I started drafting the Communications Strategy Campaign document which will be guzzling up my time here for the next couple of months. At the moment my end of things is a big hot mess, but as the days progress it will emerge from this unsightly cocoon into a butterfly of Google Analytics and MailChimp Newsletters and fantastic feedback. I've got a big focus on social media - not only because its a big buzz word that I should be using as a 20-something comms intern, but because since opening in 2010 The Edge has cultivated an awesomely  communicative and friendly community. I want people to extend the feeling of community they get in our physical space, onto the virtual space. We're a tech-savvy organisation. We can do it. Just to note: it was a beautiful day, and we all went out for lunch, and the people here are very friendly. Beck was also kind enough to provide me with three marketing and communications textbooks (all pre-tabbed and colour-coded for what chapters I should read each week) because I don't have any formal qualifications in this field. I'm a final year Law/Arts student at UQ who still isn't sure if she wants to be a lawyer or not, so this internship is going to be a bit of a steeper learning curve for me than it might have been for any of my predecessors. I have the enthusiasm though, so I'm hoping the competence will just follow through osmosis and dedication. I'm really excited about digging me heels in here over the next couple of months, and I'll keep you posted. You can find my personal blog at http://poiseonarrows.com/ and I'll be updating here each week. Cheers!
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SXSW – Opening Comments
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D-Day is almost upon us with both a Clever Convention (11th March) and the first Hack-Your-Head (12 March) workshop approaching fast. Clever Convention promises to be very exciting as we have Dr. Sophie Billa coming in to talk about Neuroscience, brain structure and how disease and drugs effect the brain, while I'll be rambling on about memory and demonstrating some mental memory gymnastics. The Hack Your Head workshop will introduce some basic memory systems and the theories behind how we remember things. From this workshop the participants will come away with two great systems for memorising things and a better understanding how memories are stored (hopefully!). On another more personal note, I have just started a full time degree in Industrial Design and have discovered that my brain leaks. It's not a physical thing, but it turns out that when you try and ram information into your head without suitable ordering, bits leak out and become less defined, which is very frustrating. Currently I am working on a way to do some mental housekeeping every evening before bed just to have a tidy up, store away the non-immediate items and list and prioritise everything for the next day. I guess this is essentially a form of pre-meditation to prepare yourself for a spotless mind. I'll just add that to the to do list (memory image: on my sofa next to a fat little Buddha who is polishing a brain...)  
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Interview with Bullhorn
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While doing a little research on the origins of the 'Method of Loci' I cam across some articles on caffeine versus brain performance, that I though were worth a read, seeing how the staff at the Edge (with a few exceptions) are all caffeine junkies.... Apparently there are optimal levels of caffeine intake which promote learning and work levels, while decreasing fatigue, BUT.... it turns out that caffeine promotes more frontal cortex functions for simple tasks and can actually inhibit some other learning functions. One of the favorite quotes on the topic was ' Caffeine is like putting a block of wood under your brains brake peddle'. Here's some links to the articles: Caffeine: A User’s Guide to Getting Optimally Wired What Caffeine Actually Does to Your Brain More about Caffeine and Memory Must be time for a coffee....
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Project24
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John from Project24 took some time to chat to Old Fashion, who were performing as part of project24 for the month. Read a little more about the band and take a look at their beautiful live performance, captured by John and the Project24 team. Take a moment to introduce your band – who are your members, how did you meet, how long have you been a band? Who are your influences? We are a 4 piece Brisbane band that strives ourselves on being a ‘live’ band. We have JJ Cole on vocals and guitar, Dave Cole on guitars, Dan Cowley on bass and Sam Johnston on drums. We draw influence by those making ‘real’ music. We all have slightly altered perceptions of this, but mainly: The Darkness, Biffy Clyro, Guns N Roses, Band of Skulls, The Raconteurs and Karnivool (quite the shamozal). How do we know each other? Well, the two Cole boys are cousins and have played with each other in different bands for many years. We also all went to school together and now ¾ of us live together. Old Fashion has had a pulse for about 2 years now. How did you get involved in Project24? We met John from Blueroom Productions/Project24 at a mutual friend's wedding. JJ and Dave were doing the ceremony music and John ‘liked’ what he saw (apparently) and we liked John’s ‘get-up’, so basically it was love at first sight. We had a lot of trust in what John had planned for Project24 and we were happy to be the first cab off the ranks. What's the best show you have played? This is difficult to answer as it differs between each member. Probably one we can settle on was at the Byron Bay Brewery recently in August ’13 - we had to entertain the crowd for 2 hrs and the response was unexpected and humbling. We drew so much energy from that crowd, despite it being outside our hometown. Recommend one band or artist from the local music scene? Guards of May. They draw you in with their ‘tightness’ and musicianship. When you watch them, you kind of forget where you are for a moment. Great tunes. Where else about town can we find you? Our next gig is at Tempo bar on Saturday 8th March. Planned new single release tour coming soon. You can also find us in all your favourite places on the internet: WEBSITE: thebandoldfashion.com FACEBOOK: facebook.com/oldfashionmusic TRIPLE J UNEARTHED: triplejunearthed.com/oldfashion YOUTUBE: youtube.com/thebandoldfashion Watch Old Fashion's performance as part of Project24.
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pcb design
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How to remember Pi to 100 decimal places
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As part of the Hack Your Head workshop series, I will be exploring how to super charge your memory. While preparing the various activities I have been dragging the Edge's wonderfully compliant staff into my various mental shenanigans and in return have been set two challenges... Challenge 1: Shopping list - Today I've been given 20 items to memorise. This list will be added to by 10 more items every day I'm at the edge (twice a week). Challenge 2: Memorise Pi to 78 decimal places (ouch) Challenge Accepted! I'll be using the Buzan Self Enhancing Master Memory Matrix (SEM3) to memorise all these items. If your interested in learning this, book a spot in our Hack Your Head Workshop, which hopefully will be Mid-March.
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We had a tough time choosing Hack Residents this time around. We ended up picking not one, but three, so you can only imagine how amazing each of them must be. The first introduction we need to make is to poet, writer, and storyteller, Kaitlyn Plyley. Everyone, meet Kaitlyn. What was your role before you came to The Edge? And before that? And before that? I like to group everything I do under “freelance creative work” (AKA “where’s my next pay coming from, aargh”) but I suppose my main role before I came to The Edge was “Artist in Creative Development” at Metro Arts. I’m a poet and I teach storytelling workshops for Yarn: Stories Spun in Brisbane. I’ve done a bunch of different jobs, including boarding house assistant and student magazine editor. When I first moved to Brisbane I was selling gummy bears while wearing canary-yellow overalls (I have destroyed all the photos). Have you ever lived overseas? What were you doing? When I was nineteen, I spent seven months travelling around the world. For a good part of that trip I worked as a lifeguard on a Jewish summer camp in Massachussetts. I got a deep tan and learned the Motzi off by heart. I also worked as a film intern in Colorado; in exchange, the film company let me live in their attic. It was pretty great, except for the ghosts. I lived in London for a semester abroad while I was at university, which was one of the best things I’ve ever done. After the semester finished, I couch-surfed around Europe until my student visa ran out. Sometimes, when I’m at home in my poorly-ventilated Queenslander and very bored, I remember that I once ice-skated across a frozen lake in Holland; it reminds me what a lucky life I’m leading. Do you have a piece of advice or a motto that helps you make decisions in life? The motto that is currently helping me get past my perfectionist tendencies is “done is better than good”. I just try to get things done. When I’m making decisions about which path to take in life, I ask myself, “Would this make a good story?” It’s a pretty helpful decision-making tool, but does mean you sometimes end up sleeping in haunted attics. Do you have any hobbies or interests? Collections? Unusual ways you like to spend a Thursday evening? On Sunday afternoons, I co-host a feminist radio show on 4ZZZfm called Megaherzzz. I’m quite interested in feminism, particularly of the fourth-wave, intersectional kind. I love being on the show and take our work quite seriously, but I guess you could say my hobby is to work in as many puns as possible on-air. Also, on my first episode as co-host, I just kept saying the word “butt” to see what I could get away with. So far they’ve found my feeble antics to be mildly entertaining. I hope. When you open your web browser what are the first three tabs you open up? Facebook, Gmail, Twitter. Yeah, I’m a social media junkie. I started my Twitter account when I was an Ambassador for National Young Writers’ Month, without any clue or interest in the platform. That was three years ago, and now I’m on Twitter, er, quite a lot. The other day I had my publicist friend, who has a Master’s in social media marketing and works exclusively in that sector, say, “Wow, you spend a lot of time on Twitter”. That was worrying. Are you in the habit of keeping strange pets? I rent, so it’s difficult to keep pets, but I do try to adopt the pets of neighbours. Yesterday I held a three-month-old Alsatian puppy in my arms. It was bliss. Smartphone or snail mail? Either way, any favourite stamps or favourite apps? I don’t see why we need to choose between smartphones and snail mail – it’s all excellent. I’m a rabid communicator and will use every medium at my disposal. Except Snapchat – that is just ridiculous. In my spare time I like to watch YouTube interviews with Jennifer Lawrence. I would like to be her best friend one day. I don’t know what my endgame is here; maybe I think, if I watch every public appearance she’s ever made, this will help me befriend her? That is not how I made any of my current friends, but this is a thing that goes beyond logic. If you were to give me $10 I would spend it on music downloads. That’s right, I still pay for downloads. I’m one of the few remaining idiots. And it’s not just because I enjoy the moral high-ground - I also don’t know how to torrent. If you were to give me $1000 I would spend it on contact lenses. It’s not that I don’t love my glasses – I do. But you can’t wear frames when you’re snorkelling and I’m really tired of blurry fish. Mac or PC? Mac. Is this even a question? (I didn’t type that last part; my MacBook has an ‘autofill’ function. I must also type that I heartily endorse Apple and all its products. Damn! I don’t know how to stop this.) Dog or cat? I adore cats but have found them more likely to attack me, so I prefer dogs. It’s easier to spot an angry dog and avoid it. Cats, on the other hand, are like the Volturi of domestic pets: they seem all civilised and well-spoken, and then they’re ripping your throat out. Anything else you want to share? After seeing one of my poetry slams, ‘80s music legend Kamahl once told me I was “very good”.
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Meet Dan Cook
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Hi! So this is my first post as the new ‘Hack’ Catalyst at The Edge. For two days a week for the next six months I’ll be working on things to hack, crack,warp and modify. This is going to be great because this is pretty much what I spend my life doing anyway… So to kick off the next six months I thought I’d start investigating what we mean by hacking and how it applies to the world around us. Initial thoughts on the topic are to examine hacking consumer electronics, hacking in a sixth sense and hacking my head (not trepanning). “What? No computer hacking?” I hear you cry? Well, there will be a Clever Convention on Online security and we are trying to track down a hacker, but as for the ‘Hacking Banks 101’, well, let’s just see how we go shall we? In the ‘consumer electronics hacking’ area I will be investigating what devices are out there that can be hacked for fun and (feature) gain. We’ll also look at how to re-purpose things to provide low cost solutions to high(er?) cost problems. However, this may just turn into adding lasers to robots or making household appliances tweet… I will also be looking to augment my normal five senses with some additional ones in the ‘hacking a sixth sense’ workshops. These are likely to be senses such as magnetic awareness (built in compass like birds), EMF, ultrasonic hearing and other ‘extra-sensory’ additions that can built around a small microprocessor for wear-ability and hook up to some kind of haptic feedback system. The ‘Hack your head’ topic shall entail using various memory systems to increase my memory and fill my head with lots of (possibly useless) information. I’ll also be looking at speed reading and mental mathematics to see if the use of these techniques regularly over the next six months results into turning me into a some kind of super-brain. There is the distinct possibility that the combination of these things will cause my brain to either explode or dribble out my ears. I’ll also try and hack my behavior through Cognitive Behavior Therapy to blog regularly, but this may be one of the hardest things I do this year….
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RATAJ_HEADER
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Hans Tammen, Endangered Guitar
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'Immersed'. A work by Bundaberg artist, Christine Turner, winner of The Edge Digital Award in the 2013 Flying Arts Queensland Regional Art Awards.
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Gustar
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Matt - when is your next event using 3d printers?
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Unknown-26
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Gustar
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With the song and music video shot for MY CELLS I just spent this morning doing one final cell extraction at The Edge with Mick our Program Officer... The great irony is that after shaving a part of my head (to increase cell growth), and then pulling out a few hundred hairs at the root in order to extract and grow the skin cells - the images from this morning's blood samples have been the most effective to document! They are really effective to document, with a lot of dynamic motion, beautiful transparency and varying density. With the MY CELLS video in the final stages of editing, keying out the green screen and working the cell footage... I am close to getting ready for the preview on Saturday at SOUND Select!!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXMWmZQ3MiM&feature=share&list=UU55Bo-cMfPcxGhyTg3bcKlg  
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Sound Select
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Cockroach photo
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Cheers to Beck and cake.
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IMG_7022
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So in September our programming intern Matthew ran a workshop on how to to make resonators that remove trapped bass frequencies found in performance rooms. Participants walked away with a set of 3 resonators. The workshop was a great success but if you couldn't make it to the workshop here is a link on how to make them yourself.    
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Ambisonic
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Behind the scenes: books and dead stuff
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Yesterday was the official start of my second half of interning. Due to some university jibber-jabber regarding my course, I was required to alter the focus of my position for the second half of my stay, and as such, now have a bigger focus on writing content. As I said in last week's post, I'll be beginning with writing up some case studies for the future website, the first of which was The Zombie Apocalypse series. Between 2011-12, The Edge held three different Zombie Amockalypses, with the prototype, Future Cities: Zombie Climate Apocalypse, stemming from the 2011 Fringes Ideas Festival. The focus of The Edge's undead debut was equally divided between surviving zombies and the environmental conditions of a hypothetically greenhouse-gassed planet. From there the program evolved with the influence of the Gaming programming period, and for the final two 'Outbreaks' the focus was cast upon the Alternate Reality Game (ARG) perspective.  Workshops were delivered prior to the final instalment, showing participants how to zombify themselves (make-up) and get the most bang for bullet out of their NERF guns. One of my favourite parts about reading up on the program was stumbling across survey responses (a part of the application process to participate as a survivor/'player'), particularly for the question: As you are fleeing your house, you pause to gather three things. What are they? Answers varied from, 'Clothes, Food and my copy of Kevin Costner's Water World, limited collectors edition', to 'Whiskey, the horse and string cheese'. These photos are just a few of the hundreds taken, if you want to see more I'd suggest checking out the Future Cities: Zombie Climate Apocalypse Facebook page. Amongst all the writing about zombies, I did manage to sneak in a go on Mick's Banana Piano. Unfortunately I can't really offer any explanation as to how it works. But essentially Mick (Programming team) had hooked up a bunch of wires to separate sections of banana, and then plugged those wires into his computer. With each different section of banana that I prodded, a different animated banana would jump out of its skin (fair enough really) and give an Autotuned scream.  The closest I can surmise to how it actually operates is that the wires project the bananas' sunglasses-wearing souls onto the computer screen and that's why they scream when I touch them. Please let me know if you have any technologically informed alternative suggestions.  
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