Curiosity Club Speakers 2013
A Short History of Mississippi Records
"Mississippi Records has run a label and retail store with the only technology at play being a calculator and a notebook and no promotion or advertising of any kind. Despite these limitations, we have managed to release over 172 records and run a modestly successful record store."
Metal Type -- How It's Made and Why it Matters
"We are in the midst of a resurgence of letterpress printing. While many printers are using photopolymer plates, there is a devoted group who still use "real" type. But even those printers rarely understand where that type comes from. At C.C. Stern we're keeping a collection of the machines that make type up and running."
Candy is Magic
"The emotional connection to candy - or to the feeling of candy - is key to recipe development. At the same time, sugar, time and temperature are key to recipe development. How these two worlds come together...that's the magic of candy"
MY PREPOSTEROUS CAREER DOING THE IMAGINARY JOB OF COMMERCIAL PHOTOGRAPHY
"Ray Gordon has been a professional photographer for over one thousand years, working with all sorts of spoiled brats, goldbrickers and filthy rich desperadoes. He’s really fucking rad, if you’ve got an hour, just ask him. In spite of being a tireless blowhard, he’s got a lot of great friends and an incredible family. And he takes a pretty good picture. A noisy dragstrip is one of the few places he finds peace of mind."
A REVERENCE FOR GEARS - MAKING AND USING GEARS IN KINETIC SCULPTURE
"Mad Dog Garage exists in the iconic Allen's Radiator Shop in the NW neighborhood of downtown Portland, OR. A bevy of fabrication implements: lathes, milling machines, an assortment of saws, drill presses and other tool miscellanea are used to create his work - interactive kinetic sculptures that can be experienced by passers by in his "sidewalk gallery"."
THE ART OF CRAFT: STUDIO GLASS FROM DESIGN TO PRODUCTION
"Experimenting with form and technique is paramount to Esque’s core ambition. This glass design and blowing studio, founded by Justin Parker and Andi Kovel, pays an extraordinary attention to detail and quality to achieve a coherent vision of functional accessories, lighting and architectural elements."
WHAT IT TAKES TO PRODUCE GREAT VEGETABLES
"Fresh vegetables produced by conscious, hands-on farming practices are tastier and more nutritious than fresh vegetables produced by industrial farming practices. In this talk, Anne Berblinger got into detail on the specific differences in practices, from the choice of seed to how the vegetables are harvested and cared for after harvest, and how the choices we make in our farming practices make a difference in the quality of the vegetables."
NAVIGATING UNCHARTED WATERS
"Brett and Chris currently operate at Mudshark's Production studio, co-own and operate the Portland Growler Company, maintain a private studio rental facility for 8 ceramic professionals, and have opened an all ceramic Gallery called Eutectic Gallery. They will be touching on both the business and the artist side of growth as well as showing many client examples and process images"
CONTRACTUAL ROMANCE: DEVELOPING A CROWDSOURCED DECISION-MAKING ENGINE FOR ROMANTIC MANAGEMENT.
"Mike Merrill is the world's only publicly traded person. He sells shares in himself and then asks his shareholders to guide his life decisions. They choose who he dates, where he works, and what political party to join. Mike Merrill spent a year being single. He was not sure what he wanted in a romantic partner. And then he remembered, as a publicly traded person, it didn't matter what he wanted. This was a shareholder decision!"
THINGS THAT DON'T HAVE A THING TO DO WITH THINGS
"Tired of that same old overly smart, overly coy, overly dramatic conference talk you keep sitting through? Yeah, you know the one. Where some yahoo is up there "connecting the dots" on a bunch of shit that is more or less obvious, or, is painfully parsed together? We get it. But it doesn't mean it's fun. So give the DDC a shot? Welcome to our little brand of dumb!"
HOW TO MAKE AN EAMES FIBERGLAS CHAIR: THE HISTORY & REVIVAL OF AN AMERICAN ICON
"Modernica owns the original presses and the original preform machine that were used by Zenith Plastics for Charles Eames production of Herman Miller chairs. Their preform machine is the only such machine in existence. Both the presses and the preform machine are the very same pieces of equipment used to create thousands and thousands of chairs since their very first run in 1950 and now sixty years later, these seminal pieces of equipment are located at Modernica's new Los Angeles factory."
BUILDING FROM THE BASEMENT
"Matthew Reineck has lived in one bedroom apartments, shared spaces, houses and in each he's been able to build and craft goods from prints, to textiles, to musical instruments. Matthew shared his experiences and knowledge to help people build no matter where they are in life."
WHAT MAKES UP THE UNIVERSE?
"We normally think of the Universe as being made up of the same things our Solar System is made up of: proton, neutrons, electrons and light. But when we look out at the Universe on the largest scales, it tells us a different story. Ethan discussed three key observations in the study of the large-scale Universe: distant supernovae, the Cosmic Microwave Background, and the clustering of galaxies, to show how we arrived at a Universe where the normal matter that makes up everything we know is less that 5% of what's out there. "
AQUACHOPPERS OF C.H.U.N.K. 666
"C.H.U.N.K. 666 is a mutant bicycle club and civic society which has been building, riding, destroying, and rebuilding human-powered choppers, tallbikes, and battle wagons for twenty years. We previously held free yearly public gladiatorial contests and historical re-enactments, but more recently prefer to injure ourselves privately. One way we do this is with a regular amphibious camping trip to Ross Island, the hollowed-out toxic waste dump and quarry in the middle of Portland."
HOME COFFEE ROASTING - IT'S THAT EASY!
"Home Coffee Roasting is fun and easy. For a modest price and very little to no investment in specialized equipment, you can turn raw green coffee beans into a spectacular cup of coffee. It only takes a little practice and you can easily create freshly roasted coffee that will rival even the best commercially produced coffees."
THE WORLD'S FINEST MOTORCYCLE LEATHERS
"Ross Langlitz was an ardent motorcyclist who in 1947 decided to open his own leather garment shop that focused on high quality custom motorcycle gear. Ross was relatively successful in the early years, and in a couple decades the shop was running smoothly and ready for the Golden Age of Motorcycling of the 1970s. Ross retired in the mid 1980s, but left the shop in the hands of his daughter (Jackie) and son-in-law (Dave)."
AN INTRODUCTION TO LOCK PICKING
"Kenny is a computer security geek with interests in circus arts, mechanical engineering, dancing, electronics engineering and pie. After a year of hosting multiple monthly meetings with guided tutorials on various aspects of opening locks without their corresponding keys or codes, Kenny showed us some fun lock-picking tricks, challenges, and answered questions."
THE HAND-FORGED KNIFE: THE JAPANESE PERSPECTIVE
"Bridgetown Forge was founded by Arnon Kartmazov after many years of practicing his craft. He served his first apprenticeship with the last working blacksmith in Jerusalem, Israel, in 1985. He then spent 12 years in Japan, where he was apprenticed to a knife-maker, then a sword-maker, and then opened and operated his own shop in the hills of Northern Kyoto, specializing in both hand-forged chef’s knifes, and also architectural pieces designed to blend with both traditional and modern Japanese architecture."
NATURAL BEEKEEPING WITH TOP BAR AND WARRE HIVES
"Matt's philosophy is simple. The chief end of beekeeping should be to provide the bees with the ideal environment in which to thrive. To do this, the beekeeper must engross his or her mind with a wide range of bee-related information detailing the bee life cycle, history, hive design, management and innumerable other topics of importance."