20% Discount to 360|intersect on Creativity + Technology at the Triple Door April 27-28

Our good friend from Ignite Denver, John Wilker, is bringing the 360|intersect gathering to Seattle’s Triple door on Saturday April 27th and Sunday April 28th.

360|intersect is focused on the intersection of creativity and technology. Speakers are technologists from around the world, talking about the things they do away from the keyboard, that make them awesome at the things they do at the keyboard.

You can see the schedule and great topics at http://360intersect.com/schedule

John’s given us a special 20% off discount code for anyone who’d like to attend – Just use the code “SeattleLocals” for a 20% discount.

Ignite Seattle 20 is another Town Hall double feature

Ignite Seattle 20 is another double feature at Town Hall Seattle – Your $5 admission gets you into Ignite and a reading by psychotherapist and author Gary Greenberg.

Gary will kick off Town Hall’s May 16 double feature at 6 pm (one $5 ticket gets you into see him and Ignite!) with an entertaining expose of the new, fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders — the DSM — the American Psychiatric Association’s compendium of mental illnesses “Bible.”

Gary Greenberg

Since its debut in 1952, the DSM has been frequently revised and, with each revision, so has the “official” view on which psychological problems constitute mental illness. Homosexuality, for instance, was classified as a mental illness until 1973, and Asperger’s gained recognition in 1994 only to see its status challenged nearly 20 years later.

Each revision created controversy, but the DSM-5, the newest iteration, has shaken psychiatry to its foundations. The APA has taken fire from all corners — and now from Greenberg — for extending the reach of psychiatry into daily life by encouraging doctors to diagnose more illnesses and prescribe more therapies — often medications whose efficacy is unknown and whose side effects are severe.

Get tickets over on the Town Hall Seattle event page.

Challenge: Picture Phone

We like to start every Ignite off with a game or a challenge – something to get attendees up out of their seats and interacting a little bit. Tonight we’re playing a variation of the party game “Telephone”.

We’ll start by handing out small notepads and markers. On the front page of the notepad will be a drawing. Your first step will be to guess what that drawing is. Write that at the bottom of the drawing. Then you’ll flip to the next page and copy the drawing (to the best of your ability). After about 30 seconds, you’ll hand your drawing on to
the next person. They will try to guess your drawing and copy it, etc. Once everyone is done, we’ll leave all the notebooks out front so people can come down and look at them.

Doors for Ignite open at 6:30, and we’ll start the game in the main hall around 7:00. Head upstairs, grab a seat and join us.

Announcing ThingOut 2

Ignite Seattle and ThingOut!

ThingOut is back for round two, and we are doubling the activities! It’s the same day as the next (outdoor) Ignite: Sunday, August 19th. Last year we had an awesome time looking at a tweeting race car, mind controlled robotics, a ducted fan bike and tons of other stuff. This year we’re also adding an electronics swap meet – bring that oscilloscope that you never got around to repairing, or maybe come looking for a new project to sink your teeth into.

If you have a project to show off, then please head over to the ThingOut page to sign up. If you’re just coming for the swap meet, you don’t have to sign up. But we expect table space to be limited, so those who sign up will get first dibs.

Ignite Seattle 15 Details Mega Post

Our big summer event is tomorrow, Saturday, August 20th and here’s your clip and save cheat sheet. We hope to see you there! Note: One small change to the talks, at least one of them will be done suspended in air.


Where: Fremont Outdoor Movies at N 35th and Phinney Ave
When: ThingOut starts at ~4:30pm. Ignite doors open at 7pm. Speakers are on at 8pm (or when the sun permits)
Cost: $5.00
Who can come?: All Ages Show
What to bring: blanket/sweater and a folding chair. Food and drink if you so desire (no alcohol, please).
More tips here

ThingOut Projects

Here are some of the groups and projects coming tomorrow.

Ignite Speakers (actual order TBD)

George Dyson – Alan Turing: The first 100 years
Alan Mathison Turing (1912-1954), conceived one hundred years ago, conceived the Universal Turing Machine in 1936: the common denominator that brings science and tech together.

Scott Berkun (berkun) Teaching Seattle How To Drive
From merging on I-5 to the snowpocalypse, we have proven, year after year, that our driving skills as a city are wanting. We are surprised by rain, confused by four way stops and baffled at how to turn two lanes into one. Here is a fun but ranty plan for teaching Seattle how to drive right.

Bryan Zug (bryanzug) How to be a Christian without being a Dick

Glenn Fleishman (glennf) Letterpress Revival
Letterpress printing was a dying art in the 1980s and nearly dead in the 1990s. Technology has revived it. You can now design on a computer, print out a plastic plate, and use 500-year-old technology that reconnects you to the mess and smell of ink, paper, binding, and industrial-age machines. Letterpress is messy, each print is unique, and it’s the antidote and complement to the perfection-with-abstraction of the Web, ebooks, and the rest. People crave real connection that the screen doesn’t provide. Letterpress puts you right up to the metal and pushes.

Jason Quick The Juggling Act of Life
As a professional one-armed juggler and inspirational speaker, I strive to make every show about an important aspect of being human in relationship with other humans. I am a juggling geek, a relationship geek, and a circus freak who loves to juxtapose the tragic with the comic in order to bring the audience to a new balance within the dialectics that define our lives: comfort and pain, self and community, task and maintenance, love and fear…I will make of these five minutes something you will never forget.

Bennett Haselton Circumventing Internet censorship around the world
My full-time job is working on software to help people in get around Internet censorship in countries like China and Iran, where the government filters what people can access on the Web. I can talk about the history of methods used by repressive government to censor the Web, and the parallel history of the tools for users to defeat that censorship. I will address some of the misconceptions that people have about the nature of circumvention software and the battle between the censors and the circumventors. And finally I will pose some of the (as-yet-unsolved) problems faced by the developers of circumvention software — problems that perhaps the geeks in the audience would enjoy taking home and thinking over.

Amber Straub (shadalicious) Unparenting – tips from a geeky mom.
Now that many of my geek friends are having children (I had mine in my early twenties, somewhat “early”) I want to share some shortcuts and musings that my partner and I have discovered on the way.

I will talk about some parenting rules that have been passed down that can reevaluated and rethought. Are bedtimes really necessary? Our daughter has never had an enforced bedtime, and yet she arrives to school on time every day. It’s ok to rethink and reevaluate how we raise children; it’s ok to try new things.

I will present some signs of being a crazy helicopter parent (not a good thing). Kids *can* be left alone. Kids *can* fly unaccompanied. Kids *can* walk to school alone.

I will point out how we are fostering curiosity and creativity, and how we are teaching personal responsibility, common sense, and early independence. How do we deal with consequences for actions, present rewards and handle necessary chores.

I will show some ways that she gets the attention and care that she does need and want, and how she is thriving with the freedoms afforded to her.

And for those who don’t have kids, I will ensure that the talk applies to those who have kids in their lives. Kids want to be related to as peers, not as “little snotty things that talk”.

Molly Nixon (thebeastieswee) mouse-o-nomics
Almost all of the medical advances we enjoy today were first tested in mice. Most what we know about human physiology was first studied in mice. However, the general public’s understanding of lab mice is usually limited to a few characteristics – they’re white, and they’re probably trying to take over the world.

In truth, all mice are not created equal (many of them aren’t even white!). Over the past century an entire industry has developed that is devoted entirely to the creation and production of lab mice. My talk will cover the factors that make some mice more useful than others, and the mouse-industrial complex that exists to meet the needs of modern science.

Beverly Sobelman (bev_sobelman) How to Run Away and Join the Circus
Mid-life career changes are all the rage these days. I went from software engineer to circus artist OVERNIGHT! Except.. I didn’t. I took a bunch of steps that happened to lead away from software and into a career as an aerialist. This talk will walk you through the steps that I took, in hopes that my story might inspire a few others to try something new and different – whether it leads to a new career or simply a great story to tell your grandkids.

Shawn Murphy (shawnmur) Naked Safety or How To Secure a Parade With Simple Psychology
Large events like parades, conventions, and conferences often require large private security forces to maintain order and security. In a post 9/11 world, we’re told that this is required for our safety. It’s possible to control large crowds, effectively and safely, by applying modern psychology instead of barricades.

The Fremont Solstice Parade draws tens of thousands of spectators, but the parade is secured with fewer than 25, unpaid, volunteers with no security background and less than 20 minutes of training.

Security is often a boring subject, but keeping the Fremont Solstice Parade secure, safe, and (barely) a good show are the essence of hacking and good geekery — it’s also surprisingly funny.

Gwen Rowe hacking parents and other authority figures
At the age of 9, Gwen is ready to share her favorite ways to beguile parents and others in charge. It is much easier to convince grandparents to do what you want. A simple please with a cute look goes a long ways But the real big challenge comes in when you need to convince parents or other adults not already enamored with you to do what you want. This talk is full of techniques explained by a kid that can be used to charm and convince nearly anyone.

Techniques including:

  • it was your idea,
  • its educational, I will learn from it
  • one for you, one for me
  • I will take care of it

  • oops (aka forgiveness v. permission)
  • quoting
  • the power of reasons – because I said so is not a reason
  • Robots!

Pascal Schuback (schuback) Tech; Disasters and YOU! (Geek approved road trip!)
Crowd sourcing has always been around but with the current technologies, its capabilities have grown tremendously. This presentation will focus on the use of these tools in an environment vastly growing by the number catastrophic events around the world. The month of September is National Preparedness Month and with that CrisisCommons, a volunteer technical community that connects people and organizations who use open data and technology to innovate crisis management and global development, will be going on a road trip. (ROAD TRIP!!!)

Catherine Carr (mamatweeta) You Are Not Your SAT Score: A Crash Course in Multiple Intelligence Theory
As the head of Cranium’s editorial department for 8+ years, I got hooked on Dr. Howard Gardner’s multiple intelligence theory, and I still find it to be a uniquely powerful tool for inspiration and general perspective-broadening. And in the current educational climate, when just about everything revolves around reading and math scores, I also think it’s incredibly important for the kids (and grown-ups!) in the crowd to hear these messages:

  1. There are lots of ways (beyond just “reading” and “math”) to be smart!
  2. We’re naturally inclined toward some of the intelligences, but we can improve and develop in any of them.
  3. If something seems tedious or difficult to you, you can use the multiple intelligences to change your perspective.

Amanda Shumack (amandahoops) What is all the Hoopla?
We’re talking Hoop Dancing – a style of Advanced Hula Hooping that your parents NEVER did!

Amanda (aka Sirin) will talk of the hooping sub-culture and how this modern take on an old fitness craze has taken a very new and different look. It’s become such an addiction to some that they’ve built careers out of hooping, branched off the sub-culture into sub-sub-cultures such as fire hooping, hoop yoga, hoop aerobics and hoop dancing.

These silly circular kids toys are inspiration to people who are looking to get fit, have fun and it CANNOT be done without a smile!

Amanda will also do some LED hooping (yes, this hoop has LIGHTS, people!) and give all the details to anyone who is looking for more info on getting started or who just wants to see what crazy folks are coming up with to spend your free time.

WARNING: Hoop Addictions have started with less…

Jen Matson (nstop) Field Guide to Record Collectors
While everyone (of a certain age) remembers the first record they bought as a kid, only a small number of us end up loving the spinning slab of vinyl as much as the music itself.

Drawing on my own experience both as a longtime music geek and onetime used record store clerk, I’d like to present a High Fidelity-style Top Five List covering the most common habits and characteristics of that odd breed known as the record collector. Through a few profiles of collectors I have known and loved, I’ll cover such mysteries as:

– Why people own multiple copies of what appear to be the same record
– What is the proper record fair etiquette
– The sanctity of the first pressing

Even the most physical-format-shunning music fan should come away from my talk with a newfound understanding of (if not appreciation for) why we vinyl enthusiasts continue to lug our heavy boxes and crates of LPs and 45s around with us from place to place.

Deepak Singh (mndoci) #arseniclife
In a world of Twitter and blogs, scientific peer review takes on a new meaning. From press releases, to TV appearances, to controversy in the blogosphere, this talk will dive into the history of one of the more interesting hashtags that Twitter has seen. The #arseniclife controversy portends the future of peer review, and it continues to be great sideline viewing.

Scott Berkun – How to write well, instantly, every time

Scott Berkun teaches us some of the techniques he uses to write well. In the background is a timelapse video of him writing an essay – from start to finish!

Scott Berkun is the best selling author of The Myths of Innovation, Making Things Happen and Confessions of a Public Speaker. His work as a writer and public speaker have appeared in the The Washington Post, The New York Times, Wired Magazine, Fast Company, Forbes Magazine, and other media. He has taught creative thinking at the University of Washington and has been a regular commentator on CNBC, MSNBC and National Public Radio. His many popular essays and entertaining lectures can be found for free on his blog at Scott Berkun.

See Scott in action or read his popular blog on his main site: http://www.scottberkun.com

Ignite Seattle 14: Details!

Ignite Seattle 14 is this Wednesday, May 18th! The schedule for the evening:

7:00pm: Doors Open.
7:30pm: Icebreaker game. As always, this is optional, but definitely a lot of fun! This time it should only be about 15 minutes.
8:00pm: Talks start!
8:45pm: 15 minute intermission.
9:00pm: A surprise! We’re only having 8 speakers this time because Brady has an awesome surprise for us. We’ll be ending around the normal time though, so don’t worry about being out too late!

Looking forward to seeing everyone at 7pm at the King Cat Theater! Tickets are $5 at the door, and bring a friend!

Ignite Seattle 14 Speaker Line Up

Has it been almost 4 months already? We’ll be posting all the videos from Ignite 13 very soon, but we’re super excited to tell you who is speaking at Ignite Seattle 14, on May 18 at the King Cat Theater!

We have a little surprise for the next Ignite Seattle. Don’t worry, we’re still doing 5 minute lightning talks, but we’ve shortened our line up to feature something special. The only trick is, we can’t tell you what it is, (although we may drop a few hints between now and then).

Without further ado, we present the speakers for Ignite Seattle 14

Ignite Seattle 14 Speaker List

Mehal Shah (mehals) Sociopathic Boardgaming: Fun for everyone.
You like board gaming, but lately the fun has gone out for you. Maybe you have a closet full of board games that never get played anymore. Maybe you have an hyper-competitive jackass attending your board game nights, who you feel ruins the fun for everyone. Maybe you just hate following a bunch of silly rules in your games and the fun goes away after half an hour. Let’s re-examine what makes board gaming great and see how we can modify existing games to make them fun again, and how turning up the hostility is often the best way to turn up the fun.

Sarah Novotny (sarahnovotny) living the OG lifestyle – Original Geek, that is
geeks have lead the most recent evolution of our society and some do it better than others. i’ve been incredibly curious about how geek praxis outside of a professional setting has contributed to geek success and would like to share a few ways i’ve found that geeks harness their obesssions and obsessive natures for fun and profit.

As a young geek i know said “feel free to make fun of me now, i’ll forgive you and maybe even hire you when we’re adults”.

Scott Ruthfield (scottru) How to Go to Kindergarten
When I was a kid, you started Kindergarten down the street, or maybe the Catholic school a few blocks away. Today, though, Seattle parents have an incredibly complex system of both public and private schools – and parents don’t know how to navigate it (or that there’s even anything to navigate).

If you might have a kid entering Kindergarten someday, and you’re the kind of person who builds a 10-column spreadsheet to pick the next flat screen TV, you might want to know how this process works – and how to optimize for your own family.

Nathalie Molina Niño (globalmisfit) Life lessons from a [recovering] Alpha Male
Since launching her first internet dot com at 21, Nathalie’s been neck deep in high-tech, masculine, start up juice. She recently left Seattle, her dream home and a $100M business she helped found in order to chill out, meditate and continue her path as a recovering Alpha Male in relaxing New York City. During her first return to her beloved Seattle as a special guest at SIFF 2011’s opening GALA, hear Nathalie as she comes out publicly about her personal experience as a global business misfit and how it took nearly killing someone for her to realize she needed to rethink how businesses work.

Geoff Smith (lookatlao) How To Shoot Better Food Porn
Why: With the advent of food-focused social media and celebrity chef bloggers—not to mention understaffed magazines—food photography is everywhere. Everybody is taking photos of what they eat and very few are doing it right.

What: I would like to identify the four major enemies of good food porn and offer simple solutions on how to avoid them. The presentation will show real-world examples of failed attempts at shooting good food porn and the necessary steps and equipment needed—both purchased and improvised—to make your food porn better.

This presentation will be funny and informative and there will be immediate take aways as well as a few hints on how to take things to the next level for those so inclined.

Teresa Valdez Klein (TeteSagehen) The art of subvertising on Facebook
All of us have been conditioned from birth by our families, our friends, and marketers to want (or not want) certain things. And while I’m a big fan of Facebook, I have this theory that it reinforces social conditioning in some pretty insidious ways.

In this talk, I’ll explain how I used Facebook’s self-serve advertising platform to combat the social pressure cooker.

Dominic Holden (dominicholden) The Tunnel

Erica May (ericaannemay) How Social Games about Farms Ruin Your Life
Do you sit at work saving up your virtual currency for a Shetland Pony? Do you create Facebook profiles for your cats, dogs & infants just so that you can ensure your crops are properly hydrated? What has our world become when people actually decorate their virtual barns for Christmas? Did you pre-order Farmville for Dummies on Amazon.com? Let’s take a peak at the illusive look at how virtual farms are ruining your life and pretty much the entire planet one virtual seed packet at a time.

See you there

Mark your calendars – May 18th, 2011, King Cat Theater. Doors open at 7pm, talks start at 8.

Our friend Tom Music has passed away

Tom Music – a great human being and a dear friend of Ignite Seattle – passed away last night.

Tom went into the hospital about a month ago. It looked like things had turned around, but then they took a turn for the worse.

Friends will be gathering this Friday for a vaguely Irish-style wake in Tom’s honor. Jana, Tom’s wife, has details on that over here. She’ll also be posting details there about the pending memorial service for Tom when they firm up.

Again, here’s Tom delivering one of the best Ignite talks we’ve ever hosted.