feminist / engineering shopfront brainstorming

Current plan: Find a venue for a pop-up shop, 2 to 5pm on Sundays, somewhere near Central Square or other t-stop (or somewhere a lot of people walk past). Danger!awesome community space, perhaps.

Have tshirts, jewelry, greeting cards, posters, framed art for sale. Work on projects while waiting for people to buy things or not.

Archived Thoughts

I want to open a little storefront in danger!awesome’s new community space, or at the least install a vending machine there. Who should I talk to that might take me seriously?

I would stock
  • last-minute hard-to-find locally things, such as
  • standard engineering things
    • arduinos & mcus
    • composites (fiberglass, kevlar, carbon fiber, gallons of epoxy) / molding supplies (smooth-on)
    • servos & hobbyking motors
    • lipos & lipo chargers
    • tiny taps and drill bits (always break)
    • nylon things (inert)
    • ferric chloride, acetone, MEK/P
    • dremel bits
    • sandpaper
    • right-angle drills (probably for renting)
  • personal protective equipment that fits for both men and women
    • cheap small/medium leather gloves
    • cheap small/medium tyvek suits
    • a stock of respirators so people can try them on & see how it handles with their hair & learn how to put them on properly
    • small/medium closed-toe boots / steel boots
    • small/medium insulative coveralls
    • safety glass buffing station
  • fashion and craft things
    • fondant, icing, glitter, matte nail polish, etc.
  • Products from local engineers and makers, such as Brian Chan’s lasercut folding ukulele
I am not sure how I’d keep it open, because I especially want people to have access during times when normal stores are not open, but those are the crappiest times from the employee perspective (see: night shift health hazards), and I’m pretty busy. Perhaps some sort of coop-honor-system style thing could work, where you pay a deposit and then have 24hr access & you keep track of what materials you “bought”/checked-out and can pay on-site with a self-checkout.
and anything else people want (I’d have a “what do you want to see here” suggestion box online and offline :] ), and keep inventory meticulously online, so people KNOW what’s in stock.

More ideas

  • customization
    • dremel your name into your bike (anti-theft)
    • anodize or hydrographically print on your wrench set, helmet, etc. so that it’s very obvious that it’s yours and people know to return it if they borrow it
  • specialized tools
    • watch a robot arm use machine vision to sort your drill bits for you
    • place a bolt that you need to match on the countertop and we will (using machine vision?) identify size and thread count for you & give you the mcmaster number
    • smooth-on supplies
      • mini-museum of casting things
  • consultancies
    • trying to learn how to scale and source things in China? Visiting China and want to talk to manufacturers? Get cheap and questionable advice (possibly while doing your nails :P)
    • where to source things and how to source them cheaply
  • shop safety education (with lots of disclaimers that we are not doctors)
    • have posters of what happens when you don’t treat epoxy respectfully
    • get nitty gritty street knowledge on what you actually need to do to be safe and what bad outcomes are like and how to treat them — what are the trade-offs you are making with your safety when you don’t wear respirators, long clothes, etc. without judging you if for whatever reason you don’t
    • teach people how to use respirators and pick the right cartridges so that the respirator is easy to use and doesn’t get in the way of glasses and safety glasses and long hair
  • hubmotors & misc. segging things from china
    • segstick buddy riding competitions
  • food
    • too annoying to get license perhaps… but
    • could sell food molds: nyancat pancake molds, chocolate molds, etc. for birthday gifts
    • cake decorating / cutting robots
  • robot / geeky earrings and tshirts
  • feminist apparel, greeting cards, jewelry, tshirts, dresses, scarves, hats, shoes
  • menstrual cup advice and models

feminism + engineering projects brainstorming

some off-the-walls brainstorming!
ideas list:
  • covering the ground around clinics in mobile robots (so there’s nowhere to step) that together display cute cat videos (to de-stress patients and employees) [3]
  • cute pop up robots, like in big hero six [2], that act as a wall of clinic escorts (automation is the future, after all) and project calming music / nature sounds
    • or project the stories of those who have had abortions and want to share their story, in a non-threatening and clearly automated way, so that if anti-abortion folks want to threaten anyway, they’re left threatening a cute robot. Maybe stick a gopro on them to tape the protestors violently taking down the robots, which it seems like they might be inclined to do so
    • punching bag for the really angry folks who could benefit to work off some steam
    • hand out survey cards to clinic bullies to collect their complaints and offer them cake and tea (remind them to be civil)
    • distract clinic bullies (or at least their kids) with cute cat videos projected onto the side of the clinic building
    • distribute pro-choice adorable plushies and toys to the kids there
  • water or chalk spray graffiti attachment to a bike for people commuting to promote civic action while on their way to work [4] [5]
  • light attachment for bike [6] [7]
  • birth control coffee kcup, many people easily remember to drink coffee every day at a regular time 🙂 might increase compliance
  • creating fashionable dresses out of feminine hygiene products with pro-choice slogans artfully worked into them [10]
  • selling pro-choice pasta [8]
  • a facebook plugin for people to easily show their support for choice / abortion, like the lgbt rainbow plugin [9]
  • hold a nail art party / saloon, or a fashion walk, or a hackathon, or a conference. fun and educational and empowering events, all day every day, next to the clinic(s). To make the contrast between hate-filled speech and things that make everyone laugh and have fun and let them just get on with their lives, even more clear
  • have a statue competition — build pedestals to stand on and get in makeup artists and so patients and employees are greeted with an interesting gallery of living art, like the performance artists who paint themselves like statues and hold really still, instead of hate and harrassment
  • hold feminist / women’s rights play/theater shows and documentary screenings next to the clinic
  • make it really annoying to be there.
    • Sell the protestors every day things, it must get really boring to keep talking about the same thing every day and they are the perfect captive audience.
    • Have a guy very persistently offer the male clinic bullies free makeup and perfume and lotion samples and manicures.
    • Have really annoying and loud teenager cellphone conversations in the middle of and completely ignoring the clinic bullies
    • Hold kids’ water balloon fights there in the summer! Maybe high school / university kids who know how to leave a clear path for patients and employees.
    • Set up mini water-dropping drones which hover over clinic bullies and give them their own personal rain cloud (or rainbow/disco spotlight + rick roll music).
  • Just make it extra super boring to be there. Like have a Speech / Toastmaster or high school debate competition outside near the clinic, or read the house codes / political bills non-stop for a while

[1] http://qz.com/435921/the-worlds-first-abortion-drone-will-deliver-pills-to-poland-this-weekend/


[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Hero_6_%28film%29#/media/File:Big_Hero_6_%28film%29_poster.jpg

A big white round robot.

[3] http://www.wired.com/2014/05/disney-invents-swarming-robots-that-create-animations/



[4] http://media.treehugger.com/assets/images/2011/12/nicholas-hanna5.jpghttp://media.treehugger.com/assets/images/2011/12/nicholas-hanna5.jpg

[5] http://archive.wired.com/politics/onlinerights/news/2007/04/kinberg_0410


[6] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graffiti_Research_Lab


[7] https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/embrooke/blaze-bike-light


[8]  http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-K87vdmx-qwc/VSnUfG1XaGI/AAAAAAAAE20/AIezRXtjXec/s1600/a4.jpg





[10] http://thestir.cafemom.com/healthy_living/114448/5_Alternative_Uses_for_Tampons


Personal projects status dump

Open Source CAD (CAD extensible toolkit): Backburner (eta re-opening: Nov 1, 2015)

Relationship / Sex Ed Prototypes: Backburner (eta opening: Jan 1, 2016)

  • Role-playing games to establish healthy, inclusive, non-judgemental models of asking someone out / responding to that / dealing with that response
  • Can it be not corny? Even if it’s corny, can it still be effective?
  • Filling whatever gap PUA fills for guys

6.01 robots: Backburner (eta re-opening: Oct 15, 2015) — potentially escalate to Sept 5th, 2015

Feminist Apparel: Backburner (eta opening: Dec 1, 2015)

  • Snarky tshirts, IUD/LED earrings, elegant dresses with feminist quotes, stickers, necklaces, henna art, nails, pocket sewing kits, feminist bread and cake,

Hobbyist-Priced Small Waterjet: Backburner (eta re-opening: Feb 1, 2016)

Grad school: Active

Swarmbuddy robots: Active

  • co-conspirators: Ethan B., Chris A.
  • shift to nrf51822 chip (breadboard the circuit)
  • new board: nrf51822, 1s battery, usb charging,
  • new mechanical layout: with actual wheels, cheaper continuous rotation servos (or steppers? for easier zeroing than using a screwdriver), and an origami case
  • servo with pot broken out? $$$?
  • App Inventor + Android programming
  • New Android application

Hack4Fem: Active

  • More workshops
  • More speakers
  • More participants

Boatwork: Active

  • hook up solar panel to small lead-acid for bilge pump
  • Sand and urethane the gunwhals
  • Attach stern pieces
  • Take underwater pictures
  • Test generator and bring on board
  • Cut hole in engine compartment to diagnose leak
  • Call admiral and Crystal about winter haul out to fix keel leak
  • Hook up small battery and solar panel to bilge
  • Machine rope clutches from picture, two
  • Machine running rigging blocks, around four
  • Buy spring line cleats for mid ships
  • Make a roller furler for jib out of bike parts
  • Climb the mast install weather station and Masthead lights
  • Find radar?
  • Install red lights and wiring
  • also make a solar cabintop! diy solar panel, ?diy charge balancer?, diy battery pack? (no, get lead acids)

Youtube Channel: (backburner, eta May 2016)


Things to learn:

  • more math: 18.06, more statistics
  • electronics: power electronics, 6.302
  • sewing / fashion (ask on craigslist)
  • drawing / animation / video work (ask on craigslist)
  • makeup / cross-dressing / cosplay (ask on craigslist)
  • how to make html5 webapps easily and quickly
    • skillswap
    • website for house (splitting rent, household items shopping reminders, utilities, landlord contacting, parties, guestbook reviews :])