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Every time I go over to The Space (a makerspace located inside of Beltway Plaza Mall in Greenbelt, Maryland) there always something going on. When I went there on that day I saw people of all ages doing things like playing video games (on vintage systems like the Nintendo Gamecube) and decorating emoji pillows.

The Space, March 9, 2019

A group of recently sewn blank pillows are waiting for people to draw emoji faces on them.

The Space, March 9, 2019

People of all ages decorated the pillows by drawing emoji faces with markers.

The Space, March 9, 2019

I got into the act myself. I did a two-sided emoji pillow.

The Space, March 9, 2019

The Space, March 9, 2019

I used markers to decorate my pillow. It was the first time I ever did this. I’ve since done a St. Patrick’s Day-themed emoji pillow, which I already wrote about on that holiday.

While all this activity was going on, Shaymar Higgs, the founder of The Space, was shooting a promotional video that will be used as a fundraiser for the nonprofit makerspace.

The Space, March 9, 2019

The one thing about sitting where I was sitting when I shot that photo is that I ended up in the background of that video, which Shaymar uploaded on his Instagram account. (Yes, I’m the person directly behind him looking at my phone. LOL!)

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St. Patrick's Day

Here are a few appropriate photos for today that I took over the past few weeks, starting with this house in Takoma Park that has lit shamrocks in the windows.

I also saw a couple of inflatable leprechauns along with more shamrock images at a local Wegman’s.

Yesterday I did some grocery shopping. First I went to Aldi, where I found this mix for Guinness beer bread where all you need to add is Guinness beer and molasses—both of which I already had. In the past I’ve baked Guinness beer bread from scratch using this recipe but I decided to be lazy this year and give the mix a try. If I end up not liking it, I can always make the other beer bread using that recipe at a later date.

After I went to Aldi I headed over to Giant because I needed a few items that Aldi didn’t have in stock. While I was there I saw that Tastykake had a special version of its Snowballs snack cake which had green icing instead of the usual white icing. I bought it on impulse and I’ll probably end up eating it for dessert after dinner tonight.

After I shopped at Giant I headed over to The Space where that makerspace had some small blank circular pillows where people can draw emojis on them. I decided to draw some Irish-themed emojis since it was close to St. Patrick’s Day. Here is one side of the pillow.

And here’s the other side.

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I spent a long Sunday at the Greenbelt Makerspace. I had gone there in order to open my latest Hairdorables box because my original plan to open the box at a local park fell through due to a windstorm that blew through the area. I went to a corner of the room because there was a tye-dye t-shirt workshop that was in progress. After I finished opening that box and taking photos, I hung around until the weekly animation meetup started after the tye-dye workshop participants cleaned up the mess they made from all that dyeing.

During the animation meetup someone I know from a local knitting/crocheting/sewing group I participate in known as Fiber Fans (which meets Wednesday nights at the makerspace) said that there was going to be a meeting of the local Hyattsville Fiber Arts Guild where there would be a demonstration on how to embroider using a sewing machine and we were all invited to stay and check it out. I was the only one from the animation meetup who stayed later.

Basically there is a style of embroidery where one can use a sewing machine to do some freehand stitching on to water soluble fabric. Once the person is done with the sewing machine, one would dip the whole thing into water for a second (which is about how long it takes for the water soluble fabric to melt away) then one is left with a 3D embroidered item.

I gave it a couple of tries even though I had never used a sewing machine before in my life. (My mother had a sewing machine when I was a child but I wasn’t allowed to touch it. I used to sew the occasional doll outfit for my Barbie doll but I did hand sewing. She used that sewing machine many times until I was about in middle school when she got rid of it because she grew tired of sewing everything herself.) This photo shows the results. The one on the bottom was my first attempt. The top one was my second attempt and it turned out much better.

For the last few years I had been thinking about getting myself a sewing machine and learning how to use one but money was so tight. I’m hoping that if my current day job works out then maybe I may finally buy myself a sewing machine and start making my own clothes and other fabric-related things.

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Like I wrote in a previous blog post, I attended two festivals in one day. The first one was the smaller Greenbelt Blues Festival, which I already wrote about. After attending that festival, I went to the Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, which was a larger event. Here are the photos I took of the event while I was there.

This sign erroneously said that this festival was held on September 10. In reality, it showed up on September 22.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

The festival was well-attended and there were all kinds of arts and crafts on display along with local bands performing. The local craft breweries were selling their craft beers and ales. The weather was warm and pleasant (the humidity was low that day). All in all I had a good time and many of the festival goers also enjoyed themselves as well.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

I only purchased one item at this festival. It’s a small bar of soap made from honey and it has a bee motif on it.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, September 22, 2018

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Ramadan

A look at the digital ruins of a forgotten future called Second Life.

U.S. mints coins for Donald Trump-Kim Jong Un summit that might not happen.

Fewer tourists are coming to the U.S. and experts say that it’s largely Trump’s fault.

Barbie “Shero” doll with a hijab honors Olympian Ibtihaj Muhammad.

Martin Luther King may have been killed by a Memphis police officer, not James Earl Ray.

How white Americans used lynchings to terrorize and control black people.

Laminated jewelry crafted from vintage books by Jeremy May.

A look at the guerrilla grafting movement—secretly grafting fruit-bearing trees onto ornamental city trees in order to feed the poor.

A Princeton sociologist spent 8 years asking rural Americans why they are so pissed off. Hint: It’s not about the economy.

The surprising secret to aging well.

New York City has genetically distinct “uptown” and “downtown” rats.

Why the DNC is fighting WikiLeaks and not Wall Street.

How Australia all but ended gun violence.

83,500 vintage sewing patterns put into online database from Vogue, McCall’s, Butterick, and Simplicity.

Stunning images of pagan costumes worn at winter celebrations around the world.

Watch the illustrated version of “Alice’s Restaurant,” Arlo Guthrie’s Thanksgiving Counterculture Classic.

The bots that are changing politics.

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Ramadan

Fan art featuring 30 Disney cartoon girls reimagined as grown-ups.

Why aren’t people talking more about Latinos killed by police?

Will Donald Trump destroy the presidency?

A look at vintage Polaroids of Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill and other Star Wars actors taken during the making of Return of the Jedi.

Undercover author finds Amazon warehouse workers in UK peed in bottles over fears of being punished for taking a break.

Understanding the difference between race and ethnicity.

3 medical projects driving maker innovation in health.

A look at the 13 lesser known members of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Ex-Facebook president Sean Parker said that the site was made to exploit human vulnerability.

15 tattooed seniors answer the question: “What will it look like in 40 years?”

How these lava lamps are securing the Internet.

Behold the unnervingly rectangular livestock of pastoral art.

Watch as a 17th century portrait emerges from 200 years of discolored varnish.

Why job hunters don’t find work.

A profile of the man who is helping Americans access safe drinking water.

Why the US fails at worker training.

Somebody wrote an email bot to waste scammers’ time.

Twist fabric scraps into colorful twine.

This “Ordinary People vs. Creative People” comic has spawned a very creative meme.

Neoliberalm has conned us into fighting climate change as individuals.

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Cinco de Mayo

The haunting photography of a serial killer.

Martin Luther King’s friend and photographer was also an informant for the FBI.

Amazon Key flaw lets couriers stay in your home unnoticed.

This clever new font, Braille Neue, combines braille with Latin and Japanese alphabets.

To solve America’s housing crisis, build public housing.

The labor of bringing a baby into Appalachia.

How to spot a fake Instagram influencer.

Restricting abortion access is class warfare.

Here’s a reminder that Donald Trump is a sociopath.

Three-year-old scrawls on furniture cushions, mom embroiders them.

Soon you’ll be able to make anything. It’ll change politics forever.

Childfree is a legitimate choice.

Southern California has the resources to solve homelessness. It chooses not to.

A Superman super fan is “obsessed” with buying memorabilia.

Segregation’s constant gardeners: How white women kept Jim Crow alive.

Transgender World War II veteran comes out as a woman at age 90.

Gigs are no longer just for musicians: How the Gig Economy is creating a society of starving artists.

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Passover

The day after St. Patrick’s Day I helped a friend of mine with his booth at the annual Maker Faire NoVa that was held at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. I had attended previous STEM Maker events in Greenbelt, Silver Spring, and Washington, DC but it’s the first time I ever checked the Northern Virginia one. I have to admit that this event was the largest event of its kind that I had ever attended. To give you an idea as to how big it was, here’s a video I shot of this event.

And now it’s time for the still photos. I knew I had come to the right place when I saw this statue of George Mason (whom the university is named after) all dressed up for the occasion.

Maker Faire NoVa

Maker Faire NoVa

Maker Faire NoVa

These signs were further giveaways that I was at the right place.

Maker Faire NoVa

Maker Faire NoVa

The reason why I was there was that I was helping a friend of mine with his table. His name is Phil Shapiro and he frequently hangs out on YouTube and Twitter. He wanted to demonstrate Inkscape, which is the free open source alternative to Adobe Illustrator. He brought a couple of Linux laptops that he made available for people to use. At the last minute he decided to have one of those laptops run Tux Paint, which is a free open source graphics program that is made for kids under 7, which turned out to be a good move because a lot of visitors were kids. The kids seemed to really like Tux Paint so it was all good. In any case, here is what the sign looked like.

Maker Faire NoVa

Here are a few shots of the table that I took before Maker Faire NoVa opened to the general public.

Maker Faire NoVa

Maker Faire NoVa

Maker Faire NoVa

Maker Faire NoVa

Here’s Phil Shapiro at one of the laptops setting everything up before the show began.

Maker Faire NoVa

And here’s Phil showing off the two laptops with Inkscape and Tux Paint to the general public.

Maker Faire NoVa

Maker Faire NoVa

Maker Faire NoVa

One of the many kids tried his hand at drawing with Tux Paint.

Maker Faire NoVa

Near our table was one that was manned by Bob Coggeshall, who’s famous in the Unix world for inventing the Unix command sudo.

Maker Faire NoVa

Maker Faire NoVa

There were all kinds of projects that were run off of Raspberry Pi, such as this vintage teletype.

Maker Faire NoVa

There were also all kinds of 3D printed projects that looked amazing.

Maker Faire NoVa

Maker Faire NoVa

Maker Faire NoVa

Maker Faire NoVa

There was a refurbished gumball machine that dispensed 3D printed charms for only 50 cents.

Maker Faire NoVa

It was at that gumball machine where I made my one and only purchase from Maker Faire NoVa: A tiny 1-inch printed 3D printed Darth Vader who’s seated like a Buddha. I only paid 50 cents for this cool item.

Maker Faire NoVa, March 18, 2018

There were also some vintage bikes that the public can ride.

Maker Faire NoVa

Maker Faire NoVa

It was at Maker Faire NoVa where I got my first-ever real life glimpse of a Bitcoin mining machine.

Maker Faire NoVa

It was also at Maker Faire NoVa where I got my first glimpse of American Girl’s 2018 Girl of the Year doll. Her name is Luciana Vega, she’s into STEM and her big ambition is to be the first person to explore Mars.

Maker Faire NoVa

This boy was showing his work in progress on his latest project. He was in the process of building his own BB-8 robot from the Star Wars movies.

Maker Faire NoVa

Maker Faire NoVa

There was just a variety of things I saw at Maker Faire NoVa that were simply astounding.

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George Mason University’s Fairfax campus is pretty big. In fact, I think it may be as big as my own alma mater (University of Maryland at College Park). I briefly went through the campus Barnes & Noble store, which had copies of Michael Wolff’s controversial bestseller about Donald Trump’s first year in the White House called Fire & Fury.

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I really had a blast at Maker Faire NoVa. It helped that the weather was in the 50’s that day so I was able to wear a light jacket instead of my heavy winter coat for a change. I even saw my first robin of the year while I was walking around outside going from building to building while checking out the event. (The entire event was spread over four buildings.) Sadly that warm weather was a short-lived thing because the weather turned really cold and rainy the next day followed by a snowstorm.

The only downside about that event is that for about a couple of days before that event I started to have stuffed sinuses. By the time of that event my throat felt more scratchy as I talked more and more with the general public while I worked at Phil’s booth. My legs had grown stiff and sore by the end of the day due to the huge amount of walking and standing I did throughout the day. The following day I felt extremely tired and sick. I ended up spending most of the next week sleeping (with the exception of the couple of times I went out in the snow where I did some shoveling two days after Maker Faire NoVa). I even ended up skipping the big March for Our Lives on the following Saturday due to being sick. But the video, photos, and fond memories from Maker Faire NoVa made it all worthwhile.

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Women are calling to an end to sexual harassment in the animation industry. 

To save Net Neutrality, we must build our own Internet.

When blue chips fall like dominoes.

The deranged Twitter thread that proves that establishment liberals have lost their minds.

Why we need to appreciate the talents and abilities of the quiet introverted ones.

The mainstream media quietly erases the role NATO played in bringing slave markets to Libya.

Here’s the line-up of liars you can thank when the economy crashes.

Four WTF lessons the world teaches us about sexualizing teens.

An Internet entrepreneur makes a video expressing how shocked he is that he was sued for stealing a copyright owner’s work.

The myth that college graduates make the best employees.

Medicare for all is not socialized medicine.

Most of America’s terrorists are white and not Muslim.

Facebook’s security chief says that his company’s security is like a college campus but they face threats like a defense contractor.

All of these women of color are badder than Taylor Swift.

Punks and metalheads are infiltrating the system by winning political office.

Walt Disney World is anything but magical for its employees.

Here’s an online trove of historic sewing patterns and costumes.

An essay on being biracial without identity issues.

The 11 most unintentionally hilarious religious paintings.

“Protest Matters” museum shows what resistance looks like.

Man builds a Furby organ using recycled vintage electronic Furbys.

From the Green Book to Facebook: How black people still need to outwit racists in rural America.

If you care at all about the idea of journalism, Project Veritas should horrify you.

Here’s a free tutorial on how to crochet a blanket based on climate change data.

The “Pocahontas” nonsense matters but not in the way that Trump might like it to.

CNN crusades against the slave trade in Libya but they knew about it for years.

A look at a LEGO set featuring the women of NASA.

The Church of Sweden no longer refers to God as “he” or “lord.”

What if American hadn’t done the dumbest thing imaginable after 9/11?

The executives who bankrupted Toys R Us want $16-32 million in bonuses for their performance.

More than 80,000 vintage sewing patterns are now available online.

The driverless revolution may exact a political price.

10+ revenge stories that will make you think twice about being an asshole to other people.

6 badass acts of resistance erased from history.

Dollar General hits a gold mine in rural America where even Walmart failed.

Will the alt-right produce the next Timothy McVeigh?

How Clinton and Obama failed to defend the middle class.

Undoing the New Deal: The 1944 coup against Vice President Henry Wallace.

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