A Visit To Sudo Room and a Resuscitated Dog Head

Tonight I went to visit Sudo Room, the new hacker space in Oakland.  It’s just a small room with the obigatory 3D printer and arduino TI MSP430 Launchpad controlled door on the fritz.  They do have a large shared common space though, and they will be holding an Un-conference this weekend.  I chatted with some hackers and one fellow showed me an arduino app that controls an attached LED matrix to display one LED for each active TCP session on your computer, color coded by continent of the destination.  It was sort of like this Spider Labs blinkie light network monitor.

But the most disturbing part of the evening was when someone showed a video of a severed dog head being supposedly resuscitated by Russian scientists in the 1920’s with a primitive precursor to a heart and lung machine.  Please don’t click that link unless you really want to see a severed dog head reacting to stimuli.  It makes me shudder to think what other sort of horrible experiments were run in US labs.  Don’t get me wrong, I understand that these sorts of experiments probably validated a technology that went on to save many lives.  But I do suspect that it takes a borderline sociopath to do this sort of thing.  Better to devote your cold-blooded heart to the advancement of science than chopping up male prostitutes and storing them in your freezer I suppose.

After the gruesome videos of pet-hacking for science, I headed over to check out the street anarchy of Oakland Art Murmur around the corner with a friend from work.  We elbowed our way through the hipsters and grungy artists, but my friend was not impressed by the crowds.  He just returned from vacation in Hong Kong where I guess that they really know how to densely pack humans.  We passed my girlfriend’s favorite spot in uptown, the Rock Paper Scissors Collective which houses a vast ‘zine library.

Next we visited Koreana market on telegraph and my friend drew on his own Korean background to point out items of interest.  They had live fish in nice clean tanks, plenty of kim chee, and this marinated meat called bulgogi.  It was fun and surreal to come from the dark boisterous streets into this bright clean market with various drunken hipster wandering around trying to locate the alcohol.

I like art murmur, it’s a great street party that really draws out many of the artistic elements that Oakland has to offer.  You just couldn’t spontaneously shut down streets in San Francisco to have this sort of event.  Maybe you need a slightly run down area to provide the fertile soil for a cultural rejuvenation.  I think back to my home town of Buffalo which probably had many more music venues per capita that San Francisco because the real estate there is so cheap.  Not that this was enough to keep me there, but still, its a small mercy.  I look forward to checking out Sudo Room’s Wednesday night meetings at 7 pm and getting more involved in my adopted home of Oakland, CA.

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