Friday, April 29, 2011


The WIC Seminar Room will be open from Friday, April 28 to Tuesday, May 10 whenever the building is open. Come and explore our games and puzzles when you are ready for a break!

You can post ideas and suggestions to this tumblr blog.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Harry Potter Legos

Please check out the amazing Harry Potter greenhouse created by Penn Professor Louise Krasniewicz and her son. They are semi-finalists in the LEGO Harry Potter Building Challenge!

See the a slide show of this incredibly detailed structure at

And perhaps more importantly, be sure to vote for it (Greenhouse 3) in the contest at (you'll need to register for a free LEGO account).

Done with Posters for Today

Hey all. All of the poster printing slots are filled for the day. As I write this, there are still 4 slots available for tomorrow (Friday). Head over to if you'd like to reserve one.

Farewell Photo

Thanks to the waitress at Tap House for taking this photo of the end-of-year dinner photo of the lab consultants. L-to-R: Rico, Thomas, Chase, Janice, Terry, and Kaitlyn.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tis the Season for Resumes

QR CODE - Content-rich Resume from Victor petit on Vimeo.

Here is a video via Make:Blog showcasing a clever use of QR codes in your resume. Giving a resume some type of interactivity is a great way to set yourself apart from the pack.

Monday, April 25, 2011

No Food in the Lab

Although we (generously, IMHO) allow beverages in the lab (with a lid, please), we ask that you not eat in the lab. But you should feel free to step outside occasionally to take a bite.


Friday, April 22, 2011

Visual Studies Senior Thesis Show tonight!

What are you doing tonight from 5-7pm?
You should head over to the Fox Gallery in Claudia Cohen Hall. There's going to be a great show-it's the senior thesis show for the Visual Studies students. Many of these students have been hard at work here at the lab. Now is the time to enjoy the fruits of their labor. Go!

Dropbox Advice

A word to the wise about Dropbox.
Dropbox is a great service. Lots of cloud space + very few/no dollars=peace of mind.
But, Dropbox is not designed for use on public computers.

I've been seeing a lot of Dropbox folders pop up here at the lab. This makes me nervous for you users. If you establish an account with Dropbox from a public place, Dropbox will ask you to download its application. Doing this sets up a permanent folder at your computer. If you do this, the application grants access to your files to anyone who sits down at said computer. Even after you leave it. Not good.

You can still sign up for DB at a public computer, just don't download the application. Save that for your personal computer. You cannot upload the same amount via the web interface as you can with the application, but you still have far more space than you would if you were trying to e-mail something to yourself.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

From Tupac to 'Gangster Arabi': Hip-Hop in the Middle East

Yuval Orr is dear to our hearts at the media lab. Not only was he a Selzter Grant awardee, but we've witnessed him work hard over the past years on an array of projects.

Check out a conversation he'll be presenting tomorrow called:
"From Tupac to 'Gangster Arabi': Hip-Hop in the Middle East"
Yuval Orr, C’11
...B.A. Candidate
Modern Middle Eastern Studies
College of Arts & Sciences

As change sweeps across the Middle East, the voices of the region's youth are beginning to be heard. Among the growing youth movements in the region is the hip-hop community, spanning from Morocco to Iran. These artists have adopted this musical form, and the cultural movement behind it, as a medium through which to construct and express their identity to their own communities and the rest of the world. The growing hip-hop scenes and movements in Morocco, Israel, and Palestine in particular represent a significant crossroad between an American art form and local traditions. Through hip-hop, artists across the region grapple with the weight of cultural convergences, from the foundational influences of Tupac Shakur to the contemporary image of the Gangster Arabi.

See the Facebook Event.

Monday, April 18, 2011

3D Images on the iPhone

We discovered (actually it was featured on Make:Blog and CNN) a really fun and groundbreaking app today for the iPhone. It is called Trimensional and it allows you to make a low quality 3d image using just the camera on your iPhone or iPad. This file can then be emailed as an actual 3d model file (which you could then print on a 3d printer) or as an animated gif. These are examples of images we took in the lab.

Here is a link to the app in the iTunes store and a video from the creator if you'd like some more details about the app. Feel free to try out the app on our iPad2 in the lab.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Philly Tech Week

Philly tech week begins April 25th! What's this, you ask?

Philly Tech Week a week-long celebration of technology and innovation in Philadelphia. The annual week of events is intended to grow the impact of this innovative region through programming focused on technology, collaboration and improving Philadelphia. The inaugural week takes place April 25th to April 30th and will feature events from partners like The Franklin Institute, Independents Hall and First Round Capital.

There are all sorts of really interesting events, I for one will be attending the Girl Geek dinner.

Philly Tech Week is being organized by Technically Philly, a news site that covers the people who use technology in Philadelphia.

Friday, April 15, 2011

New Projectors Added!

The lab has added two new Infocus IN-104 Projectors to its inventory. You can go to our equipment page here to make a reservation.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Richard Stallman Coming to Penn

Richard Stallman will be coming to Penn next Wednesday to give a talk.

Richard Stallman (rms) is the father of the GNU operating system and the Free Software Foundation and a key member of the hacker culture. He is one of the most infamous figures in the computer science world and one of the premier thinkers on digital ethics. Come hear him speak about Digital Inclusion at 4:30PM on Wednesday (the 20th) in Wu & Chen Auditorium.

He has received the ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award, the EFF Pioneer award, a MacArthur Fellowship genius grant, as well as numerous honorary doctorates. See for more information about him personally.

Space is limited, so please go to to RSVP (or to find out more details) if you would like to come.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Preserving Your Family Photographs

We all have photographs that document our family stories. Join us to learn how to preserve these photographic materials – from 19th century daguerreotypes to contemporary digital images. Barbara Lemmen, Senior Photograph Conservator at the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts (CCAHA) in Philadelphia, will present an illustrated lecture which will cover how to handle, store, and display photographs. There will be time to view samples of various photographic processes as well as to inspect currently available long-term
storage systems.

Tuesday, April 26 5:30pm
Class of '55 Conference Room
Van Pelt Library

This lecture is free, but due to space limitations RSVP to Abby Eron at 215-545-0613 or by April 25, 2011

Monday, April 4, 2011

Planning your Documentary

We're very lucky to have Ellen Reynolds presenting this workshop on how to organize a long-term documentary video project. Ellen is the lab supervisor at the School of Design, and has taught film and video at both the University of the Arts and UPenn. She is also a filmmaker herself, specializing in documentary film.

She will discuss the optimal field package for your project, equipment purchases, editing options, planning for travel/shooting in challenging environments, and learning to shoot for the edit. She will provide examples of organizational aids, release forms, and timelines. Designed for undergraduates considering multimedia as part of a research project.

When: Wednesday, Apr 6, 03:30 -5:00pm
Where: Class of '55 Conference Room, Van Pelt Library, 2nd floor West. Moved to WIC Seminar Room, Van Pelt Library, 1st floor West.

Sign up on our website.

New, Dynamic Blog views for Blogger

Blogger now offers five dynamic views for its public blogs. These views are only accessible if allowed for by the blog author, although they seem to be permitted by default.
  • Flipcard: available at [blogURL]/view/flipcard
  • Mosaic: available at [blogURL]/view/mosaic
  • Sidebar: available at [blogURL]/view/sidebar
  • Snapshot: available at [blogURL]/view/snapshot
  • Timeslide: available at [blogURL]/view/timeslide
As an example, the URL for accessing the Mosaic view for our own blog would be

Full details at

Friday, April 1, 2011

Epub file creation

I recently created my first .epub file. This is a type of e-book file that can be read on Android devices, the Nook, Sony Reader, and portable Apple devices among others. The files are a little odd in the way they need to be formatted. Here are a few resources I found helpful when creating my first document.
Calibre is a free and open source e-book library management application developed by users of e-books for users of e-books. This program allows you to convert between several different formats.
Sigil is Google's free multi-platform WYSIWYG ebook editor.

Adobe TV ebook creation using InDesign
This is a link to a series of three videos on Adobe TV about ebook creation using InDesign. These are what I primarily used to get started, and they helped a lot, although you need a little bit of an InDesign background to get started. You also need to be using InDesign CS4 or CS5 to export the .epub file.