Howdy, one n' all, and welcome to Noisebridge, a hackerspace in the Mission district of San Francisco, CA, and home of the Biobridge group (represented in this context by yours truly), one of the teams competing in the Great Global Hackerspace Challenge (GGHC). I'll introduce both myself and the rest of the team a little further down, but first a little bit about Noisebridge itself.

 

Noisebridge is my favourite place in the whole world for a gazillion reasons, but first and foremost among them is this: that the entire place - several hundred more-or-less regular users sharing 5000 sq ft. of workspace, toys, kitchen, dark room, wood shop, etc. - rests and runs on a quote from a 1989 pseudo-sci-fi B-movie poster (and of Keanu Reeves, of all people!): "Be excellent to each other, dudes!" [Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure]

 

It seems somewhat hard to believe at first that such a  basic sentiment, such a simple statement, can really replace all the rules and regulations we're used to imposing on each other to keep our monkey minds in check, but it is none the less exactly what makes Noisebridge special - that the lack of imposed structure forces each and every one of us to regulate our own behaviour, communicate (and often compromise) with others, relate to all issues on an open case-by-case basis, and generally just be overall excellent to one another.

 

I sometimes hear that Noisebridge is not for everyone - to this, I say: that's a matter of choice. Everyone is free to choose to live by self-imposed codes of conduct rather than externally enforced rules. It's just...challenging...at times. It requires willpower and determination to strive for excellence in all things, but it is excatly that willpower and determination, that conscious choice to be excellent to ourselves and each other, which makes the community around Noisebridge such a singularly awesome group of people. And since such is the good fortune of yours truly that I count myself among them, without further ado I will now introduce myself and the fantastic team I'm working with:

 

We are part of Biobridge, a new group at Noisebridge dedicated to furthering DIY, open-source, practical (micro)biology. Our first project is the BioBoard, the above-mentioned GGHC entry (read the original project proposal and follow our progress under 'Projects'), an Arduino-controlled sensor package that allows users to monitor a range of physio-chemical parameters related to microbial processes, with wireless data transmission and supporting data visualization. The core project team consists of: Marc, a Danish software engineer working in synthetic biology with an inspiring dedication to futhering open source synthetic biotechnology and enabling citizen science - he's also a decent electronics hobbyist, our main technical capacity, and (being the only computer geek on the team) is primarily in charge of software development; Sean, an organic chemist currently leasing his soul to the pharmaceutical industry is awesomely enthusiastic about all things hackable, including vodka, cake and laboratory scales - he's also mean with a soldering iron, and will be in charge of building a probe to measure dissolved oxygen in liquid medium; Charlie, engineer,  home-brewer, handy man and all-round DIY old-timer, who is going to be leading our efforts to build the best possible DIY thermal sensor (several avenues of research will be pursued); Mike, man of many contacts, source of all things big, small, odd, pink and minimally draggable, who has read the book on project management and promised to share the wisdom therein - his eye for detail is unique, and apart from being in charge of sourcing, he'll also be keeping close watch that nothing is dropped during the inevitably hectic build process; and myself, Rikke, a  (coincidentally also Danish) DIY fanatic, mad biologist and cyberpunk futurist, currently doing my level best to coordinate the efforts of this group, document our progress as we go and hopefully even entertain you, dear reader, in the process. I'll also be attempting to develop a DIY biomass probe with my good friend and personal electronics guru, Dzl, as advisor - don't miss it, it's going to be...(guess).......(oh, go on, guess)..........(yay, you guessed it!)...EXCELLENT!

 

Stay tuned for next blog post, and don't forget: Be excellent to each other, dudes!