Lots o’ Tech

Two upcoming Bay Area events for the gadget-and-film set:

  • Women 2.0, a Silicon Valley-focused entrepreneurship group known for its business plan contest sponsorship, is hosting a conference in Palo Alto with Stanford Women in Business on May 10. Frog Design, Google.org and a handful of startups make for an intriguing list of presenters. I’m excited that so many forums are opening for us novices working in this space to interact with the people we look up to (I’m a Girls in Tech fan myself but also able to get behind the idea of the more, the merrier).
  • Bay Area Women in Film and Television’s monthly meeting on May 14 will focus on marketing your media and will include panelists from online video analytics and distribution company Tubemogul and PodTech. The get togethers are a fun way to meet other young producers, video hosts and the like. The SF School of Digital Filmmaking is worth a visit even if not for this event (although I’d eat beforehand–the falafel at the April meeting had me running scared). The $5 to attend will be money well spent, and signing up in advance is recommended.

Make More

Had a most enjoyable time at this weekend’s Maker Faire at the San Mateo Fairgrounds. The creators of Make Magazine and the Weekend Projects Podcast I dearly love drew an eclectic group of crafters, kids, and tech-heads. A Lego truck and wooden bikes invited participation, and it was fun to see the reactions hundreds of people had to seeing the visual explosion of Diet Coke and Mentos (my video from the back of the crowd doesn’t do it justice–the original viral clip is much more enticing).

Act Out

I never thought I’d feature Will Ferrell video clips (now that just sounds snobbish) but his recent work for the US Campaign for Burma, a U.S.-based group that works to empower grassroots activists in bringing an end to the military dictatorship in Burma, deserves attention. Sure, I do really like his line about being alone in your room in Toledo and not knowing what you can do to help, but it’s the cause to get one million people to work toward international intervention that really appeals. Say what you will about celebrity endorsements, but this at least invites a different audience to be exposed to news about Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and hear about the National League for Democracy for the first time.

“Carne Asada Is Not a Crime”

Morning Edition turned me onto a colorful story this morning about a graphic designer who used his interest in maps as a springboard for making good Mexican food easier to find. Yum Tacos, a “guide to the taco trucks of California,” could become your new best friend if you find yourself in, Fresno or–God forbid–Sactown after a late night. I’m hopeful that ads from the likes of Iron Chef will keep the service afloat. I love the “know a truck? list it here” interaction.

In other news, the SF burrito eating tribute that David Anderson and I recorded is back up on the Peanut Gallery podcast–take a listen.

Arte

Just returned from an amazing (and art-filled) trip a la Ciudad de Mexico. The Feria Mexico Arte Contempo Raneo (FEMACO), a five-year-old international sculpture/painting/digital show, was a major highlight; its opening night event shed a lot of light on who watches the art market (wealthy whites, primarily silver-haired 60-somethings and blondes with killer calves) and the relatively low number of Mexican artists who got to show their wares among the abundance of Greenwich Village galleries.

Still, the work was fun to see, especially the large scale neon “Spectacular” and “You” pieces. Artkrush, Flavorpill’s design counterpart, ran a great piece on contemporary Mexican art this week that’s worth a read. While Bellas Artes, one of the major mural museums, was a bit disappointing, the Museo de Arte Moderno was the best use of a single hour during the trip. Its size was easily manageable, its design simple and inviting, and its permanent collection (including José Clemente Orozco’s arresting work) worth writing home about.

Special thanks to Ms. Bethany Davis for her generosity and fellow art criticism.

Not Your Grandmother’s Swap Meet

It’s unclear who’s planning this Dolores Park bike extravaganza next weekend, but I’m intrigued by the description: “track, fixed gear, fixed, fixie, fixed-gear, Italian, NJS, Keirin, Campagnolo, Shimano, swap, swap meet, trade.”

On the Medi(ums)

Tuesday and Wednesday brought many a Northern Californian downtown to protest the Olympic torch coming through on its way to the Beijing Games (although you don’t have to come here for coverage–print outlets have been covering it pretty religiously). It was great to see so many people participating in the work of Tibetan activists and coming out to see Archbishop Desmond Tutu speak about the Chinese government’s wrongdoing (I will truly follow that man anywhere). 

On their show “Global Pulse,” SF-based international news network Link TV ran a great synopsis of the differences in major outlets’ coverage of the chaos: