Software developers have a wide range of interests. The Strange Passions track is a bit of fun to explore those non-development topics that might not fit in any other conference. Strange passion talks will be given Thursday night Oct. 14th at the Pageant during the party. At the party a crowd favorite will be chosen and presented with the fabulous prize of a genuine Klein bottle!
Interested in attending the Strange Loop / Strange Passions party but not the conference? No problem - register right here for a party-only ticket.
Set 1 - 7:00 - 8:00
- Sipping the Nectar of Life - Jacob Kenner
- s/2 Years/10 Minutes/ of Photography - Michael Schade
- Why technologists should care about politics - Jesse Phelps
- Entering Without Breaking - Galen Collins
Set 2 - 8:15 - 9:15
- A Brief Tour of Replicant Architecture - Aaron Westre
- Why is there a lower-case 'a'? - Joel Neely
- How to make friends and intoxicate people - Eleanor McHugh
- The Science of Musical Counterpoint and Illusion - Daniel Spiewak
Sipping the Nectar of Life
Could you feed and clothe the world with flowers? Honey bees not only make delicious, golden honey from flower nectar, they pollinate food and fiber plants around the globe in the process. One third of the world's crop production requires pollinators. Join me on a fascinating journey through the lifecycle of a European honey bee colony.
About the speaker: I used to work in computer security. Downsizing has driven me to do a whole lot more work with food security by raising honey bees for pleasure and profit.
s/2 Years/10 Minutes/ of Photography
Photography is an extremely sociable environment if the photographer wishes it to be. You can brighten the life of an absolute stranger, and she yours, document the tiniest aspect of her life or capture an accurate portrayal of her entire being, all in a single frame. It gives you an opportunity to give the world a glimpse into your mind's eye, play with reality to unmask the world and show it as it is or portray the very same planet in your idealistic vision.
Through this talk we will explore two years of my photographic experiences in ten minutes, learning how to capture a better photo while exploring broader ideas and principles in photography.
About the speaker: An eighteen-year-old entrepreneur, software engineer, and academic, Michael Schade has a passion for anything to do with learning. Whether in devising a gorgeous one-liner to solve any current and future coding problems (we could hope for such a magical thing!), learning of a topic he has never before heard of, or furthering knowledge in an existing interest such as photography, Michael's all for it.
He founded Spearhead Development LLC in 2006 but has worked in the field professionally before that, helping local businesses make their way toward the wonderful world of technology. Michael is extremely approachable, so if you have any questions, please feel free to ask.
Why technologists should care about politics (and be politically active)
You most likely already know which congressman compared the internet to a series of tubes. But do you know why 2.4GHz was chosen as the standard for so many things? Did you know that selling that used book may become a copyright violation? Did you know that federal government is using financial aid as a means to force universities to police the students on their networks? I will expose you to the decisions our government makes around technology, how we arbitrarily got to some of the rules that are in place today, things that are currently being lobbied for/against and some recent/current court cases that could have important impacts on technology. NOTE: This will be as neutral as possible in that I will equally make both parties look ignorant.
About the speaker: Jesse Phelps is the Senior Software Developer at Lashback. He is currently finishing a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Jesse is technologically agnostic and dabbles in all aspects of technology from writing software to building/hacking hardware. When not immersed in technology, Jesse spends his free time with his wife Sarah and son Jonah. He also enjoys brewing beer, politics and theology.
Entering Without Breaking
You've seen the movies where some thief enters a building or opens a safe with a paper-clip and a nail file, but does that really work? Give me ten minutes and I will let you know how locks work, how to pick them, and what you can actually pick them with.
About the speaker: Galen Collins is a developer with penchant for accumulating mediocre skill in a number of random hobbies.
A Brief Tour of Replicant Architecture
There are more than 20 replicas of the Eiffel Tower in the world. Bits and pieces of Venice, Pisa and Rome have been rebuilt across the globe. Famous castles, palaces and monuments have been painstakingly copied in innumerable locations in the interest of tourism, commerce and reputation. In this talk we will take a tour of some of the more intriguing examples of replicant architecture around the world. We'll also explore what all this reproduction might mean and how it's manifesting in more and more spectacular ways physically as well as virtually.
About the speaker: Aaron Westre is founder and principal of Artificial Natures, a software design studio building novel creative software for architects and designers. He is an adjunct instructor at the School of Architecture at the University of Minnesota, where he teaches architecture students how to break their computers.
Why is there a lower-case 'a'?
The craft of lettering and the art of calligraphy are thousands of years old. As with other technologies, the forms of the letters we have today have been shaped by the characteristics of the tools making them, the needs of the makers, and the goals of those who needed them. These forces shaped 'A' and 'a' in their carved and manuscript forms, and provided a basis for the variety of typefaces now available.
About the speaker: Joel Neely is a Technical Principal at FedEx Services. His experience includes teaching, training, and software development. His "passions" include music and calligraphy.
How to make friends and intoxicate people
Are you a geek? Do you like alcohol? Is your start-up so strapped for cash you're living on ramen and sleeping under your desk? Then join me for the most empowering lightning talk you'll ever experience!
Yes in just ten minutes I'll tell you everything you need to know to turn a random collection of sugars, starches and yeast into a pretty drinkable home brew with nothing more expensive than a bucket, a kettle and a cupboard.
About the speaker: I brew wine and beer, and to date I haven't killed myself drinking it. I guess that counts as a testimonial.
The Science of Musical Counterpoint and Illusion
As with all forms of artistic expression, music is a way of communicating an idea indirectly into the minds of the listeners. One of the more subtle (and complex) techniques for accomplishing this goal is that of counterpoint. Composers will often seek to "trick" the listener into hearing a melody, harmony or rhythm which is not in fact expressed by the music. In this way, the music can communicate the idea without having to state it outright. In a sense, this is the musical equivalent of the literary maxim: show, don't tell.
We will examine several inspiring examples of this technique, spanning multiple genres and styles, as well as discuss the properties of human cognition which make this technique (and others like it) so profoundly effective.
About the speaker: Daniel Spiewak is a software developer based out of Wisconsin, USA. Over the years, he has worked with Java, Scala, Ruby, C/C++, ML, Clojure and several experimental languages. He currently spends most of his free time researching parser theory and methodologies, particularly areas where the field intersects with functional language design, domain-specific languages and type theory.
Daniel has written a number of articles on his weblog, Code Commit, including his popular introductory series, Scala for Java Refugees.