Ripley’s Believe It… The Community Gardening Edition

January 22, 2011

You’ve heard of Christmas in July? This is the reverse: Gardeners in February. The Boston Chapter of the Awesome Foundation is psyched to be celebrating two grants made in 2010 that support different facets of the community gardening movement on Friday, February 11, 2011. Pick-a-Pocket Gardeners – Nov ’10 Fellow: They are a stealthy bunch of civic-oriented gardeners who have mind melded with the Cambridge/Somerville Departments of Public Works to make neglected urban spaces purdy. We gave them the big green thumbs-up for uniforms, decoder rings, garden tools: whatever they need to make the magic happen. We’re hoping for capes too, but that’s up to them. Ripley’s Garden for Others – July ’10 Fellow: Thomas & Dawn Ripley started off with a 1,300 sq/ft garden. It didn’t take long for the produce to overwhelm their freezer’s capacity. They canned a bunch, ran out of storage space, and started donating the overflow to their local food pantry in Caldwell, ID. It was the only fresh produce the families and pensioners who rely on that organization got. Inspired by the warm fuzzy feeling that comes from giving, Thomas wrote to us with a proposition. “If I can feed a few, I can feed… read more →

Triple Awesome FTW!

January 13, 2011

There’s a lot of awesome brewing here in Beantown. We can barely keep track. Upcoming Event: Ignite Craft – Friday, 1/14/11 We are really excited to be partnering with the Common Cod Fiber Guild to announce our December ’11 Fellow (Will Macfarlane of ‘Parts & Crafts’) at the ‘Ignite: Craft’ event. The Big Giant Check is getting giddy just thinking about it. The main event is currently at capacity (it’s that awesome), but we encourage you to get on the waitlist (just in case) and plan to meet us out afterward at The Friendly Toast around 9pm. 2nd David Nunez Chair of Awesome Studies If you want to be considered for the open seat at the round table, the deadline is Saturday, 1/15/11 @ 11:59pm. Calling all >>AWESOME>> in Boston (…and beyond) We will be deliberating next week for our January ’11 Fellowship. Submit your application by Saturday, 1/15/11 @ 11:59pm. There is a lot more in the works too: Radio Boston, Stealthy Gardeners, Invisible Instruments. (OH MAI!) In the meantime, we’ve uploaded oodles of goodies in the way of pics and videos on Facebook Page. That ought to keep you busy.

Join the Boston Awesome Foundation

December 31, 2010

We noticed you’re pretty awesome; we’re pretty awesome ourselves. Do you have a passion for encouraging creativity and inciting revolutions? Are you excited about awesome projects, whatever your definition of that might be? If so, you might have what it takes to be the 2nd David Nunez Chair for Higher Awesome Studies. The Awesome Foundation for the Arts and Sciences is an ever-growing, worldwide network of people devoted to forwarding the interest of awesomeness in the universe, and we, the Boston chapter, are looking for a new trustee to join our ranks. We are particularly interested in someone who is well-connected in communities outside of the tech/startup world to help diversify our group: artists, musicians, makers, chefs, nonprofit organizers, educators, mad scientists, etc. are all encouraged to apply. Your responsibilities would include: * Reviewing and selecting an Awesome Project each month. This means reviewing the month’s submissions, identifying your favorites, and championing them during a monthly 2 hour long deliberation session (low conflict, beer and pizza to help the process along). * Contributing $100 towards each monthly award * Attending the events held in honor of the winners * In the event of your resignation, helping to find a successor… read more →

Invisible Instruments Rok!

November 9, 2010

Awesome Foundation Boston is thrilled to announce our October Fellow, Tim Soo and his Invisible Instruments project! Tim amazed us with this video of an invisible violin he cooked up at school when he had forgotten to bring his real violin to practice. How cool is that? Make sure to watch the video through to when he starts playing. Tim will use the grant funds to buy the equipment he needs to build more instrument prototypes and post instructions for how he’s done it. He’s already gone on to build an invisible guitar as part of Music Hack Day Boston with an iPod Touch. Stay tuned for a fellowship awards party where we hope to see more of Tim’s work.

Droid Does… (aka the Disaster Communications App)

July 14, 2010

Access to communications technology is AWESOME, but not everyone has it. Cell phone towers are expensive and developing, remote, rural, and/or disaster ridden areas often don’t have those resources. Expose an already weak communications infrastructure to the destruction of a natural disaster, and you have our collective nightmare: Asia circa 2004, Haiti, and the site of the next international incident. When chaos strikes, the speed and proficiency of local relief effort coordination translates directly to saved lives. With those critical moments in mind, Paul Gardner-Stephen (a post-doctoral fellow at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia) founded The Serval Project. The project goal is to, literally, give voice to communities outside the grid. The Awesome Foundation for the Arts and Sciences granted the project $1,000 in May 2010 to fund the adaptation of the Android OS for disaster relief communications. Paul and his colleagues have spent the past few months writing software to create instant, decentralized, P2P phone networks. The equipment requirements are used Android handsets and Village Telco’s “Mesh Potato” (a lightweight, low-cost, and low-power unit that serves as a building block for ad hoc networks). A key feature of Gardner-Stephen’s system allows users to send and receive messages using their… read more →