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25 July 2021 Term 3 Week 0 Email

Hello interesting people,
Here below is a bit of a large Questionable Research Labs catch-up: 
Term 3 Groups
Our groups will mainly continue like last term.
* The Tuesdays Science Group will be focussing on disasters of all sorts.
* The Monday younger Girls Lab group will be taking on Problem Solving (I hope that’s no problem?).
* The Wednesday Robotics group might be able to accept another couple of members.
* The Thursday coding group and Thursday Questionable Projects Group will continue as before.

You can read more about the groups here, and while you’re at it, please sign up! We are more public this year and things are getting busier and we might be at the point of some waiting lists - so put your names down for what you are wanting to attend.

Recently:
The Terrible Ideas Hackathon our teens attended in Auckland was a wild creative adventure. They completed 3 terrible projects in the weekend. One can be seen as you come in the main entrance to the Lab. It’s a dice rolling robot - streaming live on Twitch HERE and controlled by sending it a chat message of !roll The robot rolls the dice and a bit of AI reads the dice and lets you know the result. It is ever so terribly cool and pointless.
There is another project a bit further into the Lab. It’s a spicy chess game (Zap Chess). This chess board will shock you if you take too long to make your move, and also magnets in the board prevent you from making some moves. This is a gorgeous piece of design that is terrible in its impact on your game play and anxiety levels. It is worth checking out the videos Ara put together of this on our youtube channel here

Also recently:
In fact, right now as I type this, we have a small team of 5 down at Auckland Uni’s Unleash Space competing in KiwiJam, a 48hr game making competition. It is about 11pm at night and we are about to get kicked out till 8am tomorrow morning. They are working on a 3D Tetris game in VR. Blocks come in from any direction and your hand controls the cube they must attach to (so you rotate the cube to land the pieces). This is a seriously hard thing to build - not clear yet if it is achievable in the time they have, but they are going for it. 

And Soon:
* GovHack (20.-22. August in the Labs) - The Whangarei node of an International 48 hour data science and app development competition, utilizing government and other open data. The sign up is here. This is the website. I will talk to people more about that as the date approaches. It requires all sorts of skills (including video and graphics).
* Cosplay Picnic (1st Aug ) - This one is for Lab dwellers in weird and colourful costumes! Everyone is invited to the first Northland cosplay picnic (to our knowledge…): This is next Sunday, 1st of August, 11am to 3pm, Cafler Park (next to the library)! Come in cosplay, bring something to eat or drink, come hang out and play some games and get some photos taken! If the weather is bad, it will take place in the Labs. Keep up to date on this Facebook page

Things we need/ Want to help?/ Skills list
A huge thank you to everyone who filled our space with awesome stuff over the last months - it feels like a totally chaotic, creative, almost perfect home! To make the Labs an even more welcoming place for all, we want to create a quiet space for those of us that need to escape when things get a bit raucous. This will be done in the current soft space. A more active space will be created in the less used conference room. To do this we need to redecorate a bit, which is why we are looking for a few couches, long curtains and more soft things. Have a look at our things needed list here - if you can help out, get in contact.

There are also many ways to help out - and maybe you are exactly the right person with some super niche knowledge about the secret life of slugs or something else that you would love to share? We have a newly created and sort of empty list with things you can help out with, and we also have a list where you can let us know which skills you would like to do workshops/talks/events on. Just put your name and skill in there, or write us an email and we’ll get in contact with you.

Other Upcoming INTERESTING Things
* This term there will be several talks by amazing people: Someone from RocketLabs (hopefully), a Volcanologist and others
* Seismograph building workshop (during school time, date to be confirmed)
* Cosplay workshops (date to be confirmed)
* Kombucha making workshop (date to be confirmed)
* Sewing workshop (date to be confirmed) - learn how to use our sewing machine and overlocker machine
* Gaming for Charity (28./29. August in the Labs) - a weekend of non-digital games, board games, card games, D&D, larps and more
* Armageddon Expo Auckland (21.-25. October) - biggest expo for all things nerd, we will go down for a day in a happy swarm. Parents are welcome and needed if your creature is young.

The next holidays are approaching fast… A day or so later it will be Xmas and then in just another few weeks later it is the year 2037. Time is so annoyingly slippery that the future is almost yesterday before it gets the chance to really be the future. Do your best to make the most of the moments you have right now, it’s the only time that actually exists.

Cheers
Kevin, Verena, Sheldon Mac and Kim (and ALL the other hidden contributors to our community)