October’s End and Melbourne Knowledge Week

We welcomed back local artist and crafty expert Sayraphim Lothian to tell us all about her love for Guerilla Kindness. Once again we made ourselves some delightful looking felt cupcakes to leave on the street all in the act of kindness for one lucky stranger who happens to stumble across it. And do you believe that everyone has a play in them? Bethany Simons does and showed us how to get it down onto paper in an Introduction to Playwriting. With brainstorming sessions on how to tease the idea out and give it form, as well as some performances of freshly-scripted works (including one about jellyfish) a fun time was had by all.


Our first Melbourne Knowledge Week 2013 class was Neuroplasticity: Brains on the Starting Block with Dr. George Halasz. We learnt how the brain model has evolved from a fix model where neurons are finite to a plastic model were the brain changes, evolves and adjusts through life. This new model has been proven by myriad of people that overcame different limitation from brain strokes to learning disabilities when their brains allocated those lost functions to other brain parts.

All energy on earth can be traced back to the sun, and Wallace Wong showed us how humans are tapping directly into that energy source in Solar Power – How It Works. Did you know you can make a solar cell using powdered sugar form a doughnut and passionfruit juice? Did you know we can now make transparent solar cells that you can put on your windows and still see through them? We found out the basic physics behind them, and got to see some of Wallace’s own research into flexible solar cells

Partners in Light, a.k.a. Maria Yebra and Steve Rowland, were in The Little Mule for MKW2013 part four: Light Painting: Using Light As Your Brush. We learnt all about light painting, got some great ideas for lights to use and images to capture and then we got creative. We used fairy lights, bike lights and toys to paint wings on people, write in the air and we finished off by going outside and capturing images with steel wool! Then, Daniel Jolles from Plann returned to show us How to Have Better Ideas. Daniel explained how ideas are human, social and grow over time, which is why a small idea can end up creating big change. We talked about our favourite ideas we NEVER had, we solved riddles and we learnt the basic recipe for ideas: speed of connections, diversity of people and remixing and recombining.

PieThe frontiers of physics can be daunting, but combine them with food and you have Kitchen Cosmology: Chris Lassig’s fantastic and accessible class on the workings of the universe. With graphic demonstrations of the big bang (popcorn), galaxies colliding (pie fight), and expansion (sultana pudding) we ate our way to a deeper knowledge of the events that led up to our existence. To cap it off, Chris pretended earth was a single hundred-and-thousand and described the scale of the galaxy in terms of this: the Sun is the size of a grapefruit! Our final frontier for Melbourne Knowledge Week 2013 was to welcome back Scott Phillips to talk with us about 3D Printing. Conversation ranged from the temperature of your bed (printing bed that is) through to the future 3D printing, like printing houses in a day! The future looks fun.