Deb Chachra drops some materials engineering science at CyborgCamp MIT 2014

Posted by on October 30th, 2014

We’ve been talking to Deb Chachra for some time about her sharing her knowledge and experience in the field of biomedical materials engineering with the Grinding community and are excited to have seen it take shape as this recent talk at Cyborg Camp.

YouTube Preview Image


Posted by on December 30th, 2012

Last year, we asked you for questions.

You gave them to us.

This year, we’d like to do the same thing, shockingly enough.


Here’s the deal. Ask us anything — anything at all — via our formspring account here: We will then answer your questions in a hopefully entertaining manner.

Remember to use the Formspring account and not the increasingly compromised comments system for this. That’s — stay anon if you want or not. No topic is off limits, but things involving Grinding, the future, or whatnot would probably be a good idea.

Go forth to our Formspring and sin no more…  unless that’s what you’re into.



Shaping Things

Posted by on March 8th, 2012

Adam Rothstein just posted a fantastic essay on near-future fabbing over on Rhizome that should be mandatory reading for anyone who is a regular here.

On the other hand, there will be a new set of object hackers, who will be spending all their free time online, discussing the precise interior dimension ratios of the new set of Target glassware (which, they have discovered, is almost exactly equivalent in volume to a very famous American glass company’s 1940 catalog). Their forums will be filled with discussion of the best way to minimize wind resistance on custom bicycle fenders, while still maximizing spray blockage. Drug paraphernalia will be designed for maximum efficiency, with a willing and ready test market. A new hacker vernacular will be filled with implicit understandings of the integrals of surface area and volume, of curves and angles, of phase change curves and stress tolerances. One more set of bright kids will take a hard tangent outward from the common understanding matrix of “mainstream society”. But if you’re nice to them, perhaps they’ll fab you a custom iPhone case for Christmas.

Via Rhizome: The Shape of Shaping Things to Come

Eclipse Phase

Posted by on October 12th, 2009

I remember reading a scan of an old real print comic once.  The character in it was railing against the imaginary people of his imaginary world, taking them to task about their dissatisfaction with the future they lived in.  But it was really aimed at the stupid people who wanted their stupid little futures and who were too stupid to see that the future is now.  It’s always now.  Except it isn’t anymore.  The TITANs changed that.  The future is now yesterday, and last week, and ten years ago.


In August of this year, I had the opportunity to interview Rob Boyle and Brian Cross – two of the minds behind the post-singularity, transhumanist horror Role-Playing Game ECLIPSE PHASE.  We covered a lot of topics — from details about the game and the game world to the singularity, technology’s influence on politics, reputation economies, anarcho-transhumanism and more.

(Also?  Creative uses for bacon in the dark post-singularity future.)

You can listen to the interview (recorded August 7th, 2009 in a noisy bar during the GEN CON gaming gaming convention in Indianapolis, Indiana) here:

Powered by

(Or you can download it in a podcast format from here.)  As a minor warning, there are some setting spoilers in the interview.

ECLIPSE PHASE comes out this week in the US and elsewhere from bookstores and gaming retailers.  (Or in PDF format from Drive Thru RPG.)


Posted by on March 20th, 2009

@grinders is the twitter feed for Bite-sized grinding chunks, neatly delivered to your twitter account of choice. Please don’t reply to grinders, as it’s now only programmed to relay the posts presented here.

Want to send us things via twitter?

Now you can.

My belated Tokyo Game Show report

Posted by on December 1st, 2008

IMG_1557So six weeks ago now I was at the Tokyo Game Show, touching it’s stuff.  I battled Sonic and was snack-attacked by a ninja. I also got to see a whole slew of new games, demos mostly, and was warned away from taking any photos of the actual game screens, having failed to secure a Media Pass.

(Quick note for those wanting to visit Tokyo Game Show:  go on the Business Days!  The queues are much shorter and it is a far less harried experience.  All you need is a business card (thanks moo) and the entrance fee.  Go to the International Visitors entrance and then enjoy the relative lack of people).

So apart from the booth babes (yawn), what were the highlights? Well there were only two things I was super desperate to get my hands on…

Mirror’s Edge

waiting to play Mirror's Edge demo

Here I am minutes away from playing the demo level of Mirror’s EdgeAs I have written earlier, I was pretty excited to see just what a decent parkour game might be like to play; and had possibly re-watched the trailer for it ~100 times.

Sadly you only got ten minutes playing time on this, and despite having laughed at those going before me, I also struggled to balance walk across the first pipe, and make the first leap.  Since returning home I have played through the demo in full, and damn is it wicked fun.  Tricky, but once you get the hang of it, it’s fantastic to switch from a parkour trick into a melee attack.

The full version’s available to buy world-wide (I think) now.  Has anyone played through it yet?  Tell me;  I must know!  (And pray Santa brings me a PS3)


These poor guys were set right at the back in the business section, but, again, having written about this previously, I sought them out and made a bee-line straight to them.  There was no queue for this; just a take a ticket and wait 90 minutes dWith the Neurosky girls.. working it!eal.

I did, on the other hand, have time to pose with their lovely promo girls.

So sadly I did not get to experience mind-control first hand.  What I did do was watch other people use it, and have a long conversation with one of their marketing people.

Basically, it’s a good news, bad news situation.

Good news – it totally works!  Though all they had to show off was some simple demos they had coded up with the SDK; like a First Person Shooter where the zombies only appear when you think about them just so.

What I found very interesting was that most of the device is shielding to stop the sensitive EEG from being affected by all the ambient electronic emitted radiation.

Bad news - the reason they were there was to drum up interest from game companies.  Estimated time we will be able to buy a proper game or software using this device:  Christmas 2009.  Damnit!