A Higher Road to Higher Ed

On Saturday, November 15, 2014 at the JFK Library & Museum in Dorchester, Massachusetts, AstroDime Data collectors took part in an action as part of Adjunct Action/SEIU’s conference for adjunct faculty from around the United States. The conference was called “A Higher Road for Higher Ed: Expanding the Movement in America’s College Town” and the agenda and web site can be found here:


It was a very moving symposium. Faculty member after faculty member talked about their experiences in teaching for many years, and their work not being appreciated or honored by their institutions. What was most interesting was that this symposium was doing the work of honoring these faculty..the work that Universities and Colleges should be doing.

AstroDime Transit Authority made an appearance with our data collecting team. We asked faculty to “doodle” during the conference, and we collected the doodles during the length of the conference. There are many more wonderful doodles but here is some documentation of our action, which we called DoodleDadaData. The Dada is in reference to the Dada movement..and AstroDime was honoring the feminist principle of “invisible work”. So we were in fact doing a sort of Feminist Dada art project.

Here are some images below. More to come!

This one is outstanding!

This one is outstanding!

A really cool idea about doodles

What are thoughts? Doodles are thoughts. Things are thoughts. This is by….

Help support our adjuncts!

Help support our adjuncts!

Data being processed.

DadaData being processed.


One of our data gathering specialists.

AstroDime at MIT7

AstroDime Transit Authority will be taking part in MIT7: Unstable Platforms: the Promise and Peril of Transition. This is taking place May 13-15, 2011.

here’s the agenda for the Media in Transition conference:


AstroDIme will be doing some interventions and a presentation. Based on the data we have collected this spring for our iCAN, suggestions for apps and updates, we will present our data and our next prototype for the iCAN

We will be collecting more data at the Saturday reception in the TING foyer at MIT
from 7-9pm. There, we will circulate with iCANs and tin can phones and take surveys on the future of the iCAN.


Our presentation of data will be on 10:45AM sunday. in room E51-335.
Here’s the full session:

Music of the Spheres
Ananya Ghoshal, Cybernetics, the Music of John Cage and New Media
Boris Goesl, Modern Projection Planetariums as Media of Iterative Reinvention
sam smiley, The Future is Now: smartCANS in the 21st Century

moderator: Paul van den Hoven

Hope to see you there!

The Future is Now: smartCANS in the 21st Century

The Future is NOW!

smartCANS in the 21st century.
TRADE SHOW and Conference

Bannister Gallery
Rhode Island College
Providence Rhode Island

Keynote Speech by Mitchell K. Ahern,
Chairman of the International iCAN Developer’s Association

His speech will take place via SKYPE at 6PM EST

AstroDime Telecommunications Company is sponsoring a TRADE SHOW and demonstration of cutting edge TIN CAN technology.
Based on consumer response, we will premiere our iCAN version, with new improved performance and optional interactivity. In addition, using only the most intelligent of our smartCANS and the faster than sound speed of our 2G network, consumers will be able to beta test ENHANCED ™ tin can phone calls via our Party Line, for the latest in social networking.

We are honored to have Mitchel K. Ahern
Chairman of the International iCAN Developer’s Association
as our Keynote speaker.
his Keynote Speech:  “iCAN is the Platform on Which We Will Build the Future”

Mitchel K Ahern, Chairman of the International iCAN Developers Association

Mitchel has been in digital marketing and communications for a very long time with titles like SYSOP, Webmaster, Digital Media Producer, Product Manager and Director of Communications for companies such as One to One Interactive, Eastern Acoustic Works, and currently Cantina. He’s worked with clients such as Aegon, Royal Caribbean and UPS to develop apps for both consumers and in the B2B space. He writes for industry publications such as iMedia Connection and speaks at various industry events, most recently leading a panel at the Direct Marketing Associations DMA2010. Mitchel also has extensive experience with non-profit trade organizations as Vice President of the Webmasters Guild and chairman of the Association of Internet Professionals with over 33 international chapters. In his current role as Chairman of the International iCAN App Developers Association Mitchel is responsible for coordinating the efforts towards establishing a coherent and consistent iCAN user experience, promoting accessibility, and establishing professional development opportunities for the larger iCAN technical community.

Survey Results for iCAN apps!

Focus Group Survey Results

On Friday, February 25, astrodimer sam smiley gave a presentation on the iCAN (TM) and also handed out surveys. The panel/presentation was called “An Afternoon of Dialogue, Debate, and Discourse” and included art historian Cher Knight and AIB faculty member and artist Nathan Felde. Stuart Steck was the organizer and moderator of this panel.

On behalf of Astrodime, sam sam smiley created a survey, which would help AstroDime in the creation of “apps” for the iCAN (TM). Here are the results of the survey.

1. If you had an iCAN, how often would you use it and what would you use it for?

Meetings, talking to myself in public
I would keep one half and give the other to a friend.
To recycle my thoughts, to prevent my thoughts from escaping to others, to prevent word pollution, to communicate with my head.
Every thought I had that I wanted to transmit to myself
Holding Soup, Talk Soup
Once a month
I’d use it for silly fun
I would poke, various noises, ring tones
I would pretend I was talking to my therapist
I’d use this every day in class. I think this would be a pretty amazing way to conduct crits.
The first thing I would do would be hack it.
Then I’d post my hack on the instructables under my hacker alias.

2. What would be your preferred network?

T riders
deep, dark secrets
Party Line
Just my close hacker community friends

3. What accessories do you suggest would be useful for the iCAN? What are your favorite colors?

Naples Yellow
“Phone covers”, bedazzled iCANs! Personalize your own!
An iCAN “sock” for a) modesty, b) cold weather use
Economy-can sized unit for family chat
Stylish label-cases: chunky and Campbell’s preferred
Jolly green giant, Cotton candy blue, Warhol soup can red
I love the blue
Funnel attachment
Those little cell phone charms. That would be way cute, like Hello Kitty or something.
A hands free head/neck holder brace thing so you can text at the same time (multitasking)
I like the natural colors of the materials
A hands free version would be nice

4. Can you suggest any apps you would like to see developed for the iCAN?

Music, Political rants
Thought whirling, circular thinking (like circular breathing), If you get thoughts whirling fast enough, they may puff up like beaten egg whites. Think what we might discern!?!
The eye-can camera phone
Recycling-yard filler
CAMP Bells- bang cans together to ward off bears
CANdid camera- easily changed into a pinhole camera
Puddle jumpers or step-ups to see over crowds
Poetry app
Inside joke app
Peaceful protesting “megaphone” app
Voice modifier
Some app that tracked my metrics and posted my usage data to twitter

iCAN call for APPS!

Looking for APP or APP proposals for our bleeding-edge technology, the iCAN!

Facebook Sux

Usually I don’t go off topic and rant like this, but rant I shall, if you don’t mind granting me my soapbox.

I have (had) a facebook account that had an odd name.  Actually it was “Basta ya”. This was because originally it was going to be for my band, but time went by and it turned into a family account.

I went to it one day and saw the following:

Of course, people always wonder why you might get banned..

? could it be…i never declared my gender. For a while on facebook you could get away with not doing that.  Now you have to..your choice is male or female.

? could it be..I just recently put a picture of the top of my head as my icon. As you can see, this is not my face.

Well obviously i had concerns and questions so I pushed the next button and came to this:

Well..sounds good on the surface. But most names can’t be proven to be “real”. People register with fake names all the time. I know Basta Ya isn’t a “real” name but either are many facebook identities. (It’s a creative process of roleplaying called making your AVATAR)

So I went to the next link to get my account back and make up another name.

I clicked on the above link and this is what i got..

All this brings up a lot of questions. Of course I am under NO illusions that Facebook represents in any way a democracy. I signed a terms of service, Facebook is a corporation..but the rub is..Facebook has the rights of “personhood”

Citizens United v Federal Election Commission (2010). In a 5-4 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court overrules Austin and a century of federal legislative precedent to proclaim broad electioneering rights for corporations.

So here’s the new version of social networking. People can get “disappeared” by a so called “bot” with an eye for …some algorhythm of transgression beknowst only to facebook. what is that algorythm anyway?

. so where do we live now with our new “cloud computing” and “social networking” ? are we living a corporate bureacracy? a kafka-esque situation in which which nothing is changed unless it goes “viral”?

Being the persistant person i am, i made a brand new facebook page. so “like” it please! it’s called Faceless Book.


thanks for hanging out at my soapbox

-sam smiley, Think Tank Operator, AstroDime Transit Authority

Dia de los Muertes in Second Life


Postcard from Penelope in Second Life

The Smithsonian Museum Latino is about to launch their Second Life presence. This will coincide with the Day of the Dead, a Mexican day honoring the ancestors. Astrodime is sponsoring a collaboration between Lesley University, and the Smithsonian Latino Center as part of our Scientific American/La America Cientifica year long project. This has also come out because of the hard work from the Critical Pedagogy committees and Diversity committees at Lesley University. AstroDime member sam smiley will be visiting the real world Smithsonian Museum Latino this week in D.C.

You can get to the Smithsonian Latino Project by going to: http://latino.si.edu/education/LVM.htm

Or you can join virtually by going to

Smithsonian Latino 2nd Life

Smithsonian Latino 2nd Life

To take part in the festival virtually, participants must have an avatar in
Second Life and can
join by going to:
Dia de los Muertos is celebrated in Latin America, particularly Mexico and
Central America, and in Latino communities in the United States to honor deceased family and friends through altars called “ofrendas” and by decorating cemeteries and individual tombstones. Offerings traditionally
include sugar skulls, marigolds, “pan de muertos” (a special Day of the Day
bread) and the material goods the deceased enjoyed while alive.
“With the growing number of Latinos in the United States, including people
of Latin American descent, it is no surprise that this holiday, traditionally celebrated Nov. 1 and 2, has become so popular
in the United States,” said Melissa Carrillo, director of New Media and
Technology at the Smithsonian Latino Center. “Illustrating this important aspect of Latino culture in a broad platform such as Second
Life will allow users from across the world an opportunity to participate in
and see firsthand, spiritual customs that have been passed on from ancient Mesoamerica.”
Highlights include a community altar in the virtual museum’s “Placita” (town
square) and a companion community altar in Virtual Native Lands, a partner site in Second Life focused on highlighting Native American culture and practices. Virtual museum resources include Smithsonian
Latino collections, a user’s guide, glossary, lesson plans and resource
links for educators. Teaching tools for teachers about key elements of the observance include the Spanish arrival, customs and
beliefs, traditional dancing and the importance of the return of spirits.

Astrodime at Maker Faire Rhode Island

Astrodime at Maker Faire Rhode Island

Sept 30 2009 by Amanda

This is a recap of Astrodime’s experience at the Maker Faire festival in Providence, RI. The website for the festival is at http://makerfaireri.com/.

On Saturday, September 19 the Astrodime Transit Authority demonstrated our tin can telecommunications system at the Maker Faire Rhode Island festival. The technicians of Astrodime, including sam, Julia, Lisa, and Amanda worked directly with adults and young children in using the AstroCan communications systems. Many adults were eager to prove to their children that the tin can system worked just as well as their iPHONES.

Set in the heart of the Financial District in Providence, Astrodime’s exhibition consisted of 2 videos displaying the most current INtransit journal “Can You Hear Me Now?” and “Secret Decoder”. Also on display were the hand-crafted iCANs, tin can phones, and wire tapping devices. Between 2pm and 10pm locals and out of towners experimented with our iCAN, tin can party line, and tin can phone wiretapping. Throughout the day, over 200 people tested the tin can communication device, and sam experimented with our wiretapping capabilities.

Maker Faire is the foremost event for grassroots American innovation. Being the first Maker Faire festival in Providence, this event attracted over 50 makers, inventors, and artists to showcase their most recent inventions. One of the highlights of the day was the disco bicycle party, designed by the custom frame bike-makers Circle A Cycles; another rare gadgeteer was Tellart, and they installed an interactive mixed reality pong game that people could play by wearing helmuts with IR LED’s attached. As Maker Faire continued into the late evening, the Providence River was set on fire as the themed “Celebration of Life” Waterfire festival took place!

Tin Can Telecommunications at NAMAC

On the last day of NAMAC,  Astrodimers MaryAnn, sam, Bebe, and Julia (with some assistance from Walter) did a  demonstration of cutting edge tin can technology at the Park Plaza Hotel. You would be surprised how many people don’t believe tin can phones work!! Sadly we didnt have a chance to demo our Party Line or Wire tapping techniques but we did make the iCAN available. Here’s a few quicky cell phone pix..

Bebe tries out the iCAN

Bebe tries out the iCAN

Maryann and Bebe talk to themselves near the NAMAC table.

Maryann and Bebe talk to themselves near the NAMAC table.