News

New courses, new space, new groups!Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

The MadLab building is about to undergo a major facelift, which means by autumn we’ll be better equipped to host community groups and commence our exciting new course programme!

The refurbishment is scheduled to finish in October. Upon completion we’ll have completely new frontage (bye bye dodgy shutters) and a new meeting room on the ground floor (hello new space for events!)

Old frontage - you've served us so well, but it's time to move on

Old frontage – you’ve served us so well, but it’s time to move on

Plans for new frontage

Plans for new frontage

With regular enquiries from new groups, and attendance for existing groups and courses at an all time high, the refurbishment is coming at a crucial time in MadLab’s continuing development.  We’re all really excited about what the future holds for our ever growing community.

So, what does this mean for you?

Courses

We’ve had a number of success stories from our courses in the past, some of which have recently been picked up on by The Skinny. They’ve featured, amongst others, Dan Hett (a previous course attendee who got scouted by the BBC and who is about to run his own course at MadLab) in an article about working in the arts.

Meanwhile back at MadLab, we’re working hard on our autumn course schedule and, come October, we’ll be starting our exciting new timetable, in our shiny new space.  We will be presenting a host of new social and professional courses led by international names such as WordPress co-founder Mike Little, and featuring everything from Coding to Anthropomorphic Mouse Taxidermy via Arduino, Creative Writing and trusty favourites such as the ever-popular WordPress courses.

We’ll be announcing the full programme in the next few weeks so keep an eye on our website, Twitter and Facebook page, or, if you’d like to be ahead of the curve, register your interest by emailing us at office@madlab.org.uk and we’ll make sure you’re the first to receive the info.

Groups

There will be a period of temporary relocation during the refurb. (we’re currently finalising details and will be in touch with existing groups very soon).  Although we’d love to stay here and let the work go on around us, we’ve been advised by our architect to vacate the building during this period.  Our temporary location will be centrally located and big enough to host all of our groups so won’t cause too much disruption!

What the refurbishment does mean, is that the ground floor will be warm and cosy in the winter months (through better insulation) and we’ll have a new meeting room allowing us to take on new groups, while continuing to support those whose attendance is going up and up.

If you’re interested in using MadLab for a meetup, let us know via office@madlab.org.uk. We offer the space free to unsponsored groups who do not charge for attendance.

Manchester Science Festival’s #HookedOnMusicTuesday, June 17th, 2014

Hooked On Music

MOSI are running an experiment to try and work out what makes certain music so catchy using the power of neuroscience! Hooked On Music is a game anyone can get involved with to help scientists work out why some songs get stuck in our heads.

Erinma Ochu, citizen scientist-in-residence at MOSI, muses on the neuroscience behind the joys of listening to music:

“So, MOSI have launched a music experiment that people can get involved in to help scientists figure out what makes music memorable: www.hookedonmusic.org.uk. Played as a game over several rounds, players get to recognise songs by singing out loud (or in their head if they’re shy) and identify the catchiest bit in pop songs from the 50s to the 90s and the present day.

More…

Blog

Next Round of SciFi BooksWednesday, July 16th, 2014

Hi Everybody

Here is our next round of books for exciting discussions at Manchester SciFi Book Club:

19th August – Old Man’s War by John Scalzi (318p)
16th Sept – A Connecticut Yankee in the Court of King Arthur by Mark Twain (272p)
21st Oct – Beggars in Spain by Nancy Kress (400p)
18th Nov – Manhattan in Reverse by Peter F Hamilton (320p)
20th Jan – We by Yevgeny Zamyatin (256p)
17th Feb – Robopocalypse by Daniel H Wilson (384p)

Don’t forget our next book on 15th Jul, which is Nova by Samuel R Delany.

See you next book!

Manchester Sci-Fi Book Club Contacts:

You can contact us via twitter @mcrsf_madlab or by using #mcrsf

Keep up to date with Manchester Sci-Fi book club posts at Madlab

We also have a group on Google which we would encourage you to join.

Manchester SciFi Book Club on Google+

Post by Daniel Wells, Manchester Sci-Fi Book Club.

A Ferranti evening with the Manchester Vintage and Retro Computing EnthusiastsThursday, June 5th, 2014

Manchester Vintage and Retro Computing Enthusiasts are a rather self-explanatory group. They meet on the first Friday of each month to talk vintage computers, tinker with peripherals, emulate and replicate old machines, and exchange information and ideas.

Ferranti Argus 100

Ferranti Argus 100 – Image Credit: Computer Conservation Society

On Friday 6th June, Alan Pickwick will be leading an informal talk about Ferranti Argus computers from 19:00. Alan has been researching the machines and has an update on his progress, as well a request:

“I have scanned in all the manuals relating to the Argus 100 that was stored at the Catalyst Science Centre in Widnes and is now in the hands of The Centre for Computing History in Cambridge. Many thanks to Paul Meara for facilitating this. Amongst many other things, we now have listings of test programs.

One request – very unlikely, but if you don’t ask – does anyone have any paper tapes relating to Argus?”

RSVP for free via Meetup to join in this discussion and contribute to their research!