Category: General

At the General Meeting on Oct 4th, a draft of our Mission and Vision statements for the TVCOG were presented. These documents are now online on our web site here. Please send feedback to the Board of Directors!

This year we are setting up letter boxes at historical sites around Troy near the Flag Day parade route on 3rd & 4th Streets. The letter boxes contain a stamp, stamp pad and log book for people to use in typical letterboxing fashion. Want to know more about letterboxing? This web site is a great place to start!

Here is our clue sheet for all the letterboxes, which will be in place by Sunday, June 11th in time for the parade (a few might be out earlier too!). Below is a copy of the press release for the event:

—-

For Immediate Release

Contact Jon Elbaum, 518-795-0934

Jon@troymusichall.org

TROY CULTURAL ORG LAUNCHES GEOCACHING PROJECT @ FLAG DAY PARADE Find 8 Hidden Boxes with 8 Original Stamps Commemorating Bicentennial

TROY, NY (6/8/16) — The Troy Cultural Alliance is launching a “geocaching” / “letterbox” treasure hunt on Sunday, during the Flag Day Parade, to promote Troy’s bicentennial celebration.

There will be eight hidden “caches” (waterproof plastic boxes) hidden at historically significant sites not far from the Flag Day Parade route.

Inside each hidden box there is a unique rubber stamp featuring an original image of an historic Troy building or landmark drawn by local artist Ben Karis-Nix using a computer and stylus. Tom Tongue, executive director of Tech Valley Center of Gravity, made the rubber stamps using one of the center’s laser cutting machines.

“When you find one of these caches, you get to take the stamp out and stamp paper that we will provide,” Tongue said. “If you’re good at following the clues, you can find all eight.”

Members of the Troy Cultural Alliance will be distributing “passports” and clues during the Flag Day Parade.  The passports and clues will also be available in the vestibule of the Tech Valley Center of Gravity, located at 30 Third St., at The Rensselaer County Historical Society, located at 57 Second St., and at The Arts Center of the Capital Region, located at 265 River St., and they will be available for download online at: http://www.tvcog.net/letterboxing-at-flag-day-parade/

“Some clues are just GPS coordinates that tell you pretty much where the box is, though you may have to look around the site a little bit. Other clues are observational clues,” Tongue said. “We tried to hide the cache in some cases. There are even a few multi-stage cashes where the first box contains a clue to where the real cache is located.”

“We wanted historically significant sites that have reflected 200 years of Troy’s history, whether it’s industrial or social civic,” said Kathy Sheehan, Rensselaer County and City of Troy historian. “If this goes well we have identified more sites throughout Troy, including Lansingburgh, where we can hide more boxes and stamps during the rest of the bicentennial year.”

According to Sheehan, this project borrows a little bit from “geocaching,” which is a modern outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices, and “letterboxing,” which traces its roots back to 19th century Britain and features remote boxes for leaving postcards to be found and mailed by the next hiker.

“This is a fun, different twist on something that has been going on for a few hundred years,” Sheehan said. “You’re going to have to look at the buildings, look under things, look at the clues, to find the hidden boxes.”

While seven of the eight images are straightforward depictions of the Troy landmarks, The Green Island Bridge is fancifully depicted as “TroyBot,” a giant superhero that can transform itself from a bridge into a benevolent humanoid robot protector of the city.

The beloved character, created by Karis-Nix, already appears on t-shirts, in online videos and in murals. This special stamp shows TroyBot as never before depicted and should delight fans.

“I think I’ve convinced my five-year old that TroyBot is real. Whenever we drive over it, he says ‘That’s the bridge that turns into Troybot! He’s a bridge right now but sometimes he turns into robot,'” Karis-Nix said. “The plan is to have these stamps in use perpetually, so people can find them for a long to come and they will become part of the Troy imagery and ephemera that one can collect.”

PUBLICITY IMAGES

To download the images of the stamps, visit the following dropbox link:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/oueaa1u0ndbs6xm/AAAFo0QwBdNN_mJe4U3nOH-2a?dl=0

ABOUT THE TROY CULTURAL ALLIANCE

The Troy Cultural Alliance is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit umbrella organization for Troy-based arts and cultural organizations with a mission to promote Troy as a cultural destination. The Alliance is supported by annual membership dues as well as funding from grants and business sponsorships. Its current member institutions include: The Arts Center of the Capital Region; Chapel + Cultural Center at RPI; Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company; EMPAC; Friends of Chamber Music; Rensselaer County Historical Society;  Hudson Valley Community College; Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; Russell Sage College; The Sanctuary for Independent Media; Troy Civic Theatre; Hudson-Mohawk Industrial Gateway/Burden Ironworks Museum; Troy Public Library and Troy Savings Bank Music Hall.

The TCA also provides the opportunity for businesses and other non-profits to join as non-voting members. The Alliance will work in concert with the Troy Business Improvement District (BID), the Rensselaer County Chamber of Commerce, Rensselaer County Tourism and City of Troy.

FOR INFORMATION

For information about the Troy Cultural Alliance, visit:

http://www.troyculture.org

CONTACT:

Jon Elbaum, 518-795-0934, Jon@troymusichall.org

###

 

The Zero To Maker event was conceived to help new members get up to speed with safety training and equipment usage at the COG. In one shot, we could cover some of the most popular pieces of equipment and make sure everyone was checked out on safety procedures, along with receiving a new ID card to allow access into the space. It worked well, but had some limitations… which is why we’ve rebuilt it from the ground up!

Weekly classes – More time – Continuous availability

Rather than a quasi-monthly event where all the information needs to be crammed into a 3 hour session, we’re moving to a weekly class series format. Each Tuesday from 7pm – 8pm we will have one of the core Zero To Maker classes. If you happen to miss one, no worries! It will be back in another 4 weeks! It also means that an opportunity for a refresher class is available, just in case you’re a bit rusty!

While the original Z2M sessions spent only 20 minutes per zone, the new format allocates a full hour for instructions, demonstrations and questions! In the case of some classes, like the laser cutting class, an online video will also be available for review in advance of the class so that the in-person session can be more hands-on.

Here is the current schedule of classes:

  • June 7th – 3D Printing
  • June 14 – Laser Cutter
  • June 21 – Wood Shop
  • June 28 – Fiber Arts

Based on the feedback from the initial 4-week run, we will make adjustments to improve the program. Please let us know if you have any questions, comments or concerns about the new format!

Saturday, June 4th

1 P.M. – 4 P.M.

TVCOG Kitchen and Lounge

Back to the Beginning!
 
Over the past 20 years, the homebrew revolution has completely changed the course of beer
drinking in America. Where once a small number of nearly identical beers of very simple, light
character dominated, now drinkers have literally thousands of choices with a wide range of flavors,
textures and recipes.
 
Homebrewing is an exciting hobby that can range from simple and inexpensive
to wildly complex and capital intensive. Recipes can be bought pre-packaged, as raw materials, or
anywhere in between. Beer is now something *anyone* can hack, and members of the Tech Valley Center Of Gravity have expressed strong interest in joining the homebrew movement.
 
This Pod will is an informal gathering open to everyone from neophyte to brewmaster, where we can talk, learn, brew, and sample together. This time, we’ll be designing and building out our brewing closet, sampling our last brew, and depending on manpower, starting our next one! It is a free event, but donations to the cause are always welcome!

Do you have an interactive project?

Rensselaer’s School of Humanities, Arts and Sciences, Severino Center for Entrepreneurship, Design for America and TVCOG are teaming up to bring “Troy By Design” to the Center of Gravity on May 7th from noon to 4pm. We’re seeking interactive demos to show off great design projects from all the makers, engineers, artists and entrepreneurs in the region. Attached is the official call for demos, and you can register your interactive project at http://www.troybydesign.com/

So if you’ve been pecking away at a project, let this be the push to get it finished up and ready to show! Whether it’s a game or VR application you developed at the hackathon last weekend, or even back in January, or something you’ve been brewing for a while, come show it off! Sign up to demo at http://www.troybydesign.com/

Also, don’t forget about our Mini Maker Faire in August, and think about exhibiting there as well! The call for makers will be opening on the 29th during our town hall meeting from 5pm – 7pm — more details coming soon!

There is a ton of stuff going on at the COG over the next few weeks, from game development to brewing to 3D modelling. Please check our web site calendar (http://www.tvcog.net/my-calendar/) for complete details!

Saturday, April 23rd

1 P.M. – 4 P.M.

TVCOG Kitchen and Lounge

It’s bottling time!
 
Over the past 20 years, the homebrew revolution has completely changed the course of beer
drinking in America. Where once a small number of nearly identical beers of very simple, light
character dominated, now drinkers have literally thousands of choices with a wide range of flavors,
textures and recipes.
 
Homebrewing is an exciting hobby that can range from simple and inexpensive
to wildly complex and capital intensive. Recipes can be bought pre-packaged, as raw materials, or
anywhere in between. Beer is now something *anyone* can hack, and members of the Tech Valley Center Of Gravity have expressed strong interest in joining the homebrew movement.
 
This Pod will is an informal gathering open to everyone from neophyte to brewmaster, where we can talk, learn, brew, and sample together. This time, we’ll be bottling what we brewed last time, after cleaning and sterilizing our inventory! It is a free event, but donations to the cause are always welcome!

0

Maker Cast has a very cool podcast featuring Scott Carpenter (a TVCOG member) talking about his path to making highly customized baseball gloves at his company Carpenter Trade. Scott even gives a shout-out to the TVCOG, thanks Scott! You can listen to the podcast from the Maker Cast website, or download through iTunes or Stitcher.

Bring your own project (sewing, knitting, needlework…or hey, anything portable) and a beverage for a fun evening stitching and sipping in good company. The CoG provides an empty table, well-lighted work space and electricity, as well as witty banter and camaraderie. No instructor, craft along with fellow Makers. Free to members, $5 cash fee at check-in for non-members. (Membership has its privileges, join the Center of Gravity to access our awesome equipment, including sewing machines!)

When: Thursday, April 7th – 6:30pm – 8:30pm

src=”http://www.tvcog.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/IMG_20160312_194148.jpg” alt=”IMG_20160312_194148″ width=”2592″ height=”1944″ class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-1166″ />

Back before we moved to the Quackenbush building, I started working on a small forge with my boys that would melt aluminum cans, based on a design from a Youtube video and feedback from other sources. This evening we finally set it up in the back alley behind the TVCOG. Here are some photos to share the fun:IMG_8108

The forge, a galvanized pail with plaster of paris for the insulation, and a lid made from the same material with 2 U-bolts for handles.

 

IMG_8113

The crucible is placed in the forge, and charcoal surrounds it. Wrapping a few pieces of charcoal with cardboard and lighting that turns out to be an excellent way to get things started.

 

IMG_8120

The first can to be melted in the fires of the forge!

 

IMG_8159

The forge has a nice glow once the charcoal is burning hot. The blow dryer pushing air into the bottom of the forge makes the coals GLOW. The bottom of the crucible shows some of the melted aluminum.

 

IMG_8161

The forge crew wait for the latest additions to melt.

 

IMG_20160312_174147

Adding more charcoal to the forge, it goes through fuel quickly!

 

IMG_8168

Once we ran out of cans, we used up small scraps of aluminum from the metal shop!

 

IMG_8213

It’s dark by the time we pour the aluminum into the muffin tin to make ingots.

 

IMG_20160312_194148

And now we have aluminum pucks!

Now that we’ve gone through the process once, we’ll likely do it again in the future with some improvements… maybe during a social night!

 

–Tom Tongue, with Bob, Bridget, Ian, Calvin & Erica’s son (whose name escapes me at the moment).

 

When getting a startup off the ground, it’s critical to have a clear agreement amongst the founders around a handful of key issues that are essential to your ability to safeguard the future viability of your new enterprise and to raise venture money.  These key issues cover three really important areas: the roles and responsibilities of the founding team, equity ownership and vesting and IP ownership. 

Confused? 

As part of SPECTRVM Services, we’re hosting and organizing workshops and events to help entrepreneurs and startup teams gather the knowledge and resources to be successful. This coming Wednesday, March 9th from 5:30-6:30pm we will be hosting a legal workshop on founders agreements with Richard Honen and Emily Ekland.

Join us for a discussion about the legal significance of founders agreements and the items that should be discussed when arranging a founder’s agreement.

Please RSVP using Eventbrite so we have an accurate headcount for the event!

Questions, Comments or Concerns? Please contact Tom Tongue (ttongue@tvcog.net).