Day 3 at Eyeo had another intriguing assortment of speakers and topics to learn from, as well as the final planned night at Nye’s prior to its August closing. Starting the day in the McGuire Theater was Allison Parrish, who delivered an intriguing talk on words and semantic tools. This is an area of interest for me, specifically in striving to visualize word connections and context, so there was much to like about the talk. Parrish has put together several interesting Twitterbots, including the Power Vocab Tweet, Library of Emoji, and Deep Question Bot, all of which I am adding to my following list. Often silly yet clever use of semantics in the Twitter space.
Next up was Ingrid Burrington, who posed some challenging questions about the scope and invasiveness of fiber optic paths and other high tech connectivity infrastructure.
The afternoon session began with one of my favorite presentations of the festival, delivered by Ben Vershbow and Mauricio Giraldo from the NYPL Labs team. NYPL stands for New York Public Library, filled with incredible resources that Vershbow and Giraldo shared. Funny, engaging, and informative, attendees were taken through some of the great work going on at the library, including the oldnyc.org project which maps historical photos, and the community sourcing of Building Inspector, with it’s classic motto – Kill Time. Make History. Great work, fantastic talk.
Next up, Harlo Holmes talked about a few of her projects and interests, with a focus on security tools that protect users from surveillance and intrusion.
To finish the day, Ramsey Nasser presented a splendid talk on coding that was so much more than that. He talked about the need to expand the world of coding to encompass more than the traditional English-only, left to right text that underpins virtually all coding frameworks and languages. Nasser was very entertaining while driving home an important message about the need to make revolutionary changes if we are to maximize the potential for coding.
Another great set of daytime talks, and now there was to be some downtime before heading to dinner and the evening gathering at Nye’s. At least that was the original plan, until the great folks at M|I|C/A (Maryland Institute College of Art) announced a happy hour at The Third Bird, just across Loring Park. Not wanting to disappoint a generous sponsor, I joined dozens of others for a couple beers before making the 1.5 mile walk back to the hotel in a steady rain. One must be able to make sacrifices!
Dinner was planned for Pizza Nea, a spot I visited during the 2012 Eyeo Festival, for one of their excellent thin crust pies. Expecting a slim crowd on a rainy Wednesday at 8:00, I was surprised to find a nearly full restaurant. Taking a seat at the bar adjacent to the pizza making area, I was informed that I just missed perhaps their busiest Wednesday in memory. Why? Unbeknownst to me, the Rolling Stones were playing at the nearby University of Minnesota football stadium that evening, which presumably filled all the restaurants in the neighborhood prior to the show.
Finally, I made the two block walk to Nye’s, joining dozens of other Eyeoans for beer, booze, and piano bar frivolity, with Jer Thorpe in particularly good voice for his annual rendition of Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline. Where else but Eyeo!by