Today I Learned

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Come to Sudo Room every Saturday at 2:00PM to learn something new. "Today I Learned" is a series of one-off classes, workshops, and talks led by members of the Sudo Room community.

Sign up to teach a class

Are you interested in facilitating a "Today I Learned" workshop? The sign-up process to facilitate a class is very easy. Find a date below that's not currently taken and add the proposed title of your class, your name, and a way to get in touch with you (please note that the name of the facilitator & whatever contact method you prefer should be included for all workshops so that we can get in touch with you about promoting your workshop, scheduling issues, etc.). We encourage you to add as much detail as possible to your workshop listing to give people a good sense of what they can expect from your workshop.

Jan. 19 Polymer Clay Millefiori, a hands on introduction to fractals

  • Title of Class: Polymer Clay Millefiori, a hands on introduction to fractals
  • Class Facilitator: Patrick
  • Cost: Free demo, scrap clay available, donations welcome, Starter Kits available
  • Interested Attendees:

Jan 26 Vanilla: From Bean to Ice Cream

Title of Class: Vanilla: From Bean to Ice Cream

  • Class Facilitator: Ray the Ice Cream Man has made ice cream for Bi-Rite Creamery, iScream, & Silbermann's. He lead the innovation lab (the infamous NOM Team) at Fentons. His last gig was the ice cream designer for the opening of the Ice Cream Bar in San Francisco. Ray is currently launching his own venture, Atomic Ice Cream, and starting a motorcyle gang.
  • Description: Vanilla is yummy. And fascinating. This is a class into the history, botany, and appreciation of one of the most ubiquitous tastes and smells in our culture. We will make vanilla extract (everybody goes home with a bottle of extract), taste single origin vanilla ice creams and learn how to make a Philadelphia style vanilla ice cream (everybody goes home with a container of ice cream). There will be a low class fee for materials (approximately $5) and an empty pint container for generous donations.
  • Interested Attendees:
  1. Diana (talk)
  2. VMittal
  3. Julio (talk)
  4. mfb
  5. Tunabananas (talk)
  6. Vicky
  7. Anthony Di Franco (motorcycle gang)
  8. Angie
  9. garrettr (and friends!)
  10. Juul (talk)
  11. Christine
  12. Joe
  13. Brandon

Feb. 2 No Class

  • No Class
  • Common Room being used for Raw Food event

Feb. 9 Sewing Hackathon

  • Title of Class: Sewing Hackathon
    • This will be an expanded version (1-4PM) of the mini-workshop we held this summer featuring the opportunity to add LEDs to your garments, patch holes, add pockets, or otherwise hack up boring old clothes into the new wave of the future! We will also be sharing ways to make your own wearable bike light. We will have clothes for you to modify and take apart, but we encourage you to bring any materials/clothes that you would be interested in modifying.
  • Class Facilitator: Rachel
  • Interested Attendees:
  1. Liz
  2. you

Feb. 16: Livelihood Hacking AND Teaching Techniques Collaborative Workshop

  • Title of Class: Livelihood Hacking
    • Your biggest regular/monthly expense is likely rent followed by food, which also happen to cover some of the more basic needs. Significantly reducing the financial costs of these significantly increases potential ways to live ones life. Morten lives comfortably for $500 a month and will talk a bit about how that looks like, throw some ideas for how it might be replicated in your context, and together we will further explore this topic of livelihood hacking in a workshop setting.
    • Class Facilitator: Factotum (Morten H. D. Fuglsang)
    • Time: 4pm -> ~5.5PM
    • Interested Attendees: you,
  • Title of Class: Teaching Techniques Collaborative Workshop
    • This will be about how to be a better teacher, as well as how to expand the TIL program and teach material outside of our collective comfort zone. We will also aim to create a sudo wiki entry on this material. It'll be hosted as a potluck.
    • Class Facilitator: Sam
    • Time: 5.45PM
    • Interested Attendees: you,

Feb. 23 Optimize Rational Inquiry: How Bayesian Statistics Can Help You Reason! AND How to Build a Naive Bayes Spam Filter

  • Class Facilitators: Sam T, Anthony Repetto, Anthony DiFranco
  • Time: 2:00PM - 4:00PM
  • Interested Attendees:
  1. Ray
  2. George
  3. Matty
  4. you

Mar 2. PAUSED for Workshop Weekend

  • Title of Class:
  • Class Facilitator:
  • Interested Attendees:
  1. you

Mar. 9 Jewelry-making and jewelry repair

  • Title of Class: Jewelry-making and jewelry repair
    • Bring broken and second hand jewelry plus any beads or other bits you have on hand and we will learn how to take apart old jewelry to make new creations. We will also have people on hand to help you repair any broken jewelry. Bring yourself and a friend, we’ll have snacks!
  • Class Facilitator: Jane
  • Interested Attendees:
  1. mk30
  2. Tunabananas (talk)
  3. You!

Mar. 16 : Just enough Sketch-up to pretend you can 3d model

  1. IsThisThingOn (talk)
  2. Tunabananas (talk) 22:35, 12 January 2013 (CET)
  3. Bleeblahblue (talk) 21:38, 5 February 2013 (UTC)

Mar 23. Workshop: Intro to Electronics / Learn to Solder (with Mitch Altman)

  • Title of Class: Workshop: Intro to Electronics / Learn to Solder (with Mitch Altman)
  • Class Facilitator: Mitch Altman
  • Interested Attendees:
  1. Matt (talk)
  2. Tunabananas (talk)
  3. Factotum
  4. newbs!
  5. experts!

Mar. 30 Intro to Bicycle Repair and Maintenance

  • Title of Class: Intro to Bicycle Repair and Maintenance.
    • Come learn how your bike works and how to do basic bicycle maintenance and repair. Feel free to bring your bike!
    • Bring tools, materials, parts, and other useful supplies as a drive to fill our space with more bike essentials!
    • Read More
  • Class Facilitator: Matt (talk)
  • Interested Attendees:
  1. Julio (talk)
  2. Tunabananas (talk)
  3. you

Apr. 6 Audio Recording 101

  • Title of Class: Audio Recording 101
  • Class Facilitator: Shani
    • In this class, we'll go over the tools, terminology and applications you'll need to get crackin' on a variety of audio endeavors.
    • Topics covered will include:
      • Audio rudiments and terminology
      • Analog v. digital
      • Types of recordings (documentary, instrumental, electronic, MIDI)
      • What you need to get yourself started on a project
  • Interested Attendees:
  1. Maximilianklein (talk) 15:18, 27 February 2013 (UTC)
  2. Rick
  3. Liz (First Friday Guest)
  4. Nikhil (first friday guest) he is bringing a microphone, cool cogswell schools tudent
  5. you

Apr. 13 Clothes Hacking

  • Title of Class: Clothes Hacking
    • low key sewing workshop. Bring ideas, projects you are stuck on, clothes that need repair, an extra machine if you have one or just yourself. We have a scrap heap and clothes you can have!
  • Class Facilitator: rachel lyra
  • Interested Attendees:
  1. you
    • Romyilano - could we do wearable electronics as well?

Apr. 20 Just enough sketchup to pretend you can 3d model II & Just enough slic3r to pretend you can extrude I

  • Title of Class: Just enough sketchup to pretend you can 3d model II & Just enough slic3r to pretend you can extrude I
  • Class Facilitator: Maximilianklein (talk) 17:31, 24 March 2013 (PDT)
  • Interested Attendees:
  1. you

Apr. 27 Hootup (Postponed-to be rescheduled)

  • Learn to install and use HootSuite to schedule and monitor all your Social Media in one dashboard
  • Join Laney College's HootSuite Campus Ambassador Mark Wilson
  • And students in Journalism 65: Social Media for Journalists
  • Who should attend? Anyone interested in expanding their Social Media toolkit
Today I learned - making menstrual pads

May 4 Hacking Sexual Health: DIY Cloth Menstrual Pads Workshop

  • As Part I of the Hacking Sexual Health series, we will be learning how to make beautiful and practical cloth pads out of old clothing! NO EXPERIENCE OR ABILITY TO MENSTRUATE NECESSARY! Materials will be provided, but if you want, you can bring old ripped-up clothing (preferrably soft, natural fibers), needles, thread, snaps or buttons. This workshop is intended for people who menstruate and for people who have friends who menstruate (and want to make them lovely presents). We will also go over a dizzying array of cool lady products beyond the cloth pad, and have fun cost-comparisons of different options.
  • Guest appearance: Craig for DIY Bio and hacking a non-antibiotic treatment for highly resistent gonorrhea!
  • Class Facilitator: ykciVicky
  • Interested Attendees:
  1. Maximilianklein (talk) 11:24, 9 April 2013 (PDT)

May 11, 2013 Comics, 3D Printing and the Universe

Comics and 3D Printing

May 18 Fix-It Day! (PLUS Linux Install Day!)

  • Title of Class: Fix-It Day (PLUS Linux Install Day!)
    • We have a lot of computers and other equipment at Sudo Room in various states of functionality. You may also have computers and other kinds of equipment in various states of functionality! During this "Today I Learned" session we will come together to test/repair computers and learn more about fixing computers. **BONUS: Have you always been curious about Linux but not sure where to start? If you are interested in installing Linux on your Windows computer (it is not necessary to delete Windows to install Linux), we will also be helping participants install Linux.
  • Class Facilitator: Everyone! We will all work and learn together.
  • Interested Attendees:
  1. mk30
  2. you


  • Title of Class:
  • Class Facilitator:
  • Interested Attendees:
  1. you

June 1: The Simple Computer

  • How simple can we make computers? Let's find out!
    • We will go on a quest to make computers as simple as possible. Intro to computer science. Understand how computers work!
    • Binary math and boolean logic
    • Half & full adders made of water, marbles, rocks, dominos, people...
    • Build a very simple computer with 64 bytes of memory and 4 instructions
  • Class Facilitator: Yardena
  • Interested Attendees:
  1. you
  2. Romyilano
  3. Bill
  4. Christine
SudoRoom thoughts become action through pictures

June 8: Infographics touch your statistics with 3D Printing

  • Title of Class: Infographics: Convince with Pictures
  • Class Facilitator: Romyilano
  • Overview: Learn to take complex data and condense information into powerful graphics that spur action resulting in positive economic and social change. We'll take data on refugee admissions to the US from 1980-2011 from + turn it into a touchable 3D Printout!
  • Cross-Pollination with other Organizations that work in the building : Technical Documentation for 3D Printing | Community Democracy Project | [| The public school ]
  • Interested Attendees:
  1. you
  2. Rick

Materials For A History of Hacking

June 15: From Phone Phreaks to Wiki Leaks: A History of Ethical Hacking

  • Title of Class: From Phone Phreaks to Wiki Leaks: A History of Ethical Hacking
  • Class Facilitator: Andrew (@M57C, irc: mstc)

Before "White Hat" hackers and "Black Hat" hackers there were "Ethical Hackers". These groups and individuals may not have always stayed within the confines of the law, but followed a well defined ethic. This is the story of MIT pranks, the golden age of the BBS, The Great Hacker War, Steve Jackson Games vs. The US Secret Service, Old school hacking tech ( Blue Boxing, Red Boxing, War Dialing, etc ), New Hack City and the rise of the Cult of The Dead Cow, Free Kevin!, Hacktivismo, and more...

The Hacker Manifesto


+++The Mentor+++

Written January 8, 1986

Another one got caught today, it's all over the papers. "Teenager Arrested in Computer Crime Scandal", "Hacker Arrested after Bank Tampering"...

Damn kids. They're all alike.

But did you, in your three-piece psychology and 1950's technobrain, ever take a look behind the eyes of the hacker? Did you ever wonder what made him tick, what forces shaped him, what may have molded him?

I am a hacker, enter my world...

Mine is a world that begins with school... I'm smarter than most of the other kids, this crap they teach us bores me...

Damn underachiever. They're all alike.

I'm in junior high or high school. I've listened to teachers explain for the fifteenth time how to reduce a fraction. I understand it. "No, Ms. Smith, I didn't show my work. I did it in my head..."

Damn kid. Probably copied it. They're all alike.

I made a discovery today. I found a computer. Wait a second, this is cool. It does what I want it to. If it makes a mistake, it's because I screwed it up. Not because it doesn't like me... Or feels threatened by me.. Or thinks I'm a smart ass.. Or doesn't like teaching and shouldn't be here...

Damn kid. All he does is play games. They're all alike.

And then it happened... a door opened to a world... rushing through the phone line like heroin through an addict's veins, an electronic pulse is sent out, a refuge from the day-to-day incompetencies is sought... a board is found. "This is it... this is where I belong..." I know everyone here... even if I've never met them, never talked to them, may never hear from them again... I know you all...

Damn kid. Tying up the phone line again. They're all alike...

You bet your ass we're all alike... we've been spoon-fed baby food at school when we hungered for steak... the bits of meat that you did let slip through were pre-chewed and tasteless. We've been dominated by sadists, or ignored by the apathetic. The few that had something to teach found us willing pupils, but those few are like drops of water in the desert.

This is our world now... the world of the electron and the switch, the beauty of the baud. We make use of a service already existing without paying for what could be dirt-cheap if it wasn't run by profiteering gluttons, and you call us criminals. We explore... and you call us criminals. We seek after knowledge... and you call us criminals. We exist without skin color, without nationality, without religious bias... and you call us criminals. You build atomic bombs, you wage wars, you murder, cheat, and lie to us and try to make us believe it's for our own good, yet we're the criminals.

Yes, I am a criminal. My crime is that of curiosity. My crime is that of judging people by what they say and think, not what they look like. My crime is that of outsmarting you, something that you will never forgive me for.

I am a hacker, and this is my manifesto. You may stop this individual, but you can't stop us all... after all, we're all alike.

  • Interested Attendees:
  1. --Tunabananas (talk) 14:14, 29 May 2013 (PDT)
  2. Rabbit
  3. you

June 22 Making a Website (the Basics)

  • Title of Class: Making a Website (the Basics)
  • Class Facilitator: Marty
  • Interested Attendees:
  1. you

SO you want to build a website for yourself, your friends or to promote your project? This will provide a good overview of how to get starting making a website. We will go over the basic components of websites and what you'd need to do to take that first step.

Topics will include:

  • Some Basic HTML
  • Some Basic CSS
  • maybe a bit of DOM/JS or PHP
  • How to find a domain name?
  • How to find hosting?
  • What is a content mangement system (CMS) and what can it do for you?

'This may be too simple for many of you familiar with web design/development backgrounds but there were a number of folks from The Public School who have been wanting this for months. Hopefully there is useful information for everybody'

July 6: GIT Version Control for Non Coders (Writers, Lawyers, everyone!)

  • Title of Class: GIT Version Control for Writers
  • facilitator: di franco
  • Overview: Git is an awesome noncentralized, distributed collaboration tool that coders use to work on code together. Learn how to use git version control to collaboratively edit legal documents, novels, and even comics. You don't have to be a coder to use git.
  • Interested Attendees:
  1. you

July 13 : What is Linux?

  • What is this linux thing? How does it work? We'll talk about it!
  • Informal learning. Arch Linux installfest delayed - you can still come and do it informally though. We'll help. :)

July 20: Statistics through doodles: Geometric computations of fundamental statistical concepts

Facilitated by Thomas Levine (User:tlevine,


Regardless of your statistical abilities, Tom thinks he can give you a better grasp of some fundamental statistical concepts. Tom finds math easier to understand when it is drawn. With the help of some doodles on paper, Tom will explain the purpose and meaning of various measures of the relationships between different variables (specifically covariance, variance, correlation and least-squares regression). This class assumes literally no knowledge of math, not even basic arithmetic. But attendees will probably know at least something about math, and Tom will try to skip things that attendees already know as to not bore them.


Logistical notes from Tom, in first person

  • I could do this on a different day too.
  • I've done this class many times, but I've never recorded it and put it on the internet. If people are fine being recorded, I'd like to video the class.

Interested Attendees

  • Timon=GCStokum
  • you

July 27 : Binary Search: a generalization for ultra-fast optimization

Presenting: Anthony Repetto

A new take on an old method, fit for solving the toughest problems in data analysis. Simple, visual explanations, discussion of applications, gathering a community of interest - the goal? To gift SudoRoom with software for individual initiatives, and generate SudoFunds through data analysis prizes on Learn, share, plan for the future!

contact info: (510) 292-0200

August 3: Practical Gaming

  • Title of Class:Practical Gaming - Applying the Lessons of Gaming to Life
  • Class Facilitator: Aaron
  • Interested Attendees:
  1. you

August 10: Federated Syndicates, Auction Markets

  • Title of Class: Federated Syndicates, Auction Markets
  • Class Facilitator: Anthony Repetto
  • Interested Attendees:

Renounce the capitalist/socialist dichotomy! See how alternative structures for economic and political coordination could work; presented with pictures, witty sound bites. Government and markets serve to allocate resources and mediate collaboration. Our ways of doing this are two centuries old, pre-dating modern understandings of large networks and system equilibria. Mathematicians have developed 'ways to play' that avoid the corrupting pressures of kleptocratic, territorial governments, consumer-culture obsolescence, and the stranglehold of private capital. See the difference, spread the word!

contact info: (510) 292-0200

August 17

August 24 Fixit Clinic

  • Fixit Clinic - Bring your broken, non-functioning things: electronics, appliances, computers, toys, etc. for assessment, disassembly, and possible repair. We'll provide workspace, specialty tools, and guidance to help you disassemble and troubleshoot your device.
  • Class Facilitator: Steve Berl (
  • Interested Attendees:
  1. you

August 31

  • Title of Class:
  • Class Facilitator:
  • Interested Attendees:
  1. you

September 7 : The Hacker Distro

  • Learn about Arch Linux and why it's the software hacker's DIY distro of choice! Play with real live Arch Linux machines, and install your very own with guidance and help. We may also discuss other distros, Linux in general, OS technology in general, and free software in general. All skill levels encouraged! Bring your own machine if you can, but no one turned away. Installation options can include:
    • Live CD/USB
    • virtual machine inside your existing OS
    • dual boot with your existing OS
    • installing over it. ;)
    • Arch on a Raspberry Pi (pending interest - I would need to order them in advance and ask for ~$40 each)
  • Class Facilitator: Yardena
  • Interested Attendees:
  1. you

I would love to attend a class/workshop on:

  • open source install day
  • raspberry pi primer
  • arduino (hol?)
  • audio production/radio
  • tech support - fix my browser, my computer is slow, etc. intro to computers and troubleshooting.
  • knitting circle/knitting class
  • 3D printer class - how to use it, how to model, how it works
  • approaches to teaching/tutoring technical topics
  • python (x2)
  • lockpicking
  • intro to networking
  • OpenWrt
  • Build a portable stereo from choosing the amp (ie 41hz' amp6-basic), soldering it, choosing speaker components, designing casing for aucustics, making casing, putting it together!
  • letterpress
  • zines + cataloguing zines
  • comic book drawing
  • mural making (electronic and large-scale painting)
  • skateboarding (focus, not necessarily same as longboarding)
  • How to make cultured/fermented drinks (kombucha, kefir, kvass...); share cultures/colonies