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All right. The summer is continuing to heat up, but so is the list of available geeky summer activities. Things get underway with the Houston Super Secret Science Club meetup, happening tomorrow night at 6:45 PM at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University. Unless that was supposed to be a secret… Well, the cat gut is out of the bag, as it were, because the Super Secret Scientists aim to explore the mind through music tomorrow night as they get together to attend a number of talks hosted by Rice University.

Reservations aren’t required and seating is first-come-first-serve. The Club will be meeting outside of room 1131 at 6:45 PM, where you’ll want to track down the head secret scientist, Steve. Over the course of three hours, attendees will choose between two sets of talks, one geared toward science, and the other geared more toward music.

Some of the science talks include Amy Hoover’s “Functional Scaffolding: A New Principle for Enabling Computational Creativity in Music”, John Iversen’s “Neural Dynamics of Beat Perception” and Rebecca Lepping’s “Development of a Validated Emotionally Provocative Musical Stimuli Set for Neuroimaging Studies of Depression”. Guy Madison will take a look at some rhythmic properties of Music that are correlated with groove – or the tendency for music to induce movement. Michael Schutz will examine the benefits of moving to the beat while listening to music, and Sherman Wilcox will spend some time looking for the link between Music and Sign Language.

Back on the music side of the school, in room 1133, Benjamin Anderson will talk about the fact that Elton John can write a song in less time than it takes most of us to make a sandwich when he addresses “Schemata and Elton John’s computational practice”.

If you feel the need to Crocodile Rock out, you may want to attend “Negentropy for solo flute: A compositional and perceptual study using variable form,” featuring flutist Izumi Miyahara. You can then follow that up with Shannon Layman’s talk on “Differentiating Rock from Bach” and how the identification of mainstream recordings requires only brief excerpts. Shazam!

All in all, it sounds like a solid night of science and music for both Tiny Dancers and Rocketmen, alike. For details and directions, surf to meetup.com/Houston-Secret-Science-Club. Of course, if the secrecy of the site proves to be impenetrable, or if you just can’t get the hyphens right, you can hit music.rice.edu, too.

If anyone does attend, please ask them how to purge all of these Elton John songs from my subconscience. Seriously… Please, don’t let the sun go down on me with “Candle in the wind” stuck in my head.

That’s just about as scary to me as Linux Kernel Internals may be to some of you. And while my situation may be hopeless, yours certainly isn’t. At least with the help of TxRx Labs and this Saturday’s three hour class designed to give you an Introduction to Linux Kernel Programming. The class takes on Linux kernel development with an eye towards creating your own kernel module or device driver and towards tricks and tools of the trade to make interacting with the Linux kernel development community go smoothly.

Hit www.txrxlabs.org for registration information on the last in their first summer series of classes.

If this scenario still sounds a little nightmarish to you, then you’re nearly fully prepared for Apollocon, Houston’s Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Conference, taking place at the end of the month at the Houston Intercontinental Airport Double Tree Hotel. In addition to the strong Sci-Fi, fantasy and horror fare, KD5 and I will be hosting a panel on the Maker Movement, as well as a two-hour workshop aimed at the Arduino. We’ll be providing the code and the kits, while attendees are asked to bring a laptop, an Arduino, and the necessary cable to connect them. If you’re new to the world of Physical computing, this workshop will give you the knowledge to make stuff move, blink and and make sound. Hit www.apollocon.org for details, directions and con registration information.

And lastly, we have a very special Geek Gathering coming up in July. Our Sweet Sixteen Party is taking place on July 1st, and even though we’re keeping things quiet, attendees are invited to Geek, Nerd or Schoolgirl it up.

We’ll have more details next week, but for now, that’s it for the passing of the Elton John & Con Batons and that’s that for BarretTime.

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