Public Lab Wiki documentation

Boston Toolshed Raising 2013-2014

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Hello greater Boston and parts of New England,

After the 2013 Barnraising down in New Orleans, it seems we have a pretty hopping community of people in New England and we all want excuses to hang out some more in the future.

Instead of a barnraising, we might raise a toolshed. The focus isn't on tools exactly, it's more that toolsheds are smaller than barns. We could change to deck building, outhouse raising, or anything else really. Suggestions for better names may be added right here.

  • toolshed raising
  • deck building
  • outhouse raising

Theme and Topics

The general theme for this coming toolshed raising seems to be water quality.

While that topic is very large, it may yet exclude some people who might otherwise have something fun to talk about. Free association counts! Water quality is about water which makes up 45-75% of the human body which can be injured by air pollution which bonds lightly to water. So air pollution could, by free association, be worked in.

Please add to this list as desired!

  • Sara has got some electronics that do mix with water to measure heat waste in water sources.
  • Will likes to go on a lot of trips to map all the New Englands.
  • Jeff has a bunch of tools that we've probably all heard about given that this is a PublicLab list, but maybe we haven't learned how to use them or even got to touch them.
  • Katie uses aforementioned tools for educational purposes with young'uns.
  • Catherine and Don are in cahoots with some water quality documents.
  • Will and Don have given some talks at UNH for people interested in water monitoring. (also something about EPSCoR)
  • Jen loves water themed events.
  • Will and Bryan would like to check out the Alewife wetlands park. Bryan saw a deer there. And also a skunk. And always rabbits.
  • Jeff would like to put together a thermal cam for Plymouth nuclear plant, but it needs Windows laptop.
  • Catherine is becoming a pro at water quality measurements and testing.
  • Cape Cod Bay Watch should probably be invited to the discussion!

Maybe other people have some big plans and they are looking for help? They can add their ideas to the list above!

We can also have celebrity panels! Someone will need to know some celebrities, and we'll also need some subjects for discussion!


Come and Go

For a come and go style meetup, we might want to allocate two or three days with morning and afternoon schedules. It has been suggested we do a come-and-go style meeting soon.


Based on folks wanting the Toolshed Raising before Thanksgiving and constraints of Parts and Crafts and p.irateship, some weekends and times have been tossed out to choose from.

Each proposed day will have three session times: morning (8am-11am), afternoon (noon-3pm), and evening (4pm-7pm). Please check whatever works for you. We'll only have two sessions, but voting will help decide which two should be used.

There's also Thanksgiving day as a choice. Check that if you'd prefer some time after Thanksgiving and/or the holidays in general.

Vote for your favorite times here:

Locations proposed

  • Parts and Crafts in Somerville (free Sundays and split space available on Saturdays)
  • somewhere at Northeastern U
  • p.irateship in Somerville


For a retreat style meetup, a bunch of folks would get stuck together for the entire duration of the event. It has been suggested we do a retreat style meeting in early 2014.


Sometime after December 1st.

Locations proposed

  • HackerFarm in central/western Mass (WOODFIREDSAUNAINTHEBACKYARD)


For now, planning is being done via the plots-boston mailing list.

We should probably create some kind of democratic schedule polling tool, like this (open source)

or this (commercial web service):

Workshop Results

Here is a page describing the Thermal Fishing Bob work we did on Sunday 11/25/13