Posts Tagged ‘Maker Faire 2012’

The epic trilogy CONCLUDES!

Okay. Now the afternoon winds down at Maker Faire. As the epic trilogy of blog posts concludes, we come to the anticlimactic climax of my adventures at Maker Faire 2012, which does not contain tiny teddy bears with spears. However, it does contain Warhammer 40k cosplay, Bradburian fire trucks, and bubbles.

 

After seeing the MOST AWESOME SCULPTURE EVER, I came over to the midway to listen to some music.

These guys (I didn’t catch the name of their band) sounded like a combination of the Dresden Dolls and Queen– which, of course, is a good thing.

Now, if you look over to the right of the picture, you can see people on bicycles, pedaling. These people were providing all the power to the amps for the band.

I pedaled for a little while, turning gyro into G-chords, and helped the following band to make wonderful music.

It was fun. And good exercise.

My legs were tired afterwards.

 

A jeep! That you can affix Legos to!

 

Guess what you just lost?

 

Here at Maker Faire, the fire trucks don’t shoot water. Rather the opposite, actually.

 

BUBBLES!

 

I don’t know what kind of beast is being summoned here. All I can guess is that it’s from the Elemental Plane of Water, and it hates all life.

 

Spacemarine!

 

This was really cool.

It’s a working replica of the 1960s teaching computer, the Digi-Comp II. But instead of electrons, it calculates things using billiard balls.

I find it shocking and amazing that humans from the Digi-Comp II to the PlayStation 3 in just forty years. And that the PS3 costs far less than a DCII did in its day.

People are awesome.

 

Jannek was delighted to see an antique German fire truck at the Maker Faire.

And I got to learn an awesome new word: Feuerwehr!

(It means Fire Department. Unfortunately, ich kann nur ein bisschen Deutsch sprechen.)

 

A Lego metropolis– Legopolis, if you will.

 

Finally, we end with this picture that really demonstrates what Maker Faire is all about: a man riding a gigantic bicycle through the fairgrounds, a thing that should not be and yet his, a thing that he built with his own hands.

Maker Faire demonstrates something important that we’re in danger of forgetting. Creativity isn’t something that is taught. It’s not something that you have to go to school to learn. It’s inherent in all of us– whether we’re high school students building a BSG flight sim in our garages, a bunch of friends who get together to make music in the sunshine, or a guy who gets snails to eat through paper. Nobody has a monopoly on creativity. Ideas come from everywhere. Science isn’t something done by stern men in white coats in secluded desert laboratories– it’s something that surrounds us and permeates everywhere we go. And people should never let what other people say is possible get in the way of doing something awesome.

Godspeed, Maker Faire. I’ll see you again in 2013.

~ Ian

 

PS: If you want to go to the Maker Faire, but are one of those people who live in the secluded hinterlands, despair not. There are other Maker Faires, including ones in New York and Detroit which are coming later this year, as well as dozens of mini Maker Faires held all over the world, from Ghana to Gujarat, from Melbourne to Minnesota.

Here’s a link to the main Maker Faire page.

But look at me still talking when there’s science to do! Be good to each other. ~ Ian

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Gaaah… tired…

I promised you guys a second Maker Faire post though, so here it is.

My previous post brought you guys up to lunchtime. With that in mind, I’m going to talk some about the things that happened after lunch. Here we are with Episode V (which, not surprisingly, is the best of the trilogy), which contains giant cast-iron sculptures that shoot flame, children engaged in combat, and snails.

 

What does one have for lunch at the Maker Faire? Well, typically, a big plate of this:

This is paella. For those of you who don’t know, paella is a Spanish dish that is prepared by taking a net, dragging it across the bottom of the sea, and cooking whatever you catch in it.

It’s by far the most popular dish at the Maker Faire, so the line was huge. As much as I enjoy todos los mariscos, I decided to avoid the line, instead choosing to get a gigantic gyro and a cup of lemonade that had no sugar in it, so it tasted more like watered-down lemon juice.

 

This face loomed over the eating area.

Its eyes, eyelids, eyebrows, and lips moved. Rest assured, this was CREEPY AS FUCK.

 

Snails, making art.

 

The SCA was there, allowing small children to sample the art of warfare…

 

…as well as pursuits of a more peaceful nature.

 

3D printers were there in abundance.

 

 

 

 

 

Now, this next section is so incredibly awesome that I need you guys to brace yourselves…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you ready?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You sure?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Okay, check this out…

SCULPTURES THAT SHOOT FLAME.

 

This image doesn’t appropriately convey the size of this giant iron dandelion (and, by the way, Yrön Dåndélyönn is the name of my new black metal band).

It’s about twenty feet tall.

 

Not really a fire-shooting sculpture, but this thing was cool and looked like something you’d see in a Fallout game.

 

Of course, this was the thing that made the heavy metal fan in me die a little with joy…

A GIGANTIC IRON DRAGON SCULPTURE.

THAT IS ALSO A CHILDREN’S PLAY STRUCTURE.

AND A SOUNDSYSTEM.

BAD.

ASS.

 

I was gazing raptly at this giant, beautiful monstrosity, thinking, This is one of the coolest things at the Maker Faire so far. The only thing that would be better is if it could breathe fire. 

The second I thought that, this happened:

BY THE HAMMER OF THOR YES.

This was the shortest turnaround from dream to reality that I’ve ever experienced.

I never got the names of the people who made this beautiful piece of congealed epic.

I bet we could hang out.

 

Actually, you know what? I’m having an upcoming D&D campaign this summer. Now, it’s a bit of a stretch, considering the medieval fantasy setting I’m considering, but I kind of want to put this monstrosity in my campaign.

Although…

My friend Finn has been on me to make a steampunk-themed campaign. If I ever do that, I’m definitely going to put this thing into the story.

You know. Because steampunk D&D campaigns absolutely HAVE to have a fire-breathing robot dragon.

I think it’s in the DMG.

 

This fellow had a nice bicycle.

Since I mentioned that I wanted this picture for my blog, he gave me the business card for his website, in case any of my ten regular readers are interested in wooden bikes with piratical themes. They’re called Masterworks Wood and Design, and they’re based in San Jose.

You know. Check them out.

That’s all for today. My trilogy of Maker Faire retrospectives wraps up tomorrow, so stay tuned.

Now my reward… blessed, blessed sleep.

~ Ian

Today I went to Maker Faire.

It was awesome, as usual.

For those of you who don’t know, Maker Faire is an annual DIY festival held in San Mateo, and it is awesome.

The closest description I can give to Maker Faire that comes close to portraying the whole thing is that it’s half hacker convention, half industrial art exposition, and half street fair. But this description is absolutely nothing like what it is.

(Yes, I know– there are three halves in there. But Maker Faire is so cool that it defies the laws of mathematics.)

Fortunately, for those of you who weren’t there (I’m looking at you, Steve), then I took pictures.

Lots of pictures, actually.

Almost two hundred, in fact.

So, I’m dividing my account of the Maker Faire into three parts. This first part, which I have chosen to designate as Episode IV, contains cyborg plunger-monsters, lightning-producing supermachines, and  hats.

 

A view of the West Entrance of Maker Faire.

Observe the man in the robot costume in the foreground. As you may not be able to tell, his costume is also a soundsystem.

 

These teens built a flight simulator of the Viper from Battlestar Galactica.

All that I could think about while watching this was, damn, I wish I was that creative and brilliant when I was in high school.

 

The Dalek was popular with the children…

 

…as was the fleet of Astromech droids.

 

A WILD R2D2 APPROACHETH!! WHAT ACTION DOST THOU TAKEST??

 

Wall-E!

 

ARE YOU READY TO RIDE THE LIGHTNING

 

Personally, I can think of no higher aspiration for humanity than to put children in a cage and shoot lightning at them.

(Oh, don’t look so shocked. The children were fine– except for one who came out with white hair and the ability to control electricity with her mind. But personally, I count that as a net benefit.)

 

A typical form of public transportation at the Maker Faire: Peyote.

 

As usual, the steampunks were out in force.

 

Steampunks, with their newfangled Horseless Carry-azhe™.

 

ZOMG HATS

 

I decided to try on the most manly of the hats.

In case you’re wondering, this is the second installment of the ever-growing chronicle of Ian Photographing Himself Wearing Strange Hats (the first being, of course, my Jayne Hat picture).

 

And finally, as a sign of What Is To Come…

You will come to notice that Sculptures That Shoot Flames™ are a recurring theme at Maker Faire.

More tomorrow,

~ Ian