Going: Maker Faire day one

Saturday morning we made our way over to Maker Faire. The fella heard that we could park nearby for free and in effort to find morning coffee we ended up stashing the Bug in the Whole Foods parking lot. This proved to be a great jumping off point. We got some breakfast at whole foods, coffee at Peets and walked over.

After some general milling about we aimed for one of the stages and one of many great talks we heard this past weekend. The talks seemed to be the key to getting all that you could out of Maker Faire, it seems pretty easy to just wander around aimlessly all day and there is plenty to see that way…but hearing what people had to say about their projects was really awesome.

first up a great talk about  Google’s Self Driving Cars   Sebastian Thrun 

Imagine if your car could drive itself. Get in, push a button, and everything else is done by your car. This presentation will introduce you to the fascinating world of self-driving cars. Google has developed a fleet of modified Priuses that can drive themselves on public roads in California. In the past months, Google’s cars have driven over 150,000 miles, in places like downtown San Francisco, LA, and near Lake Tahoe. The Google self-driving cars blend into traffic just like human-driven cars. While this technology is still in the research stage, it may one day transform society, leading to better and safer modes of transportation.

Awesome! seeing the little car makes it’s way in the video around town was so amazing. He showed what the car sees and how it processes the information. The graphic images of what it sees were simply beautiful. Sebastian Thrun was so enthusiastic and excited about his project, it really came through in what he had to share.

We wandered around for a bit, listened to a few talks that weren’t so awesome (hey, you win some you loose some) and headed over to a Pig Butchery Demo with Tia Harrison. Maker Faire, totally not just for science geeks.

 “Butcher’s Guild Charter Member Chris Arentz of Avedano’s Market in San Francisco will demonstrate butchery technique with half a hog. The Butcher’s Guild will discuss their mission, while Chris helps us learn to identify cuts and tips for shopping with your local butcher. Butchers are the link between ranches and eaters, between life and afterlife, between livestock and dinner. MEAT THE BUTCHER’S GUILD, LOVE YOUR LOCAL BUTCHER”

So this was great because we were able to see the specific different knives he used and how he took the pig apart. Very cool!  Also narrating the demo was Marissa Guggiana who wrote a book called Primal Cuts that I totally want to get a copy of.

We wandered around a bunch more, lingered for a long time watching people attempt the Whiskey Drome, a big curved ramp that flexed and moved when people rode on it.

WhiskeyDrome – The cycling madmen of Whiskeydrunk Cycles are setting up their WhiskeyDrome at Maker Faire. Bicycle daredevils will be on hand doing death-defying tricks.


Also really great was the PAS Chris McMullen, Steve Withycomb. I neglected to take any pictures of this project but it was huge and really interestingly built. In a sea of things made from recycled trash and wires running every which way this project was huge, clean and really tight in construction.

PAS (Potentially Annoying Sound) is a large kinetic sound sculpture that is people-powered. Viewers are invited to turn a large wheel that ultimately sends air to a bank of horns from a 1930s pipe organ, producing a large cacophony of sound.

By this time we were a bit wiped out but one last talk about one last project. Ken Murphy’s time lapse of the sky. He had this on display in the same big dark room as the tesla coils. It was a really quiet subtle piece in the corner of some other huge loud things but it really held it’s own.

DIY Time-Lapse, A Smart, Cheap Setup for Shooting Long-Duration Time-Lapse video   Ken Murphy

The rig I used to create A History of the Sky, a large, synchronized visualization of the sky for an entire year, which reveals cyclical patterns of weather and light.

We walked back to our car at Whole Foods and drove home to our hotel. A quick change of clothes and we jetted up to SF for a yummy, very romantic dinner at Bar Tartine.

This entry was posted in Going: Los Angeles and Beyond....