Cricket and I went to Queens to the New York Hall of SCIENCE! (emphasis mine, not theirs) to go to Maker Faire. Maker Faire, from what I understand, is kind of a positive backlash to how industrialized our world has become. People make stuff. It’s that simple. Now, unfortunately for me, people predominantly make things that do something (math, science, computers. engineering, etc.), and I only make things that already exist look better. I had no idea what was going on most of the time. For example, I saw signs like this:
What the huh? And this one:
But what I read was this:
I was truly out of my milieu. But I had a jolly good time anyway. First of all, as you come in there is a giant dinosaur made from car and truck parts with a couch in it that children were sitting on. And fire was coming out of its nose. I want one for my living room.
Then there are a variety of white tents set up all over the grounds. The first one I hit was the Craftacular sponsored by Bust Magazine (motto: “getting it off our chests”). I was familiar with everything going on there. In fact, I bought myself some steampunk items from a lovely woman who came all the way from Columbus, Ohio. I got a necklace made for a watch exterior with a morpho butterfly wing in it, and I also got a pendant made from the watch’s interior components.
Where the big thing this year is 3D printers. What is a 3D printer, you ask? Good question. You make an object in a 3D program, then you send the file to the nice printing machine. On top of the printer is a spool of plastic, and what happens is the plastic string is drawn down to a heated little element which lays it out in rows over and over itself, not unlike how one makes a coiled clay pot. It can make just about any shape. It totally blew my mind. Here’s what the big industrial machine looks like (note the spool of plastic):
They were also selling an Ikea version that came flat-packed that you assembled yourself, which was adorable:
And here are some the crazy-awesome things the 3D printer could make:
Apparently it can also do it in metal and glass, but I couldn’t figure out how.
Anyway, instead of buying one of these machines, you can also just send some of the companies your designs and they will print it for you (which is what I would do if I was making something). Here’s one company’s information:
Another big tent that was there was the Arduino Pavilion.
When I asked Cricket what an Arduino was, he sighed heavily and told me it was a small computer. I waited outside this pavilion while Cricket pottered around inside looking at…Arduinos.
There were a variety of littler tents scattered all around the grounds showing other people’s cool ideas. For example, there was the lock picker tent.
Another tent had a rather genius idea in it based on Archimedes’ mirror death ray.
You, a doctor in a rural area without an effective way to keep your tools disease-free, receive this box with angled bits of wood in it and a pile of 3″ x 3″ mirrors. You place the mirrors on the angled bits of wood and when the sun hits it, it focuses the sun’s rays on one very hot spot. You put your surgical knives or clampers or whatever in that beam, and it’s so hot it burns away all the evil bacteria and/or viruses. It never goes bad or loses its potency and is relatively easy to transport and/or repair. I think it’s brilliant.
Outside the tents was a solar carousel.
And a fish bike which I believe I saw at the Mermaid Parade.
And this guy eating chinese food.
By then, Cricket and I were peckish, so we stood in line for paella, which was cooked in giant paella pans. And the paella was mad good too.
I felt bad for the fresh fruit vendor next door because he had a bit of a honeybee situation. The honeybees were lovin’ it, though.
But my favorite thing was definitely the Sashimi Tabernacle Choir. I heard about it a few years ago, but I never thought I would see it in person. And lemme tell you, it is magical. I’m not even being obnoxious. It’s magical. Cricket and I stood in front of this thing for at least three songs.
Here’s a video someone took of the Sashimi Tabernacle Choir performing Bohemian Rhapsody. I don’t know what’s up the the filmer’s camera, but the clicking noise is NOWHERE that loud in real life. You can totally hear the music all the time.
And this video’s pretty great too. Note the conducting lobster near the top.
And this one. Because I love this car.