Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Maker Faire

At my game club about a month ago, someone brought up the fact that Maker Faire was coming up. I had no idea what it was, and it was described as a big event where engineers show off side projects. Well, it sounded like something Jonathan would like, so I asked him if he wanted to go. Turns out, he knew all about it and was pretty much planning on it, LoL.

The week of the event, we struggled to figure out which day to go (it was on both Saturday and Sunday), and ultimately went with Saturday because the weather was going to be 10 degrees cooler on Sunday. We were originally planning to buy our tickets online, but after some searching and a few phone calls, I found that we could get tickets at a specific bank for about $15 less, so I went and got those. Then, the tricky part: figuring what we wanted to see at the event. There were a bunch of summaries, but the entire program was 68 pages!

As you might guess, I went through and made a list of "definite must-sees" and "if there's time" exhibits while Jonathan skimmed one of the lists and made mental notes. It seemed to me that we'd be spending much of the day apart, but I wasn't concerned. We planned to be on the road at 9:15, to have plenty of time to find parking and walk to the event, that began at 10am. Well, we needed some more sleep than that, plus some food, so we ended up walking through the gates right around 11am.

We stuck together for a bit, looking at random things at the entrance. We saw an electric giraffe which I thought was really neat. We also saw some muffin mobiles, which are mini cars underneath the muffin exterior. Then, Jonathan went to test drive a Chevy Volt while I went to check out the Life-Size Mousetrap. Except, the area was pretty empty as they were finished early (no worries tho, we went back and saw it later). So I went back and rode as a passenger in Jonathan's test drive. The car was kinda neat, but we weren't in love with it.
 muffin car
 Jonathan drove the silver car


We ended up spending the day together, going from building to building, checking out all sorts of interesting things. We didn't get to every item on either of our lists, but we had some good experiences as well as a bunch of let-downs.  Some of my favorites included the Jeep made from Legos, the neon wire stuff, the Wall-E build project, the Coke Zero & Mentos Geysers, and the hover-chairs.
 building an igloo from milk jugs
 glass-blowing
 they make Wall-E replicas!

R2D2s


Some disappointments included the Molecular Gastronomy demonstration, the Seattle Show Posters (only a disappointment since I understood it to be posters of Seattle, not Seattle as the brand), Home Cheesemaking (not really explanatory), the build-you-own-3D-printer (it was a little different), the Light Quilt (kinda plain), the Talking Breathalyzer demonstration (really disappointing), the Life-Size Mousetrap (cheap-looking and boring), the Google self-driving cars (I was hoping to see a real one in action, not a video), the Mad Hatter cake (poor details).
 Molecular Gastronomy

I'm sorry we missed a bunch of things, but mainly the Grilled Cheese by Brick demonstration, how to make bread in ten minutes, the extreme marshmallow cannon, and the sculpture made of typewriter pieces (can't figure out where it was!). Overall, it was a neat DIY-type event, and if we're around next year, I imagine we'll go again. Of course, we do have our fair share of complaints as well - namely that the information booths had some issues knowing things, the booths within areas weren't in order/numbered to match the program, and there were areas that had multiple names, making the map difficult to follow.
 there were lots of bicycles, scooters, and other homemade vehicles
 we went to a giant remote-control-boat thing where the ships are modeled after World War vessels.
this guy builds fabulous things from toothpicks
There were several of these guys on benches, posed in different positions. 

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