Monday, September 23, 2013

NYC and Maker Faire

We spent the weekend in New Yawk City! The drive up was awful because the traffic was so bad, but my husband handled it well.  I found it distressing that so many of the cars around us had a single person in them, and about half were on a phone or some other device.  I don't know when Americans will get serious about carpooling. Probably when gas is $10 per gallon.

We went up for Maker Faire.  It's hard to explain the maker movement. If you know an engineer, he or she will probably be able to do so. Essentially, it's all those people who like to fiddle around with electronics and code and science, and they make stuff.  The Maker Faire is a chance for some to show what they've made, for others to show how they're making things, and yet others to show what they have in mind. There's room for enthusiasts, professionals, and everyone in between.

I'm NOT an engineer, so the gadgety part of it makes my eyes glaze over. And I'm very practical, so the many people who have programmed their 3D printers to make plastic stuff ... well, if it ain't useful stuff, I don't really see the point.

But I understand the concept that out of playing with various devices and materials we often have revolutionary leaps in science, so I was able to keep my "but what good is it?" inside my head instead of coming out of my mouth.

Besides, my men were having a lot of fun.

The exhibit I found the most interesting was some guys who are using shipping containers to make homes and retail spaces. They can wire them for electricity and running water, turn them into classrooms, and dwellings. I can see a great opportunity with these as they move away from "novelty items" and towards becoming solutions for refugee camps and slums than tents and cardboard. It may be that we will change our definition of 'dwelling' space in time. One thing is for sure -- I wouldn't accumulate a lot of stuff if I lived in something this small! There's even a mall in London now made of these things!

Check it out:

So that display satisfied my need to see something useful for mankind to come out of all this investment of energy, time and money.

There was also whimsy, which I appreciate, and some very cool science to back it all up.  In all, it was a nice trip and I didn't have to dwell on the fact that the washer is STILL not working (part should be here Tuesday) and I'm running low on clothes. And the traffic coming home was a breeze.

Here are some photos from the weekend. Agriculture, Fashion, and Music.  What more could you want?

This was a bicycle powered tiller. You KNEW I had to look for bikes, right?

Dress made from USPS shipping envelopes. Your tax dollars at "wear"...

Now THIS is a clever use for race numbers. They're always made of
tyvek-type material that will wear and wear...

All of these instruments actually play.  Look closely. Do you see
the hockey sticks? Can you identify more of the pieces?

Sponsored by Citibikes, these butterfly rides were
quite popular! It was a bicycle zoo.

Now this is what I call a merry-go-round!

And NY is well known for alternate transport. This
is a cargo bike extraordinaire!


The Bug said...

How cool! I would love to go to something like that!

Steve Franklin said...

They make a lot of things out of Tyvek because the material is so strong. It's very multipurpose.