Carol and I went to Maker Faire today. It was held just a couple of miles away in San Mateo, so we were able to walk there — which was good, because so many people attended that some of the parking lots were four miles away from the event. If you’ve never heard of it, Maker Faire is kind of like a state or county agricultural fair for geeks and engineers.
We saw the gee-whiz showy things you’d expect to see at Maker Faire: strange metal constructions that belched fire; all kinds of robots; people riding around inside giant self-propelled cupcakes; a Rube Goldberg-style giant mousetrap powered by simple machines and a bowling ball; the CO2 eruptions that happen when you drop Mentos into carbonated beverages. My favorite gee-whiz showy thing was the Sashimi Tabernacle Choir, an art car covered with fish and lobsters that danced in carefully choreographed movements:
And we saw the geeky technical things you’d expect to see at Maker Faire: conventional automobiles converted to electric power; too many projects made with Arduino microcontrollers; robots; drones; giant soap bubbles; a blacksmith; ham radio operators.
We also saw things that you might not expect at Maker faire: goats; chickens; beekeepers; a guy selling New-Agey devices to protect you from EMF radiation; a steam-powered scale-model train; lessons on how to walk on stilts; a really good drummer who used plastic trash barrels and other found objects for his drum set.
It was very satisfying, if for no other reason than being able to spend time hanging out with thousands of other geeky people who like to make things instead of consuming things.
Update: Because a commenter asked, here’s a video (taken by Carol) of the Sashimi Tabernacle Choir: