20100524

Maker Faire 2010

If it weren't for a chance meeting with an old instructor, I'd say that the $25 entry for the Maker Faire may be better spent elsewhere if you're middle-aged and have neither children nor the patience to learn to knit, sew or do other crafty/hobby things. It IS interesting, even educational, but the price is steep, considering a fifth of our workforce isn't working.
 Typewriter Person, May 2010
(this was underexposed, hence the graininess)
Maker Faire is amalgam of hands-on arts-and-crafts and do-it-yourself exhibits, tech demonstrations, tech art, and a carnival area organized by Make Magazine. I went to see the human-powered carvinal rides made by Cyclecide, which I enjoy because they are so unlike the passive experience of standard rides. They encourage, and in fact require, active participation, because they won't budge unless people actually exert energy to make them go! My personal favorite is the merry-go-round, because it involves kids screaming "pedal faster, dad!!!" at the guys in the center who look like they might keel over any second...

On to the chance meeting. I was walking down an aisle and saw a man at an exhibit with a name tag that said "Ron."  I gaped at him, thinking "I know him!" Given my blatant stare, he easily caught me looking and asked if I wanted to play with the electronics he had on display. That's when I recognized the voice. "Aren't you Ron H***?!? I took your Conceptual Physics class at SFSU!" He looked a little frightened at that point, so I assured him I loved his class -- Ron gave fun demonstrations during lectures and handed out tickets for the Laserium at the Morrison Planetarium to students who did well, or who whined loudly, as I did.
Ron and Me, May 2010
Confession: I actually groused to his brother, who exercised at the gym where I worked nights after attending classes in the morning and track practice in the afternoon, because I was too chicken to complain in person. Ron has been associated with a science museum called The Exploratorium forever. The Explo is a definite must-see for Bay Area visitors and residents alike, as I believe it was the first of its kind.
Colorful Calliope Player
One last distant memory. Back in the day, Doggie Diner was the place to go late at night, not because the food was good, but because it was cheap and open late. The heads from the restaurant sign show up at these festivals, and yes, they were at the Maker Faire. Good times...