Went to the Bay Area Maker Fair — attendance estimated at 125,000 for the weekend, clear 95°+F weather, ridiculous sardine-can crowd conditions, meh-to-magnificent-to-magical — total geek-out heaven — a rare venue that unites the universe of creative makery and Burner mockery — where a guy in kilt and goggles and a girl in strings of bottle caps and LED lights feel right at home... even celebrated.
Rube Goldberg is alive and well next to the next Einsteins, Jobs and Musks. In short, I can't wait for 'til next year!
Maker Faire is a creative, cacophonic, enthusiastic explosion (often literally) to entertain, explore, astound, delight and wonder at. Involvement and immersion in the "maker experience" is an important part of what makes The Faire work.
I highly recommend Maker Faires, wherever you are with over 120 featured and mini Maker Faires all over the USA and including Tokyo, Rome, Detroit, Oslo and Shenzhen!
Inventors can gain ideas, inspiration, knowledge, instruction, mentors and collaborators at Maker Faires, as well as the myriad of maker spaces that are popping up all over the place.
What does this have to do with inventing? I'll get to that in a minute...
This is a really well-done film... at least all Americans should see it, although it will have global appeal. I'm not going to review it here either.
I saw "Hidden Figures" this evening... a fascinating bit of history that most people had no idea about. I didn't until the trailers came out, and relatively recently. I had two big questions after seeing it:
So, a Call to Action to all inventors is to work on something like renewable energy, a combination of high-efficiency solar, wind power, safe/sane nuclear power, wave/current power and other energy generation — everyone wins! Jobs are created, less pollution, etc. And regardless of global warming, this would be a boon to all. Instead of a "Space Race," how about an "Energy Race"?
What other Big Ideas could inventors work on collaboratively to make a difference to all humanity?
Go see Hidden Figures... get inspired to do big things!
Recently finished listening to the audio book narrated by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author... Audible is a great resource! Mr. McCullough goes into fascinating detail about their early lives, their supportive sister Katherine and learned father Bishop Wright. Seems David even writes using language that emulates American-speak during the early 1900s.
There is great detail about their academic research, exhaustive and careful experiments, countless prototypes and tests... even building their own small wind tunnel to test wing shapes, which they fashioned after years of watching birds in flight. The book also details their lives after that first flight through continued test flights and constant improvements. And they did it all for less than $2,000. Samuel Langley had about $70,000 of US taxpayer money at his disposal and never did produce a machine that actually flew. Look for a future post about spending money on inventing!
A reproduction of the 1903 Flyer engine the Wrights built themselves.
The brothers Wright did it all themselves too. When they got around to powering their glider, they had to design and make their own propellers. They couldn't find an engine that suited them, so they built their own.
They were singularly focused on flying too. From the book, Wilbur Wright was quoted about the newfangled automobiles that were around at the time: "He could not imagine... how any contrivance that made such a racket and had so many things constantly going wrong with it could ever have a future." However they could certainly imagine a future of powered flight, and persisted until they claimed the ultimate prize.