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    • Chris MacAskill

      I don't know what this is but so much copper and tubing and wires and glass and remote control with a sort-of face! So Maker Faire.

    • Chris MacAskill

      This headline: It’s a wacky science circus for the DIY crowd.

      I dunno, do you think they drive this Rabid Transit fire-breathing, dragon-roaring bus on the road to the faire? There are monster propane tanks inside that send flames maybe 8 feet in the air with a roar now and then. I didn't have the patience to wait for the flames. So much to see.

    • Chris MacAskill

      Something like 125,000 people converged on the place. I love taking kids there because there is so much to do with them. This is a circular bike loop where you get to try all kinds of crazy bikes. High handlebars, two bikes welded together...

    • Chris MacAskill

      They had a trike with wheels in the back that could rotate any crazy way, so you went around the corners fishtailing. Here's a sidecar bike:

    • Chris MacAskill

      The thing is I get engrossed in what the inventors are trying to do. They call this gasification, but what they are really doing is turning things like wood chips, walnut shells and coconut husks into gas + carbon ash. The carbon ash gets collected and you fertilize your crops with it. The gas fires a motor which powers a generator for electricity.

      So, for remote areas without electricity that have stuff like wood chips, cool. California has a dead tree problem right now so they use bigger versions of these to burn the trees in a way that produces carbon for the fields, not the atmosphere, and adds to the electrical grid. Cool.

    • Chris MacAskill

      Furrion was there with their giant exoskeleton, the Prosthesis Mech Racing machine, and it created a sensation. This thing, like a lot of what we saw at Maker Faire, is crowd funded on sites like GoFundMe.

      It's a four-legged monster that mimics the physical movement of the pilot and oh my God it's dramatic when it walks around. Dramatic YouTube clip.

    • Chris MacAskill

      This is how you get to be the coolest dad on Halloween: order your costume from Maker Faire. I thought the guy inside must be super strong, but when he took the helmet off, he looked normal.

    • Chris MacAskill

      She looks porcelain but she's real, her face lit by the blue lights of her hat.

    • Chris MacAskill

      There were some pretty crazy ideas there the inventors were proposing, like this motorcycle motor home. Wouldn't you rather just pull a trailer?

    • Chris MacAskill

      Back to being a cool parent: one of these in the house would set the mood for your kid's birthday party guests. This is from a group of Star Wars droid fans who make their own in various colors with all the authentic movements and sounds.

    • Chris MacAskill

      The group is called the Bay Area R2 Builders, but they've also gotten into BB-8s. It was pretty awesome to have them take off the shell for BB-8 and show us the insides and how it works.

    • Chris MacAskill

      Google was there selling their Vision Kit, which you can also buy at Target for $89. They had a couple big tents with long tables of kids and helpers. Cool.

    • Chris MacAskill

      Their demo was pretty cool. The cynic in me couldn't help think: "Kids! Now you can face-detect people in your neighborhoods. See if they're happy or sad!"

    • Chris MacAskill

      Drone racing! You stand out in the middle with the drone zipping by but you never actually see the drone IRL.

    • Chris MacAskill

      These guys were getting pretty big crowds admiring their mid-sized trains. They're the Bay Area Garden Railway Society. I can imagine going crazy in my yard with one of these, especially for Christmas.

    • Chris MacAskill

      Speaking of vintage, how gorgeous is this steam tractor?! Wood-fired.

    • Chris MacAskill

      Speaking of working beautiful vintage steam engines from more than a century ago. And they had very cool drawings to show how it worked. Okay, not as cool for your kid as the Nintendo Switch booth, but cool for you.

    • Chris MacAskill

      A vintage cool working printing press powered by a steam engine (out of focus in the background) and long belt connecting the two. Wouldn't want to snag loose clothing in a gear...

      She was making coasters on thick, high-fiber board with both black and gold ink. They were coming out pretty fast and I got one! Quite high res.

    You've been invited!