Box Shop, Maker Faire, and the Other Lab

22. May 2010 by Leave a comment

It’s Friday.  This week is flying by.  Maker Faire is tomorrow.

On the way, we have an important stop.  We make a bee-line for the Box Shop – home of Charles Gadeken and the Flaming Lotus Girls of Burning Man fame.  The Box Shop is an array of shipping containers surrounding a shop with all the accouterments, including an shiny new CNC machine with a plasma cutter. We had a lovely meet-and greet in which we geeked out over the Mondo Spider, their space and the troubles of condos constantly encroaching of developers of condos on art spaces. It was time to head over to San Mateo to set up for Maker Faire.

We are greeted by the lovely and very enthusiastic Goli Mohammadi, a managing editor for Make Magazine, who chats with us as we wait for our badges and information on our assigned space. Score!  We are set up right next to the Electric Giraffe, designed, built, and lovingly tended to by Lindsay Lawler and crew.  Mondo Spider has a friend in these fine folk.  Our spot is also facing an incredible automated rock band that uses massive Tesla coils to modulate the electric field frequency to create sound – i.e. the Tesla coils add more than just a light show, they are an instrument in the band!

A haunting sound cuts through the background din, and we spot a man seemingly creating music out of thin air.  As incredible as it seems, it is not magic.  It is actually a Theremin, which creates tonal music by manipulating an electric field with your hands.  Movement of the left hand raises and lowers the volume of the tone, while the right hand changes pitch as well as volume.

Would love to stay and see more, but we have to meet up with our friend George Mueller and Kim to tour a new space. After meeting them, we take the scenic route where Kim shows us one of Banksy’s brand new murals placed around San Francisco.

We arrive at the Other Lab, where Saul Griffith, holding his beautiful baby boy, is madly working away on his latest project to change the world and the way we transport through it. His lab is modest and intensely engaged space. After a couple of beers and a bit of tinkering, we took turns trying out the beta version of the Onya Cycle. It had quick pick up and handled like a dream. It gives me true hope for replacing cars, and even electric scooter, in cities.

After that rush, its off to experience San Francisco on a Friday night! We have Maker Faire all weekend to blow our minds even further from our bodies.