The Giant Snake lives! Titanoboa was first sighted today by Jay Ingram and the Black Ghost (by gBike team) team at the Glenmore reservoir in Calgary. As a part of the Beakerhead kickoff year, a number of the eatART projects have been rumoured to make appearances across the Calgary area in the week leading to the 2012 Calgary Stempede.
Today Titanoboa made 2 sightings at the Canoe Club and at Heritage Park, both along side a killer street percussion group and to the awe of the unsuspecting public.
Who knows what the following days will bring?
After six months of designing, fabricating, and tinkering we finally have the Black Ghost Bike Car up and rolling! On Friday night we decided to get the Black Ghost out of the shop and onto the streets at the 2nd Annual Vancouver Bike Rave. At 14 kilometers, it was a fairly brave endeavor considering this was really only the second time we have ridden the bike car. We are still in the process of getting the electrical/battery systems working, so we did the journey under full pedal power! The trip took us from the eatART lab on Great Northern Way to Crab Park, where the over 1,500 bike ravers met up. We synchronized the music mix that participants pre-downloaded prior to the event and began the journey. From Crab Park we circumnavigated the entirety of downtown Vancouver and made it back to the eatART lab with only a couple of minor technical difficulties. We brought along a strobe light, black lights, and a giant speaker to make sure that there was sufficient bass for all to enjoy. Few were disappointed.
Next stop for the Black Ghost Electric Bike Car will be at the Vancouver Mini Maker Faire, SEE YOU THERE!
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For a second year running, Daisy (our giant, solar powered tricycle) was invited to join the Whistler Street Entertainment activities in Whistler Village for the 2012 May long weekend. Escorted by a crack team of eatART vollunteers (Jon, Cole, Chelsea, Chris, Andrea and Brandon) Daisy rolled up and down the main Village Stroll for five days: a long deployment by any measure. Faced with weather conditions all over the spectrum, the gentle giant always managed to push on through and brought smiles to faces of the young and old. We gave rides to tons of kids, families and excited adults as well as managed to team up with some of the other street entertainment teams for some sweet photo ops (The Alice in Wonderland team loved riding on Daisy).
The Cooper Bros captured some of the many people who made Titanoboa possible in a 360° group panorama. Prints of this shot were sent out to some of our generous Kickstarter contributors. To see a larger version of the panorama, click over to The Cooper Bros’ site here.
In order of appearance, Charlie Brinson, Polly Tan, Kelly Metzger, Gavin Hartnett, Jonathan Faille, Mark Eijsermans, Hugh Patterson, Jordan Cowan, John Blake, Michelle La Haye, Markus Hager, James Simard, Julian Fong, and Dillard Brinson. To find out about more of the team and what they did on the project, visit the Titanoboa website here.
On March 31st, 2012 (Earth Hour) Vancity bank hired the gBikes to provide environmentally mindful entertainment during their staff appreciation party. The 1920s themed event was held at the Hyatt in downtown Vancouver. The gBikes team deployed all four of their stationary bike generators, two of which featured vintage frames installed specifically for the event. Party guests were invited to take the generator bikes for a spin and help power a film projector. The films shown included Metropolis (1927), The General (1926) and Sunrise A Song of Two Humans (1927)
In the early morning hours of April 14th, The Mondo Spider was deployed in the heart of the American capitol to take part in the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade. The Cherry Blossom Parade is an annual, nationally televised spectacle to commemorate the gift of hundreds of Japanese Cherry trees from Japan to the city in 1912, making this the 100th anniversary. The Mondo Spider lead USA Science & Engineering Festival section alongside over 4000 other participants in the parade. Spider co-creator Ryan Johnston lead dedicated volunteers Spencer Treffry and Jessica Johnston on the perilous transcontinental journey. Ryan then took the driver’s seat in the Spider for most of the parade, flanked by spider co-creators Jonathan Tippett and Leigh Christie and the rest of the road crew. The parade ran all the way down the National Mall and the Spider was resounding favorite, inciting cheers and waves from an estimated 100,000+ spectators and the event is expected to be seen by over 72 million TV viewers across the USA.
The parade route was a straight 1.5km, right down Constitution Avenue, in the heart of Washington DC. It was the longest continuous walk the Spider has ever done, so she got a thorough tune up at the eatART Laboratory before departing. She was fitted with a brand new set of lithium-ion batteries and given a thorough mechanical inspection. It’s amazing how many cracks a set of spider legs can have and still keep walking! The boarder crossing went remarkably smoothly thanks to some key prep work done by seasoned Spidey Polly Tan. The trip was not without hiccups mind you. After a triumphant performance and a solid mile of walking in the blazing sun (which was hot enough to cause parade partner “McGruff the Crime Dog” to collapse from heat exhaustion, sending his asphyxiating dog head rolling ominously across the pavement), we still had to load the Spider back into her trailer atop her transcontinental traveling companion Titanoboa. In all the excitement, exhaustion and relief, someone (who shall remain nameless, right Ryan?) locked the keys for the truck and trialer, in the trailer. This afforded us an opportunity to support the American economy with the purchase of some frost beverages which we sipped while watching a determined locksmith destroy a collection of drill bits on the top-0f-the-line locks that spider co-creator Charlie Brinson had diligently bought to protect both the Spider and his Titanoboa.
Eventually, the keys were retrieved and the crew was able to retire to the Hotel room and relax properly and make their flights home
Night Quest was a celebration of Vancouver’s natural wildlife held on March 24th, 2012. Attendees of the family friendly event enjoyed a lantern lit night time walk through Vancouver’s Pacific Spirit Park. The walk was followed by refreshments, activities and entertainment; the later of which included Titanoboa and The Mondo Spider. Not even the non-optimal gravel parking lot surface hindered the looks of aw and amazement in child and parent alike who came by to take a look. This event marked the first ever dual deployment utilizing the teams new trailer.
Titanoboa has come a long way in the last two years. From an idea, to pieces of gyrating metal, to a giant snake that is sure to scare anyone who doesn’t know that Titanoboa won’t actually eat them. Charlie and team have been followed throughout the process of creation so the world can see just how far this beast has come and what it means. Watch and enjoy!
Our friends at Pull Focus just updated their website! Check it out: www.pullfocus.org
Pull Focus Film School is a non-profit film school that helps students develop story ideas for compelling, authentic, thought provoking documentary films. Students are taught to write, produce, film and edit, broadcast-quality, 10 minute mini docs to advance the media content of charity organizations. These mini docs are useful for fundraising purposes or community outreach work. Films may also be screened on the web, cable TV, private events and functions. Students will also develop a written blueprint for a long format documentary film. Inspired by the “Once Upon a School”, piloted by author David Eggars, Pull Focus has partnerships with grass roots community organizations.