Wheels and Trains and Motorized ThingsWednesday, August 01, 2012
|Noise maker. I don't know what it's really called, but all you need to know is that it was horribly loud.|
"It's basically a festival for really nerdy things."
. . . That's along the lines of what Brad told me as we drove to Dearborn's Henry Ford for the annual Maker Faire. He was convinced that I was going to be bored out of my mind, but I was under the impression that the Maker Faire would offer some arts, crafts, and other interesting exhibits that didn't only appeal to engineers. Well, I was sort of right.
I'm not gonna lie--the festival was kind of weird. Time machines, giant cupcakes, things with wheels and people in camouflage kilts and corsets made for an interesting setting, but the setup was anything but boring. No, I didn't necessarily want to spend ten minutes talking to some guy about how he made an electric-powered-anything, but there was definitely plenty to look at.
Above, clockwise from top left: A "time machine" created by the Goodrich High School robotics team, the inside of a giant cupcake, and some guy rolling around the fair in that giant cupcake.
One of my favorite attractions? The big, multi-rider bikes (I'm sure there's a more scientific name). We rode one through the festival as we terrorized camera crews and small children. Tons of fun, of course.
|That's not us.|
And I didn't really have the motivation to try one of these, but they were really amusing to watch:
|Get it, girl.|
Another crowd-pleaser was the giant Mouse Trap, which I assumed before actually seeing the thing was just . . . a giant mouse trap. Like the kind you catch mice in, not the kind manufactured by Hasbro. This thing was intense, and featured a full-on domino effect where a bowling ball made its way through a series of contraptions. At the end, a safe fell on a car. 'Nuff said.
|The crushed car after the safe fell off that big . . . thing . . . up there.|
At some point, we decided to go inside the Henry Ford museum to cool down from the heat and look around a little while. It was a quick trip (we plan on going back sometime since we bought a membership), but we did get to see several cool things. A few that stood out: the car JFK was assassinated in (yeah, I know it's kind of creepy), robots, Lego contraptions, and some huge trains. As if Brad wasn't already in engineer Heaven, right?
|A HUGE snow plow train! At least, that's what Brad said it was. It looks like a hungry Lochness Monster to me.|
Back outside, we spent our last hour or so at the fair watching Power Racing, otherwise known as Grown-Men-And-Women-Scrunching-Themselves-Into-Tiny-Powerwheels-Cars. Pretty hilarious, actually, once the organizers got past the drawn-out commentary and the drivers got down to racing.
|In the timed events, drivers were tasked with shooting Nerf darts into checkpoint nets as they scooted around the track.|
|This tiki hut guy was one of my favorites, mostly because he blared Michael Jackson songs as he circled the track.|
|Annnnd . . . they're off! Moxie race. Otherwise known as: the race that doesn't count, where you get to act as stupid as you want to. Silly string and several breakdowns/minor crashes did occur.|
A nerdtopia, in every sense of the (made-up) word. In all the best possible ways, of course.