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TEDx San Jose Wrapup and Goodbye 2012!

Submitted by Super-Awesome Sylvia on December 26, 2012 - 8:41pm

Sylvia stands to the left of Olympic Gold Medallist Dana Vollmer December was a blast! TEDx San Jose let me meet amazing people, and listen to their amazing talks. Olympic Gold winner Dana Vollmer showed me her medal, and we became best buds!

Susan Fonseca had a really good talk about losing her father, and how 3D printed organs might help lots of people soon because of work done by Singularity University. Maybe with a little luck we'll get to work together on something amazing too.

Afterward, Megan Keely performed some great music for the audience with her band, and even gave me an acorn necklace once we were done! Check out her music, it really is awesome, her dad helps her make it too.

Megan Keely singing on stage at TEDx San Jose CA

Sylvia standing to the left of NASA Scientist Adam SteltznerAdam Steltzner (who works at NASA!) was just an awesome guy, and gave an AMAZING TALK about how he and his team helped land the incredible curiosity rover!! (totally jealous)

Jeannie Kahwajy helped me a whole lot with my speech, giving me tips on ways to speak, how to show big points, and a LOTS more. Jeannie’s talk was really good too, she describes ways some people can try to be helpful but sound mean, and how to recognize and help change that.

Attendees of TEDx San Jose talking to Sylvia during the lunch breakAt lunch, we did a giveaway to a random selection of people by putting vouchers under seats. Super-huge thanks to Sherry at Makezine for coming through at the last minute and getting us the super-awesome books and kits for the giveaway like the Arduino and Raspberry Pi starter kits from the Maker Shed, and the beautifully illustrated Make: Electronics Book and Encyclopedia of Electronic Components

Fans of the show and kids of all ages came up to talk and get autographs. So many cool people there that I could have talked with them for hours. It's probably the best thing you can do at things like this, to talk to interesting people and share ideas, thoughts and inspiration. I had a really good time. :)

All the presenters and hosts pose on stage at the conclusion of TEDx San Jose CA

2012 was crazy busy for me and my family. Running all the country, over 15,000(!) miles, and lots of local conferences too. We didn’t end up making any more than 2 episodes this year (except this year's holiday gift guide), but we were still busier than ever. Sorry we couldn’t do a bit more, but it’s just me and my family.

In 2013 we will be going to even more Maker Faires, and we’ll be getting back on track with making the new season of Sylvia’s Super-Awesome maker show!! Our next episode will be on Joey Hudy’s SMT LED matrix board for the Arduino, and the next will come soon after. Also, I want to say to all the awesome people who contributed to my New York trip this last September, I am sorry for the wait on getting perks out on time. I promise that by this February, we will have all of those perks out there and sent! Again, I am really sorry.

We’ve got big plans this next year, and with help, I know we can make them happen. See you out there on the road, and remember to get out there and make something!

TechNinja's picture

Maker Faire Bay Area 2012: Day 2

Submitted by TechNinja on July 7, 2012 - 7:59am

(Continued from Maker Faire: Day 1) The streets strangled by traffic, we arrive a bit late (show up early folks!). Hopping out of our car and hoofing across the south lot, we're totally ready for Adam Savage's talk at 11. First a quick stop off at the magical steampunk village, to see the amazing machines, sculptures, and perchance to write an olde fashioned letter with a fountain pen.

Sylvia and Talulah examining the Velocipede steampunk vehicle.Sylvia's handwritten fountain pen letter.An Obtainium Works sculpture inside of the steampunk village

Just as we finish our letters, we got a call from our pal Brooklyn to head over and see our friend Joey Hudy in the Maker Shed, he was sad that Becky wasn't there to walk around and do interviews with Matt for MAKE Live, so he suggested that he and Sylvia fill in! Who would pass up an awesome chance like this? Not us!

Joey Hudy talks to the Make Live camera crew.Sylvia interviewing two of the other kids featured throughout the Schools Out MAKE MagazineAdam Savage answering Sylvia and Joey during their interview with himAdam Savage getting interviewed by Joey and Sylvia

Off we ran to the Shed for some preliminary interviews, then Adam Savage himself, then onto the back of a golf cart to tour the sights and sounds of the Faire. Soon seeing such awesome things as Makerbot's robot petting zoo, the giant fire snorting dragon, and Los Angeles Maker Extraordinaire, Tara Tiger Brown (all seen in the video)!

Rounding out a long fun tour of the grounds and sights, they headed over to the Whiskey Drunk Cycles arena, it was time to dunk a MAKE editor! Sylvia was first to pitch, and without breaking a sweat somehow managed to pull out a fast ball and dunked her on the second shot! I guess that single season of softball finally paid off.

Andrew 'Bunnie' Huang signing Sylvia's ChumbyAfter her fun trip with the Make crew and Joey, we set out on our own to inhale the last invigorating breaths of Maker Faire. Into the expo hall we stopped by and said hi to all the booths we could. Handing out stickers, cards, smiles and hugs. Met up with incredible electronics master Andrew 'Bunnie' Huang, he even signed Sylvia's Chumby One!

We saw our nice friends from Parallax showing off their red line follower bots, and Sylvia's favorite Ping))) BOE bot, then over to the fabulous Tinkercad, showing off 3D printed versions of their favorite models, some even in ceramic and metal. Stopping by one of our favorite booths, Sugru showed off their awesome "kid-proof" camera made safe with only their colorful air-curing rubber. Then finally off at the Robotis booth to check out the awesome Ollo bug bot kit, and to even hold one of the incredible DARwIn-OP humanoid bots (too bad his battery was dead).

Sylvia playing with the bots at the Parallax booth with Jessica Uelmen & Emily Kurze Sylvia standing in the foreground while a Makerbot Replicator prints Tinkercad models at the Tinkercad boothA "child-proof" camera created with SugruSylvia holding the DARwIn-OP

By the time we finished strolling through the expo hall, it was time for the very last EepyBird Diet Coke and Mentos show! We ran outside and set ourselves up in front before the crowds got too thick, hoping for to get close enough to "experience" the soda fountains, and we were not disappointed! (totally got soaked when the wind picked up)

Sylvia giving a thumbs up before being doused with warm diet sodaEepyBird demonstrate the effectivenes of warm soda vs cold sodaSylvia smiling after being soaked with soda.A crewmember handing a soda bottle to one of a hundred grappling hands.

Not long after, it was time for the awards ceremony for the Fun Bike Unicorn Club Figure 8 races. Due to our constantly popping tires, derailing chain and eventually the front right wheel coming off, we were tied for last place. Though because we kept on trying, and even went to a store to buy replacement tubes to race again the following day, we won "Best Effort", and hold the trophy proudly (Actually, driver and welder TheD holds it)

The D holding the "Best Effort" trophy

Sylvia squinting at the sun through darkened plastic to view the solar eclipseThe fair has now officially ended. Patrons and booth runners alike; pack, clean up, and head out. People gather outside as they leave to marvel at the eclipse, turning simple tree shade into a crowded sea of crescents. We make our way through buildings, slowly meandering our way to the exit. We love to walk through the slowly emptying halls as the excitement, stress and heat of thousands of hurried bodies drains out, leaving only the people who came here some few days ago to put everything up, just to take it all down again. On our way through we spotted a hard at work Sophi hacking away at an cell phone signal detector hat for the big post-Maker Faire hack dinner at Harry's Hofbrau. Sylvia helped her solder a bit, and then we headed out to the dinner ourselves.

The mostly empty main hallSylvia helps solder Sophi Kravitz's cell phone power meter hat project before the hacker dinnerSylvia posing with bright red LED matrix glasses displaying a hypnotizing pattern.The hacker side of Harry's Hofbrau crowd

Sylvia posing with Jeri's C-64 Bass guitar.It was packed. Almost every patron was from Maker Faire, and an entire section of the restaurant was devoted to the elite hackers showing off their incredible inventions and physical sketches. Everything from Jeri's C-64 Bass, Benheck's briefcase 3D printer, Garret Mace's LED matrix glasses, to a high pressure CO2 fruit carbonator. After an hour or more of mingling, showing off of cool things, and planing with like minded makers, Sherry and Dale walked in causing every single table to erupt in spontaneous applause. The entire event after the event was incredible, and we ended up staying far beyond our limit, leaving over three hours later than we expected... of course, it was worth it.

Sylvia finished collecting her "photoception" picture-in-a-picture shots as best she could on this last day of Maker Faire. Sunday netted her: Mr. Mythbuster Adam Savage out signing after giving a great talk and getting interviewed by Sylvia herself! (3 years), head of the Maker Shed, Mr. Marc de Vinck (2 Years), MAKE editor in chief and Boing Boing founder Mark Frauenfelder (2 years), Masters of soda fountains, the Eepybird guys, Fritz and Steven (3 Years), and uber-modder and pinball fanatic Ben Heckendorn (2 years).

Sylvia posing with Adam Savage holding a photo of them holding a photo of themSylvia posing with Marc De Vinck, with a picture of them last yearSylvia posing with Mark Frouenfelder, with a picture of them in 2010
Sylvia posing with Eepybird (Fritz & Steven) holding a photo of them holding a photo of themSylvia posing with Ben Heckendorn, holding a picture of them the previous year

And thus concludes our tale of Maker Faire Bay area 2012. Made lots of friends, saw lots of amazing things, got so many ideas, only good can come from so much sharing.

Stay tuned for another multi-part tale of our adventures at Maker Faire Kansas City, 2012, then Make Summer Camp 2012, then Constructing Modern Knowledge 2012!!

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