Paleontologists recently unearthed bones, likely in Montana or Wyoming, of a new dinosaur species dubbed Stochastisaurus. “Based on surrounding species and the fossils themselves, there’s an approximately 88 percent chance that Stochastisaurus was an herbivore,” says the lead researcher. The new species of dinosaur more likely than not had something interesting about its head, perhaps heavy bone plating like Pachycephalosaurus, a frill like Styracosaurus, a crest like Corythosaurus, or a hollow series of tubes like Parasaurolophus. This interesting head feature is almost exactly equally likely to have been used for defense, reproductive competition, or as an instrument of communication with other Stochastisauri.
Cardboard: the ultimate material. This is the voyage of the Boulder Cardboard Challenge. Its four-hour mission: to explore strange new creations, to seek out new experiences and creative challenges, to go boldly where no maker has gone before.
“Cardboard is great: you use your brain for designing and your hands for making,” says Mary Anne Zacek, co-founder of MakerBoulder.com. Inspired by the video Caine’s Arcade (above) and a satellite of the Imagination Foundation’s Global Cardboard Challenge, the Boulder Cardboard Challenge will go off October 11, 10:00am-2:00pm at Horizons K-8. Sign up as a team or as a lone-wolf cardboard cow-person (used as the gender-neutral term for “cowboy”). There will be creative challenges. There will be prizes awarded in what the registration page promises are “exciting categories!” The event is free for the first infinity participants to register HERE.
So get right on it.
“Cardboard is such an easy way to get kids being creative and designing whatever they want to design. They’ll be able to make arcade games or outfits for box trolls or mazes for Spheros or…whatever we can imagine!” Zacek says.
MakerBoulder has been collecting a truly awesome amount of cardboard but more is even awesomer so please consider BYOC; tape and scissors also appreciated. There will be pizza and too-healthy Boulder-ish juice drinks for sale and you are welcome to bring your own snacks as well.
Oh, and if you’re not among the 4,441,607 people who have viewed the Caine’s Arcade video on YouTube, you should really give it a click. You will cry. Plan accordingly.
“Really, it’s going to be a super fun morning of Creative Play!” Zacek says. Be like Mary Anne.
Come on down to the Boulder Cardboard Challenge and have yourself a good time.
What’s that you say? A Mini Maker Faire in Boulder? Shut your mouth! No really, it’s true: MakerBoulder and Make Magazine are excited to bring the Boulder Mini Maker Faire to Boulder County Fairgrounds on January 31 and February 1, 2015. Details at MakerBoulder.com.
What are the most important inventions of all time? Some people go for big, obvious things…like boats, the printing press, or gunpowder. Don’t get me wrong, those are all pretty great and everything. But the printing press is nowhere without paper and sans compass, boats were pretty much stuck paddling around in sight of land. This list rights the wrongs of history’s tunnel vision. Here are history’s 5 most underrated and overlooked inventions. Read more
There are things that every Maker needs: a good hammer, a good workspace, a good joke…and of course one good card trick. You may not have the opportunity to demonstrate it often — all the better! But when you need it, you need it. Here, in case you don’t have it yet, is a truly awesome card trick.
We remember things better when we anchor them to images. We see this in the mnemonics of memory competitions and we also it with the recent info-graphic craze, in which artists illustrate the driest data, bringing it to life in a way that makes it both more digestible and also easier to remember.
Last week a friend ended up on my doorstep. She has 3 plum trees in Wheatridge, Colorado and she had 5 pounds of plums – for me. For me this was akin to wishing for a pony – and then getting it. It was a lovely gesture and plums are great eats and all, but now I have to do something with plums. Five pounds of them.
I’m a canner, I admit it. A cabinet full of Ball jars full of different foods is my nirvana. My mom chastises me for this, saying that canning is so violent on the food. But I say that anything that is left to stew in its juices for a few months is awesome. I’m kind of a foodie, so just putting plums up in jars was never really an option; I had to step it up a notch.
That’s where the booze comes in.
Earning a world record allows paper-plane designers to own football teams and yacht off the Croatian coast. And according to aerospace engineer and record holder Ken Blackburn, you need master only three things in your quest for paper-plane glory: good folds, a good throw and good design.
Let’s polish off the first two in a couple words: Good folds are extremely crisp, reducing the plane’s profile and thus its drag. They also make the plane perfectly symmetrical. And a good throw means different things for different planes (we’ll get into specs later), but for a world-record attempt, you use a baseball-style throw to launch the plane straight up, as high as possible — there’s video of Blackburn’s Georgia Dome launch and subsequent 27.6-second, world-record flight online at paperplane.org.
Now to design, wherein lies the true makery of paper planes.
This morning, my son Leif stumbled bleary-eyed from his bedroom and the first thing he said was, “Dadda, if I had one more forest manna I would’ve totally smoked you last night.” He’s eight. And I wonder, just because I love Magic (and Arduino…and solar hovercrafts…) and am excited to play with my kids, am I pushing too much geeky games and making activities, too soon?
Science is a now kind of thing, but every so often I find a study at least peripherally relevant to the Maker Boulder community study that somehow slipped unnoticed through the cracks of time. Such is the case for a September, 2011 paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences titled, “Fatherhood decreases testosterone in men.”
Usually when scientists wonder if something affects something else, they set up a randomized control trial — some people get “stuff” and some people get “not stuff” and then they watch with bated breath and spreadsheets to see how these two groups differ. But you can’t prescribe everything and in these cases, instead of randomized control trials, scientists are increasingly turning to “natural experiments” that happen to split people into “stuff” and “not stuff” groups. One of these things you can’t prescribe with any accuracy is media consumption — and so a review by UCSD economist Gordon Dahl uses natural experiments to show how media affects families.