Odds and Ends

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Life has been fairly calm lately, which has been nice. I had a two week break from music rehearsals, which allowed me to switch gears and learn some stuff (well, theoretically....I mostly spent the break watching TV and working).
Yesterday Boyfriend and I went to the Maker Faire. It was kind of like a craft fair, a tech expo and a gathering of pyromaniac geeks all rolled into one. We missed the two things I really wanted to see, which were the dudes who do the Mentos and Diet Coke extravaganzas on YouTube, and that guy Adam from Mythbusters. We did see some fun stuff though. Cupcake cars, a life sized version of the game Mousetrap and a Jeep completely covered in Legos. I really liked the booth for the "Center for the Book" in SF. They have exhibits and classes in using old-fashioned printing presses and book-binding equipment, and their display featured some beautiful little chapbooks that students had made.
The flashier exhibits mostly featured fire. I think a lot of the "makers" also go to Burning Man, so there were some giant metal statues that would burn artistically, a dancing platform that would trigger flames depending on your movements, and that kind of thing. There was a big contingent of "Steam Punk" folks, whose interpretations of Victorian dress were kind of fun.

A friend was in town from LA yesterday, as well, so we had dinner with him, then went to see Iron Man. It wouldn't have been my choice, and frankly, I could have lived a perfectly fulfilling life without ever seeing it. When the 2nd incredibly sexist reference happened, I said, out loud "Okay, that's strike 2. Next one and I'm walking out." There wasn't an overt strike 3, but I did spend several minutes text-messaging a friend when I got really bored.

Glowing review, eh?


Let's rant about the misogyny on the Internet this week, eh? There are two article that bugged me (well, undoubtedly more, but these are the two that I remember at the moment). One about that Austrian man who held his daughter captive for 20 years, and another about the "feminine physique" of a ruler who's been dead for about 4000 years.

The Austrian monster, it seems, was convicted of rape about 42 years ago. I just knew that this guy couldn't possibly have been totally upstanding in every way except for locking up his daughter and raping her for 20 straight years. That wouldn't have been possible. What bugged me was some Austrian official who claimed that his crimes were about "his sexual energy." Thanks, dude, for perpetuating the myth that rape is about sex.....ugh....

On to dead Pharaohs. It's well known that Akhenaten, the (possible) father of King Tut, had some weird physical attributes. The whole family, apparently, had really elongated heads and limbs. Some scientist is now claiming that is was due to some syndrome, as opposed to most Egyptologists, who think it was a conflicting syndrome. Whatever, I'm not too interested either way. What got me was the wording of the article. It was full of "Feminine" and "Not the most manly" and the worst:

The pharaoh had "an androgynous appearance. He had a female physique with wide hips and breasts, but he was male and he was fertile and he had six daughters," Braverman said. "But nevertheless, he looked like he had a female physique."
Yeah, cuz being shaped like a woman is horrible. You have to be sure not to look like one of those creatures.....assholes.

Well, kids, I must go teach a piano lesson, so that's all for now.


berzerkcarrottop said...

D's brother invited him to go to the Maker Faire. Unfortunately, D had to be at a funeral on Saturday or he would have gone. Looks like it was fun.

kat said...

yeah, you guys should go next year. There was a lot of kid-themed stuff, with hands on activities and projects and stuff. Also lots of tech-y things for you and D.

Maggie Jochild said...

Looks AMAZING. I'd for sure go if I was in the area.

One year (and one year only, I think) San Francisco, which is both City and County, decided to have a County Fair, at Fort Mason. It had all kinds of "urban" exhibits and stuff to do. One was a big set recreating Haight Street of the 1960s; you put on a headset, walked the "street", then went into a smoke-filled room and had an "acid trip" courtesy of strobe lights and psychodelic music blasting in your ears. Hilarious.

The exhibit I remember best, however, was extremely controversial. They had a mock-up of the GG Bridge, and again using headsets, you got led through the spiraling downward depression of some poor soul until finally you jumped off the "bridge" onto some mattresses below. My roommate and I did it, even though we both had friends who had committed suicide (my friend Diana off the Bridge itself). We lay there in the dark on the mattress and wept. Only in San Francisco...

kat said...

jeez....I would think the bridge thing would be at the very LEAST controversial...scary.

I think the next stop on the Maker Faire tour is in Austin, actually. I would imagine that the big exhibits would be the same, but with the smaller ones more focused on local makers. That's what it seemed in the Bay Area, actually.

Can I just mention that traffic was monstrous? It was at the San Mateo County Fairground, which is right next to Bay Meadows. Apparently there was a horse race the same day....ugh....so many cars!!!

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