I've been meaning to report on the Los Angeles Boing Boing Meetup, but
weeks and weeks of travel have kept me busy. I'm at the airport
now, waiting to catch a plane, so I have a bit of time.
About 25 people came to the event, which was held by the kind folks Machine Project
in Echo Park (the photo above is of the early birds). The theme of the
evening was "Wonderful Things." We sat around two large tables
pushed together and took turns showing the objects we brought with us
and talking about them.
Brett Doar showed us a cube of graphite, which he found in Tom "Fidonet"
Jenning's collection of techo-detritus. (When it was passed around the
table, Bruce Sterling used a napkin to handle it because he didn't
want to get graphite on his fingers.)
Luke Pebler brought these Star Wars figurines that adorned his wedding
cake. The reason he shared them with us was because one of them looks
just like Xeni!
Luke also demoed his iPad stand made from a piece of L-shaped extruded
aluminum and an old book.
Bruce Sterling showed off a nifty iPhone app from String called the Augmented Reality Showcase that displays 3D creatures and other objects when you point the phone's camera at encoded pieces of paper.
Jasmina Tešanović had a beautiful silk scarf patterned with headshots
of heroes and villains throughout history. I saw Bruce's head in
Meet the big butt cat. I can't remember the name of the fellow who
brought it or the story associated with the cat, but I hope he will
post it in the comments!
A pack of Facebook Cigarettes, found in the streets of Hollywood.
David Acevedo is a graphic novelist who hails from Puerto Rico. He
brought along this devil doll made of string.
It was fun to hear about a book. A Devil in Paradise, by Henry Miller, is about a houseguest who turns out to be a pain in the neck.
Mike Pusateri not only showed off his steampunk light fixture, he gave
it away to a lucky happy mutant!
One of my favorite things was Bart Gold's handmade The Wire lunchbox. It has
a perfect 70s vibe. It reminds me of the lunchboxes I had as a kid,
where the artist looked at reference photos of individual cast
members, and arranged them in a way that made them seem unaware of the
people standing next to them.
Bart also brought along a collection of robot statuettes
that he made from trash that he found in the street. You can see videos here!
We were treated to a composition played on the nose whistle.
Penguinchris showed us a badge that says something about Chernobyl. Is it pre-disaster, or
post? The jury is still out. Perhaps one of our Russian readers will
settle the matter. If not, we may have to consult Judge John Hodgman and ask for
One of the rules of the "Wonderful Things" was that the things we
brought should have personal value but not intrinsic value. Nobody
paid heed to this more than this fellow, who showed us three lowly
objects: a paperclip, a rock chip, and a barleycorn. The barleycorn
was found at an event honoring the Dali Lama. The rock chip is from
Tiananmen Square. The paperclip is memorable, explained the fellow who
brought it, because when he tossed it on his desk it landed on its
edge. (Freeman Dyson once remarked that statistically, a person
can expect a miracle to happen to them once every four months or so.)
A mysterious wooden box. What's inside? A casting of this fellow's teeth!
A weird lunchbox from a small restaurant chain in the midwest. These
would probably sell for 10,000 Yen at Kiddyland in Harajuku.
Puppets from Taiwan.
Everyone's favorite "thing" was this Australian bird named Mookie, a long-billed corella. Related to a cockatoo, according to his human companion, Dimitrios Papagiannis. The funny thing is, the bird wasn't part of the show-and-tell. He just tags along wherever Dimitrios goes.
The thing Dimitrios brought is his 3D printed gadget called the iCrap.
Fluxx is a game of cards in which the rules change as cards are used.
I'm sorry I wasn't able to write about every person who came to the meetup. I took lousy notes, and a lot of my photos were blurry. If you were at the meetup and would like to be included, please post a link in the comments!
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. Come and hear Mark speak at the ALA conference in Chicago on July 1.