Boing Boing 

Boing Boing: Ingenuity (Redux)

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As our coverage of Boing Boing: Ingenuity draws to a close, we'd like to remind you that video evidence of our living cabinet of curiosities is now online for your viewing pleasure. Get illuminated!

Adam Savage video: Ground Rules for Success

Chris Noessel: lessons of science fiction computer interfaces

Nate Dimeo: Ferris wheels, giant lobsters, and Samuel Morse

Megan Prelinger: Art, Advertising, and Outer Space

• Astronomer Seth Shostak: We'll find ET by 2037!

• Tom Vanderbilt: the counterintuitive science of traffic

Ferdinando Buscema: magic, wonder, and ingenuity


Boing Boing: Ingenuity in partnership with Ford C-Max.

Boing Boing Hack Day: The Director's Cut

Watercolors painted by a robot based on vehicle data. A remote control toy car that mimics the route of a real car. A synthesized symphony conducted by your automobile. These were only a few of the fantastic, curious, and delightful projects created in just a day at Boing Boing Ingenuity: Data Driven, our first-ever hack day in San Francisco on August 17. More than 50 folks got their hands dirty with data through our partner Ford's OpenXC open source hardware and software platform. Boing Boing's talented video director Eric Mittleman and his crew captured dozens of hours of video from multiple roving cameras resulting in this rollicking short documentary about the experience. Thank you to all of the brilliant hackers who inspire us with their creativity, support of open source, and, yes, ingenuity!

Boing Boing: Ingenuity in partnership with Ford C-Max.

Adam Savage video: Ground Rules for Success

The infinitely curious, brilliant, and kind Adam Savage gave the closing benediction at our Boing Boing: Ingenuity theatrical experience at a former Masonic Lodge in San Francisco on August 18. The co-host of Mythbusters, co-founder of Tested, and BB contributor inspired us with his personal story of becoming a maker and outlined ten ground rules for success. Now, we are thrilled to share with you Adam's full presentation. We hope you find it as illuminating as we did!

Boing Boing: Ingenuity in partnership with Ford C-Max.

Chris Noessel: lessons of science fiction computer interfaces

What can Logan's Run, Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, and Shrek teach us about computer interface design? Veteran designer Chris Noessel explored these very questions in Make It So: Interaction Design Lessons from Science Fiction, an outstanding book he co-authored with Nathan Shedroff. The two spent years collecting and analyzing brilliant, outlandish, and downright ridiculous technologies in SF cinema and TV to tease out practical knowledge that interface and interaction designers can use today in the real world. At Boing Boing: Ingenuity, our live event in San Francisco on August 18, Noessel gave us a tour of his favorite (and least favorite) science fiction interfaces as seen on TV, and the big screen.

Boing Boing: Ingenuity in partnership with Ford C-Max.

Live in the Memory Palace: Ferris wheels, giant lobsters, and Samuel Morse

Nate DiMeo is a master storyteller whose wonderful podcast The Memory Palace reveals hidden, forgotten, and surprising bits of history through short narratives. At Boing Boing: Ingenuity, our live theatrical event on August 18, Nate presented the Memory Palace on stage for the first time, complete with sound effects that he manually triggered. Nate shared three stories, taking the audience on a captivating journey from the construction of the first Ferris Wheel in 1893, to a time when massive lobsters beckoned to us from the seashore, and closed with the tragic tale of why painter S.F.B. Morse invented the telegraph. I hope you enjoy this video of the experience.

Boing Boing: Ingenuity in partnership with Ford C-Max.

Megan Prelinger: Art, Advertising, and Outer Space

Rogue librarian Megan Prelinger is co-founder of the incredible Prelinger Library, an independent, public research library of outré ephemera, (un)popular culture, curious maps, forgotten periodicals, and other 19th and 20th century high weirdness on paper. Megan is also a space geek who explored her offworld interests by examining the mid-20th century space race through its impact on advertising, corporate messaging, and graphic design. Megan synthesized that research into a magnificent book titled Another Science Fiction: Advertising the Space Race 1957 - 1962. That book served as the launch pad for Megan's fascinating, inspiring, and beautiful talk at our Boing Boing: Ingenuity theatrical event in San Francisco on August 18.

Boing Boing: Ingenuity in partnership with Ford C-Max.

Astronomer Seth Shostak: We'll find ET by 2037!

SETI Institute chief astronomer Seth Shostak bet hundreds of people at our Boing Boing: Ingenuity live event that we'll hear from an extraterrestrial within 25 years. Watch this video to understand why the odds are in Seth's favor.

Boing Boing: Ingenuity in partnership with Ford C-Max.

Tom Vanderbilt: the counterintuitive science of traffic

If I had a chauffeur, I'd want it to be Tom Vanderbilt. I have no idea if Tom is a good driver, but he has a wealth of compelling, curious, and provocative knowledge about the psychology and science of our lives behind the wheel. He's the author of the bestselling book Traffic: Why We Drive The Way We Do (And What It Says About Us) that has enlightened everyone from transportation policy groups to road safety consortiums to those of us who just insist that no matter what lane we're in, the other one is moving faster. Tom gave a fantastic talk at Boing Boing: Ingenuity, our theatrical experience last month in San Francisco, where he imparted wisdom on late merging, the demographics of honking, and highway hypnosis.

Boing Boing: Ingenuity in partnership with Ford C-Max.

Ferdinando Buscema: magic, wonder, and ingenuity

Ferdinando Buscema is a magic experience designer whose work draws from mechanical engineering, sleight-of-hand, and his explorations of hermetic traditions. We couldn't have asked for a more astonishing opening presentation at Boing Boing: Ingenuity, our theatrical experience that took place at a former Masonic Lodge in San Francisco on August 18. During his performance, video above, Buscema revealed the final secret of the Illuminati, and guessed my password, which I have since changed. We look forward to future collaborations with Ferdinando whose wizardry and warmth is an inspiration to Happy Mutants everywhere! Get illuminated.

Boing Boing: Ingenuity in partnership with Ford C-Max.

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OpenXC provides car data for cool hacks

[Video Link] OpenXC is our partner Ford's open-source platform that connects smart phones and tablets to real-time vehicle data. Boing Boing and Ford provided access to the platform (along with simulated and real vehicle data) to teams of invited hackers at the Boing Boing Ingenuity: Data Driven hack day on Saturday, August 17, 2013.

We were blown away by the hackers' imaginative uses of OpenXC in their 8-hour projects. We saw a watercolor robot, a music composition system, an animated back window display, a cost-of-driving meter, and other projects that responded to OpenXC's car data. (You can see videos of Data Driven award winners here.)

In the video above, Ford Research Lab Leader TJ Giuli describes how the OpenXC real-time data platform is enabling people to develop their own user experiences. As he said in this interview, "By making OpenXC open source, developers, researchers and DIYers can have an unprecedented level of access to their vehicle and by contributing source or designs back to the OpenXC project, they become co-creators with us at Ford."

Boing Boing: Ingenuity in partnership with Ford C-Max.

A cost-of-driving meter for your car

[Video Link] Imagine a taxi-meter style display that shows you the true cost of driving for every trip you take in your car. That's just what David Harris and Steven Kryskalla built at the Boing Boing Ingenuity: Data Driven hack day on August 17.

Using Ford's OpenXC data platform, Harris and Kryskalla assembled a proof-of-concept system that displays, in realtime, how much it costs to drive both short trips and long commutes. It could eventually incorporate fuel cost, wear-and-tear, servicing, depreciation, etc. They created the display as physical "taxi meter," a mobile phone app, and as a website.

Harris and Kryskalla were awarded the "Best Use of Data" award, and took home a gift basket from SpikenzieLabs and a pair of Audeze audiophile headphones.

See more videos of the other Data Driven award winners.

Boing Boing: Ingenuity in partnership with Ford C-Max.

Back window car display

[Video Link] Al Linke and Ytai Ben-Tsvi took home the "Best Hardware" prize at the Boing Boing Ingenuity: Data Driven hack day on August 17. Their creation was a "smart brake light" prototype. Using Ford's OpenXC data platform, the device reads the car's gas pedal position and brake inputs and displays contextual animations on the monitor.

As seen in the video above, colored bars indicate how far the gas pedal has been pushed. A graphic of a foot pressing on a brake pedal plays when the brakes are on. In addition, a button press triggers a "Thanks" graphic, which can be used as a way to thank someone who allowed you to merge in a traffic lane.

Al and Ytai took home a gift basket from our friends at Adafruit Industries.

In the coming days, we'll post more videos of the other Data Driven award winners.

Boing Boing: Ingenuity in partnership with Ford C-Max.

Prototype could help save kids and animals locked in a hot car

[Video Link] Stephanie Vacher, Lisa Ballard, Quentin Muhlert addressed the problem of children and pets suffering from heat stroke after accidentally being left inside hot cars. The trio created a proof-of-concept warning system called TempAssure at at the Boing Boing Ingenuity: Data Driven hack day on August 17.

TempAssure uses a GPS API to detect the external temperature. If the temperature exceeds a set limit, TempAssure turns on a small fan (which represents the car's air conditioning system). The team says additional work on the concept could include tapping into Ford's OpenXC data platform to collect GPS data (to then pull the external temperature and conditions data from the local area), ignition data (on/off), and parking brake data (on/off), to create an environment inside of the car that would prevent the occupants from suffering heatstroke (such as turning on the air conditioning, lowering the windows, or sending a text message to the driver's phone).

"Ideally, we would be able to use far more of the car's existing sensors to alert us of the presence of occupants in the car, including seat sensors, internal/external temperature sensors, CO2 sensors, motion sensors, and the built-in microphone," the team wrote in its report of their hack.

TempAssure won the "Best Design" award and took home a gift basket from out friends at Spikenzielabs.

Watch videos of the other Data Driven award winners.

Boing Boing: Ingenuity in partnership with Ford C-Max.

Video highlights of the Boing Boing: Ingenuity hack day!

Our partner Ford created a terrific video highlighting the fun we had at Boing Boing Ingenuity: Data Driven, our first ever hack day that took place on August 17! "Be Prepared to be Amazed at these Innovations"

Boing Boing: Ingenuity in partnership with Ford C-Max.

Car composes Kraftwerkian music

[Video Link] Tom Zimmerman is one of my favorite hacker/inventors. With over 40 patents awarded, Tom's the creator of the legendary virtual reality navigation device, the Data Glove, and has written a number of fun DIY projects for MAKE magazine. We invited Tom to participate in the Boing Boing Ingenuity: Data Driven hack day on August 17, 2013, and his creation, called Project: Autobahn, was awarded our coveted "Weirdest Hack" prize. He took home a gift basket from our friends at SpikenzieLabs, and a pair of Audeze audiophile headphones.

Read the rest

Car tells robot artist what to paint

[Video Link] A robot that paints water colors is super. A car that generates dozens of data streams is awesome. When you connect the two, as Joe Grand, Ben Krasnow, "Super-Awesome" Sylvia, and TechNinja did at our Boing Boing Ingenuity: Data Driven hack day held on August 17, 2013, the result is super awesome. It's no surprise that this 3-man, 1-girl team took home our Grand Prize "Best Use of Ford OpenXC" award. The prize: a brand new Replicator 2 desktop 3D printer, courtesy of our friends at MakerBot.

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PBS Newshour interviews Pesco at Boing Boing: Ingenuity

At Boing Boing: Ingenuity last weekend, PBS News Hour's Hari Sreenivasan talked to Pesco about his favorite Ford Open-XC hacks from Saturday's Ingenuity: Data Driven hackatahon and the mind-bending magic of Ferdinando Buscema who opened our theatrical experience on Sunday by revealing the final secret of the Illuminati. And Pesco's password. More at PBS News Hour's site: "Transforming Data With Whimsical and Practical Inventions at Ingenuity"

Check back here in the coming days for more video evidence of the extravaganza!

Boing Boing Ingenuity in partnership with Ford C-Max.

Todd Berman's incredible sketches from Boing Boing: Ingenuity

Boing Boing: Ingenuity, our extravaganza of hacking, making, and weirdness, was a huge success, and special thanks to you who made it so special in the room and online. We'll be posting video soon, but in the meantime a fun way to feel the vibe of Boing Boing: Ingenuity's theatrical experience Sunday is this set of sketches that Todd Berman created live at the event. We were entirely surprised to see his posts about these online during the day and delighted to meet him afterwards. Hopefully we can hire Todd to sketch our next live event!

Check out the paintings Todd has on offer at his website.

Boing Boing: Ingenuity in partnership with Ford C-Max.

Adam Savage's Ten Rules for Success

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photo: Arion Paylo

The truly wonderful Adam Savage, co-host of Mythbusters, co-founder of Tested, and BB contributor, closed our Boing Boing: Ingenuity theatrical experience yesterday with an energizing and inspiring talk about why he is a maker. Adam shared ten rules for success that we would all do well to follow:

1. Get good at something.
Really good. Get good at as many things as you can. Being good at one thing makes it easier to get good at other things.

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Boing Boing Ingenuity: Thank you!

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Photo: Hugh Howey

A Happy Mutant thank you to everyone who celebrated with us, in person and online, at Boing Boing: Ingenuity, our two day real world extravaganza that started with Saturday's Ingenuity: Data Driven hack day and continued Sunday with a magical and inspiring theatrical performance in the magnificent former Masonic Lodge. Over the next several weeks, we will share a series of videos documenting the experience that embodied the things that fuel all of us who make and read this site: curiosity, wonder, and respect for unbridled ingenuity.

Thank you to all of the hackers, speakers, and performers who came to play with us. We feel fortunate to know you and privileged to have this opportunity to share your work with the world.

Special thank you to Ford and Team Detroit for partnering with us to really bring Boing Boing into the physical realm for the very first time after 25 years in existence. Thank you to Federated Media Publishing. Thank you to Stacey Foreman who orchestrated the event production. Thank you to Ariel Waldman for her wisdom on hack day hosting.

And, of course, thanks to all of you for taking this trip with us. And it is a trip.

Above, from left to right: Dean Putney, Adam Savage, David Pescovitz, Rob Beschizza, Jason Weisberger, Xeni Jardin, John Law, and Mark Frauenfelder outside of the Masonic Lodge. Thank you to John who kindly brought along our special guest stars, the Doggie Diner Heads, icons of San Francisco history and the counterculture. For more on the Doggie Diner Heads, check out the fantastic new book that John co-authored, titled Tales of the San Francisco Cacophony Society.

Get Iluminated.


Boing Boing Ingenuity in partnership with Ford C-Max.

10 cool things so far at Boing Boing: Ingenuity

Our first-ever stage event is going great today, bringing this site into the material plane for the very first time. All day Sunday, we've got all sorts of fascinating presentations, astounding performances, and living curiosities on show at a former Masonic Lodge in San Francisco.

Since not everyone could be there, here are just a few of the cool things so far today — for more, check out #bbingenuity at Twitter and our Facebook page. And of course, we will posting plenty of photos and videos on this site in the next week or two.

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Data Driven hackathon kicks off Boing Boing: Ingenuity

A unique dataset, strong coffee and a soundtrack provided by a gigantic robotic gamelan. What more could anyone want at a hackathon?

Our first-ever hack party kicked off this morning at TechShop San Francisco, marking the beginning of Boing Boing: Ingenuity, a two-day extravaganza of art, science and creativity.

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Boing Boing: Ingenuity is this weekend!

Nikola Tesla reading a book 2

Boing Boing: Ingenuity, our two day real world extravaganza, is upon us. Scientists. Artists. Makers. Writers. Designers. Musicians. Eccentrics. Boing Boing: Ingenuity brings our site off the screen and into the physical realm for the very first time. The experience begins on Saturday August 17th with a 12-hour marathon hack day at TechShop San Francisco and continues Sunday, August 18th with fascinating presentations, astounding performances, and living curiosities on the stage of a former Masonic Lodge. You can see the line-up here. It's vaudeville for Happy Mutants! For those who won't be there in person, don't fret. We will be documenting the entire weekend to share here in the coming weeks. Of course, if you yearn for a real-time window onto this unprecedented celebration of cleverness, curiosity, and wonder, we urge you to tune in (and turn on) to our social media channels -- @boingboing on Twitter and @boingboing on Instagram -- for on-the-scene snaps, videos, quotes, and links galore. The hashtag is #bbingenuity. Get illuminated.

Special thank you to Ford for supporting Boing Boing, online and off!

Boing Boing Ingenuity in partnership with Ford C-Max.

Ariel Waldman on hacking science

Ariel Waldman is an open science pioneer, and we are delighted she will speak at our Boing Boing: Ingenuity theatrical experience on Sunday, August 18, in San Francisco! Not only that, but Ariel has been tirelessly working with us to orchestrate the Boing Boing Ingenuity: Data Driven hack day taking place the day before the live show.

As creator of Spacehack, lead instigator of the global Science Hack Day, and a "Future for Good" Fellow at Institute for the Future, Ariel is dedicated to instilling a sense of wonder, curiosity, and passion about science, and empowering everyone to get involved in scientific research. Ariel was recently honored by the White House as a "Champion of Change" dedicated to "increasing public engagement in science and science literacy." Above, watch Ariel talk open science in a recent interview for the Syfy channel.

Not going to be at Boing Boing: Ingenuity in person? We'll be sharing both days of the Boing Boing: Ingenuity experience through video and other media on the site starting this weekend and continuing over the coming weeks!

Boing Boing: Ingenuity in partnership with Ford C-Max.

Adam Savage on simple ideas and big discoveries

Adam Savage is a happy mutant hero, a master maker with ethics, personality, warmth, and wit. We are honored that Adam, co-host of Mythbusters, co-founder of Tested, and BB contributor, will speak at our Boing Boing: Ingenuity theatrical experience on Sunday, August 18, in San Francisco! Won't be there in person? Don't fret! We'll be documenting the whole shebang on video for sharing on the site in the coming weeks! Meanwhile, here's Adam's take on "How Simple Ideas Lead To Scientific Discoveries."

Boing Boing: Ingenuity in partnership with Ford C-Max.

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Boing Boing Ingenuity: A look at Ford's OpenXC real-time data platform

https://youtu.be/6DpXAXuZzGo

On August 17-18, 2013 in San Francisco, Boing Boing is hosting its first ever large-scale live event, called Boing Boing: Ingenuity, in partnership with Ford C-Max. The invitation-only extravaganza starts with a hack day on Saturday (8/17) and will continue on Sunday (8/18) with a mind-bending theatrical experience of presentations, performances, oddities, and wonder! (Read David's post about the hack day here.)

On Saturday, the hacker teams will be given the opportunity to use OpenXC, Ford's open-source platform that connects smart phones and tablets to real-time vehicle data, in their projects. Indeed, the theme of the hack day is "Data Driven." To learn more about OpenXC, we spoke to Ford Research Lab Leader TJ Giuli.

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Shovelman to play live at Boing Boing: Ingenuity

Isaac Frankle is a junkyard beatnik blues player who goes by the nickname Shovelman. Why? Check out his DIY geetar! Above, the video for his tune "Moonshine." Shovelman will play live at our Boing Boing: Ingenuity theatrical experience on Sunday, August 18, in San Francisco! Vaudeville for Happy Mutants, indeed.

Boing Boing: Ingenuity in partnership with Ford C-Max.

Boing Boing Ingenuity: The Memory Palace live

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Nate DiMeo's The Memory Palace is one of my favorite podcasts ever. Each episode, less than 5 minutes in length, tells the story of an outré, surprising, forgotten, or secret bit of history. Nate is curious, witty, and an engaging presenter. We're delighted that Nate will be presenting The Memory Palace live at our Boing Boing: Ingenuity theatrical experience on Sunday, August 18, in San Francisco! To give you a taste of The Memory Palace, here are two recent episodes. Episode 55 is about the birth of dance marathons, and Episode 53 tells the story of scientific guinea pigs, starting with fruit fly astronauts.

Boing Boing: Ingenuity in partnership with Ford C-Max.

Free tickets to Boing Boing: Ingenuity, August 18 in San Francisco

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On Sunday, August 18, Boing Boing: Ingenuity will transform a former Masonic Lodge into a living cabinet of curiosities featuring the likes of Adam Savage, Barn Owl, Seth Shostak, Tom Vanderbilt, Shovelman, Chris Noessel, and many other happy mutants! See the full line-up here! Would you like to be a guest at our mind-bending event celebrating creativity, and wonder?

We have a very limited number of tickets to give away! To enter, please post to the Boing Boing BBS forum about the most ingenious thing you've encountered this week, online or off. Please only enter if you definitely will attend the San Francisco event, Sunday 8/18, from 10am - 4:30pm! We'll pick our favorite posts and email details to the address you used to create your forum account. (Or you can list an alternate address in your entry.) You have until 11:59pm PDT tonight, Thursday 8/8. Good luck. Get illuminated.

Post here to enter to win a ticket!

Boing Boing: Ingenuity in partnership with Ford C-Max.

Boing Boing Ingenuity: Seth Shostak and the search for ET

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"The aliens are in touch. Whenever I use my computer, they underline certain strange words on the screen ... It's a message."

That's an email received by Seth Shostak, senior astronomer at the SETI Institute, a scientific organization seeking evidence of life beyond Earth. I'm thrilled that Seth will be speaking at Boing Boing: Ingenuity, our live theatrical experience taking place in San Francisco on August 18! (You'll have another chance to win tickets tomorrow, Thursday 8/8!) The SETI Institute are the ones listening for a phone call from ET. Seth is a delightful happy mutant, keeping an open mind and sense of humor about what it means to search for extraterrestrial intelligence, in the hope of better understanding the origin of life in the universe and our place in it. The email above is just one example of the inquiries he responds to daily. Seth's humility, patience, and warmth, even when presented with the deeply strange, is inspiring to me.

"I try to answer every one of these mails and phone calls because, after all, it's not a violation of physics to travel from one star system to another," he writes in a new essay. "Difficult as it is, I resist the temptation to become so hardened in my skepticism that I erect a shield against considering possible new evidence… Indeed, an inflexible mind-set is one of the two principal arguments made by the UFO community to explain why mainstream scientists are doubtful of their claims: They lament that pointy-headed scientists just won't look at the evidence. So I take that as a caution."

Don't miss Seth's essay, including an FAQ "for those who would call or write with extraordinary claims."

"Contact With Aliens? Think Before You Call." (HuffPo)

Boing Boing: Ingenuity in partnership with Ford C-Max.