Here are ten of the best, wackiest, and smartest exhibits from this weekend's World Maker Faire at the New York Hall of Science.
Life Size Mousetrap
One of the most high-profile attractions at World Maker Faire 2010 was the Life Size Mousetrap, a human-sized version of the classic board game. Instead of dropping a mousetrap, it drops a two-ton safe, and at this installment of Maker Faire the victim was a New York taxi.
World Maker Faire was held over the weekend at the New York Hall of Science.
The Madagascar Institute, a Brooklyn-based arts-and-engineering collective, had set up a bevy of intentionally dangerous carnival rides ("Safety Third!") as well as "chariot races." The most notable of the "chariots" was shaped like a massive squid, and yes, its tentacles wiggled.
Not everything at Maker Faire was over-the-top ridiculous. WindowFarms.org was selling and promoting hydroponic plant-growing kits that can be installed in windows, with deficiencies in sunlight made up for with compact fluorescent light bulbs.
Serving paella, a complicated rice-and-seafood dish and staple of Spanish cuisine, is a tradition at Maker Faire. Chef Gerard Nebesky presided over the cooking of astonishing amounts of the dish, created in some of the biggest pans the Maker Faire attendees had ever seen.
On the more irreverent side of Maker Faire artistry, designer Philip Pond and friends were riding around FishBikez, bicycles encased in fabric and wood in the shapes of sea creatures. Pond says that he hopes to eventually sell kits for anyone to make a FishBikez vehicle.
Every parent's nightmare: Kids at Maker Faire were clustered around a booth selling Marshmallow Shooter kits, which let them construct "guns" out of plastic pipes that will eventually let them shoot marshmallows to their hearts' content.
A repurposed school bus called the BioBus was on-site at Maker Faire, full of lab equipment to teach kids about cell biology. Comedian Stephen Colbert famously gave a cell sample to the BioBus this spring so that kids could analyze what he's made of (besides gags).
Foodies and crafters were equally welcome at Maker Faire alongside the mad scientists and their robots. A start-up called Chocri was exhibiting its products: custom organic, fair-trade chocolate bars that are sold through the company's online marketplace.