Thursday, May 26, 2011


If you haven't seen photos of Colossus from the Maker Faire website, you really should take a look. This art installation, brought over from Burning Man, was like the Empire State Building of Maker Faire. It was quite literally the center of the festival, and provided a beacon for separated groups and those in need of a meeting point.

I was lucky enough to be able to see it constructed, taken down, and also talk to some of the individuals who put their love into making it work. Let me tell you, I would not want to be one of the people crunching the numbers into balancing each of those 10,000 pound boulders. That's right, each of the three boulders balanced delicately off the arms of Colossus weighs more than five cars.

What was so fascinating about the precise physics behind Colossus was that ropes attached to the boulders could pull the entire weight of the structure, like a large scale may pole. My hat's off to the parents who let their tiny children not only stand directly underneath the behemoth sculpture, but run around pulling the ropes balancing 60 thousand pounds. It was a definite confidence booster for the youngsters.

I decided against having a go myself. I figured if I started pulling around 5-ton rocks, there'd be no end to the stuff I'd have to carry around for other people.

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