Quote for the day

“You are not going to win with brakes”

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Madagascar Institute finally does something for the children

At Maker Faire San Mateo, ran The Wheel aka the carousel for lots and lots of people, including packs of children. Most of them couldn’t even reach the pedals, though many tried. We had about 5 or 6 people fall off the ride, none of them children. I guess that jungle gym training is good for something.

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carousel time elapse

Gaylen set up a time elapse camera above the carousel at Moscone West, so you can see the whole spiel, from setup to party to teardown:

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The Carousel at GadgetFest/Google I/O

No one got hurt, though we had about 6 people fall off. The stagehands were super helpful so we got out in record time. Next, Maker Faire!

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Mada in Popular Mechanics

See for yourself, a Popular Mechanics love song to our very own Hackett! Some of us were behind him while it happened: Welcome to the Academy of Mechanical Arts and Ballistic Sciences

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the next carousel test, now with fire and LEDs!a

Thanks to J&M Special Effects just down the Gowanus four blocks, we ran a completely legal test of the entire carousel complete with 4 propane cannons and a tower of LEDs, all powered from the electricity generated by the generator on the middle. That means it all works! Sure, there were some kinks so now we get to work on fixing those all week before it ships out on Monday. (video and pics by Jess Bruder)

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carousel at a party

Thanks again to Drew and Josh and all for letting us use their space! We worked all week on the carousel and had plenty of room to build, test and ride it. Then a party showed up at the space, and so we added that extra special mada touch to the party. Plus Mia brought out her awesome duobike. (thanks to Tod Seelie for the pictures).

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back when we built things with jets

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how do we get this damn thing together?

After a big production push in the mada shop, we moved over to the super big Gowanus Hotel space for the final assembly. Up until this very moment, we had a clear, simple idea of how these 8 custom plywood-wheeled bike things would go together. We threw that all out the window when we got the thing together. The tangent-o-meter allowed us to clamp the thing together and have it roll, but we still had to figure out how to actually bolt it together. Many ideas were thrown out and debated, Hans whipped out a bunch of tabs which then failed. Lindsay then put out a simple idea, stuck with it thru heated debates, and finally we were convinced, we put it together, and it fucking worked!

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It’s alive!

Yesterday, we finally figured out the angle on one section, so we had to take it for a spin. The whole thing was just held together with C-clamps so we were fucking stupid to be going that fast. Everyone survived and much fun was had.

Today was the first test of the whole thing bolted together, so people could actually really ride the thing. It went fast and rattled fiercely.

(videos by Gaylen)

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carousel progress

The carousel is coming along, tomorrow is the big first test! Here’s where we were as of last night:

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Upcoming Classes

We have three classes coming up this month:

Beginning Mig Welding with Hans, $50 ($30 for members) plus a $10 materials fee. Sign up here for:
tomorrow, Tuesday, April 13th 7-10pm

Thursday, April 22nd 7-10pm

Lis is also teaching the ever popular Make Your Own Absinthe in two sessions, 4/27 and 5/4 at 7pm. Sign up here: http://www.eventbrite.com/event/636315236

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first carousel wheel test

We ran a test of the whole plywood wheel/axle/frame assembly and no one lost their balls in the process. Next carousel work shift: this Thursday afternoon 5-10pm.

(video by Rivka)

(video by Lindsay)

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meeting notes

We had a good meeting last night, we set the open shop days, ironed out membership details, discussed the carousel projects, and some even fixed the bandsaw. Hackett, Melissa, Mia, Leif, Julia, Rivka, Gaylen, Lindsay, Kim!, Hans, and Lis were in attendance.

Lindsay testing the plywood wheel:

Lindsay testing the plywood wheel

Mia, Gaylen, and Melissa fixing the bandsaw:

Mia, Lindsay, and Gaylen fixing the bandsaw

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New Open Shop Days/Hours

At this meeting, a bunch of us signed up for our monthly open shop day duties, all full members should pick a day per month. Also, full members should post on the calendar when they’ll be there other times. Here’s what we have so far:

  • Gaylen – 1st Tuesday 5-10pm
  • Hackett – 1st Sun noon-8pm
  • Mia – 2nd Sun 1-7pm
  • Lindsay – 4th Sunday 1-7pm
  • Melissa – 1st Wed 5-10pm
  • Leif – 2nd Wed 5-10pm
  • Lis – 3rd Wed 5-10pm
  • Hans – Last Wed 5-10pm
  • Kim Monday April 12th 5-10pm
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Madagascar Lingo

madagascar squint: welding process perfected at the madagascar institute which eliminates the need for eye protection.
This term (as far as i know) was coined by touch.

Obtainium: free crap (off street, donated) we magically turn into “art”.
NotAmerica: anywhere but here

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Jet Bike Photos

[flickr-gallery mode="photoset" photoset="192913"]

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popesiversary xi: the siege of mada

To mark Popesiversary! it was essential to reproduce the effect of standing around in the cold while dodging fireworks aimed directly at the eyes. We opened fire from the backyard up to the fortified windows of the third floor. The window opened a crack and answered with a steady stream of roman candles. And no, Jess was not the ringleader.

by Jess BruderIMG_0214IMG_0187
(all photos by Jess Bruder)

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On VBS.tv’s Motherboard

VBS.tv recently came by and spent the afternoon hanging out at the shop, and dug thru our archive of video footage, and put together a pretty nice little video about us:

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Madagascar Inst. on FaceBook

I set up a Facebook ‘group’ for Mada a month ago. There are 322 members. Note – this is a public group.

It’s a great way to disseminate information.

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