oooh! pretty slo-mo soma video!

so many good folks shot some amazing footage of Soma this weekend at Maker Faire.  We’ll be posting more photos and videos soon.  Here’s are two  gorgeous slow motion videos of the lower nucleus filmed by Mark Caldwell.  thanks, Mark!

fun soma facts!

© 2009 Michi Catanese

In case you were curious, here are some fun Soma facts!

  • Total number of pentagons: 48
  • Total number of dendrites : 35
  • Total linear feet of stainless steel: 1500 feet
  • Gallons of propane burned per hour of performance: 100 gallons per hour
  • Build time: 4 months (May-August 2009)

a huge thanks for making Soma happen at Maker!

Babs & Erik showing Soma off to the kids at Maker

as lots of you know, the past couple of months and, particularly, the past two weeks have been full of quite a lot of work with Soma. For some folks, it’s been like pre-playa madness trying to get Soma ready for Maker Faire. we’ll be running from about 2-8pm on Saturday and 1-6 pm on Sunday (or until we run out of fuel!!)

we’ve all been working hard — it takes a village to make a shiny, metal, flaming neuron go, yo. people have given up work, skipped out on work early, stayed up late and sacrificed quite a few things to get this done. lots of seasoned FLGers and some AMAZING newbies have stepped up to help prep Soma, set her up at Maker, run the shifts this weekend and get her put away again.

We wanted to take a minute to give a shout out everyone, especially to the geex and the plumbers, for the VERY hard work they’ve done to get Soma up and running as she was meant to run. the geex have worked really hard testing and troubleshooting and fixing, laboring all last weekend and every night this week. they rocked it even though we had to go home early every night. AND the plumbers have worked really hard changing out all the fittings so we don’t burn everything down, re-creating (yet again) the axon pilots, getting all her hoses cut and setting her all set up at Maker.

FLG lovelies, Margaret & Slinky, leak testing this morning

some of the Maker Faire folks and other crafty makers were interviewed this morning on Forum on KQED (the lotus girls even got a mention).  they talked a lot about the beauty of being a ‘maker’ and how it teaches you to love making mistakes instead of being afraid to do the wrong thing. we’re not really taught this as kids. perfection and doing it right the first time is rewarded far more often than is making the mistake, fixing it, and then doing it better because you learned the lesson. as we all know quite well, why do it once…when you can do it three, four or FIVE times?? it’s so much more rewarding that way! some of us got the chance to be out there at Maker today with kids from schools around the Bay Area teaching them all about this and the magic of making really big, beautiful stuff with a group of passionate, dedicated, amazing people.

we build stuff. we try it out. sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. it may break. it may burn stuff up. and we always learn something. it’s the beauty of what we do (and the headache, of course), and it’s the reason we LOVE being part of this crazy ride. we get to work with people who are good at teaching each other how to do it better. and we learn something every day. (for example, did you know that bleach is the best way to dilute mercaptan, the substance that gives propane it’s awful smell? well, now you do.)

Sooooo, thank you to everyone who has stepped and made all of this possible. Thanks for being ‘makers.’ we really, really hope you all know how much you are valued and appreciated. without you, NONE of this would be possible. The weekend is going to be a blast!

Here’s to inspiring the HELL out of people this weekend.


catie & britt

soma’s up at Maker Faire!

over the past weeks and months, lots of good folks have put in many hours of hard work to get Soma ready for Maker Faire. and wouldn’t ya know it? we did it!

Photo by Catie Magee

after lots of work yesterday and the help of lots of new and old faces, we got Soma all up and ready to be tested today! it’s nice to have her back up again, and it’s even nicer to know that the geex were able to come a long way with her over  the past few months. By the time Saturday rolls around, we hope to have her brighter and better than you’ve ever seen her. And if you’ve never seen her, well, you’ll be mighty impressed.

Get your tickets to Maker Faire and come down to see amazing art, incredible creations and wild contraptions! The Raygun Rocketship will be there. So will the exquisite Fishbug, the amazingly talented Interpretive Arson team with their newest creation, Syzygryd, and the fantastic Kinetic Steam Works team. So, get your ticket to Maker Faire, and come see us! We’ll have buttons and tee shirts and stickers and fire and lights and lots of fun and friendly Lotus Girls.




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