Mini Maker Faire 2016 at Iolani School: A recap
Mini Maker Faire in Honolulu wrapped up on June 25, 2016 and I finally made it to the event in their third year. It was all I expected and more. I had also signed up for a soldering lesson. Soldering, pronounced as sautering, is a process in which two or more metal items are joined together by melting and then flowing a filler metal into the joint. It's what holds your components to your computer circuit boards while still allowing electrical current to flow.
The volunteer instructor was patient and thorough, and here's a picture of what we made. They bought most of the parts from an electronics supplier, but they also had the front designed especially for the event. It's a little badge that lights up an LED when the switch is turned on.
It was free. The event was free and the soldering lesson and materials were free too. I'm always amazed at how small turnout can be at these events in Hawaii. Maybe it's the constant allure of our also free beaches?
The event was held at Iolani School, which is a beautiful campus and venue for the fair. Parking was readily available for all 1,000 attendees. The event also attracted two dozen or so vendors ranging from the predictable coding schools and afterschool programs to the more ecclectic, like a yarn vendor with materials ranging from alpaca to angora.
My favorite vendor? The up-and-coming HNL Tool Library, a project in progress. It's a lending library for tools and equipment. From their website, they describe it as "Tool libraries are just like traditional libraries, but with tools instead of books."
The Maker Movement
The Maker Movement started in 2005 with the release of MAKE Magazine. According to the Maker Faire website,
"With the launch of MAKE Magazine in 2005, Dougherty and his team provided the catalyst for a tech-influenced DIY community that has come to be identified as the Maker Movement."
I read MAKE Magazine once. I think I picked the exact volume that could turn me off for years to come. While there were many interesting articles highlighting individuals' projects and the schematics to make the projects work, the one that stood out in my mind was one where someone thought it was a great idea to do self-surgery and insert a RFID reader under his skin -- because how cool would it be to walk up to your front door and have it immediately unlock for you?
Since having read that article, I've searched high and low for it again. No one in Hawaii believes me when I say that MAKE story exists. In any case, I was living in Silicon Valley at the time, and having met the eccentric individuals that live there, I believe that the idea of RFID self-surgery is less strange there than it is here.
If you would like to read a copy of MAKE Magazine for yourself, you can sign up at this link.
In any case, Maker Faire Bay Area (San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara) started growing around 2007. They still relied on volunteers to run the event and charged a small nominal entrance fee to recoup the cost of renting the San Mateo Convention Center.
Today, Maker Faires are huge and they take place across the country in various forms and sizes. The Bay Area event has grown to hundreds of booths and the price of entry is now $30. It has even become a travel destination, not unlike the way in which San Diego Comic-con is.
A quick note: I'm testing out a comment feature on this blog.
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Quick, name four things open 24/7 East of Kahala.
Were you able to come up with:
- Longs Drugs
- Seven Eleven
- Jack in the Box
I was only able to name the first two until I did some research. Seven Eleven has two locations, Hahaione (Hawaii Kai), and Niu Valley. The Niu Valley Jack in the Box near Seven Eleven is also open 24 hours. Perhaps it's the new Zippys, which in Hawaii Kai, is only open until 11 pm.
From a cursory review, here are the other stores I found that are open past 10 pm.
|Foodland Farms (Grocery), Aina Haina||daily to 11pm|
|Walgreens, Koko Marina||midnight|
|Consolidated Theatres, Koko Marina||last showing around 10:30 pm|
|Ross Dress For Less, Hawaii Kai Towne Center||10:30pm, Fri & Sat to 11pm|
|Bubbies Ice Cream, Koko Marina||11pm, Fri & Sat to midnight|
|Zippys, Koko Marina||fast food to 11pm, dine in Fri & Sat 11pm|
|Starbucks. Koko Marina||10:30pm, Fri & Sat to 11pm|
|Starbucks, Aina Haina||daily to 10:30pm|
|Burger King, Hawaii Kai Towne Center||midnight|
|Yogurtland, Hawaii Kai Towne Center||Fri & Sat to 11pm|
|McDonalds, Hawaii Kai Shopping Center||11pm, Fri & Sat to midnight*|
*check with McDonalds directly, their two door signs have different hours, and their website has something else entirely.
Note that the Starbucks all have different hours. The one at the Hawaii Kai Towne Center closes around dinnertime every day.
I just returned from Safeway. Once again, they're out of the variable value Amazon gift cards, so I had to hand enter a series of smaller denominations.
Here in Hawaii Kai, where we have both a Chevron gas station (Koko Marina) and a Safeway (Hawaii Kai Shopping Center) -- not to mention a Costco that doesn't sell gasoline -- buying gift cards at Safeway is an easy way to save up to 20 cents a gallon on fuel.
Pretty clearly, given the amount of times I couldn't find the right card or amount, it's not much of a secret. All you have to do is buy your gift cards at Safeway and use your Safeway Club Card when checking out; you'll be given a discount on your gasoline price at Chevron. The standard amount is a discount of ten cents a gallon per $50 spent on gift cards.
There is a maximum of 20 cents a gallon per gas station purchase, but your credits accumulate so you can use them on your next visit. They do expire two calendar months after being earned.
In addition to buying gift cards, you can also earn credits with your grocery purchase; it takes $100 in regular grocery purchases to earn a ten cent gas credit.
Gift cards are more convenient, however. You also earn credits faster. There are number of cards that fall into the category of purchases one makes on a routine basis, for instance, Amazon gift cards. Safeway Hawaii Kai also carries Petco, Lowes, Home Depot, McDonalds, Burger King and Bed, Bath and Beyond, just to name a few of the stores one might visit regardless.
Note: Just got a comment/observation from a reader. Tesoro is usually at least ten cents cheaper than Chevron to begin with. That's true. Aloha Petroleum can also be cheaper to begin with. Here's a link to http://gasbuddy.com, a site that tracks prices reported by readers.
July 15, 2016 In addition to earlier announcements decoupling teacher performance from student scores, Hawai‘i’s public education accountability system, the Strive HI Performance System, will not include Index Scores or Classifications. [Hawaii Dept. of Education]
July 15, 2016 The Hawaii Dept. of Education has updated its heat abatement program (Air Conditioning, etc. . .) list. From East Oahu, Kamiloiki and Niu Valley Middle are listed East Oahu under the "Solar Ventilator" section. Wilson, Kahala and Kaimuki Middle are listed as "100% AC in Classrooms." Kaimuki High is listed as "Solar Light." [Hawaii Dept. of Education]
July 14, 2016 The city’s Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Services Division and Honolulu Fire Department are telling people not to jump off the cliff at Spitting Caves, especially after two people had to be rescued last weekend. [KHON]
July 11, 2016 Residents call for intervention after multiple rescues at Portlock's Spitting Caves. [HNN]
July 10, 2016 A 14-year-old girl is in serious but stable condition after falling about 40 feet at the Spitting Caves in Hawaii Kai on Sunday. Emergency Medical Services crew said the girl did not clear the jump and hit the side of the cliff. [HNN]