Acknowledgements for Worthy

No one person is an expert in everything. Several people helped me over the eight months that it took to conceive, design, create, and install Worthy.… Read the rest

Worthy 2 at Third Friday

Many thanks to the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History for letting me show Worthy 2 at their Artivism event during Third Friday in March, 2016. Worthy 2 is a smaller (and less dusty) version of Worthy, my Burning Man 2015 installation. … Read the rest

Burning Man 2016 Project

Updated May 18, 2016: new rotor in diagram. I really like wind-powered projects. Ten years ago I made a wind-powered graywater evaporation device, several years after that I helped Larry “Ember” Breed teach his Gray-B-Gone Evapotron construction courses. But unlike those wind-powered projects, this one doesn’t perform any practical purpose: it just displays the amount of air that has passed the art piece during the week, measured in miles.… Read the rest

Wind Load Calculations

Updated May 18, 2016: Use new rotor. See end of post. Burning Man is a bit like an outdoor museum—a museum that can have highway-speed winds! Part of registering an art piece for display is determining the strength of hold downs required to ensure that the art does not tip over or blow away from the wind.… Read the rest

Design Drawings for Miles

Here is the current structural and mechanical design of Miles. This drawing set includes three views of the piece, an exploded view of the interior mechanism, and detailed drawings of the Geneva device, the main gear, and the worm gear. … Read the rest

Number of Teeth

The rotor on top of Miles spins a worm gear. I want that worm gear to rotate the rightmost digit wheel once for each mile of air that passes by. To get that desired rotation, I need to mount an ordinary gear on that digit wheel.… Read the rest

Art Deco Font

The details of Miles are inspired by Art Deco screens. Keeping with that theme, the digit wheels will use the Art-Deco–styled font family, ITC Anna. Below is how the digit wheels will display the distance 123.9 miles. In the illustration there are four “digit wheels” and one “fraction wheel.” You can see that these wheels (shown edge-on in white) are separated (gray areas).… Read the rest

Shape of a Spur Gear

Geneva devices link adjacent digit wheels of Miles. The devices cause 9-to-0 transitions of a digit wheel to advance the wheel on its left by one position. For instance when counting from 19 to 20, the digit wheel that represents the units position advances from 9 to 0.… Read the rest

Materials for a Ten-Year Lifetime?

Usually I design Burning Man projects to last for the week. This choice means that wood and metal remain unpainted and that nothing is supposed to get very wet. Then if I want to save a project and return it to the playa in a future year, I need to store it out of the weather, and that takes space that I don’t have.… Read the rest

Metal Workshop

I’ve been working every day on the fabrication of Miles in this workshop. I think I’m going to complete the project before I need to leave for the Black Rock Desert. Unlike other years, the tools that I’m using are difficult to transport to the desert, and so if I don’t finish the project before leaving, I won’t be completing it on site.… Read the rest

Cupcake Cafe at Burning Man 2017

Imagine you are walking along one of the roads at Burning Man. While you may be heading toward a particular destination, you welcome distractions. As you pass The Cupcake Cafe, someone emerges with a tray. “Would you like a cupcake?” they say.… Read the rest

Cafe Infrastructure

Most theme camps in the Black Rock Desert are bars. Why is that? Having brought a sake bar to Burning Man, I can say that bars are easy. To create a bar camp, aside from hanging wall decorations, I just needed to bring sake and prepare to wash sake cups.… Read the rest

New Shelter?

I’ve been bringing the same 26-foot-diameter wooden dome to Burning Man for 12 years. While I could continue to bring it for years to come, it takes much time to assemble and take down, and its cover is not dust tight. … Read the rest

Two Freezers on a Generator?

The freezer will need to run 24/7, and so I’ll bring my Honda EU2000i generator and refill its gasoline tank throughout the week. To conserve gasoline, the EU2000i has an “Eco-Throttle” mode that keeps the generator in idle. The generator still outputs 115 volts, but at low capacity.… Read the rest

Architecture: Intimacy Gradient

I am inspired by architect Christopher Alexander’s book A Pattern Language. One of its sections, Pattern 127 Intimacy Gradient, recommends ordering the spaces of a building so that public areas are closest to the entrance and private areas are more distant.… Read the rest

The TRAPPIST-1 Chord

Update: Since the original announcement, astronomers have obtained more accurate estimates of the planets’ orbital periods, including the period of a seventh planet. This post has been updated with the new data. In February, 2017, astronomers announced that the nearby star TRAPPIST-1 has seven Earth-like planets.… Read the rest

After Burning Man 2017

Well, that was quite an adventure! After nine days in the desert running the theme camp “Cupcake Cafe” at Burning Man, I returned to the house exhausted but satisfied. I need to say that having excellent campmates makes it easier to run things.… Read the rest

Retro Pedicab

I’d like to bring an art car to Burning Man that looks like a 1950s diner and that will let me transport people on the playa while listening to popular 1950s songs. However, having an art car at Burning Man requires dealing with the Burning Man Department of Mutant Vehicles.… Read the rest

Dusty Diner Progress

Many thanks to Stacy who suggested the project name “Dusty Diner”! Platform Trike Options. The Worksman Cycles Model STPT front-loading Platform Trike has several options. I’m considering these: Parking Brake — to prevent it from rolling downwind Kevlar-Belted Tires and Puncture-Resistant Tubes – to avoid changing tires Extra Wide Saddle – for added comfort 28-Tooth Front Sprocket – to make it easier to get home after the battery dies Worksman is determining which of their three STPT frames will best fit a 135-mm rear hub motor.… Read the rest

Dusty Diner’s Juke-O-Matic

The Dusty Diner needs music! Diners of the 1950s had juke boxes filled with single-play records. “Wallboxes” on the tables of each booth let you play any of the songs by inserting a coin into a wallbox and pressing a pair of buttons corresponding to the song that you wanted to hear.… Read the rest