Friday, May 10, 2013

The First Festival of the Summer and it is a Geekfest

Rochester is proud of its festivals and this weekend starts with our wonderful Lilac Festival, but this is not the first festival of the season. Imagine RIT was last weekend and officially starts our festival season.

Last weekend Eldest, Littlest, and I went, Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), for the “Innovation and Creativity Festival”, otherwise known as Imagine RIT. I wrote about the same Festival last year, when Eldest and I visited.

One of the displays that caught my attention was an immense air cannon that RIT is working on as part of the “American Defense Against Uber Massive nerf Bombing”, or AmDUMB. This cannon launched nerf balls hundreds of feet into the air, hopefully shooting down any incoming nerf bombs.

One demonstration I wanted to see was the fencing demonstration. Having spent a great part of my youth in a rural agricultural community, I was keenly interested in the latest advances in putting up fences, which I remember as a painstaking, back-breaking process. Unfortunately, when I arrived, the demonstrators were playing a rousing game of Pirates instead of doing any fencing.

Eldest and Littlest went to see the science of making ice cream.  Scientists do it differently than normal people. They pour cream and flavorings into a bowl and add a solid form of carbon dioxide, or as Eldest says, “Dicarbon monolithic sulfate, but don’t quote me on that”. The result is a tasty frozen custard, scientifically speaking.  I tried some of Littlest’s treat and it was delicious.

One hidden display was this row of file folders with students name’s on them. This was how professors returned hard copies of assignments and such to the engineering students. I marveled out loud to my daughters that this was how things were done before the internet, email, and iThings. To which Eldest replied, “I know dad, I lived through part of the paper age.”

One last item of note, was some of the posters that were around the campus. Many of them pointed out some amazing exhibit that we should absolutely not miss. One poster, in particular, caught the eye of Eldest, who once posted on Facebook something along the lines of, “My boy friend told me he was going to break up with me because I live in a fantasy world. The jokes on him, he is a figment of my imagination.”

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