Cool robots invade Maker Faire San Diego!

Flames rise from the fingertips of Robot Resurrection at 2017 Maker Faire San Diego in Balboa Park.
Flames rise from the fingertips of Robot Resurrection at 2017 Maker Faire San Diego in Balboa Park.

Balboa Park has been invaded! Cool robots of every size and description are roving throughout the park during 2017 Maker Faire San Diego!

Maker Faire San Diego seems to grow bigger every year. During this amazing event, eye-popping inventions and marvels of technology take over the heart of Balboa Park and many of its museums.

This morning I walked around feasting my mind on all sorts of creative stuff. Students, inventors, hobbyists and local clubs were proudly showing off their unique ideas and feats of engineering. Examples of 3D printing and robotics were everywhere.

Maker Faire San Diego continues in Balboa Park through Sunday. If you can, check it out for yourself!

Here are a few of the cool robots you might see!

2017 Maker Faire San Diego features lots of very cool robots, including 28 foot tall Robot Resurrection.
2017 Maker Faire San Diego features lots of very cool robots, including 28 foot tall Robot Resurrection.
A human operator emerges from the chest of the gigantic flame-throwing robot!
A human operator emerges from the chest of the gigantic flame-throwing robot! If this thing could walk it would be a formidable battle robot!
Human and robot fingers meet.
Human and robot fingers meet.
Robot Resurrection has a couple of tiny pals. Here's one.
Robot Resurrection has a couple of tiny pals. Here’s one.
Here's the other!
Here’s the other!
The very cool Electric Giraffe has returned again to Maker Faire San Diego.
The very cool Electric Giraffe has returned to the annual Maker Faire San Diego.
The Electric Giraffe can move about while using an array of sensors in its head. When the neck is raised, this crowd-pleasing robot is 17 feet tall.
The Electric Giraffe can move about while using an array of sensors in its head. When the neck is raised, this crowd-pleasing robot is 17 feet tall!
This cute cow robot is named Milky White. It can move its eyeballs, eyelids, ears, tail and jaws!
This cute cow robot is named Milky White. It can move its eyeballs, eyelids, ears, tail and jaws!
People at San Diego's annual Maker Faire in Balboa Park check out a very creative robot designed by a friendly young man.
People at San Diego’s annual Maker Faire in Balboa Park check out a very creative robot designed by a friendly young man.
Many schools from around San Diego are demonstrating their robot and other engineering projects during Maker Faire.
Many schools from around San Diego demonstrate robots and other engineering projects during Maker Faire.
The Robotics Society of Southern California has a sophisticated humanoid robot that moves realistically.
The Robotics Society of Southern California has a sophisticated humanoid robot that moves realistically.
The Glendale Robotics Academy had their Party Rover on display in the Japanese Friendship Garden.
The Glendale Robotics Academy had their Party Rover on display in the Japanese Friendship Garden.
Kids check out another robot in the garden.
Kids check out another robot in the garden.
A performance artist becomes a fun robot. People walking down El Prado posed for photos!
A performance artist becomes a fun robot. People walking down El Prado posed for photos!
This robot named Darth Zamboni was created by the Top Hat Technicians of High Tech High North County. It launches balls!
This robot named Darth Zamboni was created by the Top Hat Technicians of High Tech High North County. It launches balls!
Small autonomous cars on a track inside the San Diego History Center. They were being controlled remotely in order to gather navigational data.
Small autonomous cars on a track inside the San Diego History Center. They were being controlled remotely in order to gather navigational data.
Autonomous car technology being developed today utilizes deep computer learning.
Autonomous car technology being developed today utilizes deep computer learning.
A student participating in the First Robotics Competition demonstrates a small vehicle that they built. Many robots can be seen up close in the San Diego History Center.
A student participating in the First Robotics Competition demonstrates a small vehicle that their team built. Many robots can be seen up close in the San Diego History Center.
This competitive robot corrals balls and then launches them.
This competitive robot corrals balls and then launches them.
Cool robots of every size and description are on display throughout Balboa Park during 2017 Maker Faire San Diego!
Cool robots of every size and description are on display throughout Balboa Park during 2017 Maker Faire San Diego!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of fun photos for you to share and enjoy!

Six creepy Halloween faces in shop windows.

This morning I walked past a variety of small shops in Hillcrest. Several had placed mannequins dressed up for Halloween in their windows. On a whim I took photos.

When I goofed around a bit this evening editing the images, concentrating on the creepy faces, I managed to terrify myself.

Now it’s your turn!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

How to create 3D printed intertidal organisms!

Sign inside Visitor Center at Cabrillo National Monument describes the fascinating 3D Cabrillo project.
Sign inside Visitor Center at Cabrillo National Monument describes the fascinating 3D Cabrillo project.

The Visitor Center at Cabrillo National Monument has a cool exhibit of 3D printed intertidal organisms. An explanation is provided of how the tide pool animal models were created, and shows how the general public and interested educators can easily access essential resources via a dedicated website!

Student curriculum, simple instructions and the 3D Cabrillo biomodel .STL files library (and a link to raw Autodesk files) are all found here.

For 3D Cabrillo and the particular models seen in this exhibit, free imaging software and an iPad were used to capture images of intertidal organisms preserved by La Jolla’s world-renowned Scripps Institute of Oceanography. After models were edited on a computer using design software, they were sent to a 3D printer at the San Diego Central Library’s Innovation Lab.

This program was adapted from the Scan Our Seas project created by Dr. Andrew D. Thaler.

Do you know of any school students who’d like to learn more about marine biology, the environment and technology? This is definitely a very cool (and fun) project!

Many colorfully painted 3D printed models of intertidal organisms are on display inside the Visitor Center.
Many colorfully painted 3D printed models of intertidal organisms are on display inside the Visitor Center.
3D printed Starburst Sea Anemone.
3D printed Starburst Sea Anemone.
3D printed Dorid Nudibranch.
3D printed Dorid Nudibranch.
A video explains the 3D printing process, including editing the tidepool animals.
A video shows the 3D printing process, including editing the tidepool animals.
3D printed Wavy Turban Snail.
3D printed Wavy Turban Snail.
3D printed Ochre Sea Star.
3D printed Ochre Sea Star.
Students are encouraged to create nature journals. Writing is fun, too!
Students are encouraged to create nature journals. Writing is fun, too!
3D printed Scallop.
3D printed Scallop.
3D printed Garibaldi.
3D printed Garibaldi.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of interesting photos for you to share and enjoy!

Trolley Dances at the downtown Central Library!

This year, Trolley Dances includes several performances inside the San Diego Central Library!
This year, Trolley Dances includes several performances at San Diego’s downtown Central Library!

Trolley Dances in 2017 is as cool as ever!

Trolley Dances is an annual event in San Diego that uses unusual public spaces as settings for dance. The inspired, provocative performances are produced and choreographed by the San Diego Dance Theater.

Buy a ticket for this year’s event and you’ll be led on an adventure for mind, body and spirit. Mobile audiences, following Trolley Dances group leaders, disembark the San Diego Trolley’s Blue Line at various stops to view performances from Chula Vista to downtown San Diego.

Trolley Dances runs for only two weekends. It’s a brilliant concept that’s a lot of fun and full of surprises.

A few of the performances this year take place at San Diego’s downtown Central Library. I took some quick photos so that you can get a taste of what you will experience!

A mobile audience has arrived on foot from a nearby trolley station. They are led into downtown San Diego's dynamic public library to enjoy fantastic dance performances!
A mobile audience has arrived on foot from a nearby trolley station. They are led into downtown San Diego’s dynamic public library to enjoy fantastic dance performances!
The dances all contain raw organic energy and beautifully expressed emotion.
The dances all contain raw organic energy and beautifully expressed emotion.
The dancers use the Central Library's public entrance as an unusual stage during Trolley Dances. In another very dramatic dance, which I didn't photograph, the escalators were used to great effect.
The dancers use the Central Library’s public entrance as an unusual stage during Trolley Dances. In another superb dance, which I didn’t photograph, the nearby escalators were used to produce an outstanding dramatic effect.
Outside the library, in the courtyard, the audience now watches dancers framed in glass windows!
Outside the library, in the courtyard, the audience now watches dancers framed in glass windows!
The dancers come outside and engage the audience.
The dancers come outside and engage the audience.
Grace and power.
Grace and power.
A day enjoying the Trolley Dances is a great adventure for mind, body and spirit!
A day enjoying the Trolley Dances makes for a great adventure!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Three dystopian short stories.

Perhaps you’ve noticed I love to write fiction. I love to combine words. Words are tools that can dig toward truth.

I’ve recently written three short stories that are absolutely dystopian. Not that I’m a pessimist. I prefer to smile and generally try to find and highlight good things in life. But I also strive to be intellectually honest. I recognize that the human world contains both light and darkness. And some of my stories can be quite dark.

These three dystopian stories are: Life Made Easier, A Ship Without Ghosts, and What the Giant Saw. Click the links if you’d like to read them.

It’s funny–the latter and most recent story was written yesterday as I sat beside the small river in Balboa Park’s beautiful Japanese Friendship Garden. Looking down at the living water, I felt strangely like a giant. Perhaps my stream of thought emerged from that feeling.

All of my modest works of fiction can be found at my website Short Stories by Richard.

Green Flash public art in Mission Beach!

Beside the Mission Beach boardwalk, across the street from the "Hamel's Castle" surf shop, one can find the Green Flash.
Beside the Mission Beach boardwalk, across the street from the “Hamel’s Castle” surf shop, one can see the Green Flash.

I love fun, super creative public art!

Thanks to the imagination of Malcolm Jones, the San Diego artist who also created Imperial Beach’s Surfhenge, people can glimpse the Green Flash right next to the boardwalk that runs along Mission Beach!

This cool artwork is inspired by that rare sunset phenomenon called the green flash. An educational plaque also provides a scientific explanation of why the color green might briefly appear. I like to learn new things, too!

People head down the fun, always busy Mission Beach boardwalk, not far from public art titled Green Flash.
People head down the always busy Mission Beach boardwalk, not far from public art titled Green Flash.
The Green Flash seems to rise just above the far horizon of the blue Pacific Ocean.
The Green Flash seems to rise just above the far horizon of the beautiful blue Pacific Ocean.
A plaque describes the unusual public artwork. Green Flash by Malcolm Jones, 2002. Solid cast acrylic and concrete.
A plaque says who created this unusual public artwork. Green Flash by Malcolm Jones, 2002. Solid cast acrylic and concrete.
A beachgoer walks under the Green Flash in Mission Beach. I see Belmont Park's Giant Dipper roller coaster in the background.
A beachgoer walks under the Green Flash in Mission Beach. I see Belmont Park’s Giant Dipper roller coaster in the background.
The sunset phenomenon called the green flash is often cited but seldom seen. A diagram shows how near-horizontal sunlight is refracted through the atmosphere.
The sunset phenomenon called the green flash is often cited but seldom seen. A diagram shows how near-horizontal sunlight is refracted through the atmosphere.
I think I've glimpsed the Green Flash!
I think I’ve finally glimpsed the elusive Green Flash!

This blog now features thousands of photos around San Diego! Are you curious? There’s lots of cool stuff to check out!

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Finding Nemo street art in Mission Beach!

Fun street art in Mission Beach, a short distance from Mission Bay. Characters from the movie Finding Nemo have been painted on a utility box!
Fun street art in Mission Beach, a short distance from Mission Bay. Characters from the beloved animated movie Finding Nemo have been painted on a utility box!

Look what I spotted during my weekend walk through Mission Beach! Some really fun Finding Nemo street art!

Squirt and Pearl.
Squirt and Pearl.
Blenny and Bubbles and Peach.
Blenny and Bubbles and Peach.
Sheldon and Jacques.
Sheldon and Jacques.
And, of course, Dory and Nemo! This happy street art was created by the Splatter Club!
And, of course, Dory and Nemo! This happy street art was painted by the Splatter Club!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of fun photos for you to share and enjoy!