Giant robot stands guard on Commercial Street!

A giant 16-feet-tall robot stands guard on Commercial Street!
A huge 16-feet-tall robot stands guard on Commercial Street!

Take the Orange Line of the San Diego Trolley down Commercial Street and you might encounter a giant 16-feet-tall robot! As if waiting to repel malicious invaders, the friendly-looking robot patiently stands guard near the corner of 22nd Street!

This unique public art was designed to add fun to the front of Paseo at Comm22, a housing project in Logan Heights east of downtown San Diego. The sculpture was created by artists Jamex and Einar de la Torre, who are brothers. The old school robot, complete with dials, gears and antennae rising from its cylindrical steel head, contains panels of stone that were carved in Tecate, Mexico. Many of these panels contain inventive, humorous Mayan designs!

Very cool!

The cool robot sculpture, made of steel and stone, was created by artists Einar and Jamex de la Torre.
The cool robot sculpture, made of steel and stone, was created by artists Einar and Jamex de la Torre.

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!

Star Wars lightsaber combat at Maker Faire!

This member of the San Diego Sabers has personally made many lightsabers. Some examples lie on the group's table during Maker Faire in Balboa Park.
This member of the San Diego Sabers has personally made many lightsabers. Some examples lie on the group’s table during Maker Faire in Balboa Park.

The last couple of years at Maker Faire San Diego I’ve watched a group of Star Wars enthusiasts entertain audiences with lightsaber duels. They have engaged in their elaborate play on the main stage, swinging their illuminated lightsabers in mock combat, to rousing music from the Star Wars movies.

This year, as I walked around Maker Faire, I happened upon this group’s cool lightsaber exhibit. These local Star Wars fans call themselves the San Diego Sabers. They are one of many similar groups all around the world that make their own lightsabers and engage in mock combat.

I asked all sort of questions and learned more than I expected. Most of the extremely elaborate lightsabers used by the members produce colored light, illuminating a long clear tube that can be attached, thereby appearing much like the Jedi and Sith weapons made famous in the movies. Most of the mock weapons also generate that distinctive lightsaber sound. I learned that it’s also possible to order a variety of lightsabers from several online vendors.

Regional competitions are often held between groups, and the method of scoring is similar to that used in fencing. The sport is lightning fast, highly athletic and incorporates various styles of martial arts. The San Diego Sabers provide demos free to the public, teach all ages including kids (often using foam lightsabers for safety), and encourage acceptance, respect, and a positive attitude.

And it’s obvious they have a lot of fun!

Many DIY lightsabers are surprisingly elaborate, generating light and sound, while appearing as authentic as any movie prop.
Many DIY lightsabers are surprisingly elaborate, generating light and sound, while appearing as authentic as any movie prop.
The San Diego Sabers provides full contact lightsaber training based on fencing, HEMA, Kendo and Wu-shu. Kids are welcome and it's free!
The San Diego Sabers provides full contact lightsaber training based on fencing, HEMA, Kendo and Wu-shu. Kids are welcome and it’s free!
Someone picks up one of the cool lightsabers on display.
Someone picks up one of the cool lightsabers on display.
Members of the San Diego Sabers demonstrate mock combat using foam attachments. Together they've got enough lightsabers to take on General Grievous!
Members of the San Diego Sabers demonstrate mock combat using foam attachments. Together they’ve got enough lightsabers to take on General Grievous!
A kid checks out one of the cool lightsabers. As you might have noticed, I took these photos on two different days during Maker Faire San Diego.
A kid checks out one of the cool lightsabers. As you might have noticed, I took these photos on two different days during Maker Faire San Diego.
Kids have a lot of fun with the foam lightsabers.
Kids have a lot of fun with the foam lightsabers.
Members of the San Diego Sabers arrive at the Maker Faire main stage in the Plaza de Panama. A combat exhibition is about to begin.
Members of the San Diego Sabers arrive at the Maker Faire main stage in the Plaza de Panama. A combat exhibition is about to begin.
As Star Wars music plays, two members of the San Diego Sabers simulate an epic battle between the Jedi and Sith.
As Star Wars music plays, two members of the San Diego Sabers simulate an epic battle between the Jedi and Sith.

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!

The tasty ingredients of La Mesa Oktoberfest.

What makes the annual La Mesa Oktoberfest such an awesome event?
What makes the annual La Mesa Oktoberfest such an awesome event?

It seems the tasty ingredients that make La Mesa Oktoberfest so awesome aren’t very secret. Because I recorded them with very little effort this afternoon.

La Mesa Oktoberfest is said to be the largest Oktoberfest in San Diego County. It’s held each year in historic La Mesa Village. Thousands turn out to enjoy the fun.

So what are those tasty ingredients?

Food, drink, friends, good conversation.
Food, drink, friends, good conversation.
Sausages.
Sausages.
Cool cars.
Cool cars.
Colorful dance.
Colorful dancing.
A massive Spaten Hofbrauhaus Biergarten!
A massive Spaten Hofbrauhaus Biergarten!
More sausages.
More sausages.
Lederhosen.
Lederhosen.
Thrilling rides.
Thrilling rides.
Inspiration.
Inspiration.
Cuckoo clocks.
Cuckoo clocks.
Sidewalks jammed with happiness.
Sidewalks jammed with happiness.
More sausages.
More sausages.
A huge container of mustard.
A huge container of mustard.
Smiles.
Smiles.
Family.
Family.
And more sausages!
And more sausages!

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!

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!

Over 15,000 cool photographs of San Diego!

Looking at the iconic Old Point Loma Lighthouse and small museum beside it.

Cool San Diego Sights now features over 15,000 photographs! Would you like to share or use any of them?

This blog makes no money. Its purpose is simply to enjoy life. With it I try to more closely observe this wonderful world, learn a bit about the people I meet and the city where I live, spread a little joy, and perhaps help others who are striving to improve the community.

This blog has many visitors. From time to time I receive inquiries about using my photos. Please feel free to share anything you happen to find on my website. All I ask is that you provide credit to coolsandiegosights.com and, when possible, provide a link to my website.

While my modest photographs might not be of the highest technical quality, over the past four years I’ve managed to capture a good slice of San Diego. To find photos of a particular place or thing or event, simply use the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or if you’re an experienced user of Google Search, you can utilize that method, too.

Finally, thank you for swinging by Cool San Diego Sights. And thank you to my many friendly followers. I’m just an ordinary guy who walks through the city a bit randomly, exploring life. Some of you I know personally; many others visit from all around this great big amazing world.

I have a lot of fun blogging, and I hope you all are having fun, too!

Richard

A good day to catch mackerel in OB.

Fishermen enjoy a perfect September day along the Ocean Beach Pier. Today everybody was catching mackerel.
Fishermen enjoy a perfect September day along the Ocean Beach Pier. Today everybody was catching mackerel.

Today was a good day to catch mackerel in Ocean Beach. Fishermen were pulling up shining prizes all along the OB Pier.

What was their secret? Cut bait, a little patience, slathered sunscreen, and perhaps a cool beverage and some music. Nothing more. (Not even a fishing license. It’s free to fish from a San Diego pier.)

The Ocean Beach Municipal Pier was built in 1966 and is the longest concrete pier on the West Coast. Its reach into deep water makes it an excellent place to catch a wide variety of fish.
The Ocean Beach Municipal Pier was built in 1966 and is the longest concrete pier on the West Coast. Its reach into deep water makes it an excellent place to catch a wide variety of fish.
Not everyone was fishing. Some were just out enjoying the sunshine. A guy on a bike looks down on the busy beach.
Not everyone was fishing. Some were just out enjoying the sunshine. A guy on a bike looks down on the busy beach.
This guy caught a silvery mackerel. They were really biting today along the entire length of the pier.
This guy caught a silvery mackerel. They were really biting today along the entire length of the pier.
Young and old alike were having success!
Young and old alike were having success!
Below the pier, there seemed to be as many surfers as mackerel in the ocean.
Below the pier, there seemed to be as many surfers as fish in the ocean.
Some kids at the OB Pier's T-shaped end catch another nice mackerel!
Some kids at the OB Pier’s T-shaped end catch another nice mackerel!
This guy caught one, too!
This guy caught one, too!
A curious glance backward as a photo is taken of a prized catch!
A curious glance backward as a photo is taken of a prized catch!
It appears catching that mackerel was a lot of fun!
It appears catching that mackerel was a lot of fun!

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!