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Thought dump following Ephemerisle ‘09 - Open Knowledge — LiveJournal

Oct. 5th, 2009

02:08 am - Thought dump following Ephemerisle ‘09

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Original: craschworks - comments

I’m exhausted, but I wanted to get some thoughts down before I forget. Don’t expect much coherence.

Cool things:

R/C controlled squid
ripple theater (light reflected from waves to screen)
achievement lounge - narrow walkway over water. If you make it to the other side, you get beer and lounge time
lighted water lillies
lighted “stars”
milk crate ferry
apocaisle campfire boat
Duncan, the medic and his girlfriend Kaylin
Chicken John, the builder/Yeller in Chief (”I’m not yelling at you, I’m yelling with you.)
Generva (”Master Chef”), makes delicious chili,kabobs, looks great in bikini.
somewhat less beardfull Reichart (”Chris is useful”)
150 people eating a feast on a floating platform in the Delta
Chevy powered couch boat licensed by the DMV (?)
Jeff Chan (useful, helpful–helped me dock the patio boat, showed me how to tie up a boat, monitored anchors, and helpful gather everyone together)
pirate pyramid (Patri eating his own dog food)
James, frazzled and tired, getting shit done.


floating knife
floating cell phone
floating epirb
life vest (Adventure? brand) — ask Jeff
vest light which lights up if you hit water
floating rope

To learn:

how to tie down load in pickup truck
how to sew inflatables
how to make paper mache
how to use el-wire
how to organize a crew without yelling at them
how to plan a large scale event safely
how to avoid anger when responding to someone doing something stupid (trying to carry giant pot of hot chilli on her head, docking next to you while you’re docking)
how to avoid resentment when Eloi are partying while the Morlocks work

Feeling less deferential.

Ephemerisle is great for oneitis! Didn’t think about X for at 4 days.

Great to talk with D. and D. and J. on the way back.

Burning Man/Ephemerisle are great practice for emergencies. Learn how to build ad hoc structures, energy, water, communication systems. Learn what you don’t know (how to tie knots, how to steer a boat, how to dock a boat, how to tie a boat to a dock, how to deal with law enforcement, how to rescue someone from drowning)

Does anyone make inflatable waxed paper? Watertight velcro?

Modular 4×8′ inflatable bags connected with mesh?

Little kid falling into the water screaming “help me! help me!”

Lashing houseboats together does not scale? Okay with 8 (?) boats, but much beyond that, and the odds of getting a bad boat increase. Also, what happens when one boat wants to leave? Need to have a dock, I think.

How to prevent newbie engineers from killing themselves? Will feel obligated to rescue them, even if we tell them not to come, that their boat is unsafe. Perhaps encourage non-structural art, such as inflatables (both air and water)? Certified design process?

Simple travel on the water is hard. Going 30 ft. can take an hour. We had great weather. What to do during a storm?

How to dispose of structures at the end? Burn boat? Sink ‘em? Store them?

Water and wind constantly try to kill you. Snapped ropes, crushed between boats, snapped platforms. Sean fell through milk crate walkway. Forces of aid are distant.

Helicopter (law enforcement?) circling the platform. Latching onto stray barrel couch boat?

Still feel alone in a crowd. How to feel more social?

Don’t screw outside the seams lest you puncture the barrels.

Needs more el-wire! Costumes!


[User Picture]
Date:October 5th, 2009 05:42 pm (UTC)
I find it interesting that you describe it as great weather. I got the impression that stronger than normal winds caused problems with anchors not holding. I was only there for Saturday afternoon, when the wind wasn't much of a problem. Weather reports say the wind was unusually strong - gusts above 50 mph at SFO Saturday evening - fairly extreme for this time of year. I'd guess the Ephemerisle location only got half the wind that SFO got, but holding it in the summer would nearly eliminate the risk of winds over 30 mph even on the windiest parts of the California coast.
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[User Picture]
Date:October 6th, 2009 01:48 am (UTC)
By "good" weather, I mean, no storms, no rain, lot's of sunshine during the day, mostly clear skies at night. I think the anchoring problems were mostly user error.
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[User Picture]
Date:October 5th, 2009 09:04 pm (UTC)

Little kid falling into the water screaming “help me! help me!”

I don't think he was ever in any real danger--it just freaked him out a bit. Was awesome how fast John jumped in to save him though :)

Still feel alone in a crowd. How to feel more social?

I had this problem occasionally. There was one time where I got stuck on one platform that was separated from everything else, and I didn't know anyone on it and they all seemed to be friends. Said a few words to one or two of them after standing around for a while watching them, but it felt awkward. Most of the time it was fine, though; I think it makes a big difference to me how many people I know in an area... if there are at least a handful, then I don't feel alone even if there are lots of people I know.
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[User Picture]
Date:October 6th, 2009 01:52 am (UTC)
Yeah, I don't think the kid was in danger--it was just an incident that stuck out in my mind.

I agree, it helps to have a cluster of friends around. I also find it helps to seek out people who seem to be standing by themselves -- often, it seems, they are feeling the same way.
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Date:October 14th, 2009 11:10 pm (UTC)


howdy ~

thanks so much for posting yer thoughts. didn't make it out but we were thisclose. i really appreciate hearing about what went on. wanted to offer some info yer seeking:

how to make paper mache ~ torn strips of paper bag dipped in watered down wallpaper paste layered over any kind of mold or frame (chicken wire is great). at least 2-3 layers... 2or3x that to be structurally sound.

how to organize a crew without yelling at them ~ start off by saying really important things in a quiet voice (like telling them where the beer is). they'll get used to listening for you. using a strong but low voice and making hard eye contact are great for getting folks' attention.

how to plan a large scale event safely. ~ we throw events (500+ people) up here in humboldt and have realized that we can only prepare for as many problems as we can think of and hope for the best. have people on duty to handle crises at all times.. there should be at least one person who specializes in: EMT/Medical, Fire safety, Law enforcement liason, Crowd/yahoo control, plus anything specific to yer event (boating expert...)

how to avoid anger when responding to someone doing something stupid ~ don't take it personally. watch/respond as an observer.

hope to see y'all next year!
~ tisha (at inferknow.org)
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[User Picture]
Date:June 8th, 2010 04:46 am (UTC)

Re: how-tos

Hey tisha,

Sorry I never thanked you for this!
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