Posts tagged “halloween”

Revenge of the nerds

Everywhere I look today I’m finding examples of how nerds (just like me) have phenomenal divergent thinking skills. Creative superpowers, activate!

One Up: Gamers Help Scientists Solve Molecular Puzzle That Could Lead To AIDS Vaccine [] – Experts in one arena (biochemistry) connect with novices, aka experts from another arena (gamers), to solve a challenge they’ve grappled with for 15 years. This is a sweet blend of two of my favorite creativity-inducing activities: expert mind meets novice mind AND forced connections between seemingly dissimilar things.

And last week, FoldIt became more than just a cool idea, or an exercise for scientifically-minded gamers. Scientists have been attempting to decipher a protein called “retroviral protease” for over 15 years, as the protease is one of the key proteins that allows HIV to multiply and replicate itself in living cells. Using FoldIt, gamers were able to identify the structure of the protein – within a matter of 10 days-With the structure of retroviral protease unlocked, scientists can now begin taking the necessary steps to build a drug that could significantly slow the speed at which HIV develops.

Spurlock Penetrates The Nerd Herd In Comic-Con Doc [] – It’s not totally surprising that fantasy and fandom are fantastic catalysts for creativity. Intriguing references to curation as preservation of youth and, consequentially, playful fuel for creative adults.

In a time when zombies, dinosaurs, knights and night-walkers dominate the network lineups and superheroes are the surest way to box office success (hopes are high for Whedon’s megawatt Avengers film, scheduled for release in May 2012), understanding Comic-Con’s creative alchemy has never been more relevant.

The 10 most gadgety Halloween costumes [] – These don’t really hold a candle to the Comic-Con costumery, but some of us have to start somewhere. And for the record, my dream is to one day rock out a fairly authentic Queen Amidala costume.

Stumped about what to dress up as this Halloween? How about your favorite gadget? Don’t think it’s possible? Well then check out these crazy examples. But since there isn’t much time left to make something elaborate, you could always fall back on dressing up like a zombie and carrying around your old VCRs and cassette players. Obsolete gadgets, returned from the grave!

The Robot Costume story

My town of Montara is one of those over-the-top Halloween communities that dot the October landscape. This place goes all out. Years ago, we moved in on the morning of Halloween and that afternoon the new neighbors stopped by to warn us: “Hope you’ve got a LOT of candy!”

Last year I saw this robot, now one of the images I chose for our business cards.

It was only in the last couple of years that we even decided to venture out; this past year we finally made it onto the Montara social register: we were invited to two parties-for-grownups with costumes and alcohol.

The party-for-grownup vibe permeates the whole town

As we reached one of our parties, we saw the abandoned robot costume beside their neighbor’s driveway. It was a glorious costume – the heart-shaped light would flash off and on – but obviously not that comfortable. So we passed by during the aftermath. Fortunately our friends showed us some video footage and the occupied costume was indeed wonderful. Still, the costume with its discarded legs has a special bit of the curious about it.

More Montara at Halloween:

The line for the “Witch’s House” – a long-standing attraction

The town also hosts an increasing number of up-and-coming attractions

Kiddie and grownup flavors of frozen treats on the street

The neighborhood set decorator turns her front yard into a horrifyingly hilarious (or is that hilariously horrifying) scene. We learned about this place off-season when their garage sale featured a disproportionate amount of ghoulish cast-offs.

Low footprint Halloween

We went to a Halloween costume party yesterday. The invite urged/threatened us to create a costume with an emphasis on recycling, so we put together silly costumes that made use of materials we had around the house. We used a bit of tape and a bit of thread, but it was all stuff that was unused or eventually going into the garbage (as much of it did, today).

Chain taken from an old conference badge. Badge is the reflector from the Ikea “LOCK” light fixture for the headgear, UPC code from empty box of Kong treats.

Found chain with binder rings and shower ring as holster, battery pack with expired batteries and a storage box from wall-mounting hardware.

Guns made from old bathroom faucet valve stems and closet hooks. One screwed right into the other easily.

We took apart an IKEA “Lock” light fixture, and inverted it and stitched it to a baseball cap (with the cap’s button poking through the base’s hole of the same size), then taped the socket upside on top, with the wire connectors as deely-bopper-style endings for the wires.

And the result? Pretty silly!


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