lo5an and I attended the Maker Faire Austin last weekend. I saw lots of neat homemade stuff: robots, electric cars and bicycles, musical instruments, catapults, kites, art cars, art, multi-bicycles, electronic gizmos, outdoor ovens, solar panels, windmills, and much more. Interestingly, there were about as many female makers and attendees as male. I'd assumed it would be a mostly adult geek male outing, but I was wrong. Both sexes were well represented and many families attended; there were rug-rats everywhere. My Prius averaged 53 miles per gallon over 1150 miles. It was a great weekend for a road trip.
Over the weekend, I finished the book The First Billion Is the Hardest by T. Boone Pickens. I was interested in his opinion on energy independence. The book was mostly about his life, how he built and lost his company Mesa Petroleum, and what he's done post-Mesa which includes speculating in the energy commodities markets, building natural gas filling stations, building wind power farms, and planning to suck the Ogallala aquifer dry by selling the water to towns and cities in North Texas. I was angry when I finished the book. I consider the making huge profits in the commodities market immoral and his details on how he made billions from natural gas commodities because of colder-than-normal winters and hurricane destruction sickened me. You don't want to hear my comments on his plan to fill his 9-feet-in-diameter 328-mile pipeline to North Texas from the endangered Ogallala fossil water aquifer. He is bullish on wind energy and replacing, at least in the short term, imported gasoline with compressed natural gas. He feels CNG conversion will give us the time needed to develop alternate forms of transportation.