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Kinetic Sculpture Race 2004 69

YetAnotherName writes "Tom Jones again has coverage and eye-candy of the 2004 Baltimore Kinetic Sculpture Race where engineers and artists come together, with tongues firmly in cheeks, to create land-riding, mud-crawling, sea-slogging, human-powered works of art. Amongst the winners were the Cirque de Sore Legs and La Kafkaracha."
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Kinetic Sculpture Race 2004

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  • Looks like fun! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by erick99 ( 743982 ) * <> on Wednesday May 05, 2004 @02:30PM (#9066697)
    ThThere is another story about this event here [] and also here []. It looks to me like it was a lot of fun! Clearyly the event is lighthearted and has a sense of humor, especially regarding some of the prizes:

    "Fifi" won the Best Bribes Award when two of her crew serenaded the judges on bended knee.

    "The Valking Viscar Boot" was awarded the Worst Honorable Mention, for "half-baked theoretical 'engineering' which did not deter its Pilot from the challenge of the race"

    "The Rat" won the Next-To-Last Award for coming in right near the end of the race.

    I wish I'd known in advance, I only live about 45 minutes away and it would have been fun to watch.

    Happy Trails!


  • Well, no, probably not. KSRs can be really cool - I participated in the Port Townsend, WA, KSR a few times in the '90s - some really cool engineering and fun folks.
  • Late Entry! (Score:5, Funny)

    by FortKnox ( 169099 ) on Wednesday May 05, 2004 @02:34PM (#9066731) Homepage Journal
    About to make an appearance is the "flying Slashdotted webserver in pain". Is very mobile without the need of human kinetics, but the sys-admins are behind it running like mad to catch up with it. Its burnt wiring and electrical shocks are bound to impress the judges!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 05, 2004 @02:35PM (#9066739)
    ... an 18y old female running on the beach!
  • by Pvt_Waldo ( 459439 ) on Wednesday May 05, 2004 @02:35PM (#9066750)
    For all of you in Oregon and there abouts, check out the da Vinci Days KSR event. It's coming up this summer in late July. It's been around since around 1993 and is going strong.

    These races (and the racers) are quite fun. A very entertaining group of artists, engineers, and nut cases :^)
  • by CamSauce ( 704322 ) on Wednesday May 05, 2004 @02:37PM (#9066767)
    Pretty ingenious creations. Check out the pictures of the human powered amphibious 3-car train and the poor kayakers they are about to mow down. "Johnson! Paddle faster, that damn train is gaining on us!"
    • Pretty ingenious creations. Check out the pictures of the human powered amphibious 3-car train and the poor kayakers they are about to mow down. "Johnson! Paddle faster, that damn train is gaining on us!"

      Actually, the kayakers are pulling the train cars, due to the "sculpture" breaking up when trying to be towed.

      I would offer some scorn about reading the article, but I, sigh, am not new here.

      This sig may cause vomitting, drymouth, flatulence, and death, consult a doctor before reading.
    • Whoa...I just had a flashback to hearing "A Fine and Pleasant Misery" read by George S. Irving.

      In particular, "Cigars, Logging Trucks, and Know-it-Alls."

      That book was humor anyone who's gone camping can enjoy. :)
  • Tom Jones? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Nick of NSTime ( 597712 ) on Wednesday May 05, 2004 @02:39PM (#9066787)
    Tom Jones again has coverage and eye-candy

    Damn. The guy went from Vegas heartthrob to nerdy kinetic sculpture race guy.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    That's pretty cool and all, but it's mostly just guys who've dressed up their bikes. I was thinking more literally that the competition had the people actually sculpt something while racing. The winner would be determined by combining the race time with sculpture which would be judged separately. Maybe next year.
  • Swedish trends (Score:5, Interesting)

    by divine_13 ( 680820 ) on Wednesday May 05, 2004 @02:46PM (#9066852) Homepage
    They do the same thing here in Sweden a couple times per year. Here, the people have to build large cars, with even wings at the top, and then roll them at full speed down a large slope, which ends with a bridge, where they, looping and turning, fly (at least try to fly) down into the water from a 8 meter height. Real fun to watch :)
  • by corporate_ai ( 775461 ) on Wednesday May 05, 2004 @02:51PM (#9066901)
    Forget Kinetic Races. This [] look more fun and more dangerous. This combines art and flying... or crashing... or something.
  • by javcrapa ( 594448 ) on Wednesday May 05, 2004 @02:52PM (#9066902) Homepage
    This type of events are great! they are fun, with very creative people involved, its for relaxing your mind, not taking things too seriouisly, we need more events like this so we dont get so many grumpy people around here!!
    • These things are fun. When I was doing my undergrad in Mechanical Engineering they had some combined classes of Sculpture majors and MEs. It was a great way for the engineers to get their hands dirty and design a little more creatively, and the sculptors to learn about the real physical limits of statics and dynamics. All sorts of fun and creative little designs came from that class, and the engineers got a bit of a lesson in aesthetic design thrown in for free.
  • Good lord (Score:5, Funny)

    by evil-osm ( 203438 ) on Wednesday May 05, 2004 @02:54PM (#9066928)
    Is it just me or did others see all the crap floating in the water? I mean I'd make damn sure that my machine is going to float. Just take a look at "One Beer Short of a Six-Pack"'s drivers face as he's entering the water. I think they captured the exact moment when he realized he was in trouble :)

    That aside, what a neat idea, some of the designs are pretty interesting. However I would have just loved to see videos of that pink poodle going in the drink.
    • Re:Good lord (Score:2, Informative)

      by gatkinso ( 15975 )
      The debris was pieces of the other scupltures.

      Not that Baltimore Harbor isn't as dank as water gets on this planet.
  • More photos (Score:5, Informative)

    by Hawke ( 1719 ) <> on Wednesday May 05, 2004 @03:00PM (#9066976) Homepage Journal
    A friend of mine took quite a few more pictures, but only at the mud pit and the second water trap.

    Link here []

  • by Schlaegel ( 28073 ) on Wednesday May 05, 2004 @03:02PM (#9066996)

    I have been going to the grand daddy [] of all Kinetic Sculpture Races for a few years. It is in the fine north-west; Arcata to be exact.

    Go check it out (May 29-31) if you want to see some home grown hilarious technology. The sculptors are bizarre and have to do some amazing feats!

    • by Anonymous Coward
      One should read the rules: . sh tml

      Which are very strict:

      2.01a: Since mothers are discouraged from running alongside, racers must carry a comforting item of Psychological Luxury no smaller than a restaurant coffee cup at all times. An old security blanket (your "binkie", or whatever you called it!), a soft teddy-bear or sock doll will suffice. "Teddy Bears" are highly recommended or an unreasonable facsimile thereof.

      In case of sunshine, the race shall b
  • Breakdown? (Score:5, Funny)

    by chalco ( 735184 ) on Wednesday May 05, 2004 @03:04PM (#9067010)
    The Baltimore Lab School Art Department submitted The Berserker, this Viking-themed sculpture. Tragically, just outside Hooter's on the Inner Harbor about 4 miles into the race, one of their axles broke on a rut, and they could not continue the race aboard their sculpture. Was this an accident, or an "accident"? You decide!
  • well... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Savatte ( 111615 )
    Tom Jones again has coverage and eye-candy of the 2004 Baltimore Kinetic Sculpture Race where engineers and artists come together, with tongues firmly in cheeks, to create land-riding, mud-crawling, sea-slogging, human-powered works of art.

    Come to think of it, this is kind of unusual. zing!
  • by xmas2003 ( 739875 ) on Wednesday May 05, 2004 @03:13PM (#9067079) Homepage
    FYI FWIW: This type of event has been around for a long-time here in Boulder, Colorado. It was originally scheduled for last weekend, but the weather was marginal - should be a pretty glorious sunny 70+ degree day for this weekend though. You can read more about it at the Boulder Kinetics Webpage. []

    Should be a lot more fun than watching my grass grow! ;-) []

  • by Snoobs ( 43421 ) on Wednesday May 05, 2004 @03:14PM (#9067086)

    is the link to the kinetics race they have in Boulder. Its not so much about science as it is about getting super wasted and a sun burn and a hangover to show for it.

  • As an ant geek, I have to ask: Are there any ant-theme ones?

    I already have:
    1. Photograph []: Ants carrying a float.
    2. Photograph []: A pick-up truck with ants: This picnic is suffering from a serious ant invasion.
  • Port Townsend KSR (Score:5, Interesting)

    by steveha ( 103154 ) on Wednesday May 05, 2004 @04:07PM (#9067525) Homepage
    In Washington state, there is a town on the Olympic Peninsula called Port Townsend []. Every year in the fall they have a Kinetic Sculpture Race [].

    One year I helped my friend Mike [] build a kinetic sculpture. His plan was to make a vehicle that could carry four people. He has welding equipment in his garage, to help with all his hobby welding, so he put together a large vehicle. The plan was for it to use car wheels and a car seat, side pontoons, and a water drive with some sort of propeller.

    This vehicle looked sort of like a shuttlecraft from the original Star Trek, so Mike wound up naming it the Shuttle Distress []. (This is a sort of pun on Shuttle Express [], a company that takes you to the airport in minivans for less money than a taxi.)

    At a costume shop, I bought a Star Trek: The Next Generation uniform shirt. This is basically a very cheaply made bicycle jersey; bike jerseys are made from polypro, but don't have annoying seams or rough raspy fabric. (I was in red; that's command and navigation, right? I was in the copilot seat so it sort of works! Fortunately it wasn't an original series red shirt. "Dressed in red, soon be dead...")

    We had no idea how heavy the vehicle actually was. As it turned out, just the vehicle was over 800 pounds; with Mike, me, one of his kids, and all our gear, we figured it was 1200 pounds or more easy. Well, "easy" isn't the word for pedaling that thing uphill! Fortunately Mike designed it with a really low gear ratio. We didn't set any speed records, but we got up the hill.

    If you look at the pictures [], you can see the swing-down pontoons on the sides. (These really look a lot like shuttlecraft engine nacelles...) That part works fine. But we ran out of time and never got any sort of propeller. The Shuttle Distress floated okay, but our fallback plan of paddling with oars just plain sucked. One of the volunteers standing by in a boat offered us a tow, which we gratefully accepted, and then of course we had to bribe the Kinetic Kops to look the other way.

    It's actually normal at these events to have vehicles that can't quite perform well enough to do everything. You don't get disqualified if you can't do everything; on the contrary, there is a special award you can get if your vehicle can do everything. The "ACE" award goes to vehicles that can do the whole course without the driver having to get out. (For example, on the Shuttle Distress, you have to get out to lock the pontoons down. On ACE vehicles like Lutefisk [], you can stay inside even during the land-to-water conversion.)

    These events are really fun. You see some beautiful, well-built machines with clever engineering; you also see some weird things that were hacked together in a weekend with dead bicycles, random bits of foam, Barbie doll heads, and what-have-you.

    If you live near one of these, go and check it out.

  • Kinetic Sculpture (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Lost Dragon ( 632401 )
    If you would like to see some really cool kinetic sculpture, check out Arthur Ganson's work. []
  • by zboubi ( 776969 ) on Wednesday May 05, 2004 @05:49PM (#9068447) Homepage

    The Icarus Cup gathers hundreds with the same spirit... except they're flying their sculptures !
    This event happens in october every year, here are the best pictures I could find :

    Check the flying effeil tower [] and Tintin's submarine []

  • The first Kinetic Sculpture Race [] began in 1969 in Humboldt County, California, and still rolls today. Its popularity around the world is due in large part to Glorious Founder Hobart Brown traveling the world to promote this type of race.

    Duane Flatmo [] is hands down the king of kinetic sculpture makers. View a number of his creations at his web site. You may have seen Flatmo creations at other KSR races around the United States.

  • We went to watch the race... you'll notice the police boat rescuing the train in one of the photos. Only the engine went in the water at the second water crossing in Federal Hill. To add to the excitement, they were in the water near where a freak storm capsized [] a water taxi a few weeks before.

    The course is 15 miles long including 2 water entries, a mud pit, and a sand pit. You must be in pretty good shape to make it. The guy in the beaver suit was easily in his sixties...
  • i live in baltimore and i hate the race. it makes traffic horrible.

I bet the human brain is a kludge. -- Marvin Minsky