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The Art and Science of Creating a Mutant Vehicle

Thursday, July 14th. 6 – 8pm with rides to benefit Sierra Commons after 8pm.


Chris with the Now-A-Saurus

Sierra Commons will host a special bonus Tech Talk on Thursday, July 14, featuring the art and science of creating a mutant vehicle or “art car”. Tech Talks are forums for Nevada County residents to share new ideas, ongoing projects, and interesting work in the fields of science, engineering, and technology.

What does it take to create a mutant vehicle for burning man? What materials make sense for construction? What kinds of power and electrical sources will I need? How can I make sure any extraneous construction elements are strong enough? What is a good theme? How do I transport it on the highway? This presentation will answer all of these questions and more, from the perspective of how one mutant vehicle called Now-A-Saurus came to be. A blend of dinosaur, vehicle, and sacred geometry, molded into an artistic and engineering marvel, Now-A-Saurus is one builder’s journey to the moment of now.


Now-A-Saurus at night

Join Chris Merrick for a humorous, multi-media discussion of what worked and didn’t work in the integration of art within the limits of engineering. At the conclusion of the talk at 8pm, the party will move to the Stone House parking lot, where Chris and the Now-A-Saurus will demonstrate how this vehicle actually works, complete with glowing LED lights, flapping wings, and fire cannon. Rides will be available for $5, with all proceeds going to benefit Sierra Commons. Artist, pilot, engineer, and inventor, Chris’s day job finds him creating corporate videos for a local Grass Valley company, as well as programming and designing hardware. At night, Chris is constantly tinkering and creating new things, from custom home lighting projects to electrical-mechanical devices for burning man. His specialty is morphing robots, art, and LED lighting into unimaginable creations. The Tech Talk lecture and networking series is designed to inspire Nevada County’s technology community and act as a catalyst for collaboration. Tech Talks take place at Sierra Commons (107 Sacramento Street on the third floor of the Stone House building) in Nevada City on the second Thursday of each month from 6:00-8:00pm.

Tech Talk lectures begin at 7:00pm, following informal networking from 6:00 to 7:00pm (a limited supply of beer will be available as an incentive for early arrivals). The event is free to all techie types who are residents of Nevada County, but a $5 donation to cover costs and support Sierra Commons would be appreciated. Previous topics include: big data, data modeling for wildlife populations, smart grid technology, electric mobility in the context of peer production, solar efficiency, and mechatronics in the context of the changing nature of technical education.

Seating is limited for the lecture portion of this event – please RSVP at techtalk@sierracommons.org or by calling (530) 265-8443. All, including children, are welcome for the mutant vehicle demonstration at 8:00pm.


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