Beakerhead is billing itself as a spectacle and it might not be far off. It includes dozens of events that blend science, art and engineering at more than 21 venues, mostly in downtown Calgary. It also calls itself an “interactive movement.” What does that mean? We’re not sure yet, but we do know we want to find out.
Here are 25 reasons why we are intrigued by Beakerhead.
Beakerhead’s information booth or “launch site” is a 40-foot tall Raygun Gothic Rocketship. You can find it – and climb into it – at Victoria Park Market Walk (1325 1 St. S.W.)
2. Pop-up Breakfast
The first event is a breakfast, because this is Calgary and that’s what we do. Eat breakfast starting at 7 a.m. on September 11 at Suncor Energy Plaza (111 5 Ave. S.W.)
3. A Vegetable Oil-Powered Midway
Stampede Park gets another midway and this time all of the rides and amusements at Sustainival are powered by vegetable oil, wind, solar and other forms of renewable energy.
4. Molecular Cocktails
Several restaurants have created signature cocktails by combining science and spirits to make drinking even more fun. Raw Bar’s Kaffir-Coconut Cocktail, for example, is a drink inside of an ice sphere.
5. Chris Hadfield
He managed to command the International Space Station while creating music videos. He was also a pretty good Stampede Parade marshal. For the Tremendous and Curious World of Beakerhead, he shares the stage with a robot band, an opera singer, Jay Ingram and a few other science geeks.
6. Robots Painting Graffiti
This will be happening, along with a steampunk mob, driveable furniture and art cars, on Thursday and Friday between 4 and 6 p.m. along Stephen Avenue.
There are hands-on workshops, including one that lets you play with iPads and tablets and discover how they became the canvas for the new iGeneration. You’ll figure out if you are part of that generation or already obsolete.
8. Interesting Math Books
They really do exist, and one of them is Mathemagick by Davidge Cousins. It’s part of an ongoing comic series and it will be launched September 14 at 1:30 p.m. at Shelf Life Books (100, 1302 4 St. S.W.)
Or to the smarty pants among us, two times pi. For Beakerhead, 6.28 is the amount of minutes people like Nathan Armstrong get to talk about 3D printing of bones or Com. John Herrington gets to talk about floating in space. Speakerhead talks happen Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at noon on Stephen Avenue.
10. Freak-Out Dance Party
It’s part of Beakernight, which is essentially a giant science-themed street party at Olympic Plaza, East Village RiverWalk and Victoria Park. Dress up as whatever you geek out to the most including robots, celebrities or your favourite food.
11. Laser Cats
There will be a nine-foot tall fortune telling laser cat at Beakernight, which is September 14 from 8 p.m. until midnight.
12. Musical Tesla Coils
13. Giant Catapults
Be sure to check out the giant catapults built by teams that will launch love-to-hate items like Barbie dolls and junk left behind by exes. Stuff will be thrown Sunday starting at 1 p.m. at Fort Calgary. Prizes will be given out at 3:30 p.m.
14. Sci-Fi Puppets
Swallow-A-Bicycle theatre’s play i-ROBOT is a live sci-fi performance with puppets and robots that asks big questions about identity, autonomy and humanity. Did we mention robots?
15. The 1980s
There’s a Weird Science: Made In The ’80s party, partly because the Glenbow is launching its new exhibit and partly because the ’80s were the best decade ever – it gave us Walkmans and fax machines.
16. Mini Maker Faire
More than 150 local inventors and artists will show you how to do cool things. They will also be selling stuff, September 14 at ACAD (1407 14 Ave. N.W.).
For more information on Beakerhead, including a few more reasons why you should check it out, visit beakerhead.org