Washington DC – June 2018 – Museum of American History

Our final stop was the Museum of American History, also known as America’s attic. There is so much to see starting with – Children’s TV icons…

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A shirtless George Washington?

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A tribute to Ella Fitzgerald.

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Early computers.

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Early money.

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Commercial advertising standards.

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Batman’s ride.

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A collection of model ships.

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Washington DC streetcar.

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In the transportation hall they had a couple of displays of life in the 1950s.

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And a feature of the growth of the suburbs.

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Julia Child’s kitchen.

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And her awards.

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Early telegraph.

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The random eagle.

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A section about Latino’s in America included this cool Statue of Liberty only featuring a Latino woman holding tomatoes.

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There was a section about democracy in America, including a stunning presentation on voting in America, and how often people have tried to control who can vote so they can stay in power – it sadly continues to this day.

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Presidential election tchotchkes.

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A 1940s voting machine.

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A collection of protest signs.

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Another room housed mechanical items – an early sweeper.

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Finally in the presidential section was a collection of street signs named after presidents. The Museum of American History is a sensory overload – in my opinion it is second to Air & Space for museums in DC.

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Marion, Ohio – April 2017 – National Robotics Challenge

With the good times we had at the robotics competition in Cleveland, we decided to go to Marion, Ohio for the National Robotics Challenge. This event bills themselves as different from the other robotics events due to the fact that there is no kit, rather they encourage the contestants to find materials and equipment best suited for the problem at hand. This results in a lower cost.

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In addition this event is open to anyone from 6th grade through graduate school, although we only saw middle school and high school contestants.

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It was obvious from the start the concept of freelance approach, as they appeared like erector sets with servos, motors and wheels. This is not a slam on the approach, in fact it is a testament to ingenuity.

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It did seem to lead to very uneven competition though. We watched the finals for ‘Sumo Robotics’, Robot Hockey and very small robots in battle in a glass case. It was clear that one would be far superior to the rest.

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The only downside to the event was the venue, and more specifically the placement of the rings for competition. They were up against the one side of stands, with a railing that made it difficult to see, and with judges and some contestants standing it was virtually impossible to get a decent view of the action. The judges should recognize this and take into consideration the paying spectators.

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Dayton – April 2017 – Proto Build Bar

A find on the Roadside America website was the World’s Largest Claw Game. Located in Dayton, Ohio it was a must stop on our day in town. It turned out to be in somewhere very cool itself.

The Proto Build Bar is acknowledged by the folks in the coffee shop, as well as on their website as the World’s first ‘Buildbar’. It is a place that they claim is part 3D printing lab, part electronic maker space, and part cafe, and their advertising is spot on.

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Upon entering we were welcomed by Betty, who showed us around and explained the concept.

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There are many touches recognizing the genius of Nikola Tesla

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And true to Roadside America they do indeed have the World’s Largest Claw Game. And to top it off I had an excellent turkey and swiss panini.

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