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Dangerous (Winter 2014)

Falling from Great Heights

Dangerous (Winter 2014)Sean Murray

We don't often repeat programming here at Tinkering School, but closed the session with a new Dangerous Done Well tradition: falling from great heights.

It's a fun, scary exercise that requires all the risk mitigation skills we practice in Dangerous Done Well. We start with careful preaparation--in this case, building a pillow pit.

Then we escalate the level of risk iteratively--starting with a low jump...

...and changing our technique and setup according to observation. By the time we reached our final height of 50 inches (way taller than most of our team!), it's a pretty intimidating experience. What allows you to take the plunge isn;t hubris--its trust in the team's ability to do Dangerous, Well.

Lifting Heavy Things

Dangerous (Winter 2014)Sean Murray

We began class with a quick disassembly of our tower. Disassembly is a great way to give closure to a project, and a fun way for the group to reflect on their work.

It's also necessary to make space for new projects! Our next exploration will be...

Lifting heavy things! We quickly brainstormed the perils of lifting heavy things and came up with:

  1. dropping the heavy thing on yourself or someone else
  2. injuring yourself in the act of lifting
  3. the heavy thing breaking

We split into groups to explore different ways to lift great mass. For now we're just using generic heavy things, but next week things will get more interesting...

Dangerous Done Well: The Tower Stands!

Dangerous (Winter 2014)Sean Murray

For our first big project in Dangerous Done Well, we're going to climb on something that we built ourselves.

Before the break, we began construction on an eight-foot wooden tower. After lots of good teamwork...

...the tower was finally standing! But the tower was far too rickety, creaky, and tip-prone to climb. 

So we added diagonal bracing and an extra set of supports orthogonal to the original supports.

We finished just in time for Nico to take a test climb...

...and, of course, clean up.

Dangerous Done Well

Dangerous (Winter 2014)Sean Murray

The world is a hard, sharp, hot dangeorus place. In Dangerous Done Well, we aim to get better at

1) assessing the risks presented by an activity

2) engineering "reduced-risk" versions of that activity, and escalating iteratively to the proposed activity.

The group watches a YouTube video called

The group watches a YouTube video called "Idiot Sticks Knife in Toaster", and example of Dangerous Done Poorly.

For our first class, we focused on two key skills of Dangerous Done Well:

1)the "Ready?" call and

2) our vow to never, ever chant (e.g., "Do it! Do it! Do it!". For any reason. Ever.

A silent thumbs-up indicates readiness and attention.

We spent the afternoon lighting matches and candles, setting our (plucked) hair on fire, and lighting increasingly large strips of paper.

Stay tuned for more.

Jonah sets his hair on fire.
Don't worry, Winter had a bucket of water sitting just outside the frame of this photo.

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