Curiouser and Curiouser: Mechanical Giants Invade Calgary
Calgary scientists were left baffled today after a giant mechanical snake appeared beside the Glenmore Reservoir. In tow, a group of engineers followed its every move and a drum team preceded it wherever it went. Nobody knows why it’s here but there are whisperings that it’s not alone.
TITANOBOA EMERGES: Jay Ingram tells the crowd what scientists and engineers have deducted of the mysterious appearance of an 11-metre long mechanical snake dubbed Titanoboa. The creature emerged this morning at the Glenmore Reservoir to the surprise of many young rowers at the Calgary Canoe Club.
Photos by Amy Jo Espetveidt, Quadrophonic Image
Meet Titanoboa, an 11-metre long mechanical snake who wowed rowers at the Calgary Canoe Club before moving on to Heritage Park for a brief encounter with visitors young and old.
“We suspect this is a mechanically engineered version of a real snake that lived 55 or 60 million years ago called Titanoboa,” said Jay Ingram, co-founder of Beakerhead, a movement that brings together art and engineering. “It showed up mysteriously this morning and there is some speculation that it might be still growing.
“We really don’t know why it’s here but we’re pretty sure its not the only creature,” he said. “It’s only a rumour but in the next couple of days we’re may see one or two others show up around Calgary.”
TAKING A PEAK: Rowers from the Calgary Canoe Club gather to take a look at the mechanical beast Titanoboa while engineers and Momentum – drummers dubbed the “engineers of rhythm” – get the creature moving.
And no, we’re not under attack. The creature is friendly, wears a saddle and, once calmed down, sits nicely for curious onlookers to have a closer look. Titanoboa’s appearance marks the start of a six day long city-wide “pop-up” play Daisy’s Dilemma that’s designed to stir up excitement for next year’s Beakerhead – an annual city-wide movement that combines creativity with technology, art with engineering and scheduled to take place September 11-15, 2013.
“We really want people who live here, who do DYI or makers, to take part,” said Jay.
SURPISING VISITOR AT HERITAGE PARK: Titanoboa and its fleet of drummers, engineers and scientists made an appearance at Heritage Park this afternoon, enthralling young and old a like. When asked what they thought of the beast, many onlookers were too stunned to say more than how big it was.
Beakerhead will bring together art and technology and hopefully create a buzz that science is still advancing and is interesting he said. It will engage students, engineers, scientists and tourists bringing them all together in Calgary every fall. Over 30 partners are currently in the planning stages for 2013 including co-founders Mary Anne Moser and Discovery Channel’s Jay Ingram, the University of Calgary, Mount Royal University, SAIT, Telus Spark and the Glenbow Museum.
And it all starts this week with the “pop-up” preview.
The creatures that will be popping up are shrouded in mystery but that’s all part of the fun as the Beakerhead sneak-peak gets underway. Each sighting will be accompanied by a fleet of engineers and Momentum – drummers dubbed the “engineers of rhythm” – from New York City who get the creatures up and moving with their drums and beat.
WHAT’S ALL THIS THEN? On lookers get a chance to peer closer at Titanoboa at Heritage Park while getting to ask some questions of Beakerhead’s Jay Ingram and the engineers behind getting the mechanical creation up and slithering. There’s even a bicycle-style energy charger dubbed the “Black Ghost” filled with gentlemen who are tracking the visitors.
Daisy’s Dilemma runs throughout the city from July 3 to 8 and for more information go to their website and follow them on Twitter @beakerhead. Rumours are the next sightings will be Wednesday, July 4 10am at the University of Calgary and 3pm at Mount Royal University.