Phoenix Foundation

In many ways, MacGyver is a real-world version of Batman. They both abhor guns and work outside of the law to improve the world. Of course, MacGyver is still a fictional character, but his world is much closer to ours and his skillset, while still very admirable, is much more attainable than Batman’s.

On Thursday, I attended an event called MacGyver Night. We started with drinks, tools, and an armchair.

They broke us up into teams of three or four and threw us into our first mission: “You are stuck in a dark, dank place. Use the materials from this chair to make a distraction for the guards and escape.” The rule was that only one person from each team could be at the chair gathering materials. The rest of us were back at our stations assembling the gathered materials. At the end of about twenty minutes, we had to stop and present our project to the class.

Our team actually took everything we could, including the castaways from the other teams. When the other teams were tossing cushions aside to get to the more valuable resources within the chair itself, we took those cushions and an early lead.

Here is Weeb watching Cameron explain Team Rubber Duckie’s escape:

You cannot see the whole story, unfortunately, but it was quite a tale. We started with a catapult created from a spring from the chair back that launched a wooden chair leg (wrapped in fabric, doused with prison hooch, and set ablaze with a lucky lightning strike) into a pile of flammable cushioning. Then we put on “Santa beard” disguises from more cushioning and climbed down a fabric rope to get away!

Then we shuffled up the teams and got a new mission: “Now that you have escaped your prison, you find yourself in the middle of the desert. Using the chair for materials once again, fashion yourself some shoes to protect your feet from the sands.” This time, we only had ten minutes since the chair was already mostly deconstructed. Then, with only five minutes remaining, we were given an additional task: “Without sacrificing your newly made shoes, create some sort of beacon to signal for help.”

Here is Team Paper Clip’s creation:

We started with wide foam shoes for our very tall team member Eden (to distribute his weight so he would not sink into the dunes), and then used some extra material to make “sand wedges” for Megan. Our beacon was a wide swath of cushioning formed into an X and lit on fire once again.

In the end, I would like to think that my team won Mission One and came close on Mission Two. And we won an award for “Hardest Fought Materials.”

It is hard to see in the picture, but Cameron cut his finger hacking away at the chair to get us the spring we used as the basis for our catapult.

All in all, it was a very fun experience! Nothing like handling sharp objects and alcohol at the same time! And it definitely worked my creativity muscles in both creating and explaining our projects.

Oh, and the venue itself was really cool, too. They were hosting an art exhibit with the theme of copyright. There were pieces about the Wikipedia Art project, free content, and derivative works (the artists behind this video sued other Rube Goldberg videos).

Now to go re-watch all the MacGyver episodes…


One thought on “Phoenix Foundation

  1. Pingback: Housekeeping (April 2013) | Batman To Be

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