Happy 4th of July, 2009, makers!

Happy 4th of July, 2009, makers!

[Fireworks art by Rosemarie Fiore]

Happy 4th of July (all you American makers, and to anybody else who wants to use this day as a reason to celebrate). We here at Maker Media wish you all the best and a fun, creative, and celebratory weekend.

Are you planning on making anything? If so, please take some pics, post them to our Flickr Pool, and tells us what you did in the comments below.

In response to last year’s 4th of July message, where the Make: Online staff answered the musical question: “What MAKES America great?,” one of our readers, alandove, posted his little story in comments that perhaps sums up some of the inspiring character of this country:


Here’s a story that always comes to my mind when I think about what makes America great. I was interviewing Pasko Rakic, one of our greatest neuroscientists, for an article I was writing. Born in Yugoslavia, Pasko has pretty much lived the American Dream since immigrating, and he’s unabashedly patriotic.

Midway through the interview, he insisted on taking me on a tour of Yale, where he works. After showing me one of the old library buildings, which is built in a rather typical Ivy League style (ornate neo-Gothic), he took me across the quad to the Beinecke Rare Book library. That building is a modern cube floating above the sidewalk, made of panels of marble so thin they allow daylight – but not UV rays – to penetrate. It’s a brilliant design, completely unlike any building that preceded it.

Walking back outside, Pasko got to the punchline. He pointed to the old library and said “That was America, when it was trying to be like Europe.” Then he turned to the Beinecke, beamed with pride, and said “but that is just America.”

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at garstipsandtools.com.

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