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Mythbusters and Robots and Freedom…OH MY!

April 25, 2010

The VEX/BEST Robotics World Championships were held in Dallas today. Having been a fan of Robot WarsBattlebots back in the 90’s, we thought it would be a hoot to visit, even if they didn’t fight to the death. What made it even more special was that Grant Imahara from Mythbusters (who was a champion with his ‘bot Deathblow in Battlebots – and funnily enough, Jaime HynemanAdam Savage were also competitors) was going to be the MC of the championship rounds. We’re huge fans of Mythbusters. We didn’t think we’d meet up with Grant, but thought it would still be fun to see the robots, see Grant perform..coming back to his robotics roots from when he won a Battlebot, and then meet up with a digi-scrapping friend whose boys are in a Robotics club and were competing in the contests (they made it to the semi-finals for the robot fights, but 1st Place overall! congrats to the BEST National Champions).

We started off trying to watch a competition, but must’ve arrived at the very end of the rounds as they were just handing out awards, so of course we ended up walking right into the ‘shopping’ area. The boys (including the big one) fell in love with HexBugs – the cutest little robotic toys. One or two wandered home with us:

Walking around…we ran into this little guy:

After a quick (really expensive) lunch, we went in search of some robots..and look who we ran into next?

Grant was so very gracious with the boys, even though you could tell he was just done being with so many people crowding him. It helped put him up a couple of rungs in our book!

We finally found my friend, Sharon, and their Robotics group.

We spent time watching Metro Homeschool compete in the BEST championships (They ended up winning the National Championship!!), and some more of the VEX competitions. The kids in the homeschool groups were very enthusiastic for themselves, and supportive of the other teams. Connor was a great little cheerleader for Metro..and even ended up making his own cheer for them. Aiden wanted to like it, but he had a hard time seeing anything and the crowd noises were just too much for him, so he and Russ spent part of their time playing out on the ramps in the hallway.

Russ had a previous engagement so headed home, while the boys and I got ready to head out for a few new adventures in downtown….when look who else we ran into?

Aiden was in heaven as he’s such an R2 freak.

Outside of the Convention Center, there is a life-sized cattle run. The Shawnee Trail ran right through downtown, and there are life sized bronze statues of the cattle as if they were headed down a ravine and across a creek, along with a few cowboys mounted on horses. It’s a fun art piece that is interactive in a way.

I’ve lived in the Dallas area pretty much my whole life and NEVER knew that we had an Original copy of the Declaration of Independence in the library. It is one of about 25 extant broadside copies printed at John Dunlap’s print shop in Philadelphia on July 4, 1776.  It was not signed by any of the members of Congress, but it was printed that day to be sent around the colonies for others to view.  It’s one of the very best specimens left and it was in amazing shape. Turns out, it had been sitting in a bookshop in storage for about 100 years, which is one reason why it held up! It was amazing to sit and read it out loud with the boys. Different than reading it online or from our books or a poster. This was a document made 234  years ago which was the earmark of our country’s Independence! Makes me want to break out the John Adams HBO movie again!

It was a busy day where we had great adventures – the PERFECT Saturday!

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