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Wow and Why 

Wednesday, May 11 2011
A video clip of Rolling Through the Bay made the Facebook rounds a while back. It showed that Scott Weaver, local person, had spent 35 years making a toothpick sculpture through which table tennis balls could take various tours of San Francisco. Soaringly odd-hearted, strangely touching, and almost unimaginably complicated, the thing stands 9 feet tall “at the hang-glider,” he says; it’s held together by white glue. Sights include the bridge, Chinatown, the Aquatic Park Bathhouse, the Transamerica Building, and his grandma’s house. Weaver is a very interesting guy, obviously, and has many interesting things to say. It’s the very last part of the following that makes us so happy, for example: “I love to create. It’s kind of a meditation, like therapy for me. I love to know that I’m building something that people are going to see later on, that took a long time to build, for no reason.” Yeah! More: “It’s been sort of a fantasy of mine since I was eight years old to build the world’s largest toothpick sculpture.” People often ask him why he’s done what he’s done, and he owns skeptics, completely, with suburban-dad philosophy of the highest order: “I just want to make people say ‘wow’ and ‘why,’” he’ll say. Or “I wanted to sow creation in our life. I mean, what are we here for?” Lucky for us, this science museum nabbed Rolling — it’s in the Tinkering Studio through next month.
May 5-June 19, 2011

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Hiya Swanhuyser


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