Booth 2008 Planning

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The information contained herein is not necessarily complete or accurate; editing by those who have discussed Booth and remember more details would be much appreciated.

(Floor plans are available at (also as .EPS and .pdf - someone should get uploading working and put them here.)

Overall Plan

The theme is "Everything Good at KGB Science Labs" or some similar "headline". This is the case for the upper floor, which has demonstrations of various Scientific Phenomena, as well as the Game. The lower floor is then where the 1984-style Truth comes in, and everything collapses.


This is a rough outline of what a visitor to the Booth will see; hopefully it can be fleshed out to provide sufficient detail.


There are several windows into the Booth. One has a Jacob's ladder, as well as possibly other shiny things. This window is also visible at the top of the first staircase.

Another window can show off the theremin.

Other windows have other stuff.

The front has a headline, possibly fake text, and advertises KGB Science.


The entrance to the booth is manned by a friendly robo-ceptionist, who gives some friendly greeting and invites visitors to see the wonders of Science.

Once inside, the visitors immediately proceed upstairs to the upper floor along a staircase festooned with posters/flyers giving vague Scientific Warnings (wear goggles, be careful with chemicals, do not feed the experiments...) and/or photographs of Successful Experiments.

Upper Floor

The upper floor is the Pinnacle of Science: there are various gadgets around.

In the middle wall, something is floating in a jar/vat/tank.

A theremin is on a table near the Game.

Towards the end of the floor, before going downstairs, there is a table with various Scientific Gadgets on it. These include potentially a plamsa ball, some chemical reactions, and a Jacob's Ladder. If we could find some linked gears, we would totally put them here.

Inner Stairs

After perusing the upper floor, visitors proceed to down a second staircase. This one also has attractive flyers, but they are somewhat disturbing, suggesting that KGB labs is playing with Great Powers that may Destroy Them.

Lower Floor

Here things have clearly gone wrong. Lighting may be poor, experiments are in disarray, creepy tentacles are pulling scientists into the ceiling.

The roboceptionist is visible again at the bottom of the stairs, but here has mutated into a disturbing robot, or has been destroyed by tentacles, or somesuch.

A scientist manikin (former zombie) is being pulled into the ceiling; other tentacles may be around.

An Electrical Panel is by the stairs, with odd labellings: (1, 2, 3, pizza, 5); a switch labeled Magic/More Magic, another labeled Nun/Hydralisk. A Giant Red Lever. An Awkward Button placed near the floor; a blinking red "Problem" Light higher up.

One alcove (under the stairs) has a Creature bumping against the glass.

The other alcove is walled off with warning tape and has Something To Be Determined behind it (allowing easy access to the adjacent Electrical Panel)


Big board full of buttons and levers

We want a design where just pushing various buttons or switches causes interesting things to happen. Ideas include a big red lever, the "Problem" light (like from Venture bros), a three-way switch and button for sci-fi sound effects, a green button that says "turn yellow button on" and a yellow button that says "turn green button off", and similar.

Glisson is working on this; there is a plan mocked out.


If you have a good schematic, or tips, tell Jared. Otherwise, it's just a standard theremin.

Jared is working on this.


Evan is working on this. A marble works with switches. Three of them, in fact. Two have been designed, and are playable in virtual form at

Also, you can make alternate designs; currently there are two of them.


We want warning stickers all over the halls - if you have some good ones, add them here.


We want one. We want one for our booth. We want it to be low-tech and require neither upkeep nor too much power. We're thinking some sort of designed face with lights, and an mp3 player spewing friendly warnings/dire malfunctions. Nicole and Carolyn are thinking about this; please also think about this.

Electronics and Gadgets

We want a bunch of failed experiments and other random electronics in the lower area. This will include the plasma ball and the hand-crank generator. We'd also gladly accept all donation of random interesting gadgety junk. Think structural piles of antique computer hardware.

Also, we'd like a few more (or many small) gadgets that do work and are shiny and nice-looking for the upper room display area. Especially at the moment we are thinking something with gears. It is possible to make a difference engine out of legos.

Upstairs Table

Current plans are to have this divided into two sections: ferrofluid and Archimedes screw/waterworks. The former will be in a sealed tank with magnets nearby on the table, for kids to move the magnets around and see the liquid respond. The idea is a suspension of iron filings in some liquid. The Archimedes screw idea is an open tank with an Archimedes screw in it which kids may turn; ideally this will drop water into some sort of interesting race. As yet this project is ownerless and could use some love.


Upstairs embedded in the wall we want two small tanks containing floaty creatures, evidently two ages of the same creature. They should be vaguely but not upsettingly tentacular. Downstairs will be a curtain of tentacles for people to push through and some hints that this is the same creature. Also a large tentacle pulling a scientist manikin into the ceiling. Signage to indicate that Martin is "still friendly."

Cage/Tank Alcove

Something alive and unnatural: either a big monster or many small ones and a fan. Goals: beady eyes, thumping on the glass, etc. Carolyn is working on designing some small creatures and would welcome input.

Other Alcove

As yet unclaimed; we really need an idea that will take up maybe 3x3x7 feet of space.

First Staircase

We have a large amount of unclaimed hang space here; Carolyn thinks we should hang a large dodec or mobius strip (a la the MIT engineering library one) here.

Making Boooooooooth Structural

If you want to work on this, talk to Liz and/or Carolyn.

Power Usage

Lights: 7 * 80 = 560 watts

Receptionist: (2x ipod charger, 2x speakers: 10W), 2x small flourescents: 40W = 50 watts total

Game lights (16" slimline picture light used as model): 3 * 30 = 90 watts total

Theremin: 40 watts

Jacob's ladder: 300 watts

Plasma ball: 10 watts

Electronics board: 10 watts

Fan: 150 watts

Creature lights. 60 watts allocated

Second Alcove power: 60 watts allocated

Outside lights: 2x75 watt bulbs (Cooper Lighting Twin Floodlight used as model): 150 watts


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