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The Official Ephemerisle Blog

Board Game Meets Platform Shooter

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Ephemerisle Documentary by Jason Sussberg (2009)

Ephemerisle is a floating festival of freedom, creativity, and community.

Welcome! We hope you’ll join us for our adventure this July 22-25 on the Sacramento River Delta.

–> What is Ephemerisle?

–> Buy a ticket, prepare to attend, and maybe even volunteer!

–> Art & Projects from Ephemerisle 2009

–> Learn more about seasteading and how Ephemerisle helps make seasteading a reality.

–> Follow us via Twitter, Facebook, our Blog, or our announcements mailing list:

What do you get when you cross the wooden Labyrinth game with an analog version of Wii Fit, viagra and then scale it up to the size of an arcade Dance Dance Revolution machine?

Matt Bell’s Platform Controller

The second of a series of project proposals from veteran Ephemerisler Matt Bell, remedy this floating platform is not just a single game — it’s a game framework!

Says Matt, generic the platform can be used for a number of different styles of gameplay:

Competitive balance game (shown in picture). There are two players, one red and one blue. The players compete to tilt the board in a direction to get a ball to roll into a hole of their color. Players may touch each other, but not the ball. Players score a point every time they get the ball into a hole of their color, and lose a point if they touch the ball. The first player to 10 points wins.

Minigolf labyrinth. The platform has some walls and some holes, along with ramps, hills, and whatnot. The player has to tilt the platform to get a ball from the starting point to the finishing point in as little time as possible. If the player touches the ball or drops the ball in a hole, they have to start over.

The actual platform will feature raised edges to prevent the ball from falling in the water. The raised edges will be covered in foam to prevent people from banging their legs while playing.

What do you think — should a game like this have edges to keep the ball on the platform, or should keeping the ball on the platform be part of the challenge?

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Eventful Intrigue: The First Community Creations for Ephemerisle 2010

photo mockup of Matt Bell’s Dandelion (9-foot version)
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We’ve seen plenty of buoyant ideas float our way from the community,
pharmacy in all manner of art, treatment boating, and even some conceptual projects.  But it’s even more exciting when we get to see how their creators are making progress.  Here’s just a smattering of what you’re likely to see at Ephemerisle 2010.

The Relentless by Chicken John Rinaldi

Ever determined to outdo himself, veteran art-boat craftsman Chicken John Rinaldi — whose coffee-powered art-barge called Patience provided intrigue, valuable support, and many photo opportunities to last year’s Ephemerisle — has been hard at work transforming an antique, hand-built wooden boat into a full-on performance stage.  (Check out the video to the right to see the boat as it’s being pulled out of the Delta.)

Chicken John’s been lining up musicians and performers to put on shows throughout the event.   Headlining on The Relentless will be Jason Webley, monster of accordion, who just performed here in San Francisco for two nights this past weekend at the Great American Music Hall.  He’s got a long illustrious tour behind and ahead of him, culminating most triumphantly at Ephemerisle 2010, of course!

If you’re a musician or performer interested in doing a show on The Relentless, contact Chicken John Rinaldi and tell him we sent you.

Dandelions by Matt Bell

A vision of the 9-foot Dandelion floating at Ephemerisle 2009

Prolific maker and artist Matt Bell has earned a grant for his whimsical and cleverly simple Dandelions idea.  Conceived as 9-to-11-foot bundles of those whimsical foam noodle toys (which, by the way, make pretty decent floats for a raft), they’ll be floating around the event bringing color and squishiness to all in their wake.

Matt’s concept:

For some, the Dandelions will be a metaphor for the spread of civilization and new ideas onto the ocean, a further diaspora of the human race.  For others, the Dandelions will be giant climbable floating koosh balls made from pool noodles, and the most important thing about them will be whether they can climb to the top of one without falling over.   Either way, having one or more of these Dandelions floating around in the middle of the swim area will add aesthetic and fun value to the Ephemerisle experience.

Sure to be a hit with the kids, we think they do look a bit like a mega-sized version of a certain plastic toy.

Max Marty’s SeaNote Challenge

Falling under the category of “conceptual art”, TSI business director Max Marty has conceived of an interesting alternative currency experiment for the Ephemerisle event.  In his own words:

Friendly competition is the best way to spur innovation, and its something I’d really like people associate with the greater Seasteading movement, so I’m planning the “SeaNote Challenge!” for Ephemerisle 2010. All Ephemerisle participants will be handed a limited number of “SeaNotes” upon arrival, and by the end of Ephemerisle the islands that have accumulated the most notes will be handsomely rewarded. May the best Flotillas win!

Max is looking for an artist to help with the design of this brand new currency.  Want to see your name in circulation? Email Max Marty to get involved!

We love hearing about your ideas, plans, and projects. Shoot us an email and let us know what you’ve got up your sleeves!  We’ll post about it in the blog and (if you like) we’ll add it to the 2010 projects page.

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A Call for Leaders: Manifest Your Vision for Ephemerisle with a Flotilla

a flotilla of gypsy rafts in front of 70th street
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Seasteading is about letting groups form their own utopias,
and the time has come to start forming island nations at Ephemerisle 2010!  

We’re looking for leaders to help coalesce Flotillas around specific visions for the event.  You’d help define the vision — which could include everything from theme song to shared infrastructure, sovaldi national flag or food or costume, viagra to nudity policy — as well as recruit vessels and crafts to form your Flotilla.

As the event approaches, we’ll help incoming attendees and their floats (all manner of vessels and platforms) match themselves to the Flotillas you create, as well as allocating our mooring islands to the largest Flotillas.

The remaining Flotillas will have to learn to share islands, or disband to join the allocated islands.  Flotillas are competing for floats and attendees!

The sooner you start, the better the chance that you can get critical mass, so contact and let us know your founding principles today!

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Alert: Houseboats Going Fast!

Important update from the Ephemerisle Safety Committee

It has come to our attention that houseboat reservations have recently been spotted exceeding the unheard-of speed of 12 knots – and now there are only 5 houseboats remaining in the pool.

As you may already know, thumb The Seasteading Institute arranged with the Paradise Point marina branch of Seven Crown Resorts to book all of their available houseboats for the duration of Ephemerisle 2010, this July 22nd-25th, so that we could ensure that all participants in the festival who wanted one were able to get one.  This is high vacation season in the Delta, and these boats are normally all snatched up and unavailable by this time of year.

We also arranged for all reservations made through us to come with a special event discount just for Ephemerislers.

However, Seven Crown Resorts will no longer offer this discount after June 1st.

So move faster than a speeding houseboat — 12 knots, or about 14 miles per hour — and harpoon a houseboat for your group before they’re gone!

To reserve a houseboat, send us an email at with the subject “houseboat reservation”.   Reservations are first-come, first-served.  Please mention whether you are interested in a 6-bed, 10-bed, or 13-bed houseboat.

For more information about each houseboat, please see the following pages on Seven Crown Resorts’ website:

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Robot Battleships Face Watery Death at the Hands of Humans

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Ephemerisle is a community event, troche from the planning to the celebration. We invite you to join us in making Ephemerisle happen! Here’s a few ways you can get involved:

  • Subscribe to the Ephemerisle Announcements list

  • Facebook: Tell us you’re attending!
  • Twitter: Follow us here!
  • Volunteer: Feel free to offer your suggestions on how to help out!
    • Find a group of people to build a themed structure together.
    • Offer or find a Rideshare for getting to the area.
    • Offer or find a Boatshare for sleeping space or transportation from the shore to the event.
    • Add your ideas for participation: art, ailment talks, music, games and activities.
    • Add your thoughts and ideas.
  • Blog, write, Twitter about the event, and tell your friends!
  • Most importantly, come and be awesome!

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