Is hackathon output wasted, and could crowdfunding help?

I’ve experienced a few hackathons. Some indirectly, a couple in person, and a lot from reading the follow up articles.

They’ve ranged from scientific collaboration to social innovation to hardcore coding, and in almost every case I’m astounded by the sheer amount of work that gets done (whether it’s science, brainstorming, or the code in the resulting github repos).

I’m also now realising how often I look back on an old hackathon and realise that nothing really came of it*. The output lies disused or forgotten, and there is almost inevitably a subsequent hackathon on the same topic, usually without reference or mention of the previous efforts.
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My Super Mario Möbius Strip has arrived!

Well, it actually arrived a couple of weeks ago, but it’s been so hectic recently with all the goings on at Bethnal Green Ventures, I’ve only just gotten round to taking some photos 🙂

So, what is a Super Mario Möbius Strip you say? It’s the first level of the original Super Mario Brothers NES game, mapped onto the surface of a Möbius strip, and printed using the 3D printer at Shapeways.

As a mathematician of a certain age (who grew up with Mario Bros), it is one of the coolest things I own. In fact, it’s impossible to pick up without “playing through” the level, and recreating that iconic music.

Here are some photos:

If you’re interested in how it was made, checkout this video by the creator:

[youtube http://youtu.be/6c3z2ZGvShM]
Next up I’ll post about the Acme Klein Bottle that sits on my desk…