Summer is the time for fun in the sun, and we all know that fun + sun = setting things on fire! It’s science. So, our team took a break from building #🔥 image recognition technology and spent a day in the woods literally building fires. You know, for when the robot apocalypse comes.
Recently at Clarifai, we took some time to get away from our desks and embark on one of those team-building things everyone is always talking about. Although we’re pretty team-buildy on a daily basis (collaborative morning crossword puzzles and afternoon Just Dance sessions!), we needed something more unique and memorable for our first company-wide outing.
Luckily, Dave (our general manager and resident weirdo) had been taking classes with Practical Primitive, a company that offers workshops in primitive and self-reliance skills. When he saw they ran a class on Fire Making, he thought it’d be perfect for Clarifai since “fire” is one of our core values. “Fire” referring to our passion and continual effort to improve the world around us, of course. Also, the way millennials like to describe us on social media, like “Clarifai is so fire 🔥, I can’t even. 💯”
We jumped on a bus and ventured to The Middle of Nowhere, New Jersey. We figured if a bunch of Clarifools were going to play with fire, it would probably be good to be as far away from other people as possible.
We started the day learning about fire and the science behind it, and here are our key takeaways for all you nature nerds:
- To make fire, you only need fuel, oxygen, and heat.
- Three tips for finding fuel in the wild: #1) wet shit don’t burn, #2) if it’s green, it’s wet, #3) see #1.
- Tinder isn’t just a dating app.
- Fritos are flammable – Cheetos, not so much.
We each made our own bow drill kits to try making fire by magic friction. A bow drill is a primitive tool that dates back all the way to the 4th century BC when humans used to light fires with it to cook their dinosaur meat (again, science).
In theory, all you have to do is string a bow around a spindle and basically pretend to play the violin for several minutes. Eventually, you’ll produce some embers (heat), add it to your tinder bundle (fuel), and blow on it (oxygen). Here’s what it looks like when things go right (HADOKEN!):
Of course, expectation does not always meet reality. For most of us, making fire with a bow drill was a sweaty and frustrating experience. Except our CEO Matt – he was the first to succeed at making a friction fire, leading by example as always. But, it was all worth it when our little bundles of sticks finally burst into flames, with our coworkers cheering at our sides!
All in all, our first company team-building outing was a hugely fun and bonding experience. Plus, now when the robot apocalypse comes, we’ll be prepared to lead technology-free existences in the woods, evading robotic kill squads and living off the land as a team. #GREATSUCCESS
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