WRAL.com at the State Fair

A quiet green place

Posted October 22, 2010 12:05 p.m. EDT

I found the place because I was looking for the painted rain barrels.

Just outside the Green NC tent there's a wonderful painted water barrel. I vaguely remembered seeing several such barrels behind the same tent a couple of years ago, so I went around to take a look. And while I didn't find the barrels, I found a quiet green place, which seemed unlikely since we were right next to the kid's midway!

What you'll find behind the Green NC tent is Seed Survivor, an exhibit that highlights what plants need and how they grow. The Fair Web site mentions that the exhibit is for kids grades 1-7, but I saw plenty of adults playing the video games that were part of the exhibit. Kids of all ages, I guess. Anyway, outside that tent is some information about the North Carolina parks service (with a fishing game that several very small kids were gleefully playing) and a cute little electric car.

Periodic showers of leaves fell from the big trees around us and the sunlight was dappled on the pavement as it filtered through the branches. It was quiet. It was calm. I love finding places like this at the Fair, where you're surrounded by crowds and noise and ten steps later find yourself in a peaceful niche.

I also found a sign with a QR code. A QR code, if you haven't heard of it, is a two-dimensional barcode that can hold data. All the ones I've heard of link to Web sites. You can't read them with the human eye, but many mobile phones have applications that will allow you to take a cell phone picture of a QR code and read it.

Apparently this code was part of the Triangle TweetUp, where eight QR codes were placed all around the Fair. Wayne Sutton has a post about the Fair QR codes and where to find a QR reader for your phone at http://socialwayne.com/2010/10/12/how-find-code-reader-for-mobile-phone/.

It's my guess that we're going to see more combinations of offline Fair experience and online information like this. It's already happening... how else can you explain the ride on the kiddie midway called "itoob"?