In this week’s Six Questions, we would like to introduce you to Sean McBride, Labs’ self-described “Maker of Awesome Things” and aspiring bamboo master.
What is your title at Labs/which projects do you work on?
Since I’m not a big fan of titles, I prefer to go by the moniker “Maker of Awesome Things” here at Labs. These awesome things include the Trove Platform, several editorial tools that are used for both Trove.com and Social Reader, and the back-end of @mentionmachine, which detects and tracks events on Twitter topics.
How would you describe WaPo Labs to someone unacquainted with the team?
Think about what life will be like in 2040. Now, think about how news will exist then. We’re working to create that future by experimenting with the fundamental pieces now.
When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I really wanted to be a lawyer. Specifically, to work in the space where law intersects with technology. Then I learned about patent law and quickly changed my mind.
What’s one thing that few people know about you?
My wife and I live on property that is continually invaded by bamboo, which has resulted in an endless, ever-growing supply of bamboo poles, branches, and leaves. If I don’t dispatch with this bamboo, we’d eventually be overwhelmed. To make a long story short: I am an aspiring master of bamboo construction. Thus far, I have built several trellises, ranging from one foot to eight feet high, as well as walls, gates, and other small exterior projects on our property.
What superpower would you most like to have?
Flight, hands down. Flying around town would be incredible – except for maybe when it’s raining. Okay – flight with a raincoat.
What animal are you most like?
Genetically? A chimpanzee.
Never ask a nerd a science question.
Anything else you would like to add?
Irrational constants, pi + e.