Makin' Friends With Ryan Miller

Ryan Miller, a recent transplant to Vermont, needs new friends. During his ten years in New York, Miller, a film composer and lead singer of Guster had amassed quite a collection of vibrantly creative, inspirational, entrepreneurial, gigantic personalities. Simple math told Miller he’d be hard pressed to find the concentration of these people, his tribespeople, in the sparsely populated Green Mountain State, and his first few years here have been tough.

Fortunately, Miller has come to understand that this great state has its own brand of what he affectionately calls “high functioning weirdos,” and they’re often functioning on an even higher level than their urban counterparts. The artists, craftspeople and entrepreneurs who choose to live in Vermont and pursue unconventional, creative or otherwise interesting lives “can almost be weirder here,” says Miller.  “You don’t have to monetize everything here the way you do in a city like New York so you’re additionally unencumbered.” And so it is with great excitement and promise that Miller decided to find these incredible people all over Vermont, and to ask them to be his friend.

Episode One: Jaimie Manztel
Ryan's first friendship quest takes him to the wilds of South Royalton, Vermont to meet inventor, builder and sociable recluse Jaimie Mantzel. Ryan learns what drives Jaimie to live the way he does but fails to pull off a full somersault on Jaimie's trampoline floor. Will his first attempt at makin' friends be a little more successful than Ryan's gymnastics routine?

Where is Jaimie now? He's in Panama!

Check out Jaimie's Attacknids

Watch videos from his Giant Robot Project.

Read a Wired article about Jaimie

Workout with Jaimie!

Jaimie's YouTube Channel


Episode Two: Bruce Duncan and Bina48
Ryan's friendship hunt takes him to the top of a hill in Lincoln to meet Bruce Duncan, managing director of the Terasem Movement Foundation, and social robot Bina48. Ryan's genuine interest in the Foundation's work with nanotechnology and cyber consciousness should make befriending Bruce a no-brainer. But how easy can it be to charm a humanoid?


Learn more about Bina48

NYTimes Interview with Bina48 

Bruce's most Recent TED Talk

The real Bina and Martine Rothblatt, the founders of Terasem interview

Terasem Movement Foundation website

Upload your mind file


Episode Three: John Cohn
Ryan travels to a converted school house in Jonesville, VT to meet IBM Fellow John Cohn, who has a reputation for being a bit of a mad scientist. Will it be John's ebullient personality or his liquid nitrogen that seals this friendship?

Read John's Blog 

Watch John's Tedx Talk 

Engineering Paradise video 


Episode Four: Dave Sellers
The final episode of the season brings Ryan's friendship mission to Vermont's Mad River Valley to meet renowned architect Dave Sellers. In a stunning house called the "Archie Bunker," Dave teaches Ryan about the musicality of architecture and takes him on a journey to behold the treasures in Sellers' museum.

More on the Archie Bunker

Great Profile on Dave

Madsonian Museum



Watch the Trailer!


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Web Series: Makin’ Friends With Ryan Miller

Vermont transplant and Guster frontman Ryan Miller seeks out far-fetched friends across the state! Available exclusively online.

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