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corvi
corivax
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corvi [userpic]
quotidian

I now have internet at home! I can spam livejournal with hundreds of trivial "what I did today" posts! Mwahaha!
What I did:
Fire
arjache drew this absurdly cute picture a while ago:


which inspired me to make this:


when I was showing caladri how to fool around with molten glass. I'm actually pretty happy with it; it strikes me as a pretty good interpretation, even including the stretched-neck-peering-at-things bit.


I really enjoy working with glass; it's halfway between trying to make something of honey and trying to make something of light. There's also the fact that you can't really tell what the glass is going to look like until it's cool; some colors are off; some don't show when the piece is red-hot. There's this 'well, if this part is blue, it'll look like this if I add yellow here, but if this part is green, it'll look like this instead' - you're always working not with a single piece of glass that is, but with a dozen pieces of glass that might be. Or a few dozen, if you're working complex enough.

So I always feel like instead of changing the shape of a physical object, a blob of melted glass, I'm changing the shape of this cloud of all-the-possibilities-of-glass. It takes something like trust, sometimes.

I wonder if that cloud of what-ifs goes away if I get better, if this becomes a deterministic process? I still have that uncertainity with glassblowing, and I'm better at glassblowing than lampwork. It's not that I'm good at trying to juggle all the arcs of probability, per se, but I really enjoy it.

Ice
Also made some little test bricks of pykrete, which has fascinated my since gfish told me about it. The basic idea is fairly straightforward: freeze some ice with wood pulp in it. The wood pulp acts as insulation and slows down the melting of the ice, and its fibers stop cracks in the ice, preventing it from shattering and making it a lot tougher.

The results are impressive: during World War II, a tactician convinced the British Navy to fund a project studying development of a gigantic aircraft carrier made of pykrete by firing bullets at small blocks of it during staff meetings. The bullets bounced, and hit a nearby general in the leg. Another story involves a mad scientist throwing a block into Winston Churchill's bath. It didn't melt.

Of course, the war was ended by other means first, but I do like the universe in which World War Two involves giant floating islands made of very slow-melting, armored ice. :) Calculations showed that the planned aircraft carrier would only be mildly dented by a standard torpedo.

So I elisted caladri to help me make some, since I have no idea how much of the hype is accurate, or whether it's the sort of thing that can be made without high-grade pulp from a mill. We mashed up newspapers and tried a bunch of different techniques to get it mixed.



I thought this was really neat - this is one of the bricks with almost no wood pulp in it, but you can see the pulp has sort of lined itself up in an intricate 3D snowflake/fractal dendrite pattern inside the ice. I have no idea if that's what should be happening or not, but it's pretty.

Will test melting and strength this week, but I already know that stuff is wierd, just from hitting the various bricks with a screwdriver. It doesn't chip right. Fascinating.

Any rumors I'm considering a miniature stonehenge built out of snowflake-skeleton ice that'll take several weeks to melt as a guerilla art project are, um, totally false. Yep. On a completely unrelated tangent, does anyone know of a park that'll have a good view of sunrise on the autumn solstice? :)

Boom
The thing about dropping mentos into a bottle of soda to get a geyser of carbonated doom? Yeah, we were wondering if it worked, too.



It does. Fwoosh!

Current Mood: cheerfulit's a good life
Comments
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Wow.

I'd tell my brother about the geyser of doom, knowing he'd do it, but I don't want to get yelled at when our front yard gets covered in soda and ants.

PS- I'm ecstatic to see more random posts from you!

It's usually done with diet soda, which, not being food, does not attract ants.

(Though now I want to experiment on the difference in height of geyser acheived by sugar v. diet soda.)

By "doesn't chip right", do you mean that it does chip, but differently?

Also, fwoom! [grin]

Well, you can kinda scrape some off and get scary newspaper-flavored snowcones. :) But it doesn't seem to chip in the sense of "hit it and a large piece flies off intact."

Wow. I had no idea you did such amazingly cool things. How did you learn to blow glass?

The Seattle area is a huge glass-art mecca. You can take a weekend seminar or two in glassblowing for $20 and hour or so, and rent a studio to use the equipment you need. Most of us can't manage a gas-fired furnace with a hundred pounds of molten glass in our basements, alas.

For tiny little things like the turtle (he's a bit under half an inch long), I just bought a plumber's torch, a head for it, and some glass rods. It's something I can do in my apartment, and I find it calming and meditative. Should you find yourself in my area, I would be honored to introduce you to the joys of small-scale glassworking. It's the sort of thing everyone should do at least once. It's very difficult to make an ugly piece of swirly multicolored glass. :)

All very cool. I must finally be getting older, when the turtle seems cooler than the explosion.

You DO realize that you paint life in Seattle as one big, unending mad-science/art party. Very jealousy-inducing.

Also, the soda-fountain picture is particularly awesome, but this entire post is excellent with the neatness.

I have three things.

1. Pykrete: Gosh, I learn the damndest things from you!

2. Mad scientist: That was no mad scientist, that was Lord Mountbatten!!!

3. Creative surprises: The thing I love most about high-fire pottery is that in a reduction firing, you never know how the glazes are going to come out, exactly, until the kiln is opened after the firing. Each firing was like Christmas, full of ooohs and aaahs and "look at THAT!!"s. I'm glad you get the same joy from glass work. It's something I've always been interested in, but, well, I'm interested in enough other things at the moment.

wondered if it worked? i take it you didn't see the movie. being a slightly different sort of geek, i wonder *why* it works, 'cause the the answer seems like a fine way to make it work better. ;)

You mean the movies plural.. :) You can see some of their earlier experimentation with amusing results. :)

I've got to try the soda & mentos with the Wendling!

If this is what all your "fluff" posts are like, bring 'em on! This is the most intelligent "stuff that has been classified as fluff" I've read!

mm, turtle

Email me your mailing address. :)

I'm actually not quite sure where the spiral came from. I put in a bunch of dots, but nothing spiraled on purpose, anyway. I think I may've created it smoothing out the shell in a circular motion. Glad you're amused.

Possibly the weirdest pykrete related byproduct: this radio drama script.

Oh, bah, I tried to share your delightful projects with my friends list, but you've locked the post. Any chance you'd unlock this one?

*blush*

Sure. It was locked for very vague reference to guerilla art, but I suspect the reference is rather too vague to get me in any trouble. :)

Thank you very much.

Magnussen
adding you, btw--I like your brain.

Much awesomeness! ! !

Thank you for sharing!

That's really cool! I want to learn glass blowing...

Some indirect Seattle friends of mine are also doing the Mongol rally, so I thought you might want to be put in touch... ifso, they are Justin Wood (woodx at u. wash) and Patrick Tewson (ptewson at u. wash). I've never met Patrick, but Justin's pretty rad.

They're how we heard about the Rally in the first place, actually. :)

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