corvi (corivax) wrote,
corvi
corivax

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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!
Tags: fire, goofy, mad science
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