Science, Spinning, and Postcards

Had a pretty jam-packed science setup today, with an experiment where the kids got to figure out the setup and they got to figure out what prediction really means with some data to start with. It was really fun to introduce the concepts of why standard approaches are necessary and what kinds of things make them good.

I'll admit that I learned something, which kind of startled me. *laughs* And it was that magnets don't actually stick to anything but other magnets, and that, basically, the magnetic field in a magnet can turn a piece of iron into a magnet, which is why they stick together. *laughs* You'd think an electrical engineer would KNOW that! But I had no clue, so this was really fun; and kind of triggered me going back and reading Feynman's Six Easy Pieces.

The experiment itself was for the kids to try and figure out how big the force of magnetism is in comparison to gravity. They were given a balance, two cups, a magnet, a magnet on a stick that could go under one of the cups in the balance, and 20 washers. And they were told to figure out what they wanted to do to measure the force of attraction between the two magnets.

I think that the coolest thing was having them come up with their own ideas for how to go about it, and how excited they were when they all pretty much came up with the same setup. *laughs* And one of the boys who has trouble sitting still or doing his best to make people angry about the risks he takes, actually came up with the best questions about what might make the experimental results *different* between the different groups and how to mitigate those problems.

That was really fun.

Exhausting... but fun. *laughs*

Especially so when I started my day with a bike ride. My eyes were bugging me even through the drops and maybe that should have been a good warning, but for the first time in years and years, I actually had an asthma attack due to exercise. My emergency inhaler was readily available, so no problems, but it was startling to have to go back to *those* basics.

John said that part of the problem is that the flu is going around here, and really laying people out. We got our flu shots in the fall, which is why we're probably fighting it off really well, but it's still tough going even with an immune system that knows what to do. I halfway wonder if my immune system is going crazy because of that.

My art mentor arrived in the afternoon with paintings in order to make a postcard for one of her coming shows. And we found several inexpensive printers, got a template, and got going with it. There are moments when I do wish I'd shelled out the money for photoshop. *laughs* But we managed to get it together after a couple of hours and talking through a lot of things.

Jet's Experiment
Then Jet got home, and he'd dyed wool with me yesterday (in between Wii and Kirby's Epic Yarn, Chinese calligraphy, getting together the artist's application, spinning the last of my Twilight yarn, Odyssey of the Mind, and the usual plethora of stuff) on the kitchen table. He had a very specific experiment, to put primary and secondary colors on each piece of wool and to try and line up warm and cold colors.

They all mixed a little more than he liked, but they're certainly vivid, and today he sat on the floor to do his homework so he could give me my spinning spot in the afternoon/evening. That was cool, and I got to really spin a good deal. Jet wants to make stuffies with the resulting yarn, as he thinks he'll like the colors. Huh... just remembered that *right* after school, Jet asked me to go to Hobby Lobby with him to buy wax as he wanted to make a candle. He had his allowance and birthday money still, and one of his cousins had given him waxed wick as a present.

So we went there, and found this wax sand-like stuff, that you can just pour into a container with a wick in the middle and it makes a candle. MUCH neater and easier than all the times I did candle-making as a kid with all the melted wax, candle molds, wicks that were never well waxed enough to really stick inside the candle, and colors from crayons that didn't actually burn. *laughs* All we did was set up a wick on a stand, pour in the sand, and light. He had the candle flame for his homework and loved it.

John made slow-smoked pork ribs, took most of the afternoon and we all smelled like apple wood smoke by dinner time. *laughs* They were fall off the bone tender, and with the leftover cabbage salad from last night, we had a fine feast.

It was fun spending the evening with Jet's homework and spinning, and then a little Sponge Bob before the hot tub and time to finally unwind with demented_dee for a little before finally getting to write this. *laughs*
Those ribs sound fabulous.

I hope the asthma attack was a one-off. John's theory about the flu going 'round sounds pretty reasonable.

(Also, Feynman! It's been a while since I've read him. Must rectify that).
I hope so too, given how infrequently I've had them, the attacks that is...

The ribs were *wonderful*. Especially with a bit of Sweet Baby Ray's.

Mmm... yes, it's a good situation to rectify. He is just so entertaining. *grins*
Asthma attacks suck. I've been really fortunate in that I haven't had one in ages but I think that somehow makes it feel worse. Not that it is worse, but its like its a shock to suddenly be gasping for breath even though you've been through the same song and dance countless times.

I love the stuff you spin and I'd really like to learn how, but I'm really allergic to wool and hideously allergic to mohair so it's probably one of those wistful things. That and I really don't need more yarn in my house despite how pretty it is *rolls eyes at self*.
Exactly that!! Yeah... having not had one for so long, it just made me grumpy more than anything, as I knew the drill well enough that it wasn't *dangerous* so much as it was depressing in a way to think that I didn't have it under control.

The colors are fun!! But, yeah, allergies to wool make this stuff difficult to accumulate. Hee. It's fun to show you the pictures, as they can't pull an allergic reaction.
The colours you use are really nice. Either so very vibrant or these lovely muted colours.

And no, I really don't need more yarn in-house. I have a very large plastic tote and I can't even close the lid on it anymore because of all the yarn crammed into it. I've actually got yarn piled on the not closed lid and another grocery bag of yarn for one project sitting in the living room *head desk*. Yarn stashes are deadly.
I have to force myself away from spinning - it seems so interesting, but I have SO MUCH YARN already.

Doing dyeing is the best, though. I've actually got a few different lots soaking right now (doing an FF1 wool scarf on the cheap, so I'm making aaaall the colors myself) - I get small-child-delighted at seeing the colors all come together and drive my friends crazy going 'LOOK AT THE COLORS I MADE LOOK LOOK'
YOU WOULD GET MORE YARN IF YOU START SPINNING! It's true. *laughs* And, yes, it's an easy way to accumulate enough materials for more than one lifetime's worth of work. I had that several times over until I started giving stuff away. *laughs* Now OTHER people have a few of my lifetime's worth of fiber art work to do. It's good that way.

I do love dyeing. Utterly. *grins* Yay you! And it's fun having Jet do the bugging of people going, "look look look!!"

I would if I didn't have a kid to do it for me, I think. *laughs* And it is amazing when they *do* come together!! I love that. Unique and utterly personal. *sighs happily*
I have a terrible habit of being REALLY into one hobby, and then suddenly dropping it for something shiny and new (a habit I'm trying to break), so I'm trying not to invest too much... and yet I still have an Ikea box full... plus the stuff on my table... and the sofa...

And to think I only picked this up again last October XD