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Fun with static electricity and other things

Posted on: Saturday, 17 March 2012 @ 1:45pm
Blatting about
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Just randomly (and because they asked nicely), we decided to go down to the park at the end of the road on bladei (okay, fine, Thursday, to be followed up by a trip to City Farmers to stock up on roo meat and mutton, and more flea meds).

The day was lovely, and of course I hadn't brought the camera, missed out on some awesome shots.  I really need to buy something that will cart just the camera with my favourite lens attached, don't really need the monstrosity that is Josh's camera bag (I have enough crap to haul as is).

While Cub slid down the slide, I heard that distinctive crackle as his clothes charged up with static electricity.  Then he ran back up the slide and grabbed onto the metal frame up the top to assist his ascent.

CRACK! "OW!" The surprise on his face was adorable.

I gave him the ultracondensed explanation of static electricity, that he charged up when he slid down the slide and discharged when he touched the metal.  Result: he started sliding down the slide and gleefully running back up to touch the metal frame and exclaim "OW!" every time it crackled.

I called the older two over and told them what Cub was doing, and of course they had to try it out too.  I told Tao the charge built up in his clothes as they rubbed against the plastic slide and then discharged onto the metal when he got close it it.  He had a great time seeing how far he could get from the metal before it zapped.  He then decided to build up a huge charge by going up and down the big slide three times, but then ran across the ground to get to the metal frame.  Worked out grounding pretty quickly.  He repeated the process but this time climbed back up the slide.

There was an almighty crack when he put his hand near the metal.

We had a quick chat about the geography of the area, from the hills on either side I'm wondering if the Canning River used to fill up the dip in the ground we were in, which led onto a discussion of dams and how they affect a lot of geography and anything that lives along the affected area which sucks, but that's how the water gets to our taps.

Sometime after we go thome I decided to get the photos off the camera so I could also write about the aquaponics system this post.  The camera didn't turn on.  Figuring the battery was flat, I swapped it out for another and put the dead one on charge.  Still no go.  I informed Josh that Snap wasn't turning on and apparently it's a known issue with the D5000s.  He is now shopping for a new camera body, and in the meantime I don't have any other kind of card reader so the photos are stuck on the card until we get a new camera or a card reader.  So the aquaponics post will have to wait for a while more.

I successfully forgot to post this at the time as I do, and remembered after listening to Josh trying to explain the unthinkable to Tao.  He finds it hard to believe we didn't have computers til we were 10-11 because that's about when computers became more mainstream, and trying to explain casettes and floppy discs is harder than trying to explain why you can't immediately see the photo in a film camera.

A USB card reader and a floppy drive

Image via Wikipedia

I've told Josh that I'm going to buy myself one of those tiny little things he loathes so much, as I like to be able to blog photos I'm intending to blog within a reasonable amount of time from taking them.  He as expected had a high pitched hissy fit, then reckoned he was going to get a small camera body that would fit the lenses he has.  Suits me fine.  His F3 with a 40mm lens fits into my cargo pocket just fine but it weighs a tonne.  Apparently the D40 is about the same size so will see what he can dig up.

Other homeschooling notes, Tao has recently announced that "reading is FUN!" It's coming a lot easier to him now, which is making practising/doing a lot more normal and natural rather than a constant challenge to be overcome every time a word is encountered, and he is quite happily picking books to read at bedtime.  I told him that now that he can read, the next time he needs to find out something he'll be able to go to the library and pick a book or three about it, or look it up on the internet, and read as much about it as he wants instead of asking me, as I only know so much about certain things.  He said he may find out more than me and then he could tell me all about it.  I said yep, damn straight.  He likes the idea.  Might be time for another library trip.  And on that note, I have found my shopping bag.  It was getting used as a library bag.  Can probably remedy that now that the kids have their own library bags made at Co-op (previously known as Learning Hub).

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