Monthly Archives: December 2014

WOO! Christmas!

It is the time again to break for the holidays, so I’ll see you in the next year. In the meantime enjoy this beautiful example of caligraphy from the teacher’s log:

xmasBest Wishes!

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Dust Harvester plays God

Warning: Vaguely sciency stuff follows.

 

God's toy-chest.

God’s toy-chest.

One of my teachers said that I have a God complex by the sheer virtue of being a science-fiction writer. I thought he is completely full of it. Until now. Harvesting the dust from the boxes of the science collection I came across a rather nice wooden trunk. I opened it expecting something electronic inside, some meter or such. But inside there was a collection of colourful plastic shapes, like a toy building blocks. This thing

I made water. Tremble before my might!

I made water. Tremble before my might!

was a Courtauld Atomic Model Set made by Griffin and George. This thing was used in teaching chemistry in around the sixties and was designed Dr G S Hartley. You know the molecule models that you assemble with balls and sticks? This one has each element’s molecule shaped differently and coloured in such way that they stand out in black and white photographs. I know that nowadays we have computers in every classroom to get atomic modelling on a big screen and we have no need for toys. But I would be lying if those were not way more fun than any simulation I have ever seen. Believe me, I’ve tested those.
I was never good with chemistry, and the only formula I knew the number of atomic bonds of was water. H2O- dihydrogen monoxide. Hydrogen has a single bond while oxygen has two. Right? Right! Let’s make some water!
However, what is Oxygen, Hydrogen, Carbon and the rest of them funny named things from the periodic table? As far as I know, that is the stuff that our universe is made of, the ‘building blocks’ of it if you will. And what is that I am doing when I am trying, with the tenacity of a maniac, to build water? I give up! Mr. Teacher you were right after all. I do have a God complex. Now, if I could only remember where I put my thunder…:-)

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Filed under artefacts