Robot Tommy takes a tumble

This is a long one but it has an audio component I hope you can appreciate. First I need you to hear the first few seconds of this video:  Almost everyone will recognise it as the opening notes from the song “Land down Under” by Men at Work. But to me it has another meaning altogether.
We moved a lot when I was a kid and on one occasion my new bedroom was on the third floor up a tight twisty old staircase. I was only allowed to bring my most prized possessions with me: some books, some comics, a box of cool rocks I’d found and balanced on top of all that was Tommy the Atomic Robot. One of my uncles gave me Tommy. Tommy was older than I was but still sorta worked. When you activated him he would light up and say “I am the Atomic Powered Robot! Please give my best wishes to everybody!”(At least that’s what I think he said, Tommy slurred his words most of the time.
I was trying to be very careful going up that stair but being a chubby little kid one of my belt loops caught on the end of the railing and put me off balance. I fell back a step and the entire stack of items slipped off the bottom-most book, tumbled down the stairs, and bounced out of sight below. I’m sure I yelled Noooooooo! as the stack slid out of my hands and poor Tommy hit step after step making musical mechanical noises all the way down.
I am here to tell you, that Tommy made the exact same notes on the way down as the opening notes of Land Down Under! I felt alternating waves of horror and surprise as he went ‘ping ping pingy ping!‘ all the way down and out of sight.
My mom was at the bottom of the stairs and heard me shout and saw all my stuff come crashing down towards her. She  shouted up “Are you alright?” I replied That I was, but couldn’t stop alternately laughing and crying over Tommy’s last performance.

Cheers,

FlashJ

 

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Bianca and Space Ken

I saw the name Bianca someplace today and it reminded me of playing with a cousin once when I was a kid. She had two dolls; one a normal 1970s Barbie and another off brand doll in much the same mold that she called Bianca. The only thing I remember about Bianca was that she had red hair and I think she was named after a friend of her mom’s. At first I did not want to play dolls with her but boredom took over and I joined in. She gave me a beat up and weathered Ken doll that was clearly not as well loved as the other two. At some point I molded some aluminum foil around Ken’s shoulders like a short jacket, gave it some peaks or fins and declared he was now an astronaut. My cousin disliked my deviation from her narrative and took Ken away. She also took the foil off of ‘Space Ken’ and put it on Bianca instead and declared her ‘Space Barbie.’ I still tried to suggest a few ideas to my cousin (Funny how I don’t remember her name but can remember her dolls!) but she rejected them all. When my Aunt Katherine asked me why I stopped playing with my cousin, I told her the basic storyline and how it was my idea in the first place, etc. etc. I recall my Aunt Katherine sniffing critically at me and saying “She can do what she wants with them dolls, but Bianca could never go to space, she smokes too much, if you ask me.”

Eureka! A (specific) Gravity test

Credit to mdfuk
Zero your scales and weigh the object you want to test, make a note of the weight. This ring weighed 3.91 grams.
Place a cup of water on a set of digital scales that are accurate to two or more decimal places. I’m using a Clear plastic cup as it’s the lightest one I have that is clear so you can see what’s going on, but something like a plastic cup from a coffee vending machine is lighter. Heavier glass cups will tip your scales over. Reset to Zero, on my scales this is the Tare button.
Tie the object to a piece of cotton of something similar, I’m actually using a bit of string that came off the netting that comes around oranges as it’s very light and non-absorbent. Suspended the object in the water, just below the surface so as little as possible of the string is added to the equation. Wait for the scales to settle and take the reading. In this case with the ring, it was 0.25 grams.
Simple Math
(Weight of the object) divided by (weight of water displaced)
In this case :- 3.91 / 0.25 = 15.64
Metal Density
Gold 19.3
Silver 10.5
Platinum 21.4
Palladium 12.0
Copper 9.0
9ct 10.9 to 12.7
14ct 12.9 to 14.6
18ct Yellow 15.2 to 15.9
18ct White 14.7 to 16.9
22ct 17.7 to 17.8
Sterling Silver 10.2 to 10.3
950 Platinum 20.1

Surprise growth

I was watering my plants downstairs and noticed an amazing thing.

Months and I mean months ago, (AFTER the spring storms destroyed my greenhouse and my 4-year-old pineapple.) I tried planting a pineapple top but it never seemed to take off. The insides went brown and I put it on a shelf in the greenhouse cause I couldn’t quite give up on it. I brought it in with all the other plants this fall and I forgot it again. So much so that I got another pineapple in October and planted it right away. This one seemed healthier to start with, and here in January, it has shown some growth in the very middle. CURIOUSLY the YouTube instructions tell you to water it right down the middle but it seems to accelerate the rotting process. I’m keeping it wet and as much fun as you can get in January.

Imagine my surprise when I decided to bring the first top up to my study and let it get the advantage of the plant lights that I found it had a new bit of growth on it! (See pic below. )You can also see how brown and unlikely the rest of it is, but there is definitely new growth up the side of the original top. I will research around the web and see if I should repot it off like a separate plant. Most likely I will leave it alone for now. It’s gone thru a lot just to get to 2021.

I also noticed that my olive tree is doing Ok out in the cold but I might move it out of the wind when the weather gets blustery.

I had almost given up hope on this pineapple top!

PS: I would really like to grow a banana but I think I would have to move a long way south of Salisbury!