Archive for the ‘scientific experiments’ Category

Spinning Yarn: Tauranga Spinners #109

Saturday, January 21st, 2012

 My flight to Tauranga came in the middle of myChristchurchvisit. I wanted to see the North and to visit the Majacraft Spinning Wheel company, present to them a report of my trip and to meet the local spinners who would be interested to hear about my Spinning inAntarctica. Majacraft supplied the Little Gem (whom I have named “Mawson”; all my 38 spinning wheels have names) for me to take toCapeDenisonand report on the effects of extreme temperatures on the workings of the mechanisms – polymer driveband, bearings and oiling, the cold on all the moving parts, its portability and its hypnotic quality.

 Hypnotic quality? Why, yes – just ask the Adelie penguin who chatted with me for about 15 minutes!

 The Spinners loved the presentation, and made a donation to the Mawson’s Huts Foundation as a thank you, and for their part in its restoration. The Tauranga group are numerous, about 25 ladies there on the day I visited, and very active and supportive of the local Spinning Wheel company. I was made to feel very welcome. Thank you, Ladies.

 

 

Spinning Yarn: Not Baggy Green at all! #105

Saturday, November 26th, 2011

The practice Balaclava is indicative of the original garment, yet with plenty of room for a helmet underneath! and Earmuffs, and a scarf, and goggles…. Not doubt VERY warm and deserving of being warn, yet who has a head big enough for this particular one?  Time to re-visit the pattern! …and Sir Douglas would approve of that too!

Mawson looks out in approval….#104

Saturday, November 26th, 2011

Before attempting the balacava with the actual Antarctic  Yarn,  I have better try a practice pattern, eh? I’ve nutted out the pattern using similar yarn, that we spunl Melbourne Show.  Using the correct needles and the bulky white yarn, I began the 7×7 rib, to see how it would turn out. As you can see, Sir Douglas is pleased….

Now on to the real thing…..

Spinning Yarn: The Heart of the Great Alone. #99

Saturday, August 6th, 2011

It amazed me how much this exhibition meant to me. As I devoured each of the displays of fabulous black and white photographs of Antarctica taken 100 years ago by the famous Frank Hurley, I was transported not only back in time, but also back to the Frozen Continent, to see it through the eyes and heart of this skillful and daring man.

 Frank Hurley shared the huts with Mawson and his team, not only in his specialty as  photographer but also as a sledger. He man-hauled his fair share sleds and did his share of depot-laying, same as the rest of them. His company was valued on several scientific missions.

 His famous prints are the product of his labours in the tiniest of darkrooms in the most trying conditions of cold and cramped workspace. Some of his chemicals are still in his darkroom at the Huts, the labels still readable and corks still in the bottles.

Spinning Yarn: Ring Them Bells! #98

Saturday, July 30th, 2011

 Not something that is heard on Sunday mornings where I live now, I really miss the Church bells calling us to worship, so the sound of the bells pealing from the tower of the Christchurch Cathedral caught my attention, calling me to God’s house in New Zealand’s South Island capital. A gorgeous stone building, it was a bit marred by the scaffolding surrounding the front, and holding it upright and safely – a precaution as a result of the earthquake of the previous October.

 Inside was tidy and clear of debris, but the scars were still showing. Originally from Canada where everything is in two languages (French and English) it was a very special treat to hear the Gospel in the melodious Maori language, (with English translations). God’s message reaches all.

Spinning Yarn: On the way to Christchurch #96

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

Following the well marked highway, I viewed the spectacular coastline all the way to Palmerston, where I just had to stop and walk along the beach. Looking out over the Southern Ocean I raised my hand in a fond greeting to the Frozen Continent 4 days sail away and turned my attention to walking the tideline, where, tangled in the washed up seaweed, God gave me a Paua shell! Whole and complete! What a find! (I collect seashells, and have done since I was about 6years old, living in Nova Scotia).

 Under a bit of time constraints, I gave myself only an hour at the beach. The shell safely tucked in my pocket, I could hear the car, and the highway, calling me on to the next stop.

Spinning Yarn: Mismatching Plates #90

Friday, June 24th, 2011

 

Plate tectonics is the science of studying the movement of the Earth’s crust. We learned a bit about this on this trip.

 Macquarie Island, Campbell Island and New Zealand are all on the edge of the same plate, which is moving towards the Austral plate.  Usually one of the plates tucks underneath the other one, and slides below, but these plates are meeting edge on. The islands are a result of the meeting edge being lifted out of the water. Confirmed by geological study and observation, the islands are expected to move accordingly as the plates continue their journey.

 The whole area is volcanic. Antarctica itself is granite. The islands have visible and colourful layers of volcanic activity showing on the exposed surfaces and cliff faces. Age is apparent also, and it was good to have John McDonald with us to explain it all.