Wednesday, 29 August 2012

mystery items, guess what I was doing this evening.

If you do want to guess just look at the picture, do not read on. Don't read on too quickly anyway. I will give some clues now and gradually reveal the mystery of the strange objects.

Some items are not used for the main activity.

the bottle has a tiny bit of wine and some cider vinegar inside. it has cellophane on top with a small hole in it. guess what it is.

The pencils are there because it is back to school time. Daire was back today at 10. the girls are back tomorrow.

the binoculars are there from the weekend. when the tall ships left Dublin we could see them from outside our house. northerly ish wind so they went out (east) without sail, then out up sail and quickly disappeared out of sight skirting coast.

the half-eaten bar is from when we cycled on metals from DunLaoghaire to Dalkey. Kate bladed.

the music is from song by Fun: Tonight we are young. recorder just for tootling. was playing along with guitar chords and piano chords/melody/beat-notes. Maeve knows all the starting verses words off!

the things used in main activity were ... in order of most useless-ness ...
a chisel
a penknife (now cleaned and sharpened with file)
drill bits
a rock
a hammer
a file
a tin box with white stuff inside, guess what that is.
a small metal looking block and blade

the rock is quartzy granite,quite a hard rock, lots of that kind here and in wicklow hills.

inside the box there is cotton wool mixed with some vaseline. for cleaning baby bottoms? but we don't have babies any more.

the chisel and penknife don't work. The penknife is stainless steel.

one drill bit for drilling metal gives a small spark if hit against the rock.

there is a faint burney smell.

the hammer and file give good sparks when hit at an angle against the rock. bits of rock flake off with the hammer though, watch out for eyes!

the little metal block is magnesium with a small ?high-carbon? steel rod on one side. this rod gives good sparks if scraped on the rock.

the little blade chained to rock is some kind of flint. I'm not sure if it is real rock flint or something else. when scraped against the rod sparks are generated. when scraped against hammer or file not much happens.

the quartz in rock and flint are harder than the steel. when hit against sharp rock tiny shards of metal scrape off and are ignited by friction.

hot metal sparks are good for starting fires with.

the magnesium is scraped making some magnesium dust. that collects at top of rod. scraping top of rod gives nice hot/strong magnesium sparks as well as steel sparks.

vaseline is petroleum-jelly and it is flammable. cotton wool and vaseline is good tinder.

I was making sparks and fire.

lay out some kindling ready to take fire. lay out some tinder (cotton wool). spark into the tinder. if you get it to flame to add the kindling. build and enjoy fire. if practicing lighting fires put it out then do it again. I made about 8 little fires. fun. the girls liked it!

What is the bottle? It is a trap for fruit flies. A bowl with vinegar inside and cellophane on top works too and you can see the flies.
"Flint is a hard, sedimentary cryptocrystalline form of the mineral quartz,[1][2] categorized as a variety of chert."
"Steel is an alloy made by combining iron and other elements, the most common of these being carbon. When carbon is used, its content in the steel is between 0.2% and 2.1% by weight"

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