Friday, September 10, 2010

Show 'n' Tell

"Good morning, J", I said. "It's show 'n' tell day at school today", I said.

J's school has themes for show 'n' tell. Today, the theme is colours.

"Do you want to take my rainbow maker for show 'n' tell today, J?" I asked.

"Yeah!" responded J, happily.

J was excited for show 'n' tell. He loves to show his friends new things and explain how everything works. The rainbow maker is a very cool thing indeed, and has so many colours for his friends to enjoy. And it has a scientific bent to it; J loves science. So we cuddled together, and I held the rainbow maker and explained its workings to J. He listened attentively, soaking it all in.

"See, J? There's this little suction cup here. You get it wet, and you stick it to a window. Then the sun shines in the window and hits this little black angled rectangle - that's the 'solar panel'."


"Yes. And that solar panel powers the 'battery', over here."


"Yup. Right here. Then the battery makes all these brightly coloured wheels turn inside the rainbow maker. See the wheels?"


"Those wheels are the 'motor'."

"That's the motor?"

"Yes, it is. And when the motor runs, it turns this big crystal on the bottom. The crystal is a 'prism'."

"A prism?"

"Uh huh. And as the sun shines on the prism, the light becomes 'refracted'. Say refracted, J."

"Refracted," said J, with his typical perfect pronunciation.

"Right! 'Refracted'. See? Light gets refracted through the prism, and then the refracted light shines on all the walls. And that makes the rainbows."


"You love the rainbows, don't you J? You love how they dance around the room, huh?"

And J nodded.

"It's dark and cloudy right now. But we can still see the rainbows, online. Do you want to watch a video of the rainbow maker?"

J nodded again. And we cuddled together and watched a quick Youtube video of the rainbow maker. J stared in awe, rapt with attention, thrilled to see the rainbows flying about the room on my computer screen.

"Pretty! Pretty!"

"Now, it's supposed to be a cloudy day, J. So the rainbow maker might not make the rainbows for your class. But you can tell them how the rainbow maker works, and you can take it back to school on a day when it's sunny so your friends can see the rainbows. Does that sound good?"

"Yeah. That sounds good", J agreed.

"It's delicate, J. You have to be careful with it. It's not a toy to be played with. And you can't put it in your mouth. But we'll tell your teacher how it works, and she'll stick it to the window for you and gently turn the crystal for your class if the sun isn't strong enough to do it for you. Okay?"

"Okay", J agreed. And then he held the rainbow maker, and started manually turning the crystal at the bottom.

"Careful, J", I said. "Remember, that is delicate. You have to be very gentle. You really shouldn't play with it like that".

[No response]

"Gentle, J. J? Please don't play with it like that, J. J? J?"

[No response]


And then J was off and running like a shot, rainbow maker in hand. He moves quickly - much more quickly than his old and decrepit mother. He smacked the suction cup down, adhering it to his glass-topped craft table, then grabbed hold of the crystal at the bottom and pulled with all his might.

And this is why J's show 'n' tell item for today is a tri-coloured plastic airplane. At some point today, I hope to figure out how to reattach the crystal to the rainbow maker. That would be lovely.


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Gadgets? We don't need no stinking gadgets!

Ordinarily, I delete spam comments. I'm fairly ruthless about it, too. I click on the little "remove forever" button, so no one can even see the trail of spam. Its presence irritates me, and I have no problem with removing forever all traces of it.

But today, I will make an exception. Today, someone posted a spam comment that I was ridiculously tempted to keep. I mean, I couldn't keep it; it is spam, after all. But while I deleted the comment, I didn't check the "remove forever" button; it was a particularly delightful read, and I felt okay about preserving the history on this one for a change.

I decided to write about the experience here. Why, you ask? Because the choice of post for this particular comment was so poor as to make the random comment completely awesome, and I really wanted to share!

Now, since the spammer in question actually had to make it through the word verification feature, you would think he might have taken a moment to read the post he was commenting on. It's a short post. Tiny, really. Would have only taken a couple of seconds. Less time than it takes to go through the pesky word verification feature. But no! No, he couldn't read the post on which he was commenting! And that is what has made this moment truly wonderful and gotten my morning off to a really great start. So, thanks for that!

The comment in question was posted on this old post, about porn spam and poop. Obviously, I've eliminated the comment's link, as ... well - it's spam and all. But the rest of this comment is verbatim:

"Interesting post as for me. It would be great to read something more about this theme. The only thing I would like to see here is a few pics of some gadgets.
John Karverv"

John. Seriously. Dude. It's a post about porn spam and poop. And you want pictures of gadgets with that? I don't think I have any such pictures. What gadgets did you have in mind, John? Maybe I can help direct you to the right place. Or an appropriate support group for your particular ... problem.

(On a rather unrelated note, I think I'm about ready to return to the bloggy world and write some real posts again. Maybe visit friends' blogs. Maybe even comment! Could happen. Should happen. And I think it will happen very, very soon. Stay tuned!)