Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Far Blacker Than Expectations

So far the ink satisfies me very much. It is darker than I expected even when just mixed and it develops into a finer ink with a few days aging. I have shorted it a bit on water. My resultant liquid from ~40grams of galls was 250ml. That is far less than the ~290ml of distilled water called for in the proportions I am using. I've also put in less gum arabic than called for since I have a small bottle of it dissolved in water. I put in 35ml of that assuming that this would leave the ink short of the additional 33ml of water the recipe calls for to dissolve the 15g of gum and 17g of ferrous sulfate. It may not be perfect, but I believe it will serve for purposes of demonstration at the convention's panel on useful crafts after a secular apocalypse. I may also write my yule letters using it.

Displacement Scale

I have a project to do that involves moderately accurate weighing. A good kitchen scale would set me back $50. But what if I just used a measuring cup with really accurate markings to measure the displacement of water? Impractical for large projects, but as far as I know perfectly accurate for getting weight. Since every ml of water at 4C equals one gram to be displaced. Provided I carefully look at the meniscus I should be able to measure as little as 25 grams using a standard measuring cup with another container floating freely in it. And with some judicious estimation I might get to within a reasonable error of my goal weights.

What project you might well ask. I am making ink. I am using as near as I can replicate the ink prepared by boiling galls recipe that takes several hours of gently simmering the crushed galls in distilled water. A long task, but one made lighter by listening to a book while I do it.

Poor Duran Duran

Apparently there is a real person in New Mexico named Duran Duran. He's listed in the phone book and he's registered to vote. But due to his name some Republican bloggers assumed he must be a fraudulent registration and were all up in arms. And he might not be the only one. Searching this online whitepages I found five other individuals bearing this name in the US. No word on if any of them are registered or not because people don't believe they're real people.

Oh, and the 28 people the GOP accused of not being real? Acorn produced evidence they were all real people and they've backed off. The Guardian

How Big a Particle?

I understand that the famous Double-slit experiment has been done with other particles besides photons that behave as both particles and waves. Today I wondered if anything larger had been tried. Apparently a paper was published in 2002 entitled "Quantum interference experiments with large molecules" where C60, fullerene molecules, were used in place of photons and it was found they behaved the same way. Where, exactly, does quantum behavior break over into macro behavior?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Rain Upon Laundry

I listened to a bit of The Thirteen Gun Salute while I did laundry at the laundromat. Unfortunately the book I checked out is a great deal less pleasant than the previous ones owing the the flat grating voice of Richard Brown. I have put in a request from interlibrary loan for the one read by the actor Patrick Tull. He does not go all the way to making it a radio play, but he does do the accents and some of the way the voices might sound. I like this dramatic reading style in part because it helps figure out who is thinking or saying something.

The rain that is coming down will probably make my laundry dry more slowly and it isn't pleasant to go out, but it is washing away the grim and making the air fresh. I like crisp autumnal days like this. As long as I don't have to be out in them very long.

Now I must figure out what I shall do for dinner. Richard will be home soon and I have people to call as well.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Cover Boy

So I'm on the cover of Tales of the Talisman, Volume 4, Issue 2. That's the most recent one. Apparently I had the right look to be a mad scientist and the creature as well.

Last night I ended up going to visit friends downtown, John and Robin, who live there and Dave who was visiting from out of town. It was interesting riding the bus downtown since the Great American Beer Festival was going on and so near the convention center it became full of a variety of cheerful people. It was actually quite nice on such a drizzly fall day to have crowds of happy people on the bus rather than a few quiet strangers.