Sunday, August 18, 2013

LEGO Mindstorm {by R}

Today I went to a friend's birthday party. On the invitation he asked me to bring the LEGO mindstorms to make robots at his house. When I got there, we set up the LEGO mindstorms right away to make our first creation.

First, we made a hand-held flashlight which is powered by a generator. The generator is a LEGO motor. Motors are closely made like generators. Our second invention was a really strong car. Finally, our third invention never worked because it destroyed itself. It was supposed to walk up the stairs but it got so complicated that every thing went wrong.

It was a fun afternoon!

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Brakeless Go-Cart

A plan + some salvaged parts + a lot of time = Go-Cart madness

R and J made a go-cart...without brakes. Whaaaat?!? What do you mean there are no brakes?

"Mom, we haven't gotten around to that. Don't worry...I'll wear a helmet."

Oh, brother.

Daddy went first...

R tried it...

I thought: how bad could it be?!? But I neglected to ask for a tutorial and promptly - right after this shot was taken - ended up ramming into the curb and flying off the cart.

I survived, unscathed. Mostly unscathed. That was enough for me.

Born in the Wrong Century

I think that my kid was born in the wrong century...

His instrument: the mandolin
His sport: fencing...

...and archery.

So, when he came home this week with some homemade ink - made, at the Nonni's house, with soot, lampblack (what is that?!?), coffee, vinegar, and more - and wrote out his homework project with that homemade ink in a calligraphy pen, I should not have been surprised that his next request for was sealing wax and a stamp. Ummmm...

We tried to improvise with leftover birthday candles. But that was too watery.

Then I found sealing wax and an 'R' seal at a stationery story. Thank you, Spencer's!! But, it took some experimenting. Attempt number one resulted in sparks and burned paper. Whoops. Attempt number two - we forgot to dip the seal in oil - resulted in stings of wax pulling off the paper. Whoops again.

 We finally dialed it in on attempt number three...

And here he is: my happy born-in-the-wrong-century kiddo. He finished his homework - a letter to his future self, written in homemade ink and sealed with wax.
I love this kid!