Thursday, September 03, 2009

Ryan's Hovercraft.

Science Fair time at school. - Ryan decides to create a trolley that would make his paper round easier - he hates lugging the huuuuge pile of papers up the hills on his round. After a lot of discussion and internet research we find ideas for a hovercraft that could be adapted for the cause.
Construction photos to come - Vid of prototypes and finished article here.
video

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Anchor Story

When we were living in St Martin we used to go out out scuba diving with some mates. Lee, Monty & Sandy.
This one time we went out on Chris' boat (Celtic Warrior) Sandy and Monty stayed on the boat while Phil, myself and Lee jumped over the side and started poking around on the bottom about 10 m deep, really clear water, sandy bottom with a few rocky and coral bommies and some fish, sand dollars and conch around the place.
It's surprising what you find when you're diving sometimes. We found an anchor!
Score! we thought, then looked up to see the boat (with Monty and Sandy oblivious) floating away.
They soon realised, and started up the engine to turn back but got the anchor warp wrapped around the prop.
Good job there were divers in the water to untangle them and tie the anchor back on!

Which leads me onto the Dehumidifier Story next.

The Dehumidifier Story.


For those of you not from here, or not familiar with NZ weather, it has a tendency to be wet especially in the Winter - Anyway as the houses tend not to have double glazing and central heating they can get musty indoors sometimes - most people have a dehumidifier at hand for when it gets a bit damp and cheesy.
We sold ours when we we got one of those ventilation systems (HRV) that blows air in from the roof cavity but now and again it feels a bit chilly but not quite cold enough to light the fire. I'm convinced we need a dehumidifier for incidental use, so I have been looking out for a sale on Dehumidifiers (theres always a sale on somewhere..........)
The Warehouse had 40% off them this weekend so I managed to get the last one in Auckland (the display model!) - thats kinda like the drive thru - 'never get the display model' - 'they always f**k you at the drive thru'
So I got an extra $10 off for having the display model - no box, no manual etc etc.
Got it home, stuck it in the bedroom, and turned it on. Stabbing randomly at the one button on it in an attempt to set the functions up!!!
30 mins later we checked up on it and it was a bit noisy - It was cheap , whaddya expect.... and there was a puddle on the carpet - it was doing a really good job of sucking the moisture out of the air and collecting it (on the carpet).
Good job we had a dehumidifier to dry out the carpet ! - I whittled a bung for the hole (another thing you dont get with display model, the bung to stop the water pissing out) and left it for another 30 mins or so, well the bung didn't work and we got another puddle.
Anyway its gone back to the shop today and I guess I will have to wait for another sale now.
Bummer about the carpet in the bedroom, it would be nice to dry it out somehow, maybe we should get a dehumidifier........

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Stealing from the Bees


Our first crop of honey. We nicked one frame off them - it was almost all capped, we couldnt wait to see what our girls had produced. Its lovely and dark and tasty we cut the comb up into chunks and put a bit into little jars for friends and family but kept most of it ourselves.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Where's it gone?

'Cos there were a few things I felt compelled to post that were not really to do with the Family news I've made a new blog.
There will be strange, exciting and interesting content, sometimes disturbing and sometimes just silly or occasionally maybe even boring.
Always worth a look though!
Link on the Left 'Kerrys Blog'
the URL is http://thatsortofthing.blogspot.com/ because there will always be 'that sort of thing' around whether we like it or not. Hence a couple of posts have moved house, Toast and the MFB song for example.

Monday, March 23, 2009

1.5m long Robot Carp, Wicked!




LONDON (Reuters) - Robot fish developed by British scientists are to be released into the sea off north Spain to detect pollution.

If next year's trial of the first five robotic fish in the northern Spanish port of Gijon is successful, the team hopes they will be used in rivers, lakes and seas across the world.

The carp-shaped robots, costing 20,000 pounds apiece, mimic the movement of real fish and are equipped with chemical sensors to sniff out potentially hazardous pollutants, such as leaks from vessels or underwater pipelines.

They will transmit the information back to shore using Wi-Fi technology.

Unlike earlier robotic fish, which needed remote controls, they will be able to navigate independently without any human interaction.

Rory Doyle, senior research scientist at engineering company BMT Group, which developed the robot fish with researchers at Essex University, said there were good reasons for making a fish-shaped robot, rather than a conventional mini-submarine.

"In using robotic fish we are building on a design created by hundreds of millions of years' worth of evolution which is incredibly energy efficient," he said.

"This efficiency is something we need to ensure that our pollution detection sensors can navigate in the underwater environment for hours on end."

The robot fish will be 1.5 meters (nearly 5 feet) long -- roughly the size of a seal.

(Reporting by Ben Hirschler, editing by Tim Pearce)

Monday, March 09, 2009

Happy Birthday Charles Darwin - 200 this year!


In celebration of this event I tracked down some Darwin Fish Car Decals and actually sold more at work here than I did on Trade-Me.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Latest Thing


Bees.
Any keen Dr Who fan will be aware that bees are disappearing. No-one actually knows why, there are plenty of theories, Cellphones, Temperature change, Disease, Mites, Poor pollen quality or pollen and nectar scarcity. (http://www.ars.usda.gov/News/docs.htm?docid=15572)
Then we saw an episode of Hugh Fearnley-Whitingsall's 'Spring at River Cottage' in which he was talking about bees and in particular comparing honey produced by bees from Hackney in very built up east London to the honey he produces in the middle of Rural Dorset. I had never imagined that keeping a beehive in your back garden, or on the garage roof in suburbia was an option.
(Credit to the photographer - I stole this photo from another blog - http://williams-bees.blogspot.com/ I thought it was too good not to. I noticed he hasn't updated it for a long time.)
That got us thinking... and now, several months, lots of books and websites and few Bee Club meetings later there is a hive ready for us to pick up from Bucklands Beach.
The Question is, 'Are we ready for the bees?'
Its exciting and a bit scary. The Hive we will be getting is a new colony with a new Queen so there aren't that many of them at the moment and we probably won't get honey from them this year, we may even have to feed them if they can't get themselves sorted out before winter and the nectar slows right down or stops flowing.
Since starting to read about bees I am totally fascinated by the way they all work together in the hive, collecting pollen, nectar, propolis and water for their community. The way they communicate, keep house, what affects their moods.
The thing I'm looking forward to most is watching them....that's right just sitting and watching them come and go, the guards on the door, bees fanning to keep cool and waft the pheromone smell of their hive out to the foragers so they can find their way home

Today's Rant


Sustainability - the new buzzword in this part of the world, - Kiwis aren't that good at actually doing it, it would seem they perceive their country as being 'Clean Green 100% Pure,' etc. etc. so obviously they don't need to do anything extra or different to make it that way.

Oh yes - we all do recycling, using our own bags at the supermarket and turn lights off when we remember. But actually doing a little bit more than that can seem so hard. Other countries appear to be making more of an issue of it that we are here.
It doesn't help that the National Party got voted in which means the Greens have a very small say in matters now.


It also doesn't help that the new Minister of Energy and Resources, The Hon Gerry Brownlee, has made a few dodgy decisions already - reversing the plan to ban incandescent light bulbs and tabling a bill that would repeal the decision to force oil companies to sell a certain proportion of Bio fuel.
Hmmm we'll see, I wonder if he will ever get around to replying to my email.

Days 2-22 i.e Rest of the world

Its probably easiest to check out our Flikr pages for the photos and random comments for the rest of the tour..
http://www.flickr.com/photos/24462004@N07/
chur.

The Hotel California

Savusavu was chosen as our arrival port because it has a relatively easy entrance, is yacht friendly and we had heard great th...