In which I play with my balls - Tactical Ninja
Jul. 2nd, 2012
08:59 am - In which I play with my balls
Some of you might remember how earlier this year I spent an excessive amount of time painting my balls green. I finished that just in time for .. something, can't remember what, and by that time I was so over the balls that I just put them away and forgot about them. But they are actually part of a larger project that also involves grist, and the other day he nudged me and mentioned that he's ready to move to Stage 2.
"Oh crap, I had better finish Stage 1 then, hadn't I?" says Tats.
You see, in our downstairs entrance hall, we have a 10 foot stud. It's a dark wee hallway and up in the ceiling space is kind of bland and, well, dark. But it has scope for some kind of hanging thing. And I happened to have 17 large polystyrene balls and a multitude of smaller ones, which would lend themselves reasonably well to looking vaguely like planets when hanging from a high ceiling. So I painted a bunch of them in varying shades of green (Dr Wheel, who actually has taste, suggested we stay in one colour group) and hung them from the ceiling thus:
If it turns out after Stage 2 that it needs something else, I'll add some of the smaller ones, but I'm a minimalist and I'll stop when it's enough rather than cramming in as much as I can just to fill the space.
So what is Stage 2?
Well, my brother likes fiddling with robotics and his latest gadgety goodness is arduino experiments. I like LEDs and have a hallway that needs extra lighting. So he's setting up a series of colour-changing LEDs of sufficient brightness to light the hallway, which will be suspended in translucent globes of similar size to the balls, in a random but sequenced pattern. As you walk through the hallway, a sensor will pick up your movement and light the lamps as you pass through. Or you can just turn them on and they'll hang there, changing colours. He's ready for a field trial of the first one, but for that he needs the translucent globe, which it's my job to make. So yesterday, I started that.
I discovered on the internet that you can make these using tissue paper and wallpaper glue. However, I figured that PVA (white wood glue) might be a bit more robust, so I'm trying that. You do it by using a toy ball, papier-mache-ing the paper on, then deflating the ball and taking it out through the hole you leave, which will be the hole the workings of the light goes into.
I quickly discovered that I won't be able to do it all in one go because the tissue paper tears when it's wet, which makes the ball fairly hard to handle. I suspect it'll need several layers, and I'll have to be quite careful. If all else fails on this one, I'll go back to the recommended method and use wallpaper glue. But hopefully this will work. Here's where it's at right now.
Tonight I'll glue the flappy bits down and add another layer. Hopefully by Friday it'll be layered enough and then I'll leave it in a sunny spot over the weekend (on which Dr Wheel and I will be away at the beach OMG THE BEACH A HOLIDAY YAY!), and deflate the ball on Tuesday when we get back.
Yes, I am rediscovering the joy of peeling PVA off my fingers, that we all enjoyed so much at primary school..
Meanwhile, it turns out that because one of my 300 papers was Research Methods which I can put towards any Humanities major, I can potentially put that towards a major in both SPOL and CRIM, which according to my student services coordinator person, means that I just have to hold my nose and do CRIM Theory next trimester and I could complete with my double major after all. At which point I will go "Yay!" And I'm told that the results for our final test in Drug Policy are available, but I have to hike up to the Uni to get them. So I'm off to do that now.
 It would appear I'll get an A for this course too. One to go - can I ace my entire degree? That would be cool.