Epoxy casting (by )

Inspired by this I set out to learn how to cast circuits in transparent epoxy.

You see, making decent cases for things is sometimes the hardest bit about an electronics project, and an issue that had been a major roadblock in my interest in wearable computers. What point was there in building something if it wouldn't last long under the wear and tear of being attached to me, and getting rainwater inside it?

So I obtained the smallest set of two-part clear epoxy from resin-supplies.co.uk.

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Join me blogging for Ada Lovelace Day (by )

Tuesday the 24th of March is Ada Lovelace Day - this is a day of blogging about women in Technology, ones who have inspired you or that you admire.

Ada Lovelace is known as the first computer programmer in history though she didn't actually have a computer to run them on. She made them all from the description of Babbage's machine which he never finished.

She also saw far more potential in the machine than even he did and was well ahead of her time. Now I am posting this becuase a) we are obviously going to be doing write ups on this for this blog, my astronomy blog and web-empires blog - I'm not sure I can find relevent technology craft/art and cooking cross overs in time for the Salaric blogs but I will try. b) I'm hoping that alot of you lovely people will take up this challenge - from a personal point of veiw it would be nice to see the science side of technology and not just computing to be recognised - so geologists, chemists and astrophysists pull your fingers out, oh and anyone else who wants to off course! c) this will raise the profile of women in technology so that hopefully young women choosing careers paths and those debating weather to rejoin after a the whole 'career break'/having baby/looking after sick people can see that they are not alone and that both currently and in the past there female role models without whom medical advancements and the like may never have been made. (Or at least taken twice as long as there is an idea that you just need a saturation point for idea nucleation sort of thing).

I contacted the organiser and asked what they ment by technology and they said it is perpusfully broad and would include science etc... 🙂

There is a pledge page where you can add yourself to the list of people who will blog. You can follow it on twitter and it has a face book presance. There is also a mailing list and to find tweets about it on twitter its designation is #ALD09.

I am probably far to excited about this and I think you will all be suprised by the one we have on here 🙂

So you lot lets get writing 🙂

Jaw Ache, Flu and Impetigo (by )

I had been meaning to book an appointment with the dr for ages as I feared I had brought the bed bugs from london back with me - itchy red lumps were still appearing on my legs and now on my stomache.

I had unfortunatly scratch the bedbug bites I and some had gotten infected. Then on Saturday I woke up and found I couldn't open my jaw very far and couldn't really shut it either - I lost my ability to bite. Side ways movement was painfull and cuased clicking and crunching - from one or two old bites I was covered in red spots - but not in a way I would associate with a rash - was I being bitten? I haven't found any bed bugs here and have been making Al hoover the bed and stuff just in case.

Smaller incidences of the jaw restriction had been happening for a while but nothing like this - I couldn't eat and drinking was hard.

Sunday my jaw was a little better and I could eat soft things but my hearing had gone west and by night time I was starting to show cold symptoms.

Monday Al phoned the dr as the glands in my neck had swollen to look like small chicken eggs on the outside - my joints are all stiff and achey - I felt/feel pathetic - obviously I have man flu - ie I'm making a mountain out of a mole hill.

So the Dr looks at me and checks my tonsils and is concerned I can't open my mouth and then the question - when did I last go to the dentist - erm.... I don't remember - in fact thinking about it I don't think I've been to see a dentist since I was about 11 :/ might have to remidy that shortly.

Podded and pocked and questions asked - everything is inflamed and may or may not be the flu, and the red spots aren't insect bits but maybe infetigo. So not knowing what that is I look it up when I get home and it doesn't look anything like the stuff of the wikipedia page but thats cos there are different types - its a bacterial infection cuase by the strep stuff that cuases sore throats etc... It's common in toddlers and sports people and take advantage of cuts or insect bit that have been scratched.

Mmmmm... so if this is what it is I think that were I was bitten by bed bugs in London was ultamatly the cuase of this - of course I shouldn't have scratched but I do it in my sleep. Symptoms include swollen lymph glands and flu like symptoms :/

I have Fucidin cream which is an antibiotic and steroid mix. They are hoping that this will clear it up - I have to put it on each spot indivdually.

I have another appointment for a weeks time and if my glands haven't gone down by then it'll be blood test time.

It took a little bit of time for me to work out that infetigo was impetigo. I am now being very cheesed off about bed bugs. I am now going to have a bath - get Al to change all the bed sheets, apply the creme and sleep.

Oh and I'm going to have hairy legs as I'm not allowed to shave or wax them - they reckon that they should have it cleared up in time for me to not have a hairy leg summer - lets hope so.

Mum’s Cancer Stuff – Good News (by )

Mum went back for another ultra sound today just to make sure there really weren't anymore lumps as the drs had been arguing on this point.

The scan was clear which is fantastic! So now I have my fingers crossed for Thursday for two reasons:

First off dad has to go back for another lot of eye laser stuff and secondly there is a meeting about the enquiry into my uncles death - so we will have to wait and see.

analysing the moon rock (by )

Friday saw me once again wending my weary way to London.

This time I was going in to carbon coat my lunar meteorite thin section and put it in the machine to make X-ray maps of specific elements. I felt very nervous as I hadnt done anywhere near the amount of reading I had ment to do for it what with boundary disbutes and work stuff etc...

And I had been highly confusing myself by trying to learn lunar mineralogy from scratch - complete with minerals I have never heared off! I had started making a list of elements mentioned in association with lunar minerallogy and then side tracked myself - turns out if I had completed this it would have been a very good start - oh well.

I was a bit sad when I arrived that the sample was already in being carbon coated - I assume the machine works by some sort of spluttering of carbon. You coat the sample to help get a clearer image by stopping alot of the interference(I think). This means I only got a pic of it carbon coated thin section and my hands were shaking so its not a very good picture anyway but this is a piece of the moon that fell to Earth in a meteorite that Landed in Africa.

The Carbon coating machine: the carbon coater

My piece of carbon coated moon rock! carbon coated moon rock sliver

This means I also have to be weary of terrestrial contamination when analysing it.

I took photos of the machine and bits around it!

explosive gases for the machine the machine complete with liquid nitrogen

What I have done for the mini project is just selected one breccia clast/grain out of this thin section from a few cubic cm's of lunar meteorite to ananlyse. This really is looking at the fine detail - I always have to remember that it is part of a system, part of a big over all picture, the small makes up the big and the big affects the small.

We chose which elements to map for, then defined the mapping area which was just slightly bigger than the clast. An important fact is that no matter how good the polish on the surfacce of the section it is not completely flat so to get golod results you have to sort of take the four corners and average them into a focus plan. At least this is what I understood to be happening.

Anyway I selected with some help the elements that I wanted maps for and the grand total time was 56 hours running time for the machine - wowowow. Of course this is why I was in there on a Friday afternoon so that I could have the machine run over the weekend - I clicked the button to start it and away it went.

I then proceeded to make a fool out of my self by saying - its obviously regolith isnt it - erm... we dont know came the reply. I am also very intreged by the clast I have chosen to analyse - it looks like two main minerals interlocked in some sort of intergrowth way - each with its own specific selection of other mineral inclusions.

I am a bit worried that I just dont remember enough mineralogy to do this project justice :/

Still I think I may have some idea of whats going on but suffered that thing of not wanting to say anything incase I was wrong and they thought I was stupid and wasting their time and effort. I now need to go and work out the correct scientific termonolgy instead of inventing my own - again.

Still I got to take pics of the sample being mounted in the machine including the adding of the highly conductive copper sticky tap that also keeps it in place!

mounted for analysation

copper tape

There was one interesting point - the machine appears to do a continues scan but it doesnt it stops every .... and 'dwells' for.... this leads me onto something else I have been pondering recently - how different are analogue and didigital - you came make one appear as another depending on resolution etc... but this needs a me to do a bit more thinking and maybe write a few books on the nature of existance I feel!

Once I have worked out the mineral phases in the sample - which I will do from these elemental maps I will be putting it in the microprob for furthure analysis.

I think that for my oral presingtation and poster I will therefore need to focus on what we know of the moon from meteorites rather than just what we know about the moon.

I am getting very excited about all this - its the thought of being able to tie in the mineralogy of crystals grains within a clast with a brecciated meteorite to lunar and even solar and possible even universe formation processes!

Happyness is once again rock shaped. Though I am hoping the element doesn't blow over the week end - it was a new one this week so hopefully it will last!

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