Florence Nightingale The Puppet (by )

Florence Nightingale having a shocking read of Mr Greys Anatomy

Florence Nightingale the puppet is getting about over excited about Mr Gray's Anatomy. Like Ada Lovelace Florence is a Victorian icon famous for developing graphical representations of data and for being one of the founders of modern medicine.

Though she was made with the other four puppets that we developed after Ada she sadly has not had that many outings but now is her time to shine. The brain hat I knitted for the Science Showoff event will be one of her props along with the brain - she may have to share with some of the other puppets at times 🙂

Other works to go with her are scripts, research into her life, her manga self and a series of other textiles and papier mache props, possibly with some 3D printing.

She is very excited to be out and about and is currently relaxing after what has already been a hectic British Science Week - she will be at Cheltenham Hackspace on Sunday 19th of March (yes this Sunday as of time of posting), for the Science Cafe!

Cuddly Science is on the Loose! (by )

The Cuddly Science Massive

Cuddly Science is on the loose - cuddly science whoo hoo!

For those of you who don't know these are the Cuddly Science puppets - they are historical scientists, engineers, medics and technologists. They talk, sing, tell you things, answer questions. They can be used with all age groups including grown ups only!

They were hiding for a bit with the head injury mainly as it takes quiet abit of thinking to talk science. I think I did two events with them in the first year after the head injury and they were short little cameos not full on.

In the summer I managed to get them out to couple of festivals - but it was a whole year on by then! But I did still had to stick to my subject areas so we mainly did space!

Cuddly Science Space Craft workshop at Wychwood Music Festival

However this doesn't mean I had stopped developing the idea and by the autumn we were back at Maker Faires and making papier mache fossils!

Having just taken the puppet Ada to International Womens Day and been part in amazing show where Ada had quiet a complex and new role, I am feeling confident that it is time for Cuddly Science to be doing more things 🙂

Being British Science Week (I often keep calling it National Science and Engineering Week which is what it used to be called), the puppets have been going into school for show and tell and of course we have the Science Cafe!

We now have a good variety of workshops from DNA extraction, to Light including smoke chamber, lasers and lenses! We have robot board games that show the basics of programming, and a universe in a box (this was an educational kit which I bought sponsering another identical kit to be sent to poorer regions).

Not to mention knitted brain hats and papier mache props, lab glass ware, and sand pits!

I'm even making a photo gallery of all the Cuddly Science stuff - it is taking me a long time as I still have to ration thinking time but it is getting there 🙂

Parental Party Failure (by )

So Sunday we were doing house work and admin and we wanted to pop to the shops for some candles, we were going to go to Homebase but we sailed past and ended up at The Range instead.... Once we had finished all the admin and popped the kids in bed Al spotted a text from that morning asking for comfirmation that Mary couldn't have cheese for the party.

We hadn't seen an invite though Mary had mentioned a party but not a when or where, so replied saying she'd love to come (it's one of the kids she really likes), but when was it?

Turns out it was when we were faffing with candle buying 🙁 Meaning that we dragged a crying child who did not want to go to the shops past her friends party and worse if we'd gone to Homebase we'd have bumped into people and she could have just gone to it!

The little girl was convinced that Mary was going to it as well so I feel really, really bad :'(

I've often wondered how many invites and things we miss, and of course conversely I'd said to Al that I was worried a couple of key people might not have gotten Mary's birthday invites as they didn't even say they couldn't come which is very unusual for the families involved.

Issue is that we drop the kids at breakfast club early so see hardly any of the other parents and w don't do pick up as we have a car share thing going and often they are in the after school club so same issue as with breakfast club.

Jean also has missed two parties this academic year - one because we lit. forgot and another because complicated logistics meant there was just no time to get her there on the day 🙁

This sort of thing make us feel like really bad parents.


edit: so Mary proudly presented us with the invite yesterday (Tuesday) after school 🙁 I assume it ended up in her draw at school.

Ada Out and About (by )

AdaLovelace the puppet getting ready for school show and tell

This week is British Science Week so Ada and the other puppets are out and about, Mary was so exstatic to find out that she could take them in to her school for show and tell 🙂

Of course she now has her own wish list of puppets she wants making!

The puppets are for our Science Outreach, Communication, Education stuff which goes by the name of Cuddly Science and will be appearing at the end of the week at Cheltenham Hackspace for a Science Cafe!

Ripples… (by )

Ada Lovelace the puppet reading Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett

It's the anniversary of the author Sir Terry Pratchett's death, I have been working my way through the Discworld books, it is taking time as I still struggle with reading since the head injury. I've started with what I think of as the Rincewind Books.

The Colour of Magic The Light Fantastic Sourcery Eric Interesting Times The Last Continent Science of the Discworld The Globe

I've probably missed some out - I'm currently reading The Last Continet 🙂

Rincewind is one of my favourite characters, he reminds me a lot of my dad, being an accidental hero - thinking he's a coward etc... being a nice person, having issues with inanimate household objects that refuse to actually be inanimate (in dad's case it's coathangers).

Then I plan on reading the Death Books as I think of them. Death and Susan are again characters I love, especially when Susan has wild hair she can not control!

Reaper Man Mort Soul Music The Hogfather The Thief of Time

Again I am probably missing titles! If you see a glaring omission please comment!

Then The Witches Books (including the Tiffany Books as a subset - this is slightly unfair as Rincewind should count as one of the Wizards but the character sets are all so over lapped that there are many different ways you could divid it all up ie Hogswatch could be seen as a Wizard book as well as Death), followed by Vimes, The Services Books (De Word and Moist), Maurice and then Pyramids, Small Gods and another other miscellany I have missed!

Alaric bought me the graphic novel of Small Gods and I want to work my way through the graphic novels as well, I know there was a copy of The Last Hero that I gave to my brother but I'm not really sure where it ended up!

After that it is time for non-Discworld Terry Pratchett including the Long Wars books.

As you can see from the photo, Ada Lovelace the Puppet is relaxing with one of her favourite book - Equal Rites. This is most apt for the Victorian Maths genius who made the fist computer programme (or would have been if there'd been a computer to actually run it on!). She was educated but that was unusual for a women in her era, especially with maths and science but she excelled at it and this bought (and still does amazingly) a lot of hate.

She had to fight to be accepted academically, Equal Rites is about a young girl who ends up being a Wizard but is initially denied entry to the Unseen University. It seemed apt.

I actually took the photo for International Women's Day but I have included it in this post because apart from the issue of gender equality etc... it represents something else...

Ripples - "No one is finally dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away" - this is a quote from the Discworld series.

And Ada in many respects represents a ripple and the on going legacy of Terry Pratchett. Of course it is only one element of how she came to be but it is none the less still an element.

The story begins with me at school - my Chemistry Teacher Miss Scudder tries to explain the Discworld books to me and writes it down in my leavers book. It was given as an example of Sci-Fantasy that I would love - she was right.

So my science teacher introduced me to Terry Pratchett's work, again she was not the only one but she was the most authoritive? If that's the right word.

The books sustained me through my A'levels and stupid amounts of stress that we poor on our young adults in education. Then to university where again the mirrors and parrelles with various books helped me.

And finally the point at which I really felt like jacking the whole science thing in... Science of the Discworld appeared where they look at the geology/formation of our planet (our universe is accidently created by the Wizards). This book reminded me why I was damn well studying rocks!

Then of course things went catastrophic health wise but JK, Pullman and Pratchett where there as my comfort reads (along with the three Annes and "coughs" the point horrors). Reading them took on a slightly more abstract purpose, they showed twisty corkscrews of lives, not the nice neat progressions that is expected.

In short they helped me reform to new paths and to climb around, under and sometimes into the obsticals that got in my way. They showed me that other routes are not wrong routs just different.

In many ways the books helped me think outside the box as it were - Cuddly Science, the art, the craft, the writing etc... all of that and how I use it and fuse it... is a little bit off centre as it were. Terry Pratchett showed me with his mirror worlds that that was great, that was how the world gets changed for the better... little by little by little.

So my science teacher introduced me to the Discworld, the Discworld, sustained my and kept me interested in science, taught me to think squiggly, squiggly thinking lead to me making puppets to teach kids science.

These are RIPPLES.


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