Tag Archives: potato

Science Fair

Science Fair by Circespeaks

Science Fair by Circespeaks

…I may now be cured, until another WordPress update comes along, or it seems sensible to upgrade to iOS 7,of creating posts in my iPhone. 700 words gone into the ether.

Fractured, Refracted, Diffracted…distraction. How can two adults who are neither interested in watching television, nor working a crossword puzzle spend the evening? We watched an excellent three-part series on PBS–presumably a BBC production about British barristers–called Silk a couple of months ago. PBS has since disappointed with an absolutely awful knock-off of Downton Abbey called Paradise, which I cannot recommend to any but the truly desperate.

Out of my writing struggle not to mix metaphors, came the idea to actually see diffracted light. The hook in the first sentence developing my thought was the word “facet.” When reviewing my work, I discovered a classic example of mixed metaphors. In the very next sentence, a theorist was “untangling braided, hopelessly intertwined ideas.” The facets of the theory, and not their condition of being hopelessly intertwined was my subject, so I followed with “fractured light.” Dictionary.com and resident scientist were both fairly clear that I could have fractured metal, or stone, but not fractured light. The light being shed would have to be refracted or diffracted. Searching definitions forced me not to improperly diffract that meaning of the word “fractured.” It also led to links and YouTube videos explaining light diffraction–the bending of light–and, at last, to a simple science experiment. I think what I actually saw was refracted light, not diffracted, but I’m not sure. The horizontal bar I saw between the tiny slit in two pencils held tightly together, was a multi-hued bar code of lights. Further research may reveal whether this was due to near-sightedness, astigmatism, or not conducting the experiment correctly.

Tonight’s plan, despite the fact that it is Monday, and both work and Monday night football could cause complications, is to bring out the potato, lemon and penny. My jumper cables were well-used last winter. Not only did I rescue other drivers, but I was also rescued because I had the cables in my trunk. Honestly, though, I still don’t understand why some people insist on grounding one of the cables on plastic. Is it on plastic? Something about batteries exploding and acid in the face and eyes. So I put on glasses or sunglasses and jump back quickly, but that may not be the best plan. It seems I haven’t really learned the third-grade science lesson about electric currents and how they flow. Update tomorrow.

In the meantime, I have easy ideas for science fair experiments for your third-grader (who isn’t intent on winning first prize or in a science magnet school.) Do you have ideas for easy science experiments that I can do at home?