Thursday, June 12, 2008

a change in slope

My little sunflower sproutlet dried up and died today in the scorching Boston sun. I came home around 8pm today to find it shriveled up and broken off of its roots. No chance for recovery on that one!! Oh boo, my first casualty. Yesterday evening, along with the sunflower, I also planted some zucchini seeds and some zinnia seeds. My plot is mostly full of vegetable plants, which are obviously utilitarian, but I couldn't resist having just one row of lovely flowers! Pops of color! My mom is officially my long-distance gardening consultant, and she is full of tips and infinite knowledge. Best mom ever.

In other news today, my experiment sort of partially worked! I revamped the little furnace I was using, carefully crafting a sample stage from misshapen blocks of crumbly white insulation and a small plate of silicon carbide, which is the opposite of the insulation blocks when it comes to machinability. To cut the silicon carbide, you have to slowly abrade the material with a spinning diamond blade, which is slow and noisy, while the mullite insulation will slice with a utility knife like a stick of butter. Anyway, after almost giving up hope on ever succeeding with this experiment, I finally measured something - something that is different from nothing. So this is a step in the right direction, although probably only one step down a path that will require about fifty more. Anyway, small success of the week. High five!

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