ScrapHappy February 2020: Spring has almost sprung

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Rusty Connector – worst name for a sex therapist ever

The issue with not replacing stuff every time a new version comes out is that eventually entropy takes its toll and it needs mending. Sometimes, the manufacturer (as in last month’s post) makes it impossible to fix but other times…

Take our CD player remote control. Now put it back. Thank you. The batteries last so long in it that they tend to start leaking before they have actually stopped powering the device and that slight chemical spillage leads to corrosion of the battery connector. Then it does stop working by which time it is usually quite hard to clean the corrosion off.

Time to remove it completely…

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The connector no longer, er, connected.

Remember that old biro you removed the spring from way back in the noughties, and then left on a shelf? Well, that has finally proved to be useful as a new battery terminal.

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Once in a biro, now in a remote control: the varied life of a ScrapHappy spring.

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As good as new!

And that is a quick ScrapHappy fix!

oOo

These ScrapHappy posts are curated by Kate, who provides links to other (mostly sewing) ScrapHappy bloggers at Tall Tales from Chiconia on the fifteenth of every month. I have sneaked a non-fabric-based ScrapHappy in when no one was looking!

Lots of other happy scrappers contribute too, so check them out: KateGun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, JanKaren,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean, Johanna,
Joanne, Jon (me), HayleyDawn, Gwen, Connie and Bekki

 

Categories: recycling, repair, ScrapHappy, Sustainable Stuff | Tags: , | 13 Comments

Right to Repair

After my ‘escapade’ with a mirror, here’s an electronics take on the right to repair… I’m off to sign the petition at repair.eu!

Stuart's Weblog

Extending the life

We are at a strange junction of history. We have unprecedented access to technology. The number and capability of single board computers, sensor chips, even things like FPGAs that are available to the hobbiest, is amazing.

At the same time we have a massive removal of normal consumer rights from the ability and the right to access their own technology. Consumer devices are sealed shut with glues, special screws, warning stickers that threaten the user with dire consequences should they have the tenacity to break them. But the main method of sealing goods is to do it with software, and the aid of copyright protections.

The Digital Millennium Copyright act in the US and many similar laws make it a crime to break a software lock that is protecting a copyright work, even if the reason is legal. So we have seen a explosion of software in devices, and as…

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Science and Art (with a couple of beasties too) Part the Second…

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DoMe a favour… beasties on the Meridian

All that science! After the Science Museum, it was a quick hop on the Jubilee Line to North Greenwich and the NOW Gallery, where I had seen that there was an interesting new piece of art to do with time. Well, I am a sucker for time-related things so it was ironic that when I arrived at half past one, the gallery was closed for lunch. If only I had remembered my time machine…

I had lunch in The Greenwich Kitchen which I recommend for its genuine friendliness and fantastic scotch eggs.

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Timey-wimey art

This particular installation is comprised of numbers, cut out of paper, suspended from the ceiling and was created by the artist Emmanuelle Moureaux who does this sort of thing all the, er, time. Here is how the gallery describes it on their website:

“Inspired by the gallery’s location on the Greenwich Peninsula, near to the Meridian, marking time and composed of layers of numbers in 100 shades of colours and white, the installation expresses the flow of time. Each layer of numbers reflects the now, the past and the future, the exhibition will be a round representation of the earth floating in the gallery space.  A moment, a slice of time.” 

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The low light level and multitude of individual objects meant my phone camera wasn’t very happy hence the blurriness of the pictures, but, hey, I claim that time is fuzzy anyway so the pictures make the art more realistic.

There was a certain peacefulness about those numbers hanging there, gently swaying, not touchable (really, don’t touch), marking out years and dates in no particular order. Perhaps this is a view of the passage of time that makes more sense…

The Beasties and I headed back to Reading, our heads filled with colourful artistic representations of time, which was just as well because our train was delayed.

oOo

 

Categories: Artwork, Universe | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Science and Art (with a couple of Beasties too) Part the First…

… or SOMETIMES WHEN YOU’RE WRITING A NOVEL, IT’S GOOD TO GET OUT FOR A BIT, ER, PART THE FIRST

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Beasties ensuring I don’t get up to too much mischief

As one or two of you* may be aware, I have been working away from home during the week for the last 18 months, back in my old home-from-home Reading. I have friends down here so, whilst it is hard being away from the Snail and the pups, my homesickness is softened by good company (and maybe a shandy or two** from time-to-time).

My contract in the real world concluded at the end of 2019 leaving me with 6 months rental on a flat. I decided to take this opportunity to use it as a base to finish novel number 3 and start on novel number 4 and possibly even number 5. Possibly.

The thing is, I can walk to Reading railway station and be no more than about 10 minutes or so from a train to London, so it seems rude not to avail oneself of that every now and again (back in Wales, I live 20 miles from the nearest station that only has trains that go north).

To London, then, with a nifty backpack filled with a reusable mug, JonBeastie and JanBeastie (see here for more beastie details). Our first port of call was the Science Museum, home at the moment to an exhibition of objects relating to Britain’s code-breaking expertise over the last century.

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Not my old typewriter, honest, but an SG41, a very rare German cipher machine that was, unlike the more famous Enigma device, unbreakable by the geniuses at Bletchley Park.  

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A 5 UCO: a British cipher machine so secret, they were all destroyed after WW2. Somewhere, an old civil servant is being shown this picture and told “You had one job to do…”

There are, of course, millions of items in the museum but I did notice these two on my way out. This is a theorbo, somewhat reminiscent of a guitar I have:

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and this item, that made me feel so old, I felt I should have been in the case with it holding a sign saying “Example of typical owner”:

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Ancient technology, apparently

I saved up and bought my one in 1980 and it still works today, using the same Casio battery that came with it. It has a liquid crystal display with sufficient digits to show how old I am and, when I get home to Wales, I am going to check that it is still on my desk.

I needed something new and artistic to stop me going and taking up residence in the case with the prototype of the Clock of the Long Now, so I and beasties headed to…

TO BE CONTINUED…

oOo

* I reckon two.

** I reckon more than two.

 

Categories: Artwork, computers, Travel, Writing | Tags: , , , , | 6 Comments

ScrapHappy January 2020: Mirror Bawl

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Seven years bad luck for the courier

First off, I hope you all have a good 2020, and much ScrapHappiness!

Sorry – this ScrapHappy post is a bit angranty*!

A friend of mine is doing up a house, by which I mean he has been living in a building site for two years because doing a full-time job and renovating an old property are two largely incompatible tasks. As part of this, he bought himself a mirror to go in his bathroom, when he has actually put in the important stuff like a bath, or a wall. This mirror was a really fancy one, with LED lights around the frame and a de-mister heating pad on the glass itself.

As you can see, the first delivery was not as successful as it might have been. The company my friend bought it from did replace it and instructed him to bin the defunct one. So I offered to take that and see if I could replace the glass, as that was the only thing broken (as far as I could tell). What I discovered was that:

With the exception of the box of electronics, every single component in this mirror had been glued, with something that appeared to turn into concrete once set.

This means that replacing the glass or, indeed, the LEDs or the heater pad, is effectively impossible! And it wasn’t as if this product was manufactured just after WWII, when the world went “yay, we’re-off-rations” crazy and the throwaway society was born. This was made about six months ago, when to deny that climate change is a real thing happening now meant you were leader of a country.

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Everything stuck to everything else

Like I said, a ranty post. I managed to salvage the power supplies (for the LEDs and the heater) but couldn’t remove the LEDs, the heater pad or the polycarbonate surround because of the weld-like glue the manufacturers used.

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What I managed to rescue from landfill

Grr. A very angry Grr.

oOo

* Angranty (adj): Part angry, part ranty as in, er, <thinks of example> “this ScrapHappy post is a bit angranty”.

These ScrapHappy posts are curated by Kate, who provides links to other (mostly sewing) ScrapHappy bloggers at Tall Tales from Chiconia on the fifteenth of every month. I have sneaked a non-fabric-based ScrapHappy in when no one was looking!

Lots of other happy scrappers contribute too, so check them out: KateGun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, JanKaren,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean, Johanna,
Joanne, Jon (me), HayleyDawn, Gwen, Connie and Bekki

Categories: recycling, repair, ScrapHappy, Sustainable Stuff | Tags: , , , | 15 Comments

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