I can safely say it was the first time that this has happened in New Mills Leisure Centre. Nearly 80 people attended the first session, which was good for a local event. Many new demos made good use of the floor area and high ceiling, especially those involving projectiles. The only notable failure was the water-bomb parachute. A hilariously entertaining failure but I won't try it again indoors! But it was a true experiment: not just a mere demonstration...!
Local friends: I took this photo just a few minutes ago of this impressive 'mock sun' next to New Mills golf course. Take a quick look. It may still be visible. The sun itself is behind the large clump of trees and the bright iridescence to its left (south) is caused by ice crystals in those high-altitude clouds near the horizon.
Launching a 2-litres plastic bottle from the top of a wooden post at eye-level for safety.
Bug-hunting at Thornsett Fields Farm.
Among other things, I am the proud inventor of the 'Racing Hairbrushes' interactive exhibit at the Innovation Center Mill of Knowledge (Toruń, Poland). It is part of their new permanent exhibition - "... it's so simple!" for which I gave advice during the early design stages.
On Monday I was invited to a pirate party.
Here's my 'Bubble Colours' interactive exhibit at this year's Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition in London.
Quality time today with my godson.
Here's my 'running tiger': one of four interactives I produced for the WoW - Wonders of Wildlife temporary exhibition at the Museum of Natural Sciences, Brussels, last year. This one is a praxinoscope. You spin it round to to see a wonderfully lifelike animation. (I didn't stuff the tiger...)
It wasn't all play at #ecsite2016: I gave three PowerPoint presentations as well as my toys, tops and bubble show.
Tornadoes rotate anti-clockwise in the northern hemisphere. The grass would be left as it was pushed sideways by the rear edge of the spinning air mass. The grass is lying, pushed towards the camera. So the tornado was travelling from left to right.
Still finishing my presentations for this week's Ecsite Conference in Austria:
Three Powerpoint presentations, two hands-on tabletop 'workshops' and an outdoor evening bubble show...
Always good to see happy, smiling faces of people engaging (sounds more pretentious than 'playing') with my exhibits. Just received this photo from Tor Inge Rasmussen in Norway.
A delightful day at today's Dads-and-Kids event at St James' Primary School, Glossop. But I couldn't help noticing that an unusually large percentage of the adult audience abstained when asked to raise their hands to vote for the predicted outcome of some experiments. Clearly, dads have issues...
Local schools have booked me for a water-bomb trebuchet session in High Lea Park, New Mills, on the morning of Friday 13th May. Fortunately I'm not superstitious. What could possibly go wrong?
I finally got three reasonable photos of today's 'transit of Mercury', using a better camera. Taken shortly after 4pm BST. My assistant is pointing out the silhouette of the planet. The larger, irregularly shaped splodge to the left is a sunspot.
Mini-interactives for the Children's Museum in Amman, Jordan, packed in fitted flight-cases and ready to go.
The sun was shining, so I paid a visit to High Lea Park on my way home from the workshop.
We have just been for a walk, down in the Torrs, in New Mills. We were leaning on the parapet of the bridge by Torr Mill, watching the river, when we began a conversation with a friendly woman passing by with her dog. After answering her question about the footpath closure because of the dangerous condition of the rock-face, I mentioned our new information display outside the Heritage Centre.
At once, she proudly told us that her grandson was the young boy mentioned on the new sign on the nearby handrail: the boy who discovered that it works as a speaking tube.
I told her that I was the person who put the sign there, after seeing her grandson shout into it as he walked past with his father and brother.
It further emerged that she lives right next to the location of my next local 'guerilla science-communication' project, at Chain Horse House, where I'm planning to hang another sign drawing attention to 300-million-years-old water-ripple-marks in the stone paving slabs.
We've had stupendously spectacular skies today. I couldn't resist stopping the car beside New Mills golf course to take this snapshot with my phone half an hour ago. A lone walker hurries to escape a cloudburst sweeping across in front of the Kinder plateau.