Sunday, May 30, 2010

Tag Sale Loot

Every six months, my parents' church holds a tag sale. I managed to drag myself out of bed early enough to go today, and I got some really cool stuff.

I got a compass - the circle-drawing type, not the direction-finding type - to replace my old one which is sticky in some places and loose in others. This one is smooth in all places, and will be rather useful when drawing circles for nose cones and transitions.

I got a miniature flying pan, about 6" across with a 4" bottom. It has a rubber-coated handle for safety. And a little metal stand? How cool is that? I plan to use it for firey experiments, where I can burn stuff in the pan, or use a candle or alcohol lamp underneath.

I got a little keyhole saw, with a thin little footlong blade. Useful for cutting circles out of plywood.

Best of all I got a little electronic scale, runs off a 9V battery. 5 pounds capacity (actually 5 lbs 5.6 oz...) in 0.1 oz steps. That's 2270 (actually 2370) grams capacity in 2.83 g steps for you Canucks, Brits, and Aussies and other metric folks. Perfect for measuring rockets and such, so that I can simulate them more accurately. Especially nice for determining what size parachute to use for my larger rockets.

I also bought six books:

The Double Helix by James Watson. An account of the discovery of the double-helix structure of DNA and general comments on DNA, from one of the main men involved.

Dragon by Clive Cussler. A general techno-thriller in the Dirk Pitt series. With Japanese terrorists and a third nuclear bomb that never made it to Japan.

Red Phoenix by Larry Bond. A military thriller of a second Korean War. Doubly appropriate given the recent tensions over there.

Never Have Your Dog Stuffed. The first part of Alan Alda's autobiography.

The Elements of Color: a translated work authored by Johannes Itten. A treatise on color theory - very interesting.

Godel, Escher, Bach by Douglas Hofstadter. So much cool stuff on mathematics, music, programming, and art. It's as close as you can get to a complete liberal arts equation in one book.

3 comments:

Jake said...

Keep an eye out for radium watches at tag sales, I picked one up a few weeks back:
http://scientific29.blogspot.com/2010/04/radium-watch-dial.html

The EGE said...

Ooh, yeah, gotta keep my eyes out for those.

fencer_22 said...

Allen Alda has an autobiography?, huh tell me if it's any good.