Maisy's Blog

May 9, 2016
by Maisy
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Polymer Project Entry #4

From the beginning, when we were given the starting point of creating a grip, our group almost immediately thought of cups. However, the idea of creating a handle would not be good enough. Therefore, we evolved our idea into a polymer that could wrap around the cup to form a tight and comfortable grip for the user. I quickly sketched out a possible vision for the final prototype, and how it’d actually work. From there on, we went into exploring the different types of basic polymers, and concluded that it would be the most beneficial if our polymer were to be based off of boogers. Therefore, during the first trials, we used it as a starting point, and constantly throughout the rest, began to add different amounts of other materials in order to find that perfect balance.

 

In order to optimize the effectiveness of the polymers, we constantly checked the stretch and the hold of each prototype. We compared the polymers that we had created, and evaluated the consistency of the different prototypes. Through the different experiments, it was important to remember to add things one by one, step by step, and always mark down everything that we had added. When creating the prototype, most of our mistakes occurred during the process of mixing. With the glue, it was critical to mix it thoroughly before adding anything else. The glue easily became stringy and although created the best results, was the hardest to work with. Creating the final polymer was difficult because although we were using the exact same materials for the final polymer as our most successful one, the result just didn’t seem to match. No matter how much it was kneaded or how much glue was added, the stick was not as we had expected. Ever time we kneaded it, the polymer folded over itself and just wouldn’t stick properly. In order to try to even keep it in a workable state, we had to constantly add PVA solution. However, the next day, the polymer took a totally different turn and suddenly gained the stick that we had been hoping for. It had the stretch and the bounce that we had been looking for, and although it was not perfect, it was workable.

 

Subsequent to the presentation day, I learned from our groups video that planning between group members was important because when it comes to the final infomercial and product, the work that needs to be done should be clear between all group members. In addition, while explain our polymer, before even presenting, we should make sure that we have properly prepared the polymer for a demonstration. However, it is also important that we introduce our product goal and our final polymer properly during the presentation as well as in our infomercial.

 

Demonstration of How Our Polymer Is Wrapped Around Cup:

IMG_0091

 

Final Infomercial:

 

May 3, 2016
by Maisy
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Different From All the Others

Just because some choose to stay quiet, it never means that their minds aren’t swirling with thoughts. 15 year-old Christopher John Francis Boone in the book The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime has just given himself a mystery to solve. Seven minutes after midnight, he stumbles upon the slain body of Wellington, his neighbour Mrs. Shears’s dog, lying in the middle of her lawn. Just like that, the entire story kicked off. After the incident, the various characteristics of Christopher began to protrude right away. Although it is never officially stated in the novel at any point, it can be easily interpreted that he is a teenager with autism, which in the novel, helps him form different traits and characteristics. Starting from the beginning of the book, Christopher becomes portrayed as structured and straightforward character with unique stand points, yet has an inability to connect with the world around him.

 

Because of Christopher’s condition, the world in his eyes is very direct. There are no maybes; only black and white, wrong and right – one one set of rules. His brain functions with order and his own interpretations of a logical sequence. Even with something as simple as this attitude throughout the day, he has his own logical way to set his mood. “…4 red cars in a row made it a Good Day, and 3 red cars in a row made it a Quite Good Day, and 5 red cars in a row made it a Super Good Day, and why 4 yellow cars in a row made it a Black Day, which is a day when I don’t speak to anyone and sit on my own reading books and don’t eat my lunch and Take No Risks.” (Haddon, 24) No matter how perfect or depressing his day has been laid out, Christopher based his mood out from the order of cars. In his view point, creating a set of rules for himself is the most logical and structured way of his life, and made the world around him seem nice and orderly. A day subsequent to the murder, despite his originally upsetting mood, he watched as 4 red cars passed by, and decided that he should turn his mood around. Later on, he encountered 4 yellow cars on the way to school, marking it a bad day. As a result, he isolated himself for the rest of the day and skipped a meal. Yet, even when he loves things to be so logical and structured, things that seem so direct to others, seem much more intricate to him.

 

When it comes to Christopher, his views on different topics and the ways he looks problems, are often unique and different in comparison to the sequence of a normal mind. When others thing simple, basic, and surface, Christopher finds another way to interpret it. For example, “Mr. Jeavons said that I liked maths because it was safe. … problems were difficult and interesting … straightforward answer at the end. And what he meant was that maths wasn’t like life because in life there are no straightforward answers at the end.” (Haddon, 49) This shows that where others find one answer, he finds another. It’s a common thought that maths only have one answer, but Christopher added his own twist. Because of his choice to often keep to himself, it allows additional time for his mind to view topics in-depth and go beyond. In addition, the way the book is structured is based on his own logical pattern of prime numbers instead of using the usual cardinal numbers. Because he finds an easier way with prime numbers, the book is structured in this unique sequence. However, because of his own uniqueness, it sometimes causes a barrier between him and everything around.

 

Christopher is shown in the novel to have a difficult time connecting with the rest of the world. Because of his inability to portray and interpret certain emotions, he can never tell the tone of someone’s voice or even determine facial expressions. “I got Siobhan to draw lots of these faces and then write down next to them exactly what they meant … piece of paper in my pocket and took it out when I didn’t understand what someone was saying … difficult to decide which of the diagrams was most like the face they were making because people’s faces move very quickly.” (Haddon, 4) Although Christopher does in fact put an effort into connecting, sometimes, it just doesn’t work out as well. In his world, its only black and white. Due to his inability caused by the mild autism, sometimes, it’s just easier to turn away. From his point of view, conversation just becomes pointless talk about a topic with no eventual purpose. Even if his mind holds miles and miles of intelligence, if you can’t have a real conversation or even tell sense any sorts of emotion, then what good does that do? Consequentially, its completely closed doors. No emotional contact, and definitely no physical. Even when Christopher even gets the urge to confront people, there’s a big probability that despite his efforts, the smallest hints of suspicion will turn him away. Confronting a neighbour puts fearing in him that they’ll report him, whereas being in a small prison cell, gave him comfort.

 

Unique. No other words can describe him. Christopher lived in his own little world where logic and structure meant contentment, yet his mind would always create intricate and unique thoughts on ideas. However, his inability to start conversation created a barrier between Christopher and the world, restricting him from sharing his intelligence with the world. Yet, nothing stops him from letting his mind twist and turn to solve the mystery of the curious incident of the dog in the night time.

 

May 3, 2016
by Maisy
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One Man Army

Independence. Finding your own world. It’s never as easy as it seems. It’s not just about being alone or surviving a day without parents. It’s learning to fight in your one man army – confronting new environments and situations, solving your own problems. Branching off of this, a major theme in the novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon is shown.

 

Christopher Bonne had a path for independence, starting from a struggle. Even from the beginning, even though Christopher lived in his own world and loved to remain alone, he was never truly independent. He had an inability to understand people or the world around him, and struggled to even make the simplest of decisions. Everything in his world revolved around fear, and communication was the worst of all. “I do not like strangers because I do not like people I have never met before. ” (Haddon, 31) If isolation is the way to go, independence will never be proven. Independence includes confronting fears, and if Christopher had tried to avoid it, he would’ve never shown his full potential. Talking to people is the one of the only ways to solve problems or connect with others. Without these two things, the struggle for independence would remain intact. Yet, even though at certain points, he had not proven himself, an effort to do so could always be shown.

 

Through the novel, Christopher had his moments to show that he was on a gradual path to becoming more independent. Christopher’s quarrels and lies between his father, although seemingly shown as disobedience, could also be shown as an attempt of independence. Another part of independence lies in self confidence. When Christopher disobeys, it is proof of him standing up to his thoughts and showing that he is worth something. “And he said, ‘Is this true? Did you talk to Mrs. Alexander?’ … And I said, ‘Yes.’ “(Haddon, 62)  Even though his father told him to stay away, Christopher believed in his investigation and what was needed. As a result, he continued to do what he wanted to, and proved his independence by doing so. Not only did he grow self confidence in his own ideas, but he made his own choices. He followed through with his an original plan, and went through with his own decisions no matter what others thought. In addition, his quarrels were proof of standing up to himself, contrasting from his usual decision of hiding in fear. It showed progression and growth in his character, proof that he was one step to becoming the independent character most of us hope to achieve. Eventually, even though the process was hard, Christopher finally proved himself.

 

Subsequent to finding the letters, Christopher became an independent character. Discovering the truth pushed him to the edge and forced him to leave behind the serene life that he had become so accustomed to. “I unlocked the back door and stepped outside.” (Haddon, 89) With that one move, the old Christopher was gone. Christopher managed to survive and confronted all his fears to move forward. He was determined and solved his own problems he encountered and never gave up. It was true independence. He was in his own world again, but this time, he was a leader. He controlled it all, and made his own decision to travel to London seeking his mother. The task itself would seem near impossible to almost everyone in his position, therefore, the trip served as the greatest step towards independence. It was like the final test. Responsibility. Interaction. Navigating the unknown. Confrontation. Christopher pushed through it all. In the end, his superior score on an A-Level test was like the icing on a cake. It forged a path way for all the new potential that had been created, and opened him up to endless possibilities and a brighter future.

 

Christopher’s path towards independence may have been easy, but the result was phenomenal. From a struggle to being independent by living in isolation, and an attempt through self confidence, forged a new character; one’s who’s potential was now limitless. Through all the obstacles he confronted, Christopher Boone was gifted the ability to over come challenges on his own. From a boy curled into a ball, he emerged and became his own one man army.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 3, 2016
by Maisy
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The Truth is Everything

Everyone has secrets to hide because the truth never likes to be found. Maybe its stored deep down, or it learns to avoid being discovered, just like the truth of the murder of Wellington and Christopher’s mom’s ‘death’ in the book The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon. Christopher’s father, Ed Boone had been hiding so much for years of Christopher’s life, and with one missing book, Christopher reached into a shirt box and pulled out the truth. “And that was when I saw the envelope. It was an envelope addressed to me and it was lying under my book in the shirt box with some other envelopes.” (Haddon, 72) The envelop consisted of a letter addressed to him, in which he soon discovered was written by his mother, 18 months subsequent to her death. From that very moment on, the truth began to unravel; the truth about the murder of Wellington, of his father’s affair, and most important of all, the truth about his mother.

 

When Christopher reached inside the box and pulled out the envelope, it represented the truth; the truth that had been hidden from him for so long. Therefore, I created a GIF that represented truth finally being discovered. The box opens up to a piece of paper that says ‘truth’ showing the scene in which Christopher discovers the letter. Instead of showing this part of the novel in a literal way, I decided to let the word symbolize all that had been brought about with the envelope. I chose this particular scene in the book because it represented the turning point in the novel. Prior to this, secrets surrounded his world and the mystery of the curious incident of the dog in the night time weighed him down. However, after this scene, the novel takes a huge turn Christopher’s whole life is turned around, throwing his simple, structured, and logical life all away because the truth is everything.

Here is the link to thee gif below (in the format of iMovie):

truth

April 29, 2016
by Maisy
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Polymer Project Entry #3

Creating the polymers was all about finding the right balance between the materials and using their properties to our advantage.

 

Polyme0-weu-d2-28a0a2c3a69e1a7ca5eab564aa7367a2r Prototype #1 (success)

 

During my plan for creating the polymer, I decided to base my polymer on boogers, and add small amounts of other materials to balance out the stickiness and rubbery feeling of each. I started by creating the booger based by adding 1 cm of glue into a plastic cup and 10 ml of cornstarch. However, the materials were not well mixed and became overly stringy. I attempted to decrease the stringiness by adding [insert material name here], however, it only made it worse. The glue was difficult to mix, causing the stringiness. Therefore, I scratch my original idea and decided to create boogers using PVA solution instead of glue. This time, I added 20 ml of PVA solution, and the mixture was smooth. However, the PVA solution caused the polymer to become too slimy. Therefore, I added 15 ml of borax and dipped the polymer in cornstarch.  In addition, I added 2 drops of blue food coloring. When the polymer would not stick well to itself, I added 5ml of PVA solution each time. I put in a pinch of guar gum and balanced out amounts of borax and cornstarch. In the end, the polymer became a material like gloop, however, had a stronger hold and stuck to itself well, and also had a medium thickness. It could bounce relatively well and could stretch well around the cup.

 

Polymer Prototype #2 (not success)

 

During my plan for the second trial, I attempted to recreate my first polymer design but modify it so that it could be thicker. However, this time, the result resembled super slime and no matter how much of other materials I added, I could not modify it to the original polymer. The different materials had no effect. When I tried to add glue, the polymer became stringy again and had to be thrown away.

 

Polymer Prototype #3 (FINAL)

 

This prototype was an attempt of a recreation of Edward’s first design. This was a success because It could bounce well and rubbery feeling to it, playing a part in how we wanted the grip to help protect the cup if dropped or jammed. In addition, the polymer was soft and was sticky enough to stay onto the cup, but wouldn’t stick onto our hands.

 

Final Materials:

 

-15ml of Laundry Starch

 

-1 cm of glue

 

-1.2g of guar gum

 

-10ml of borax

 

-3g of cornstarch

  1. Measure 1cm of glue and pour it into a plastic cup.

 

  1. Pour in 15ml of laundry starch.

 

  1. Use a mixing stick to combine the glue and starch making sure that it is fully mixed and smooth.

 

  1. Take the mixture out of the cup and kneed fully for 1-2 minutes.

 

  1. Pinch guar gum onto polymer and kneed properly.

 

  1. Soak in borax and kneed again.

 

  1. Pour the cornstarch onto the table and roll polymer in it.

 

  1. Continue kneading until fully combined and smooth.

 

0-weu-d2-84f892378c139820e57cd7d120a39757

April 25, 2016
by Maisy
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Polymer Project Entry #2

During the tests of the different polymers, I discovered that each had multiple properties. The main observation from the oobleck was the idea that when it was poked softly, the polymer would be liquid, whereas if it was hit hard, it felt like a solid. These properties cause it to become difficult to mold into certain shapes and/or hold together. Another polymer created was boogers, a material that was easily moldable. This causes it to be a promising component to the creation of my polymer because in addition to its strong hold, it also has a decent stretch value. A material similar to boogers was gloop. Although it has the hold of boogers, it is less sticky and has a less stretch value. The fourth polymer tested was the super slime. This was very slimy and and had little stretch. If the material is pulled slower, is caused it to have better stretch.

In order to create the most effective polymer, I hope that it will have the right balance texture and create a strong hold, yet as a decent stretch. Therefore, I’d like to use the components of the boogers but all a little more thickness and rubber to it. I plan to include the PVA glue and guar gum to create the stickiness and hold for the polymer. However, I will also have to see the different effects between the PVA glue and solution, and the compare and contrast the polymers that is created. In addition, I hope that the borax will help with the molding of the polymer without decreasing too much of the stretch, along with corn starch in order to add thickness to the polymer.

When testing the polymer, I will mark the effectiveness by looking at how well it is molded, how it forms and reacts when poked, as well as its stretch value and stick. With the test of the mold, after letting go of the polymer, if the shape formed with my hand holds, the hold element of the polymer is successful. When it comes to the stretchiness, the polymer should be able to wrap around the entire cup without rips.

 

April 19, 2016
by Maisy
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Polymer Project Entry #1

Maisy - scan

The simplest tasks always have the smallest slip ups at times, even if its as simple of a task like holding cups. The goal of my polymer is to create a grip for cups without handles, allowing for a comfortable and secure/tight holding grip. By creating the grip, the person drinking from the cup will have the cup adjust to their hand shape and size, creating a strong grip. In addition, the grip will provide protection to the cup and keep it from breaking as easily. My target audience is kids because they are often clumsy with simple tasks like holding cups. Hopefully the cup will allow for an easy guide for this audience. However, our product will also be targeted towards people who just want to sit back and relax. The grip will provide for an easier way to hold the cup, giving them a more relaxed experience when having a drink while sitting back. I want my polymer to be easily molded and hold together well in order for the grip to be formed around the cup and be adjusted to the user’s hand.

 

April 19, 2016
by Maisy
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Alone

“Alone”

BY EDGAR ALLAN POE

From childhood’s hour I have not been
As others were—I have not seen
As others saw—I could not bring
My passions from a common spring—
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow—I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone—
And all I lov’d—I lov’d alone—
Then—in my childhood—in the dawn
Of a most stormy life—was drawn
From ev’ry depth of good and ill
The mystery which binds me still—
From the torrent, or the fountain—
From the red cliff of the mountain—
From the sun that ’round me roll’d
In its autumn tint of gold—
From the lightning in the sky
As it pass’d me flying by—
From the thunder, and the storm—
And the cloud that took the form
(When the rest of Heaven was blue)
Of a demon in my view—

from – http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/46477