Thursday, February 24, 2011

Gravity's Rainbow

No, I haven't read the book. Hux has, but she is more tenacious than I. I gave Pynchon's V a try last year, and never even made it to the 50 page mark. I find him impenetrable. Henry James level impenetrable.

I digress. I'd been debating building one of those Estes rockets for a few months, and we finally pulled the trigger last weekend. Bought the kit, built 2 rockets Friday night (I built, the girls painted), let the glue dry overnight. Pictures are below; dig that crazy spaceman. I love how art begets art: you start out painting a rocket and end up making clay spacemen. Notice the clay heart and arrow off to the side.

The next afternoon I, Hux, the girls, my Dad, and a couple tag-a-long kids from the neighborhood, drove out past the city limits for our first test flights. Ten minutes of setup for 90 seconds of excitement, and well worth it. I doubt I'll become an enthusiast, but it sure seems like a fun way to spend a summer afternoon. Next up: double stage rockets. Woo-hoo!

Plus, I got to sneak some science in, about Newton's third law of motion: for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Next time out I'll talk about parabolas, described so elegantly by Pynchon as "gravity's rainbow".

Just because I haven't read it doesn't mean I don't catch the reference.


Fresca said...

What are these rockets of which you speak?
I think I want me one.

LOVE the clay astronauts.

Clowncar said...

They are so cool! Go to a Hobby Lobby, or some sort of crafts store, and get a kit. Exacto knife + glue + paint = fun! And that's before you even shoot it off!

These were around in our youth, and the technology appears to have changed very little in the intervening decades.