Thursday, June 15, 2006

Cuddle Me Backwards

The thought of people poking about in my brain has been occupying my thoughts for a lot of the day. Actually that's a fib - the film Fantastic Voyage has been occupying my thoughts. If you don't know the film the basic plot is that a surgical team is miniaturized and inserted into a dying man to try and blast a blood clot in his brain with a laser. They have 12 hours or something before the submarine they are in reverts to full size again, so they have to be outside the body before then. As usual Things Go Wrong for the scientists (played by Stephen Boyd, Raquel Welch, and Donald Pleasence etc.) and they have to take a short cut out of the patienrts tear ducts. What has always puzzled me about that movie, even as a kid when I first saw it, is what happened to the bezillion gallons of miniturised water the submarine was sitting in when it got shrinky-dinked? Surely that would revert to full size at the same time.

I spent tonight round at the parents playing scrabble with them and Dan, and trying to design a low-tech homemade midge catching machine. We've just hit the hight of the midge season here and the little buggers are as horrible, and ubiquitous, as ever. Midges are attracted to sources of carbon dioxide (mainly tourists) but last night I noticed there was an almost solid swarm of them over the compost heap. I guess rotting vegetation gives off a lot of the right sort of smell. Commercial midge eating machines work by pumping out CO2 made by burning Propane gas and sucking the attracted creatures into a little cage. They retail for around £400 - which is about £395 more than I can afford to spend at the moment. It occured to me I already had a CO2 source in the compost heap. All I needed was something to suck up the gathered beasties. Current plans involve some plastic waste pipe, bits of cannibalised computers (chip cooling fans, and relevent transformers), and a pair of old tights. Alternatively I may just take the vacuum cleaner out there on an extension cable.

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