A year ago, I got to marry the most intelligent, patient, kind, and inquisitive person I’ve ever met. On the surface, we seem like intellectual opposites – he’s STEM and I’m Liberal Arts – but we share a lot in common, and our interests often overlap in surprising ways. When I wanted to write about derivatives, he helped me clearly express what I wanted to say with the right amount of math. When he wanted to write about idioms, I talked him through the various ways that idioms function and why they’re useful. And we both love New Orleans Jazz, cooking, hiking, BBC’s In Our Time, and Norse mythology.
To celebrate our first anniversary, we’re having a week-long mini makers fair (of sorts).
1) It’s time to finish Meduseld:
We got this amazing 3D puzzle of Meduseld, the Gold Hall of Rohan, for Christmas one year, and got through everything but the roof. Since then, we’ve gotten married and moved into a new apartment, and it still has no roof. We’ll have to do some repairs first, and then we plan to see it to the end. I’m not sure what we’ll do with it once it’s finished – shellack it? Glue it together somehow?
2) We’re going to make a huge pot of gumbo.
3) Then we’re going to build this replica of Da Vinci’s Catapult:
This caught our eye one day as we walked by a Marbles: The Brain Store at the mall. It was the perfect impulse buy, and we’re both super excited about it.
4) We’re going to do some painting:
I’d been keeping my paint supplies in a large plastic tub for as long as I can remember, and as my gift, the husband got me this amazing wooden case and some fresh new supplies.
5) And finally, for our biggest feat, we’re going to assemble this wooden orrery:
An orrery is a device for demonstrating the motion of the planets in the solar system, typically made with gears and brass and all sorts of cool looking bits and bobs. Orreries first came onto our collective radar a couple of years ago after we saw the incredible, absolutely monstrous, ones on a tour of a Gilded Age mansion. We saw them again at a science museum, and I thought then to get one for my husband for Christmas. My first search yielded only options that were unspeakably expensive or way too large to be practical, and when it came time to do more research, I got busy and forgot what I was looking for.
Then, one of his projects for his self-designed challenge 30 Days of Python (which is awesome from start to finish) was to program a simulation of an orrery. Its easily my favorite day of his series. What I love about it is that it’s adaptable – he has the traditional heliocentric model, of course, but his program also lets you define any point of reference as the “center”, allowing you to get a clear visualization of what planetary motion looks like from earth, giving a glimpse of Greek epicycles. His screen capture is pretty awesome (and there’s video, if you follow the link!).
I went back into research mode, and found this beauty – a small, wooden kit we can build together, with visible gears.
It’s going to be awesome.