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Canada Helicopter

Heli-birds

This past week has not been particularly eventful, though the snow is back as is the cold. I even bought an extension lead to plug in the block heater for the first time since we have had it. Though we both plan on walking to work tomorrow, even though there is a forecast for a low of -30, which they claim will ‘feel like’ -42. Should be bitter.

So working back through the weekend, I rebuilt my helicopter into a new chassis, which I don’t plan on breaking in a crash. I hope that this will give me some amount of fear of crashing and thus push me harder to be better. To rebuild I had to completely strip the helicopter from the old broken chassis. The pictures tell the story better than the words, though the screws are so small. It’s hard to conceive their actual size from the pictures, but I assure you, they’re tiny.

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That bearing is the smallest roller bearing I have ever seen! The coin in the pictures is a Dollar or as it is commonly known in Canada, a Loony, after the bird on the tails side of the coin. It is about the size of an English 50p piece.

Sunday morning I happened to look out of our kitchen window upon the snow scene, when my eye settled on the tree by the stained glass place. The tree was clearly providing sustenance, in the form of the small red berries that currently adorn it and contrast so beautifully with the white snow, for a number of Cedar Waxwings (Bombycilla cedrorum). I counted between 12 and 15 of them. My pictures don’t really do their plumage justice as the windows are not what one might consider to be clear and transparent.

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Pretty aren’t they? I am not sure that I have ever observed this species before, perhaps I have not been concentrating in the past. Then again the tree has so many berries on it, that I doubt anything has been eating them at much of a rate. I would wager that if each bird weighs 30g, and consumes its own body weight of food during the course of a day, that 15 of these things could consume 450g of berries. Now I am stumped as I don’t know a, how many berries there are on the tree, and b. how much one berries would weight. So the wagers of off. Sorry.

I had my microscope out and took a picture of the LEDs which make up the computer monitor display. The three colours are actually LED lamps, you’re seeing them though the two polarizing filters which allow for reducing brightness of each individual LED.

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I keep meaning to take a picture of a snow flake through the microscope, one day soon I’ll bring you said picture. Soon.. not date mentioned..

Hannah: “Our lives are not that boring, but Brendan had a lot of time on his own this week, as I haven’t had much time off, what with colleagues being sick and holiday cover (plus teaching and attending directors meetings). We’re going to a Curling Bonspiel this coming Saturday, that should be good fun”

Brendan: “I completely fail see how this blog post could possibly construe that we have boring lives.. Just because I took the time to understand how the LED monitor works…”

One reply on “Heli-birds”

We love you Brendan and we love your blog – we look forward to reading it.
When we read about the screws we immediately thought of FWB at Threemilestone. We wonder if they stuck them?
We were impressed that you knew the Latin name of the bird. It is this time of year that many birds venture near homes in order to forage. Goldfinches were in our garden yesterday in force. We think they are one of the prettiest small birds. Just waiting now for the long tailed tits who descend in gangs.
We also had snow yesterday
Keep on writing
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