Saturday, November 13, 2010

Millions of Stars and a Backhoe

This is M's spaceship. It's huge (all three of us plus the cat can fit in it at once) and has lots of stuff attached to it - a control panel, lots of buttons, a mailbox, a gas tank (can't see it from this angle very well), a telescope (can't see it at all), and the faithful robot Zigzagoroll (hey, M named him).

(What's up with all these posts?! Well, we were so busy doing all sorts of fun stuff lately and I meant to blog about it as it happened... Except that we all got sick. And as we got better, we had to hit the ground running - Chris had his work and I had, well, my biz. Plus all the house chores that piled up sky-high in just a couple of days (incredible!).

So I'm playing the catch-up now while I procrastinate and put off work projects.)

The weekend before we all got sick we all went to the Morehead Planetarium in Chapel Hill. Now that M is into space and being an astronaut, it was a perfect excuse for me to go (I love planetarium shows even better than I love IMAX ones).

M couldn't wait to go to the planetarium. Of course, he had to put his space suit on! You see, in his "The Magic Schoolbus: Lost in Space" the story begins with a field trip to a planetarium. Except planetarium is closed for repairs. I think he secretly counted on our car turning into a rocket at some point and blasting off into space a la the Magic Schoolbus.

Well, let's just say that M enjoyed every second of the planetarium show (we watched the one based on one of The Magic Treehouse books). And he learned a lot of new stuff, like what galaxies are and what black holes are and how one can get spaghettified if one falls into a black hole.

So on our way back home, he told us about all this. Except that he doesn't pronounce his "r"s and "l"s in some of the words. So it came out something like this: "See, in space there are many galaxies. Galaxies have millions of stars! And there are backhoes! Backhoes are dangeyos and you don't fall in them!"
When we got back home, he played with his spaceship (at the top of this post), which, by the one is not a spaceship at all, but now it's his lunar module. And then he felt inspired to build a model of the International Space Station out of the off-cuts from our everlasting treehouse project. And we were duly amazed.

P.S. Ah, if you are wondering why M is wearing a little furry critter backpack with his space suit, the answer is simple and kinda obvious - since M's in open space, he needs oxygen to breath and the pack stores his "кислородные баллоны" (oxygen tanks).
P.P.S. This is the latest in our collection of space crafts (no pun intended). This little guy is Giotto, a space probe that was sent to the Halley comet. Don't know what went into the original, but this model is built with a toilet paper tube, a section of an egg carton, a plastic lid from a spice container, foil, painters tape and a small piece of wood.

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