Things That Inspire: Week of June 18th, 2017

What has inspired me this week? How have I learned, experienced, explored, and played?

  1. Citric acid. I was playing with the citric acid I had found in the cabinets and used it as a quick-and-dirty substitute for lemon juice. I made some citric acid “lemonade” by mixing together citric acid, sugar, and water, which was pretty good, but obviously it wasn’t exact because lemons contain many other chemicals such as ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and malic acid.
  2. Tombstone typography. I visited Hope Cemetery in Worcester, MA this Tuesday and noticed that Æ (sometimes with a following period) and Æt. were used to denote the age of death on some older gravestones. Apparently it denotes Latin ætāte ‘at the age of’.
  3. Glacier formation. I learned how glaciers form and flow during this week’s lesson of Mountains 101, an online course from the University of Alberta. My new favorite word is firn—a type of snow that has been compressed but is not yet glacial ice. I also learned how little I understood about glaciers, so I appreciated the opportunity to learn more.
  4. Innovative playground equipment. This Saturday I was at Sonnenberg Park in Canandaigua, NY and I noticed some interesting playground equipment manufactured by the Denmark-based Kompan. This company has designed innovative human-powered playground structures—their Supernova and Spica 1 models creatively use centripetal force to reenvision how playground equipment behaves and how the user interacts with them. They were unexpectedly quite fun, despite definitely not being targeted at my age range!
  5. Daylilies. Apparently they’re edible. The petals really just taste like lettuce, and I think they’d be great in a salad for their color.