See-saw Physics for Kids

I think I was fourteen before the physics of levers and fulcrums was presented to me at school. At the time I was puzzled that everyone didn’t know this stuff already. After all, which kid did not have extensive experience of seesaws, often shared with people of a different size?

I decided to try this out with Grace. She got all of the following questions right, first time, without assistance.

Seesaw Questions for a Ten-Year Old

Grace (50kg) and Dan (100kg) are playing on a seesaw that is 4m long. Dan is standing at 1.0m on his side. Grace is at 2m on her side. The seesaw is balanced.  (I supplied an illustration of this).

To keep the seesaw balanced:

  1. If Dan moves to 0.5m, where will Gracie have to stand?
  2. If Dan stands at 0.5m and Annie (50kg) stands on Gracie’s side at 0.5m, where will Gracie have to stand?
  3. If Annie stands with Dan at 0.5m, where will Gracie have to stand?
  4. If Dan stands at 1.0 and Annie stands on Gracie’s side at 0.5m, where will Gracie have to stand?


Happily Ensconced

After an epic moving weekend, we have now had nearly two whole weeks in our new house. Moving was a mission with rain and unexpected amounts of stuff to move – including my container garden. Simon, Nick, Jonno, Ed, Jane and I were legendary. The peak moment for me was following my native shelter-belt container garden up Madras st with it attempting to attenuate the breeze in Simon’s trailer. Low point was moving the piano – ugh.

Jane got her gear moved in on the same day. All in all, our stuff seemed to fill both the house and the (double) garage. We’ve made some progress since then, somehow disappearing box after box of items into the house.There remain, however at least thirty boxes to be unpacked.

Despite all that, this place feels great! It is fun, comfortable, functional and nice. I am gloating. The kids have been here for a week which was great. On Saturday we were all out in the sun in teeshirts. By Monday, there was snow on the ground.

Tomorrow we farewell Elsie for a week (ten days, actually with our trip to Alan Kirk’s 70th) and embark on a weekend of serious unpacking. Actually, I can hear the rustle of plain newsprint, now. Jane has unpacked her teaspoon collection and is explaining the origin of each piece (most of them seem to have been flogged from airlines – there’s even a Teal one).

There are a few new photos of us here in the album. Ed’s door got stuck and I had to remove the glass so he could get out of his room.

I should take a photo of our lists.

New Home to Be

Tonight the album features our new home to be (not with our furniture, right?) at 466A Durham St North. One block from Bealey Ave, 20 minutes walk to the Square, ten to the nearest cluster of cafes. Features from “critical” include quiet street, cat ok, dishwasher, bath, good sun, three bedrooms, two bathrooms, character (well I think so), warm (enough) and two living areas (just). From “desirable”, it has garden, indoor/outdoor flow, garage (double) and two storey. We’ll go for heat pump and swimming pool (for Elsie) next time.


A restul and enjoyable Queen’s Birthday weeekend at the fantastatic Hinewai Reserve. Jane, Dan, Elsie, Anja, Ed and Aaron stayed in the Otanerito Homestead. It’s comfortable, well set up and huge. The Reserve is magnificent with native bush regenerating up through gorse that it then strangles. Got to have one good walk – to Whakamate Waterfall. Elsie and Anja did well but Jane and I like to walk faster than they do. Weather turned to lashing southerly with snow on the tops. The power disappeared on the Sunday night but wasn’t missed as the fire and wood range kept us and warm and the water hot. The boys played three card brag, the girls “arsehole”.

Elsie is Eleven

Jane draped the place in pink and white streamers and cooked lovely indian for friday nite

i like being a foursome to share celebration and jane has talents that i lack for creating occasion

after hockey, we shopped Elsie up an outfit and spent the same on pants for Ed

then we had Stephanie, Emma and Anja for a slap up dinner and sleepover

Ed had an extended visit from Jenny (Jennifer to her Mum)

after a slap up breakfast and a brief but restful spell of housiness, we had Eichlers inc and Leah and Todd for a slap up afternoon tea

Todd got cakewalk going – Nick and Ed looped versions of the riff from “seven nation army”