Sunday, August 23, 2015

"Prism & Light" Quest

This was another quest that we worked on simultaneously with several others.  We have earned enough points for the badge, but as usual, we plan to keep earning more points by completing more of the interesting activities.  We'll update this blog post as we complete them.

We had a choice of three documentaries to watch:

Time Zero: The Last Year of Polaroid Film. Directed by Grant Hamilton.
Available through Netflix and Amazon Instant Video.

The City Dark. Directed by Ian Cheney.
Available through Netflix and Amazon Instant Video.

Extreme Light and Dark. Directed by Manfred Christ and Udo Maurer.
Available through Hulu and Amazon Instant Video.

Martini Man: We just got thru watching Extreme Light and Dark and it was truly illuminating (hah). But it was fascinating to learn about Svalgard, Yuma and Quartzite, the Avalon Peninsula and St. Shotts and Villanella. Each locale had its own curious story although we get down to Tucson a lot and now I have a hankering to go book shopping in Quartzite (OMG). All in all, a diverting movie to watch about how people cope with extremes in light.

Wisconsin Hiker: We watched “Extreme Light and Dark” which presented the sunniest place on Earth (Yuma, AZ), the foggiest place (St. Shotts, Newfoundland, Canada), and two towns that are the darkest (Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway and Viganella, Italy). I personally do not like “cold & dark”, so it surprised me to see that many of the residents of Longyearbyen seemed so happy and vibrant even though the town is in total darkness for 2-3 months. It was nice to see how the Italian town solved their problem (high mountains block sunlight for 2-3 months) by using a mirror to reflect the sun into their valley. Both of these cities have big celebrations to welcome the return of the sun. However there didn’t seem to be much to celebrate in St. Shotts. This very foggy town is dying (probably only partly due to the fog since the fishing industry has also disappeared).

I’d much prefer to live in the sunniest place on earth in Arizona. Yuma must not be very interesting though, because the film mostly talked about the town of Quartzsite which is 80+ miles away from Yuma.

All in all, I enjoyed the documentary. It was interesting to see the lifestyle of people in these places, how they have adapted to the extreme conditions and the role that technology plays in these areas.

Objective: Read "Stuff Matters: Exploring the Marvelous Materials That Shape Our Man Made World" by Mark Miodownik and then comment on it.

Martini Man: I loved this book! I discovered so much about materials and the science behind them I never knew about. Reading about substances like graphene and aerogel was a bit sci-fi. I also knew about the use of 3-D printers to create replacement body parts, but knew nothing about the science behind it. A very understandable and yet enlightening book and I encourage all Questscouts and others, to read it.

Wisconsin Hiker: An interesting book (but I am an engineer)! I enjoyed reading just one chapter a day. Here are my comments on each chapter:

1.  Steel - interesting to read about the history of this metal, the importance of alloys and the development of stainless steel.
2. Paper - a good reminder of how often and in so many ways we use paper.
3. Concrete - Neat to read about self-healing & self cleaning concrete!
4. Chocolate - Reminded me of my visit to the “World of Chocolate Museum” in Orlando, FL last month, which also included a lot of facts & history of chocolate.
5. Aerogel - I don’t think I have ever heard of this material, so it was interesting to read about and do further research on. I found a short video about the material by the aptly named Quest Lab.
6. Plastic – Amusing presentation of the myriad roles plastic plays in our lives.
7. Glass – educational in terms of how glass is created, pertinent acknowledgement as to how important glass had been in chemistry and a bemused observation about how since glass is “invisible” it doesn’t get much attention/admiration.
8. Graphene – another material I never heard of! Interesting how simple tape was used to “discover” it.
9. Porcelain – Amazing that the Chinese held onto the secret of how to produce porcelain for so long. But it was odd that the author didn’t mention any other uses for porcelain other than the tea cup.
10. Implants – Interesting to read about materials and techniques for repairing parts of the body. Hope I won’t need to make personal use of this info for a long while yet!
11. Summary – good wrap-up and reminder that most of the “stuff” we see and use is a result of human ingenuity.

1) Identify at least six colorful walls, each with its own different dominant color.
Ideally, you will end up with a red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple wall, but other colors will work too. Make sure that you've got six distinct and vibrant colors. Solid walls will work best, but walls that feature heavily in a single color will do the trick.

2) Photograph yourself, a friend, or a group in front of each wall. Take your time to get a great shot that the individual(s) in the photo will love.

3) (Optional.) Use a photo collaging program to stitch all six photos together.

Not finished

For this objective we needed to view a sunset and then write a "short story" about our experience.

Wisconsin Hiker: We admired the sunset under the arch where our niece Amanda got married to her best friend Corey earlier in the day on SEP 19. It was a beautiful outdoor wedding and she was a gorgeous bride. After the ceremony all the guests enjoyed some drinks outdoors and then a tasty meal in a refurbished barn. A live band played after the meal, but several of us meandered outside to enjoy the sunset across the field. My own honey & I delighted in the view while others also took photos and the little kids played on a nearby tree swing. A lovely sight to end a lovely day!

Martini Man:

Color psychology studies how colors effect our behavior. We're not sure to what extent color influences our lives, but do know it's a fun idea to play around with. For this objective we will utilize theories of color psychology by embracing a color, and with it, (theoretically,) a change in mood or behavior.
1) Research color psychology. You can go as deep or surface level as you want here. There are many good infographics that come up with a quick google search to start you in the right direction. If you find any particularly good sites, we'd love to hear about them in the comments below.
2) After becoming familiar with color psychology, choose a color that matches an emotion or behavior into your life.
3) Bring that color into your life! Hang a bright orange poster, buy a bouquet of purple flowers, or paint a wall red! The choice is up to you.
4) Photograph your method of bringing your color into your life, as well as its story, on Instagram, Twitter, or any other form of social media with the tag #questscouts. If you want to go into detail about your journey, feel free to expand your thoughts in the comments below. We'd love to hear them.

Not done yet

Make a sunprint.

Wisconsin Hiker: Today we created our first sunprints. It was a quick & easy process and we were pleased with the results!

These are the steps involved in making a sunprint

Martini Man: In support of the Arts quest for the Prism and Light badge, I present to you, my fellow Quest Scouts my very own sunprint!

Build a pinhole camera.

Martini Man: Woo boy! This was not easy. Wis Hiker bought two kits from Amazon
and this was no cakewalk. After over two hours we finally completed them with no idea if they can take a photo worth talking about. We'll find out!

Wisconsin Hiker: Holy-jamoly! This was HARD! Luckily I had looked at reviews and then Googled to find more info. Everything warned us that PATIENCE and PRECISION would be required. The instructions weren't totally clear, but with two of us working on cameras together, we figured it out. Based on my research I figured we needed something strong to hold the thing together, so we used super glue and then paper clips to hold the pieces while the glue set. We did a "dry run" before gluing so we understood how everything was supposed to be folded and put together, then moved on to doing the actual construction. A few hours later (and some super-glued fingers), our cameras were finished! Now to find out if they can actually produce a photograph....

This component began with some cautionary advice: It's important to keep in mind that pinhole photography isn't easy. You'll need to carefully load your film (or in some cases photo paper,) utilize longer exposure times and use a tripod. Don't worry about getting things perfect. Have fun and show us what you produce. (The good, the bad, and the ugly... It's all good!)  Objective: Take some photos with a pinhole camera and post the results.

Not done yet

Objective: Find and log between one and six letterboxes. Each letterbox should contain one of the following colors:
1) Red
2) Orange
3) Yellow
4) Green
5) Blue or Indigo
6) Purple or Violet

We had hoped to get all 6 colors on our vacation to Oregon & Washington in July, but park maintenance folks showed up near an "orange" box so we had to abandon our quest. A park with a "red" box was closed to the public due to day camp activities and another "orange" box in a rest stop seemed to be missing. Here are the ones we found so far:

Bright Bestiary - Yellow Elephant
Bright Bestiary - Green Frog
Bright Bestiary - Blue Turtle
Purple Hawaiian Flower

We found our red and orange boxes in Wisconsin on SEP 12 & 13!

Trees: Red Oak
Orange is the New Green

In the tabletop game world, a defining a game as "light" or "casual" means that it doesn't require a lot of time or a lot of thought. While light games can be played strategically, everyone playing, regardless of age or skill, usually has a fair shot at winning.  One of the games on the list was Apples to Apples, which we already owned.  We took it over to my sister & brother-in-law's house to play with them and my mom.

The lucky winner!

This micro quest asked us to watch two Sci Show videos about how rainbows and double rainbows form, and then comment on whether we learned anything from them.

Wisconsin Hiker: Yes, I DID learn something! I never realized that the colors were reversed in a double rainbow. I have seen a few and if I am lucky enough to see another I will try to discern the colors on each arch.  I now also know why I never could find the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow - I was always at the center!

Martini Man: Well, I did learn a few things tonight.

1) The angle range for the various types of light varies from 40 to 42 degrees to create the separation of color we see. For double rainbows, the top rainbow varies from 53 to 54 degrees.
2) The color sequence on the top portion of a double rainbow is inverted from what we see in a single rainbow.
3) A rainbow is actually a full circle of refracted light; we just can see only half of it from our vantage point on the ground. Apparently skydivers have been blessed with a rare sighting of a full circular rainbow.
4) There are such things as twinned rainbows, tertiary rainbows and quadrancery rainbows.

My goodness.....................

MICRO QUEST 2 - Photography
Rainbowtastic scavenger hunt + photography. What could be better? Remember that this is a Micro Quest, emphasis on the "micro." Try to stick to the time limits for a fun 20 or so minute exercise.
1) Choose a setting. We suggest somewhere inside, such as a home or office.
2) Grab a timer. Yep, time is important in this Micro Quest.
3) Set the timer for seven minutes and press start. Scour you surroundings for small colorful items. Collect these items and place them in a central location, such as a table, desk, or the floor. Try and get items in every color of the rainbow. When your time goes off, stop collecting.
4) Set the timer for another seven minutes and press start for a second time. Arrange your items from red to purple in a rainbow pattern. Again, make sure you stick to your time limit of seven minutes or less.
5) Set the timer for seven minutes and press start one last time. Don't rush- seven minutes is plenty of time. Photograph your rainbow of objects. Try different angles and perspectives. When the timer goes off, stop!
6) Share a photograph on Twitter, Instagram or any other form of social media with the tags #questscouts and #rainbowphoto.

Not done yet

Watch two videos, both featuring progressive art, and then comment on them.

1) Tate Shots: Kusama’s Obliteration Room: Yayoi Kusama’s interactive Obliteration Room begins as an entirely white space, furnished as a monochrome living room, which people are then invited to ‘obliterate’ with multi-coloured stickers. Over the course of a few weeks the room is transformed from a blank canvas into an explosion of colour, with thousands of spots stuck over every available surface.

2) Ball of Light: This 15 minute documentary tells the story of Denis Smith. Two years ago he was in a high pressure sales job suffering with depression, debt and alcohol problems. Then he discovered light painting, and his life changed forever...

Martini Man: I was frankly bored by the Kusama piece. OK, it was interesting to watch the room evolve, but it got tedious for me. I found the Ball of Light video much more diverting. It was an uplifting tale of how a man changes his life for the better and discovers and creates fascinating art. I think the thing most interesting is how simple Denis' explanations were of how he creates these balls of light and yet how exquisite they look. Very nice.....

Wisconsin Hiker: We just watched both videos and the "Obliteration Room" just didn't interest me that much as "artwork". Reminds me of a lamppost near the Milwaukee Art Museum where people used to place their admission stickers. Some viewed it as "art", but to me it was just a bunch of random stickers.

On the other hand, I really liked the balls of light! They were supernatural looking. I especially loved his light balls on the beach and in the cliff dwellings. After watching this I'm curious to try some light painting myself.

This is the first micro quest of many to come that features "index card art." The concept is simple. Follow the art prompt and create art using a 4x6 or 5x7 index card as your canvas. Index cards were chosen for two reasons - they are cheap and the small size lends itself to silliness.

The art prompt for this quest was: Fill your index card with red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple. Draw dots, lines, still art, a landscape, or whatever else you'd like.

Wisconsin Hiker's creation

Martini Man's creation

This challenge was to complete a Word Search puzzle containing fifteen colorful phrases. You are provided with the color in the phrase, as well as the number of letters in its remainder. This was a fun little puzzle that we solved fairly quickly.

We needed to get at least 1,000 points to complete the quest and we both exceeded that. We thereby earned our fifth badge. This quest had some challenging components and we also had fun learning about a variety of topics. Onward to another quest!!

"Prism & Light" badge

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