New Year’s Fireworks

Celebrate the New Year with this Origami Fireworks!

The hardest part of this design is linking the final modular pieces together.

It was great when the twelve folded pieces of paper were attached to each other and could be turned inside-out to reveal another design.

I opted for only red and yellow colored papers, as in the YouTube video, for greater contrast.

Best wishes to all for the New Year!

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NASA Space Shuttle for under $1?

Yes, you too can build a NASA Space Shuttle for under $1!

OK, so you can build it with paper: print the design, fold it into shape then release the paper Space Shuttle with your hand to keep the cost affordable.

Print the Space Shuttle pattern here then follow the YouTube instructions.

I searched the Internet for this design of the Space Shuttle after an eye-opening trip to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, Huntsville, AL a couple of months ago.

A colleague from Alabama had invited a group of us to see the Center after our business trip.

Never before had I seen a rocket up close and was awed by the immense size of the NASA Space rockets and history of the Space program.

How brave astronauts are to fly into the vastness of space millions of miles from our tiny planet Earth.

 

MIT’s Scratch – A Fun Online Project!

MIT’s Scratch is great fun!   It is a free online project designed by the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab.

Log into this URL and create an account:    https://scratch.mit.edu

The Red Crane - MIT Scratch Project 11.25.2017

The Red Crane – MIT Scratch Project 11.25.2017

 

The Scratch program helps young people “learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively — essential skills for life in the 21st century.”

One can create stories, animation, games and share these with the Scratch online community.

After practicing with an initial test program “Getting Started,” I created my own 30 second animation called “The Red Crane” which was set to a free downloaded ringtone.

In this project, I folded an Origami Crane and took a photo with my cellphone at each fold then created an animation using the photos and the ringtone.

https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/188694924/

Check out my project and “Like” it please!

 

Cog Train on Mount Washington 5.27.2017

To the Top: Mt. Washington Cog Railway

Mount Washington, N.H., is 6,288 feet above sea level.  It is the highest peak in North Eastern United States.

The top of the mountain has the worst and most erratic weather due to the confluence of storms from the Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific Northwest regions.

NH Mountain Fog 5.27.2017

NH Mountain Fog 5.27.2017

Our bus climbed through the drizzle towards the Mt. Washington Cog Railway’s base camp.  I wondered whether we would see anything at the summit through the rain clouds.

Cog Trains at Base Camp 5.27.2017

Cog Trains at Base Camp 5.27.2017

The four-hour trip from Boston, arranged by Mystic Valley Railroad Society, promised fabulous views if the weather cooperated.  The rain did stop eventually.  The sun struggled to come out from behind heavy clouds in the morning.

We disembarked from the bus, ate a delicious hot lunch in the visitor’s center then, viewed the Cog train exhibits.

Excitedly, we watched the colorful trains ascend and descend along the steep railway tracks up the mountain while waiting for our scheduled boarding time.

The Boston group boarded at 3 pm.  We were delighted with the train conductor’s announcement that the clouds had disappeared at the summit.

Cog Train Climbing Mount Washington 5.27.2017

Cog Train Climbing Mount Washington 5.27.2017

Spectacular views awaited us when the Cog arrived at the top an hour later.

As the train climbed higher and higher, the track angle increased substantially.  Tall pine trees gave way to smaller ones, then low brushes and a rocky, alpine landscape.

Finally, the train arrived at the summit and we were surrounded by magnificent mountain and valley vistas!

Mount Washington Summit 5.27.2017

Mount Washington Summit 5.27.2017

Thinking about an Origami design related to mountain tops, I decided to fold a Spinning Top.

Here is the colorful modular action Origami model which is quite easy to fold.

Use different colored papers to give the spinning top a really cool appearance.

Origami Spinning Top 5.27.2017

Origami Spinning Top 5.27.2017

 

The purple and white paper provide the base of the model and the blue paper, the central ring.

Then, the green paper is folded into a point at the top and slides into the blue paper.

Grasp the top, give it a twirl and watch the colors spin around.

Museum of Printing and a Beetle

The Museum of Printing is a terrific destination site North of Boston.  There you can see many examples of printing machines.

Here are some types of printing machines on view at the museum:

Intaglio and Platen Presses, a Hoe Steam Driven Press, Linotype and Ludlow Typesetters, a Heidelberg Windmill Press and many other items relating to the history of printing including a collection of the first Apple computers and very early typewriters.

There are also art exhibits demonstrating different forms of printing.

The day trip to the Museum was organized by the Ticknor Society “a fellowship of book lovers” open to anyone interested in books and collecting.

We were fortunate to have Frank Romano, printing historian and founder of the Museum, as our tour guide.

Origami Beetle 5.1.2017

Origami Beetle 5.1.2017

Mr. Romano describes himself as the last of the forensic typographers – frequently called to identify forgeries and counterfeits.

In addition, he is asked to provide props for movies such as the upcoming Steven Spielberg film which he told us was a secret.

By-the-way, my origami project today was a realistic beetle.

What do you think of this first folding insect experiment?  I’m going to try to fold more of these creatures in the future.

Stress Reliever c 4.21.2017

Origami Stress Reliever – Push, Pop, Push

The Origami Stress Reliever works.  Push – Pop – Push – Repeat.

You can see the “spring” action from the reverse of the model in the images below.

Colorful Action Toy – 3D Hexaflexagon

What a colorful action toy this 3D Hexaflexagon design is!  One definition of a Hexaflexagon is “paper hexagons folded from strips of paper which reveal different faces as they are flexed.”

You need three different colored papers – in this case blue, yellow and green – to see the changing shapes and colors.

As you push the squares inward, the shapes change.  Keep pushing towards the center of the model and the changes continue until you get back to the cube-like form you started with in the beginning.

Watch the YouTube video to get the complete motion effect of the 3D Hexaflexagon and great instructions on how to create this Origami action model.