Serious Snacking

School snack bars are always exciting. This school takes its snacking very, very seriously.

Will They Turn Silver when they Ripen?

This sidewalk fork garden fascinates me on so many levels.


Every plant at the BBG has an “accession number, which has information about the year the plant arrived at the garden and what number plant it was that year (e.g., the 1st to arrive, the 17th, the 641st). So which plant is 890641? The Large-Flowered Magnolia or the Climbing Hemp Vine?


I Wonder…

Word is getting around and the wands are starting to wander! (No? You think of a better ‘wand’ pun then.)

Here are some photographs of 277Q at 311 students creating 3D printed plastic bubble wands. The templates helped.

Uniqlo and District 75

The global Uniqlo clothing store has a SoHo branch (which is also the HQ for North American operations). They hired a dozen students from 751M to be interns Here are scenes from the clothing, I mean, closing event.

[Full disclosure: I was college roommates with Jean-Emmanuel Shein — the executive from Uniqlo who runs the internship program — and introduced him to Ewa Asterita, the principal of 751M, so I like to think that without me, the Uniqlo socks would not have gotten sorted in the correct light-to-dark order]

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One Word

A classic, right?

And here is another classic: Adventures with Plastics, by Louis V. Newkirk, Ph.D., copyright 1947.

It seems that making bubble wands out of plastic is not a new idea. Dr. Newkirk’s book has a page dedicated to the art (and craft) of making “bubble rings” out of acrylic plastic. His method entails the use of a clamp, coping saw, plane, scraper, sand paper, dowels, and heat gun. No problem, I will just get them out of the closet.

Need bubble juice? You can make your own solution using glycerine mixed with sulphurated petroleum (MP-189), manufactured (back in the day) by the Du Pont chemical company

Bubble Solution Recipe

This book was originally housed in the Stuyvesant High School library, where it had an impressive run of over fifty check-outs between 1950 and 1982, the last by Patricia O’Conna (?) in 1982.

Enjoy a glimpse inside the world of 1940’s plastics.


The 811Q Café Marie coffee shop

Harshed my Mello

Talk about a downer

Have Pens, Will Travel

I took my “pen and plastics” show on the road, this time to my alma mater, as it were, my “COVID-deployment” school. I am referring to 396K, where I taught science to developmentally-disabled k-4 graders — in person, during the “everyone-else-stayed-at-home” COVID year of 2020-2021.

I was welcomed with open arms and good wishes by the staff and students I knew from the previous year.

Here are students making bubble wands and more.

Wand Designs

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June 2022