Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The picture the earth drew

I found this page for a basic home-made seismograph:
Muck Monsters: Science Sunday:Homemade seismograph

Here's how ours turned out:

I installed it on a bookshelf near the floor in my room.  This morning I looked at the paper, and started to get excited when there were patterns on the page.  Then Hubby told me Mister Two had been playing with it.  I put a fresh sheet of paper down.

Then tonight when I was working on my housekeeping accounts I suddenly found myself diving under the desk (again) as the house shook around me.  When my hands stopped shaking and my heart stopped pounding and I finished posting expletives on facebook, I went to check the trace.

It came out smaller than I expected.  It's been quite tricky to get enough pressure on the pencil so the pendulum will swing freely but still leave a line on the paper.  But still, here's a work of art by the earth.


  1. Wow that's pretty cool :)
    Yep last night was a heart pounder! There's gonna be ALOT of coffee needed today. Hope you are ok

  2. That's amazing. Are you going to stay in Christchurch or move?

  3. Thanks for the comments! It was a bit of a rough night.

    @Widge - yes we are okay, a bit sleep deprived like the rest of Christchurch. I think we got more of a shake in the West this time.

    @Anita - short answer is stay in Christchurch. The long answer is a post in its own right.

  4. What a great idea! Hopefully it makes the quakes more exciting and less scary for your kids :-)
    Thanks for saying you'll participate in my linky thing. Just let me know if you have problems with it. It should be pretty straightforward (I hope I have set it up correctly, its my first attempt at hosting one!)

  5. Wow! Thanks for stopping by and making the seismograph - my 9 year old will be absolutely thrilled that someone got to use her design for real!