Palomar Observatory Tour

I went on a campout with the Boy Scouts, and on Saturday we went to Palomar Observatory. I am working on my astronomy merit badge, too. The hike was 2.5 miles each way. The observatory looks like a giant white dome with a rectangular strip on the side and top. That strip opens up when the telescope is being used. When we arrived, we went into a room that they called the basement even though it was not below the building.

 

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This is the basement.

 

It stored spare parts and such. Then, we saw the telescope itself. It is huge!

 

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The telescope is too big to fit in the picture.

 

They have a place for different mirrors for the telescope. The different mirrors work well for different functions. Their smallest one is 48 inches and their biggest is 200 inches. They were the first observatory to have a 200-inch mirror. They are the 19th largest observatory in the world. This observatory was built around the time of World War II. The sinks in the bathroom are weird because they have two faucets. One sends out hot water and one sends out cold water.

The tour was very fun!

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Planetarium

 

Nerf N-Strike Elite Rapidstrike CS-18 Review

This is a review of the Rapidsdtrike which is possibly the most famous Nerf gun of all times. I think Hyperfire is better but from what I have heard Rapidstrike is much easier to modify. Enough of that part, now let’s get to the actual review

So anyway, it does actually shoot 3 darts per second. That works for me because most of my friends use single shots. The range of it feels like more than that of a Hyperfire but I think the range is equal. That range is about 30 feet. Its clip (magazine) is cool because it is clear. That is supposedly so you know how much ammo you have left. There is a flaw. That flaw is that you can’t see the whole clip.

Overall, Rapidstrike is a great gun and if I could make a Rapidpistol it would be my secondary.

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Vacation to Arizona: Day Two

If you don’t already know, I went to Arizona. On day two, we went to Angels Spring Training at Tempe Diablo Stadium.

The Angels were playing the Diamondbacks. Our friends, Blane and Makela, were there. We got seats in the Party Patio. It has free hot dogs, hamburgers, salad and drinks. Later, they brought out dessert.

view from party patio
The view from the Party Patio.

In the first inning, the Diamondbacks didn’t score. When the Angels were up, Kole Calhoun hit a single and then Albert Pujols hit a two run home run. The Angels scored two more that inning. About halfway through the game, the Angels were winning seven to one. The Diamondbacks tried to make a comeback by scoring three more runs. Fortunately, it didn’t work. I do not mean to offend any Diamondbacks fans, but I was glad the Angels won. That day was very fun.

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Vacation to Arizona: Day One

Vacation to Arizona: Day One

Last week, we went on vacation to Arizona. It was mainly for Baseball Spring Training, but we did other things. It was quite fun. We didn’t do a lot on the first day because it was mostly driving to Arizona. At one point near Palm Springs, there were thousands of windmills.

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This is a tiny fraction of the amount of windmills we saw.

 

The first significant stop was at the University of Phoenix Stadium. It is a football stadium they used for the Final Four. If you don’t know, Gonzaga and North Carolina are in the Championship.

Later that day, we went to Sun Devil Stadium on the ASU campus. Unfortunately, we couldn’t go in. The renovations are not complete. Where we looked in, there were still benches. Some of the benches are already changed to seats now.

 

Sun Devil Stadium
We looked through the Southeast Entrance.

 

We stayed at a Fairfield Inn in Chandler. That was day one of our trip to Arizona.

Day Two is probably coming tommorow.

Interview with a World War II Veteran

At our homeschool co-op, we saw a World War II veteran speak. His name was Chet Elliott.

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He is giving the Pledge of Alligence here.

He was born in Ohio during 1923 and joined the army when he was 19. He drove half-tracks. Those have tank treads in the back and wheels in the front. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge and used an M-1 rifle. The Battle of the Bulge was the last major German offensive of World War II. Elliott was in the 6th armor division. His favorite job was driving a truck.

 

One time there was a German tank driving towards him, and he thought it was an American tank until the last minute. Miraculously, he survived.

After he released a prisoner, he gave Chet a big bowl of cherries. Unfortunately, they were sour.

There is a plaque on the bridge for him where he was wounded. He is currently 93. When he left the army, he was a corporal.

It was an interesting speech, and I would like to find out more. I am thankful for all the soldiers who fought in all these wars for our freedom.

 

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A group picture. This is not just our blogging class.

 

Nerf N-Strike Elite Triad EX-3 Review

The Triad EX-3 was released in 2013 in the blue color scheme. It was re-released the next year in white. The white color is supposed to shoot up to 90 feet instead of 75, but they have the same performance which is near 75 feet. I have the white one, but that does not matter unless you care about me having a certain color gun.

My biggest issue is the hard trigger pull. (I know I am being very happy by starting with the cons.)

I like how it is a very small yet very effective gun for tertiary or pistol rounds. In a Jolt vs. Triad fight, Triad would win because after the Jolt fired a shot they would have to reload. The Triad guy could come up and shoot the Jolt guy. That is why I like Triad EX-3.

Nerf Gun Games

These are my six favorite Nerf games:

1. Team Deathmatch

Your team tries to hit the other team’s people. It takes 1-3 hits to get them out. Once one team has no members, the other team wins.

2. Humans vs. Zombies

The game starts with one zombie for 5 people. (That’s how we play it.) If the zombie is hit by a dart, they are stunned for 5 seconds. If they touch a human, that human is now a zombie. The game ends once all the humans are tagged. The last human is the starting zombie next round.                                                                                                                 nerf games 0163. Secret VIP

This game requires at least 6 people: 2 humans, the VIP, the original zombie, the traitor and the general. The VIP is picked by the general. To pick, everyone closes their eyes, and the general taps someone on the head. Only the general knows who the VIP is, and he is not allowed to tell. The original zombie picks the traitor in the same way. The traitor is a zombie who acts like a human until he tags someone. If the VIP is tagged before 15 minutes, the zombies win.                                                                                                               nerf games 012

4. Hidden Guns

One person who doesn’t play hides the guns. Each person starts near a gun either unarmed or with a small pistol. The starting spot is picked by the person who hides the guns. Your goal is to shoot the other people. You try and find better guns. Three people are required to start: one to hide the guns and two to fight. It would be best with 4-7 people, though.

5. Free for All

This is extremely obvious how to play. It is free for all and last man standing wins.                     nerf games 005

6. Bombies

It is like Humans vs. Zombies, but the zombies can explode. When they explode, they turn any nearby humans into zombies. The zombie has to sit out the rest of the game. The area of the explosion is up to you to decide.

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Paintball at Camp Pendleton

I went to The Paintball Park at Camp Pendleton Marine Base with my Boy Scout troop on Saturday. They supplied us with the gun, 500 balls, a mask and a belt with two canisters that we filled with paintballs.

In the first two rounds, we played Team Deathmatch on a map called Hamburger Hill. It had a lot of bushes and a big hill. In the first round, our team was closer to the hill, and a lot of people went up to the hill and started firing down at the other team. I moved to the right of the hill and snuck closer to the other team. I didn’t get anyone out. The hit only counted if the paintball splattered on you. I got hit a total of 3 times that first round but only the last time splattered. There was someone else with me, and we tried to push forward, but I got out. The round ended soon after that.

In the second round, I stayed behind a piece of cover with two other people. One of them left to go try to get on the hill. (We switched sides so the other team had the hill now.) The hill had a fake tank. There was a piece of cover next to the tank. Whenever the person behind that cover looked out, we shot at him. Eventually, we got him out. Then, we fired over the top of the tank and tried to get people out. Since we couldn’t see over, I’m not sure we did. By that time, I had run through most of the paintballs I had brought.

Then, we went down to reload and get water. The next two rounds were a variation of Capture the Flag. There were two flags in the center, and the goal was to get both of them. If each team only got one flag, an employee would go and take one team’s flag and put it back. That team would still have the point the flag gave them, though. This was on a different map that was flat and had little shacks for cover.

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You can see the shacks behind me.

In the first round, the time was up when each team only had one flag. In the second round, I saw the other team had stopped firing for a second so I ran out to grab the flag. By the time I had grabbed the flag, the other team noticed. Luckily, I got hit but the ball did not burst. At the end, another person on our team got the flag so we won that round. In the third round, the other team got one flag and we didn’t get any flags. There were more rounds, but my dad and I were almost out of ammo and getting tired. Finally, we gave our ammo to other people and left.

I doubt you want to hear about Wendy’s and the drive home so I am going to end this blog post there.

Field Trip to Sub Zero Ice Cream

On Tuesday, we went to Sub Zero Ice Cream and stuck water bottles, balloons, and flowers in liquid nitrogen. When we entered, there were chairs set up for all of us. The table at the front set up for experiments had a few bowls, a balloon, and some water bottles. One of the first things our teacher did was put the flower in a bowl full of liquid nitrogen for 5 seconds. When it came out, it was all stiff, and we could break the petals off easily. Next, we put our hands in the liquid nitrogen for about 1/10 of a second. sport-hand2 Mr. Terry put his hands in for half a second, and they hurt.

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Mr. Terry putting his hands in the nitrogen.

The liquid nitrogen is 320 degrees below zero. Our teacher blew a balloon up and then put it in the liquid nitrogen. It deflated while it was in the nitrogen and came out like the flower. But it reinflated. That happened because all the air molecules grouped together since the nitrogen was so cold. After it was out of the liquid nitrogen, the molecules went back to their normal places floating around in the balloon. He then put some liquid nitrogen in a water bottle, and the nitrogen gas came out. When he put the lid on, it popped off soon after. At the end, we made a cloud. Ian was selected to help the teacher, and he wore a purple mad scientist wig and some safety glasses.

mad-scientist
Ian in his purple wig.

They made it by dumping a bunch of water in a tub of nitrogen. It seemed like some water explosion took place because I was a little wet after.

The cloud was made, but it did not stay long. It was very fun and we had ice cream after.

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My ice cream

My sister made a post about the Sub Zero field trip at Communikate.

Nerf Rival Artemis Review

The Nerf Rival Artemis is my first Rival, and it is a good first impression. It comes with 30 balls for its integrated mags but can hold more.

The Artemis is harder to cock than a dart blaster. I’m guessing it has something to do with being a Rival. I expect the same to be with Atlas, and I know it is with Apollo. My friend has one. It has slam-fire, but I cannot do it well. The one tactical rail can fit the normal N-Strike accessories but not as well as the tactical rails on the normal Nerf guns. Its range is about 75 feet. That is supposedly how far the Elites fire, but they only get about 60-70 feet. This has good accuracy like all Rivals. It could probably be a sniper, too. Artemis is very comfortable to hold but has a slightly hard trigger pull. Also, the barrels rotate.

As far as I can tell, it has two problems:

  1. Sometimes it doesn’t fire, and the next time it fires two balls at once.
  2. The balls are hard to remove without shooting.

Artemis uses a slide on the magazines to put in the balls. The holes are little so the balls don’t fall out if you shake it upside down.

I really like the Artemis and will probably be getting Nemesis once it is released.