V8 Working Papercraft Engine Model

Perhaps the most impressive papercraft I’ve ever seen, engineer Aliaksei Zholner created a working v8 model almost completely out of paper with just a few pieces of scotch tape added to reduce friction. The engine is so tiny it fits inside the plastic container found inside a Kinder Surprise egg. In this demonstration video, Zholner shows that tiny size doesn’t interfere with the engine’s moving components and when hooked up to a steady stream of air from a balloon, the whirling motor purrs in a rhythm not unlike a real engine.

The Bad Review Revue

Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip: “The next time the chipmunks make something together, I hope it’s a fur coat.” — Kyle Smith, New York Post

The Forest: “The clichés are so thick, sometimes you can’t see ‘The Forest’ for the cheese.” — Stephen Whitty, Newark Star Ledger

Point Break: “The new version of ‘Point Break’ is pretty dumb. But in other ways, it’s not like the original at all.” — Eric D. Snider, ericdsnider.com

Pan: “Given how much of Pan is frustratingly wrongheaded, the whole thing should have been given the hook long before it ever hit theaters.” — Christopher Lawrence, Las Vegas Review-Journal

The Himalayas: “If someone had pushed the film cans for The Himalayas off a mountain, we’d be all the better for it.” — Diva Velez, TheDivaReview.com

Esther “Elizabeth” Yardley Thurman Milner

Last month I found myself hunting down family history about my great great grandfather, John Brewitt Milner (1830-1912), and learned a great deal about his life and especially his life changing decision to join the newly formed Mormon religion — the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (though it wasn’t called that back then) — and come to America to be with other Mormons in Zion.

What occured to me this morning was that it’s a distinctly patriarchal way to think of my ancestery only in terms of grandfathers and so after some quick web searching, what I discovered is the life history of John Brewitt’s first wife, my great great grandmother, Esther “Elizabeth” Yardley Thurman Milner (1825-1911). Pasted here for posterity:

Life History of Esther Elizabeth Yardley Thurman Milner

Esther Elizabeth Yardley was born January 24, 1825 at Tanworth, Warwickshire County, England. Her parents were Thomas Yardley and Mary Rose of Tanworth. She was the oldest of 12 children. The youngest were twins. They lived and died the same day.

Tanworth stands high midway between the two main roads which run to Birmingham from Strutfar on Avon on the east, and Alcester on the west. The church is a conspicuous landmark seen for many miles by the traveler on either of these routes. Tanworth was originally a clearing in the Forest of Arden. There is still to be seen an old oak at Beaumonts in the parish, said to be one of the old oaks of the Forest.

The Yardley family is an old Tanworth family living there as far back as 1557 and many descendants are scattered all over the world. A number of the family of Yardley have become distinguished people, such as George Yardley, First Governor of Virginia in America.

Elizabeth Yardley was born and educated in Tanworth and had much the same girlhood experiences as other girls at that time. Most everyone in the community belonged to the same church. When a young woman she went to take charge of her bachelor uncle’s household and servants in Birmingham England. She became acquainted with and married Thomas Edward Thurman in 1848.

Soon after marriage she and her husband heard the Mormon Elders preach the gospel. They were converted and joined the new church. She was baptized in March, 1850. Her people were very much against this new religion and did everything they could to persuade her against joining the Mormon Chruch, but she was steadfast in her belief. When they found out they couldn’t change her viewpoint, they disinherited her and from then on had nothing to do with her. Later, I am told, a sister joined the church and came to Utah. (Mary Ann Yardley)

Esther’s husband, Thomas E. Thurman, was born December 21, 1821 and baptized in the church in May, 1849 by Elder Godsal. He had a confectionary store, and also worked as a sadler. Three years after their marriage he was stricken with smallpox. When he knew he couldn’t get better he called her to him and his dying request was to take their son, Thomas Edward Thurman and go to Zion. She was pregnant at the time of his death and a child named Victoria was born soon after.

She prepared for her journey to America. Her oldest uncle was sympathetic with her and assisted her in getting ready for the trip. She sold all her household articles and only took what necessities she had to have. This was a great trial for these noble pioneers to leave their families and friends and embark for a strange new country. She secured passage on one of the sailboats of that day. They sailed from Liverpool April 19, 1853. they were seven weeks on the water and while out to sea the baby, Victoria, died and was buried at sea.

I also found another version of her life events from this source by Jeff Von Ward. (Again copy/pasted for record keeping purposes):

ESTHER “ELIZABETH” YARDLEY THURMAN MILNER
24 Jan 1825 – 29 Sept 1911

Esther is my third great grandmother on my mother’s mother’s side. She was born in Tanworth-in-Arden, Warwick, England. She was the oldest of thirteen children born to Thomas and Mary Rose Yardley and learned early on how to help her mother with the duties of raising a large family, becoming a good cook and pitching in with the housekeeping. While still a teenager, Esther moved to Birmingham to run her uncle’s household.

In Birmingham, she met Thomas Edward Thurman. The young couple married on 6 Nov 1848. The two had heard of the Mormons through visiting missionaries and agreed to attend their services. Legend has it that when Esther heard the hymn “O My Father”, she immediately formed a testimony for the truthfulness of the Mormon church. Esther and Thomas were both baptized on 7 Mar 1849.

The couple had two children, a boy and a girl, but their daughter died just a few weeks after she was born. Shortly after, Thomas himself died of tuberculosis. Esther, forced to make her own way, opened a pastry shop and ran a boarding house. One of her customers was Charles Dickens, who was said to have later portrayed her as a pleasant and plump matron of an inn in one of his novels.

A few years later, on 5 Feb 1853, Esther and her son left England aboard The Jersey and, six weeks later, they arrived in New Orleans, before making their way north to Keokuk, Iowa, a staging ground for immigrant Mormon pioneers. Here, Esther outfitted herself with a riding horse and a cow for milking. It is said she walked the whole way across the plains so her son and others could ride the horse.

While on the journey toward the Utah Valley, she met John Brewitt Milner. The couple married the following spring and settled in Provo, Utah.

They had seven children, including one daughter who died in infancy. Their fourth daughter, Sarah Ann Milner, my second great grandmother, was born on 29 May 1862 in Provo, Utah.

I couldn’t find much anything about Esther Elizabeth’s later life. Many years ago my dad went to John Brewitt’s gravesite and was shocked to discover her grave was not beside our grandfathers, instead, it was explained by a cousin, “oh no she divorced John Brewitt Milner and is buried some other place”. The story about why they divorced was at least partially about her feelings on polygamy and not being too happy about/with the other wives.

One Second Everyday — 2015

2015 has been a great year. Most excitingly, Andrea and I got engaged and will be married this year!

Some other highlights of the year include:

  • travelled to Kawaii, Hawaii
  • working on the reserve in Brocket, AB
  • spending the best summer of my life in Waskasui, Saskatchewan
  • camping at the Ness Creek Music Festival
  • seeing my first NHL hockey game
  • attending a Broadway play (in Edmonton)
  • started training for a new job with Vivant
  • Christmas vacation with my family in Medicine Hat and Andrea’s in Saskatoon

Here’s one second from every day last year (made using the One Second Everyday app).

Patterns of Multiplication

There are quick ways to multiply two numbers, and these patterns of multiplication are easy to remember. Here are some patterns involved in multiplying numbers by 2, 5, 6, 9, 12, and 20.

Patterns of Multiplication
To multiply How to do it Example to Multiply
2 add the number to itself 2 x 11 = 11 + 11 = 22
5 the last digit of the number follows the pattern 5, 0, 5, 0 5 x 1 = 5
5 x 2 = 10
5 x 3 = 15
5 x 4 = 20
6 multiplying 6 by any even number gives an answer that ends in the same last digit as the even number  6 x 12 = 72
6 x 8 = 48
9 multiply the number by 10, then subtract the number 9 x 7 = 10 x 7 – 7 = 63
12 multiply the original number first by 10, then multiply the original number by 2, and then add the two answers 12 x 12 = ?
12 x 10 = 120
12 x 2 = 24
120 + 24 = 144
20 multiply the number by 10 then multiply the answer by 2 14 x 20 = 14 x 10 = 140
140 x 2 = 280

Hooked

Last night after catching what I thought would be our dinner, the second hook on the lure accidentally pierced Andrea’s thumb during the hook removal process when the fish made a last effort to escape by wiggling and jumping.

The lure with its two hooks, one attached to the mouth of the jack fish and the other deep in the centre of Andrea’s thumb, connected every flop of the frightened fish to driving the hook deeper. I held the fish down and another fisherman nearby helped us take the lure from the fish’s mouth.

This is what it looked like after we got the hook off the fish and the line:

IMG_6768.JPG

After a moment or two of wondering exactly what we should do and a couple a failed attempts, I gritted my teeth, locked the plyers onto the hook, and ignoring my tendancy to be paralyzed with empathy for her pain — I pulled it out as straight as I could. I’m not sure how it can be the case, but Andrea insists it barely hurt at all.

After all that, the fish, however, was too small to keep so I let go.

The Bad Review Revue

Entourage: “Once again, nothing happens, just for longer.” — Simon Miraudo, Student Edge

San Andreas: “Exactly the movie you suppose it to be, except in one, absolutely crucial regard: it’s weirdly allergic to fun.” — Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy

Aloha: “Between the lush tropical scenery and the beautiful faces in the cast, there’s plenty for the eyes, but not much for the brain.” — Todd Jorgenson, Cinemalogue.com

Poltergeist: “Monster House director Gil Kenan doesn’t desecrate the grave of the original, but nor does he offer any convincing reason to raise it from the dead.” — Mark Kermode, Observer [UK]

Home: “Home is where my heart wasn’t, at a screening where even children didn’t seem excited to be. The father snoring next to me had the right idea at the wrong volume. Hiding a catnap behind 3-D glasses only works if you don’t give yourself away.” — Steve Persall, Tampa Bay Times

Apple Watch

I’ve had a strange affinity for all things Apple lately. Most recently, against my better fiscal judgement I decided to pre-order the famous Apple Watch. It wasn’t an easy decision, I went back and forth with myself for months after it was first announced last September. I even hesitated for a couple of days after the pre-orders started on April 10th but even when I finally convinced myself it was ok to click the buy button I was left with a feeling of uncertainty.

After much anticipation with a dash of frustration (I opted for pick-up which meant navigating the perplexity that is the light-industrial area), it finally arrived at its new home on my wrist yesterday.

My first thoughts about the new gadget are probably similar to what others have said. It’s lovely — heavier than I imagined but then again I’ve never had a real watch before, (anything more than $50 has always been out of my price range). It’s shiny and black and fun to swipe and explore. Honestly, it doesn’t do a lot relative to the amazing iPhone 6 with which it’s paired, it’s just a lot of fun to take phone calls on my wrist, to see messages as they arrive, and to know the time again (all without resorting to the savagery of pulling my phone). I love it.

As others have talked about, Siri seems smarter than ever — though after the last update there seemed an improvement on her phone version too.

Probably most important, though not the most fun, I know for a fact I have missed at least one less phone call than I would have without it. Considering my living depends on catching such phone calls, perhaps the Apple Watch will pay for itself.

In case you’re wondering, I’m no longer uncertain if the watch is right for me. I would buy it again in a second.