Saturday, 7 January 2017
The above photo is of one of my son's toys, named "Mister Seahorse" mid-maintenance. It's a blue battery powered seahorse that, when pressed, glows and plays various lullabies. He's had it for some years, but still enjoys having it in his bed when he gets off to sleep.
The trouble with having a battery powered song-singing toy is that about three times a year the battery levels drop to a low enough level that the song becomes slow, out of tune, and basically gives the indication that the seahorse is drunk, or possibly dying from listeria or some such infection. Leprosy, or Typhoid, perhaps - my knowledge of what infections make artificial seahorses lose their ability to play music is not complete.
And of course, the only time that we discover such an event is at bedtime, when my son is tired, ready to sleep, and quite keen for me to clear off and the seahorse to do its job.
So when it happens, as you can imagine the seahorse has to be very swiftly taken away for battery replacement to minimise the emotional distress that a tipsy seahorse can cause. While I'm frantically fixing the seahorse, I'm always very slightly creeped out by what, to me, feels like carrying out major surgery on a seahorse (albeit a glowing and singing one), by pulling its guts, spine, and skeleton out and frantically testing batteries from our battery drawer to find three (three?!? Who designs a toy that needs THREE batteries?!?) that have sufficient juice in to keep Mister Seahorse singing away for a few more months. Once done I then have to shove all the innards back into the seahorse skin and magically it works. I'm not completely sure how this counts academically but I feel that I ought to be awarded an honorary degree in something, Medicine, or Electrical Engineering perhaps. Offers from universities are welcomed.
At any rate, I'm pleased to report that normal service is indeed restored, Mister Seahorse is fully back in action, and my son sleeps peacefully once again. Therefore, it's time for a beer :)
In other news, my son has invented a new mathematical concept, called "splatting". Watch the video of splatting calculations now! (and stay tuned to youtube.com/ravenswingthog for the UNCUT version to be released soon!)