Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Strange Change...Anybody Got Goop?
I happened across the little speech President Bush gave last night. And all I could think of was "Strange Change". Because it's strange that the President has done nothing since he took office to secure our borders, and yet now he called the situation "urgent". Like something earth-shattering has changed to make this so. Hence, Strange Change.
But anyhow, I digress. The real point of the post is just what it says: "Strange Change". Not the President. Just a good old fashioned toy from the 1960s that converted blocks of plastic into dinosaurs and other cool monsters.
You cannot find good fun like that today. Probably because of all the lawyers. You see, in order to get the monster out of the plastic block, a youngster had to stick this thing into an electric heating element. The monster would be "born", unfolding before one's eyes. Fun and danger all rolled up into one. What else could a kid ask for?
Click on the above link to read all about it. There is a lot of science that a homeschooler or a teacher could learn from it regarding polymers and the like.
A friend down the street on my block had a Strange Change machine. We all survived.
Although I didn't have Strange Change, I did have the wonderfully dangerous Thingmaker. With Thingmaker, you poured a colored plastic liquid called "Goop" into metal molds that you would then "cook" on another type of electric heating element. The heating would solidify the goop, and, voila, you'd have a bug, or insect, or whatever the mold was for. I think the platic was soft, stretchy, and yes, quite hot, when removed from the metal mold. The set I had was called "Creepy Crawlers."
Pretty cool stuff. As I remember, if you got tired of the worm or whatever you had made, you could melt the goop down again and mold it into something else. If only real life were that easy.
Kids. Electric heating elements. Liquids called "Goop" and plastic polymers that no doubt were carcinogenic. What a mixture. Boy, you couldn't beat growing up in the late 1960s.
Anybody else remember this?