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?


  1. I KNOW we had both of those sets. I'll press my brain and see if any memories come out.

  2. If you had did have both of these, you were undoubtedly the most popular kid on the block. And also the most powerful in terms of neighborhood politics.

  3. Not me, I just had my Barbies, haircuts and all!! :)

  4. I was never the most popular kid on any block. I think any of us that tend to be introspective (and funny) were probably not that popular growing up. Just guessing...

  5. Lucy, with your propensity to start fires as a child, it's a good thing you didn't have these machines. Your parents knew what they were doing.

  6. TK said,
    "I was never the most popular kid on any block."

    Until bloggin' came along, I guess.

  7. Yes, however my REAL life occurs in reality land, not blogging land. In my real world NO ONE talks about or read blogs. Helps keeps things in perspective.

    Note to self: new idea for my rock n roll nursing home@ franchise: wi fi internet access and laptop in each room so patients can blog their finals days.

  8. Hey Scottius, my "little" stage of starting fires was not long-lived! :)

  9. TK,
    My REAL LIFE occurs in BLOGGING land. It's kind of like a Calvin and Hobbes thing, like the question of whether Hobbes was really alive or just a figment of Calvin's imagination can apply to me. But that's getting way too deep I guess.

    And did I mention I'm not crazy. I think I better after that last paragraph.

  10. Lucy said,
    "my "little" stage of starting fires was not long-lived!"

    Says who?!!

  11. OK, let me amend my statement. I tend to live my life out in blogging land. However, I am daily reminded that an alternative universe, so called "reality", exists. Since I must maintain a presence in said "reality", I try to remind myself that it exists.

    For example, in blogging land no one has laundry or yard work or other duties...and they don't get phone calls from the school telling you that your 14 year old has been sent to the quiet room twice in one week. Heck, some people don't even seem to have jobs and yet they have computers, internet access, etc. There's one for your next random quiz.

    You may have the bat cave as your lair (how's that going, by the way), Katie's Beer is my retreat from that alternative universe called reality. Blogging just helps me while I'm there. Scottius Maximus is also a fun retreat! Thanks for keeping such a fun blog! I don't believe I've ever told you that before. Good work.

  12. Thanks TK, for your kind words.

    And, yes, blogging land ROCKS! Woo hoo, I been to 3 county fairs and a hog roast, but ain't never had as much fun as I've had in bloggin' land!