No TV, I'm fine

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I recently gave an educational tour to second graders from Stonebridge School in Chesapeake, Va.  We are in the International Small Craft Center, and I am explaining to them about the Sampan boat from the Far East.  This boat would be used for a water taxi or small cargo, (like a UPS driver) and that the boat was like a houseboat for the family.  I explained that the family gathered back in the boat for the evening.  I asked them “what did the family do for entertainment?  Did they play Scrabble or Apples-to-Apples or watch TV?”  They remarked “no TV!”  At that point, a bright little boy said ” I DON’T HAVE A TV, AND I AM FINE!”  At that moment, I felt like Art Linkletter!

Just another example how being Docent/Educator can be fun and surprising!

From the Foundry: Carbon and X-rays

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Cast iron, like steel and wrought iron, is an alloy consisting primarily of iron and carbon but has a carbon content usually in the range of 2- 4%, which appears as flakes of graphite intermixed within the material. Commonly, when cast iron is submerged in a marine environment, the iron component corrodes away, leaving behind the graphite along with iron corrosion products. Iron in this state is often referred to as ‘graphitized’. Fortunately, even though the iron has corroded away, the shapes of cast iron objects recovered from marine sites often remain intact due to the surviving graphite holding the iron corrosion products in situ.  

To help illustrate the difference between non-corroded cast iron and graphitized cast iron, last week we x-rayed the damping piston valve cover next to one of its copies cast at the Buffalo State College Foundry.   Read more