A Capsela By Any Other Name

2399d-capsela013

I sometimes get the feeling like I want to do a project. This could be home renovation, fitness, or something else. Sometimes, I just want to do something with science. I start by looking at scientific type toys. The problem is, at the typical toy store, they toys aren’t really that scientific. The real problem is that the science store closed, and nothing has opened to fill up the gap. If there is something online, and they have free shipping within Canada, please let me know.

When I was a child, there were so many cool science toys. I have already written about them, so I won’t bore you (feel free to read that story here). I still have my old Capsela set–though I cannot find the battery holder and motor probably doesn’t work. I know I am not the only one who thinks this way because it was featured in Make magazine recently. What they didn’t tell people is that they toy has been rereleased in Japan.

The name is iqkey. Here are some images.

iqkey1 iqk2 iqkey3

According to Wikipedia, the new and old don’t interconnect–but I am sure we could MacGuyver something, or 3Dprint something. It will only be a matter of time.  This is being done by the Bandai corporation.

The immediate differences that I see are that they plastic float attachments aren’t round, but some form of polygon. The kits also come with remote controls–but what doesn’t these days.  It looks pretty interesting and fun.

I am going to order one of these kits soon and then I will do a review of the old versus the new. At the very least, I am quite excited about this.

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Getting Ready for Cooler Weather

trainer

Cycling seems to have taken over most of my hobbies this past summer. While I have done other hobby things, I have put more passion, time and energy into cycling. My strength and stamina are definitely way up. Sadly, my weight has not improved. This is because I have not been able to break up with pizza. Diet is crucial….but that is a blog for another day (and a different site–see here)

Autumn is here and winter is coming. Traditionally, owing to wonderfully frigid temperatures, around here people tend to hibernate more.   For a hobbyist this means getting into indoor pursuits. I can look forward to more time with the models, more time with the trains, more time watching hockey…..

While all of this sounds wonderful, it sounds as if all the gains I made in stamina and energy might go to waste. It is with that in mind that I contemplate spending a big chunk (perhaps the whole chunk) of my hobby budget on a cycling trainer. I am not talking about your average stationary bike. I am talking about using my road bike as my exercise bike for the winter.

The advantages

  • I will use the muscles that I have to use when riding on road courses–unlike a stationary bike, which is great for fitness but isn’t really my bike and won’t work exactly the same muscles.
  • I will better simulate my cycling because I will be wearing my cycling shoes and practice full pedal strokes.
  • The trainer itself will take up much less room that a stationary bike does during the summer when I am not using it. (or using it less)
  • On rainy days, if I elect not go out for a ride, I can still use the trainer.
  • There seem to be quite a few apps that work in conjunction with this–not that I have a smart phone, but ……someday. Either that, or I will set up a tablet.
  • Riding the same saddle all winter should make it less of an adjustment when I get out riding again.

The disadvantages

  • While there are cheaper options the one I have pretty much decided on is a significant amount of money.
  • If I am lazy, it will not have been money well spent. I love going out for the group rides, but I am unsure if I can push myself to workout alone. If I don’t use the machine, it will definitely make me feel guilty as I watch TV and gorge on pizza.
  • I will have to invest in a “training tire” as these machines will definitely put substantial wear on my rear tire.

While nothing has been decided, this is definitely where my head is at right now.  I guess another option is to bike all winter.  This sounds rather hard to me, but one of my favourite bloggers does just that.  If that sounds interesting (or mildly insane), take a look at her blog.