Author Archive for Peabody Derringdo

Last Day of Crime Science Camp


For the past two weeks I’ve been going to Crime Camp at the Lawrence Hall of Science in the Berkeley Hills. We started out with fingerprinting and invisible ink, but quickly got into blowing things up. One of the best things we did was fill a balloon with hydrogen and put a candle under it to make it explode. We also took a field trip to the Cal campus police station. On our last day we worked on codes and ciphers. We ended the day by throwing cabbages that had been frozen with liquid nitrogen off the top of the museum. They shattered like glass when they hit the cement. In this picture I’m putting a marshmallow that’s been frozen by liquid hydrogen in my mouth and breathing out. The three other people in the picture are our awesome teachers/camp counselors – Randal, Justine and Wes. Wes, in the yellow shirt, plays the drums in the Cal marching band!

Some Summer Library Books

Here are some books that I have been reading recently. Mail-order Mysteries is a book where they take the ads from old comic books and send-away for what’s being advertised. When they get it back, they compare it with the description in the ad. Most of them, like the giant seven foot ghost and the “thousand toy soldiers” were nothing like the ad. It was written by a guy who collected things from comic books when he was a kid. The book in the middle, Fantastic Voyage, is about a small group of people who go inside a scientist’s body in a shrunken submarine in an attempt to clear a blood clot from his brain. It was a very descriptive book, especially when they are being shrunken down. The Time Pirate is the second book in the Nick of Time series. The book starts in 1940 on the British Channel Islands. Nick, a 13 year old boy, will end up fighting pirates, bombing Nazis, and meeting George Washington. All three of these are good books but I really liked the Time Pirate, especially the description of Nick fixing his dad’s Sopwith Camel.

Donner Pass Overnight

My class went to the Sierras for the last week of school. We went there because we were studying the transcontinental railroad which went through this area. On the first day we went on a hike to the snowsheds, which are structures that were used to keep snow off the tracks. The tracks aren’t there, but I found a big hunk of metal which might be a piece of the Transcontinental railway. We hiked through the tunnel which was very cold, wet and dark. There was even some snow. Nearby there are Native America petroglyphs that you can walk right up to. People aren’t positive what they actually mean. We stayed at Clair Tappan Lodge, which was built by Sierra Club volunteers in the 1930s. The first thing we did when we got to the lodge was to drop all our clothes and sleeping bag in our rooms. There was one bunk bed and two triple bunk beds in my room. Then we went down to the basement to play ping pong. All guests who stay at the lodge have to sign up for a chore. Some of the chores are cleaning dishes, taking out the trash, setting the table – just like home, but instead of setting the table for four you’re doing it for 30. On the next day we woke up and made our lunches for that day’s long hike. It had rained the night before so there were billions of mosquitoes out. Halfway through the hike, we did a solo where you went for part of the way by yourself. After that we went to the top of the mountain and found a large patch of snow. In seconds there was a huge snowball fight. After that we had lunch, went back to the lodge, packed-up and drove back to school. Sometime I would like to go back in the winter when there is more snow.