Monday, 27 June 2011

June Blog

I like free stuff.  And I like Pringles.  So when I saw that you could send off for a free MP3 speaker if you scoff 3 cans of them, I did it.  And I finally picked my speaker up from the post office yesterday.  It’s neat.  It fits into the top of a Pringles can and it’s LOUD.  But really, I don’t know why I wanted it – other than that it was free.  Because I actually bought a mini MP3 speaker the other month for £12.99.  But actually, this one is heaps better.  And, thanks to writing the Lottie Biggs books, I know precisely why it works so well.

At school, I hated science. But I was FORCED AGAINST MY WILL to do chemistry and physics and, for me, it was all a pointless waste of time. My only memories are of being constantly and deservedly told off for melting the lid of my biro in the Bunsen Burner flame, being given detention for accidentally breaking a Liebig Condenser (?) – ‘They cost over thirty pounds, you silly little girl!’ - and doing some very random experiments with a ticker-tape timer. At the end of 5th year – Year 11 in new money – I finished with a D in chemistry and don’t even remember what happened with physics. Which pretty neatly sums up my whole physics experience.

But bizarrely, when writing the Lottie Biggs books, I found myself returning to science.  And I’ve learned quite a lot of stuff.  Because Lottie hates science as well but she finds that Mr Thomas – her science teacher – actually tells her a lot of things which are interesting and relevant to her life.  One of these things is why Elvis Presley sounds so loud when he sings through a traffic cone.

Well, I can tell you that it’s the same reason as why my tiny speaker sounds so much louder when you pop it into a Pringles can.  And Mr Thomas would explain it something like this:

‘Well, Lottie, the most likely explanation is this. The small speaker is effectively using the Pringles can as an amplifier by making contact with it at one end and, therefore, causing it to vibrate. This then increases the efficiency with which the sound waves are transferred into the air and, thus, makes them louder. Does that answer your question? If you want to stay behind at break-time, I’ve got some interesting articles on the subject which you might like to read.

So physics is relevant to my life after all. And it’s only through Lottie Biggs that I’ve realised this. So thanks, Lottie. Now I understand why my free speaker works better than my £12.99 one.

On other matters, this month I had another visit to Liverpool where I met the lovely kids at St. Edward’s College. And again, I saw nothing whatsoever of the city so I’m going back in August with my mum and we’re going to go shopping and do the whole Beatles thing. Which is exciting. I also had another visit to London and caught up with Agent Yeeles and Editor Young again. And next month, I’ll be doing some stuff in a few Norfolk schools. But right now, I am writing. Thank Goodness For That.

Hello this month is to Thea Losa who lives in Macclesfield in Cheshire. A really lovely letter from her arrived through my letter-box today (25th June) but the letter is dated 30th November!!! I think it got lost in an office somewhere along the way. I am so sorry. THEA, I AM GOING TO WRITE BACK TO YOU ASAP.

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