Monday, April 08, 2013

Ard Mhúsaem na hÉireann / National Museum of Ireland

Arís - cén fáth a n-úsáidfinn an leagan Gaeilge?
Why would I use the Irish-language version?

Leagan Gaeilge / Irish Language Version

Leagan Béarla / English Language Version

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Tuesday, April 02, 2013

How to retrieve a letter fallen through a gap in planks

We have open planking on our porch, with about a half centimeter between some of the planks. Not enough for much to go through, but yesterday a letter arrived from Ireland and threw itself out of my hand, unerringly finding the widest slot and falling to the dark and inaccessible depths below.

I thought about this. That letter contained my "Dublin Bike" pass. No bloody way was I going to let it stay down there.
Here's what I did:
) A T-Square or other flat object more than three feet long.
) Fly paper
) Duct tape
) Another long object thin enough and firm enough to be directed through the slot.

I made a sticky panel out of the fly paper and a square of cereal box. NOTE: for heaven's sake use Latex gloves, as fly paper is unbelievably sticky!
I then stuck this panel to the end of the T-Square with duct tape, ensuring that the panel could swing freely.
I then lowered the panel through the slot and directed it to the fallen letter, where I allowed it to lie flat, right on the letter.
With the second long object, I then tamped the panel down on the letter, ensuring good adhesion.
When I raised the T-Square, the panel was now hanging from it (and on the same plane), meaning I could pull the whole lot back through the gap.
I then VERY CAREFULLY pulled the T-Square back up. Getting the letter and panel through the crack between the planks took a little manoevring, but the wider the T-Square (and the panel), the less likely the panel is to swing out of the plane of the flat surface of the T-Square (a narrower panel is more likely to swing, as I discovered the hard way).
Voila! The letter is recovered.

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