Thursday, 16 December 2010

The kindness of strangers ... ...

This is another freecycle tale, of sorts (should probably find something else to write about) people who know me well will tell you I'm some what cynical about things (lots of things) one of which is human nature, I've been through a lot in my 35 years, perhaps more than a person ever should and if I'm brutally honest I don't have much faith in people, I'm not talking individual people (although I could probably name a few) just the human race in general, there's a lot wrong with the way we run our world.

But every now and then even a cynic like me gets a surprise, in this instance it's because of freecycling, a few months ago I wrote a post about freecycling, and it's benefits for all who use the network (here's the post - opens in new window) in the post I mentioned a telescope we asked about (and where lucky enough to receive) we didn't know at the time what the telescope was like, it didn't matter as it's used for home educating our son, and ourselves in all things celestial. It seems that the kind lady who let us have the telescope kept my wife's e-mail address, and the other day she e-mailed asking if we would be interested in an orrery, we said yes figuring that having one would help even more with educating our son, he would be able to see how the planets relate to each other and such like, and then came the surprise.

This is why we were surprised, and feel very grateful and lucky -

How awesome is this ! ?
It turns out it was one of those kits you can get with a magazine subscription, the ones that have a different part every week, it didn't come completed, the parts where in their respective packages, this was also good because now not only did we get a fantastic thing, we had to build it, so we got a lesson in mechanics as well as continued lessons in how the earth,moon and sun interact, it is great educational tool.

More pictures - 

It's very detailed.
You can see it shows the orbit of the earth around the  moon and the orbit of both around the sun, it's made of brass, and I had a blast putting the thing together. You can use it to predict eclipses, both lunar and solar, it's marked with the months of the year, and zodiac signs as well.

Zodiac signs.
Even the little chains that drive the respective gears are made from brass -

Brass chains.
Some other parts - 

It has some of the smallest bearings I've seen.
Year counter.

It also has a counter for years (as you can see in the picture above) so you can set it for the current year and set it of working, and you can then see when eclipses will occur and such like, it also came with every issue of the magazine, so we are learning a whole host of other astronomical facts, as well as how to use the tellurion or earth moon sun orbiter, it's an educational tool that we probably wouldn't have had access to, had it not been for the kindness of one person and freecycle, so if you happen to read this, many thanks from the whole family.

Thanks for reading.


  1. It looks awesome and such a kind thing for that lady to do. :)

  2. It was a very nice surprise, and a very kind thing for her to do, kind of restores my faith in human nature a little :-)

  3. what a beautiful thing to do and what a beautiful object too!

  4. It was, and we do feel very lucky, we have her address so we will send her a thank you card or such like.