Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Let's start with "The Sonic Manipulator", one of our
all-time favorite buskers. His name is really Claude
Woodward. His business card reads: Composer, Performer, Keyboard
player, Inventor and Piano tuner. His costume was superb, and his
musical instrumentation was completely his own. Everything
hanging from him and around him made music (or at least made sound,
shall we say) Imagine this as your job! He really is from
Make sure you listen to him in this movie too...
Listen to The Sonic Manipulator
Here are some very fun mosaic benches that we saw on a few public street corners in
an upbeat, trendy neighborhood of Melbourne called Fitzroy...
Jumping around... here are a few more fun sights from a day near the beach at St. Kilda - a short tram ride from the CBD (Central Business District)...
You can see us in the mouth of the entry to Luna Park, an amusement
park. Sydney has one too, on the Harbour. The Melbourne
Luna Park looked a bit run down, but we couldn't resist this great
St. Kilda is a very Happening Place - at least for the 3-4 main blocks
we walked with our friend Marian. Here you see the roof
decorations for two hair salons - each across the road from the
other. We were sure the hairdos emerging from each salon would
be similar to their roof scenes...
Obviously they don't have the famed Sign Committee that Santa Barbara
has review every little public sign or notice before allowing it to be
and one other fun miscellany for this section... The Melbourne
Central Mall, a 300 store shopping complex built around the historic
Coops shot tower with a truly awe-inspiring glass cone around it...
A shot tower is a tower designed for the production of shot balls (bullets) by
freefall of molten lead, which is then caught in a water basin. The
shot is used for projectiles in firearms.
Here's how it works, for those interested...
In a shot tower, lead is heated until molten, then dropped through a
copper sieve high up in the tower. The liquid lead solidifies as it
falls and by surface tension forms tiny spherical balls. The partially
cooled balls are caught at the floor of the tower in a water-filled
basin. The now fully cooled balls are checked for roundness and sorted
by size; those that are "out of round" are remelted. A slightly
inclined table is used for checking roundness. To make larger shot
sizes, a copper sieve with larger holes is used. However, the maximum
size is limited by the height of the tower, because larger shot sizes
must fall further to cool. A polishing with a slight amount of graphite
is necessary for lubrication and to prevent oxidation. This was
the technique used for about 100 years, from the late 18th century when
the technique was invented in Britain, until the end of the 19th
century, when wind tunnels were added to shorten the drop needed.
The brick tower is 165 feet high. When it was
built, the maximum height allowed for buildings was 132 feet, but this
gained an exemption because of the need for height for the shot making
process. It is one of five shot towers built in Australia.
The world's tallest shot tower is also here in Melbourne, but we
haven't found it yet.
The glass cone around it was built in 1991 and is 252 feet tall.
We were also lucky enough to arrive on the hour, notable only because
the giant clock in the middle of the same mall opens up only once an hour
and a mechanized band plays for a few moments -
Then it closes back up again until the top of the next hour...
All these little 'synchronicities' in our lives always make us feel so blessed...