Sharing The Peapod's Travel Adventures...

Melbourne Miscellany

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This entry was posted on 5/22/2007 5:43 AM and is filed under Australia.

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 Mars.  Promise.



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 mouth...



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 posted...

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...
 

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Comments

    • 5/23/2007 1:17 PM Ms Other Pod wrote:
      Wow - that place is totally too nuts! Is there a spaetzle tower, too? I love that bullet-making process; it's so, uh, low-tech! And I think it is high time that we had a few more interesting store fronts on State Street. Damn sign committee anyway! Bah!
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