The House Of Fun

MorningStar's Not-So-Secret Laboratory

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For many years I've dreamed of a lab. Not just any lab either, since I was a child I've had dreams of a life denied me by circumstances beyond my control. Not Fame and Fortune like other folks tho I guess.
Things around me have a habit of happening though, I dont know what it is. I can be pushing in a completely different direction, unaware fate has a kick up the backside for me, and those dreams come true in a sideways fashion. This is no exception...

* edit

Apparently its not obvious what use I intend for my latest venture.

Well, its art.

And a protest of sorts, it could be backscaled for the homeless to sleep in, a point on which I do take issue. This is the 21st C, and we have families begging on the streets while the rich find yet more ways to tax them, and step over them in distaste. Thats not all they do. A MorningStar Shelter is urine-proof and fire-proof. And sturdy enough to prevent casual theft of belongings or injury from casual violence.

<rant>Sorry to tell you, Theresa, but you're about the worst PM in our history, and we've had some d*ks, whats your problem hmmm? Do us all a favour and GO HACK YOURSELF. </rant>

I want to be a super-hacker, MUAHAHA! ;-) I get called all sorts of 'orrible things by stupids. Its because they have no frame of reference for me, and people always reject enigma on principle. Fair enough, so I'll give them a frame of reference, walk around in goggles and broadcast from my capsule like any YouTube superstar ;-p Watch this space.

What would you do with a pile of cardboard belonging to the Government. Burn it? Fly Tip it?

Give it back?


Not the most obvious choice of building materials for starters, but it was prompted by circumstance, and as usual arrived in the form of a joke. Having just moved house enabled me to again have a workshop in my garden after 5 long years of my stuff in storage. Part of the deal included said workshop, but typically Igor is giving me hassle over this. He paid for the move, and thus the deposit on the cardboard boxes - which I should return to the movers if he wants the deposit back.

'Igor' is a Manager of Social Services, and knows full well his department owe me this, but he's being difficult about paying up. So no little workshop for MorningStar. Bummer.

Seeing as the deposit is my favourite sum of twenty quid, coincidentally the largest amount of money I am allowed to earn in a week under Social Security regulations, to say he's not getting that back has a probability of one. Possibly more, but you'll have a hard time proving it without a crowbar.

Who, me? XD

Now I wont claim the idea as mine. Someone here may have said it, but a little voice said 'Make one out of cardboard, ho ho.'

Well I love art even more than a good joke, and nothing pleased me more than the idea of Igor commissioning and paying for a jumbo piece of artwork, whether he likes it or not.

It wouldnt be the first time XD

I should point out here I am also prevented by regulation from building anything extensive, like large greenhouses, sheds etc , and have been allocated a little regulation patch of regulation paving stones big enough for a six by four shed as well. Quite what regulation makes a paving slab 450mm/17.5in eludes me at present. I mean it looks big enough for a decent shed, but they'd all overhang the edges significantly in practise.

Its a thought, but no.

It would have to be smaller on the outside than it is on the inside.

Closer... But still no. ;-p

Technically what I'm doing is making a giant round cardboard box. A carton is even more temporary than a Marquee, which could in theory occupy my entire back yard for an undefined period under the regulations governing use of the land.

And there are no regulations governing a MorningStar, unless I make them up.

Well, after a bit of kicking the idea around, it kind of evolved. A waterproofing skin on the cardboard both sides prevents it from picking up moisture, and in my case also doubles as a Faraday Cage. I'm using tinfoil, as a tip of the tinfoil hat to my lords and masters besides a useful addition to any laboratory.

It's going to look the part when it's done, thats for sure.

  • Patience

    Morning.Star01/21/2019 at 16:28 0 comments


    A whole weekend of rain, Bea home and she couldnt even go on her trampoline. So we both stared out the window at the garden and sighed.

    This morning it was bright and sunny, perfect building weather, but I've had to bring the panels in to thaw, and then dry out. 3 of them were fine, the slightly-damp one is just the same, but the soggy one froze solid and fooled me. I thought they were all dry, but no.

    I brought them indoors, and within 10 minutes one started to sag and stopped being solid.

    Oh well. Guess I'll just have to wait a few days.

  • Morning.After

    Morning.Star01/17/2019 at 09:51 2 comments

    We've all been there. Seemed like a great idea at the time. Usually there's alcohol involved and your mates egging you on.

    Hanging like a bat.

    No, I'm just kidding, but thats what a Lair is for. Hanging in.

    Actually turns out its a great idea after all, this might even turn out to be serviceable. After being rained on persistently yesterday I just went and checked on the panels outside.

    I've had to bring them all in to dry properly, but the basic principle works far better than expected.

    Two immediate concerns, that not sealing the edges or the inside would allow the cardboard to soak up atmospheric moisture are borne out. But actually on the whole its not too bad.

    Where it was laid on the ground with another layer on top some water crept in along the edges but its not extensive, and the cardboard is only a bit soggy on one point. It will dry out, and the foil is unaffected. All the lapping on this one was vertical during storage, but I couldnt really stand it up anywhere and cover the top.

    I'm pleased there was no ingress on the lapping anywhere, and although the board underneath has picked up some environmental moisture, on the whole its drier than when I glued it. Pretty solid, sounds like dry cardboard compared to the rubbish boxes left as a test.

    This one, not so good.

    One corner is decidedly soggy and the foil's come away where the glue has dissolved into the cardboard and vanished. And this edge was pointing downwards in the triangle, and there's a lapped seam pointing upwards right on the apex. It was stretched tight luckily, but water has seeped under that one.

    The rest of it has survived a dousing and again is more rigid that I'd expect being left out in the rain. It will dry out indoors, while I wait for a sunny day.

    On the whole, I'd say that was successful enough to continue this lunacy, its not just going to wind up a soggy pile of cardboard and tinfoil after all.

    'To the Batcave'


  • Foiled Not Foiled. Or Foiled.

    Morning.Star01/16/2019 at 23:54 0 comments

    Touche, Stuart.


    Lorenzo's Foil

    Curses, lousy weather.

    But it doesnt stop me when I am on a mission.

    This is so large-scale its like interior decorating. I am a bit fond of wallpapering anyway, and this worked out really nicely.

    Just like Christmas all over again. On an epic scale...

    It doesnt feel like Christmas, I had to make my prezzie myself and its an empty cardboard box. And I had to wrap the hacking thing myself.

    I also didnt have a cooker to cook a turkey in, so I had a lot of tinfoil begging to wrap it in, no TV and no Internets over Christmas too, so up yours Igor.

    I realised when I'd managed to stand this one up again the lapping is horizontal.

    Dammit, thats not so easy... But still possible.

    [Expletives Deleted]

    Much, much later...

    If I taped those all end-to-end and stood them up, it would be a 44 foot high tube large enough to stand in.

    I might need an elevator...

  • Thinking The Box Inside

    Morning.Star01/15/2019 at 20:55 0 comments

    One thing you cant bargain on is the weather. Guaranteed to send builders scurrying into huts to drink tea and peer at their watches and the sky alternately.

    Actually, it was just a bit spitty at one point, but it looked like it was going to chuck it down, so I erred on the side of prudence and went indoors.

    I'm still quite tickled how this has all worked out. Technically, my garden shed is Origami. ;-) Doesnt get much more Zen or futuristic than that if you ask me. But Origami is an ancient passion also to me, and I'm used to wrangling largish bits of paper, some models can be made from entire broadsheet newspaper for example, which is a bit flappy.

    Not as flappy as this, but I'm pleased to say this was actually easier than laying the card out flat and trying to tape it  so's all the edges lined up. Nothing kept still, and I couldnt reach to stick it down well either without walking on it.

    Hmmm. Rodin moment.

    Yeah I can solve all those problems with one simple and radical change that might not immediately suggest itself working with planar materials.

    Standing the boxes up by zig-zagging them meant I didnt have to bend over them to tape them up. Dont know about you guys, but creeping around since the Dawn of Time on your tentacles gives you backache, and this planet sucks enough without gravity.


    Get the tension right, and they pop back into place when you stand them up until you tape down the join.

    It started to get a bit Spielberg in here again.

    That was the first attempt, note the two flimsy bits of parcel tape one on each end keeping it up while I scratched my head over taping the rest without being crushed to death.

    Health and Safety.

    Please wear hard hat and safety footwear at all times. Goggles are recommended in areas with pointy arrows.

    Human-breathable atmosphere has been provided across all dimensions. Flux breathers should carry Rosin and heating equipment at all times.

    Extra-planar dimensions are clearly marked. Three dimensional beings should bear left to avoid unpleasant entanglements with dimensions not directly perceived.

    This is where is got a bit damp, so I gave up the glue, secured the unsealed ends against the weather and retired indoors for lunch...

    Thus restored, I had at it again until my shoulder gave out and started getting sore. Most of the trouble I have with it is bending forwards and stretching my arms down, that really pulls.

    So while covering the last one I folded it into a square tube, secured the ends and worked on the top surface, rolling it over as I went, lapping the edges around the corners. It worked really well, and tomorrow afternoon will see the modules constructed and ready to assemble.

  • Thinking Outside The Box

    Morning.Star01/14/2019 at 23:25 0 comments

    It took me a little while to get all the cardboard together, and come up with a reasonable scale for the thing.

    The boxes were mostly standard mover's cartons, and opened up are 6'x3'. There are also some smaller ones, and after a fashion I managed to arrange them so.

    That works out to a version of this 7 feet high and around 10 feet long. The model is an Avery Label printed with the template and stuck to tinfoil.

    First, I began sticking the boxes together with the parcel tape, and coated them with glue all over. I really had no idea of the scale of the thing, even though I know the measurements of the yard and the template.

    This is just two boxes, one end, less than a quarter of the area needed. :-D

    See what I mean about the cut-price paving slabs?

    Next, I unrolled the tinfoil on the glue, carefully lining it up with a small overlap. These lapped edges will be pointing downwards so the skin is waterproof naturally, and I dont have to seal it further.

    Then, as the light was beginning to go and I didnt have time to complete another, I put it aside to dry properly, and I'll carry on tomorrow weather permitting. That should dry nicely even if it rains.

    Oh man I love this foil. And so will Bea :-D

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Dr. Cockroach wrote 01/15/2019 at 21:25 point

Art, function and a world where dreams will come true :-)

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Morning.Star wrote 01/17/2019 at 06:35 point

Welcome to the Age of MorningStar XD

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Gerben wrote 01/15/2019 at 14:50 point

I'm totally not getting what this is all about.

But it sounds like you are having fun! So best of luck on lab build.

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Morning.Star wrote 01/15/2019 at 21:13 point

Well, its art, among other things... :-D Cheers, and to you ;-)

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[this comment has been deleted]

Morning.Star wrote 01/15/2019 at 21:24 point

Ahhh, Madness, an old favourite :-D
But condoms? I'm not sure what you think I'll be doing in there. All Night. Online. Pay-Per-View. And there was me considering a Patreon. ;-p

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Morning.Star wrote 01/16/2019 at 06:31 point

So try the House of Fun

Its quicker if you run

This as a chemists, not a joke shop

XD Thanks Stu, you've given me some earworms in your time, but I actually woke up with this one today. OK so you get to name this one, but there will be retribution if I ever get in trouble for vulcanising rubber in there.

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Morning.Star wrote 01/16/2019 at 06:36 point

Man walks into a chemists, and asks for Pyrex.

Sorry sir, try the trading post...

He leans forward conspiritorially. No, he whispers, Pyrex, I've got some really hot stuff in the car.

Old but gold.

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