Sunday, June 24, 2012


The Otago Museum hosted the Robocup competition over the weekend.  Robocup is a robotics competition using Lego Mindstorms to preform various functions.  This year's competitions were Search and Rescue, Soccer, and Dance.  Molly and her team entered the dance competition using a Harry Potter theme.

Molly prepares Harry.

Arrrr...there be pirate robots about!

SAR (Search and Rescue) Robots

Harry and Molly

Soccer 'Bots

Harry gets his wand.

Harry and Voldemort duel.

Its was a fun day and turned Molly into a media darling:

The ODT (be sure to click the picture)


To celebrate the longest night of the year (or at least the weekend closest to the longest night of the year) Dunedin hosts a Midwinter Carnival in the Octagon.  The event began in 1997 and draws about 10,000 people to the city centre.  

The Midwinter Carnival consists of a dozen or so food and craft stalls.  This event includes a spectacular Carnival Procession with dozens of giant lanterns, hundreds of hand-held lanterns, and many performers and stilt walkers.   Every year the carnival has a different theme and this year's theme was "A Frosty Night."  The evening finishes with a small firework display from atop the Forsyth-Barr building (one of Dunedin's taller buildings).

My night photography is not what it should be, but here are some pictures:

Frost Fairies

Snowman Lanterns

Ice Drummers and Stilt People 

Luminous Moth

Luminous Unicorn

Maori Dancer

Frost Fairy or Snow Joker

Lighting Effects

Giant heads to frighten children

Children not frightened by giant heads

Tree Lanterns

More tree lanterns

More Frost Fairies

Lantern Tree

In the months leading up to the carnival, workshops are held to build lanterns.  According to the website, "it takes roughly two hours to make a lantern and everyone who makes a lantern becomes part of the procession on Carnival night."  The cost of making a lantern is $5 and you must book well in advance.

Though it is almost July, I have missed Christmas lights with the cold weather.  This was a welcome event, but Santa was not at the end of the parade.

Thursday, June 21, 2012


Like Sports Day, Columba Swimming Sports Day is a whole school event at the swimming pool.  The girls compete in various swimming events (50 m freestyle, 100 m backstroke, etc.) for he glory of their house, their year, and their own personal best.  I was an official lane timer. There are also some fun and games such as ring toss, handstand, and others.  It was a morning out at Moana Pool.

Diving in at Moana Pool

Although Molly was in a cast, that did not stop her from doing a cannonball.

The handstand competition.


Saturday, June 16, 2012


Who said netball was a non-contact sport?  Molly has a broken arm from netball.

The interesting part of the story is that this is Molly's second cast (or plaster as its called in New Zealand) this week.  The first cast was plaster of paris.  It had not been on long when Molly and her friend Camilia decided it needed to be painted.  And they did. Beautifully.  However, the paint they used caused a chemical reaction with the plaster and the cast constricted, painfully, on her arm.  Another trip back to the clinic and they decided that Molly has healed enough to go with a synthetic cast.  The first cast was removed with great care so as to preserve its artistic integrity.

1st and 2nd cast.

Molly is returning to Indiana on July 2nd.  I am going to miss her terribly.