Wednesday, 30 August 2017

CADET ACTIVITY: Make your own space porthole

A fun craft with an outer space theme.


You will need scissors, glue and colouring pencils plus:
  • paper plate
  • silver, white, gold or grey paint and paint brush
  • some pony beads
  • a drinking straw
  • plain paper (for the picture)


  1. Cut a circle from the centre of a paper plate.
  2. For the handle, glue a pony bead to each end of a 2 inch length of a straw and then glue to the paper plate.
  3. Glue more pony beads around the outside of the plate as decorative bolts.
  4. Paint the whole plate silver, grey, white or gold and let dry. 
  5. Optional: Glue a piece of clear plastic inside the paper plate to cover your porthole (the clear half of large freezer Ziploc bags work well for this.
  6. For the picture inside your porthole, either draw a picture from scratch or cut one out of a magazine or suitable wrapping paper. Alternatively, you can print one of the templates below and colour it in.
  7. Glue your scene behind the plate.
Voila! One porthole!


Or you could use any of the images on this blog that are for colouring in.

CREDIT: DLTK's Crafts for Kids

Sunday, 27 August 2017

How about a little bit of colouring in?

While colouring in was once reserved for children, it is now being used as a form of alternative therapy to help adults relieve stress and anxiety. So whatever your age, why not have a go at this ...

Saturday, 26 August 2017

OUT OF THE ASHES 2.0: (April 2017)

LT Erika Stroem

Preparing for a fun filled weekend, Erika arrived on Thursday for a fantastic pre-event day and stayed for the duration of the convention. As an avid Cosplayer, Erika had a number of costumes including a fantastic Wraith to honour the two Babylon 5 actors present, but she didn't stop there. Erika also featured as a fantastic Nox (Stargate) and in steampunk. I asked her about the costumes.
"I made the Nox costume thinking it would be easy, but it was the hardest thing I had ever made ... but the best thing is if I have to ever have to do a repair, it is the easiest as there is no system to it. It just does not matter what the repair looks like."
Erika was accompanied by her granddaughter, Ellie, over the weekend who was really enthusiastic, too. She came as Rey from Star Wars.
One of Erika's favourite moments was "the constant smile on my granddaughter's face as she found the whole experience so surreal".
Erika met all the guests at the event, but her favourite was Rainbow Sun Francks.
"We have become soul friends and I love him to bits. We really connected, although David Blue was a very close second as he is lovely."
Another fond memory for Erika was with David.
"During the talk my phone went off, it was my daughter. I tried whispering, but after a while David Blue came over and took the phone off me and started talking to my daughter. He then put the phone onto speaker and put the microphone near it so all could hear the conversation. I was so pleased that my daughter does not swear much!"
Other great moments include David Limburg finding a new Data port (Lee Bradley—photo courtesy of Holly Bowler) but there were lots of really great costumes.

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

CADET ACTIVITY: Bivvy Building

So what is a bivvy?

Bivvy is short for bivouac, which is a temporary camp or shelter. If you ever walk through woods or forests, you can often see the remains of some that others will have built as it's a very popular activity with Guides and Scouts. That doesn't mean it's just for the young; why not drag your parents out the woods and get them to help you build one?
Photo by: John Bointon
The construction is pretty simple (the diagrams below show it quite well) but you can make them as sophisticated as you like. REMEMBER THOUGH: Not to damage trees and woodland when making your shelter. Use loose material that you find lying around instead. Start with a long ridge pole resting in the fork of a tree or on something, usually at about waist height. Then add shorter branches to make up the sides. Finally, cover with lighter, foliaged branches and dry leaves.

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Qu'noS, the Klingon home world

Also known as Kronos, Kling, or Klinzhai, it is the third planet of six in the Klingon system and the only one that is habitable (Class M).

The Klingon star is more massive than Sol. It began running out of hydrogen in its core millions of years ago. As a result, the star has been growing larger and redder during that time. Its total luminosity has been increasing slowly but will increase much faster during the next few million years as the star runs out of core hydrogen completely and turns from an orange sub-giant into a red giant. This will render Qo’noS completely uninhabitable, but it is not something most Klingons worry about because it will occur in the distant future and they have more immediate concerns. 

Qo’noS used to have two moons: Corvix and Praxis. The Klingons obtained energy from the molten core of Praxis until 2293, when lax safety precautions led to a massive explosion that destroyed the moon. The explosion damaged the Qo’noS ozone layer and led to massive devastation as chunks of Praxis bombarded the planet. Klingon scientists predicted that Qo’noS would be uninhabitable within a few decades without outside assistance. Chancellor Gorkon reached out to the Federation for aid, and this eventually led to a formal alliance between the Klingon Empire and the United Federation of Planets.

Qo’noS is green when viewed from orbit, primarily because of an over-abundance of carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide, and methane in the atmosphere compared to Earth. The planet is dominated by a huge ocean with one large land mass. Hurricane-like storms grow to be almost as large as the continent itself as they travel over the far side of the planet with no land to slow their growth. These storms are exacerbated by the atmospheric turbulence caused by large temperature differences between the day and night sides of the planet. The planet has a severely-tilted axis, which increases the extremes of hot and cold temperatures between summer and winter. These seasons are particularly known for violent weather since half the planet is in one season while the other half is in the other season and the temperature difference between the two creates powerful storms.

Acknowledgements: STARFLEET International, STARFLEET Academy Nibiru created by Andrea Dopaso

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

CADET ACTIVITY: Galaxy Play Dough

This dough is really easy to make and such fun! It is super smooth, ultra sparkly, and REALLY stretchy. Needless to say it is quite hard to put down. It requires no cooking and can be made in just a few minutes. Using baby oil in this recipe produces a much smoother dough than what you might be used to, and it also has a delightful smell. Adding a few drops of glycerine makes the dough really shiny and stretchy.


  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1/2 cup of salt
  • 1 & 1/2 cups of boiling water
  • 2 tbsp of baby oil
  • 2 tbsp cream of tartar
  • black food colouring {or liquid watercolours}
  • 3-5 drops of glycerine
  • glitter (we used purple, sliver, gold, & red)
Note: You can find glycerine in the health & beauty section of most stores or online here.


  1. Combine the flour, salt, & cream of tartar in a bowl and mix well.
  2. Add several drops of black food colouring to the boiling water, and then combine that in the bowl along with the baby oil & the glycerine. Mix all the ingredients.
  3. Continue mixing until the play dough is formed, and then knead the dough for several minutes. Add more food colouring as you knead if needed.
  4. Once mixed you will now have the most amazing, super stretchy dough!
  5. Finish the dough by adding glitter in the colours of your choice to mimic the stars in the galaxy.
That's it! Now it is time to PLAY!

A Few Tips:

  • You will need to use a lot of food colouring to get a rich, black colour. You could also use black watercolour paint if you have it on hand.
  • If your dough turns out a little too watery just add a bit more flour and mix it in. If your dough begins to dry out you can mix a little baby oil in to revive it and give it new life.


Saturday, 12 August 2017

CADET ACTVITY: Two ways to find North without a compass.

Method 1

This is a fun method to try out in your garden. All you need is a stick, two stones or other small objects and the sun!
  1. Find a sunny spot on an area of flat ground.
  2. Take the stick and push it into the ground so that a shadow is cast from it.
  3. Use a rock or other sharp object and mark the tip of that shadow on the ground.
  4. Since the sun's shadows move from west to east during the day, this first point stands for west.
  5. Wait for about 15 minutes or so and then mark where the stick's shadow has moved to with another rock.
  6. Now you should have two spots in the dirt: The first spot represents the west and the second spot represents the east.
  7. Draw a line between those two spots. You know have east-west line. From there, you can draw your north-south line at a 90-degree angle to the east-west line.
To help you remember that west is left on the compass and east is right, they spell the word WE. From there you can find where north is (above WE) and south (below WE). The stones that you mark are in the same order too: west then east. Try it and see how well it works. You can check it with a compass if you have one.

Method 2

First, you need an analogue watch (that's one with hands on it) set to the correct time. If it has been adjusted for daylight savings set it back an hour.

In the Northern Hemisphere

(the United Kingdom is in the Northern Hemisphere being north of the equator).
  • Point the hour hand (the little one) at the sun.
  • Imagine there is a line down the middle of the angle between the hour hand and the 12 o'clock mark.
  • The line down the middle of the angle is pointing south; so the opposite direction is north.

In the Southern Hemisphere:

  • Point the 12 o'clock mark at the sun.
  • Imagine there is a line down the middle of the angle between the 12 o'clock mark and the hour hand.
  • The line down the middle of the angle is pointing north.