Monday, February 28, 2011

Father/Son Moments In North Minneapolis: The Crystal Growing Experiment...

Photos and blog post by John Hoff

Without the ultra-affordable housing deals in North Minneapolis, I don't know how I would manage to be near my 13-year-old son and a meaningful part of his life. I keep trying to put out the word to single fathers: get up here and join our struggle to fix these houses and make our neighborhood a safe and livable urban utopia.

When I have visitation with my son, I usually try to have a few things planned for weekend activities or (like most kids his age) my son will revert to video games like it's his default setting.

Recently, I obtained a not-very-expensive crystal growing experiment kit. The beauty of the experiment is the crystals take roughly seven days to grow and--due to some kind of "makeup weekend" situation--my weekends doubled up. So Alex was able to put the experiment to bed on a Saturday night and have it pretty much completed the following Friday.

As you can see by the photos above...

...we grew some perfect "rock candy" sugar crystals, which Alex consumed shortly after this photo was taken. Yes, that was a lot of sugar but...well, it was for science.

We tried to re-use the kit and grow more crystals with our own sugar, but all we managed to produce was a jar of gooey sugar syrup. I also wondered if it would be possible to add food color to the original experiment and produce colored crystals. That would be cool.

The crystal growing experiment was fun, but kind of a one-time thing. Now my son and I have a new, long-term hobby: watching our 377,977 shares of China Nuvo Solar Energy.

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