This afternoon, the kids and I helped with some citizen science as part of the Thames WaterBlitz, a collaborative effort
to sample water quality of the rivers, canals, and ponds of the Thames Valley to produce valuable data for the researchers of today and tomorrow.
My two little science assistants didn’t need any encouragement to get out of the house and into the sunshine and were eager to go. I didn’t even have to pull out my trump card of
pointing out that there were fruiting brambles along the length of the canal. As I observed in a vlog last year, it’s usually pretty easy to
motivate the tykes with a little foraging.
The EarthWatch Institute had provided all the chemicals and instructions we needed by post, as well as a mobile app with which to record our results (or paper forms, if we preferred).
Right after lunch, we watched their instructional video and set out to the sampling site. We’d scouted out a handful of sites including some on the River Cherwell as it snakes through
Kidlington but for this our first water-watch expedition we figured we’d err on the safe side and aim to target only a single site: we chose this one both because it’s close to home and
because a previous year’s citizen scientist was here, too, improving the comparability of the results year-on-year.
One way I’ve found to enhance my nights as Dungeon Master is to call on experiences as an amateur musician and fan, to ramp up the intensity and sense of fantasy with playlists of
tunes from the history of composed and recorded music.
I realised that this might be something I was OK at when I saw our party’s rogue lost in imagination and stabbing to the beat of a bit of Shostakovich.
Over the months some of the collections I’ve curated have picked up a few followers on Spotify and upvotes on Reddit but I thought it was time to put more effort in and start
writing about it.
The opening post from Lute the Bodies, a new blog by my friend Alec. It promises an exploration of enhancing tabletop roleplaying with
music, which is awesome: I’ve occasionally been known to spend longer picking out the music for a given roleplaying event than I have on planning the roleplaying activities themselves!
Looking forward to see where this goes…