Category Archives: Science

Octopus News

I love to learn about the world around me and the animals in it! Check out these two fun videos that show you just how quick an octopus can be! I didn’t know they could come out on land like that or that they fancied being paparazzi or that they could show Houdini a trick or two! Warning, a little bad language at the end of the first video.

Survival: 390 Year Old Bonsai is an Ambassador of History

When I think of a plant that has lived for hundreds of years, I think of the Giant Sequoias in California – towering high overhead. This bonsai was potted 390 years ago and it currently resides at the U.S. National Arboretum.

It was a gift for our 200 year bicentennial – given by a family who had tended it for five generations. It was designed to be a symbol of peace and friendship – given a mere 30 years after the bombing of Hiroshima. This tree is a survivor – it was growing only two miles away from where the atomic bomb was dropped. The love and care of the Yamaki family and the protection of the nursery walls ensured its survival.The history this tree has seen…if only it could talk!

Photo courtesy of National Geographic.

390 year old Bonsai

 

 

 

 

Are Borgs in Our Future?

If you watch Star Trek, you are well aware of the Borg and how they strive for perfection by blending organic components with mechanical ones.  They are pretty terrifying as they take over ever species they run into and bring them into the 'collective' where everyone becomes a drone (except the Queen) and they all share one consciousness.  Their tag line is, “Resistance is Futile!” 


 



Well, now some scientists have yoked bacteria to power rotary motors. These are the first microscopic mechanical devices to successfully incoporate living microbes together with inorganic parts.


 


Uh-oh…this is the third article I have seen today that reminds me of science fiction that I have seen…does this mean I watch too much tv?

How Planes Fly

My husband is a private pilot and flying is something he loves to do (and hasn't been able to for awhile because it is an expensive hobby). I miss that for him.  I was never crazy about flying. I like getting from point A to point B faster, but I am a bit afraid of the whole being up in the air off the ground thing!  At any rate, I think it is fascinating how planes work and that modern avionics still is based on the same prinicples of areodynamics that the Wright Brothers used 103 years ago. For a very interesting article on how plane fly, go here.

Study: Teacher’s Gender Affects Learning

This study shows that girls do better in classes taught by women and boys do better in classes taught by men. It would be interesting to see a similar study done by homeschoolers. Is it that men are more tolerant of the natural behavior of boys and boys react to men better (and the same with girls) or is it that teachers are better able to reach out to children and understand children of the same gender?


 


It would be interesting to see if the same pattern holds for homeschooled children or if it is really more of the fact that the teacher understands the child better. Let me see if I can make myself clearer. When we homeschool, we are teaching children we have raised. We know how they learn, we can respond to their interests and behaviors based on our knowledge. This would be similar to a male understanding better how a male learns. So in my hypothesis, since in most homeschool families, children are taught by their mothers, is that you would not see this same gap. 


 


What are your thoughts?

California Wetlands Restored

Back to Normal A Sanctuary Returns 


 


We often hear about wetlands being destroyed, it is nice to hear a story about a wetland area being restored. This took place in California after a 2 year project and 100 million dollars! This area used to be the second largest oil producer in California, now after 107 years of separation from the ocean, the earthen dam has been removed and the marshlands returned.  Originally this area was cut off rom the ocean when a duck-hunting club diked ponds to make it easier to catch their prey (talk about cutting their own throats!)

1st Generation of Jordi LeForge’s Eye Visor as seen in Star Trek the Next Generation

The Latest in Navigation


 


Wow…how's that for a title? Just a few posts ago, I was talking about science fiction becomes fact. Here are some people who are working on inventing a portable way for blind people to 'see' where they are going! If you ever watched Star Trek The Next Generation you are familiar with Jordi LeForge and his eye visor that helped him perceive things around him. He was the chief engineer!


 


Well, now we are beginning our journey towards that eventuality. Way to go guys! Keep up the good work!

Sunlight Curbs Afternoon Drowsiness…

Falling asleep in the middle of the afternoon? Get outside! Get some good old sunshine. We have gotten used to living in these artificially lit environments and they trigger sleepy responses in our human physiology. So get out of your chair, go take a short walk and you will be rejuvenated! More awake! Your heart will thank you!  You may lose weight! You may get stronger!  You will see more of the world around you! And you will soak in some Vitamin D…wow, did God give us a great gift when he made the sun or what? So get out there and take advantage of it!


 


As an aside, avoiding sweets early in the day and at lunch can also help with this. Sweets make sugar levels rise quickly, then they drop, leaving you feeling very tired. This actually led me to have an afternoon car accident (thankfully no human injuries) when I fell asleep at the wheel and ran into a guard rail about 15 years ago). Just an FYI.


 


Now get out in that sunshine!!!