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Archive for November, 2008

“The producers of PBS’s best science show, NOVA, have posted an excellent gallery of online experiments: Skydive from 100,000 feet. Replicate Shackleton’s 800-mile open-boat journey from the South Shetland Islands to South Georgia. Tweak the variables in a steroid, a rice paddy, or a rocket. Perform a virtual heart transplant. You may get so caught up you never escape.

Our favorite experiment involves Bill Goldfinch — a British prisoner in a Nazi POW camp who looked out the window, saw snowflakes rising, and had an epiphany: Could he glide to freedom on the same updraft? Together with another prisoner, he constructed a false wall, then built a handmade, two-passenger glider behind it. They were almost finished when the war ended — but decades later, some of Goldfinch’s fellow POW-camp alums used his design to build and launch another glider, one that actually flew. Here you can test-fly a virtual version — and at far less risk of crash or capture than Goldfinch might have faced.” – – VSL

 http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/hotscience/

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“Oxford’s podcast series allows you to audit courses at the English-speaking world’s oldest university — free of charge, and from afar.

Learn about quantum nanotechnology while riding the subway. Study Milton in the Laundromat. And hear the creation story as it’s described in the Torah, the Bible, and the Koran. You can also hear American economist Joseph Stiglitz’s recent talk on the credit crunch (it’s the top-ranked podcast at iTunes) and tag along with Michael Palin (Oxford ’65, Monty Python ’83) as he gives you a video tour of the university and its Bodleian Library (it’s home to 9 million items, including four Magna Cartas). Oxford has launched the careers of countless movers and shakers — including 25 prime ministers. Here’s your chance to join their ranks!” – – VSL

http://podcasts.ox.ac.uk/

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“MorgueFile — which provides quickly findable, high-res digital photos, free — is a graphic designer’s dream come true.

The site archives stock photographs submitted by professional and amateur shutterbugs, all of which are ready and waiting for your commercial or personal use. (N.B.: Morgue file is a newspaper term for the stock of past issues.) There’s no sign-up, no hassle, no fuss: Just take what you need and go. But the site does recommended that you credit the photographers, or be extra-polite and shoot them an e-mail. Sounds reasonable to us — if a picture’s worth a thousand words, we’ll start with “Thanks.”” – – VSL

http://www.morguefile.com/

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Yeah, sorry about the lame Aerosmith reference.  Anyway, Angela at Under the Sun, posted this cool GenderAnalyzer, that “determines” whether the person writing the blog is a female or a male.  Of course, you just KNOW I had to do it…..and as it turns out…..apparently I blog like a boy.  Hmm…who’da guessed.

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I’m not sure why I hadn’t blogged about this before, ’cause it’s not like it happened yesterday….LOL!!

In September, I took Boo to the public school for the Fall Standardized Tests. (We are not required to do them where we live; however, I didn’t think it would do any harm….and it gives me an idea of her progress, thus far.)
She did the same tests last Fall, while in public school; (I pulled Boo out of public school at the Winter Break) therefore, we were able to compare last years scores with this years scores. 🙂

Math
Fall 2007 203 (Average Range 200-206)
Fall 2008 205 (Average Range 202-208)

Reading
Fall 2007 201 (Average Range 198-204)
Fall 2008 206 (Average Range 203-209)

Language Usage
Fall 2007 194 (Average Range 191-197)
Fall 2008 203 (Average Range 200-206)

I am super pleased that she tested in comparison to last year – – which means I haven’t completely messed her up (yet?) LOL!!

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The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.
– Dorothy Parker

Always acknowledge a fault. This will throw those in authority off their guard and give you an opportunity to commit more.
– Mark Twain

 

If the truth doesn’t save us, what does that say about us?
– Lois McMaster Bujold

Anybody can become angry, that is easy; but to be angry with the right person, and to the right degree, and at the right time, and for the right purpose, and in the right way, that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.
– Aristotle

For all our conceits about being the center of the universe, we live in a routine planet of a humdrum star stuck away in an obscure corner… An unexceptional galaxy which is one of about 100 billion galaxies…. That is the fundamental fact of the universe we inhabit, and it is very good for us to understand that.
– Carl Sagan

Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it. So autograph your work with quality.
– Robert Elliott

No tendency is quite so strong in human nature as the desire to lay down rules of conduct for other people.
– William Howard Taft

You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you.
– Eric Hoffer

Learning is ever in the freshness of its youth, even for the old.
– Aeschylus

Never trust the advice of a man in difficulties.
– Aesop

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I decided that this year was a great year to learn about “American History” – – especially because we were faced with the most important presidential election in my life, thus far.

I have noticed that the best way for Boo to learn, is to completely engulf her in whatever we are learning (that means books {picture, fiction, non-fiction, story, etc.}, movies, discussion, etc.).

We have covered most of the Native American early history and are almost done with the American Government studies.

Today, in the middle of watching a PBS movie about The Supreme Court, she says: “Mom, people were really messed up.”

I said, “What do you mean?”

She says, “The white peeps. They were just mean and messed up.”

I said, “Yes, Boo…..and unfortunately, peeps are still mean and messed up.”

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Today’s writing prompt was: What toy do you think you will still like when you are an adult?  Why?

Boo’s Answer: Make-up is what I think I will like.  Why? It makes you look gorgus.  So you can get a boyfriend easyer. So you can be happy with who you are.  (All spelling and grammer are hers.)

I thought this was a very interesting answer.  What do you think? 
(Oh, and by the way, I don’t wear make-up.)

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What a great language arts lesson…..

“The Omnificent English Dictionary invites you to rewrite the definition of every single word in our language — in limerick form.

Thus far, the online database has published 48,000-plus poems (and that only takes it up to the D’s). Here’s an example sent in by frequent contributor Meg Beagle, for the definition of agasp:

 

I am, as they say, all agasp.
I ruined my Maidenform’s clasp.
Now going cold turkey,
Just one side is perky.
The other is out of my grasp.

 

Who needs a dictionary illustration after reading something like that? Limericks, of course, tend toward the racy, but the site’s keepers do trust you to stick within the boundaries of good taste. Nantucket, we’ve got our eye on you!” – – VSL

http://www.oedilf.com/db/Lim.php?Word=&button=Go

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Science and Art merge in this magnificent medium…enjoy the wonder of micro-photography….

“Reality’s building blocks are too tiny to see, so modern scientists pursue the invisible. The Nikon Small World Competition — which celebrates the most beautiful and mesmerizing microphotography — allows the rest of us to look on in wonder.

This year, the grand prize went to an expressionistic rendering of diatoms (oceanic algae): The single-celled creatures look like glow sticks waving in the darkness. The rear legs of water boatmen — barely visible insects that lurk in ponds and streams — are equally beautiful. (An intense zoom reveals the thorny hairs that allow them to swim against strong currents.) Then there’s the so-called brainbow, which scientists created by genetically engineering neurons to emit nearly 90 different shades of fluorescent light. (The results have given researchers an unprecedented window into the highways and byways of the cortex.) These pictures may look like art, but they’re actually avant-garde science.” – – VSL

http://www.nikonsmallworld.com/gallery.php?grouping=year&year=2008&imagepos=1

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