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Archive for the ‘Science’ Category

“People who talk about the effects of global warming tend to use the future tense, as if the damage had yet to occur. If only. Even though the earth is just beginning to heat up, it’s already showing the strain.

In Darfur, a decades-long drought — triggered by a warming southern Atlantic — led to a shortage of arable land and ignited an ongoing ethnic conflict. In Washington, D.C., politicians are being forced to deal with more powerful Gulf Coast hurricanes and a flood of “environmental refugees” from equatorial countries. Meanwhile, European nations like Italy are increasingly susceptible to “tropical” diseases such as malaria and dengue fever, while the wine industry is being forced to migrate north, to Denmark and England. So garage that SUV, or brace yourself for the inevitable bottles of Chateau Liverpool.” – – VSL

http://www.sciam.com/slideshow.cfm?id=top-10-places-already-affected-by-climate-change&thumbs=horizontal&photo_id=40DF5ED1-D4FF-29D2-C64A7E706AA67373

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“One hundred twenty-five years ago, Wilson “Snowflake” Bentley took the first microphotographs of snow; 46 years later he died of pneumonia contracted while photographing snowflakes in his barn. Today, CalTech physicist Kenneth Libbrecht is carrying Bentley’s work into the 21st century — and posting the findings online.

Libbrecht’s gallery includes a remarkably beautiful photograph of the “stellar dendrite” — a many-branched, starlike form that creates the light, fluffy powder that skiers adore. You’ll also see a “hollow column” (which resembles a tiny pipette) and the superdelicate “needle” snowflake, which appears only when the temperature nears 23 degrees F. Keep looking, and you’ll find prisms, sectored plates, and the rare triangular snowflake. According to Libbrecht, each of these flakes holds about a billion billion molecules.” – – VSL

http://www.newscientist.com/gallery/dn16170-snowflakes 

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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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“Mark Oliver Everett is a bona fide rock star and the son of a physicist, Hugh Everett III, who was also father to the theory of multiple worlds. The scientist died when the son was 19; for Mark (who flunked out of ninth-grade algebra), Hugh Everett became even more of a mystery than the formulas he left behind. And when Mark set out to understand his father, and his father’s work, he took a camera crew along with him.

The resulting BBC4 documentary — which makes its American debut on PBS next Tuesday — is a tearjerker that doubles as an excellent primer on quantum theory. The science is fascinating. The structure is simple (Mark retraces his father’s career, meeting friends and colleagues and conducting experiments designed to illustrate his father’s ideas). But the story itself becomes more complex, and more compelling, as we learn more about the Everett clan. (“In her suicide note, she wrote that she was going off to meet her father in a parallel universe,” Mark says, recalling his late sister, Liz; Mark also survived his mother, who died of cancer in 1998, and his cousin Jennifer, who was a stewardess on the 9/11 Flight 77.) Mark’s father never received the recognition he desired, kept the world at arm’s length, and died of a heart attack at the age of 51 (Mark discovered the body). “If he’d had the emotional vocabulary, he’d have been very, very pleased with what you did with your music,” a friend of his tells Mark. But if Hugh Everett was right — that every possibility does, in fact, play out in any number of parallel universes — then somewhere out there, he is.” – – VSL

Watch Online at: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/manyworlds/ 

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“Sooner or later, the universe comes down to this: We, the people, don’t matter that much. Our planet is a speck of dust, orbiting a middling star, in an out-of-the-way corner of a totally minor solar system. And in the greatest scheme of things, there’s not a whole lot any one of us can do about anything at all. Spend enough time staring up at the skies, and the heavens themselves turn hellish.

If that train of thought sounds familiar to you, you may want to check out Astronomy Photo of the Day a website the rocket scientists at NASA cooked up for those of us who never got over our freshman-year existentialism seminars. The images are stunning — the gaseous swirl of a distant supernova looks like something you’d find on a religious icon — and each picture comes with an easy-to-digest, down-to-earth explanation. Find out what a “thousand ruby galaxy” is. Learn to photograph the Milky Way with a simple digital camera. Impress the folks at any given Star Trek convention. Hamlet was right: There are more things in heaven than are dreamt of in philosophy. See many of them here, and feel bigger than the universe that dwarfs us.” – – VSL 

http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap081008.html

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This summer, “Bugs and Insects” are the themes in the libraries across Kansas. I decided that we would use this opportunity to study them throughout the summer months – – and I will try to keep up with what I do so that you may use whatever resources are listed for your own Thematic Unit. Since we decided to do this in the last couple-a-days, it will be a hodge-podge – – hopefully, we will get a little more organized as time goes on.

 

 

Day One
Language Arts – Insect Word Book (http://members.enchantedlearning.com/books/mini/insects/)
Literature – Books: The Very Quiet Cricket by Eric Carle; Some Smug Slug by Pamela Duncan Edwards; The Icky Bug Alphabet Book by Jerry Pallotta; Bugs by Nancy Winslow Parker and Joan Richards Wright (Reading Rainbow Feature Book); Bugs are Insects by Anne Rockwell
Quiz on Books (www.BookAdventure.com) – The Very Quiet Cricket; Some Smug Slug; The Icky Bug Alphabet Book
Listened to books on Tape/CDThere Ain’t No Bugs on Me
Movie – Reading Rainbow: Bugs, FLO: The Lyin’ Fly

Day Two
Literature – Books: Are You a Bee? By Judy Allen; Bugs, Beetles, and Butterflies by Harriet Ziefert
Science – Bug/insect Report {BEETLE} (http://www.enchantedlearning.com/graphicorganizers/animalrpt/insect.shtml)
MovieMagic School Bus: Bugs, Bugs, Bugs!
Art – Various Insect/Bug Art Projects at the Library
Field Trip – Trip to the Zoo with the Brownies

Day Three
Literature – Books: Bug in a Rug by Sue Heap; Diary of a Spider by Doreen Cronin; Diary of a Fly by Doreen Cronin
Language Arts
– Bug Wordsearch (Worksheet from the Library)
MovieInsect; Antz

 

Day Four
LiteratureWhy Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears by Verna Aardema; The Ugly Caterpillar by Carl Sommer
Quiz on Books (www.BookAdventure.com) – Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears
Language Arts – Worksheets: Diary of a Fly, Bug Page and Word Search, Ant Maze (all from the Library)
MovieBugz; FLO: The Lyin’ Fly

Day Five
LiteratureUp, Down and Around by Katherine Ayers; The Caterpillar and the Polliwog by Jack Kent; Inch by Inch by Leo Lionni
Quiz on Books (www.BookAdventure.com) – The Caterpillar and the Polliwog; Inch by Inch
Language Arts – Worksheets: Diary of a Spider, Butterfly Coloring Page
MovieBugs!: A Rainforest Adventure
Science – Read Beetles by Scholastic; Lifecycle of a Butterfly by Angela Royston;

Day Six
LiteratureWaiting for Wings by Lois Ehlert; Army Ant Parade by April Pulley Sayre; Buzz by Janet S. Wong; Leo the Lightening Bug by Eric Drachman; Bugs! Bugs! Bugs! By Bob Barner
Quiz on Books (www.BookAdventure.com) – Buzz
MovieBug (2002) ; Ants: Little Creatures Who Run the World
Art – Color Pages: Spider and Ladybug (both from the library)

 

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“Plato insisted that the most beautiful things were invisible — that perfect forms are too perfect to see. Well, Plato would have loved the Wellcome Image competition, which limits itself tophotographs of subjects that can’t be seen by the naked eye.

This year’s winners are an eclectic bunch: Here’s a carpet of concave blood cells. There’s a collection of Vitamin C crystals (they look like seashells). And — the most memorable images — terrifying photographs of bodily decay. The photo of a prostate tumor captures metastasizing cells as they consume neighboring tissue. The breast-cancer cell looks like a shard of stained glass, and a ruptured capillary leaks blood like a broken pipe. The photographs are so beautiful, it’s easy to forget that each one is a tragic portrait — a vision of the body falling slowly apart.” – – VSL

http://www.wellcome.ac.uk/en/wia/gallery.html

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