SWIRLY: Annabelle has been playing around with one of her Christmas presents for the past few days. It's Spiral Draw by Klutz - obviously in the "Spirograph" family of toys. It contains nowhere near the number of wheels a good ol' Spirograph set used to contain, and there aren't pins to hold your frames in place while you simultaneously draw and spin your shape maker around, so it's a bit clunky, and prone to getting stuck or moving too much.
However, every once in awhile you can manipulate it into doing what you want.
I think we need to order today's version of the official Spirograph to see if it's any better.
I did a little reading today and learned that Spirograph was invented by a mechanical engineer (why does that not surprise me?) named Denys Fisher, originally as a drafting tool. It was introduced to the toy market in 1965. By the way, those awesome vintage Spirograph kits from the 1960s and 1970s go for a mint now on eBay,
It showed that when you drop a very fresh egg in cold water, it sinks to the bottom and rests on its side.
A week old egg will sink, but its wide end will stick up a bit more than the pointy end. A 3-week old egg stands nearly on pointy end, but is still submerged. A bad egg floats.
I told the kids I thought it interesting, but just because we saw that on one spot on the Internet, did it mean it was true? No! Also, I didn't like the fact the author didn't know the difference between 'its' and 'it's,' so I cast a suspect eye on it.
I said we could easily to an Internet search and see what other sources have to say. I reminded them that noting the source is SO important when you're considering whether or not to believe what you read.
We found a short article in gourmet go-to Bon Appetite agreed with graphic. I told the kids that was pretty much good enough for me. But I also told them that usually I like to be able to find facts on a Web site with a .edu for education or .gov for government, and I showed them how to do an advanced search to produce only results from those types of sites.
In doing so, we discovered The Accidental Scientist "Science of Cooking" bulletin board, where the egg graphic was confirmed.
WEEK 2: Today we listened to a couple more lectures and took our first quiz for week 2 of the astrobiology course.
We learned about early life on Earth, and what the rock and fossil records tell us. The oldest microfossils are in stromatolites. They're 3.46 billion years old, found in Western Australia.
The lecture also made us aware that the phrase "Tree of Life" perhaps isn't best, as not all life produces vertically, along branches, with DNA being passed from parent to child. Rather, some organisms exchange DNA horizontally, by a 'touch,' as the professor explained it. That was news to CeeJ and Bee. At that point, CJ stated poking Annabelle and he said, "Do you have blue eyes now?" His experiment didn't work.
Anyway, given the fact that DNA can be passed sideways, so to speak, the phrase "Web of Life" or "Ring of Life" might be more appropriate than "Tree of Life." But call it what you will, the "_____ of Life" is divided into three domains. There are the prokaryotes/single celled organisms bacteria and archae (organisms that live in extreme conditions). The prokaryotes are the oldest and most abundant of Earth's lifeforms. And then there are the eukaryota (multi-celled life like plants and animals, fungi, etc.) These organisms have cells which contain complex structures enclosed within membranes.
While there was definitely a whole slew of new-to-us words, the content and concepts covered in the lectures were straightforward. We were all really happy with how (relatively) easy the quiz was for us. We each only missed on on the first try (we get a do-over for free), and scored 100 percent on the second go round. Go MPA!
I thought it was great, today when we logged into Coursera, Annabelle mentioned that she wants to take some more classes. So do I! But I also told her I think we should get this rather complex one out of the way first.
HAILING FREQUENCIES OPEN: How would you like to listen in to a phone call between Captain Kirk and the commander of the International Space Station? It's going down tomorrow morning!
Both Canadians, William Shatner and Chris Hadfield have been chatting via Twitter since Hadfield took the helm of the ISS. Their phone call will take place on Thursday, Feb.7 at 10:40 am ET (that's 7:40 a.m. our time), and will be broadcast on the Canadian Space Agency's Web site. Try this link: http://www.asc-csa.gc.ca/eng/webcast.asp or this one, if the first doesn't work: rtsp://22.214.171.124/asc-csa
source: Canadian Space Agency