Friday, August 28, 2009

The Moon

Our homeschooling advisor just turned us on to this site: My Moon Visually fun and full of dohinkies to click, it's worth a look.

I've researched various aspects of lunar study since beginning my manuscript. The moon is a pivotal "character" in the story. The lives of the villains revolve around moon phases. Their title, "Fir Na Gealei" is Irish Gaelic for "Men of The Moon."

In moonlight of that fact, I'll post a lunar quiz.

1. Does the moon rotate on its axis?

2. How long is the moon's synodic month?

3. If your brain weighs 3 pounds on Earth, how much will it weigh on the moon?

4. How big is the moon?

5. What's the word for an alignment of the sun, Earth, and either the moon or a planet?

6. On the day of which blogger's birth was Apollo 13 supposed to land on the moon?


Answers:
1. Yes
2. about 29.53 days
3. .49 pounds
4. about 2,000 miles across
5. syzygy
6. mine! April 13, 1970 (does that make me bad luck?)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Zombie Ants and Virtual Pillows

Zombie Ants?
Curiouser and curiouser...

Here's a great idea for a horror story. Mysterious fungus invades the bodies of ants and controls their behavior. But it's no fiction. See story here: Zombie Ants What next? Pigs controlled by the truffles they dig up? Zombie pigs- now there's an idea. How about bread that springs to life after growing moldy? Ick!

I joined Facebook after being prodded by several people. I'm sorry, maybe I'm not doing it right, but I still don't see the point. Maybe if I was famous people would care what I eat for breakfast or want to know when I drink a cup of coffee, but I'm an ordinary woman in an ordinary world. I threw virtual pillows at several people, giving me a sort of sick virtual pleasure.

Is it just me, or is Facebook confusing? I feel like I randomly poke around and occasionally see something interesting, then I never run across it again. For instance, I think I joined a couple of virtual clubs, but I'm uncertain. Having no resident teenager at the moment, I'm like an Astyanax fasciatus out of water.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Making Friends With Butterflies

This summer my girls made friends with some caterpillars. In the world of my twin eight-year-olds you can make friends just as easily with hummingbirds, butterflies, and moths as you can with other kids and cats.

The girls found these spiky caterpillars on our passion flower vine. The little guys consumed not only the leaves, but much of the outer green part of the stems. I've no idea if the vine will survive. It's still a small plant




The caterpillars eventually made their chrysalises and eventually emerged as pretty orange butterflies called "Gulf Fritillaries," or "Passion Butterflies," as the girls like to call them.


Those butterflies didn't mess around but went right to the task of mating. My goodness, they go at it. They even fly while bonded together.

One butterfly didn't make it. It must have been weak because it couldn't extract itself all the way out of its chrysalis and its wings never fully uncrinkled.


We've seen them flitting about the yard and right up to the sliding glass window. The girls tell me it's because they remember how kind we were to them.
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