Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Moon Phases

I am intrigued by the moon.  Last night I was laying in bed, and I looked over out my east window to see the moon glowing in perfect view.  It dawned on me that the moon and its phases would be great for teaching the kids for a fun science class.

There are 29.5305882 days in the moon cycle, according to the astronomer at The Franklin Institute .   The moon controls the waves...more on that coming up below. 

We just had our Harvest Moon, which is the full moon closest to Autumn Equinox. On the night of the Equinox, the moon was at a 99% Waxing Gibbous, which is just about full. (many people thought the moon was full, but it was actually not 100 percent full until September 23 at 5:18 A.M.   (AM?  Yes!  read on...)

First I want you to watch a video of the moon's phases.

The moon's phases explained by the astronomer from The Franklin Institute.
Moon Phases

The new moon always rises at sunrise.
The first quarter always rises at noon.
The full moon always rises at sunset.
The last quarter always rises at midnight.

For each day following the above, the moon will rise about fifty minutes later than the previous day.

Waxing - from new to full (growing)
Waning- from full to new (shrinking)

Blue Moon

My favorite moon is The Blue Moon...why, because that is when I clean!  Just kidding, I don't clean that often!
A blue moon can refer to the third full moon in a season with four full moons, or the second full moon of a calendar month.

  • The Farmers' Almanac defined blue moon as an extra full moon that occurred in a season; one season was normally three full moons. If a season had four full moons, then the third full moon was named a blue moon.
  • Recent popular usage defined a blue moon as the second full moon in a calendar month, stemming from an interpretation error made in 1946 that was discovered in 1999For example, December 31, 2009 was a blue moon according to this usage.
A "blue moon" is also used colloquially to mean "a rare event", reflected in the phrase "once in a blue moon

I got this info below at this site

What are the Phases of the Moon?

8 Phases of the Moon

1. New Moon
2. Waxing Crescent
3. Waxing Quater (First Quater)
4. Waxing Gibbous
5. Full Moon
6. Wanning Gobious
7. Wanning Quater (Last Quater)
8. Wanning Crescent

Here is another great site for information on the Moon...   More info

As you know, when reseaching anything, you can easily be redirected toward another learning I did here, from moon to ocean!

The Ocean's Tides Explained

Almost everyone is aware of the role that gravity plays in our lives. Not only does it keep our feet planted firmly on the ground, but it also keeps order in the solar system. The gravitational forces associated with the Sun and the planets interact to describe the orbits that we are familiar with, as well as keep the Moon trapped in orbit around the Earth. These forces aren't only limited to managing the dynamics of the celestial bodies, however. Gravity also has a more directly observable influence on our planet. Specifically, gravitational forces are responsible for the rise and fall of the ocean's tides all over the world.

The two primary agents when it comes to the motion of the ocean are the Sun and the Moon. Since the gravitational influence of an object is directly related to its mass, the Sun has a definite advantage over the moon when it comes to the strength of its forces. However, since the Sun is over 380 times farther away from the Earth than the Moon, the smaller mass in orbit around us is able to exert its effects on us much more strongly than the star.

The key when it comes to understanding how the tides work is to understand the relationship between the motion of our planet and its moon. Both the Moon and the Earth are constantly moving through space. Since the Earth spins on its own axis, water is kept balanced on all sides of the planet through centrifugal force. The Moon's gravitational forces are strong enough to disrupt this balance by accelerating the water towards the Moon. This causes the water to 'bulge.' The Earth's rotation causes a sympathetic bulge on the opposite side of the planet as well. The areas of the Earth where the bulging occurs experience high tide, and the others are subject to a low tide. However, the Moon's movement around the Earth means that the effects of its forces are in motion as well, and as it encircles our planet, this bulge moves with it.

The height of the tides can vary during the course of a month, due to the fact that the Moon is not always the same distance from the Earth. As the Moon's orbit brings it in closer proximity to our planet (closest distance within a moon cycle is called perigee), its gravitational forces can increase by almost 50%, and this stronger force leads to high tides. Likewise, when the Moon is farther away from the Earth (furthest distance is called apogee), the tides are not as spectacular.

The Moon's influence can also be balanced out by the position of the Sun – if the Sun and the Moon find themselves 90 degrees apart in relation to an observer on the Earth, then high tides are not as high as they normally would be. This is because despite its greater distance from the planet, the Sun's mass allows it to exert enough gravitational force on the oceans that it can negate some of the effects of the Moon's pull. This phenomenon of lower high tides is called a neap tide. In the same way, when the Sun lines up with the Moon and the Earth, as during a Full Moon, then the Sun can act to amplify the tidal forces, drawing even higher tides. These are known as spring tides, named not for the season, but for the fact that the water "springs" higher than normal. The variance in the height of the world's tides also depends on the local geography of the coastline and the topography of the ocean floor.

Tides occur regularly in the sense that they can be expected twice a day, but their periods do not coincide with the 24 hour day that we use for our calendar. This is because the Moon takes slightly longer than 24 hours to line up again exactly with the same point on the Earth - about 50 minutes more. Therefore, the timing of high tides is staggered throughout the course of a month, with each tide commencing approximately 24 hours and 50 minutes later than the one before it.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Exercise used to be called Play

Remember when we used to call exercise, PLAY.  Many of us change our view of exercise and it seems like work.  If you aren't enjoying your workout, it may be time for a change.

We have been told, you start to get old when you stop playing.  Get outside and play...with your spouse, your kids, grandkids, or just with a friend.

Go for a run (chase each other around), play kick the can or spud. Duck, duck goose... Climb on the monkey bars, play some wiffleball, kickball, or dodgeball. Even walking is a great start.  Walking at a slow stroll does not count as exercise though, you have to move, fast! 

Why do we stop playing?  Sure, we have full time jobs and responsibility...but as a kid, we had school, homework and chores.  What changed?  Chances are, if you stopped playing, you are struggling with your weight, and if you never played these games as a kid, you probably were struggling with your weight long ago.

Get outside, ride your bike (on hilly trails), play some tennis, run through the rain....get moving!   You create your own destiny.  You can't blame it on anyone else if you are unhappy in your skin.  Why not make it fun and play some 'playground games'.

  If you come home and think that you are too tired, you are setting yourself up for failure.  Change your thoughts to positive thoughts.  Turn on some uplifting music...whether that be country music or rock, or hip hop..whatever gets your mood up and your blood pumping!

Kick the Can

More games kids play 

Monday, September 27, 2010

Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire

Just some pictures I took at the Pa Ren Faire. Unfortunately, my blogger won't allow me to post them large for some reason, but if you click on the pics, they will enlarge for you to view.

This Herb Garden is probably my favorite thing at the Faire. This past year, when we visited, this fairie was not in the garden :(
I always get great neat ideas for my Herb Garden here.  I took all of these pics.
This gal was so neat!  Enlarge this pic to get a look at her costume! 

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Free Lessons and Lesson Plans

A&E Classroom features informative commercial-free programming that can be used as a teaching resource in the classroom. A&E Classroom programming airs on the first Wednesday of each month at 4am/3c.

You can set your DVR and record them for use in your homeschooling or just for extra learning for kids.

You can watch some of them online too.

The lesson today on there is called Ur Life Online...its about teens and internet security.   It talks about cyberbullying and what to do about it. Great program for teens to watch.

They have classroom materials to download, for asking questions after your kids have watched. 

I use A&E, History, Biography, and National Geographic Channels in our homeschool often, because it not only teaches the kids, but it makes learning fun.  The kids don't always know they are learning when watching it, and I often catch them watching it outside of our school lessons, for their own entertainment.

There are lessons on Huffing, Some other upcoming lessons are The History of Halloween,  Selma Hakel, How the States Got Their Shapes, Clash of the Gods: Odysseus, Curse of the Sea,  and Constitution Week.

A&E has a place to sign up for a book I get called, The Idea Book For Educators.  Its free and they send you upcoming lessons that are coming on, with some classroom questions to drill the kids after watching the programs. You can sign up for it on this page below.
It offers, curriculum links, vocabulary, discussion questions, extended activities, websites and books. 

Monday, July 19, 2010

Horseradish is a cancer fighter!

I just read a great article on Real Age about Horseradish and wanted to share it.  I love everything from the cruciferous family! 

Here's their article.  Visit their site for more great health info.  They have a wonderful newsletter that they send out for free with some great health info! 

If the only reason you eat horseradish is to add some kick to your sandwich, you may want to find a few more uses.
Turns out that horseradish -- like its cruciferous kin broccoli -- is a potent source of a group of cancer-fighting compounds known as glucosinolates.
All in the Family
Even though they look and taste nothing alike, broccoli and horseradish are both members of the cruciferous -- or Brassica -- vegetable family that also includes brussels sprouts, cauliflower, arugula, watercress, and wasabi, to name a few. When we chew or chop up veggies like these, a beneficial chain reaction occurs. First, glucosinolates come pouring out. Then, the glucosinolates are broken down by another plant enzyme called myrosinase. That process turns the glucosinolates into potent cancer-fighting phytochemicals known as isothiocyanates and indoles. Ahhh, healthier living through plant chemistry. (Here's more on the health benefits of the Brassica vegetable family.)

A Phytochemical Festival
Phytochemicals such as indoles and isothiocyanates combat cancer by sweeping carcinogens out of your body before they do damage to your DNA. These compounds also help cut the between-cell lines of communication that can sometimes lead to cancer, and they help block the action of cancer-causing hormones. No wonder studies show that people who eat more cruciferous vegetables have less cancer! (Try this cancer-fighting cousin of horseradish.)

Take horseradish to a whole new level in your diet by adding these tangy recipes to the menu:

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Local PA Residents, Day Trip Idea

I saw this in the Fish Wrapper. (We love this publication)
They are having an open house at little mountain printing, where they publish the fish wrapper.
July 28, 29, 30 3-8 pm
self guided tour, learn how the Fish Wrapper is produced, enjoy printing demonstrations, visit the showroom and 15 thousand square foot facility.
234 Rosebud Rd Myerstown, PA
They ask that your register by July 23rd 717-268-4038
Just wanted to pass it on in case anyone is interested.  Might be a nice day trip for something to do in the summer.  Maybe stop off someplace else in Myerstown too. 

Saturday, July 10, 2010


 I got this from a friend and wanted to share, keep it going.  Copy and paste or link to here to your loved ones!  Have a safe summer!
The new captain jumped from the cockpit, fully dressed, and sprinted through the water. A former lifeguard, he kept his eyes on his victim as he headed straight for the owners who were swimming between their anchored sportfisher and the beach. “I think he thinks you’re drowning,” the husband said to his wife. They had been splashing each other and she had screamed but now they were just standing, neck-deep on the sand bar. “We’re fine, what is he doing?” she asked, a little annoyed. 
“We’re fine!” the husband yelled, waving him off, but his captain kept swimming hard. ”Move!” he barked as he sprinted between the stunned owners. Directly behind them, not ten feet away, their nine-year-old daughter was drowning. Safely above the surface in the arms of the captain, she burst into tears, “Daddy!”
How did this captain know, from fifty feet away, what the father couldn’t recognize from just ten? Drowning is not the violent, splashing, call for help that most people expect. The captain was trained to recognize drowning by experts and years of experience. The father, on the other hand, had learned what drowning looks like by watching television. If you spend time on or near the water (hint: that’s all of us) then you should make sure that you and your crew knows what to look for whenever people enter the water. Until she cried a tearful, “Daddy,” she hadn’t made a sound. As a former Coast Guard rescue swimmer, I wasn’t surprised at all by this story. Drowning is almost always a deceptively quiet event. The waving, splashing, and yelling that dramatic conditioning (television) prepares us to look for, is rarely seen in real life.
The Instinctive Drowning Response – so named by Francesco A. Pia, Ph.D.,  is what people do to avoid actual or perceived suffocation in the water.  And it does not look like most people expect.  There is very little splashing, no waving, and no yelling or calls for help of any kind.  To get an idea of just how quiet and undramatic from the surface drowning can be, consider this:  It is the number two cause of accidental death in children, age 15 and under (just behind vehicle accidents) – of the approximately 750 children who will drown next year, about 375 of them will do so within 25 yards of a parent or other adult.  In ten percent of those drownings, the adult will actually watch them do it, having no idea it is happening (source: CDC).  Drowning does not look like drowning – Dr. Pia, in an article in the Coast Guard’s On Scene Magazine, described the instinctive drowning response like this:
  1. Except in rare circumstances, drowning people are physiologically unable to call out for help. The respiratory system was designed for breathing. Speech is the secondary or overlaid function. Breathing must be fulfilled, before speech occurs.
  2. Drowning people’s mouths alternately sink below and reappear above the surface of the water. The mouths of drowning people are not above the surface of the water long enough for them to exhale, inhale, and call out for help. When the drowning people’s mouths are above the surface, they exhale and inhale quickly as their mouths start to sink below the surface of the water.
  3. Drowning people cannot wave for help. Nature instinctively forces them to extend their arms laterally and press down on the water’s surface. Pressing down on the surface of the water, permits drowning people to leverage their bodies so they can lift their mouths out of the water to breathe.
  4. Throughout the Instinctive Drowning Response, drowning people cannot voluntarily control their arm movements. Physiologically, drowning people who are struggling on the surface of the water cannot stop drowning and perform voluntary movements such as waving for help, moving toward a rescuer, or reaching out for a piece of rescue equipment.
  5. From beginning to end of the Instinctive Drowning Response people’s bodies remain upright in the water, with no evidence of a supporting kick. Unless rescued by a trained lifeguard, these drowning people can only struggle on the surface of the water from 20 to 60 seconds before submersion occurs.
This doesn’t mean that a person that is yelling for help and thrashing isn’t in real trouble – they are experiencing aquatic distress. Not always present before the instinctive drowning response, aquatic distress doesn’t last long – but unlike true drowning, these victims can still assist in their own rescue.  They can grab lifelines, throw rings, etc.
Look for these other signs of drowning when persons are n the water:
  • Head low in the water, mouth at water level
  • Head tilted back with mouth open
  • Eyes glassy and empty, unable to focus
  • Eyes closed
  • Hair over forehead or eyes
  • Not using legs – Vertical
  • Hyperventilating or gasping
  • Trying to swim in a particular direction but not making headway
  • Trying to roll over on the back
  • Ladder climb, rarely out of the water.
So if a crew member falls overboard and every looks O.K. – don’t be too sure.  Sometimes the most common indication that someone is drowning is that they don’t look like they’re drowning.  They may just look like they are treading water and looking up at the deck.  One  way to be sure?  Ask them: “Are you alright?” If they can answer at all – they probably are.  If they return  a blank stare – you may have less than 30 seconds to get to them.  And parents: children playing in the water make noise. When they get quiet, you get to them and find out why.