Monday, July 6, 2020

Onyx River

We just learned about the Subglacial Lakes.

Another part of Antarctica is the Onyx River.

This is the longest river in Antarctica, at 32 kilometers long and ends up at Lake Vanda.
The water for this river is from meltwater, and goes toward the middle of Antarctica away from the ocean, during the summer months.

Water levels change depending on the season, and the river can flow as fast as 20 cubic meters per second. There were even some researchers from New Zealand that rafted down the river one time!

There are no fish in the river, but there are some tiny animals like bacteria and algea living there, along with some gulls that fly around.

Most of the time the water is just barely higher than the 32 degrees F it needs to melt, so it is really ice cold water!

(from: wikipedia - onyx river)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Roundel

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Battle on the Ice

We just learned about the Basilica of Saint-Denis.

Another part of early Christianity was the Battle on the Ice.

We learned before about some of the first groups of people fighting wars in the name of Christianity, called Crusades.
From the years 1200 through 1300 there were a lot more wars like this.

There were around a dozen different crusades through these years, and they fought all over Western and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Western Asia, and even Northern Africa.

There was even a crusade that went into Russia and was fought on a frozen lake.
The Western church from places like Germany and France was fighting against the Eastern church in places like Russia.
In the battle the Russians won by a lot and Lake Peipus became a famous place in Russia where the Eastern church won an important battle.

(from: wikipedia - battle on the ice)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: The Golden Legend

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Marine Corps War Memorial - Felix de Weldon

We just learned about the George Washington as President - Alexander Stirling Calder.

Another famous American statue is the Marine Corps War Memorial, also called the Iwo Jima Memorial, in Virginia, made in 1954 by Felix de Weldon.

In 1945 during World War II, the US was in a battle with Japan on the island of Iwo Jima.
It was a very important battle for the war, and when the US finally took over the island they raised up a big flag that was 8 feet long by 4 feet tall so that all of the soldiers could see it on the island.

Someone took a picture of them while they were putting it up, and it became a very famous picture that was used to help give Americans hope for our soldiers to win the war.

Felix de Weldon was famous for making great memorial sculptures, so they asked him to make a sculpture to match the picture.
It is made of bronze and weighs over 200,000 pounds.
There were six men in the statue, and when he sculpted it he had some of the soldiers who were the ones who actually raised up the flag pose for him to make sure his sculpture matched what they looked like.

On the front of the statue are the words "Uncommon Valor Was A Common Virtue" – "Semper Fidelis"
and on the back are the words "In Honor And Memory Of The Men Of The United States Marine Corps Who Have Given Their Lives To Their Country Since 10 November 1775"

The sculptor Felix de Weldon was born in Austria in 1907.
When he was 30 years old he moved to the US, where he became a citizen of the US.
He served in the Navy during world war II, and was famous for making over a thousand memorials all over the world, even Antarctica!

(from: wikipedia - marine corps war memorial)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Burkina Faso Masks

Friday, July 3, 2020

Russian - Fifteen

We just learned about all the months of the year in Russian!

Let's learn about some more numbers.
We already counted to 10 in Russian, now let's learn some bigger numbers!

11 одиннадцать (odinnadtsat') - sounds like ah-din-nah-d-sit 文A

12 двенадцать (dvenadtsat') - sounds like d-vih-nah-d-sit 文A

13 тринадцать (trinadtsat') - sounds like t-dee-nah-d-sit 文A

14 четырнадцать (chetyrnadtsat') - sounds like ch-eh-tee-der-nah-d-sit 文A

15 пятнадцать (pyatnadtsat') - sounds like pee-ah-t-nah-d-sit 文A

russian language
(from: wikipedia - russian academy of sciences)

Norwegian: elleve, tolv, tretten, fjorten, femten

Greek: ένδεκα (éndeka), δώδεκα (dódeka), δεκατρία (dekatría), δεκατέσσερα (dekatéssera), δεκαπέντε (dekapénte)

ASL: eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen

Italian: undici, dodici, tredici, quattordici, quindici

German: elf, zwölf, dreizehn, vierzehn, fünfzehn

Spanish: once, doce, trese, catorce, quince

French: onze, douze, treize, quatorze, quinze

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Locomotion No. 1

We just learned about the Salamanca steam locomotive.

Another famous steam locomotive was called Locomotion No. 1, made by George and Robert Stephenson in 1825 in England.

This was the first steam locomotive that was used to bring people along in passenger cars.

The first time this locomotive was put to the test it hauled 11 wagons of coal, and special passenger carriage, and then 20 more wagons that were filled with people.

The train could go about 12 miles per hour, and it took the people on a 10 mile trip from Shildon to Darlington.

(from: wikipedia - locomotion no. 1)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Machines

Wednesday, July 1, 2020


We just learned about the Serval.

Another type of wild cat is the Caracal, also called the Persian Lynx.
The name caracal comes from the Turkish words for "Cat with black ears".

This type of cat lives in Africa and Asia.
It has long legs, and long ears with black tufts on the end of them.

Caracals can be almost 2 feet tall, almost 3 feet long, and weigh about 40 pounds.
Their fur can be either light brown or red brown.

These cats are great jumpers, and can jump over 12 feet high!
Sometimes when they are hunting, they can jump into the air and catch a bird as it is flying by.

Long ago in ancient Egypt people used to keep caracals for pets to help with hunting.

(from: wikipedia - caracal)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Bathrocyroe Fosteri

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Far Sightedness

We just learned about the Near Sightedness.

Another type of refractive error that people can have is called Far Sightedness, also called hypermetropia.

If someone is far-sighted that means they can see far away very well, but they can't see up close very well.
An easy way to remember that is that if you are "far-sighted" you are good at seeing far away.

A lot of people become far sighted when they get older, and they can not see up close as well as they used to.
This is one of the reasons that old people will hold something out in their hand with their arm stetched out as far as it can go, because they can see far but not up close.

Older people will also get what are called "reading glasses" meaning that they only wear them when they need to look at something up close like when reading a book.

If someone is young and far sighted then it usually means there is a problem with the shape of their eyeball, or their lens or cornea are not the right shape.
This makes the light coming into the eye not focus on the retina, but focus past it, so it doesn't send the right signals to the brain.

For old people it is because the eye muscles are weaker and can't focus the lens as well as they used to.

(from: wikipedia - far-sightedness)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Frenulum of Lower Lip