Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Spider silk - webs

We just learned about Spider's Silk Balooning When spiders make webs, they use different types of silk.

Some parts of the web like the spoke lines going straight out are not sticky. Those are called ampullate or dragline silk.

Other parts that are sticky and bugs can get caught on are called flagelliform, or capture lines.

(from: wikipedia - spider silk)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Mink

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Aortic Arch

We've learned that the big tube leaving the heart is called the aorta, and the first part of the aorta that goes up is called the ascending aorta.

After the ascending aorta goes up, it turns toward the middle of your body by your trachea.
That curved part where it turns is called the aortic arch.

There are some smaller tubes that come out of the aorta at the arch and go up toward the neck and head, and then the large aorta tube turns to go downward.

(from: wikipedia - aortic arch)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Cheek Muscles

Monday, December 29, 2014


We just learned about the US state of Hawaii.

Idaho is a state in the north west part of the US, bordering Canada.

It's state nickname is the Gem State because almost every kind of gem like diamonds or rubies have been found in Idaho.
It's motto is Esto perpetua, which is Latin for Let it be forever.

(from: wikipedia - idaho)

The flag of Idaho has the state seal on it, which shows a woman for equality, liberty and justice.
There is a man who is dressed as a miner to show that there is a lot of mining in Idaho.
It also has pictures of farming, animals and rivers.

(from: wikipedia - flag and seal of idaho)

There is a large waterfall in Idaho called Shoshone Falls.

(from: wikipedia - shoshone falls)

One of the main crops that comes from Idaho is the potato. There is even a museum for the potato, called the Idaho Potato Museum.

(from: wikipedia - idaho potato museum)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Bangladesh

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Last Supper - Communion

We've learned that Jesus was having his Last Supper with his apostles, he said that Judas would betray him.

While Jesus was at the dinner, he took some bread and gave it to his disciples, told them to eat it, and that it was his body.
Then he poured some wine in a cup and gave it to his disciples, told them to drink it, and that it was his blood.

He told them to eat and drink the bread and wine like that to remember him because he was going to die on the cross for them.

This is sometimes called Holy Communion, or the Eucharist, or the Lord's Supper.
The word Eucharist means thanksgiving.

(from: wikipedia - eucharist)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Jesus' Apostles - Matthias

Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Great Wave off Kanagawa - Katsushika Hokusai

We just learned about the famous painting American Gothic by Grant Wood.

Another famous piece of art is the painting The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Japanese painter Katsushika Hokusai in 1830.

This enormous wave in the painting is a wave of the open sea, called okinami.
If you look in the background of the painting you can see Mt. Fuji in Japan.

The style of painting for this artwork is called ukiyo-e, which means pictures of the floating world.
The paintings were woodblock printing, which was a special way for people to make paintings.

First a painter would paint a picture on a piece of very thin paper called washi.
Then someone would glue the paper on to a piece of wood, where a carver would carve traced lines through the paper into the wood to match the painting.
Then they would remove the paper, and paint the colors on to the wooden block.
Next another piece of fresh paper would be put on the block, and pressed hard against it using a tool called a baren. When the paper was pulled away, it would have a print copy of the original painting from the block.

Using this style, they could make many copies of the artwork and sell them to the rich people in the area.

(from: wikipedia - the great wave off kanagawa)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Lunar Impact Craters

Friday, December 26, 2014

German Alphabet - ä, ö, ü, ß

The letters in the German alphabet look just like the ones in the English alphabet, but there are four extra letters:

ä, ö, ü, ß

ä sounds like the a in the word game.
The word gähnen means yawn, and it sounds like gain-en. - /?/

ö sounds like the u in the word put.
The word Löwe means lion, and it sounds like luavah - /?/

ü sounds like the oo in the word soon.
The word müde means tired, and it sounds like moo-dah - /?/

ß sounds like the letter s, just held out a little longer.
The word Straße means street, and it sounds like strah-ss-ss-uh. - /?/

Goethe Institute
(from: wikipedia - Goethe Institute)

Do you remember the Spanish alphabet?
A, B, C, D, E, F, G
H, I, J, K, L, LL, M, N, Ñ
O, P, Q, R, RR, S, T, U
V, W, X, Y, Z

Do you remember the French alphabet?
A, B, C, D, E, F, G
H, I, J, K, L, M, N
O, P, Q, R, S, T, U
V, W, X, Y, Z

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Stationary Front

We've learned that a cold front is a bunch of cold air moving along, a warm front is a bunch of warm air moving along, and an occluded front is when one type of front catches up to another one and takes it over.

Sometimes cold and warm fronts crash into each other, but neither of them is strong enough to take over the other one.
So they just sort of mix together and sometimes make some interesting weather.

Since both fronts are fighting against each other but neither are moving much, this is called a stationary front.
The word stationary means not moving.

Many times because there is warm air up high being held up for a while, a stationary front can be the sign of rain or snow storms that last a long time.

On a weather map the stationary front is the red half circle picture for a warm front on one side of a line, and the blue triangle picture for a cold front on the other side of the line.

(from: wikipedia - stationary front)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Lava Channel

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Spider Gossamer Silk Ballooning

We just learned about the Spider Silk Glands.

Sometimes when little baby spiders are born, there are not enough small insects for all the spiders to share for food,
so they need to move to a new place where there are more things for them to eat.

It would take a very long time for them to walk far enough to find more food, so they have a special way to travel very far easily.
The baby spiders stand up on their tip toes, put their abdomen in the air, and using their spinnerets they shoot some very fine silk called gossamer out. The gossamer collects together and almost looks like a kite.
Then the spider waits for a gust of wind to come along, and because they are just tiny spiders they get picked up and blown through the air, flying until they land on something like a tree where they can set up a web and start looking for food.

This is called ballooning or kiting.

(from: wikipedia - spider silk)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Reindeer

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Ascending Aorta

We've learned that the left ventricle chamber of the heart pushes the good oxygenated blood to all the parts of your body, and the big tube leaving the heart is called the aorta.

The aorta starts by going up toward your head, and then it turns and goes down towards your belly area.
The part where it is going up is called the ascending aorta.
The word ascending means going up.

(from: wikipedia - ascending aorta)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Depressor Lip Muscles

Monday, December 22, 2014


We just learned about the US State of Georgia.

The US state of Hawaii is way out in the Pacific ocean, and is made up of hundreds of islands.
There are eight large islands: Ni'ihau, Kaua'i, O'ahu, Moloka'i, Lāna'i, Kaho'olawe, Maui and the Island of Hawai'i.

The biggest island is called Hawai'i, just like the name of the state.
Sometimes so they don't get mixed up, people just call it The Big Island.

In the language of the native Hawaiians, they said the vowels a little differently than we normally do.
For the word Hawaii, it's pronounced Hah Wah Ee Ee.

Any time you see the apostrophe like this ' then you say the vowel separately.
Lana'i is Lah Nah Ee.

Hawaii was the 50th state added to the United States, in 1959.

The state nickname is The Aloha State, and it's motto is Ua Mau ke Ea o ka ʻĀina i ka Pono which means The Life of the Land is Perpetuated in Righteousness

(from: wikipedia - hawaii)

The flag of the state of Hawaii has the flag of the United Kingdom on it, to remember that Hawaii used to be owned by the United Kingdom. There are also eight red white and blue stripes, for the eight major islands of the state.

(from: wikipedia - flag of hawaii)

The seal of Hawaii has a shield on it, with red white and blue stripes, and a pulo'ulo'u which is a stick with a ball on the end that was used for kings and queens.
On the left is King Kamehameha I who helped bring all the islands together, and the goddess of liberty on the right.

(from: wikipedia - seal of hawaii)

There are many waterfalls all over all of the islands, like the Akaka Falls waterfall on The Big Island.

(from: wikipedia - akaka falls state park)

There are beaches with black sand on them in Hawaii, like Punalu'u Beach.

(from: wikipedia - punalu'u beach)

The islands of Hawaii were made when volcanoes erupted and the lava cooled and turned into islands.

The Big Island has five volcanoes on it, and two of them are active.
The most active one is called Kīlauea and it has been erupting since 1983.

(from: wikipedia - kīlauea)

On the island of Maui, there is a shield volcano called Haleakala.

(from: wikipedia - haleakalā)

The 44th president of the United States Barack Obama was born in Hawaii.

(from: wikipedia - barack obama)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: South Korea

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Last Supper - Judas' Betrayal

When Jesus was having his Last Supper with his apostles, he said that one of them would betray him.

There were a lot of people that did not like Jesus, and some of them wanted to have him killed, but they wanted someone like one of his apostles to tell them where he was.

Jesus knew that Judas would be the one who would do it, so at the last supper he told his apostles that Judas was the one who would betray him.

Judas left the supper and went to tell the people who wanted to kill Jesus where he was.

(from: wikipedia - last supper)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Jesus' Apostles - Judas Iscariot

Saturday, December 20, 2014

American Gothic - Grant Wood

We just learned about the painting Girl with a Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer.

Another famous piece of art is the painting American Gothic by American painter Grant Wood in 1930.

The story behind the painting is that he was driving around the town of Eldon Iowa and saw an old farmhouse that had a fancy window in it, and he thought it was a bit silly to have a fancy window on such a plain house.
So he paid his sister and his dentist to pose as a farmer and his daughter.

You can notice that the pitchfork the farmer is holding has three prongs.
The three lines just like the pitchfork also show up on the farmer's overalls, his face, and the window of the farmhouse.

People were not happy with the painting at first because they thought Grant Wood was making fun of farmers in Iowa where the painting was done.
They thought he made them look boring and grumpy.

Grant Wood said that he actually liked hard working Americans that were serious and were farmers, and that's why he did the painting.

Very soon after he made this artwork, the Great Depression happened, which was a time where people had to work very hard to even get a little bit of food, and many people lost their jobs and were very poor.

Because this painting looked like serious hard working Americans, it became very famous and people liked it a lot because they thought it was a good picture to show very serious hard working Americans.

(from: wikipedia - american gothic)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Lunar Grabens

Friday, December 19, 2014

German - Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten

We counted to five, now let's count to ten in German!
6 seis - sounds like zeks /?/
7 sieben - sounds like zeeben /?/
8 acht - sounds like acht /?/
9 neun - sounds like no-een /?/
10 zehn - sounds like tsay-n /?/

Goethe Institute
(from: wikipedia - Goethe Institute)

Do you remember how to say it in Spanish?
seis, siete, ocho, nueve, diez

Do you remember how to say it in French?
six, sept, huit, neuf, dix

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Occluded Front

We've learned that a Cold Front is a bunch of cold air moving along, and a Warm Front is a bunch of warm air moving along.

What if a really fast cold front catches up to a slower moving warm front?

Or a really fast warm front catches up to a slower moving cold front?

When either of those things happen, it is called an Occluded Front.
The word occluded means to close or shut.

Remember that the cold air is heavier than warm air, so whenever a cold front catches up to a warm front, it pushes under the warm front and the warm air goes up.
When the warm air catches up to a cold front, it goes up above the cold air.

Sometimes storms and even funnel clouds that could turn into tornadoes happen at occluded fronts, because the cold and hot air is all getting pushed around in different locations.

We know the picture for the cold front is blue triangles, and the picture for the warm front is half red circles.
The picture for the occluded front is purple triangles and half circles on the same line.

(from: wikipedia - occluded front)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Fissure Vent

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Spider Silk Glands

Spiders make silk in a part of their body called the silk gland.

The silk gland makes a liquid out of something called proteins.
The liquid goes into a large area called a sac where the silk liquid is saved.
When the spider wants to make the stringy silk, it squishes the liquid down a smaller tube.
This squishing makes the liquid start to turn harder because it is being squished so hard.

At the very end right by the spinnerets where the silk string comes out,
the silk liquid gets squished into a really tiny tube where it turns into the silky string that we see in spider webs.

(from: wikipedia - spider silk)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Red Fox

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


We've learned that oxygenated blood goes comes into the heart at the left atrium which is part of the heart, and then goes to the left ventricle which pushes the blood to all the parts of your body.

The big tube that the left ventricle pushes the blood to first is called the aorta.

The aorta is a big long tube that goes up from your heart, then turns and goes downward all the way down to your hips area.

(from: wikipedia - aorta)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Levator Lip Muscles

Monday, December 15, 2014


Georgia is a state on the east coast of the US, right on the Atlantic Ocean, in the south right above Florida.
It was named after King George II of England.

Georgia's nicknames are the Peach State because they grow a lot of peaches, and the Empire State of the South because for a long time the state made a lot of money.

The state motto is: Wisdom, Justice, Moderation

(from: wikipedia - georgia (u.s. state))

The flag of Georgia looks kind of like one of the old flags of the US with 13 stars on it for the 13 original colonies of the US, but it only has 3 stripes. During the American Civil War one of the first flags used by the confederacy was just like that and was called the Stars With Bars.

The Georgia flag also has a picture in the middle of the star circle, with the words: Constitution, wisdom, justice, moderation and In God We Trust. There are three pillars, and a soldier with a sword, dressed in a uniform like soldiers wore in the American Revolution.

(from: wikipedia - flag of georgia (u.s. state))

Savannah is a very famous fancy city in Georgia.

(from: wikipedia - savannah, georgia)

Famous civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. was born and raised in the city of Atlanta, Georgia.

(from: wikipedia - martin luther king, jr.)

One of the biggest aquariums in the whole world is in Georgia, with over 10 million gallons of water!

(from: wikipedia - georgia aquarium)

Two presidents of the US were from Georgia, Jimmy Carter and Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR)

(from: wikipedia - jimmy carter)

(from: wikipedia - franklin d. roosevelt)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Thailand

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Last Supper

After Jesus went to Jerusalem and was greeted as a king,
he sat down for with his twelve apostles for the last time before he would be taken away to be killed.

Because it was the last time they would have supper together, this is known as The Last Supper.

(from: wikipedia - last supper)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Jesus' Apostles - James Son of Alphaeus

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Girl with a Pearl Earring - Johannes Vermeer

We've just learned about the Luncheon of the Boating Party by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and The Persistence of Memory by Salvadore Dali.

Another very famous painting is called Girl with a Pearl Earring by Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer in 1665.

The artist Vermeer painted what is called a tronie, which is the head and shoulders of a person, usually with a smile or something standing out in the painting, and not necessarily a painting of anyone famous.

The very dark background of the painting makes the woman more noticeable, and the light and dark colors are to make it look like there is a light up to the left shining on her face, and making her face look bright, her lips and eyes and pearl shine.

(from: wikipedia - girl with a pearl earring)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Lunar Wrinkle Ridges

Friday, December 12, 2014

German - One, Two, Three, Four, Five

Let's count to five in German!
1 ein - sounds like ah-een /?/
2 zwei - sounds like s-vah-ee /?/
3 drei - sounds like drai (with the German R, you use the back of your throat) /?/
4 vier - sounds like fee-uh /?/
5 fünf - sounds like fuh-nf /?/

Goethe Institute
(from: wikipedia - Goethe Institute)

Do you remember how to say it in Spanish?
Uno, dos, tres, quatro, cinco

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Warm Front

We've learned about weather fronts, and one type called cold fronts.

A warm front is a big bunch of warm air moving along.
When it comes to a cold front it is lighter than the cold front so it goes over it.

When the warm air goes over the cold air, it cools down and the sometimes turns into clouds.

When the weather people on the news want to show a warm front they use red half circles on a line.

(from: wikipedia - wikimedia commons - weather front)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Shield Volcanoes

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Spider Spinnerets

We just learned about a Spider's Hearts and Blood.

In a spider's abdomen they have things called silk glands that make the silk that they use for their webs.

The silk starts out like a liquid, and gets squished out through small tubes called spinnerets.
The spinnerets spit the silk out like tiny strings, and they spin all the strings together to make a strong thread.

(from: wikipedia - spinneret (spider))

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Moray Eel

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Left Ventricle

We've learned that oxygenated blood goes from the pulmonary veins to the left atrium which is part of the heart.

The left atrium sends the blood into a large area of the heart called the left ventricle.

The left ventricle takes in all of the fresh blood full of oxygen, and pushes it all the way out to every part of your body.
From the tips of your toes to your fingers and ears, the blood carrying the oxygen that your body needs is pumped out by the muscles of the left ventricle.

(from: wikipedia - ventricle (heart))

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Procerus Nose Muscle

Monday, December 8, 2014


We just learned about the US State of Deleware.

Florida is a state on the south east part of the US, right on the Atlantic Ocean.
The name Florida comes from the spanish word for flower.
It's nickname is The Sunshine State, and the motto is In God We Trust.

Since Florida sticks out into the ocean, it is called a peninsula.

(from: wikipedia - florida)

Florida's flag has a big red X on a white background. That is known as St. Andrew's Cross.
This was the flag of Spain a long time ago, and Florida used to be owned by Spain, so their flag is a part of their history.
In front of the red X is Florida's state seal.

(from: wikipedia - flag of florida)

The state seal of Florida has a Native American woman spreading out hibiscus flowers.
There are palm trees and a steamboat in the background.
The words on the seal say Great Seal of the State of Florida and In God we Trust.

(from: wikipedia - seal of florida)

Since Florida is on the ocean, it has lots of interesting wildlife, like the American Alligator, the leatherback turtle and the manatee.

(from: wikipedia - american alligator)

(from: wikipedia - west indian manatee)

(from: wikipedia - leatherback sea turtle)

Kennedy Space Center is in Florida, where they launched the space shuttle Columbia.

(from: wikipedia - kennedy space center)

Walt Disney World is the largest and most visited amusement park in the world.

(from: wikipedia - walt disney world)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Indonesia

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King

We just learned about the Plans to kill Jesus

After Jesus told his apostles that he was the Messiah,
that he would be killed and then raised back to life three days later
and was transfigured on the mountaintop he went to Jerusalem.

Jesus told his apostles to go to the nearby village and they would find a donkey.
He told them to take the donkey and bring it back to Jesus.

The apostles went to the village and just like Jesus said they found a donkey tied up there waiting,
so they untied it and brought it to Jesus.

Jesus rode the donkey into Jerusalem, and when he got there a big crowd of people was cheering in the streets for him.
They took their coats off and put them on the ground for Jesus to sit on or walk on.
They cut branches down from the palm trees and placed them on the road for him.
They shouted out loud to him:
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
Hosanna in the highest heaven!

The people of Jerusalem saw Jesus as their king coming to save them.

(from: wikipedia - triumphal entry into jerusalem)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Jesus' Apostles - Thomas

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Luncheon of the Boating Party - Renoir

We just learned about the painting The Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dali.

Another famous painting is called the Luncheon of the Boating Party, by French artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir, who is sometimes called just Renoir. (Sounds like uh-en-wah)
This painting shows a bunch of people having lunch on a boat.
When people are painted it is usually called figures.
When things like tables and food are painted it is called still life.
When backgrounds like mountains or sunsets are painted it is called landscape.
This painting combined all three.

Some of the people on the boat were Renoir's friends, and the woman on the bottom left playing with a dog is the woman that Renoir would marry later on.

The painting was made in the year 1881 and Renoir it is called an impressionist painting.
The impressionist painters did things like paint outside in the sunlight when a lot of people thought you should paint indoors.
They used lots of ways to try and show sunlight and brightness in their paintings, to try and make things look alive and happy.

Usually when someone wanted to make something stand out, they would use very sharp strong lines, kind of like the dark lines around the Mona Lisa, but for this painting they used bright colors in front of mixed colors. So the people in the white shirts really stand out in front of their background.

They also used different kinds of mixed colors and bright colors with small brush strokes to make it look like there was light shining off of people and things.
If you look at the white shirt the man is wearing, from far away you can see it as a white shirt, but up very close you can see almost a rainbow of colors like red, blue, pink, orange, yellow and white.

(from: wikipedia - luncheon of the boating party)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Lunar Domes

Friday, December 5, 2014

German - Dog, Cat

To say dog in German, you say Hunt and it sounds like hoont /?/

To say cat in German, you say Katze and it sounds like cat-suh /?/

Goethe Institute
(from: wikipedia - Goethe Institute)

To say it in Spanish:
perro, gato
To say it in French:
chien, chat