Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Snake - Internal Organs

We just learned about the Snakes - forked tongue.

The parts inside a snake body called the internal orgas all work a lot like a human's, but in a snake they are spread out along it's body.
Because snakes eat big meals and their body stretches out, their organs have to be able to move around or get squished when they are trying to eat something really big.

(from: wikipedia - snake)

1 – esophagus, 2 – trachea, 3, 4 & 5 – lungs, 6 – heart, 7 – liver, 8 – stomach, 13 – intestine

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Greyhound

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Coccygeal plexus

We just learned about the Sacral Plexus.

The next nerve at the bottom of your spinal column is the Coccygeal Plexus.

This nerve helps tell your body when it is time to go to the bathroom.

(from: wikipedia - coccygeal plexus)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Jugulary Vein

Monday, November 28, 2016

Talkeetna Mountains

We just learned about the Chugach Mountains.

Another mountain range in the Pacific Coastal Belt is the Talkeetna Mountains.

There is a glacier on this mountain called the Mint Glacier, and there is a Mint Valley, and even mountain peaks called the Troublemint and Doublemint peaks.

(from: wikipedia - talkeetna mountains)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Lake Huron

Sunday, November 27, 2016


We just learned about the Biblical person Isaac.

When Isaac grew up, he married a woman named Rebekah.

She was very pretty, and also a very nice and helpful.

One day when one of Isaac's servants was going to get water, he saw Rebekah and she came and helped him.

He came back to Isaac and told him how great she was, and they got married.

(from: wikipedia - rebecca)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: First Peter

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Muiredach's High Cross

We just learned about the Aberlemno Sculptured Stones.

Another ancient sculpture is the Muiredach's High Cross in County Louth, Ireland.

This is 19 foot tall sandstone cross, with many carvings on it of biblical scenes like David and Goliath or Moses.

It was made to honor either an old king or monk named Muiredach.

(from: wikipedia - muiredach's high cross)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Black Square - Malevich

Friday, November 25, 2016

ASL - Do you speak ASL?

To ask if someone speaks ASL, you might first want to find out if they are deaf or if they are hearing.

The sign for "deaf" is to use your right hand, with your index finger pointing up, touch it to your temple, and then just below your mouth.

The sign for "hearing" is with your right hand, and your index finger pointing to the left, move it in front of your mouth almost like you are brushing your teeth.

The sign for "sign" is with two hands, using your fingers pointing left and right at each other, spin them around each other like a wheel going backwards.

Remember the sign for "you" is just pointing your finger at someone, and the sign for "I" or "me" is pointing at your chest.

ASL is very different than other languages because you would simply say "you deaf", "you hearing" or "you sign".
It's very important to use your face and body to also show what you are saying.
If you are asking a question, make a face like you are asking a question, or lean forward toward the person.
Also many people who are deaf are very good at reading lips, so you can still move your lips or even speak out loud if you are speaking to a deaf person.

To answer "yes" in ASL, you make a fist with your hand, and move it up and down, almost like a puppet's head nodding.

To answer "no" you put your first and second fingers with your thumb, almost like a puppet's mouth, and open and close them twice.

Here is a helpful video showing these signs:

Sign Language Basics : Sign Language: Deaf or Hearing? Do You Sign? - expertvillage

(from: wikipedia - american sign language)

Italian: Parli italiano?

German: Sprechen Sie Deutsch?

Spanish: ¿Hablas español?

French: parlez-vous français?

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Sponge Iron

We just learned about the Bloomery used to make metal from iron ore.

After the iron ore is put through the bloomery, it creates something called a bloom or sponge iron.

This usually has a bunch of holes in it, and needs to be hammered and put back in the bloomery before it can be used.

(from: wikipedia - bloomery)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Tornadogenesis

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Snakes - Forked Tongue

Let's learn more about Snake Biology.

Snakes have a forked tongue.

When they stick their wet tongue out, it gets covered with smelly stuff from the air and the ground.
They bring their tongue back in their mouth, and a part of their body called the Jacobson's organ, the vomeronasal organ or just VNO tells the snake what smells are on the tongue.

Because their tongue is forked, they can tell which smells were from the left, and which were from the right.

So in a way, they smell with their tongue, but their tongue really just gets covered in smells and brings those smells back to a sort of inside nose in their head.

(from: wikipedia - vomeronasal organ)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Newfoundland

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Sacral Plexus

We just learned about the Lumbar Plexus.

Further down the spinal cord is the Sacral Plexus.

These nerves help control the back thigh, lower leg, foot and pelvis.

(from: wikipedia - sacral plexus)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Digital Veins

Monday, November 21, 2016

Chugach Mountains

We just learned about the Kenai Mountains.

Another mountain range in the Pacific Coast Belt in Alaska is the Chugach Mountains.

These mountains are right by the Gulf of Alaska, and because of that they get more snowfall than anywhere else in the world, usually getting over 600 inches (50 feet!) of snow per year.

(from: wikipedia - chugach mountains)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Lake Victoria

Sunday, November 20, 2016


We just learned about the person from the Bible named Sarah.

Another person from the Bible is Isaac.

Isaac was the only son of Abraham and Sarah.

When Isaac was young, God told Abraham to take him up to a mountain and offer him as a sacrifice.
This was very scary for Abraham because he loved Isaac, but he feared God so much that he did what God told him to do.
He took Isaac up to the mountain, but when God saw how much Abraham feared him and would follow his orders, he had Abraham sacrifice a sheep instead.
Because he was so faithful to God, he promised that he would bless all of Abraham and Isaac's children and grandchildren.

The Bible tells of Isaac's life in Genesis chapters 21 - 35.

(from: wikipedia - isaac)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: James

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Aberlemno Sculptured Stones

We just learned about the Stenkvista Runestone.

Another ancient sculpture is the group of sculptured stones in Scotland, called the Aberlemno Sculptured Stones.

This is a group of 5 stones, all carved hundreds of years ago and placed as markers in important areas.

(from: wikipedia - aberlemno sculptured stones)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Dynamic Hieroglyph of the Bal Tabarin - Severini

Friday, November 18, 2016

ASL - Please, You're Welcome

Remember that to say thank you in ASL, you move your hand away from your chin, toward the other person..

To say please in ASL you make the "5" handshape with your hand, then put it flat on your chest, and make a circle, like you are rubbing your chest.

There are a few different ways to say you're welcome.
The word welcome in ASL really means more like welcome to my home, so you don't want to sign that.
The easiest way is just to do the ASL sign for thank you again.
You can also do the sign for fine which is the "5" handshape, with your fingers pointed up, touch your thumb to your chest two times.
Another way is to do the sign for nothing, to say "it's nothing". For this sign, you put both your hands in the ASL "O" handshape, and shake them in front of you.

Here are what the 5 and O handshapes look like:

5 handshape:

O handshape:

(from: wiktionary - appendix:sign language handshapes)

Here are some helpful videos showing these signs:

Manners Signs - Kathy MacMillan

How to say "You're Welcome" in ASL? (Responses to "Thank You" in American Sign Language) - Meredith ASL

(from: wikipedia - american sign language)

Italian: per favore, prego

German: bitte, bitte schön

Spanish: Por favor, de nada

French: s'il vous plait, de rien

Thursday, November 17, 2016


We just learned about the Iron Ore that is used to get iron for blacksmithing.

One way to get the iron out of that iron ore is using something called a Bloomery.

A bloomery is like a chimney, where a fire is made at the bottom with charcoal, iron ore is poured into the top, and there are are holes on the bottom that help bring in air for the fire to keep burning.

(from: wikipedia - bloomery)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Tornado Appearance

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Snake Biology

We just learned about 39 different types of snakes, like the Anaconda!.

Let's learn a little bit about how a snake's body works.

Snakes have many of the same body parts like we do, like hearts, lungs, vertebrae, but they are smaller, stretched out, or in different places.

One thing we have that snakes don't have is ears outside their body!
Long ago people used to do something called snake charming, where they would play a flute and a snake would rise up out of a basket like it was in a trance.
The trick really was the way the flute was being moved, because the snake couldn't really hear the flute!

(from: wikipedia - snake)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Lumbar Plexus

We just learned about the Subcostal Nerve.

Another group of nerves is called the Lumbar Plexus.

These are connected to your spinal cord in your lower back, and they help control and get messages from your stomach, back, thighs and upper legs.

(from: wikipedia - lumbar plexus)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Superficial Palmar Venous Arch

Monday, November 14, 2016

Kenai Mountains

We just learned about the Pacific Coast Belt group of mountain ranges that are part of the North American Cordillera group of mountain belts.

There are many mountain ranges in the Pacific Coast Belt, like the Kenai Mountains.

The Kenai mountains are in Alaska, and are between 3,000 to 5,000 feet tall.
There have many glaciers on these mountains, as well as rivers that are very popular for fishing.

The mountains were named after the Kenai natives who lived in the area.

(from: wikipedia - kenai mountains)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Lake Superior

Sunday, November 13, 2016


We just learned about Abraham from the Bible.

Abraham's wife in the Bible was named Sarah.

Just like Abraham started out as Abram, Sarah's name started out as Sarai.
When Sarai traveled with Abram to Egypt, Abram was worried that bad people might hurt him so they could take Sarai from him, so he lied and said she was his sister.
The Pharaoh took Sarai as his wife, but then bad things like plagues came to his kingdom.
He found out that Abram had lied, so he made him leave Egypt.

Sarai was sad because she could not have any children for a long time.
When she was 90 years old God told her she would have a child!
She laughed because she thought she was too old, but she did have a son the following year.
God was happy with Sarai and changed her name to Sarah.

The Bible tells the story of Sarah in Genesis Chapters 11 - 23.

(from: wikipedia - sarah)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Paul's Letter to Philemon

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Stenkvista Runestone

We just learned about the Gero Cross.

Another ancient sculpture from the same time, was the Stenkvista Runestone.

This was made in Sweden, and it was a large stone carved near a grave to honor someone who had passed.
In the northern countries of Europe, they believed in the mythical Norse gods like Thor.

On the rune stone, you can see what looks like an upside down capital letter T.
That is Thor's hammer Mjölnir.

The words carved in the stone are in old letters called runes, and the words mean:
Helgi and Freygeirr and Þorgautr raised the rune-decorated landmark in memory of Þjóðmundr, their father.

(from: wikipedia - stenkvista runestone)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: The City Rises - Boccioni

Friday, November 11, 2016

ASL - Very good thanks, and you?

We just learned how to say How are you? in ASL.

To respond, you might say "Very good thanks, and you?".

Remember we already learned the sign for good, moving the hand away from the chin.
The sign for good and thank you are almost exactly the same.
Usually the only difference might be that for "thank you" instead of moving your hand down, you move your hand out toward the other person and then down.
Or you can have your left base hand out for good, but not for thank you.

Then to say "and you", you would just do the same sign for "How are you?" that we learned.

Here is a helpful video showing these signs:

ASL Signs "How are you?" - teachmesignlanguage

(from: wikipedia - american sign language)

Italian: Molto bene, grazie.

German: Sehr gut, danke. Und Sie?

Spanish: Muy bien gracias. ¿Y tú?

French: Très bien, merci. Et vous?

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Iron Ore

We just learned about Heat Treatment.

Let's learn about how the blacksmith gets the metal for the forge.

The metal used most often by blacksmiths is iron, which comes from iron ore.

This is a type of metal that is found inside of other rocks and minerals, like hematite, goethite, limonite and siderite.

(from: wikipedia - iron ore)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Tornado Rotation

Wednesday, November 9, 2016


We just learned about the Timor Python.

Another type of snake is the anaconda.

This is the heaviest snake in the world, usually growing to around 150 pounds.
The largest anaconda ever found was over 200 pounds!

Their eyes and nose are on the top of their head, so when they are hiding in the water they only need a little bit of their body in the air to breathe.

(from: wikipedia - anaconda)

These snakes are not venomous, they are constrictors so they kill their prey by squeezing them.
They are so large that they can eat tapirs, deer, capybaras, caimans, jaguars, and even other anacondas.

(from: wikipedia - green anaconda)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Flat Coated Retriever

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Subcostal Nerve

We just learned about the Intercostal Nerves which comes from the Thoracic nerves T1-T11.

The last of the Thoracic nerves T12 is tied to the Subcostal Nerve.

This nerve helps control your stomach muscles, and gives feeling to the skin on the sides of your body.

(from: wikipedia - subcostal nerve)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Dorsal Venous Network of the Hand

Monday, November 7, 2016

Pacific Coast Belt

We just learned that the North American Cordillera is a group of five different mountainous areas in North America.

The first area is called the Pacific Coast Belt.

This belt contains four mountain ranges: The Southern Alaska ranges, the Western System of Canada, the Pacific Border Province in contiguous U.S. and the Western mountain ranges of Mexico.

(from: wikipedia - Pacific Coast Ranges)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Caspian Sea

Sunday, November 6, 2016


We just learned about Noah.

Noah had children and his children had children and so on through many generations.

Someone's children, grandchildren and great grandchildren are called their descendants.

One of the descendants of Noah was called Abraham.

When Abraham was younger, he was known as Abram.
God told Abram to leave his home and go travel to a place he would lead him.

Abram promised to follow God, and his name was changed to Abraham.
God promised Abram that he would have many descendants, and he had two sons, Ishmael and Isaac.

The Bible tells the story of Abraham in Genesis Chapters 11 - 25.

(from: wikipedia - abraham)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Paul's Letter to Titus

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Gero Cross

We just learned about the Golden Madonna of Essen.

Another ancient sculpture is the Gero Cross, carved around 965 AD.

This crucifix is over six feet tall, and is made out of oak wood, painted, and gilded with some gems.
The oval and sun rays behind the crucifix were added about 700 years later.

It is different from other sculptures of the time, because other crucifixes showed Christ alive with his eyes open looking out.
This crucifix shows him after he died on the cross, looking sad.
Many other crucifixes made after this one copied the same style.

(from: wikipedia - gero cross)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Dynamism of a Dog on a Leash - Balla

Friday, November 4, 2016

ASL - How are you?

We just learned how to say Hello, Goodbye and Good Morning in ASL.

If you want to say How are you? in ASL, you start with how.

The hand shape you start with is like the "Bent B".

ASL bent b
(from: wiktionary - appendix:sign language handshapes)

It's like the Bent B, but not exactly the same.
Keep your thumb up, bend your hand, point your fingers down, and your palm is facing down.
You do this with both hands, have them meet in front of you with the backs of your fingers facing each other.

Then rotate your hand at the wrist, bringing your fingers up toward the inside of your body until they are pointed up.

After that make the hand shape for "1" with your index finger, and point at the person you're talking to.

A lot of ASL also uses your face and your body, so it helps if you lean forward to show that you are interested in how someone is.

Here is a helpful video showing this sign, and also a way to say "What's up?" that you might say to your close friends:

ASL Signs "How are you?" - teachmesignlanguage

(from: wikipedia - american sign language)

Italian: Come va? Molto bene, grazie.

German: Wie geht es Ihnen? Sehr gut, danke.

Spanish: ¿Cómo estás? Muy bien, gracias.

French: Comment allez-vous? Très bien, merci.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Heat Treatment

We just learned about Forge Welding.

Another way to work with metal is called Heat Treatment.

Some mixtures of metals will get harder or softer if you keep them really hot for a very long time.

(from: wikipedia - heat treating)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Snownado

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Timor Python

We just learned about the Mandarin Ratsnake.

Another type of snake is the Timor Python.

These snakes are constrictors, and they are not venomous.
They can grow to be 7 feet long, but they are thinner than most pythons.
They live in trees, and mostly hunt at night in the trees.

Even though they are called the Timor Python, none of these snakes live on the island of Timor in Indonesia.
When they lay their eggs, they will stay curled up around them until the eggs hatch.
Sometimes to warm up their bodies they can twitch and contract and that helps keep the eggs warm.

(from: wikipedia - python timoriensis)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Curly Coated Retriever

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Intercostal Nerves

We just learned about the Cervical Plexus.

We know that there are 12 thoracic nerves in the spinal cord, T1 - T12.
The first 11 of those, T1 - T11 are called the Intercostal Nerves.

These nerves control your arms, your muscles around your chest and stomach, and the feeling in your skin.

(from: wikipedia - intercostal nerves)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Radial and Ulnar Veins