Friday, February 21, 2020

Russian - They are excited

We just learned that in Russian I am happy is Я счастлив (ya shastliv),
you are sad is Ты грустный (Ty grustnyy),
and he is angry is Он сердится (On serditsya).

Let's learn how to say they are excited.

Они взволнованы (Oni vzvolnovany)

They - Они (Oni) - Sounds like oh-nee 文A

are excited - взволнованы - (vzvolnovany) Sounds like v-z-voh-l-noh-vah-nee 文A

So all together Они взволнованы (Oni vzvolnovany) sounds like oh-nee v-z-voh-l-noh-vah-nee.

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

Norwegian: De er begeistret

Greek: Είναι ενθουσιασμένοι

ASL: They are excited

Italian: Sono eccitati

German: Sie sind aufgeregt

Spanish: Ellos estan emocionados

French: Ils sont excité

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Negative Feedback

We just learned about the Encoder.

Another part of a servo is Negative Feedback.

When a servo machine is working, and it needs to tell the motor to STOP, it needs some sort of a sensor that tells it when to stop.

A negative feedback part of a machine is something that senses when something gets to a point where it needs to stop, and the movement of the machine stops the machine itself.

That might sound sort of confusing, but if you think about a real world example it makes sense.

In a toilet there is usually a type of ball that is floating in the water in the tank.
When there is no water, the ball is hanging down, which lets the water flow in to fill up the tank.
As the water starts to rise, it gets to the ball and starts to make it float.
When it gets high enough, the ball is floating and it is connected to a valve that closes to stop water coming in.

So the ball floating is the negative feedback saying CLOSE THE VALVE AND STOP LETTING WATER IN, and the more the ball floats up the more the valve closes until it is totally closed and the water stops coming in.

(from: wikipedia - negative feedback)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: SM-65 Atlas

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Black Panther

We just learned about the Leopard.

Another type of Wild Cat is the Black Panther.

The black panther is not really a different type of cat, it is just a different color of cat.
Both the leopards that live in Africa or Asia, and the jaguars that live in the Americas can be born with black fur.

For a long time people thought this was a whole different type of cat, but scientists figured out later that they were just the same cats with different fur.

Sometimes leopards or jaguars can have fur that is totally black, and other times just part of their fur is very dark but you can still see spots on the other parts.

(from: wikipedia - black panther)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Flower Hat Jellyfish

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Smooth Pursuit

We just learned about the Saccade quick jumpy eye movements.

Another type of eye movement is called Smooth Pursuit.

This is where your eye can follow something that is moving along without losing sight of it.
So if someone throws a ball up in the air, your eyes can focus on the ball and watch it the whole time as it goes up and down.

Or if someone hits a baseball, your eyes can watch it go through the air and you can run to catch it.

(from: wikipedia - smooth pursuit)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Fungiform Papillae

Monday, February 17, 2020

Antarctic Territories

We just learned about the Marie Byrd Land.

Another part of Antarctica is the Antarctic Territories.

Whenever there is land to be discovered, someone always wants to plant their flag on it and call it their own.

Antarctica has 11 different territories that are claimed by different countries, like France, Argentinia, Australia, Britain, Chile, Norway, New Zealand, Brazil and Uruguay.

Most of the territories start at the south pole and go out like a triangle shape toward the edge of the water.
Australia has the biggest one called the Australian Antarctic Territory (AAT) that covers over 5 million square kilometers.

The only place that is not claimed is Marie Byrd Land.
Even though the land is claimed by a country, there might only be 200 or so people living in the whole area all year long.

(from: wikipedia - australian antarctic territory)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Castillo de Colomares

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Glagolitic Script

We just learned about the Saint Ansgar.

Another part of early Christianity is the Glagolitic script.

When some people wanted to go to parts of Eastern Europe to tell people about Christianity, they had a problem.
The language called Old Slavic that the people spoke and wrote in was not something taught in schools, and there weren't books for how to read it or write it.

This was a problem because they wanted to give people Bibles and other writings to learn about Christianity, but nobody knew how to write in their language.

So some church workers named Cyril and Methodius worked to come up with an alphabet that they could put into books and then teach to people so they could read and write in this language.

The alphabet they came up with was called the Glagolitic Script.
The word really means something like "speaking letters" and it got it's name many years after the alphabet was made.
Because they worked so hard to make this Glagolitic script, they could go to Eastern Europe and teach people about God and Jesus.

(from: wikipedia - glagolitic script)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Decian Persecution

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Abraham Lincoln - Vinnie Ream

We just learned about the Angel of the Waters by Emma Stebbins.

Another famous sculpture made by a woman from American history is the statue of Abraham Lincoln made by Lavinia "Vinnie" Ream in 1871.

Vinnie was born in Madison Wisconsin in 1847.

When she was 14 her family moved to Washington D.C. where she got a job at the post office, and as a singer at church.
When she was 16 she got a job as an apprentice for a sculptor, and then when she was 18 President Abraham Lincoln asked her to make a sculpture of him to be used in Washington D.C.

Shew as the youngest artist and first woman to get hired by the US government to make a statue.

She sat with Lincoln every day for a month to try and look at him and make the sculpture as real looking as possible.

Vinnie once said "I think that history is particularly correct in writing Lincoln down as the man of sorrow. The one great, lasting, all-dominating impression that I have always carried of Lincoln has been that of unfathomable sorrow, and it was this that I tried to put into my statue."

(from: wikipedia - vinnie ream)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Elephanta Caves

Friday, February 14, 2020

Russian - He is angry

We just learned that in Russian I am happy is Я счастлив (ya shastliv), and you are sad is Ты грустный (Ty grustnyy).

Now let's learn how to say He is angry.

Он сердится (On serditsya)

He - Он (On) - sounds like oh-n 文A
angry - сердится (serditsya) - Sounds like see-ay-dr-dee-t-ss-yah 文A

So all together Он сердится (On serditsya) sounds like oh-n see-ay-dr-dee-t-ss-yah.

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

Norwegian: Han er sint

Greek: Είναι θυμωμένος

ASL: He is angry

Italian: Lui è arrabbiato

German: Er ist wütend

Spanish: Él está enojado

French: Il est en colère

Thursday, February 13, 2020


We just learned about the Servo, that has sensors to tell it when to start or stop.

One part of a servo is the Encoder.

An encoder is like a map that the servo uses, so when the machine moves it knows where it is and when to stop.
Encoders have markings on them that a sensor can see to tell the machine that it is moving.

A rotary encoder is a type of encoder for a machine that spins.
It has lines on it to help the machine figure out how far it spins around.
If a machine spins to the right, the sensor might see 10 black lines go by.
The machine would then know that if it wanted to go back to where it started, it could spin the other way until it counted 10 black lines go by.

(from: wikipedia - rotary encoder)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: R-7 Rockets

Wednesday, February 12, 2020


We just learned about the Jaguar.

Another type of wild cat is the Leopard.

Leopards are also part of the Felidae family just like lions, tigers and jaguars, and they are part of the smaller family of panthera just like the jaguar.
They live in the southern parts of the African and Asian continents.

Leopards can grow to be over 6 feet long, and weigh 200 pounds. They have a super long tail that can be 3 feet long.

There are a bunch of different types of leopards, usually living in different places like the African leopard, Indian leopard, Javan leopard, Arabian leopard, Persian or Anatolian leopard, Amur leopard, Indochinese leopard, and Sri Lankan leopard.

The leopard looks a lot like it's cousin the jaguar, but it is usually smaller and the rosette spots on its fur are usually smaller.
They can live in different areas, like grasslands, woodlands and rain forests.

Leopard cubs can live with their mothers for about 2 years before they go off on their own, and boy leopards usually live all by themselves.

On a leopard's ears and tails are white tufts of hair, and people think that the leopards can use those to talk to each other.
So if a leopard flicks it's ears or tail it might be trying to tell another leopard something like "get away" or "follow me".

(from: wikipedia - leopard)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Crystal Jelly

Tuesday, February 11, 2020


We just learned about Peripheral Vision.

Another part of the eye is the Saccade.

When your eyes move, sometimes they move fast and sometimes they move slow.
If you quickly switch from looking at one spot to looking at another spot, that is called a saccade.

So if you are holding your open hand out, you can stare at your thumb and then quickly switch to staring at your pinky.
You don't need to slowly move your eyes along across the middle of your hand until you stop at your pinky, you just zip right over and look at it, and you can switch back and forth easily.

The word saccade is French for jerk, like a jerking movement as your eyes move around.

(from: wikipedia - saccade)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Filiform Papillae

Monday, February 10, 2020

Marie Byrd Land

We just learned about the Ross Sea.

Another part of Antarctica is Marie Byrd Land.

This is part of West Antarctica, and it is about 620,000 square miles.

A lot of parts of Antarctica have research stations or areas where countries of the world have said they own, but this part of Antarctica is not owned by anyone.

Because of this it is the biggest piece of land in the whole world that is not owned by anyone.

There have been some camps set up out in the middle of this land area to try and study it, and usually to try and drill very far down into the ice to see what it is like far below the surface.

(from: wikipedia - marie byrd land)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Chillon Castle

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Saint Ansgar

We just learned about the Vikings and Christians.

Another person from early Christianity was Saint Ansgar.

We learned about King Charlemagne and how he helped Christianity grow through Europe.

A man named Ansgar who grew up being taught by monks about God and Jesus.
Charlemagne wanted someone to go north to the countries of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, so he told Ansgar to go and try to tell people up there about Christianity.

He met with a lot of kings and helped start some churches, but he also had problems because a lot of the kings in that area were fighting with each other.
So he could make friends with one king, and then a few years later that king wasn't in charge anymore and he had to leave and come back later.

He still helped spread the word to the northern countries there and set up some churches and told a lot of people about Christianity.

(from: wikipedia - ansgar)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Antilegomena

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Angel of the Waters - Emma Stebbins

We just learned about the Forever Free - Edmonia Lewis.

Another famous American sculpture is Angel of the Waters by Emma Stebbins in 1873.

Emma was born in New York in 1815, where her parents helped get her into schools that would teach her to be an artist
When she was 41 years old, she moved to Italy to learn from famous sculptors.

She was the first woman who was paid to do art for New York City, when she made the Angel of the Waters statue, sometimes also called Bethesda Fountain.
This statue is in New York's famous Central Park, and has a big fountain around it, and a big area for people to walk around.

It is an 8 foot tall bronze satue of an angel that is touching the top of the fountain where water is spouting up and around.

There are four small cherubs called Temperance, Purity, Health, and Peace.

This fountain is supposed to be about the story where Jesus healed a man who could not walk who was sitting by a fountain of healing.

(from: wikipedia - bethesda fountain)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Ellora - Jain Caves

Friday, February 7, 2020

Russian - You are sad

We just learned that in Russian I am happy is Я счастлив (ya shastliv).

Now let's learn how to say You are sad.

Ты грустный

You - Ты (Ty) - sounds like too 文A
sad - грустный (grustnyy) - Sounds like g-dr-oo-ss-t-n-ee 文A

So all together Ты грустный (Ty grustnyy) sounds like Too g-dr-oo-ss-t-n-ee.

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

Norwegian: du er lei deg.

Greek: Είσαι λυπημενος

ASL: You are sad

Italian: Sei triste

German: Sie sind traurig

Spanish: Estas triste

French: Vous êtes triste

Thursday, February 6, 2020


We just learned about the Valve Types.

Another part of machines is a Servo, also called a servomechanism.

This is something that uses special sensors to make a machine move or stop moving if it senses something bad.

When you go to a store and the automatic door is closing but senses you walking through it and stops, that is using a servo.
The servo has a motor that is closing the door, and then the sensor tells it that there is someone there, and it tells the motor to stop.

When it is clear, the servo tells it to close the door.

So a servo is really like a smart machine controller that automatically turns on or off when it needs to.

(from: wikipedia - servomechanism)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: PGM-11 Redstone

Wednesday, February 5, 2020


We just learned about the Tigers.

Another type of wild cat is the Jaguar.

This is the third biggest kind of cat after the lion and tiger.
It can grow to be about 350 pounds, and six feet long, with a 2 foot tail.

They have spots all over their body, with different sizes and shapes.
On their head, feet and belly, their spots are mostly just all black.
Their bodies have things called rosettes, which sort of like rose shaped black marks that are darker brown in the middle, and sometimes have a dot in the middle.
Other than their spots they have brown heads, backs and legs, and their belly area us white fur.

Jaguars live in Central and South America, but don't usually come as far north as the United States.

Just like a tiger, jaguars usually live by themselves.
Baby jaguars will live with only their mother for about 2 years and then they go live by themselves.
They can live to be around 12 years in the wild, and if they are taken care of in a zoo they can live over 20 years.

Jaguars are strong swimmers, and can even hunt things like Caimans that live in the water and are like an alligator.

(from: wikipedia - jaguar)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Upside Down Jellyfish

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Peripheral Vision

We just learned about the Field of View.

Another part of the eye is Peripheral Vision.

When you are looking straight ahead at something, you can still see things a little bit that are on the left and right sides of your head.

The word "peripheral" means on the outside or on the edge of something.
So peripheral vision is looking at things that are on the outside edge of what you are seeing.

(from: wikipedia - peripheral vision)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Taste Buds

Monday, February 3, 2020

Ross Sea

We just learned about the Weddel Sea.

Another part of Antarctica is the Ross Sea.

This sea is on the other side of Antarctica from the Weddel sea, and it is about 246,000 square miles.
Because it is further away from other land, many scientists see this place as the last place on earth that has not been hurt by pollution.

There are many scientists who go to the Ross sea to try and study the animals and ice there, without making any changes to the Ross Sea just so we can study what the earth was like a long time ago.

A lot of animals live in this area too, like penguins, whales and seals.
Because this place has not really been touched by humans, there are a lot of people trying to keep it safe and make sure it does not get polluted or ruined.

(from: wikipedia - ross sea)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Kilkenny Castle

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Vikings and Christians

We just learned about the King Charlemagne.

Another part of early Christianity is Vikings and Christians and how they lived together.

Sometimes vikings would go do a raid, and attack another group of people.
They would steal food and things, but they would also sometimes steal people.

The people they brought back were either made to be slaves or taken as wives for the vikings.
A lot of the people they took were Christian, so just by doing these raids more and more vikings would get to live around Christians.

Just by being with Christians and living with them, many vikings became Christian, and that helped Christianity grow in countries like Denmark, Sweden and Norway.

(from: wikipedia - vikings)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Muratorian Fragment

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Forever Free - Edmonia Lewis

We just learned about the The Woman of Samaria (Rebecca at the Well) - William Henry Rinehart.

Another famous American sculpture is Forever Free by Edmonia Lewis in 1867.

Edmonia was born in New York in 1844, while there was still slavery in America.
Her father was part African and Haitian, and her mother was part African and Native American.

When she grew up in America it was very difficult for her because life was not fair for women, African Americans or Native Americans.
She was not allowed to go to school or get jobs that men or white people were allowed to have.
When she was nine years old, her parents died so she went to Niagara Falls to live for a while with her two aunts that were Native American, and she changed her name to "Wildfire".

When she was 15 she was sent to a school in Ohio where they allowed women and African American people. She was still not treated very nice and at one point some people tried to put her in jail saying that she poisoned some other students. They did not even let her graduate school.

In 1864 when she was 20 years old she moved to Boston and started making sculptures.
The Civil War was going on, so she started making sculptures of Civil War heroes like Robert Gould Shaw.
Later on she saved up enough money to move to Rome where she could work with other famous sculptors.

Her statue called "Forever Free" was made in 1867, just after the Civil War was over.
It shows a man standing up who was in chains but is now free.
A woman is kneeling next to him praying, and she is dressed in nice clothes.
She had the woman in clothes because a lot of sculptures of women at the time had women not wearing much, and she thought that made people only think about what women looked like.

Her sculptures became so famous that President Ulysses S. Grant asked for her to come and make a sculpture of him.

(from: wikipedia - edmonia lewis)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Ellora - Hindu Caves

Friday, January 31, 2020

Russian - I am happy

Last time we learned that the Russian words for horse, sheep and duck are лошадь (loshad'), овца (ovsta), and утка (utka).

Let's learn how to say I am happy in Russian!

We can break it up into a few words.

In Russian you don't say "I am happy", you really just say "I happy".

I - Я (ya) - sounds like yah 文A

happy - счастлив (schastliv) - sounds like shah-ss-t-lih-v 文A

Together Я счастлив (ya shastliv) sounds like yah shah-ss-t-lih-v

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

Norwegian: jeg er glad

Greek: Είμαι (Eímai) χαρούμενος (charoúmenos)

ASL: I am happy

Italian: Sono felice

German: Ich bin glücklich

Spanish: Estoy feliz

French: Je suis heureux

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Valve Types

We just learned about the Poppet Valve, and we learned about the Ball Valve before that.

There are lots of different Valve Types out there that are made for different reasons.

A Globe Valve has a body that is shaped sort of like a globe, and has a disc that goes up and down to plug the hole and stop the flow of liquid or gas.

(from: wikipedia - globe valve)

A Butterfly Valve has a circle shaped disc in the middle that spins to open or close.

(from: wikipedia - butterfly valve)

A Gate Valve has a gate that goes up and down to open or close the hole.

(from: wikipedia - gate valve)

A Check Valve is a type of valve that stays closed unless the liquid or gas pushes hard enough to open it, and then it will close again using something like a spring.

(from: wikipedia - check valve)

A Control Valve is a valve that is controlled by a computer to tell it to open a little or a lot, so that it can control the amount of liquid or gas that is coming through.

(from: wikipedia - control valve)

Valves can have have a lot more than just two holes or ports also.
Many valves have three or four ports, and some have even more!

(from: wikipedia - four way valve)

There are a lot more types of valves out there. Pretty much any way you can think of to open or close a pipe, someone has made a valve for it.

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: V-2 Rocket

Wednesday, January 29, 2020


We just learned about Lions.

Another big cat is the Tiger.

The tiger is the largest of the wild cats in the group of animals called "Felidae".

Tigers mostly live by themselves, except for the mothers when they are raising tiger cubs for about 2 years.

There are a lot of different types of tigers from different places.
Some have darker or longer fur, some are a little bigger, and some have stripes that look a little different.
Just like lions, there are also white tigers!
All the different tigers are in a group called "Panthera".

Tigers have stripes so that they can hide in the tall grass when they are hunting for other animals.
They have yellow irises in their eyes, and circle shaped pupils.

Boy tigers can grow to be 12 feet long, and weigh 675 pounds! Girl tigers are smaller, only growing to 9 feet and 360 pounds.
Their tails can be 2 to 4 feet long!

Tigers used to live all the way from the country of Turkey in the west to Japan in the east.
Now it mostly only lives in parts of India and China and a few other countries.
Tigers usually live in forest areas where there is water and other animals for them to hunt.

Even though we think about cats not liking water, tigers have no problem swimming, and can swim 18 miles in one day!

(from: wikipedia - tiger)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Crown Jellyfish

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Field of View

We just learned about the Central Retinal Vein.

Another part of the eyes is the Field of View.

When we are looking forward with our eyes, we see the things in front of us, but not behind us.
We also can only see part of what is up, down, left or right without moving our head to see it all.

Some of this is because parts of our head that get in the way like cheekbones or eyebrows.
Part of it is because our eyeballs are pointed forward.
Some animals like a rabbit or a deer have eyes on the sides of their heads, so they can see almost all the way in front and in back of their bodies.

The whole space of things that you can see with your eyes without moving them is called your Field of View, or FoV.

(from: wikipedia - peripheral vision)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Lingual Papillae

Monday, January 27, 2020

Weddel Sea

We just learned about the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf.

Another part of Antarctica is the Weddel Sea.

This is the water just to the East of the Antarctic Peninsula.
Some scientists believe this to be the clearest sea water in the whole world, and people have been able to see things down in the water over 250 feet deep.

The sea is about 1,200 miles across, and some sailors have said that it was the most dangerous sea on earth.
As people have taken their boats into this sea, sometimes the ice will flash freeze, and then melt again, and sometimes the ice will crush or tip over ships.

There are many animals who live in this sea, like the Weddell seal, killer whales, humpback whales, minke whales, leopard seals and crabeater seals.

There are also some penguins that live on the land in this area and swim in the sea.

(from: wikipedia - weddel sea)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Conwy Castle

Sunday, January 26, 2020

King Charlemagne

We just learned about the Icons.

Another part of early Christianity is the rule of King Charlemagne, also known as Charles I or Charles the Great.

Around 770 AD a person named Charlemagne was the king over a lot of parts of Europe, like France, Germany and Italy.

There were a lot of people in those times fighting over who should be king or emperor, so Pope Leo III who was the head of the church in Rome told everyone to follow Charlemagne and that he should be the ruler over everyone else.

Charles loved reading, writing and music, so he helped make schools for people to learn and read the books of the Bible.
He also sent people to Rome to learn how to sing and they came back to the schools to teach people how to sing the Psalms of the Bible.

A lot of the writings of the Bible were in Latin or Greek, so Charles told people to make copies of them in other languages.
This made it so that everyone could read the Bible and learn about God and Jesus themselves.

(from: wikipedia - charlemagne)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Tetramorph

Saturday, January 25, 2020

The Woman of Samaria (Rebecca at the Well) - William Henry Rinehart

We just learned about the sculpture Michigan Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument by Randolph Rogers.

Another famous American sculpture is The Woman of Samaria (Rebecca at the Well) made by William Henry Rinehart in 1861 in Washington, D.C.

Rinehart was born in Maryland, and gre up as a farmer working for his father.
He got a job as a stone cutter, and then started learning how to be a sculptor.

When he was 30 years old he moved to Italy to learn from some of the best sculptors in the world.
He made many marble statues and sent them back to America, mostly to Washington D.C. to be put around the nation's capital.

(from: wikipedia - william henry rinehart)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Ellora - Buddhist Caves

Friday, January 24, 2020

Russian - Horse, sheep, duck

We know that in Russian, dog is собака (sobaka)and cat is кошка (koshka),
cow is корова (korova), chicken is курица (kuritsa), and pig is свинья (svin'ya).

Let's learn more animals!

horse - лошадь (loshad') - sounds like loh-sh-ad 文A

sheep - овца (ovtsa) - sounds like ah-v-ts-ah 文A

duck - утка (utka) - sounds like oo-t-kah 文A

Also in Russia horses say И-го-го (ee-go-go), sheep say Б-е-е-е (beh), and ducks say Кря-кря (kr-yah).

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

Norwegian: hest, sau, and

Greek: άλογο, πρόβατα, πάπια

ASL: horse, sheep, duck

German: Pferd, Schaf, Ente

Spanish:caballo, oveja, pato

French:French - cheval, mouton, canard

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Poppet Valve

We just learned about the Ball Valve.

Another type of valve is the Poppet Valve.

This is a valve that is usually used to open and close for gas to come through.

In a car's engine there are valves used to help the fuel come in, and after it makes a big explosion there are valves to let the burnt up air out.

(from: wikipedia - poppet valve)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Bell X-1