Sunday, May 31, 2020

Knights Templar

We just learned about the Knights Hospitaller.

Another part of early Christianity is the Knights Templar.

Just like the Knights Hospitaller, this was a group of people who fought battles for the church, usually for the Crusades.
They were known for the outfits they wore with a white background and a red cross on it.
Part of the meaning of the red cross was that they would go to war and kill people in the name of God, and he would reward them in heaven.

Some of the people in the Knights Templar did not fight battles, they were more like farmers or bankers.
Because a lot of people knew about them, people would give them money to help fight the Crusades that people thought were good.
With this money they built a lot of buildings and churches across all of Europe.

Later on one of the kings of France did not like the knights, so he said a lot of bad things about them, had many of them killed, and later on the church decided the knights should either quit or join the Knights Hospitaller and there would be no more Templars.

(from: wikipedia - knights templar)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Saint Catherine's Monastery

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Civil War Memorial - Martin Milmore

We just learned about the statue of Joan of Ark by Anna Hyatt Huntington.

Another famous American sculpture is the Civil War Memorial by Martin Milmore in 1873 in Pennsylvania.

After the civil war was over, many cities wanted to put up statues for memorials for soldiers that fought and died in the war.
In Chester cemetery in Pennsylvania, there is a statue of a Union soldier made by Martin Milmore in 1873.

Underneath the soldier is a stone base that has the words:

"The people of Delaware County erected this monument to commemorate the patriotism of their citizens, soldiers and sailors who fell in defense of the Union in the War of the Rebellion 1861-1865"

Martin Milmore was a sculptor who was born in Ireland and then moved to Boston.
His older brother helped him learn to be a sculptor, and then he took art lessons to keep getting better.

He was already getting jobs as a sculptor when he was 20 years old, and he became famous for making soldier's monuments.

Sadly he died very young at only 38 years old.

He was a good friend of sculptor Daniel Chester French, who made a famous sculpture at his grave site called Death and the Sculptor.
It shows an image of a woman who is supposed to be the spirit of death, coming to take a young Martin Milmore away.

(from: wikipedia - chester rural cemetery)

(from: wikipedia - death and the sculptor)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Nok Terracotta

Friday, May 29, 2020

Russian - March, April

Let's keep learning about the months of the year in Russian!

We already learned that January, February is Январь (Yanvar'), Февраль (Fevral')

Let's keep going!

March - Март (Mart) - sounds like mah-r-t 文A

April - Апрель (Aprel') - sounds like ah-p-ray-l 文A

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

Norwegian: Mars, April

Greek: Μάρτιος (Mártios), Απρίλιος (Aprílios)

ASL: March, April

Italian: Marzo, Aprile

German: März, April

Spanish: Marzo, Abril

French: Mars, Avril

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Sun and Planet Gear

We just learned about the Rotative Beam Engine.

Another part of the early steam engines is the Sun and Planet Gear.

After the rotative beam engine came up with a way to have a beam go up and down and spin a wheel around,
it was hooked up to a type of gear called a sun and planet gear.

It was called that because one gear goes around the other, kind of like a planet going around the sun.

(from: wikipedia - sun and planet gear)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Forensic Entomology

Wednesday, May 27, 2020


We just learned about the Geoffroy's Cat.

Another type of wild cat is the Oncilla, also called the northern tiger cat, little spotted cat, and tigrillo.

These are small spotted cats who live in South America.
They are like the margay and ocelot, but smaller.
Oncillas grow to be about 2 feet long with a 16 inch tail, and they weigh about 6 pounds.

Their fur is brown with rosette spots on their body.
One of the only differences between the oncilla and the ocelot is that the Oncilla has a smaller mouth and fewer teeth.

Just like some of the other South American small cats, the Oncilla is a great climber and mostly stays awake at night to hunt.

(from: wikipedia - oncilla)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: White Spotted Jellyfish

Tuesday, May 26, 2020


We just learned about the Bulbar Conjunctiva.

Another part of the eye is the Eyelash, also called the cilium.

The hair on the eyelids helps protect the eyes from dust and other things that might fly into it.
There are three layers of eyelids on the edge of the eyelids.

Eyelashes grow on the body even before a person is born.
They do not keep growing forever, they stop after growing out a little.
These hairs take about 7 to 8 weeks to grow, and after a while they will fall out and new ones will grow in the same place.

(from: wikipedia - eyelash)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Lips

Monday, May 25, 2020

Pole of Inaccessibility Research Station

We just learned about the Carlini Base.

Another research base in Antarctica is the Pole of Inaccessibility Research Station.

This is in the place on Antarctica that is the farthest from any point of water where a boat could land with explorers.
Since it's so hard to get to it's called the most inaccessible.

The Russians built a small base for 4 people there in 1958, and they stayed for 8 days and then left.
Since then the base has been covered by snow, and the only part showing is the statue of the old Russian leader Lenin that was on the top of the base.

Some people still visit the spot to do some research, but the base is buried so no one stays there anymore.

(from: wikipedia - pole of inaccessibility (antarctic research station))

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Curtain Wall

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Knights Hospitaller

We just learned about the Third Crusade.

Another part of early Christianity is the Knights Hospitaller, also called the Order of Knights of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem, the Knights of Malta, or the Order of Saint John.

During the Crusades, the Catholic church started making groups of people to fight battles for them.
The first one they started was in Jerusalem, and then moved to Rhodes, then Malta and later on Saint Petersburg Russia.

(from: wikipedia - knights hospitaller)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Church of Pater Noster

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Joan of Ark - Anna Hyatt Huntington

We just learned about the Penguins - Albert Laessle.

Another famous American sculpture is Joan of Ark by Anna Hyatt Huntington made in New York in 1915.

She became famous for making bronze sculptures of people and animals like Andrew Jackson, El Cid, Don Quixote, and Abraham Lincoln.

In 1915 she was asked to make a statue of Joan of Ark, and it was so well known that even people like Thomas Edison's wife came to see it.

(from: wikipedia - equestrian statue of arc (new york city)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Pisa Griffin

Friday, May 22, 2020

Russian - January, February

We just learned about the days of the week.

Let's learn about the months of the year in Russian!

January - Январь (Yanvar') - sounds like yah-n-var 文A

February - Февраль (Fevral') - sounds like feh-v-rah-l 文A

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

Norwegian: Januar, Februar

Greek: Ιανουάριος (Ianouários), Φεβρουάριος (Fevrouários)

ASL: January, February

Italian: Gennaio, Febbraio

German: Januar, Februar

Spanish: Enero, Febrero

French: Janvier, Février

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Rotative Beam Engine

We just learned about the Newcomen Engine.

Another part of steam engine history is Rotative Beam Engine.

After the Newcomen Engine was built, people worked to make it even better.

In the old types of engines, the big rod that was moved by the steam was just pushed up and down.
For a rotative beam engine, one end of the beam uses a type of crank or gear to spin a wheel around.

This moving wheel could be used as a wheel to paddle a boat, or a wheel to move a train.

(from: wikipedia - beam engine)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Forensic Dentistry

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Geoffroy's Cat

We just learned about the Kodkod.

Another kind of wild cat is Geoffroy's Cat.

This cat lives in South and Central America, and is about the size of a house cat.
They are brownish yellow with black spots all over their bodies.
Some cats are all black like a panther.

They are about 2 feet long, and weigh from 4 to 11 pounds.
Most of these cats live in the woods and like to hide.
When they are hungry they hunt for food at night.
Sometimes they like to stand up on their hind legs and look around, using their tail to help thems tand up.
They can climb trees but they usually don't.

(from: wikipedia - geoffroy's cat)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Lobed Comb Jellyfish

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Bulbar Conjunctiva

We just learned about the Lacrimal Lake.

Another part of the eye is the Bulbar Conjunctiva.

This is a very thin layer of skin on top of the white sclera that helps bring tears to the eye, and also has blood vessels coming into the eye.

(from: wikipedia - conjunctiva)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Palatine Raphe

Monday, May 18, 2020

Carlini Base

We just learned about the Brown Station.

Another base in Antarctica is Carlini Base.

This base is owned by Argentina and is on the Antarctic peninsula, and holds about 60 people.
It was built in 1953, and is used mostly to study the weather, the animals and the ocean.

There are tourists that sometimes come to visit the station, so they have a radio station and a movie theater there for people.
In 2013 the rock band Metallica came down to Antarctica to play a concert, so that they could say they played on every continent.
Because the loud guitars, drums and speakers would hurt the ice, animals and environment down there, they played the concert with no amplifiers, just using their instruments in a special dome that kept in the sounds.

Living by this base are thousands of penguins and hundreds of sea lions that they watch over and study.

(from: wikipedia - carlini base)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Machicolation

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Third Crusade

We just learned about the Second Crusade.

Another part of the crusades was the Third Crusade.

After the Second Crusade, one of the Muslim rulers named Saladin took back Jerusalem in some other battles.

So the church and the European countries decided to go to war again.
They battled their way through Asia toward Jerusalem, and took over a lot of land but did not take back Jerusalem.

Even though they won most of their battles, people were still upset that they did not take back Jerusalem, and came back home.

(from: wikipedia - third crusade)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Church of Nativity

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Penguins - Albert Laessle

We just learned about the John Dill - Herbert Haseltine.

Another famous American statue is Penguins by Albert Laessle, made in 1917 in Philadelphia.

Laessle was born in 1877 in Philadelphia, and went to college to learn about art.
When he was 27 he moved to Paris to study art with some other masters.

He was famous for making sculptures of animals, like his bronze Penguins sculpture which is at the Philadelphia zoo.

(from: wikipedia - albert laessle)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Trà Kiệu Pedestal

Friday, May 15, 2020

Russian - Saturday, Sunday

We just learned that Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday in Russian is Понедельник (Ponedel'nik), Вторник (Vtornik), Среда (Sreda) and Thursday, Friday is Четверг (Chetverg), пятница (Pyatnitsa).

Let's keep learning the days of the week!

Saturday - Суббота (Subbota) - sounds like soo-boh-tah 文A

Sunday - Воскресенье (Voskresen'ye) - sounds like voh-skray-say-n-yeh 文A

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

Norwegian: Lørdag, Søndag

Greek: Σάββατο (Sávvato), Κυριακή (Kyriakí)

ASL: Saturday, Sunday

Italian: Sabato, Domenica

German: Samstag, Sonntag

Spanish: Sabado, Domingo

French: Samedi, Dimanche

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Newcomen Engine

We just learned about the Steam Pump.

Another part of the history of steam engines is the Newcomen Engine.

In 1712 in England, Thomas Newcomen took the idea of the Steam Pump and made his own type of steam engine.

He had a big tank full of water called a boiler that was being heated up by a coal fire underneath.
The water would boil and make steam that was let up into another smaller cylinder tank.
That steam would expand and push up on a piston that was hooked to a big long beam.
The beam was like a see-saw, and when the one side got pushed up, the other side was pushed down.

After the steam had filled the cylinder, a plug valve would be closed so no more steam would come in, and another tank of cold water would splash some cold water onto the steam.
This created a vacuum, which sucked the piston back down, pulling the beam down, and pulling the other side of the beam up.

With this steam engine, it would rock the beam back and forth like a see-saw.
The other end of the beam was hooked up to a pump to help pull water out of mines that were flooded.

At first the plugs had to be opened by a person called the "plug man" who would run around and pull the plugs at just the right time.
Later someone figured out a way to use a board with some chains on it called a "plug tree" with weights on it that would automatically open and close the valves.

(from: wikipedia - newcomen atmospheric engine)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Forensic Botany

Wednesday, May 13, 2020


We just learned about the Margay.

Another small wild cat is the Kodkod, also called the güiña or leopardus guigna.

This is the smallest cat in the Americas, and lives mostly in Chile or Argentina.
It is less than 2 feet long, and weighs about 5 pounds.

Their fur can be brownish yellow or grey-brown.
They have spots on their body, and a ringed tail.
Some kodkods have almost totally black fur like a panther.

These cats live in the rainforests, climb trees and hunt birds, lizards and mice.
There are less than 10,000 of these cats left because the forests they live in are being cut down.

(from: wikipedia - kodkod)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Barrel Jellyfish

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Lacrimal Lake

We just learned about the Canthus.

Another part of the eyes is the Lacrimal Lake.

This is in the inside corner of the eyes, where the tears pool up before they spill over onto the cheeks.

(from: wikipedia - lacrimal lake)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Incisive Papilla

Monday, May 11, 2020

Brown Station

We just learned about the Vernadsky Research Base.

Another research station in Antarctica is Brown Sation.

This station is owned by Argentina, and was built in 1951.
In 1984 when winter time was coming, one of the scientists did not want to stay during the cold winter but he was told that he had to.
So because he was mad and didn't want to stay, he burned down the station!
Luckily everyone escaped the fire and survived, and they all had to go home.

The station was rebuilt later on, and has about 18 people staying there.
They have a great lookout point that is 276 feet above the station, where people go to take great pictures.
After taking pictures, they go sledding down the hill back to the station.

It is also a great place for gentoo penguins who love to come visit, and the scientists try to study what they are doing.

(from: wikipedia - brown station)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Battlements

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Second Crusade

We just learned about the The Prince's Crusade.

Another part of early Christianity is the Second Crusade.

After the European countries' wars to take over lands in the name of Christianity, there were some wars where some non-Christian rulers of other countries took them back.

Because the European countries were victorious in the Prince's Crusade, they decided to have another war and try to take that land back.
During the hundreds of years in Europe and Asia, many countries battled each other for land and power.
The difference with the Crusades is that people were using Christianity or other religions as the reason to go have wars to take over other lands.

Some lands in places that are now Syria and Turkey took lands back, and so armies from Germany and France came to take the country back in the name of Christianity.

Tens of thousands of people were killed on both sides of the war, and the crusaders from Germany and France lost the battle.

(from: wikipedia - second crusade)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Saint Helena

Saturday, May 9, 2020

John Dill - Herbert Haseltine

We just learned about the Meat for Wild Men by Charles Marion Russell.

Another famous American statue is John Dill by Herbert Haseltine, made in 1950 in Virginia.

Haseltine was born in Italy, then studied art in America, Germany and Paris.

He was very good at sculpting many animals, but he was best at making horse, or "equestrian" sculptures.

John Dill was a famous war hero from Britain, who was very important in helping the United States and Britain work together in World War II.

(from: wikipedia - herbert haseltine)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Borobudur

Friday, May 8, 2020

Russian - Thursday, Friday

We just learned that Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday in Russian is Понедельник (Ponedel'nik), Вторник (Vtornik), Среда (Sreda).

Let's keep learning the days of the week!

Thursday - Четверг (Chetverg) - sounds like cheh-t-v-yeh-rg 文A

Friday - пятница - (Pyatnitsa) sounds like P-yah-t-nih-t-sah 文A

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

Norwegian: Torsdag, Fredag

Greek: Πέμπτη (Pémpti), Παρασκευή (Paraskeví)

ASL: Thursday, Friday

Italian: Giovedì, Venerdì

German: Donnerstag, Freitag

Spanish: Viernes, Jueves

French: Jeudi, Vendredi

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Steam Pump

We just learned about the Steam Cylinder.

Another invention that led up to the steam locomotive was the Steam Pump.

A man named Thomas Savery came up with an invention that could help pump water up out of a flooded mine, or help pump water to be sprayed or brought to a town that needed it.

His invention called the Savery Engine had a furnace that would heat up water to make steam in one place.
This steam had high pressure and helped pump out.
Then a valve would be opened to let some hot steam out, and the tank would get splashed with water.
This would cool down the steam and make it get smaller, which created a vacuum that sucked back in.

It wasn't an engine with moving parts like a car engine, but the pushing out and sucking in helped people understand how steam could be used to make an engine.

(from: wikipedia - thomas savery)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Forensic Anthropology

Wednesday, May 6, 2020


We just learned about the Andean Mountain Cat.

Another type of small wild cat is the Margay.

The Margay lives in Central and South America, mostly in the forests.
They like to be alone, and they stay awake at night to hunt.

These cats look a lot like an ocelot, except they have bigger eyes and longer tails and legs.
They weigh about 9 pounds and are about 3 feet long.
Their fur is brown with spots and stripes on it, and a banded tail with a black tip.

The Margay is one of the best climbers out there, and some people even call them the tree ocelot since they can climb so well.
They can jump up to 12 feet from tree to tree, and are so good in trees that they can spend their whole life in the trees chasing monkeys and birds.
Most cats can't climb down a tree with their head facing down, but the margay has special ankles that let it grab the tree and climb up or down.

(from: wikipedia - margay)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Darth Vader Jellyfish

Tuesday, May 5, 2020


We just learned about the Meibomian Gland that helps keep your eyes wet.

Another part of the eye is the Canthus, or canthi for both of them.

This is the inner and outer corners of your eyes, where your upper and lower eyelids meet.

Remember the eyelids are called the palpebra, and another name for the canthus is the palpebral commissure.
The inner canthus is the "medial" palpebral commisure, and the outer canthus is the "lateral".

(from: wikipedia - canthus)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Palatal Rugae

Monday, May 4, 2020

Vernadsky Research Base

We just learned about the Antarctic Palmer Station.

Another research station in Antarctica is Vernadsky Research Base.

This base is owned by the country of Ukrainian, and is on the Antarctic Peninsula.

Because it is on the Peninsula where a lot of changes are happening with icebergs melting and floating away, this base does a lot of studies for global warming.

It is one of the bases that people can visit for fun if they want to say they came to Antarctica.
There is a post office where they sell postcards, and a post office where tourists can send them out.

The station even has a bar where people can play pool and darts.
Faraday Bar calls itself the Southernmost Bar on the Earth, and they have a tourist shop where people can buy patches, stickers and other souvenirs to prove they have been to Antarctica.

(from: wikipedia - vernadsky research base)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Merlon

Sunday, May 3, 2020

The Prince's Crusade

We just learned about the The People's Crusade that was mostly just poor people and not soldiers.

Another part of the First Crusade was The Prince's Crusade.

This was not like the People's Crusade which was just a bunch of poor people.

This was actual armies, with thousands of people.
There were soldiers, horses and even nobles like counts and dukes.
No one is for sure how many, but some people think it was around 10,000 knights, 50,000 soldiers, and a total of 100,000 people in the army.

The armies came out of Europe into what is now Turkey, and fought their way down to Jerusalem.
They fought for 3 years, from the year 1096 to the year 1099 and killed about 100,000 people in the battle.

At the end of it all they took over Jerusalem, left some soldiers there but most people went home.

Through the years many wars have been fought between different countries, and a lot of times the people in power would use religion as the reason why people should go fight and kill others.

Because the army in the First Crusade won their battles, the countries in Europe used that as a reason to have even more wars using Christianity as the reason to go to war.

(from: wikipedia - first crusade)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Constantine the Great

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Meat for Wild Men - Charles Marion Russell

We just learned about the sculpture Patience and Fortitude - Edward Clark Potter.

Another famous American sculpture is Meat for Wild Men made by Charles Marion Russell in 1920.

Russell was born in Missouri in 1864 Missouri.
Growing up he would see explorers coming through town and really liked everything about the wild west.
He would draw pictures and make sculptures of what he saw.

When he grew up he moved to Montana where he worked on a sheep ranch, then as a hunter and trapper, lived with Native Americans, and even worked as a cowboy.

Because he spent time in the west watching animals, cowboys, and Native Americans he knew them very well and started making very good paintings and sculptures of them.

He made over 2,000 of these types of paintings, and was nicknamed "The Cowboy Artist".

The sculpture he made called Meat for Wild Men is supposed to be a bunch of cowboys hunting a buffalo.

(from: wikipedia - charles marion russell)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Banteay Srei Sculptures

Friday, May 1, 2020

Russian - Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday

We just learned in Russian that to say his face is rough is Его лицо грубо (Yego litso grubo)

Let's learn the days of the week in Russian!

Monday - Понедельник (Ponedel'nik) - Sounds like poh-n-yeh-deh-l-neek 文A

Tuesday - Вторник (Vtornik) - Sounds like f-toh-r-neek 文A

Wednesday - Среда (Sreda) - Sounds like s-ray-dah 文A

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

Norwegian: Mandag, Tirsdag, Onsdag

Greek: Δευτέρα (Deftéra), Τρίτη (Tríti), Τετάρτη (Tetárti)

ASL: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday

Italian: Lunedi, Martedì, Mercoledì

German: Montag, Dienstag, Mittwoch

Spanish: Lunes, Martes, Miercoles

French: Lundi, Mardi, Mercredi