Archive for April, 2013

Orca on the brain

Okay, so I’ve been thinking about that movie a lot lately,  “The Whale: The True Story of Luna” and so I tonight I went through my e-mail to see if I had anymore articles on Orca’s and guess what, I do. So in honor of Luna, I’ve decided to post those articles.

First up is an article on an amazing Orca entitled “One of a Kind: All-White Killer Whale Spotted” by Jeanna Bryner at LiveScience.

Next up are a couple of articles on two different trapped Orca’s. The articles are entitled “Orcas free after being trapped in ice in Quebec” over at the >Mother Nature Network and “Diver Frees Entangled Orca That Had Been Crying for Help” by Pete Thomas at >GrindTV.

This last article is  about both Orca’s and their neighbor the Shark’s. Who is on top of the food chain? If you want to find out the answer, then check out the video that goes along with article entitled “Orca Attacks Shark in Surf Zone as Beachgoes Watch in Awe“, also by Pete Thomas at GrindTV.


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I just finished watching an amazing movie called “The Whale: The True Story of Luna” and I highly recommend it. As it says in the end, friendship is bigger than we know.



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Okay, so it’s not the most exciting topic, but since my daughter sometimes ask me why she needs to clean her ears and now that I can answer that question, it seems like the right time to talk about it. If you want to know the answer, yYou can find it in the article  “Why do we have earwax?by Chanie Kirschner at the Mother Nature Network.

What also sparked my interest on this topic today is that I just finished learning all about how our ears work in the book I’m reading, The Spark of Life by Frances Ashcroft.

Listen up!

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The giants of the ocean – whales

Just as I was looking to post about a new book I picked up at the library the other day, The Mathematics of Life by Ian Stewart, I came across a couple of articles on the giants of the oceans and coupled with a story over at Yahoo! entitled “Dead Whale Draws Crowds to Puget Sound Beach” by Doug Esser of the Associated Press, I thought okay, here’s my topic. I’ve often felt, we’re all sort of drawn to these massive animals of the sea.

Anyway, here’s an article  that perhaps explains our fascination and why we are drawn to them. It’s entitled “Whales Grandeur and Grace, Up Close” by Yudhijit Bhattacharjee at the New York Times.

Like the Fin whale on Puget Sound Beach, this second article continues to reminds how much all whales, including the Fin and Blue, are in danger. It’s entitled “Growing Traffic in Sri Lanka’s Waters Threatens Blue Whales” by Erik Olsen, also at the New York Times.

To these majestic beasts!


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In the world of science, families can make a difference

While the kids and I wait with bated breath for Amphibian Night to come, it’s reassuring to know that families can make a difference when it comes to this amazing planet that we live on. This first article, entitled “Family Science Project Yields Surprising Data About a Siberian Lake” by Cornelia Dean over at the New York Times. Talk about a great family project.

The other article, much more recent, is entitled “12-Year-Old’s Letter Halts Forest-Cutting Construction Project” by Sarah Miller at the Grist. Now why her project may not have involved her whole family and it may have been the simple act of writing a letter, credit goes to the whole family and we need more families like these. Meanwhile, the kids and I will continue our tradition of going to Amphibian Night.



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April showers bring May flowers

Okay, the way it looks, we may just need one day of showers. The kids and I actually just bought some flower and vegetable seeds to get ready for spring but as of yet, we haven’t planted them. It’s on our agenda for this weekend but meanwhile, something that might be worth checking out as this band of storms heads our way are those storm clouds and so in preparation for that, we have this article over at the New York Times from a couple of years ago entitled “A Guide to Entice Heads Into the Clouds” by Cornelia Dean.

Now I haven’t read Mr. Pretor-Pinney’s new book yet, The Cloud Collector’s Handbook (which is talked about in the article), I have read his earlier one entitled The Cloudspotter’s Guide and it’s well worth the read. I did however, just check it out at the library and I’ll keep you posted. You can check out all his books over at the Cloud Appreciation Society website.

Floating away!


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Word of the day – Arachnid

So I got to my son’s class this morning to volunteer and unfortunately they had a substitute. For some however, it was a nice change of pace as their substitute apparently really enjoys spiders. So in his honor, I thought I would post an article or two on arachnids or spiders.

This first one comes for over at the High Country News and was written by someone else who also enjoys spiders. The article is entitled “Two Legs Good, Eight Legs Fascinating” by  Marian Lyman Kirst. Okay I’m not a huge fan of spiders (and neither is my son) but it’s a good read. Turns out she also got to do a little citizen science. Cool!

There’s also this article over at Live Science on the latest arachnid to be discovered, this Tarantula as big as your face in “Meet the Tarantula as Big as Your Face” by Marc Lallanilla. Talk about scary!



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The Ozarks

While I don’t anywhere near the Ozarks in southern Missouri, it’s this time of year that brings them to mind. Each April the kids and I participate in what is known as Amphibian Night, a short trip south of St. Louis to the Jay Henge Shooting Range, where we go to listen to many an amphibian including one of our favorites, the Spring Peeper. If you happen to live in St. Louis or just want to read more about it, you can find out more over in  the April edition of the Conservation Connection.

It’s during that visit where each year where get to hear MDC Herpetologist Jeff Briggler speak and we learn about the numerous amphibians here in Missouri and among them, the Ozark Hellbender. Now listed as an endangered species and one near and dear to my daughters heart, I thought it appropriate that I list this great article over at our local paper, the Webster-Kirkwood Times. The article is entitled “Ozark Hellbender” by local writer Don Corrigan.  Check it out, it’s a great read.



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