Peabody isn’t your typical chocolate cake kid. For his 8th birthday, he was looking for something vanilla with a laboratory theme. He filled plastic test-tubes with colored sugar and stuck them into the cake alongside the candles. It looked and tasted great!
Archive for the 'The Laboratory' Category
We’re in the midst of an arachnid invasion. It seems every bush in town is covered with webs. One little spider is living behind our car’s review mirror. Every morning she weaves a new web across the frame. A big European Garden Spider has taken up residence in the doorway between our kitchen and backyard. We’ve given up using the door to watch her spin circular webs and catch little insects. Orb spiders, like the European Garden, are said to eat their webs each night along with the small bugs stuck to it. At least some of us are looking forward to seeing that!
Peabody has been making mounds of Gak, a homemade polymer that’s fun to squeeze. There are many different recipes online. Peabody mixed eight ounces of Elmer’s glue with 3/4 cup of water. Then in a separate bowl, he dissolved a tablespoon of Borax into 1/4 cup of warm water. Then he mixed them together with a plastic spoon. You can get different consistencies of gooiness by reducing or increasing the amount of water. You can also add food coloring. Peabody recommends putting it in a plastic zip-lock bag and using a rolling pin to flatten it out like pizza.
Peabody’s class made tiny Earths with Crayola’s Model Magic. First they rolled a small red ball to be the inner core. Then they wrapped additional layers in different colors: yellow for the outer core, orange for the mantle and brown for the crust. He let it dry overnight and this morning we sliced it in half to reveal its cross section. Model Magic is also perfect for creating model cell’s like these. Although Nettie prefers Jello for her cells.
Just as we were wrapping up a day long meeting at the EA offices in Cologne, we stepped out of the conference room for some fresh air and noticed a space shuttle floating up the Rhine. It was a former Soviet Buran (Blizzard) orbiter on its way to the Technical Museum in the city of Speyer. Scientific American has a news item on it.
We finally caught a glimpse of the eclipse after the moon broke through the clouds. I was able to take a few pictures, but clearly I have work to do master astronomical photography.
Residents of North and South America will get to see Earth’s shadow fall across the moon tomorrow night. Check out NASA’s eclipse home page for local show times. (Image courtesy F. Espenak of NASA’s GSFC)
In the same week that Peabody got his first loose tooth, Nettie lost two of her few remaining baby teeth. Wondering how many more she had left, Nettie copied the page on teeth out of one of her human biology books and tried to make an assessment. Even with the guide, it was difficult to know how many more visits the tooth fairy would be making. Nettie made an extra copy of the chart for Peabody so that he could start tracking his teeth from the moment he loses his first.