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IN THE NEWS TODAY:8/21/2019:

Workers excavating for a new elementary school in the city of Taiyuan, China, have unearthed a 1300 year old tomb. It is believed to be that of someone of royalty from the Tang Dynasty. The underground tomb has beautiful wall art and lots of pottery. At this point, it is unknown for whom the tomb was built.

Photograph from dailymail.co.uk

A six year old girl was surprised that there weren't any female toy soldiers for her to purchase so she decided to try and do something. She wrote letters to toy companies asking for them to make some female green toy soldiers. The girl, Vivian Lord, says lots of girls would play with toy soldiers, especially if there were female soldiers, just like in real life. One toy company has responded to Vivian. The BMC toy company said that if more people ask for female toy soldiers they might start making them, too! What do you think?

Photograph from cnn.com

Paleontologists have unearthed the remains of a giant parrot that stood 3 ft. 3 inches, in the country of New Zealand. Being so large, the species has been given the name, "Heracles inexpectatus". It also has earned the nickname of "Squawkzilla"". Originally discovered about 11 years ago, what was originally thought to be the bones of a duck or eagle, was recently found to be of an extinct parrot. Due to its size, scientists do not believe the giant parrot was able to fly.

Illustration from Livescience.com

There MAY be life on the moon but it came from Earth. A space craft launched by the country of Israel, crashed onto the surface of the moon. Aboard the spacecraft were some dehydrated water bears, or tardigrades, for research purposes. The eight legged creatures were encased in artificial amber, and placed in suspended animation. Also called moss piglets, tardigrades need water to dehydrate so it thought they aren't alive on the moon. Then, again, that can't be known for sure.

Photograph from bbc.com

Update: 8/5- Franky Zapato successfully flew the length of the English Channel with his flyboard! Averaging speeds of 87 mph, Zapato soared the 22 mile channel about 60 ft. above the water. His first attempt, a couple of days ago wasn't successful, when he landed in the water during an attempt to refuel. This time, Zapato used a bigger boat. He didn't give up!Photograph from en.rfi.fr

In mid-August, a group of scientists will attempt to sail from the port of Varna, on the Black Sea, to Crete, in a replica of an ancient Egyptian sailing vessel! Greek Historian, Herodotus, wrote that the ancient Egyptians sail as far as the Black Sea in search of resources not available in the lands of Egypt. The 800 mile journey will be in a 46 ft. boat designed from ancient rock drawings found in Egypt. Constructed with bundles of Totora reeds, the ship will have two sails and the crew will attempt to prove that such sailings were possible by the ancient Egyptians. The reed boat needs to be submersed in water for two weeks to get sea worthy. It is thought that the boat is unsinkable due to all the air chambers in the reed bundles. Some of the dangers the crew will face in their small reed boat include rough waters through areas of the Aegean as well as large modern ships that will be in their path. One thing the crew on the Abora IV will have that ancient sailors did not will be modern navigational equipment including radio equipment and modern satellite technology.

Photograph from dailymail.co.uk

Paleontologists in France recently found a whopper of a dinosaur femur. The length was almost 7 feet! With that size femur, the dinosaur, a possible sauropod, would have tipped the scale at about 55 tons. Walking the earth about 140 million years ago, the sauropod, with a long neck and long tail, was thought to be a herbivore. The location of the find has been a treasure trove for paleontologists. Over 40 different species, including ostrich dinosaurs and stegosauruses, have been unearthed at the site near the city of Cognac, France.

Photograph from thesun.co.uk

A six year old girl was surprised that there weren't any female toy soldiers for her to purchase so she decided to try and do something. She wrote letters to toy companies asking for them to make some female green toy soldiers. The girl, Vivian Lord, says lots of girls would play with toy soldiers, especially if there were female soldiers, just like in real life. One toy company has responded to Vivian. The BMC toy company said that if more people ask for female toy soldiers they might start making them, too! What do you think?

Photograph from cnn.com



PAST NEWS STORIES


8/4/2019:

A six year old girl was surprised that there weren't any female toy soldiers for her to purchase so she decided to try and do something. She wrote letters to toy companies asking for them to make some female green toy soldiers. The girl, Vivian Lord, says lots of girls would play with toy soldiers, especially if there were female soldiers, just like in real life. One toy company has responded to Vivian. The BMC toy company said that if more people ask for female toy soldiers they might start making them, too! What do you think?

Photograph from cnn.com

7/25/2019:Divers came upon a HUGE jellyfish off the coast of Cornwall, England. The huge barrel jellyfish(also called the dustbin-lid jellyfish) was estimated at about 5 ft. in length. The human sized huge barrel jellyfish is very rare to spot. Amazingly, this jellyfish, with eight long chubby looking arms underneath its body, isn't the largest of the ocean jellyfish. A lion's mane jellyfish is the largest. With 1200 tentacles, the body of a lion's mane can reach about 120 feet in length. Think the length of a blue whale!

Photograph from Lizzie Daly Wildlife(Facebook)/ABCNews.com

Mattel, the makers of Barbie, will be honoring astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti with a new Barbie doll. Part of the Barbie Dream Gap Project, the company hopes the doll will be a role model to young girls inspiring them that they can dream of becoming anything. Cristoforetti, is the first Italian female member of the European Space Agency.

Photograph from dailymail.co.uk

7/10/2019:A businessman has a unique idea to bring fresh water to the Arabian Gulf. He plans to bring giant icebergs from Antarctica! Fresh drinking water is in short supply in desert regions. Removing salt from sea water(desalination) is costly. Abdulla Alshehi thinks that despite dragging icebergs 5500 miles, there still would be sufficient amounts of ice left to make the idea workable. In addition to drinking water, Alshehi believes that the bergs would generate cloud formation as the icebergs melt, perhaps, causing some rain to fall on the area. Before the year is out, Alshehi will do an experiment bringing a smaller iceberg to the area to see just whether his idea will work.

Photograph from oddity central.com

Can you shot a basketball from the foul line? Cue 3 just made 2000 shots in a row! It's a new world's record! Cue 3 is a robot with sensors which helps him figure out the best angle and force to use. Standing 6ft. 10 in., the humanoid must be moved into position as he is unable to move on his own. Before Cue 3 stopped his foul shooting, he actually made 2020 baskets in a row to honor the 2020 Olympic Games that will be played in Tokyo, Japan.

Photograph from dailymail.co.uk

A wonderful light show is on display in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. A species of fireflies, photons Carolinas, are believed to be one of the only species of lightning bugs in North America to synchronize their flashing. For two weeks, thousands and thousands of male flash their bioluminescent green-yellow lights in the abdomens, about 6-8 blinks at a time and then go dark for a couple of seconds,trying to find a mating partner.Females respond just one flash.Humans who wish to visit the park to see the remarkable light show must enter a lottery, which just a small number gaining access to the park during this time. Learn about fireflies at this link:Fireflies

Photograph from justfunfacts.com

6/25/2019:The remains of a whopper of a sea creature have been found in Antarctica. Called an Elasmosarid, it is related to the plesiosaurs(think "Loch Ness Monster"), prehistoric creatures that had very long necks. Thought to date back about 70 million years, the Elasmosarid remains, one of the most complete ever found, suggest when the creature roamed the ocean, it weighted about 15 TONS and was about 40 ft. long.

History was made at the Tony Awards this week. Actress Ali Stroker won the award for best featured actress in a musical, for her performance in Oklahoma. It is the very first time a person with a disability, in this case, a person in a wheelchair, won a Tony Award. Stroker was paralyzed from the chest down in a car accident when she was two years old. "This award is for every kid who has a disability, a limitation or a challenge who has been waiting to see themselves represented in this arena," she said. Sadly, there is still need for improvement in awareness for those with disabilities. Stroker had to wait backstage at the theater in case her name was called as there wasn't a ramp for her to come up on stage.

Photograph from Yahoo.com

Have you visited a national park or historical site? Senators Gary Peters and Ted Cruz have introduced a bill to create a protected site, on the moon! Called the "One Small Step to Protect Human Heritage in Space Act"", it would be the first ever protected site somewhere other than on Earth. The area to be protected would be the Apollo 11 landing site where Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, became the first humans to walk on the moon. What do you think of this idea?

Photograph from space.com

Meteorologists in San Diego, California, say that there was an unusual display on their National Weather Service radar. A swarm of ladybugs, 80 miles long, was detected, on June 4th! Called a "bloom", some meteorologists questioned whether it was indeed a massive number of ladybugs. Even in large numbers, could they REALLY be detected as a cloud like occurrence on radar equipment? Did you know a group of ladybugs is called a "loveliness"? Do you know anything about ladybugs? Click here to learn about ladybugs:Ladybugs

Picture from easyscienceforkids.com

6/3/2019:In addition to passing your classes, a new law passed in the Philippines will require ALL students to show that they planted 10 trees to graduate! With about 18 million students calling the Philippines home, that could mean that 175 million trees will be planted each year! It is estimated the requirement would mean about 525 billion trees could be grown in just one generation.The tree graduation requirement hasn't begun as of yet but trees indigenous(native) to the Philippines will be the first priority. Areas for planting will include abandoned mining sites,forest and urban areas of the Philippines. In addition to helping to beautify the Philippines, scientists hope the tree requirement will cut down on CO2 levels and hopefully help lessen the growing global climate crisis.

Illustration from wpclipart.com

Ever think of your almost stubby pencil? Is it ready for the trash heap? A company is offering pencils that when it is time to say "goodbye", have a new purpose. Their pencils are meant to be planted! The eco friendly pencils have a seed capsule inside them that sprout when the stub is planted in a pot of dirt. Some of the pencils contain daisies, sunflowers, basil, carnations, forget me nots and even cherry tomatoes!

Photograph from sproutworld.com

A very rare panda was photographed in southwest China. The white panda, with red eyes, called an albino, was spotted walking in a forest in Sichuan province. Native to China, approximately 80% of wild pandas are found in this area of the country. Sadly, scientists believe there are less than 2000 wild pandas left on the planet, with another 548 held in capacity in zoos around the world. Destruction of their habitat is the main reason for their falling numbers. Learn about panda bears at this link:PANDA BEARSPhotograph from scmp.com

Did you know that of the 5000 statues nationwide, only 400 are of women? If you walk through Central Park, in New York City, you will come upon 22 statues of famous MEN. Not one statue is of a woman, except for statues of fictitious Mother Goose and Alice in Wonderland. A group of women want to have a woman statue added to Central Park- a REAL woman who made a contribution in history. Specifically, TWO women will be added for the 100th anniversary of women getting the right to vote(2020). Statues of Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton are to be added. Additionally, at Statuary Hall, at the U.S. Capital, there are two statues for each state on display. Only nine of the one-hundred statues are of women. The state of Kansas is changing one of their statues to honor Amelia Earhart. Things don't change unless someone decides a change is needed. What might you like to change?

Photograph from ameliaearhartangarmuseum.org

In a disappointing decision, the Trump Administration has just decided NOT to replacing President Andrew Jackson with Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill. The change was scheduled for 2020 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of women getting the right to vote(the 19th Amendment to the Constitution). If you look at any of the U.S. currency, no woman is currently on any U.S. currency bill. Tubman, probably the most famous "conductor" on the Underground Railroad, helped bring hundreds of slaves to freedom. Her selection was made after many people voted that she would be a great pick to replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill. Trump said the decision made by the Obama Administration to replace Andrew Jackson with Harriet Tubman was "pure political correctness". What do you think of this decision?

Illustration from Fortune.com

Four people have visited the depths of the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench(Pacific Ocean),the deepest trench on the earth. The first humans to go into the Mariana Trench were Don Walsh and Jacques Piccard,in 1960.Film director James Cameron(Titanic/Avatar) reached a record depth of 35,756 feet in a solo submersible dive in 2012. In May, 2019, Victor Vescovo beat this depth by successfully going 35, 849! He beat Cameron's record depth by about 36 ft. Traveling down into the Mariana Trench, Vescovo(who also has climbed the seven summits on each continent) saw four never before seen prawn-like fish and sadly,a plastic bag at a depth of almost 7 miles! He also saw a candy wrapper at this depth.

Photographfrom fivedeep.com

5/23/19:

In a disappointing decision, the Trump Administration has just decided NOT to replacing President Andrew Jackson with Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill. The change was scheduled for 2020 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of women getting the right to vote(the 19th Amendment to the Constitution). If you look at any of the U.S. currency, no woman is currently on any U.S. currency bill. Tubman, probably the most famous "conductor" on the Underground Railroad, helped bring hundreds of slaves to freedom. Her selection was made after many people voted that she would be a great pick to replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill. Trump said the decision made by the Obama Administration to replace Andrew Jackson with Harriet Tubman was "pure political correctness". What do you think of this decision?

Illustration from Fortune.com

Four people have visited the depths of the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench(Pacific Ocean),the deepest trench on the earth. The first humans to go into the Mariana Trench were Don Walsh and Jacques Piccard,in 1960.Film director James Cameron(Titanic/Avatar) reached a record depth of 35,756 feet in a solo submersible dive in 2012. In May, 2019, Victor Vescovo beat this depth by successfully going 35, 849! He beat Cameron's record depth by about 36 ft. Traveling down into the Mariana Trench, Vescovo(who also has climbed the seven summits on each continent) saw four never before seen prawn-like fish and sadly,a plastic bag at a depth of almost 7 miles! He also saw a candy wrapper at this depth.

Photographfrom fivedeep.com

Four people have visited the depths of the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench(Pacific Ocean),the deepest trench on the earth. The first humans to go into the Mariana Trench were Don Walsh and Jacques Piccard,in 1960.Film director James Cameron(Titanic/Avatar) reached a record depth of 35,756 feet in a solo submersible dive in 2012. In May, 2019, Victor Vescovo beat this depth by successfully going 35, 849! He beat Cameron's record depth by about 36 ft. Traveling down into the Mariana Trench, Vescovo(who also has climbed the seven summits on each continent) saw four never before seen prawn-like fish and sadly,a plastic bag at a depth of almost 7 miles! He also saw a candy wrapper at this depth.

Photographfrom fivedeep.com

Twelve men have walked on the moon. By 2024, this may change when NASA launches a new mission, Artemis(named for the ancient Greek goddess of the moon). It will be this mission when a woman will leave her footprints on the surface of the moon. The previous moon mission, called Apollo (the twin of Artemis) ended in 1972.

Photograph from wpclipart.com

Historians say that Captain James Cook claimed Australia for England back in 1770, when he explored the east coast of Australia. Willem Janszoon, in 1606, of Holland, is credited with being the first European to visit the continent. A discovery of a coin may cause historians to make some changes in history books. A copper coin, thought to be 1000 years old, was found last year. It is from Tanzania, a country in East Africa. It is believed that Portuguese sea traders may have left the coin, making them the first Europeans to visit the continent of Australia, as early as 1515. Others suggest that perhaps the coin was brought by African traders from Kilwa(present day Tanzania) to Australia, where contact with Indigenous people of Australia was made.Photograph from Dailymail

Scientists have developed a teeny backpack for bumblebees which will enable researchers to be able to use the insects to fly around and collect data onto the sensor found inside the backpacks. Information collected from the sensors, with rechargeable batteries, will help supply temperature, humidity and flying patterns of bees and help with agriculture. Creating a sensor weighing about the weight of 7 uncooked grains of rice, was the hard part. Bumblebees used for the experiment were collected and placed in a freezer to slow them down and backpacks were glued to their backs. Scientists from the school of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington say using bees over drones, is much more efficient. Next, backpacks that are equipped with live cameras, which farmers can used to monitor their crops.

Photograph from geekwire.com

5/15/19: Scientists in the country of Israel have found another use for 3D printers. What is believed to be the world's first tiny heart was produced using cell containing "bioink""! The heart has the necessary functions to actually work including cells, blood vessels and chambers.Although the heart is only about the size of a rabbit's heart, it is thought that it is a step to possible human hearts being printed. Imagine creating a human heart, when needed, on a 3D printer, saving lives of many people who die every day because a needed replacement heart is not currently available. Amazing!

Photograph from nbcnews.com

Fire has badly damaged the famous cathedral in Paris, France, called Notre-Dame. It is thought that an accident during renovations started the fire in the "forest". This is the nickname for the wooded roof that used 1300 trees to construct. Dating back to the Middle Ages, the cathedral was begun in the 12th century and took about 200 years to finish. Author Victor Hugo's, The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, tells a story about a man, named Quasimodo,with a physical handicap, who worked in the bell tower. The beautiful stain glass in the windows was removed during World War 2, numbered and stored to protect them during the war. After the war, like a jig-saw puzzle, the glass pieces were reinstalled in the windows. Sadly,is believed that many, but not all, the stain glass was damaged in the fire. Many religious relics were saved by emergency crews. As the fire blazed, hundreds and hundreds of people gathered to sing hymns. Authorities say that Notre-Dame WILL be restored.

Scientists are very excited with the release of the first ever direct image of a black hole and scientists are calling the black hole "an absolute monster"". The black hole is massive, about three million times the size of the planet Earth! It is located about 55 million light-years away from Earth. Scientists describe a black hole as an area of space where the pull of gravity is so great that not even light can escape. The image was created using eight different telescopes, part of a network of telescopes called Event Horizon Telescope. Congratulations to MIT graduate student, Dr. Katie Bouman, whose algorithm made the image possible. Kind of looks like a donut, doesn't it?

Image from bbc.com

The oldest pyramid in Egypt dates back to 27 BC. Called the Step Pyramid (also called the Pyramid of Djoser), it needed some TLC after a 8.5 magnitude earthquake damaged it in 1992. It was feared that the pyramid might collapse. Engineers from Great British began working on repairing the 4,700 year old pyramid, in 2010. Steel rods were used to help support the many stones. They are just finishing up their efforts to support the landmark so that future generations can appreciate it.

Photograph from dailymail

5/1/19:A company in England has developed a biodegradable pod that may replace plastic water bottles. Made of seaweed, scientists removed any odor and the green coloring. The pods, which are edible and tasteless, were used in the London Marathon, last weekend. The 41,000 runners were handed the water capsules made from seaweed. If not used within about six weeks, the pods decompose. That's much more environmentally friendly than using plastic water bottles that can take 450 years to breakdown! The company says the pods can be filled with all sorts of liquids.

Photograph from livekindly.com

Two third graders in a school in Medford, MA, were looking for a way to make their school neighborhood safer. Their idea was to make the crosswalk in the school's pick up zone a 3D illusion. The children spoke with the Mayor of Medford as well as the traffic commission trying to convince the adults of their class project idea. Local officials liked the students' idea and hired an artist to paint the school's crosswalk to look 3D. Now, 3D crosswalks will be coming to other area elementary schools,too. The illusion makes the white painted barriers look raised up causing drivers to slow down. The students are very excited that their idea and hard work was made a reality and hope it will help keep children safer as they cross the streets.

Photograph from medfordccsr.org

4/17/19: Would you take a ride in a drone-type taxi? The flying taxi, has no human at the controls and lifts off like a helicopter in a vertical take off. The inside space is a bit cramped but can seat two passengers. It is hoped that people wishing for a short trip, will find the flying taxi, which can reach speeds of 90 mph, the way to fly. The flights, currently in the experimental stage, may be available for passengers within the next 10 years.

Photograph from dailymail

Scientists have uncovered what is considered the remains of the world's biggest T-Rex ever found. The discovery was made in the country of Canada. The remains of the T-Rex, called "Scotty" are 42.7 ft. Long. Scotty is estimated to have roamed the earth about 66 million years ago. Based on the weight of its leg bones, paleontologists believe Scotty may have tipped the scales at 19,400 pounds. Originally discovered in 1991, it took ten years just to remove the dinosaur's skeleton from the very hard sandstone. The T-Rex discovery will be on exhibit in May, at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum.

Photograph from sciencedaily.com

Imagine being just 16 years old and nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. That's exactly what has happened to Greta Thunberg, of Sweden. She has received THREE nominations by lawmakers from the country of Norway. Although just a teen, Greta has been working hard for the world to address climate change. Greta is part of a movement called Youth Strike for Climate. She also created Fridays for Future, encouraging young people to use Fridays to march for the environment. Greta has spoken at the Climate Change Conference at the United Nations and also the World Economic Forum. Should Greta win the prestigious award, she will be the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace prize. Currently, Malala Yousafzai, at 17, won the Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts to call attention to the rights of children around the world to get an education, especially girls.

If you still need proof that humans are polluting our oceans with trash, a sperm whale found off the coast of Sardinia(Italy) may convince you humans need to do better. The female whale that washed ashore was found to have 48.5 pounds, yes, pounds of plastic trash inside its stomach. That was 2/3rds of its stomach mass. Items included tangled fishing lines, lots of shopping bags and plastic plates. The whale probably died because it couldn't digest food due to all the plastic waste in its stomach. Recently another dead whale was found off the coast of the Philippines. It was estimated to have 88 pounds of plastic inside its belly!

Photograph from Thetelegraph.com

4/5/19: Do you like using glitter? Did you know that glitter is made from micro plastics? There is a movement to ban glitter because it is harmful to our environment. Marine life and birds have been found with glitter in their bodies.The tiny plastic particles look like food to marine life. It is hoped that people will consider using glitter that is more environmentally friendly.

Photograph from thesun.co.uk

Only eight, Tanitoluwa Adewumi, has won the New York State chess championship for his age group beating out 73 other chess players. That alone is an amazing accomplishment, especially when he just started playing chess only last year. However, Tanitoluwa, originally born in Nigeria, currently lives with his family at a homeless shelter in New York City. Each of Tani's seven trophies are next to his bed. Tani said that his goal is to become the youngest grand master in the world.

The wait is over. After 50 years, NASA plans to examine a number of moon rocks brought back from the Apollo moon landings! For all these years, many of the lunar rocks have been preserved and left untouched, waiting for technology that would be able to better study the moon rocks. Now, with the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing(Apollo 11/1969), some of these lunar rocks, which have been kept in airtight and cold conditions, will be studied by a group of nine scientists. What might be learned from the study of these moon rocks?

Photo from nasa.gov

The Sehuencas water frog was considered to be extinct except for one named Romeo. No other of the species of frog had been spotted since 2008. That all changed when five of the amphibians were recently discovered in a mountain forest in the country of Bolivia. Scientists who study amphibians and reptiles, herpetologists, say that the Sehuencas only live in mountain cloud regions of Bolivia. With a moist climate, their habitat also breeds a fungus that kills the frog. With this discovery of five Sehuencas, it is hoped that others are hopping around, yet to be found. Because of their rareness, the five discovered croakers were taken to a lab where it is hoped they will breed more Sehuencas. Scientists also plan to study ways to stop the fungus from killing off the frogs and the eventual goal is to return the frogs back into their own habitat.

Photograph from dailymail.co.uk

Scientists have discovered a tiny bacteria living in a hot water pool in Yellowstone National Park with an interesting ability. The bacteria can breathe electricity! The hot water that the bacteria call home is about 110 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. It is thought that the bacteria can help eat pollution and create electricity in the process. The scientists did not name the unique bacteria. What would YOU name this bacteria? Do you know a fact about Yellowstone National Park?

Photograph of a hot pool from interestingengineering.com

3/25/19: Only eight, Tanitoluwa Adewumi, has won the New York State chess championship for his age group beating out 73 other chess players. That alone is an amazing accomplishment, especially when he just started playing chess only last year. However, Tanitoluwa, originally born in Nigeria, currently lives with his family at a homeless shelter in New York City. Each of Tani's seven trophies are next to his bed. Tani said that his goal is to become the youngest grand master in the world.

The wait is over. After 50 years, NASA plans to examine a number of moon rocks brought back from the Apollo moon landings! For all these years, many of the lunar rocks have been preserved and left untouched, waiting for technology that would be able to better study the moon rocks. Now, with the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing(Apollo 11/1969), some of these lunar rocks, which have been kept in airtight and cold conditions, will be studied by a group of nine scientists. What might be learned from the study of these moon rocks?

Photo from nasa.gov

The Sehuencas water frog was considered to be extinct except for one named Romeo. No other of the species of frog had been spotted since 2008. That all changed when five of the amphibians were recently discovered in a mountain forest in the country of Bolivia. Scientists who study amphibians and reptiles, herpetologists, say that the Sehuencas only live in mountain cloud regions of Bolivia. With a moist climate, their habitat also breeds a fungus that kills the frog. With this discovery of five Sehuencas, it is hoped that others are hopping around, yet to be found. Because of their rareness, the five discovered croakers were taken to a lab where it is hoped they will breed more Sehuencas. Scientists also plan to study ways to stop the fungus from killing off the frogs and the eventual goal is to return the frogs back into their own habitat.

Photograph from dailymail.co.uk

Scientists have discovered a tiny bacteria living in a hot water pool in Yellowstone National Park with an interesting ability. The bacteria can breathe electricity! The hot water that the bacteria call home is about 110 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. It is thought that the bacteria can help eat pollution and create electricity in the process. The scientists did not name the unique bacteria. What would YOU name this bacteria? Do you know a fact about Yellowstone National Park?

Photograph of a hot pool from interestingengineering.com

3/7/19:Scientists have discovered a very unusual penguin. Nicknamed the "Rarest Penguin on Earth", the Emperor penguin is totally black. Living on Antarctica's ice covered continent, most penguins have a white belly which helps to camouflage the birds from predators, such as orcas, leopard seals and giant petrel seabirds. Scientists estimate a totally black penguin happens once in every quarter million of penguins. The Emperor penguin are the heaviest and tallest of all species of penguin. Some can reach 4 ft. tall.

Photograph from countryliving.com

Last week, residents of Guba, Siberia,had a group of unwelcome visitors. The community of 2000 had 52 polar bears come to town. The huge polar bears were searching open garbage dumps for food. With global warming, there is less ice for the polar bears to use to search for food, their favorite being seals, so the bears migrated into Guba. The polar bears have gotten into several office buildings pushing doors and windows to gain entrance. The polar bears have also been spotted near the local schools. Noise and dogs are being used to try and scare the large group of polar bears. The residents are also trying stun grenades. Thus, far, nothing has worked. A Russian law forbids the killing of polar bears. Polar bear, which can weigh over 1200 pounds can also run 25 mph. What might be a way to get the polar bears to leave Guba?

Photograph from scmp.com. Learn about polar bears with this internet activity:Polar Bears!

Have you used a compass? A compass points to what is called the magnetic north pole. Scientists from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the British Geological Survey regularly check and say that the location of the Earth's magnetic north pole is moving and faster than expected. Actually, NORTH is now moving at an estimated 34 miles a year! At one time, it was moving at about 9 miles a year. Magnetic North Pole is heading toward the area of Siberia, in Russia. Magnetic north has moved about 1400 miles since 1831 when it was located in the Canadian Arctic. Knowing where magnetic north is located is used for navigation by ships and airplane and electronics such as cell phones. Even some birds use magnetic north for migratory purposes. The cause of the movement is the liquid outer core of the planet. There is also a magnetic south which is also moving but much slower. Scientists say that eventually magnetic south will have more pull that magnetic north, something that hasn't happened in over 780,000 years.

Illustration from wpclipart.com

2/27/19:Denmark is building a wall.Standing 5 ft and crossing the southern border for 40 miles, the electric steel fence is being built to keep wild boar from Germany from crossing into Denmark. Some wild boar have tested for a deadly disease called the African swine fever. The country of Denmark hopes that the fence will stop the spread of pigs which may carry the disease and spread the deadly disease to Danish pigs. Some question the wall saying its 12 million dollars is a costly sum and that the wall could prevent other animals, such as the wild wolf's migratory patterns. Others say the wall won't really stop the spread of the disease which can also be spread through humans(although it isn't harmful to humans).

Photograph from livescience.com

2/7/2019:Perhaps as a child you tried to dig to "China"". Scientists have drilled the deepest hole ever dug on the continent of Antarctica! Drilling began in January and after 63 hours, a depth of 7,060 ft. was reached. Scientists will continue to drill down through most of the month of February. It is hoped that the project will help scientists learn about climate change and its effects on the continent by reaching beneath the ice sheet. Data on ice temperatures and water pressure were collected from instruments placed into the hole.

wpclipart.com

A company in Russia wants to advertise in space. Using tiny satellites(cubists) that reflect light, StartRocket, wants to launch the satellites to about 280 miles above the earth. The advertisements created would be beamed to Earth and appear in the night sky. The idea of space ads came from an orbiting art project called the "disco ball" satellite that orbited the Earth for about two months in 2018. Some say that the satellites would just be more "space junk" added to the already 500,000 pieces of materials the U.S. Department of Defense tracks orbiting the planet. Others say that the space billboards would create light that would interfere with astronomers scanning the night sky. What do you think of this idea? Would you want to look up at the stars and see billboards advertising soda, cars or clothing? Illustration from nbcnews.com

After ten years, King Tutankhamun's tomb has been reopened to the public. The restoration project included cleaning the inside of the tomb. Years of visitors tracking in dusk and mold created from people breathing in the tomb have taken a toll. Wall paintings were also cleaned but strange "dark spots" on one mural were left(they were there when Howard Carter) rediscovered the tomb in 1922. Since some of the murals had scratches from visitors to the tomb, improved protection was installed to protect the murals.Although most of the wonderful artifacts found in the tomb have been moved to the Cairo Museum, King Tut's mummy and some of his belongings are still in the tomb. Click here to see great photographs of King Tut's tomb.KingTut TombLearn about King Tut with this fun/informative Reader's Theater Script:aKing Tut: A Reader's Theater Script


What appears to be hundreds of spiders floating in the sky over Minas Gerais, Brazil, is really an amazingly large spider web! The spiders, parawixia bistriata, are actually attached to a very large web spun by the spiders to catch prey. Photograph from dailymail.co.uk

The Chinese have successful landed a probe on the far side of the moon, the side, which is never facing Earth. It is the first probe to ever touch the surface of this part of the moon. Images have already been sent back to Earth by the probe called "Yutu 2"".

Image of far side of the moon is from NASA.gov

1/20/19:The New Horizon probe, has been roaming space for about 13 years and has reached a milestone.Traveling about 4 billion miles from Earth, the New Horizon has passed Ultima Thule, the most distance known space object! The probe will send back data and images of its fly-by of the bowling pin shaped object located in the Kuiper Belt. However, it will take about 1 1/2 YEARS for the images to arrive back to Earth! Image from space.com

A dog badly burned from the recent forest fires in California got a very unusual treatment. For the very first time, a dog, a Boston terrier, was grafted with the skin of tilapia fish to address burned skin on her legs and paws.The dog, named Olivia, appears to be healing very well from the treatment. In fact, within only five days, new skin began to grow instead of traditional methods that take weeks.Previously, bears and a mountain lion have been given the treatment of using fish skin on burn wounds. Photograph from americanveterinarian.com

After 921 miles and 54 days, Colin O'Brady, has made history. He successfully crossed Antarctica, from coast to coast, unassisted and alone. O'Brady, who called the trek, "The Impossible First", dragged a 400 pound sled which carried his food, tent, a satellite phone, GPS tracker and fuel. He ate lots of oatmeal, soup and protein bars, trying for about 7000 calories per day to keep his energy levels up. During the journey, O'Brady endured 30 mph winds ,extremely cold temperatures, averaging -40F degrees, and the solitude of not seeing anyone else! Another man,Louis Rudd, was also trying to be the first person to accomplish this task. About 70 miles away,O'Brady waited for Rudd to complete his journey, too. O'Brady has also climbed Mt. Everest and the other six highest peaks on each continent.

Photograph from irishtimes.com

1/2/19:Jean Jacques Savin is trying to be a human "message in a bottle"as he attempts to cross the Atlantic Ocean in an orange barrel vehicle. If successful, it would be the first time someone has done this using just the ocean currents for movement. Savin started his trek from the Canary Islands(near the coast of West Africa) this week(December 26th). Aboard the barrel, 10 ft. long by 7 ft. wide, is a small bed(with straps to hold him from being tossed around by rough waves), and tiny kitchen, food supplies and communication technology.The barrel has a window so Savin can observe some marine life. Additionally, Savin will collect data on ocean currents.It is estimated that he should reach the Caribbean, a distance of 2800 miles, in March.

Photograph from cnn.com

With more and more tourists visiting Antarctica each year(estimates are about 40,000 people),scientists have detected a problem with some of the penguins, native to the continent. Seems the birds are getting germs from the tourists and this could mean serious troubles. Scientists tested the droppings of penguins and found they contain human bacteria. It is the first such transfer, called "reverse zoonosis" every found, in Antarctica. The gentoo, king and macaroni penguins as well as several other birds, including the kelp gulls, giant petrels and brown skuas, are infected with human pathogens. The gentoo penguins are very endangered birds and it is feared that the human bacteria may cause the birds further survival issues. What would you suggest as a possible way to help these native creatures of Antarctica?

Photograph from zmescience.com

12/15/18:The country of Egypt has announced a wonderfully preserved tomb dating back 4400 years. The discovery was made near Saqqara and is decorated with much hieroglyphics(ancient Egyptian writing). The tomb also has 45 statues, many of pharaohs(kings of ancient Egypt),carved into the rock. It is believed that the tomb was untouched for hundreds of centuries and archeologists are hopeful that the tomb, thought to be that of an important priest, will include many artifacts, when excavation begins in the new year. Interestingly, the tomb is in the same area as the famous Step Pyramid.

Photograph from reuters.com

An amazingly successful launch of Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic took place in the Mojave Desert, in California. The SpaceShipTwo reached the edge of outer space, or 51.4 miles in altitude. The space vehicle had two pilots aboard for the historic ride, which reached 2.9 times the speed of sound in less than one minute! It is hoped that within six months, the company will begin offering rides of a lifetime! The cost for the trip will be $250,000 per person and will include a few minutes of weightlessness(zero gravity).

Photograph from dailymail.co.uk

Plastic bags. Most people use them but they are very harmful to the environment and especially marine life. It is believed that up to 5% of all plastic bags find their way into our oceans. People in the capital city of Nepal, Kathmandu, are hoping to make a statement with what they are hoping will take the title as the world's largest sculpture made from plastic bags. Using collected plastic bags, a map of the Dead Sea was created. An estimated 100,000 plastic bags were used to make the sculpture which measures 65 ft. long and 16 ft. Tall. It is hoped that the plastic bag sculpture will create an awareness to just how many plastic bags find their way into the our oceans. The current plastic bag sculpture record was done in the country of Singapore, back in 2012. An octopus was made from 68,000 plastic bags!

Photograph from news18.com

Knickers is a very large steer that lives on a ranch in Australia. Standing 6' 4", the Holstein Friesian tips the scale at about 3000 pounds. Knickers doesn't have to worry about become thousands of hamburger patties as he is actually too large for a processing plant. So, Knickers will live out his life on the range grazing with other cattle and being the one that other steers follow around. Possibly a record size steer for the country of Australia, Knickers doesn't take world record honors. Currently, that goes to a steer in Italy.Called Bellino, the steer measures 6' 6.5" in height!

Photograph from msm.com

11/25/18:

Egyptologists made an amazing discovery when they discovered a burial coffin(sarcophagus) of a mummy. For the first time, the Egyptologists OPENED the sarcophagus, in from of journalists and discovered a very well preserved female mummy! Thought to date back about 3500 years, the mummy's sarcophagus had two wooden coffins that were also in excellent condition.Photograph from https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/46336523

NASA has successfully landed a probe onto the surface of the red planet,Mars, near its equator. Unlike other robotics which can move around the surface, this probe, Insight, will remain stationary. It weighs 800 pounds and has three legs. Its job is to learn about the interior of the planet. Insight took six months to reach Mars, traveling 300 million miles along the way. The most dangerous part of the project was its six minute descent. There was concern that it might burn up as it streaked through Mars' atmosphere! Scientists are very excited that Insight landed in one piece and are eager to get data from the probe.

Illustration from bbc.com>

The Tree is here! Each year, the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree brings thousands and thousands of tourists to New York City. This year's Norway spruce tree comes from Wallkill, NY, and stands 72 ft. tall. Called "Shelby" by the people where the tree has stood for many years, the 2018 tree will be decorated with 50,000 lights and crowned with a 900 pound Swarovski crystal star. The official lighting is November 28th. After the holiday season is over, the tree will be donated to Habitat for Humanity where the wood will be used to build homes. The Rockefeller Center tree has been a tradition since 1931.During the Great Depression, workers were constructing Rockefeller Center and decorated a tree, on Christmas Eve.

Diwali

Illustration from wpclipart.com

11/20/18:This year, 2018, Diwali or Deepavali, begins on November 6th and lasts for 5 days. It's a happy time of year and is the biggest holiday in the country of India. Practiced mainly by people of the Hindu faith, many other people enjoy taking part in the festive holiday season, too. During the holiday, there will be gift giving, lighting lamps(Dipa lamps) special sweet treats including Laddus(sweet wheat balls with nuts and fruits inside) and Karanjis (flour fried dumplings with coconut and sugar), praying, getting together with family and friends and fireworks to help welcome the new year. Deepawali means "festival of lights". Learn more about Diwali:

11/1/18:

Marine Archeologists have discovered what is being called the world's oldest intact shipwreck ever found. The Greek trading ship dates back to about 400BC and was discovered in the Black Sea. Coils of rope were still found on the ship! Scientists say that there is little oxygen located at the depth the ship was located. Without oxygen, the ship didn't deterioration. The ship will remain where it was found so that future generations, with more advances in technology, can study the ship, too.

Photograph from Yahoo.com

There has been 88 constellations, or patterns of stars, in the sky, until now. NASA scientists, wanting to celebrate the discoveries made by the Fermi Gamma Ray Space Telescope, have mapped out 21 new star patterns. Unlike the 88 known constellations in the sky, you can't see these new constellations without using the powerful telescope. However, NASA has a new interactive website where you can go and see some of the new constellations including the Hulk, a obelisk(think Washington Monument), Godzilla, the Colosseum and the Eiffel Tower. Click here:New Gama-ray ConstellationsClick here to see the 88 constellations that you CAN see in the night sky(depending on which hemisphere you live).Constellations

Illustration from NASA

An asteroid recently got some visitors. The Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency landed several robots onto the surface of an asteroid in an historic achievement. It is the first time that this has been done. The asteroid, Ryugu, which is about 180 million miles away from the Earth, has little gravity so the moving robots hopped around, traveling about 49 ft. with each movement. During their short life span(about 17 hours), the robots collected data and beamed it back to earth. It is hoped that the data collected will help scientist learn more about asteroids.

Photograph of asteroid from dailymail.com

10/20/2018:

Due to low waters, the Ataturk Dam in the country of Turkey has unveiled very old cave drawings on some of the rocks. Dating back to the Stone Age, scientists estimate the drawings may be over 2.6 million years old! Surprisingly, the drawing spotted by local fishermen, are in good condition. One drawing shows a hunt of a wild goat. Another shows men with horses chasing a type of animal. There are no plans to protect the drawings which will again disappear from view if the dam waters rise. Photograph from dailymail.com

At one time people thought a 1000 pound pumpkin was impossible. Almost each year a new record size pumpkin makes the news. This fall, Steve Geddes, of New Hampshire, has taken the world record for a pumpkin grown in North America. His whopper of a pumpkin was 2,528 pounds! Now, the thought of someone growing a 3000 pound pumpkin is being talked about as a possibility. Geddes pumpkin smashed the previous record, in 2017, of a 2363 pound pumpkin. In case you are wondering the world record is held by a Belgian named Mathias Willemigns. In 2016, his giant pumpkin weighed in at 2,624 pounds!

Photograph from Time.com

Check out these fun pumpkin facts:PUMPKIN FUN FACTS

During the summer, eight year old Saga Vanecek was swimming in Lake Vidosten, in Sweden, when she spotted something unusual.Turns out that what Saga found was a 33 inch sword(about 3ft. Long) and not just any sword, a pre-VIKING sword believed to be about 1500 years old! Saga, whose family moved from the USA to Sweden last year, found a sword of metal, wood and leather, the first of its kind ever found in the area known as Scandinavia. Archaeologists are searching the Lake to see whether there may be other Viking artifacts. Thus far, a brooch has also been uncovered thought to date back to 300-400 CE. With a drought this summer, the lake levels were low and it is believed the is why Saga was able to spot the sword. Saga's discovery will be going on display at the Jonkopings Lans Museum. When Saga first held up what she had found, she called to her dad and said she had found a sword in the lake. She's being called the "Queen of Sweden" for her discovery.

Photograph from Jonkopings Lans Museum

Scientists have uncovered a new species of dinosaur. Found in South Africa, the Ledumahadi mafube("giant thunderclap at dawn"), weighed a whopping 26,000 pounds when it roams the planet. Thought to be a relative of the brontosaurus, the huge dinosaur lived an estimated 200 million years ago. It is believed that like other sauropods(like the brontosaurus) this new species walked on all four legs and was a plant eater. Interesting, too, is the fact that the Ledumahadi is related to a dinosaur found in the country of Argentina, on the continent of South America. At one time, it is believed that there was a giant continent called Pangea making walking from one continent to the other very easy at that time!

Illustration from phys.org

Starting in November, a cafe in Tokyo, Japan, will have robotic servers, thanks to Ory Lab, a developer of robots. The unique experiment, using 4ft. tall robots to bring food to customers, is more than a novelty idea. It will give people with severe disabilities a chance to have a job. The robots, weighing about 40 pounds, can be operated by people who are unable to come to work. A tablet or computer with internet is what operates the robotic server, who has a built-in camera and microphone in its head. If the experiment works, it is hoped that a permanent cafe will be operating by the 2020 Olympics, to be held in Japan.

Photograph from sciencenewsforkids.com

10/1/18: Everyone uses scotch tape but do you know that tape is made from fossil fuels? Most sticky tape is made from crude oil or the polymers from the crude oil. Scientists have discovered something else that works well for all your taping needs and it is better for the environment. The sticky substitute comes from trees. Researchers at the University of Delaware created an adhesive from lignin, a waste product from paper making. Experiments with this sticky substance passed the stick-to-it test.

Illustration from wpclipart.com

Marine archaeologists are announcing that they think they found Captain James Cook's ship HMS Endeavour. Cook, from England,visited the Hawaiian Islands, calling them the "Sandwich Islands" and went on to be the first Englishman to travel to the east coast of Australia. He also traveled to New Zealand. Killed by native in Hawaii, his crew returned back to England on the HMS Endeavour. Later, the ship was renamed the Lord Sandwich 11 and was used as a prison ship during the American Revolutionary War. It was eventually sunk, in 1778, and archaeologists think they have discovered it off the coast of the state of Rhode Island, in the Narragansett Bay.

Replica ship from theguardian.com

Do you like to draw? Scientists say that a stone recently discovered with crisscross red lines, may be the oldest known drawing. Found in a cave in South Africa, the drawing dates back 75,000 years. The tiny lines, made with ochre, were found in the Blombos Cave, about 200 miles from the city of Cape Town, South Africa. The prehistoric lines are about 30,000 years older than any other found to date.

Photograph from cbc.ca

9/15/18: Discoveries under the oceans can still be made. Scientists just discovered a coral reef about 160 miles off the coast of Charleston, SC, in the Atlantic Ocean. The reef,if pieced together, would stretch the length of the state of Delaware, or about 85 miles long. The coral reef, about 1/2 a mile beneath the surface of the ocean, could be thousands of years old. A submersible robotic called Alvin collected samples of the coral, mostly Lophelia coral, for scientists to study. The newly discovered reef may be in trouble if President Trump gets his way. He wants to open 90% of all the coastlines of the USA to oil drilling!

Photograph from livescience.com

9/1/18:Six rooks( a member of the crow family) have been trained to become a winged cleanup crew at a theme park in France. Very smart and enjoying human relationships, the birds learned that collecting trash was rewarded with treats. A trainer taught the birds that each time they collected and deposited a piece of trash into a bin, another compartment would open, with a treat. The birds soon learned to associate trash with food treats. The bird trash collectors, raised in captivity, proved to be quick learners and started working at the Puy du Fou historical theme park.The point of the project isn't to use the six birds to clean up all the garbage in the park. Instead, it is hoped that seeing the birds at work will remind humans of the need to care about our environment.

Photograph from Livescience.com

8/15/18:Ethan Sonneborn,14,has had a busy summer. He is running for office, not at his school, but as the governor of Vermont! Even though Ethan isn't old enough to vote for himself, there is NO age requirement to RUN for governor in the state of Vermont. Ethan got his name on the Democratic ballot for the primary that will be held on Tuesday. Having raised just $1700 for his campaign, Ethan realizes he is a long shot to win the primary vote and get on the ballot to run for governor in November. However, if he gets someone involved in the election process, who may not have thought to participate, Ethan says his campaign will be a success.

Photograph from ethansonneborn.com

You probably haven't rowed a boat as far as Bryce Carlson just did. He broke the solo record for rowing across the Atlantic from west to east. The high school science teacher, from Ohio, took 38 days, six hours and 49 minutes to cross the ocean, He left from St. John's Newfoundland, Canada and reached the shores of the Isles of Scilly, Great Britain, a total of 3218 k or 2000 miles. Carlson's boat capsized about a dozen times but he persevered. His water desalinator used to create drinking water gave him problems, too. Carlson, who averaged 2.5 knots(the previous record averaged 1.86 knots) had to deal with six foot waves and high winds which made rowing very difficult. Another difficulty was sleeping which he managed to do for a couple of hours periods each night. He ate dehydrated foods which he admits weren't very appetizing. One of the highlights from his journey was one night when he came upon bioluminescent plankton.

Photograph from cbc.ca
Clark Kent Apuada, 10, competed at the Far West International Championship in California,this week and made swimming history. He beat Michael Phelps'