Saturday, May 31, 2008

Space shuttle launches

Space shuttle Discovery launched today, headed for the ISS. Docking is scheduled for Monday. Three spacewalks are scheduled during this mission on days 4, 6, and 9. A neat Flash-enhanced site gives all the mission details. As always, mission descriptions, information, and links can be found at the NASA Missions page. They are bringing a new lab, built in Japan, to the ISS.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Phoenix Mission to Mars

NASA's Mars Lander is scheduled to reach Mars tomorrow. Live coverage will begin at 6:30 pm EDT over the Internet on NASA TV. Mission overview, blog, and images are available at the NASA Phoenix Mission web page.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Stokes Bird Guide

I really like this pocket-sized, concise bird guide. Despite it's diminutive size, I have easily identified all the birds in our yard. it is organized by bird color, making it very easy to use.

We have a window feeder with a one-way glass that allows us to observe the birds up-close. Here's a sample of the common visitors to our feeder:

Optical illusion

Most optical illusions take advantage of how the brain encodes visual information presented to it from the eyes. This one looks like Einstein up close and like Marilyn Monroe at a distance or even from an angle. It all depends on focus.

This image came from a forwarded email; source is unknown.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

A Trip to the Science Museum

Last week we took a trip to the Boston Museum of Science. I've been going to the MOS since I was a child, and I remember many of the things there. For example, the museum is part in Cambridge, part in Boston and you can straddle the town line; and the musical staircase that plays a note when you step on a stair:

Another long-time exhibit that still fascinates is the perpetual motion sculpture:

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Seeds to seedlings

Who can ever forget the look on a child's face when he plants seeds and sees them sprout? This is a timeless classic. Ds#3 was given a small seed-starter kit with pots, soil disks, a greenhouse, and some wonderful culinary herbs (oregano, parsley, and basil.)

We planted the seeds last weekend...

and now we have sprouts.

I can't wait until the harvest! I happened to pick up a vintage copy of Seeds and More Seeds by Millicent Selsam at a book sale Friday; I couldn't help but think of ds#3.