Monday, October 27, 2014

We Need Some Help Charging Into the Future with eneloop!.

I want to make sure my students have the materials they need to succeed, so I just created a request for my classroom at DonorsChoose.org: Charging Into the Future with eneloop!.

Give to my classroom by November 3 (2014)
and your donation will be doubled thanks to DonorsChoose.org. Just enter the code SPARK on the payment page and you'll be matched dollar for dollar (up to $100).

If you chip in to help my students, you'll get awesome photos and our heartfelt thanks.

Thank so much,
Emma

P.S. If you know anyone who may want to help my classroom, please pass this along!





This is the energy storing string thing.....>

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Old Photos: Love My Tortoise

I have been creating blogs recently.  Actually only one seriously, focused in a cross-eyed way on the history of seed companies and the general gardener's use of purchased seeds.  But while I am crawling through the internet attics that tell the stories I keep stumbling over wonderful photos from the past!  To amuse friends, I started two that are cat and dog blogs, Good Dog! Snapshots from the 20th Century and Cat Smiles.   I am not sure why I started the main blog, only I was looking up stuff for myself and I wanted to share it; it seemed a waste to find cool bits and pieces then leave them in the attic!

That all said, what do I do when I find something I like so much I want to share it but it isn't in any of my categories?  As you have already guessed, the answer is to stick them here!

I love these two photos.  For no reason I can pin point, I think it is the the 1940s or early1950s...probably England.

If you have never read Gerald Durrell's My Family and Other Animals, give it a try. An enchanting memoir from a world renowned naturalist, focusing on his childhood on Corfu where his English family went to escape the grey and sneezes of England.







Thursday, January 30, 2014

Maker Alert: Very Cool 1870s Weather Prediction Device

This 1870 home-made weather glass (shown below) looks like fun to try...but could I do it by shopping on Amazon for all the chemicals and the bottle?  And, not having taken chemistry, can I do it without poisoning myself?

The answer looks to be YES to both concerns.  The chemicals are used in cooking...and blowing up stuff.  That is kind of cool by itself!

As a licorice lover, the fact that one of the chemicals, sal ammoniac, is used in the Nordic countries in a salty licorice candy opened a new world of treats to me. (And, yes, Amazon has that, too :-)  You could kill yourself with the chemicals if you were really dumb or determined, but it seems highly unlikely. I found a 12 inch glass hydrometer test tube for sale that was the right shape to substitute for the fascinating bottle illustrated below.  I wonder what that shape bottle was made for in 1870.  

The only problem is the cost gets to about $50...so I am out.  Sheesh...I wanted to see the star shaped precipitate rising and falling with the weather changes!!!!  Time to start looking around for friends with a bit of this and that laying around...maybe someone cures meat with saltpetre. I have a tube already from aborted wine making...that gets it down to 40ish.  I think I need to retire to have the time to pursue all this.

The last question is - does it work?  No clue.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sal_ammoniac
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potassium_nitrate
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camphor