Trickle Treat!

That is the Halloween phrase, according to Super Three Man, aka Oliver.


bp's science: difference between frogs and toads (v.1)

We've been explaining lots of cool things to Oliver lately because he has lots of questions.  One of them being, what is the difference between frogs and toads?  I didn't know, so I thought I'd check it out.  The answer was surprising.  Toads are actually frogs, however there are differences, seeing as they are in two different families* (Ranidae and Bufonidae, respectively).

Main differences include: frog skin is wet, toad skin is not; eye shape is different; frogs hop, toads walk.  See here for more differences.

*And just a note taking you back to 7th grade biology, there are seven major categories according to Linnaeus's taxonomy: kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, species.


About dinner

"Respect your dinner; idolize it, enjoy it properly. You will be by many hours in the week, many weeks in the year, and many years in your life happier if you do."

- William Makepeace Thackeray, "Memorials of Gormandising" (Quoted in October REAL SIMPLE)

I used to very much dislike making dinner.  Then I realized I would be doing it all of my life so I might as well enjoy it.  After that, I gathered recipes, asked good cooks questions, and made a shopping list.  Voila!  Making and eating dinner is now enjoyable (most nights).  I can't help but agree with this quote.

Tilapia with sour cream sauce, rice,  and celery ... It may not always be pretty but it did taste good


Book Review - Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage

An amazing book of perseverance beyond imagination.  The men on this voyage/wreckage kept their cool and worked together to get back to solid ground...that is, ground that did not consist of ice.  The book describes men who endured freezing cold, lack of sleep, a seal attack, a scant diet, and episodes that surely tried their patience.  This was another book that showed me the strength of the human spirit, the power of brotherhood (friendship), and the skill of a superior leader. 


bp's science: man breaks sound barrier...while skydiving (v.1)

If you didn't already hear about this, you must.  An Austrain skydiver broke the sound barrier (~750mph), and then went beyond that to travel 833.9 mph (Mach 1.24).  He did this by floating 24 miles up into the sky via a mega-helium balloon and taking the jump from there, in a special pressurized suit.  Unbelievable.

Watch video of the whole thing.  It reminded me of Iron Man.

photos found here and here


Ten, eleven, twelve

We're big into numbers over here, so I couldn't let the chance go by to mention that today's date is 10/11/12. Nifty!

Lately, Jess has had the time to come home a little earlier than we were used to back in DC and we are lovin' it. Dad can do things that Mom doesn't have the muscle for, you see.


bp's science: kids are naturally scientists (v.1)

In a recent study it was found that everyday play consists of experiences that help kids learn, just the way a scientist would collect data. The leader of the study explains,

"Everyday playing is a kind of experimentation--it's a way of experimenting with the world, getting data the way that scientists do and then using that data to draw new conclusions...What we need to do is put [kids] in a safe, rich environment where these natural capacities for exploration, for testing, for science, can get free rein."

I think I've seen this "everyday play" also called "free play" or even "boring play" (which is an unfortunate name because the play is really so valuable).  What's more, I read recently in an airline magazine of all places, that adults benefit from this kind of "play" too.  Just think of the things you discover from solving a computer problem by using trial and error, or by fixing a toilet lever, or even trying out a new skill or climbing a mountain.

"Boring play"...please...

See full article here.