Salt Secrets–By: Madeline C.

•June 15, 2010 • 1 Comment

When you look at your food, some ingredients are easy to see. For example, there is milk in your cereal, cheese on your pizza and peanut butter on your toast.  Salt is an example that you might not notice, even when you eat it a lot. You can see salt on pretzels, you can taste it on french fries and you can sprinkle it on green beans. Doctors have warned patients that too much salt is bad for your heart. 75 percent of the salt we eat is hidden in restaurant meals, fast food and processed foods. Loading up on salt- filled potato chips, hot dogs and canned tuna could also set children up for more health problems. Salt is made up of two elements: sodium and chlorine. Kids ages 9-12 should eat no more than 1,500 mg of sodium a day. Younger kids should get even less. The amount of sodium we actually need is about 500 milligrams.Getting used to eating less salt can take months. Salt can affect more than just your heart and weight. Be safe and watch how much salt you eat everyday!

Questions:

1. What are some of your favorite foods that have a lot of salt?

2.What would  be healthy alternatives to your favorite salty foods?

Link:

(www.sciencenewsforkids.org)

Half Hen, Half Rooster ~ Hannah S.

•June 15, 2010 • 1 Comment

Scientists have recently been studying whether a chicken is a male, or a female. For the chickens in this study, it’s hard to tell. In fact, they appear to be both. One half of each chicken has thicker legs, and bulging muscles, like a male, or a rooster. The other half has thinner legs, and darker feathers, like a female, or a hen. Most of the time, a chick will naturally grow up like this. Because of their sexual mix, these chickens give scientists a good way to study the process of how a living thing becomes male or female — or even parts of each. Scientists have long debated how sex is determined in animals. One question is what happens to individual cells. All the parts of an animal, including tissues, muscles and organs, are made of cells. Cells are the smallest independent parts of a living thing.

Discussion Questions:

If this can happen to chickens, Do you think it is possible for other organisms?

Have you come across any other interesting species?

Crocodiles on Shores– By: Alice Z.

•June 15, 2010 • 1 Comment

The largest living reptile among the world is the saltwater crocodile. This reptile lives in a freshwater habitat that extends east-west from East India to Fiji and north-south from southern China to northern Australia. These crocodiles have been found on several islands throughout these borders. This suggests that the crocodiles are somehow island hopping. No one knows for sure how the crocodiles traveled onto the land because these crocodiles are excellent short distance swimmers but aren’t good at land distant swims.

One theory, led by a team of biologists from Hamish Campbell of Australia’s University of Queensland, suggests that these crocodiles would make use of the tides. They would ride at the surface currents that swept water toward the mouths of rivers. If the currents changed, the crocodiles would wait on the river banks or sit on riverbeds until the surfing conditions improved.

This team has been confused to why these saltwater crocodiles would surf such long way. Some suggest that they have traveled in search of mates or food. The only thing that is known is that these crocodiles traveled a long way to get to the shores.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Do you think that this theory is true? Why or why not?
  2. Why do you think that these saltwater crocodiles would surf such long journey to reach the shore?

Link:

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/06/100607-science-animals-crocodiles-hunter-surfing/

Driving While Texting Can Hurt Everyone– By: Liza K.

•June 15, 2010 • 2 Comments

Driving while texting

People may think that new technology is a good thing, and it is…. but only to an extent. Now-a-days, 28% of all car accidents in the United States are caused by texting or talking on the phone. Only years ago doctors would ask young adults who are driving if they are using drugs, smoking cigarettes, not wearing seatbelts, or drinking alcohol. These days, doctors are asking young adults if they are talking on the phone while driving or becoming distracted by technology related items while driving.

The risk of getting into a car accident while driving distracted by technology  is four times more than the risk of driving drunk. According to Amy Ship, a MD, at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center at least 275 million people in the US. own cell phones and 81% of them talk on the phone while driving! A study stated that getting into an accident while texting was raised by a factor of twenty-three! People may wonder why driving while talking on a hands free device such as blue tooth is still more unsafe than talking to a traveler sitting next to you. Well, the reason is that people cannot and should not multi-task while trying to maneuver a car!

By driving while texting or talking on the phone you are putting everyone around you in danger, including the environment. If you crash into a tree you are damaging the roots of that tree and most likely killing it. Then the species that rely on this tree wont have a place to live or food to feed on putting them in danger of dying. So the next time that you get a text message from someone while driving, you must resist the urge to look at it. I’m sure that the person will understand if you don’t answer their text right away. If they do care tell them that looking at that text can put everyone around you in danger.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100609171748.htm

Discussion Questions:

  1. Should there be a law against driving while texting or talking on the phone? Why or why not?
  2. How many yards do you think you will go if you are driving distracted while on the phone or texting?
  3. Do you think that when you get your driver’s license they should make you sign an oath saying you wont drive and text?

New Theory on How Earth Formed: By Kara F.

•June 15, 2010 • 1 Comment

Recently, scientists have been claiming a new theory to how the Earth was formed and its original energy source. Some are now debating that the source may have come from a compound called pyrophosphite or another option, pyrophosphate. All organisms depend on an energy transporting molecule called ATP to survive. ATPs store chemical energy that can later be used by organic matter. Researcher Terence Kee supports the theory. He says that you need enzymes to create ATPs and ATPs to create enzymes. Pyrophosphate has the similar ability to transfer energy without enzymes. However, it was not available in large amounts back then according to geological records. On the other hand, pyroposphite can almost always be found in iron meteorites. Although, it is much more rare than pyrophosphate, both compounds are still a logical theory, with only a few glitches. Research will be continued on both theories to find how which energy source the Earth may have really been formed from.

Link: http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/20100612/sc_livescience/newtheoryforlifesfirstenergysourceDiscussion

Questions:

1) Which energy source do you think is more logical? Why?

2) How do you think the Earth formed? How?

Shifting Cold Weather– By: Liza K.

•June 15, 2010 • 1 Comment

Snowy Winters In Europe

Due to global warming in the Arctic Circle the air pressure is altering in the North Pole as well as shifting the wind patterns on Earth. This means that the weather and climate of other environments will change because of the North Pole. Scientists are predicting that there will be more snowy and frigid winters in Europe, eastern Asia, and eastern North America. Some effects on other environments are the loss of sea ice. Without this sea ice polar animals don’t have places to hunt, such as polar bears. Polar bears feed off of the sea ice to catch their prey so if there isn’t any ice they do not have any food. In the video “Planet Earth,” a polar bear has to abandon its family to go find prey. It turns out that the bear cannot catch any food without the ice.

During the IPU-OSC (also known as the International Polar Year Oslo Science Conference) scientists were talking about how the climate of the Arctic Circle is shifting. There were at least 2,400 polar scientists there to discuss the changing of the Arctic and its findings. Because of the global warming caused by humans, the ice in the Arctic Circle is melting and the ice thickness is reducing. Also, the size of the Arctic ice is shrinking due to this greenhouse gases. This is causing much change in the climate. Dr Overland says that the very cold winters of 09-10 were caused by the process’ in the Arctic.

The Arctic is melting at least twice as fast as the rest of our planet Earth. This problem is also known as Arctic amplification. Amplification means the result of changing so Arctic amplification means the changing of the Arctic. These changes are occurring much faster than scientists predicted. unfortunately, scientists do not believe that the area will go back to its original form and conditions which can harm all the species who live in this area.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100611093710.htm

Discussion Questions:

  1. How do you think the population of the Arctic Circle will change?
  2. Do you think there is there any way to save the species who live in the Arctic Circle and are being effected by global warming?
  3. Why do you think that global warming is affected the Arctic Circle the most?

Is This A Gigantic Well? By: Ani Hsu O.

•June 14, 2010 • 3 Comments

When you look out a window during a big storm, I doubt that you stop to think “what if it rained so much and so hard that the earth would cave in?” Well, did you know that is what might have happened in Guatemala? It’s true! After a very big storm, a sinkhole formed in the ground, in Guatemala City. Also, it is said that the Tropical Storm Agatha, a previous big storm,  contributed to part of the disaster. Furthermore, the sinkhole is more than one hundred feet deep, and is shaped like a cylinder. Moreover, it is possible that the sinkhole formed because there are many salt beds under certain areas of Guatemala, and after the storm, obviously a lot of water built up, resulting in the melting of the salt-beds. So, some areas where the salt beds were, caved in, and caused this gigantic sinkhole. Unfortunately, while the ground caved in, it took some buildings along with it and utility lines too. Apparently, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) says that sinkholes are common where the rock underneath the land surface is limestone, carbonate rock, salt beds or rocks that can naturally be dissolved by ground water circulating through them.

There is, however, a few more theories as to how the sinkhole was formed.  In fact, association president Augusto Lopez Rincon said he believed that excessive traffic caused by commercial trucks were to blame for the sinkhole.

Before, you may have believed that this picture shown above is fake. However, you would just be one out of the many who think that. Actually, here is a conversation between OhioInd and Edhead76:

“The picture looks unreal, ‘Photo-shopped’ but it may just look that strange,” OhioInd posted.

Edhead76 replied: “Believe me this picture is no fake. Guatemala has a very odd terrain. They have a lot of mountainous regions and the capital is somewhat level, but artificially. they have mudslides all the time.”

On the other hand, one person believes that ground water has something to do with the sinkhole.

Discussion Questions:

1) What do you think is the main cause for this sink hole?

2) Do you think that our area can experience a phenomenon like this?