Join High Touch High Tech in Celebrating National Flip-Flop Day June 11th!
Modern-day fashionistas may disparage flip-flops, and some doctors warn against wearing them constantly. But aside from a few objections, the archaeological and historical record both testify to the fact that humans the world over have been rocking flip-flops and sandals, flip-flops’ close relatives, since before civilization even began. The basic design of flip-flops and sandals, a sole covering held on to the foot with a rope or strap, is much older than the earliest known closed-toe leather shoes. The oldest sandals on earth were found in Fort Rock, Oregon in the 1930’s. Made of woven sagebrush ropes, the oldest Fort Rock Sandals date from about 13,000 years ago!
Another culture that had no problem with the flip-flop as fashion was the Ancient Egyptians, whose preferred style was anchored between the first and second toe just as modern people wear today. Many Ancient Egyptian sandals were made of humble woven papyrus, or more upmarket leather, but they also could be covered in gold and gems depending on the status of the wearer. It is said that the Pharaoh of Egypt even had a servant who did nothing but carry his sandals until needed. The Ancient Greeks were huge fans of the sandal, and so were the Romans, although their designs often involved more straps and foot coverage than the minimalistic flip flop design that Ancient Egyptians and present-day people appreciate.
With such a wealth of ancient footwear to draw from, which design and time period gave us the flip flop we use today? Look no further than Japan. Japanese traditional footwear has long been adapted towards the easy-on, easy-off design people prize in contemporary flip- flops. Japanese homes often had floors covered in delicate reed tatami mats that could be easily damaged by shoes, and so an abundance of flip-flop-like designs emerged, including the geta and the zori. After WW2, Japan’s decimated economy still held a large reserve of rubber from the Southeast Asian nations that Japan had attempted to colonize during the war. Japanese manufacturing began to build back by using the rubber to create mass-produced zori, and thus the flip-flop as we know it was born. Originally marketed as “Jandals,” a combination of “Japan” and “Sandals,” as the shoes gained popularity in the West, some time in the 1960’s they came to be called “flip-flops” for the ubiquitous sound they make when they strike the heel.
So go ahead and rock your flip-flops for National Flip-Flop
Day this June 11th! If anyone
criticizes your toes as they catch the breeze, just remind them that flip-flops
are one of the oldest human designs still in wide use. It is said that a great
design is timeless, and in the case of flip-flops, that is definitely true!
So, grab your flip-flops and head to the beach for this week’s at-home experiment! Put your toes in the sand as you make sand observations and seashell imprints! Check out our lesson plan, collect your materials and investigate cool coastal science…all while sporting your favorite flip-flops!
Join High Touch High Tech in celebrating Build a Musical Instrument Day May 22nd!
Close your eyes for a moment and listen to your environment. What sounds do you hear? Unless you are in the quietest place on earth, Stratfield Labs’ special Anechoic Chamber, your ears will easily tune to even the little sounds in your environment, and even little sounds can have big effects on us. When a sound is unpleasant to our ears, we call it noise. When it is sweet and pleasing, we call it notes, or music. Sounds are so much a part of our life that we don’t often think about the incredible process that gets sounds from their source to our brains, and the influence that certain sounds can have on us. So, what is a sound, anyway? And how does sound affect our imaginations, health, and moods?
All sounds are made the same way: they are vibrations. A vibration is when something moves back and forth incredibly fast, faster even than our eyes can see. These vibrations transmit from the object to the surrounding particles in the air. A vibrating object causes the air molecules around it to vibrate in the same way as it is vibrating. Then those air molecules cause the next air molecules to vibrate the same way, and so on and so on — all the way up to your eardrum, which is a membrane made to catch vibrations and pass them through the intricate anatomy of the ear. When they reach your ear, they are translated into electrical signals that can be understood by your brain. Sound is, basically, a vibration that travels across the air in a wave-like pattern, until it touches us with its energy right in our ear!
How many waves a sound vibration has in a given period is known as its frequency. Higher frequency sounds pack in many waves, while lower frequency sounds have less. Although still experimental and theoretical at this stage, there is some fascinating work from many different fields of science that indicate sound frequency and vibration may have great potential to benefit humanity. One of the greatest scientists of all time, Nikola Tesla, famously said that “If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency, and vibration.” Among his many projects, for example, was one to turn vibrations into electricity that could be easily shared across the world. Scientists on the frontier of sound as medicine, such as Dr. Lee Bartel, are even indicating that certain frequencies of sound, especially 40 HZ, may stimulate the fading neurons of Alzheimer’s patients into better function over time. There is even evidence that certain sound frequencies may destroy cancer cells.
Although the potential of sound to impact things like global
energy and human health are just beginning to be understood, it’s a fact that
the vibrations of sound can have a powerful impact on our well-being. Just think of a time that a loved one’s voice
touched your heart, or a song on the radio changed your day from a bad one to a
If you want to explore the amazing world of sounds, vibrations, and frequencies for yourself, check out our at-home Harmonica experiment and make some good vibrations with your own home-made instrument!
Join High Touch High Tech in celebrating Space Day May 7th!
Space…The final frontier! We all remember these immortal words spoken by Captain Kirk, of the starship Enterprise. It was on a fictional 5-year mission to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before. These are such strong words, that have inspired a generation of people to seek interest in space exploration.
The space age started in 1957 with the launch of the Russian satellite, Sputnik. The world’s first satellite was the size of a beach ball, weighed only 183.9 pounds, and took about 98 minutes to orbit Earth. That launch ushered in new political, military, technological, and scientific developments. While the Sputnik launch was a single event, it marked the start of the space age and the Great Space Race.
In response to
this “Sputnik moment,” the U.S. government undertook
several policy actions, including the establishment of the National
Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Defense Advanced Research
Projects Agency (DARPA), enhancement of research funding, and reformation of
science and technology being taught at schools.
launched the Mercury, Apollo, and space shuttle programs over the next 20
years. The United States lead the world in space exploration and achievements.
SpaceX (Space Exploration Technologies Corp) was founded by Elon Musk. SpaceX
is an American aerospace manufacturer and space transportation services
company. SpaceX’s goal is to reduce
space transportation costs to enable the colonization of Mars. SpaceX manufactures the Falcon 9 and Falcon
Heavy launch vehicles, several rocket engines, Dragon cargo and crew
spacecraft, and Starlink satellites. SpaceX is on a mission to Mars, along
Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster served as the payload for the February 2018 Falcon Heavy test flight and became an artificial satellite of the Sun. “Starman”, a mannequin dressed in a spacesuit, occupies the driver’s seat!
National Space Day is dedicated to the extraordinary achievements, benefits and opportunities in the exploration and use of space. This day is designed to stimulate interest in space.
also called outer space, refers to the void that exists between the Earth’s
upper atmosphere and other celestial bodies such as planets in the known and
unknown universe. While the term space might make it seem like the vast expanse
of the universe beyond the Earth’s atmosphere is empty, it is in fact, not
empty at all. Space is full of different forms of radiation and lots of debris
from the formation of our solar system. Some of this debris is in the form of
meteors, comets, and asteroids.
this Space Day, be sure to let your imaginations soar, and tap into your own
at it, tap into your inner-astronaut and learn more about Space with this week’s
at-home experiment, Space Case. See the stars twinkle and the universe expand
with simple materials and our easy-to-follow lesson plan.
Join High Touch High Tech in celebrating National Garlic Day April 19th
not actually an Avenger, Wonder Woman or Batman, garlic does have so many
health benefits, that it deserves to be considered a superhero. It might
as well be wearing a cape!
we first encounter garlic, it really does not have much of a smell, that is
until you cut into it, slice it, or crush it! Once crushed or sliced the odor
is extraordinarily strong. When we cut into a garlic bulb, thio-sulfinite
compounds in the garlic turn into allicin. Allicin is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal,
it is believed to lower bad cholesterol by inhibiting enzyme growth in liver
cells, and it helps nitric oxide release in the blood vessels relaxing them and
This improvement in blood pressure can help ease the strain on the heart, making garlic a very heart-healthy choice. Garlic’s antibacterial properties also makes it a great treatment for acne and cold sores, as well as general health. On top of all that, garlic also contains a ton of vitamins and minerals, including manganese, potassium, iron, magnesium, zinc, selenium, calcium, beta-carotene, and Vitamin C. Garlic is a true superhero!
Garlic is a species in the onion family, Allium. Its close relatives include the onion, scallions, shallots, leeks, chives, Welsh onions, and Chinese onions. It is native to Central Asia and Northeastern Iran and has long been a common seasoning worldwide, with a history of several thousand years of human consumption and use.
(2600–2100 BC) (the indigenous peoples of Southern Mesopotamia) were actively
utilizing garlic for its healing qualities and are believed to have brought
garlic to China. From China, it later spread to Japan and Korea.
ancient China, garlic was one of the most used remedies for many ailments since
2700 BC. Then, owing to its healing and stimulating effects, garlic was
recommended to those who suffer from depression.
In ancient Indian medicine, garlic was a valuable remedy used as a tonic to cure a lack of appetite, common weakness, cough, skin disease, rheumatism, and hemorrhoids. In the Vedas (the most ancient Hindu scriptures) garlic was mentioned among other medicinal plants. Indian priests were the first physicians and pharmacists to utilize garlic.
have even discovered garlic bulbs in the pyramids of Egypt. Ancient Egyptians
were known for their healing skills, preparations, and remedies.
Ancient Israelis made use of garlic as an appetite stimulator, to avoid
starvation. They also used garlic as a blood pressure enhancer, body heater,
parasite-killer, and more! The Talmud, the book of Judaism, prescribes a meal
with garlic every Friday.
Ancient Greeks also valued garlic although those who had eaten garlic were
forbidden entry into the temples. Perhaps due to their stinky breath! During
the archeological excavations in the Knossos Palace on the Greek island of
Crete, garlic bulbs were discovered dating from 1850–1400 BC. Early Greek army
leaders fed their army garlic before major battles. It is an interesting fact
that while nowadays some athletes take a wide spectrum of dangerous performance
enhancing drugs, Greek Olympic athletes ate garlic to ensure a good score!
to Theophrastus (370–285 BC), the Greeks offered gifts to their Gods consisting
of garlic bulbs. In his works, Hippocrates (459–370 BC) mentioned garlic as a
remedy against intestinal parasites. He recommended garlic for regulating the
menstrual cycle and to fight against seasickness. He also recommended garlic as
a remedy against snakebite (for that purpose they drank a mixture of garlic and
wine) and against a mad dog’s bite (for that purpose they applied garlic on the
thousands of years humanity has used garlic to enhance the flavor of food as
well as for medicinal purposes. Although pungent and somewhat unpleasant to
smell, Garlic’s positive health benefits are undeniable. Have you had your
So, as we celebrate National Garlic Day this April 19th, let us know the superhero role Garlic plays in your life!
And since Garlic has such a recognizable smell, we invite you to participate in this week’s At-home Experiment, Smelling Bee! See if you can determine which scent belongs to its corresponding food item! Check out the lesson plan below, grab your supplies, and start smelling!
Join High touch High Tech in celebrating Giant Panda Day March 16th!
Even the toughest among us cannot resist a little tiny internal “awwwww” when we happen upon a viral video of rotund Giant Panda babies bombarding their caretaker with their squishy, playful bodies. How about when one falls off something in a goofy, bamboo-induced haze? If you are one of those folks for whom even these panda delights fail to amuse, perhaps it might pique your interest to know that pandas are also absolute evolutionary freaks. There are few animals on earth that can match the Giant Panda for sheer evolutionary mystery. Until the 1980’s we did not even understand what they were, taxonomically. And only in 2019 did we figure out the secret of how a biological carnivore managed to subsist on an almost entirely vegan diet. Pandas are more than just cute little bamboo-chomping doofuses, they are a testament to the relentless drive to adapt and survive that unites all of life on a level that is way more than skin deep.
Since pandas were made known to modern biological science in the 1860’s, the debate raged over if the soon-to-be-world-famous fuzzball was a bear, a relative of a racoon, or its own branch entirely. Compounding the mystery is the fact that internally, as far as muscles, teeth, and organs, a panda is almost exactly like a bear. Yet in diet and lifestyle, it resembles another highly adorable mammal of the Southwestern Chinese bamboo forests, the Red Panda, which is more closely related to a skunk. The Giant Panda and the Red Panda both have elongated wrist bones called “pseudothumbs” that allow them to grip and eat their main meal, bamboo. Which they do, constantly, to the tune of 20 to 40 pounds a day for a Giant Panda!
If Giant Pandas are bears, which are carnivorous, how is it that they learned to survive almost exclusively on plants? If they are not bears, how is it that their internal organs are the exact same as bears, without any of the extra stomachs, enzymes, and digestive tricks that allow herbivorous animals to survive on tough, cellulose-based food? What even IS this freaky little fuzzball? Thanks to genetic sequencing, some helpful fossils, and some VERY devoted biologists, in 2019 the entire picture began to come together. It turns out that genetically, pandas are bears. Their closest living relative is the South American Spectacled Bear, which is itself a very ancient form of bear; it is theorized that pandas are the oldest living branch of the Ursine family tree.
The fossil record also shows that there were possibly some species of prehistoric panda ancestors that were at least somewhat adjusted to eating plants, with some fossil bear teeth displaying the similar cusps and folds to what a Giant Panda uses to grind up its non-stop daily bamboo feast. So Giant Pandas are bears… but how do they eat all that low-nutrient cellulose, almost exclusively, and survive? After years of careful GPS tracking and lots of analyzing poop, researchers discovered the Giant Panda, like any experienced vegan, knows very well how to survive on plants. It turns out the maybe-not-so-doofy-after-all Giant Panda eats seasonally, and in their seasonal eating is enough protein to sustain your average WOLF! At one time of year, Giant Pandas eat the nutritious shoots of lower-elevation bamboo, then switch to its leaves until, at the higher elevations, another type of high-nutrient bamboo shoot becomes available. Giant Pandas are so specialized to eating bamboo that they know it on a molecular level and go through a series of rotations across a year that ensure they get exactly the nutrients they need. So, don’t be fooled by the cute face and sleepy eyes, pandas are geniuses! Not only can they survive on a nearly impossible diet, but they have also convinced us humans to feed and protect them, too!
The giant panda’s distinct black-and-white markings have two functions: camouflage and communication. Most of the panda – its face, neck, belly, rump – is white to help it hide in snowy habitats. The arms and legs are black, helping it to hide in shade. So, for this week’s at-home experiment we are building our very own Scavenger Hunt Binoculars. Maybe you’ll even be able to find one of those tricksy giant pandas on your search! Check out the lesson plan & supply list here!
Is the earth round? I think we can all agree
that it is. What we are going to tell you next, spoiler alert, will remind you
of your high school geometry class.
circle is the largest possible
circle that can be drawn around a sphere. All spheres have great circles. If you cut a sphere at one
of its great circles, you’d cut it exactly in half. The Earth is not a perfect
sphere, but it maintains the general shape. All the meridians on Earth are great circles. Meridians,
including the prime meridian, are the north-south lines we use to help describe exactly where we are
on the Earth. All these lines of longitude meet at the poles, cutting the Earth neatly in half. These halves are
called the Northern & Southern hemispheres.
Let’s talk about the hemispheres of the earth.
The earth is divided into 2 by the equator. Can you go to the equator? Actually,
you can! Many countries have now created tourist attractions at the equator!
However, you cannot “see” the equator as it is an imaginary line splitting the
earth in half. Creating the Northern hemisphere and the Southern hemisphere.
you ever wondered when man first thought about the equator and the hemispheres?
The earliest documented mention of the round earth concept dates from
around the 5th century BC, when it was mentioned by ancient Greek
philosophers. In the 3rd century BC, Hellenistic
astronomy established the roughly spherical shape of the earth, as a
physical fact and calculated the Earth’s circumference. This knowledge was
gradually adopted throughout the “old world” during the 3rd-8th
centuries and ongoing during the “Middle Ages.” A practical
demonstration of Earth’s sphericity was achieved by Ferdinand Magellan
and Juan Sebastian’s circumnavigation from 1519-1522. The argument had
officially been settled…the earth is round!
to the equator, or the line of 0 degrees latitude, divides the earth into
the Northern and Southern hemispheres. There are differences in
the climates of the Northern and Southern hemispheres because of
the Earth’s seasonal tilt toward and away from the sun.
occurs because deep inside the earth, liquid iron is flowing and generating the
earth’s magnetic field, which protects our atmosphere against harmful radiation
from the sun. This field changes over time and behaves differently in different
parts of the world. The field can even change polarity completely! The magnetic
north and south poles can actually switch places. This is called a
reversal and last happened 780,000 years ago. Quite some time ago!
South America and Southern Africa, there is an enigmatic or difficult to
determine magnetic region called the South Atlantic Anomaly, where the field is
a lot weaker than one would expect. Weak and unstable magnetic fields are
thought to precede magnetic reversals, so some have argued this feature may be
evidence that we are facing one.
new study published June 12, 2020, in the Proceedings of the National Academy
of Sciences, has uncovered how long the
field in the South Atlantic has been acting up – and sheds light on whether it
is something to worry about.
magnetic fields make us more prone to magnetic storms that have the potential
to knock out electronic infrastructure, including power grids. The magnetic
field of the South Atlantic Anomaly is already so weak that it can adversely
affect satellites and their technology when they fly past it. The strange
region is thought to be related to a patch of magnetic field that is pointing a
different direction to the rest at the top of the planet’s liquid outer core at
a depth of 1,795 miles (2,889 km) within the Earth.
“reverse flux patch” itself has grown over the last 250 years. But we don’t
know whether it is simply a one-off product of the chaotic motions of the outer
core fluid or rather the latest in a series of anomalies within this particular
region over long time frames.
it is a non-recurring feature, then its current location is not significant –
it could happen anywhere, perhaps randomly. But if this is the case, the
question of whether its increasing size and depth could mark the start of a new
it is the latest in a string of features reoccurring over millions of years,
however, then this would make a reversal less likely. But it would require a
specific explanation for what was causing the magnetic field to act strangely
in this particular place.
find out, scientists travelled to Saint Helena – an island in the middle of the
South Atlantic Ocean. This island, where Napoleon was exiled to and eventually
died in 1821, is made of volcanic rocks. These originate from two separate
volcanoes and were erupted from between eight million and 11.5 million years
discovered when volcanic rocks cool down, small grains of iron-oxide in them
get magnetized and therefore save the direction and strength of the Earth’s
magnetic field at that time and place. A group of scientists collected some of
those rocks and brought them back to their lab in Liverpool, where they carried
out experiments to find out what the magnetic field was like at the time of
eruption, potentially 11 million years ago.
results showed us that the field at Saint Helena had vastly different
directions throughout the time of eruption, showing us that the magnetic field
in this region was much less stable than in other places. It therefore
challenges the idea that the abnormality has only been around for only a few
centuries. Instead, the whole region has likely been unstable on a timescale of
millions of years. This implies the current situation is not as rare as some
scientists had assumed, making it less likely that it represents the start of a
reversal. Please feel free to re-read the last 2 paragraphs!
could explain the odd magnetic region? The liquid outer core is generating
moves (by convection) at such high speeds that changes can occur on truly short,
human timescales. The outer core interacts with a layer called the mantle on
top of it, which moves far slower. That means the mantle is unlikely to have
changed very much in the last ten million years.
seismic waves passing through the Earth, we have some insight into the
structure of the mantle. Underneath Africa there is a large feature in
the lowermost mantle where the waves move extra slow through the Earth –
meaning there is most likely an unusually warm region of the lowermost mantle.
This possibly causes a different interaction with the outer core at that
specific location, which could explain the strange behavior of the
magnetic field in the South Atlantic.
aspect of the inside of the Earth is the inner core, which is a solid ball the
size of Pluto beneath the outer core. This solid feature is slowly growing, but
not at the same rate everywhere. There is a possibility that it is growing
faster on one side, causing a flow inside the outer core that is reaching the
outer boundary with the rocky mantle just under the Atlantic ocean. This
may be causing irregular behavior of the magnetic field on the long timescales found
on Saint Helena.
Although there are still many questions about the exact cause of the irregular behavior in the South Atlantic, this study shows us that it has been around for millions of years and is most likely a result of geophysical interactions in the Earth’s mysterious interior.
is almost New Year’s eve! Although most people are happy to be saying goodbye
to the year 2020, it has certainly been a year to remember! Of course, when we
talk about New Year’s eve, the words of Auld Lang Syne will surely come up! Why
is that? What’s the song about?
song’s melody is synonymous with the new year (and the theme of change) in the
English-speaking world, despite nearly incomprehensible words. The problem is
that the text on which the song is based is not in English at all — it’s
18th-century Scots, a similar but distinct language responsible for lyrics in
the song such as “We twa hae run about the braes / and pou’d the gowans
fine” that are utterly incomprehensible to Americans.
the story of how an 18th-century Scottish ballad became
synonymous with the new year is tangled, involving both Calvinist theology’s
traditional aversion to Christmas and the uniquely central role that watching
television plays in American New Year’s celebrations. Bridging the gap is a
once-famous, now-forgotten Canadian big band leader who for decades defined New
Year’s Eve and transformed a Scottish folk custom into a global phenomenon.
old acquaintance be forgot?” is a rhetorical question the song asks?
answer is that it’s a rhetorical question. The song is asking whether old
friends should be forgotten, as a way of stating that obviously one should not
forget one’s old friends. The version of the song we sing today is based on
a poem published by Robert Burns, which he attributed to “an old
man’s singing,” noting that it was a traditional Scottish song.
remember to not forget about your old friends! And on that note, let’s dive deeper
into the cultural history of New Years.
earliest recorded festivities in honor of a new
year’s arrival date back some 4,000 years to ancient Babylon.
For the Babylonians, the first new moon following the vernal
equinox—the day in late March with an equal amount of sunlight and
darkness—heralded the start of a new year. In 45 B.C., New Year’s Day is
celebrated on January 1 for the first time in history as the Julian calendar
after becoming Roman dictator, Julius Caesar decided that the traditional
Roman calendar was in dire need of reform. Introduced around the seventh
century B.C., the Roman calendar attempted to follow the lunar cycle but
frequently fell out of phase with the seasons and had to be corrected. In addition,
the college of priests, the Roman body charged with overseeing the calendar,
often abused its authority by adding days to extend political terms or
interfere with elections.
of the oldest traditions still celebrated today is Chinese New Year, which is
believed to have originated over 3,000 years ago during the Shang Dynasty. The
holiday began as a way of celebrating the new beginnings of the spring planting
season, but it later became entangled with myth and legend. According to one
popular tale, there was once a bloodthirsty creature called Nian—now the
Chinese word for “year”—that preyed on villages every New Year. To frighten the
hungry beast, the villagers took to decorating their homes with red trimmings,
burning bamboo, and making loud noises. The ruse worked, and the bright colors
and lights associated with scaring off Nian eventually became integrated into
traditionally last 15 days and tend to center on the home and the family.
People clean their houses to rid them of bad luck, and some repay old debts as
a way of settling the previous year’s affairs. To encourage an auspicious start
to the year they also decorate their doors with paper scrolls and gather with
relatives for a feast. Following the invention of gunpowder in the 10th
century, the Chinese were also the first to ring in the New Year with
fireworks. Since Chinese New Year is still based on a lunar calendar that dates
to the second millennium BC, the holiday typically falls in late January or
early February on the second new moon after the winter solstice. Each year is
associated with one of 12 zodiacal animals: the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon,
snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig. Modern
celebrations of the Lunar New Year include the tradition of giving the
gift of a bright, beautiful red envelope (known as hóngbāo) to your
friends and family. These envelopes are filled with money – and symbolize good
wishes, luck, and prosperity for the new year ahead.
Iran and other parts of the Middle East and Asia, the roots of Nowruz (or “New
Day”) reach far back into antiquity. Often called the “Persian New Year,” this
13-day spring festival falls on or around the vernal equinox in March and is
believed to have originated in modern day Iran as part of the Zoroastrian
religion. Official records of Nowruz did not appear until the 2nd century, but
most historians believe its celebration dates back as far as the 6th century
B.C. and the rule of the Achaemenid Empire. Unlike many other ancient Persian
festivals, Nowruz persisted as an important holiday even after Iran’s conquest
by Alexander the Great in 333 B.C. and the rise of Islamic rule in the 7th
observances of Nowruz focused on the rebirth that accompanied the return of
spring. Traditions included feasts, exchanging presents with family members and
neighbors, lighting bonfires, dyeing eggs, and sprinkling water to symbolize
creation. One unique ritual that arose around the 10th century involved
electing a “Nowruzian Ruler”: a commoner who would pretend to be king for
several days before being “dethroned” near the end of the festival. Nowruz has
evolved considerably over time, but many of its ancient traditions—particularly
the use of bonfires and colored eggs—remain a part of the modern holiday, which
is observed by an estimated 300 million people each year.
the same region, ancient Egyptian culture was closely tied to the Nile River,
and it appears their New Year corresponded with its annual flood. According the
Roman writer Censorinus, the Egyptian New Year was predicted when Sirius—the
brightest star in the night sky—first became visible after a 70-day absence.
Better known as a heliacal rising, this phenomenon typically occurred in
mid-July just before the annual inundation of the Nile River, which helped
ensure that farmlands remained fertile for the coming year. Egyptians
celebrated this new beginning with a festival known as Wepet Renpet, which
means “opening of the year.” The New Year was a time of rebirth and
rejuvenation, and it was honored with feasts and special religious rites.
unlike many people today, the Egyptians may have also used this as an excuse
for getting a bit tipsy. Recent discoveries at the Temple of Mut show that
during the reign of Hatshepsut the first month of the year played host to a
“Festival of Drunkenness.” This massive party was tied to the myth of Sekhmet,
a war goddess who had planned to kill all of humanity until the sun god Ra
tricked her into drinking herself unconscious. In honor of mankind’s salvation,
the Egyptians would celebrate with music, revelry, and—perhaps most important
of all—copious amounts of beer.
you look toward 2021, no matter how you choose to celebrate, we at High Touch
High Tech – Science Made Fun, wish each one of you a safe, happy, and joyous
you’d like to kick off the new year with your very own fireworks, try out our
at-home experiment, “Exploding Colors”!
What does Dinner and “Science Made Fun!” have in common? Chick-fil-A® Kid’s & Family Nights!
On Tuesday, November 8, 2011, High Touch High Tech of Houston joined Chick Fil A of Northwest Crossing for a fun Science Experience and Family Fun Night. Over 50 participants enjoyed discovering the Science of Chemistry. Children engaged in hands-on experiments such as tornado tube races, making cool chemical reactions and creating Silly Putty!
High Touch High Tech is proud to partner with Chick Fil A Kid’s & Family Night bringing families together to create lasting, fun memories through food and fun.
If you’re in the Houston area and want to learn how you can have fun with hands-on science, contact High Touch High Tech of Houston! Visit them online at www.ScienceMadeFunHOU.net or contact them via email info@ScienceMadeFunHOU.net or phone by calling 281.448.9919 today!
The tiny town of Bundawan isn’t exactly a tourist mecca for the Philippines, but they’re doing their best to develop attractions. The first thing on Bunawan’s list of things to see? A 6.2 meter (20 foot) long, 1-ton crocodile that is believed to be the largest crocodile in the world. The world’s largest crocodile was captured in the Agusan marsh outside of Bunawan on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao in September. It was measured at 6.2 meters by famed Australian zoologist Adam Britton, who measured the current Guinness World Record crocodile, 5.8-meter Cassius, in 2008.
“We are happy to announce that we have the biggest crocodile in the whole world,” crowed Bunawan town council member Apollo Canoy. ”So far we have not had any contacts with Guinness, and we do not know whether they plan to visit us soon.”
Guinness is aware of the crocodile, believed to be the largest saltwater crocodile in captivity at this time, and they’re following the story as details emerge. They need more evidence before they crown the Bundawan crocodile as the largest ever captured. Until then, Bundawan continues to reap the benefits of having a giant crocodile, with the croc drawing 27,000 visitors every year to the tiny swamp town.
The croc eats nearly 37.5 pounds of pork in a day.
The NEW premier section of ScienceMadeFunKids is looking for an exciting & compelling name! The new section will debut in 2012 & offer amazing and engaging activities where science & imagination collide!
If your entry is chosen you could win one of these exciting prizes:
– a FREE 1-year subscription to the NEW premier section of ScienceMadeFunKids!
– a FREE in-school field trip for your entire class!
– a FREE Sizzlin’ Science Birthday Party!