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Category: Stuff for Your Brain

How Will You Spend Your Summer Vacation?

Wow! This is going to be an exciting summer. You’ve got so much fun waiting for you and the best part is that you get to make the fun happen. Here are five ideas you can read and think about. Pick out a couple and ask your parents to help get the fun rolling.

This list may help you think about ideas of your own.

1. Treasure Hunt! You can go online and read about the different ways that you can arrange the hunt. The best way to get all your friends together and ask a parent to hide the treasure. It could be a batch of cookies or a gift certificate for a pizza or each child could bring one small toy to make up the treasure. Or you could be the treasure master, stashing the prize and making up clues that you hide in advance.

Clues could be something like “Look for the tree with the home-made swing,” or “Find the big grey rock and take three steps south.” Each clue leads to another clue and at the very end, the treasure. Maybe each of your friends could pick a day and hold their own treasure hunt. The hunts can be as long or as short as you want.

2. Have a Box Sculpture Contest! This is easy. Just ask your parents to get empty boxes from a grocery or chain store. Make sure you have a lot of them in a lot of different sizes. Then you need strong tape, glue and markers to decorate what you make. You could even decide on a theme, like box spaceships, box forts or box cars.

3. Learn How to Fly a Kite! Kites are relatively cheap to buy, but many kids prefer to learn about kites online and make their own. This activity requires you to follow the weather and look for good places to catch the wind, usually a park or a hill. This takes those reflexes that help you play video games and uses them in the real world. And it’s fun.

4. Put on a Kids Clothing Swap! Ask your parents what they think about this. It would be a good way to clean out closets as well as encourage everyone to recycle. Just make sure that all clothes are clean and mended when they are brought to the swap.

5. Explore Your Local World! Get a guide book or go online to find out what you can do in your home town! What is the oldest building in your city? Where was the first school built? Was anyone famous born in your town? Is there a museum you can tour? What about a pond where you can sail a boat?

No matter where you live, you can enjoy a whole world of adventure. All you need to do is use your imagination.

Can you think of more ideas?  Join our Facebook page and post your ideas.

Wow! This is going to be an exciting summer. You’ve got so much fun waiting for you and the best part is that you get to make the fun happen. Here are five ideas you can read and think about. Pick out a couple and ask your parents to help get the fun rolling.

This list may help you think about ideas of your own.

1. Treasure Hunt! You can go online and read about the different ways that you can arrange the hunt. The best way to get all your friends together and ask a parent to hide the treasure. It could be a batch of cookies or a gift certificate for a pizza or each child could bring one small toy to make up the treasure. Or you could be the treasure master, stashing the prize and making up clues that you hide in advance.

Clues could be something like “Look for the tree with the home-made swing,” or “Find the big grey rock and take three steps south.” Each clue leads to another clue and at the very end, the treasure. Maybe each of your friends could pick a day and hold their own treasure hunt. The hunts can be as long or as short as you want.

2. Have a Box Sculpture Contest! This is easy. Just ask your parents to get empty boxes from a grocery or chain store. Make sure you have a lot of them in a lot of different sizes. Then you need strong tape, glue and markers to decorate what you make. You could even decide on a theme, like box spaceships, box forts or box cars.

3. Learn How to Fly a Kite! Kites are relatively cheap to buy, but many kids prefer to learn about kites online and make their own. This activity requires you to follow the weather and look for good places to catch the wind, usually a park or a hill. This takes those reflexes that help you play video games and uses them in the real world. And it’s fun.

4. Put on a Kids Clothing Swap! Ask your parents what they think about this. It would be a good way to clean out closets as well as encourage everyone to recycle. Just make sure that all clothes are clean and mended when they are brought to the swap.

5. Explore Your Local World! Get a guide book or go online to find out what you can do in your home town! What is the oldest building in your city? Where was the first school built? Was anyone famous born in your town? Is there a museum you can tour? What about a pond where you can sail a boat?

No matter where you live, you can enjoy a whole world of adventure. All you need to do is use your imagination.

Can you think of more ideas?  Join our Facebook page and post your ideas.

Where Giants Walked

Scary Dinosaur

For centuries, the Goolarabooloo — a group of aboriginal people living on the northern coast of Australia — honored a very strange place.  The ground there had deep impressions in the rock that the Goolarabooloo described as a place where spirits walked.

Only when dinosaur experts examined the land did the world discover that the imprints were the tracks of dinosaurs who walked the earth hundreds of millions of years ago.

The footprints are partially covered by tides and the dinosaur scholars have to watch out for sharks and crocodiles when they try to study them. Most of the footprints are smaller than your hand but in March, 2017, the experts found one that excited the world: it is the largest dinosaur footprint ever discovered.

There are many of these massive imprints, frozen in time 115 million years ago, but the largest is five feet and six inches long—or 1.7 meters. This print is large enough for a man to lie down in. The creatures who left these impressive prints are from the dinosaur group called sauropods, the largest creatures ever to walk the planet.

Sauropods typically have very long, thin necks and long tails that tapper off at the end, with a gigantic boy in between. These massive dinosaurs were herbivores, living off vegetation, unlike their carnivorous relatives who ate other dinosaurs.

A large sauropod would be about the size of a 737 airplane.

The sauropod group includes the Brontosaurus, Brachiosaurus and Apatosaurus, all creatures that would have made elephants wee. A good sized sauropod would make even a Tyrannosaurus Rex look puny.

The discovery on these huge footprints spread from the north shores of Australia to people all over the world. Before this find, the largest dinosaur track was found in the Gobi Desert in Mongolia.

It, too, came from a sauropod—probably a Titanosaur—and measured 42 inches, or 106 centimeters. That was only a year before the discovery in Australia. As long as humans keep exploring and searching, even bigger footprints might be found for years to come.

The Goolarabooloo believe that those grand impressions are the marks of great spirits. People who love dinosaurs think that the Goolarabooloo might be on the “right track.”

For centuries, the Goolarabooloo — a group of aboriginal people living on the northern coast of Australia — honored a very strange place.  The ground there had deep impressions in the rock that the Goolarabooloo described as a place where spirits walked.

Only when dinosaur experts examined the land did the world discover that the imprints were the tracks of dinosaurs who walked the earth hundreds of millions of years ago.

The footprints are partially covered by tides and the dinosaur scholars have to watch out for sharks and crocodiles when they try to study them. Most of the footprints are smaller than your hand but in March, 2017, the experts found one that excited the world: it is the largest dinosaur footprint ever discovered.

There are many of these massive imprints, frozen in time 115 million years ago, but the largest is five feet and six inches long—or 1.7 meters. This print is large enough for a man to lie down in. The creatures who left these impressive prints are from the dinosaur group called sauropods, the largest creatures ever to walk the planet.

Sauropods typically have very long, thin necks and long tails that tapper off at the end, with a gigantic boy in between. These massive dinosaurs were herbivores, living off vegetation, unlike their carnivorous relatives who ate other dinosaurs.

A large sauropod would be about the size of a 737 airplane.

The sauropod group includes the Brontosaurus, Brachiosaurus and Apatosaurus, all creatures that would have made elephants wee. A good sized sauropod would make even a Tyrannosaurus Rex look puny.

The discovery on these huge footprints spread from the north shores of Australia to people all over the world. Before this find, the largest dinosaur track was found in the Gobi Desert in Mongolia.

It, too, came from a sauropod—probably a Titanosaur—and measured 42 inches, or 106 centimeters. That was only a year before the discovery in Australia. As long as humans keep exploring and searching, even bigger footprints might be found for years to come.

The Goolarabooloo believe that those grand impressions are the marks of great spirits. People who love dinosaurs think that the Goolarabooloo might be on the “right track.”

What Did You See? Really…

Imagine you are in the back seat, playing with your phone as your dad drives you to soccer practice. You pass Liam, a kid from school. His arms are waving and his face is red as he yells at a small boy you don’t know. And your dad has driven past the scene, his attention on the road.

You shake your head, then go online and post: “What’s up with Liam? Just saw him screaming at some little kid. He’s such a loser.” “We’re here,” your dad says. “Give me your phone.”

You do and head to the locker room.

After practice, as you’re changing, you tell your teammates about Liam. “You should have seen him. And the kid was half his size.” One of the kids you tell whips out his phone and posts: “Liam. Always thought you were a jerk. Now I know.”

Only when you’re buckled in the back seat does your dad hand you your phone. Turning it on, you see that lots of your friends have commented on how much of a jerk Liam is. You feel a burst of pride. After all, you were the one who told the world about Liam’s horrible behavior.

You start responding as your dad detours to the school to get your big sister from her basketball practice.

When your sister gets in the car, she’s excited. “Did you hear about the Jameson boy? He took off from his mom and was over by the freeway throwing rocks at cars.”

Your dad shoots her a strange look. “How do you know this?”

“Well, Liam was riding by on his bike and the kid threw a rock at him. So he pulled into the ditch and told him to stop. He tried to get the kid’s home number and the boy wouldn’t tell him. Our coach had to stop drills when Liam called her to get the Mom’s number.”

You feel the slow burn of embarrassment start creeping up your neck.

“Mrs. Jameson was frantic,” your sister continues. “She’d even called the police because she couldn’t find him. The cops showed up anyway because they’d had reports about a kid throwing rocks at cars—sirens and everything. It was a wild scene.”

“Wow. Scary. A little boy that close to the freeway. And throwing rocks, no less. Good thing Liam has a head on his shoulders. That Jameson boy could have hurt someone or got hurt himself.”

And there you are, looking at all the mean postings about Liam.

You take a breath and write your next post: “Hey, everybody. Turns out that the real jerk around here is me. I’ve just learned the hard way not to make fast judgments about people. Things aren’t always what they seem to be.”

Imagine you are in the back seat, playing with your phone as your dad drives you to soccer practice. You pass Liam, a kid from school. His arms are waving and his face is red as he yells at a small boy you don’t know. And your dad has driven past the scene, his attention on the road.

You shake your head, then go online and post: “What’s up with Liam? Just saw him screaming at some little kid. He’s such a loser.” “We’re here,” your dad says. “Give me your phone.”

You do and head to the locker room.

After practice, as you’re changing, you tell your teammates about Liam. “You should have seen him. And the kid was half his size.” One of the kids you tell whips out his phone and posts: “Liam. Always thought you were a jerk. Now I know.”

Only when you’re buckled in the back seat does your dad hand you your phone. Turning it on, you see that lots of your friends have commented on how much of a jerk Liam is. You feel a burst of pride. After all, you were the one who told the world about Liam’s horrible behavior.

You start responding as your dad detours to the school to get your big sister from her basketball practice.

When your sister gets in the car, she’s excited. “Did you hear about the Jameson boy? He took off from his mom and was over by the freeway throwing rocks at cars.”

Your dad shoots her a strange look. “How do you know this?”

“Well, Liam was riding by on his bike and the kid threw a rock at him. So he pulled into the ditch and told him to stop. He tried to get the kid’s home number and the boy wouldn’t tell him. Our coach had to stop drills when Liam called her to get the Mom’s number.”

You feel the slow burn of embarrassment start creeping up your neck.

“Mrs. Jameson was frantic,” your sister continues. “She’d even called the police because she couldn’t find him. The cops showed up anyway because they’d had reports about a kid throwing rocks at cars—sirens and everything. It was a wild scene.”

“Wow. Scary. A little boy that close to the freeway. And throwing rocks, no less. Good thing Liam has a head on his shoulders. That Jameson boy could have hurt someone or got hurt himself.”

And there you are, looking at all the mean postings about Liam.

You take a breath and write your next post: “Hey, everybody. Turns out that the real jerk around here is me. I’ve just learned the hard way not to make fast judgments about people. Things aren’t always what they seem to be.”

Poor Little Pluto

Life can be confusing. People sometimes struggle with the idea of who they are and where they belong in the grand scheme of things. If Pluto had feelings, imagine what it has gone through in its 87 years. When first discovered in 1930, the small mass orbiting the sun at the edge of the solar system was called “Planet X.”

It wasn’t named until an 11 year-old girl suggested calling it “Pluto,” after the mythological Roman god of the underworld.

At that time, Pluto had the title of being the furthest object ever found that rotated around the sun. It was our solar system’s outermost planet, the deep dark member of Earth’s immediate family.

For decades, scientists, astronomers and students learned about the lonely planet Pluto.  Then, in 1979, Pluto got its first humiliation. Because the orbits of planets are not perfect, Neptune swung further out in the sky, making Pluto only the “second” furthest. It lost its title.

Things got worse for Pluto in 2006. At that time, the astronomers who oversee how objects in space are classified reviewed their rules. Under their new rules, Pluto was too small to be a planet. It was removed from the official list of solar system planets. Pluto was just another “mass” whirling through space.

But Pluto has fans. Many scientists who grew up looking at Pluto as the great distant planet were upset. They thought that Pluto’s history should give it special consideration. Because of their concern, the International Astronomical Union sat down and again looked at how they defined a planet.

Many hoped that a new definition would return Pluto to its previous glory. After all, it had moons and was a significant body at the very edge of our solar system. Still, Pluto is smaller than our moon and has very , very weak gravity.

The astronomers sat down and played with their numbers. Over the last few months, they created a new definition of what makes a body in space “a planet.” This new definition would again make Pluto one of the planets in our solar system.

But now Pluto has another problem. The new definition would mean that another 109 celestial objects (like asteroids) would also now be “planets.”

Poor Pluto. This mass orbiting the sun in space has gone from being the great edge of our solar system—named after the mythological god of the underworld–to a simple “mass.”

If any object in space could be considered an underdog, it would be this small, lonely body over 3 and a half billion miles from the sun.

Life can be confusing. People sometimes struggle with the idea of who they are and where they belong in the grand scheme of things. If Pluto had feelings, imagine what it has gone through in its 87 years. When first discovered in 1930, the small mass orbiting the sun at the edge of the solar system was called “Planet X.”

It wasn’t named until an 11 year-old girl suggested calling it “Pluto,” after the mythological Roman god of the underworld.

At that time, Pluto had the title of being the furthest object ever found that rotated around the sun. It was our solar system’s outermost planet, the deep dark member of Earth’s immediate family.

For decades, scientists, astronomers and students learned about the lonely planet Pluto.  Then, in 1979, Pluto got its first humiliation. Because the orbits of planets are not perfect, Neptune swung further out in the sky, making Pluto only the “second” furthest. It lost its title.

Things got worse for Pluto in 2006. At that time, the astronomers who oversee how objects in space are classified reviewed their rules. Under their new rules, Pluto was too small to be a planet. It was removed from the official list of solar system planets. Pluto was just another “mass” whirling through space.

But Pluto has fans. Many scientists who grew up looking at Pluto as the great distant planet were upset. They thought that Pluto’s history should give it special consideration. Because of their concern, the International Astronomical Union sat down and again looked at how they defined a planet.

Many hoped that a new definition would return Pluto to its previous glory. After all, it had moons and was a significant body at the very edge of our solar system. Still, Pluto is smaller than our moon and has very , very weak gravity.

The astronomers sat down and played with their numbers. Over the last few months, they created a new definition of what makes a body in space “a planet.” This new definition would again make Pluto one of the planets in our solar system.

But now Pluto has another problem. The new definition would mean that another 109 celestial objects (like asteroids) would also now be “planets.”

Poor Pluto. This mass orbiting the sun in space has gone from being the great edge of our solar system—named after the mythological god of the underworld–to a simple “mass.”

If any object in space could be considered an underdog, it would be this small, lonely body over 3 and a half billion miles from the sun.

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