Friday, January 28, 2011

Old and New

I was struck today by how many things I was doing are a combination of old-fashioned and modern. For instance, I used my computer to look up on the internet how to make yogurt and how to do a certain knit stitch, both ancient arts. I walked to the store to get food that had traveled hundreds of miles to get here. Most of what I bought was produce I could have potentially grown in my own yard. I emailed some friends who recently sold almost everything they owned and moved to live on a boat. It just seemed like a day of interesting contradictions.

Our first attempt at yogurt didn't turn out. The yogurt didn't set; it's all runny still, like milk. I really hope I can figure it out, because it will save me over $2 a quart if I can make it work. We made it into a good science lesson, though. Oh well, better luck next week!

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Gabriel views plankton in sea water

On Sunday afternoon we had the opportunity to attend a wonderful event called WeatherFest. The American Meteorological Society was in Seattle this week for their conference, and as part of that, they put on a public event about weather, space and science for the general public. Much of it was geared toward children. I was pleasantly surprised by the number and quality of exhibits; I really wasn't sure what to expect. They had some interesting science experiments to display, several weather channels with booths for kids to try their hand at forecasting, a few celebrities, and tons of informational handouts.

Gabriel talking with a weather man about the weather coming our way

Here he is doing his weather forecast

Annika even got up the courage to stand in front of the camera.

I look forward to sorting through all the papers we brought home. I know there will be some good school projects in our bags of swag.

I got to meet Cliff Mass, a UW professor who appears every Friday on the local NPR station to talk about and explain the weather. I also follow his blog, so it was like meeting a celebrity.

Me and Cliff Mass

We got to meet an even bigger celebrity, though - Reed Timmer from the Discovery Channel's Storm Chasers show. He was really nice, friendly, and seemed serious about his charge to encourage kids to study hard in math.

Gabriel poses with Reed Timmer

It was so encouraging to have a family outing all together. Everyone had something they were inspired by. I was a bit surprised that Annika kept talking about the rockets that a local rocketry club had on display.

That's a big rocket!

She wanted her dad to make her one the next day so they could fly it. Gabriel's favorite part (and one of mine, too) was meeting Reed Timmer. He did make the paper satellite from Lockheed Martin as soon as we got home, though, so that was pretty neat.

(I'll try to keep you all posted on what kinds of projects we do in follow up to this field trip. We're starting a new semester in our little school next week, so things are in transition right now.)

Yours truly wearing some funky 3-D glasses to see the display of global weather in 3-D