Archives for March, 2009
Help us set a new Guinness World Record for the most clothing donated for recycling! Send us your old jeans or other denim clothing and come back here to find out if we’re getting close to a record.
So far, we have collected 104 pairs of jeans! Please keep them coming!
The best part about donating your too-small, paint-covered, ripped jeans is that ALL the denim will be recycled into insulation for homes that have been damaged in storms or major disasters.
So get your school, your church, your neighborhood, and your family involved!
Get all the details on mailing your hand-me-down denim to us and watch a video of the whole process to take COTTON. FROM BLUE TO GREEN.®
Photograph by Meghan Murphy/National Zoo
Earlier this month, two clouded leopard cubs were born at the National Zoo’s Conservation and Research Center in Front Royal, Virginia. This is the first successful clouded leopard birth at the center in 16 years!
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Turn off your lights this Saturday, March 28 from 8:30 to 9:30 local time and participate in a global observance called Earth Hour. Individuals, businesses, and organizations across the world will be participating (National Geographic included). Earth Hour is a demonstration of how much we can do to cut back power use and prevent climate change if we all work together.
The first lights-out will be in the Chatham Island off the coast of New Zealand. From there, the wave of darkened buildings, streets, and monuments will ripple through all 25 time zones. Even the Eiffel Tower will go dark.
The more participants there are, the bigger the impact will be. So get ready to power down!
Learn more about Earth Hour.
Read about last year’s Earth Hour on National Geographic News.
Get more power saving tips on National Geographic Kids.
Alaska’s Mount Redoubt erupted six times between Sunday night and Saturday morning, sending an ash cloud 9.5 miles (15 kilometers) into the air! The eruptions also caused small earthquakes and mudflows. The volcano could keep erupting for days… weeks… or even months!
Mount Redoubt wasn’t the only recent volcano eruption. An undersea volcano in Tonga also erupted last week. Tonga is an archipelago (group of islands) in the Pacific Ocean. The eruption has sent up ash, smoke, and steam. Underwater volcanoes can build islands as the magma builds up–that’s how the Hawaiian Islands were formed.
Read more about the Mount Redoubt eruptions and see pictures on National Geographic News.
Read about the Tonga eruption on National Geographic News.
See photos of volcanoes in the Photo Gallery!
BOOK NAME: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw
AUTHOR: Jeff Kinney
This is the third of four books that I know of about Greg Heffley, The Wimpy Kid. I’ve read all but one of the books and I like them all. Even though each book has “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” in the title, Greg makes it clear at the start of each one that the book is NOT a diary, but a journal. He explains that diaries are for writing down your feelings and others might think he’s a sissy if they see him carrying around a diary. So his books are journals, which just tell about what happens in his life.
In the beginning of this book, Greg is always accidentally making his dad mad by doing things like watching TV rather than going outside to play and making noises at night that wake up his dad. In the book, Greg admits to having a crush on a classmate named Holly Hills so he tries to make her have a crush on him by doing goofy things, like telling jokes. It doesn’t work. Greg then meets a girl named Trista and he ends up falling in love with her. He plans to bring her to his friend Rowley’s pool for a date, but he runs out of paper in his journal before he tells what happens.
I like the Wimpy Kid books because they are funny and they give me ideas for pranks and jokes to do with my friends, my dad, my mom and my brothers. If Greg were real, I’d like to play with him.
Photograph by Ron Edmonds/AP
First Lady Michelle Obama broke ground on a new vegetable garden on the White House lawn last week with help of students from Bancroft Elementary School in Washington, D.C. The last time there were veggies growing at the White House was when Franklin Delano Roosevelt was President in the 1940s.
Over 50 different vegetables, fruits, and herbs will be grown in the White House Kitchen Garden. There will also be two beehives for honey. Some of the green goodies will be added to the menu by the White House chefs, and others will be donated to Miriam’s Kitchen, a Washington, D.C. soup kitchen.
Learn how to plant your own veggies and flowers!
See photos of the First Lady working on the garden on the White House Blog.
The 2009 Iditarod winner has made it to Nome, Alaska! Musher Lance Mackey arrived at 11:38 a.m. on March 18, winning his third Iditarod race in a row!
The Iditarod Sled Dog Race takes place every March in Alaska. The race is an incredible 1,150 miles (1,851 kilometers) long, and it usually takes at least 10 days for the first musher to make it to the finish line.
Quiz Your Noodle and find out how much you know about the Iditarod!
Visit the official Iditarod site.
Check back in April to find out who won, and catch a glimpse of the winning photos and essay excerpts!
Here’s a cool idea.
Have you ever thought up an interesting story that your REALLY wanted to tell? Or thought to yourself… “Self, why doesn’t anybody ever write books about 3-legged magical hamsters who star in their own reality TV show?” (Um, or something similar.. you get the idea…)
Then, SHARE YOUR STORY IDEA in the comments section below. C’mon… bet you have an awesome idea. Tell us stuff like…
– Who’s the main character?
– Is it a funny story or a sad one?
– Will the reader learn something from it?
– Where does it take place?
– What’s the problem or BIG thing that happens in the plot that will make people excited to read all the way through to the end?
The space shuttle Discovery lifted off on Sunday, carrying a human guinea pig with the crew! Astronaut Koichi Wakata will be the first Japanese astronaut to have a long stay in the International Space Station. His visit will be three months long.
Since there are no washing machines aboard the space station, Wakata will need to take enough clothes to last for his entire stay. That’s a lot of underwear and socks! Wakata will report on the state of his underwear, wire himself with sensors, and he’ll perform tests such as arm wrestling to help scientists back on Earth understand the effects of living in space.
Read more about the mission on National Geographic News.
See pictures of space shuttles in the Photo Gallery.
Talk about a news bite! Those are real fangs you see on the fish picture above. Researchers at the London Natural History museum found them in an aquarium tank. They had been misidentified as an already known species, but instead they’re an undiscovered species. The fish has been named Danionella dracula for its fearsome-looking fangs!
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BOOK NAME: The Fire Within
AUTHOR: Chris D’Lacey
David is a tenant living with Liz and her daughter Lucy. Liz makes special dragons out of clay. She makes one for David named Gadzooks, who is a writing dragon.
Lucy asks David to tell her a story and David says maybe. Lucy tells David about two squirrels named Conker and Snigger. Conker has an injured eye so they try to trap him and bring him to the vet. It’s almost Lucy’s birthday so David writes a story called Snigger and the Nut Beast. On Lucy’s birthday David isn’t finished so he reads the first couple of chapters in the book and Lucy loves it. David starts to figure out that the clay dragons are real! He pictures Gadzooks in his mind and the dragon writes something on his notebook and it helps David on his book.
Lucy and David catch Conker and bring him to Sophie for help. David and Sophie fall in love, but Sophie tells them that Conker is going to die. Lucy and David are very sad. You have to read the rest because I don’t want to give away the whole thing! The next book in the series is IceFire.
A baby blue whale has been caught on film! Researchers off of the coast of Costa Rica captured the baby on camera while visiting the “Dome,” a warm-water region that attracts blue whales from hundreds of miles around.
Baby blue whales are far from tiny. At birth, they are an average of 25 feet (7.6 meters) long.
The footage of the baby, as well as images of other blue whales, can be seen on National Geographic’s Kingdom of the Blue Whale. The show airs tonight, March 10, on the National Geographic Channel at 8 p.m. ET.
See a video of the baby on a clip from Kingdom of the Blue Whale on National Geographic News.
Learn more about Kingdom of the Blue Whale on National Geographic Channel.
Think you’re a blue whale expert? Quiz Your Noodle and find out!
Mimi Ausland, 12, really loves animals! After visiting a website that donates rice to hungry people, she was inspired to create a similar website to help dogs and cats in animal shelters. When visitors answer a trivia question on Freekibble.com or Freekibblekat.com, they donate 10 pieces of kibble to Mimi’s project. Mimi’s sites have been a huge hit, and she has been featured in several articles both online and in print.
Mimi is passionate about her work collecting food for shelter animals. “I love helping animals because of how they cannot speak for themselves and people have to speak for them. I also love being able to help them get good healthy food and actually delivering the food myself to our local shelter–and I really like making other people aware that they need our help,” she says.
Photograph courtesy Kelly Ausland
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BOOK NAME: Homer Price
AUTHOR: Robert McCloskey
If you like mini-stories, you’ll love this book because it’s full of them. All of the stories were about one boy named Homer Price, who is very smart. In fact, he’s so smart that he can build his own radios. There is a lot of trouble where he lives and he’s always in it, but he also always figures out how to get out of it.
My favorite story in the book is called “Mystery Yarn.” In the story, Homer’s Uncle Telly and the Sheriff try to save as much string as possible to see who can make the biggest ball. Whoever collects the most string gets to ask Miss Terwilliger to marry him. However, what they didn’t know was Miss Terwilliger also was saving string on her own and she ended winning by making a huge ball of string that was bigger than the others. I didn’t expect that.
Most of the stories are just about Homer and his adventures. I thought this book was very cool because instead of being full of different chapters in one big story, each section was a completely different story, which made it interesting and fun.
Keepers at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., were surprised when they counted three black and rufous giant elephant-shrew in their exhibit instead of two! The female elephant-shrew in the exhibit probably gave birth to the new baby in January. The baby elephant-shrew is doing well and can be seen in the National Zoo’s Small Mammal House.
See a video of the baby and learn more about the new elephant-shrew on the National Zoo’s website.
Watch a wild elephant shrew and her baby in this video.