Archives for July, 2009
Photograph from Kyodo via AP
Japan may be invaded by giant jellyfish again this year. Nomura’s jellyfish can be bigger than humans (up to 440 pounds, or 200 kilograms), and they’re big trouble for people fishing on the coasts. Nomura’s jellyfish breed in the waters off of the coast of China. From there they move to the coasts of Japan. The jellies clog nets and ruin potential catches with their toxic stings. This damage can cost the coastal fishers billions of yen.
Researchers at Hiroshima University have been monitoring sites where Nomura’s jellyfish breed, and they’ve found large numbers of the jellies, meaning that a new invasion may not be far away.
Read more about the jellyfish invasion on National Geographic News.
Learn more about Nomura’s jellyfish on National Geographic Kids.
Get the scoop on jellyfish in this Creature Feature.
BOOK NAME: Honus & Me: A Baseball Card Adventure
AUTHOR: Dan Gutman
I don’t collect baseball cards, but I like baseball. This story is about a baseball card that’s worth much more than money. It can take you back in time.
It starts when 12-year-old baseball card collector Joe Stoshack helps his old neighbor clean out her attic. She tells him to throw everything in the garbage. While cleaning the attic, he finds an old baseball card for Honus Wagner, which is one of the rarest baseball cards in the world. Joe can’t figure out if he should tell his neighbor about it or not. He takes it home and it takes him back in time to when Honus played 100 years ago in the World Series. While back in time, Joe learns that his old neighbor was actually once a girlfriend of Honus Wagner.
The book tells what life and baseball was like a long time ago. I thought it was interesting how baseball players used to pay people to come to their games instead of the other way around. I didn’t know anything about Honus Wagner before reading this book, but now I know a lot more about him and the way baseball was played so long ago. If you like baseball, you’ll love this book.
You know that NG Kids has collected a lot of denim over the last few months. But what’s the grand total for the Guinness World Record? Make your best guess and enter the Guess the Denim Count Contest at COTTON. FROM BLUE TO GREEN.® by August 10, 2009, for a chance to win an American Express gift card and a year’s subscription to NG Kids magazine!
Check out the Guess the Denim Count Contest on COTTON. FROM BLUE TO GREEN.®
Read the contest rules at COTTON. FROM BLUE TO GREEN.®
Photograph courtesy Jill Yaworski
James May is building a new house in Dorking, Surrey, United Kingdom. This isn’t an ordinary house, though. This house will be made entirely out of LEGO bricks–bathroom included! May has received over 3 million LEGO bricks from the Czech Republic to build his house.
May is building the house for his BBC series, James May’s Toy Stories. On August 1, May is hosting a building day! The public is invited to work on the project.
Read more about the LEGO house on the Get Surrey website.
Check out the winning entries from the “Win a Trip to LEGOLAND” contest.
Movie review by Lily, age 12
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Photograph courtesy Warner
Dumbledore takes Harry to Horace Slughorn’s house. The house looks like it has been robbed. After they find Horace, who has disguised himself as a chair, they ask him to be the new potions professor at Hogwarts. Harry and Ron take his class and Harry ends up with the potion book, “The Half-Blood Prince.” He uses the book to find out how Voldemort came across his dark magic.
In the end, Harry learns all of the secrets that Hogwarts has kept for years.
I liked the unexpected events that happened, including the VERY big one at the end. I won’t tell you what that was, because you have to go see the movie!
I would rate this movie 4 out of 5 cow spots.
How much do you know about Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince? Quiz Your Noodle and find out!
We’ve collected and counted thousands of denim items! But what do over 30,000 pairs of jeans look like? We’ll be at Union Station in Washington, D.C. on August 12 at 10:30 a.m. with our eye-popping display of denim as a representative from Guinness World Records recognizes NG Kids for achieving the Largest Collection of Clothes to Recycle!
After a two-week display, the record-setting collection will be donated to COTTON. FROM BLUE TO GREEN.®, which recycles denim into insulation to help rebuild communities in need. Join us at this exciting event!
Union Station’s Main Hall will be the venue where more than 30,000 pairs of jeans will be on display from August 12, 2009, to August 27, 2009! Find out more about Washington, D.C.’s Union Station.
Photograph courtesy Jill Yaworski
BOOK NAME: Dinosaur Combat
AUTHOR: Rupert Matthews
Hi, I’m Braden and I’m going to tell you about a book about dinosaurs. It’s about how they protect themselves, what’s inside their bodies, and stuff like that.
Some dinosaurs are really really big like Brachiosaurus and some are smaller like Ceratosuarus. But Ceratosaurus likes to eat Brachiosaurus, so they grab the baby ones so they can eat them. Their teeth are curved backwards, so when the baby Brachiosaurus tries to get away, the teeth dig deeper into their skin. Brachiosaurus has a big bump on its head which is really its nose. These two dinosaurs lived in Wyoming in North America and they lived about 150 million years ago.
The Pinacosaurus has plates on its back to protect itself and a huge like-a-bowling ball on its tale to attack dinosaurs like Tarbosaurus. The plates will protect its back in case a dinosaur tries to eat it. These dinosaurs lived in Asia about 80 million years ago.
Tyrannosaurs Rex’s like to eat Triceratops. So Triceratops has really sharp horns near their nose. So when the Tyrannosaurs tried to attack, he would try to attack Triceratops’ back with its teeth. But Triceratops would try to get his sharp horns in the Tyrannosaurs’ neck or belly. So then if the Tyrannosaurus would start bleeding, the Triceratops would have time to get away.
I like this book because it’s about dinosaurs and I’m going to be a Paleontologist when I grow up. It also has a lot of fighting and cool pictures and drawings.
They can fly on a new airline just for pets that launched this month called Pet Airways. The planes’ interior cabins are appointed with pet carriers instead of seats, and the pets are checked on regularly by flight attendants. Airports offering service on Pet Airways even have pre-flight lounges for dogs and cats to wait in.
Read more about Pet Airways on USA Today’s Today in the Skies blog.
Visit the Beacon Street Girls website to download Worst Enemies/Best Friends, the first Beacon Street Girls book. The book is available as a free download through August 7. So what are you waiting for? Get reading!
It may seem as if the world’s oceans are so vast that nothing could hurt them. Unfortunately, that’s not true. The oceans suffer from people dumping stuff that they don’t want (pollution) and taking too much from the ocean that they do want (overfishing). You can help turn this problem around.
You probably already know how to help fight pollution: Participate in stream, river, and beach cleanups; don’t litter; and don’t dump things into storm drains. But you may not realize that too many fish–including the bluefin tuna (pictured)–are being taken from the sea. Some overfished species are disappearing–such as sharks.
People kill 100 million sharks every year. The desire for shark fin
soup is one big reason so many sharks die. These fish are caught, their
fins are cut off to be sold and the rest of their bodies are thrown
back into the sea.
Read the whole post »
As you may already know, cats can really get your attention when they want to. A new study has shown that kitty may even make a special sound to do so! Cats have the ability to combine their usual purr with a whining noise that is similar to the noise an upset human baby makes. This subtle noise may make the cat’s owner more likely to feed it rather than ignoring it.
Study leader Karen McComb from the University of Sussex in the U.K. notes that not all cats make this purr-whine noise. Cats are more likely to purr-whine if they’re the only cat in the household–possibly because the sound is more likely to be overlooked when there are multiple cats vying for attention. A louder meow could be more effective in multi-cat houses.
Get the story on the cat’s purr on National Geographic News.
See cat pictures in the Photo Gallery.
Photograph courtesy NASA
July 20 is the 40th anniversary of humankind’s first steps on the moon. On July 16, 1969, the world watched as the Apollo 11 rocket Columbia lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, carrying astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins. The trip to the moon took three days, and on July 20, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepped off of the Eagle, Apollo 11′s lunar module. People back home on Earth watched the astronauts take their first steps on the moon, and heard Neil Armstrong say “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” The astronauts spent a total of 21 hours on the moon before the Eagle returned to the Columbia for the trip home.
The Apollo 11 crew safely returned to Earth on July 24, 1969. NASA plans to send another mission to the moon within the next decade.
Get the story behind the moon landing on National Geographic News.
Check out the Man and the Moon features on National Geographic Channel.
How much do you know about the moon? Quiz Your Noodle and find out!
Three teams of geography buffs went head-to-head in Mexico City today. The teams, from the United States, Canada, and Poland, answered questions similar to the ones asked in the National Geographic Bee. The Canada team came in first place, followed by the United States in second, and Poland in third. Who quizzed the kids? Alex Trebek, from “Jeopardy”! Trebek also moderates the annual National Geographic Bee.
The National Geographic World Championship started in 1993 and is held every two years.
Read about winning team in the 2007 National Geographic World Championship on National Geographic Kids.
Watch a video of the winning answer from the 21st National Geographic Bee on News Bites.
Surf Dog is one lucky stuffed dog! He’s been all over the world, meeting new friends and exploring new places. Surf Dog began his latest journey, a road trip from San Diego, California to Seattle, Washington, in June. Surf Dog kicked off his travels by visiting a surfing dog competition in San Diego.
Rex Dubiel, a third-grade teacher from Hawaii, created Surf Dog as a
fun way to raise her students’ geography awareness. When Dubiel and
Surf Dog travel, Dubiel posts pictures of Surf Dog and commentary on
the places they have visited.
Follow Surf Dog’s adventures on the Surf Dog Sunset Beach blog.
Want to read about more adventures? Visit the Global Bros blog.
Photographs courtesy Rex Dubiel
Hey, everyone! It’s McKenna again, with one last blog about a memorable moment in Peru. I’d like to take you back to “The City in the Clouds” for a quick visit to a special spot nestled in a narrow notch on a mountaintop overlooking Machu Picchu.
After exploring and shooting pictures for hours in the marvelous ruins of “The Lost City of the Incas,” and after eating a quick buffet lunch at the Machu Picchu restaurant, many members of the expedition, including myself, decided to take on the challenge of a 45 minute hike about a mile up the Inca Trail, a long, twisting, ancient stone path made and used by the Incas. Our destination? The Incan Sun Gate.
The length of the trail we traversed curves up the side of the mountain and overlooks the grand city of Machu Picchu. It was an amazing experience. We had to keep reminding ourselves that we were walking on the same stones the Incas used to trek. But, overall, the trek wasn’t all that easy.
The stones of the trail are jagged and serrated, and one misstep at certain places could have caused us to tumble down the steep precipice of the soaring mountain. YIKES! At 8,000 plus feet in the sky, it was sometimes tough to get the oxygen we needed to climb without breathing pretty hard at times. And, being ever so high in the sky, we had to be on guard to avoid getting sunburned. We were told that, at that height, even if it doesn’t feel like you are getting sun, if you aren’t careful to wear sunscreen or cover up, you are likely to get sunburned–even on the tops of your hands!
BOOK NAME: A Wrinkle in Time
AUTHOR: Madeleine L’Engle
Meg, an unattractive, unintelligent, and an unpopular girl lives with her super brainiac brother, Charles Wallace, her twin brothers and her mom. Meg’s dad disappeared a few years ago so life has been hard for their family. Meg wants to find her dad but doesn’t think that there will be much chance left.
One stormy night, a strange lady knocks on her door and she tells them her name is Mrs. Whatsit. She says that she can help them find their dad. Meg eventually meets these three witches who say that they can help Meg find her dad. They take Meg, her friend and her brother on an adventure. They get taken to a planet called Camazotz where Meg’s dad is being held captive. One problem is that IT hypnotizes Charles Wallace while trying to save their dad so Meg has to save her brother AND her dad before IT has already taken over the world. They get help from octopus-like friends from another planet. Meg finally believes in herself and stands up to IT. She defeats IT, save Charles Wallace and her dad and goes back home to her family.
This book is one of the most confusing books that I have read for the blog! This book was a one that I had to read for a Parent-Choice book project at my school. I struggled reading it at parts because it kept on carrying on about every little thing. This is definitely a book for good readers who are up for a hard challenge and who like Fantasies and Mysteries!
Have you ever read a book that you thought was confusing and you almost gave up on it? Which book was it?
One of the big attractions at Washington, D.C.’s National Zoo is Tai Shan, a giant panda. He was born at the zoo in 2005, and has been delighting visitors ever since. Tai Shan turns four today, and his fans have been leaving birthday messages on the National Zoo’s website.
To celebrate his birthday, the zoo’s staff made Tai Shan a birthday “cake,” but it’s really more like a Popsicle. The ingredients are water, bamboo, and beets. Yummy!
Send Tai Shan a birthday wish on the National Zoo’s website.
Learn more about Tai Shan and the zoo’s other giant pandas on the National Zoo’s website.
Get facts about giant pandas on National Geographic Kids.
Photograph courtesy Mehgan
Murphy/Smithsonian’s National Zoo
Out of the numerous, beautiful hotels we resided at over the course of the expedition, although it is hard to choose a favorite, I think we all utterly enjoyed spending the night at the Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, a private, mountainside reserve in Aguas Calientes, a small village that sits right alongside the train tracks and the Vilcanota River. (Up against gigantic towering mountains, it is almost as if Aguas Calientes is a tiny toy town!)
Nestled cozily at the foot of jungle-blanketed mountains, not only was it an absolutely stunning inn, complete with beautiful outdoor plazas and stone-covered walkways, profuse and teeming with a vibrant array of delicate, blossoming flowers and native Peruvian decorations, but the Inkaterra was also a great educator–one that taught us all a meaningful lesson.
The rooms made us feel like we were lodging in a small, quaint cottage – a bungalow, really. The doors were made of tall, dark timber, and ivory-colored walls surrounded them. To our surprise, there were no doorknobs or key-card slots on the doors. There was a huge iron keyhole, though. We were each given a large metal ring with a single, old-fashioned key hanging from it to unlock our timber doors so that we could step inside our rooms.
The ceilings of the rooms were ashen, with coffee-colored timber rods and beams stretching across from wall to wall, like in a little cabin (they called the rooms “casitas”). Blanketing the beds were soft white sheets and a brightly checkered throw. A welcoming, comfortable set of brown chairs and a short wooden table sat in the corner by two tall windows overlooking the exquisite scenery of the hotel. The bathrooms were small and modest, consisting of a short sink, toilet, and crammed–but luxurious–shower.
Read the whole post »
Help Valerie and her otter pal Oscar save Oscar’s estuary home, and find out why estuaries and all waterways are important. Play Waterlife, a new game from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration game.
Read about the 2007 Coastal Cleanup on National Geographic Kids.
Image courtesy NOAA
Image courtesy Travis R. Tischler, Australian Age of Dinosaurs
“Banjo” is the nickname for the newly-named dinosaur Australovenator wintonensis, a meat-eating, raptor-like dino recently found in Australia. The fossilized remains are one of three new dinosaur species discovered in Winton, a town in the Australian outback.
Learn more about the dig and meet new discoveries “Matilda” and “Clancy” on National Geographic News.
Test your knowledge of dinosaurs in this National Geographic Kids Brainteaser.
A team of committed folks has been folding and counting all the denim you sent in for the Guinness World Record attempt to collect the largest amount of clothing for recycling. And let me just say, we have a lot of denim. The count to date is… 29,317!!!!
We are flabbergasted. We will continue to count, but please don’t send in any more denim. June 30 was the deadline! Once we have everything folded and counted, then we will call in the big boys at Guinness to give us the official count.
Scientists are concerned that fireflies may be disappearing. With the help of volunteers around the country, they hope to collect information about where and when fireflies are appearing this year. Ask your parents if you can help count fireflies. Visit Ready, Set, Glow! to learn how to observe fireflies in your backyard. You can also learn some firefly jokes and do some activities.
Check out bug photos on National Geographic Kids.
To celebrate the launch of the National Children’s Museum’s Ready, Set, Glow! project, families join Museum of Science Boston educator Don Salvatore, holding a firefly fishing pole, for a firefly night walk.
Photograph courtesy the National Children’s Museum