Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Seventh Grade Students Make Discovery on Mars

This is very cool. Click on the link below for the entire article. It's a great example for homeschool students. Kids can accomplish great things too!

7th-Graders Discover Mysterious Cave on Mars

A group of seventh-graders in California has discovered a mysterious cave on Mars as part of a research project to study images taken by a NASA spacecraft orbiting the red planet.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

One in a Zillion Penguin Discovered

As a mom of a houseful of penguin fanatics, I love this:

All Black Penguin Discovered

A "one in a zillion" king penguin is spotted near Antarctica with a bizarre mutation, biologists say that the animal has lost control of its pigmentation, an occurrence that is extremely rare.
The picture at the link is cool.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Science news Link

Fascinating information on the recent Chile earthquake.

Posted by Picasa

Saturday, March 06, 2010

New Catholic Science Blog

It looks great!

Visit it here.

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, February 25, 2010

New Dinosaur Species Discovered in Utah

Newly Identified Dinosaur Swallowed Food Whole

A mom's wise words about chewing your food likely got lost on a giant, long-necked dinosaur that lived about 105 million years ago in North America. That's according to analyses of four skulls from a newly identified dinosaur species.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Elements Song



hat-tip Ana

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Images from the Refurbished Hubble Space Telescope

NASA has released a collection of new images taken by the refurbished Hubble Space Telescope after the recent successful repair mission. During the mission, NASA astronauts added new, more sensitive, instruments and repaired two others, among other tasks.

Go here for a collection of images with detailed captions and the option to download them from NASA. Or view a slideshow here.

The Man Who Diffused the Population Bomb

Solve world hunger,  check.

OK so there are still hungry people in the world. But the statistics in this story about Norman Borlaug (whom I have never heard of before now either) would be completely unbelievable, pure fantasy, utopic if it weren't for the stubborn fact that they are true.

Doing some reckoning with those statistics

In 1999, the Atlantic Monthly estimated that Borlaug's efforts combined with those of the many developing-world agriculture-extension agents he trained and the crop-research facilities he founded in poor nations saved the lives of one billion human beings.
Saved a billion human beings!
Saved a billion human beings! with science.
At CIMMYT, Borlaug developed the high-yield, low-pesticide "dwarf" wheat upon which a substantial portion of the world's population now depends for sustenance.  ...
From the Civil War through the Dust Bowl, the typical American farm produced about 24 bushels of corn per acre; by 2006, the figure was about 155 bushels per acre.

Saved a billion human beings! with science and personal sacrifice.


Hoping to spread high-yield agriculture to the world's poor, in 1943 Borlaug moved to rural Mexico to establish an agricultural research station ...
In the mid-1960s, India and Pakistan were exceptions to the trend toward more efficient food production; subsistence cultivation of rice remained the rule, and famine struck. In 1965, Borlaug arranged for a convoy of 35 trucks to carry high-yield seeds from CIMMYT to a Los Angeles dock for shipment to India and Pakistan. He and a coterie of Mexican assistants accompanied the seeds. They arrived to discover that war had broken out between the two nations. Sometimes working within sight of artillery flashes, Borlaug and his assistants sowed the Subcontinent's first crop of high-yield grain
          .... Africa ....
"...If they lived just one month amid the misery of the developing world, as I have for 50 years, they'd be..."
Saved a billion human beings! with science and personal sacrifice and in the face of criticism


Borlaug became the target of critics who denounced him because Green Revolution farming requires some pesticide and lots of fertilizer. Trendy environmentalism was catching on, and affluent environmentalists began to say it was "inappropriate" for Africans to have tractors or use modern farming techniques

             and even of "scientists"
Paul Ehrlich gained celebrity for his 1968 book "The Population Bomb," in which he claimed that global starvation was inevitable for the 1970s and it was "a fantasy" that India would "ever" feed itself. Instead, within three years of Borlaug's arrival, Pakistan was self-sufficient in wheat production; within six years, India was self-sufficient in the production of all cereals.

Saved a billion human beings!    The nobel prize is as a wheat chaff beside that.

Great scientist! A Norwegian Luthern farmer. While he certainly didn't do this alone it seems fair to say that it wouldn't have happened without his effort.

Thanks Borlaug. Thanks for the food, the science, the lives, the work, the example and the hope.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203917304574411382676924044.html

Franciscan University of Steubenville Bioethics Conference

The Value of Human Life Conference
Institute of Bioethics

Friday, October 23, 2009 - Sunday, October 25, 2009 Some philosophers hold that only some human beings have full moral worth and that human beings at the earliest stages of their development are of no more worth than dogs or cats. Other thinkers hold that every human being, no matter what stage of his or her development, has a profound and equal inherent worth. Can that belief be defended by reason? Does human life have value in itself or is it merely of instrumental value? When does human life become valuable? On what basis do human beings have basic rights? When do human beings actually come to be? When do they cease to be?

These and related questions, which underlie many of the most heated controversies today including abortion and euthanasia, will be examined by philosophers and legal philosophers at the Value of Human Life Conference, October 23-25, 2009.

Hosted by the Institute of Bioethics at Franciscan University of Steubenville, the conference will be of special interest to philosophers, political scientists, legal philosophers, bioethicists, and philosophy and bioethics students—both undergraduate and graduate.

Click here to download a Registration Form.


The Value of Human Life Conference

Plenary Sessions

Friday, October 23, 2009

Francis Beckwith, Baylor University
“Human Dignity and Its Discontents”

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Patrick Lee, Franciscan University of Steubenville
“The Basis for Personal Dignity: Acquired Characteristic or Substantial Identity?”

Panel Discussion: Beckwith, Keown, Bradley

John Keown, Georgetown University
“Physicians’ Duties Regarding Palliative Care”

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Gerard Bradley, University of Notre Dame Law School
“Who Should Count as a Person in the Law?”

Plenary Session Speakers



Francis J. Beckwith is professor of philosophy and church-state studies, and resident scholar in the Institute for the Studies of Religion, Baylor University, where he teaches in the Departments of philosophy and political science, and in the J. M. Dawson Institute of Church-State Studies. He has authored or edited over a dozen books including To Everyone an Answer: A Case for the Christian Worldview (with W. L. Craig, J. P. Moreland, InterVarsity Press), Relativism: Feet Firmly Planted in Mid-Air (with G. P. Koukl, Baker), and his 2007 monograph published by Cambridge University Press, Defending Life: A Moral and Legal Case Against Abortion Choice. In 2010 he will be publishing the book, Politics for Christians: Statecraft and Soulcraft (InterVarsity Press). He also has published nearly 100 articles, book chapters, and reference work entries.




Gerard V. Bradley, a noted scholar in the fields of constitutional law as well as law and religion, joined the faculty of the Notre Dame Law School as a professor in 1992, having taught at the University of Illinois from 1983 to 1992. He earned his BA from Cornell University in 1976 and his JD from the Cornell Law School in 1980. Admitted to the New York Bar in 1981, he practiced law as an assistant district attorney with the New York County District Attorney’s Office from 1980 to 1983.

Professor Bradley participates in numerous professional organizations that involve the study of law and religion and related constitutional issues. With Professor John Finnis, he has served as director of Notre Dame’s Natural Law Institute and as co-editor of the institute’s American Journal of Jurisprudence since 1996. He is president of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars, vice president of the American Public Philosophy Institute, member of the board of advisors of the Cardinal Newman Society, chair of the Federalist Society’s Religious Liberties Practice Group, member of the Ramsey Colloquium on Theological Issues, and member of the board of advisors of the Society of Catholic Social Scientists.

Professor Bradley teaches in Notre Dame’s Trial Advocacy Program, long considered to be among the top-10 such programs in the country. He has also developed a legal-externship program and related ethics course in which students earn credit by assisting actual public defenders in representing indigent clients at the St. Joseph County (Indiana) Court, Trial and Misdemeanor Division.



John Keown, MA, DPhil, PhD, holds the Rose F. Kennedy Chair in Christian Ethics at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Georgetown University. Having graduated in law from Cambridge, he took a doctorate at Oxford. After being called to the Bar, he taught the law and ethics of medicine at Cambridge, where he held Fellowships at Queens’ College and Churchill College. Professor Keown has published widely in his field. His books Abortion, Doctors and the Law, Euthanasia Examined, and Euthanasia, Ethics, and Public Policy have all been published by Cambridge University Press. His work has been cited by bodies including the U.S. Supreme Court and the House of Lords. His most recent paper has questioned the justice of America’s War for Independence.




Patrick Lee holds the John N. and Jamie D. McAleer Chair of Bioethics and is the director of the Institute of Bioethics at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is known nationally as a keynote speaker and author on contemporary ethics, especially on controversies regarding human life and marriage.

Lee began teaching philosophy at Franciscan University in 1992. In 2007, he was appointed to direct Franciscan University’s Institute of Bioethics, which hosts annual conferences on contemporary ethical issues for healthcare professionals and the general public. As director, Lee defends and articulates the Catholic Church’s position on human life issues through his writings, debates, and public speaking engagements. His expertise includes such hot-button bioethical issues as abortion, embryonic stem-cell research, euthanasia, sexual morality, and same-sex unions.

He recently co-authored a book titled Body-Self Dualism in Contemporary Ethics and Politics (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008) with Dr. Robert P. George of Princeton University. Dr. Lee has also written the book titled Abortion and Unborn Human Life (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America, 1996), as well as over 40 articles published in refereed journals and publications.


Conference Schedule
Please note - All conference schedules are subject to change!
Please visit our downloadable forms page to obtain more important information about this conference.





Friday, September 04, 2009

Dice Games

If you have a couple of die and looking for a cheap yet fun way to reinforce simple math and logic skills then how about learning some new dice games?

Check it out: Dice Play

I do suggest skipping the drinking dice games and stick to the family games!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Appetizer Math

I'm not sure that this exactly fits into a math & science blog, but if you like to turn cooking lessons into math lessons this Kraft website is a good start:

If you're planning a party, this website will help you calculate how much to prepare for each guest. Make sure to look to the links in the left sidebar for:

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Vaporized Methane and Saturn's Moon Titan

This is an interesting discovery: Storm Clouds Found on Saturn's Moon

In many ways Titan's climate resembles that of Earth, but instead of a water cycle, Titan has a methane cycle. Clouds, rain and lakes all exist on Titan, but they are all made of methane. In the moon's frigid climate, any water is frozen into rock-hard ice.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Meteor shower season

I like reporting on this every year... enjoyed seeing that google has its eyes on the skies these days.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Meet the Economics Professor

Last week Homeschool Connections held a free webinar to give parents and students a chance to meet & greet the Economics professor. It was a great hour where we all explored the technology and learned about Dr. Harris and his plans for the class.

The course will go beyond the mathematics of economics. For one thing, Dr. Harris will introduce papal encyclicals on social teaching. My daughter and I can't wait!

If you'd like to learn more, you can watch a recording here: Economics 101: Meet & Greet Dr. Harris.

Monday, August 10, 2009

NASA Webinar & Free Stuff

Last week Domenico Ruggiero gave an awesome webinar on his work at NASA. It was a wonderful learning experience for my family. The great news is that the webinar was recorded and you can watch it yourself at: One Small Step for Parents, One Giant Leap for Homeschool Kids: Insights from a NASA Engineer.

If you have a child with the least bit interest in aerospace, astronomy or engineering, you absolutely should not miss this one.

PLUS, Domenico arranged with NASA to give away all kinds of neat NASA goodies -- posters, decals, rulers, and more. To receive these giveaways drop Domenico an email. He'll email back a form so you can choose what you would like to receive. But don't wait! The deadline is August 19, 2009.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

The Kettles Do Math

Here's a smile for your Sunday morning.

If you're anywhere near my age you probably remember Ma and Pa Kettle. I used to watch those old black & white movies on weekend mornings. You've just got to click play on this YouTube of Ma and Pa's version of arithmetic.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Free E-Book: The Man Who Counted

We've talked about The Man Who Counted a number of times here and elsewhere. It's a favorite living math book and now it's available as a free pdf file. Personally, I'd rather have a real book to curl up with, but hey it's free!

The Man Who Counted

Friday, August 07, 2009

The Sound of Friction

Another cool song:

The Sound of Friction

This one is the tune of the 60's classic, The Sound of Silence. The link above takes you to an MP3 file of the audio which is clearer than the video. You may want to listen first before sharing with the kids. I loved it but they do throw in the H word.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Math Pi Song

This is one video you just gotta watch. It's a song about pi put to the music of Don McLean's American Pie:

Math Pi