Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Alkali Metals for Chemistry

We had been discussing how the periods (the rows) on the Periodic Table tell you how many electron shells are in the atom, and the groups (columns) tell you how many electrons are available to interact.

Since the outer shells require more energy, as you go down in the group and get more shells farther out, you get similar reactions, but with dramatically increasing violence as shown here.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Chemistry (and Pirates)

Yes, I know it be Talk Like a Pirate Day, but I be trying to catch up on all the stuff we been too busy to blog about! Shiver me timbers!

Annnd, I'll take a break from that to tell you that we started high school Chemistry last week.

Evidently, this is the class that many fantastically overcompetent home school moms do not want to teach. Maybe because we work with strong acids, horrible toxins, set things on fire, and occasionally blow things up?

I thought those were why we wanted to do chemistry!

At any rate, I wanted a class of 6 kids.  Six is perfect: enough for a good discussion, but not too many to oversee when we set things on fire, and an even number so they can have lab partners.

I got two classes of six: a girls' class on Tuesdays and a  boys' class on Thursdays! In practice this has been fantastic, and I, at any rate, am really enjoying both classes.

The only change to the plan is that I will now be finishing before Lent, instead of finishing before Thanksgiving (it had been two classes a week).

Unfortunately, neither class landed on Talk Like a Pirate Day.

Adventurers, however, started up with it's very first trip today- let the anchor fall on me liver, that was fun!

We went to the Natural History Museum and saw the skeletons (crossed bones!), dinosaurs, gems and

I'll post more pictures on Wednesday, but I'll leave you with this one of the Hope Diamond being eyed by my crew of scallywags.

To wrap things up, we sang many many verses of "My Name was Captain Kidd," and watched a BBC documentary on Captain Cook.  Not technically a pirate in the conventional sense, but very interesting to watch.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Poem of the Week: It Couldn't Be Done

It Couldn’t Be Done

Somebody said that it couldn’t be done
      But he with a chuckle replied
That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one
      Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
      On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
      That couldn’t be done, and he did it!

Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;
      At least no one ever has done it;”
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat
      And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
      Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
      That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
      There are thousands to prophesy failure,
There are thousands to point out to you one by one,
      The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
      Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start in to sing as you tackle the thing
      That “cannot be done,” and you’ll do it.

HT: Poetry Foundation

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Happy Birthday, Zorg!

Happy 16th birthday, Zorg!

 We had a great day together, visiting the Walters with friends, and having a big family party.

16 Great Things About Zorg

1. He is a Life Scout!
2. He sings with amazing emotion.
3. He's really good at gaming.
3. He's a loyal friend.
4. He's always willing to lend a hand.
5. He's very honest.
5. He's really good at math.
6. He's always up for some fun!
7. He's an amazing climber.
7. He's very good at puzzles.
8. He tells great stories.
9. He is always overflowing with ideas.
10. He really cares about other people.
11. He really supports his family and friends in whatever they are trying to do.
11.He looks like Harry Potter when he puts on glasses (without his moustache).
12. He's the Senior Patrol Leader for his Scout troop.
13. He's rocking the moustache!
13. He has a very small beard.
14. He's really funny, he's always making people smile and laugh!
14. He wants to volunteer for the fire fighters.
15. He's very friendly, as in makes friends everywhere, all the time.
16.  He's a very loving son!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Poem of the Week: To be of use (Happy Labor Day!)

To be of use

The people I love the best
jump into work head first
without dallying in the shallows
and swim off with sure strokes almost out of sight.
They seem to become natives of that element,
the black sleek heads of seals
bouncing like half-submerged balls.

I love people who harness themselves, an ox to a heavy cart,
who pull like water buffalo, with massive patience,
who strain in the mud and the muck to move things forward,
who do what has to be done, again and again.

I want to be with people who submerge
in the task, who go into the fields to harvest
and work in a row and pass the bags along,
who are not parlor generals and field deserters
but move in a common rhythm
when the food must come in or the fire be put out.

The work of the world is common as mud.
Botched, it smears the hands, crumbles to dust.
But the thing worth doing well done
has a shape that satisfies, clean and evident.
Greek amphoras for wine or oil,
Hopi vases that held corn, are put in museums
but you know they were made to be used.
The pitcher cries for water to carry
and a person for work that is real.

HT: Poetry Foundation

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Blue Horse

There are these things that happen around here...

Yes, that's Zorg riding the Blue Horse with nunchucks.