Kat and I have been spending quite a lot of time outside lately, examining and collecting rocks. We’re captivated by the glittering greens, deep reds, and dramatic blacks that we see all around us. The type of rock that has most captivated Kat however, is the sparkling white of the Quartz Crystal. When she was 4 years old, she would go on collecting expeditions with her friends, amassing large piles of the white rocks. As she’s grown older, she’s used them to create land art, or line her garden. It came as no surprise to me that when we were contemplating our next week ofRead More →

A couple of weeks ago, Kat and I began our big geology project. We learned a lot about the geological history of Arizona and even took our lessons to the field! While examining the outcrops around us, we talked a lot about the layers of the Earth and plate tectonics. We talked about how layers of the crust may have been thrust upwards as plates moved into each other (uplift) and how some layers would sink under others as they moved lower to the mantle (subduction). However, as I was explaining these concepts to my daughter, I realized that she would have a much easierRead More →

“Rocks are records of events that took place at the time they formed. They are books. They have a different vocabulary, a different alphabet, but you learn how to read them.” -John McPhee A few weeks ago, Kat and I decided that we would take on a new project and learn about the geology of Arizona. We would learn about how the land was formed, the various changes it has gone through over the billions of years since its formation, and then visit various sites in the valley to look for geological evidence in the rocks. As we began planning the first part of ourRead More →

Sometimes the spark of a single question can send you on the greatest adventures… Spring is in the air here in the Sonoran desert. Flowers are just beginning to bloom, nurseries are filling their yards with gardeners delights and we have just about reached the perfect temperature of 70 degrees. For us, the coming signs of spring arrive with the bees who, by the hundreds, come out to gather nectar from our newly blooming rosemary. As we noticed that in our immediate vicinity  only our rosemary was attracting such a large amount of bees, Kat came up with her spark of a question…Read More →

With the annual home school science fair just around the corner, I’ve been finding myself reminiscing over last year, when Kat participated in her very first science fair! We regularly take science classes at the Arizona Science Center and each year they hold a non-competitive home school science fair. We had recently been watching the TED talk given by the 2011 Google Science fair winners and Kat, inspired by the story of grand prize winner Shree Bose, immediately knew what her question would be: Does the color of foods affect whether or not we like them? Kat’s hypothesis was that no, the color of foodsRead More →

Last week I was reading “Surely, You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!“, a wonderful autobiography of the curious and hilarious Nobel winning physicist Richard Feynman. I was struck by one of his curiosity kicks: he wanted to see how well the human nose could smell. Were our smelling powers stunted in comparison to those of other animals? Could we take a book off the bookshelf and be able to tell if someone has read it simply by smelling it? Could we tell if someone has merely held it in their hands? He found the answer to be YES! I however, was not so sure. Feynman, after all,Read More →

This post contains the epic saga of the battle between a flu virus and the human immune system. It is highly recommended that people get the flu vaccine to help in the fight against the flu. To find a local vaccination supplier near you, follow this link to flu.gov (US). This year’s cold and flu season is in full swing around the country and unsurprisingly, many people are finding themselves sick with viral infections. I myself ended up bedridden for about a week with some sort of throat/chest/head infection. Once everything cleared up and I was watching my daughter for signs of infection, I beganRead More →