Since watching the beautiful and moving timelapse video put together with images from the International Space Station, I’ve become curious about everything Space Station! There are a number of different resources I’ve been using to find out about life on board the Space Station and also the support that it requires to function.
Twitter @Space_Station This is the Space Station’s Twitter account and my main source of info for all things Space Station. This account also retweets tweets from the astronauts on board so it’s a great place to start finding out about who is up there, what it looks like and the sorts of experiments and work they are doing right now.
Recently I’ve become completely fascinated by the website tweetping.net. Tweetping shows realtime Twitter activity from around the world in a beautiful way – when a Tweet goes out a little light appears on the map locating the place where the Tweet came from. The tweet lights start appearing when go to the website and it’s beautifully displayed. Here is an example taken after 15 minutes at lunchtime GMT…
I think the reason it fascinates me so much is because it makes me ask so many questions. It gets me curious! For example, does everyone in Japan and South East Asia use Twitter?! why do the lights coming from the USA seem to stop half way along? is that bright light to the right of the middle coming from Istanbul? do people use something else in China? is that Pretoria in South Africa? why is it brighter than Cape Town? does the brightness on the map reflect population size? is that why there are fewer lights in Australia? but then what about India? does it reflect the wealth of an area? connectivity? 4G? what does it look like at different times of the day?
It’s not got butter on it! It should be called ‘big-wing-fly’…
And so the conversation with 6-year-old continued, with much laughing over the name of the beautiful creature – the butterfly. So why is it called a butterfly? No one knew, but a quick look in the partner database (aka Google, thanks Peter) brought up a few suggestions:
because they would flutter around milk while it was being turned into butter
because witches that took on the shape of the ‘butterfly’ stole milk and butter
it was really called a ‘flutterby’ but that got mixed up
because the first butterfly to come out of hibernation (yes, this one hibernates) in the summer is the male brimstone butterfly and it is yellow, the colour of butter
There doesn’t seem to be any clear answer, all of these sound like they might be right – what do you think?… Read more...
This was the question from the curious 6 year old as we drove along. Answer offered by adult: “Because their feet don’t conduct electricity. Electricity doesn’t pass through their feet because of what their feet are made of.” Question from other adult: ” What are their feet made of?” Well, no one in the car knew. Were we even right with our first answer? It turns out we were not!
The bird is not grounded. It has not created a path of lesser resistance for electricity to follow. If the bird simultaneously touched two wires, the difference in resistance between the two wires would create a path through the bird and it would be electrocuted.
Question from 6 year old: “Why are there no seatbelts on a bus?”
Good question. I don’t know. 8 year old offers answer that because there are seatbelts on a coach but not on a bus, it must be that a bus goes slow enough that you don’t need them, because a coach can go on the motorway and so goes faster and you do need them.
Here is some information from childcarseats.org.uk:
“Buses used for public services generally do not have seat belts because their construction will not allow seat belts to be installed with adequate safety. And they are designed to carry standing passengers.” (That last sentence would match up with 8 year old’s answer…)
You can read more about how to stay safe on a bus without seatbelts here.… Read more...