Wednesday, January 17, 2018
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Coming up next week:   Fireworks on the Fourth of July (Photo credit: Wikipedia)   When Was the First Episode of Seinfeld? Monday, July 1, 2013 Do you remember where you were for the last episode of Seinfeld?   Sunny Tuesday, July 2, 2013 What inspired the singer/songwriter to write this song?   How Does Your Husband Keep You Happy? Wednesday, July 3, 2013 Does your husband pay attention?   The Very Hungry Caterpillar Book Thursday, July 4, 2013 (Happy Fourth of July!) How does the artist make those distinctive, colorful images?   Make Your Own Abacus Fun with Grandchildren,... (Read More ...)

George W. Bush and Kimberly Oliver, the 2006 national teacher of the year. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) May 7 is National Teacher Day. Who were your favorite teachers and how did they change your life? What made your teacher good at their job? When I was in third grade, I remember turning in a test paper by walking up to the front of the room and putting it down on top of everyone else’s papers. But, as I was setting my paper down, I noticed, and started reading, the test that had just been turned in by someone else. I guess, even at that early age, I had a proofreader’s eye. The test paper I... (Read More ...)

Douglas Engelbart was awarded a patent on November 17, 1970 for the invention of the computer mouse. The first computer mouse held by inventor Douglas Engelbart showing the wheels that directly contact the working surface (Photo credit: Wikipedia) It had track wheels, instead of the ball that would later become standard. The patent was assigned to his employer, Stanford Research Institute (SRI). Engelbart, with the help of his lead engineer, who built the mouse from Engelbart’s drawings, invented the mouse in 1963. English described it in a 1965 paper, “Computer-Aided Display Control.” The... (Read More ...)

Animation of the structure of a section of DNA. The bases lie horizontally between the two spiraling strands. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) What is a helix? A helix is a curved spiral, like the wire in a Slinky. A double helix is two strands wrapped around each other in the curved cylinder, connected by base pairs. On April 25, 1953, the journal Nature published an article by Francis Crick and James Watson called “The Structure for Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid,” which suggested that the shape of DNA was a double helix. The most important point in the paper was that the structure “suggests... (Read More ...)

What did the Internet look like before there were browsers? Commemorating the creation of the Mosaic Web browser (Photo credit: Wikipedia) The World Wide Web itself debuted on August 6, 1991. By November, 1992, there were 26 websites in the world, largely academic. Only two years later, on April 22, 1993, NCSA Mosaic, Version 1.0, the first cross-platform browser, was released. Its co-developer, Marc Andreeson, had first showed it a few months before, on January 23, 1993. Mosaic was developed by Andreeson and Eric Bina, college students at the University of Illinois’s National Center for... (Read More ...)

Who were the Mercury astronauts? Project Mercury Astronauts, whose selection was announced on April 9, 1959, only six months after the National Aeronautics and Space Administration was formally established on October 1, 1958. They are: front row, left to right, Walter H. Schirra, Jr., Donald K. Slayton, John H. Glenn, Jr., and Scott Carpenter; back row, Alan B. Shepard, Jr., Virgil I. Gus Grissom, and L. Gordon Cooper. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Barely 18 months after the Soviet Union’s wake-up call, when they launched Sputnik on October 4, 1957, NASA selected the original seven Mercury astronauts... (Read More ...)

Your Eyes Will Get Stuck That Way! Strabismus: Accommodative Esotropia, uncorrected (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Two pediatricians, Dr. Aaron E. Carroll, and Dr. Rachel C. Vreeman, took a look at things our mothers told us and the current medical literature to see if our Mom’s advice was true. The result was the book, “Don’t Cross Your Eyes…They’ll Get Stuck That Way! And 75 Other Health Myths Debunked.” Did your Mom ever say this to you? Do you remember the excitement of finding out that you could control your eye muscles and you didn’t have to look straight ahead all the time? Did... (Read More ...)

President George W. Bush greets Fred Rogers of Mister Rogers Neighborhood in the Blue Room before an early childhood education event in the East Room April 3, 2002. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Remembering Mr. Rogers Neighborhood Fred Rogers, educator and songwriter, Presbyterian minster and puppeteer. Wearer of zippered cardigan sweaters, knit by his mother. His calm, soothing voice reassured us that we were good people. It is not surprising to read that he neither smoke nor drank. On this day, 45 years ago, on February 19, 1968, he launched Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. It ran for 895 episodes,... (Read More ...)

Call 911 – 45th Anniversary When my mother came to live with us after a massive stroke, she had lost about 90 percent of her ability to speak and about 50 percent of her ability to understand what was said to her. Squircle Rotary Dial (Photo credit: ThenAndAgain) It was not safe to leave her alone, in case she had another stroke. With this in mind, I found a companion to stay with her on those occasions when she could not go out with me. When she realized what I was about to do, she pitched a fit. She waved her legs and arms as though to tell me, “See, I’m just fine. I don’t need a... (Read More ...)

Whatever Happened to Mercurachrome? Do you remember that orange liquid your Mom used to put on a scrape if you fell down? Puddle of the element mercury. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) It was mercury that made Mercurochrome (merbromin) and Merthiolate (thiomersal) the anti-bacterial agents our Moms used to keep scrapes from getting infected. After having been discovered for its anti-bacterial property at Johns Hopkins University in 1918, on October 19, 1998, Mercurachrome was moved from the Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) list to Untested by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), because of concerns... (Read More ...)