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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Dynomite's Boomer

This is a dismantled toddler bed. Travis was playing 'boomers' with the kids. Dynomite decided that this was her 'boomer'. Go GI Jane! (You might be wondering if we're fit to be parents!!)

Scene from GI Jane:
Lt. Blondell: Lieutenant, why are you doing this?
Lt. Jordan O'Neil: Do you ask the men the same question?
Lt. Blondell: As a matter of fact: yes, I do ask them.
Lt. Jordan O'Neil: And what do they say?
Lt. Blondell: "Cause I get to blow stuff up."
Lt. Jordan O'Neil: Well, there you go.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Chemfest 2009 at Boonshoft

For National Chemistry Week the Boonshoft Museum paired up with the local ACS (American Chemical Society) chapter to put on Chemfest. This year ACS is honoring the 140th anniversary of the periodic table. Of course when I saw this I knew we had to go!

I have my BS in Chemistry. Although I'm not that great of a chemist (and probably wouldn't have pursued it if it wasn't for my Dad) I'm still fascinated by it. So we dragged the kids over to the museum for an afternoon of learning.
We were given a 'Passport'. Basically the periodic table with missing elements. As we went around to the different stations, the demonstrators filled in the elements. Below are pictures of the ten stations.

Dynomite using a Geiger counter.

Trouble experimenting with Potato power.

This was our favorite experiment. For an explanation click here. Although in this experiment they used a hand generator and paperclips. But the effect was the same.

Nanotube out of balloons....fascinating!
This is one experiment the kids understood. When helium is in a balloon it floats and when you just blow into one it doesn't. Helium is lighter! They got that! (or pretended they did, so they could get a free balloon)

Trouble had more fun drawing on a dollar bill then understanding. Dynomite was ecstatic about painting a banana, she even suggest we do it at home. If the dollar was fake, it would have starch it and the iodine painted on it would turn brown. No brown=real dollar.

Cleaned pennies from a mixture of salt and vinegar. Try it at home. Instructions here.
The demonstrator was funny! She said, "Have you noticed the ugly gray your silver turns at home?" Like we have a bunch of silver things hanging around our house! Ha Ha!! Well, if you do just dip those items in a solution of baking soda and water. I do not recommend making a paste out of the baking soda and scrubbing, because that can damage the silver. My friend did tell me to use toothpaste (no the gel kind, and without whitening ingredients). That does work, too!

I've never done this experiment before (for some reason, food wasn't usually allowed in the chem labs). We ground up cereal claiming to be full of iron (some kind of bran flakes). Put the crumbs in a Ziploc bag with water. Then held a magnet to the bag and saw all the little iron particle come out. They even told us if you hold a very strong magnet to spinach, the iron will pop right out. I'm dying to try that.
Dynomite grinding: Trouble moving iron around:

After their 'passports' were all filled we returned to the start and collected our bags filled with a magnet, a ACS booklet, and their very first copies of the periodic table :-) Scientist in the making...it brings a NaCl droplet of H2O to our eye.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Boonshoft Crime Lab Detective

It's Saturday afternoon. The Johnson family has just returned from a glorious holiday in Hawaii, but when they arrive home, something is terrible wrong... There's been a break-in at the Johnson home and some things are missing. You have been called in to investigate and solve the mystery. Since you are a seasoned professional, you know what to do!

Welcome to:

At the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery!

First thing to do is grab a notebook and watch the newstory:

Take a gander at the crime scene and observe the clues:

Don't forget the interrogations of the victims and suspects.

Next move onto the intensive lab testing:

-Handwriting lab with cell phone records

-Physical Evidence lab to compare and contrast maggots, drugs, and tool marks
-Prints lab to figure out who left the foot print in the mud

-Trace Evidence lab for fiber, soil and hair

-Blood lab using to compare DNA samples

- Fingerprint lab to compare different types of prints Now solve the case! We won't tell you the answer, you'll have to go do it your self :-P

Since we are game addicts, I took pictures of the games.

We have both of these:

We'll be on the lookout for these:

And this is how you know you've had a good time:

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Backpack Cuteness

These pictures just make us snicker! Enjoy!

Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Last night we attended the Tran-Siberian Orchestra concert. It was one of the best concerts we've ever been to. The first half of the show was the story and songs from their "Christmas Eve and other stories" album. The second half was music from their new album Night Castle. We had great seats and, thanks to our military discount, we paid a decent price. Anna Phoebe was, of course, awesome on the violin. The light show was fantastic complete with fire and fireworks! It was a great way to get into the spirit of Christmas.

Story from concert:
"On a snow blessed Christmas Eve a young man found himself alone in the back of an old city bar in the rundown section of town. Using his solitary drink as something of a moat between himself and the rest of the world, he was surprised when an elderly gentleman asked to join him at his table. Reluctantly, he nodded his permission but within minutes he found himself engrossed in a story that the old man related to him; a story about another Christmas Eve when the Lord looked down from above at all his children. It had been nearly two thousand years since the birth of His son and turning to His youngest Angel the Lord said, “Go down to the Earth and bring back to me the one thing that best represents everything good that has been done in the name of this day.”
The Angel bowed to the Lord and spreading his wings, descended from heaven to the world of man, all the while contemplating his mission. So much had been done in the name of honoring the birth of the Christ Child. For this day wars had temporarily ceased, cathedrals had been built and great novels had been written. With so little time, what could he possibly find to represent all this?
As he soared above the Earth, he suddenly heard the sound of church bells below. Their tone was so beautiful that it reminded him of the voice of God.
Looking down, he saw a small church whose bells were ringing out the carol, “Silent Night.” As the final note died away, it was replaced by one lone voice singing inside the church. It was shortly joined by a second voice that embraced the first in perfect harmony, and then another and another until a choir of voices rose through the night. Enchanted by the magic of what he was hearing, the Angel found himself listening until the song was finished. As he resumed his flight through the night, he was delighted to hear these sounds everywhere, from the largest cities to the smallest villages. He heard melodies from massive orchestras and in the voices of single soldiers alone at their posts. And any place where he heard these songs, he found hope in the hearts of men. Grasping a song out of the air, he held it in his hand (angels are able to do this) and thought that maybe, these songs could be the one thing that best represented Christmas. They seemed to give voice to man's greatest joys as well as hope to those deepest in despair.
But, though at first glance it appeared to be the answer he sought, his heart told him that this music was not enough. There had to be something more. So he continued his flight through the night until he suddenly felt the touch of a father's prayer on its way to heaven. Once again looking downward, he saw a man who was praying for his child; a child whom he had not heard from in a long time and who would not be home that Christmas. Seizing upon the prayer, the Angel followed it until it reached the lost child.
She was standing on a corner, in a quiet snowfall, looking very small in a very large city. Across from her was an old city bar, the kind that only the lost seemed to know how to find.
The patrons of this establishment rarely looked up from their drinks and so seemed not to notice the young girl. Now, the bartender in this bar had been working in there longer than anyone could remember. He believed in nothing except his bar and his cash register. He had never married, never took a vacation and as a matter of fact, had never been seen out from behind his counter by most of his patrons. He was there when they arrived and he was still there when they left. He gave no credit and for seventy-five cents, served shots of un-watered whiskey to people who used their drinks like a wall around their lives. For them, he provided a safe, unchanging world. Suddenly, the door opened wide and into this world walked a small child. The bartender could not remember the last time that a child had been in this place, but before he could ask the child what he was doing there, the child asked him if he knew that there was a girl outside their door who could not get home. Glancing out the window, he saw the girl standing across the street. Turning back to the child, the bartender asked him how he knew this. The child replied: "On this night of all nights, if one could be home, they'd be already there.” The bartender looked back toward the young girl as he reflected on what the child had said. After several seconds of thought, he slowly went over to the cash register and removing most of the money, came out from behind the bar and followed the child across the street.
Everyone in the bar watched as he spoke with the girl. After a few moments, he called over a cab, put the girl inside and told the driver, "J.F.K. Airport." As the cab pulled away, he looked around for the child, but the child was gone. And what was stranger still, even though his own tracks leading from the bar were still clearly marked in the snow, the child's were nowhere to be found. Returning back inside, he asked if anyone had seen where the child had gone, but like himself, no one had, for they also had been watching the departing cab. And then, some would later say that the most miraculous thing of all happened, when for the rest of the night, no one paid for a drink. Later that night the Angel returned back to heaven and placed in the Lord's hand, the wish of a soul for the happiness of another. And as the heavenly host looked on, the Lord smiled.
At the end of his story the old man then told the youth that he had enjoyed their time together but that it was time for him to leave. After the old man had left, the youth found himself rushing out the door only seconds behind the elderly gentleman's exit so that he might ask his name, but not only was there no one in sight but there wasn't even a single track in the snow. The young man stood there for a moment perplexed but then he suddenly felt a sense of gentle peace and contentment flow through his body. Buttoning his coat the youth slowly walked home where for the first time since his childhood he dreamed a Christmas dream."

Friday, November 6, 2009

Dayton Ghost Walk

Friday, October 30th Travis and I decided to take a ghost walk of Dayton. We have done ghost walks in San Diego, CA and Nottingham, England. We've tried to do this in towns where this is offered. We were slightly disappointed because this walk was more a historic tour, than filled with ghost stories.

We did arrive late because we couldn't figure out where to park! BTW, on the weekends the meters are free downtown.

The moon for our walk:

One of the historians talking: He gave us some information on the story behind The Ballad of John Mcafee. Then we led us to the stairs of the old courthouse where President Lincoln had visited Dayton 150 years ago. You can read about it here. In the square are plaques of all the presidents that had visited Dayton. As we walked around downtown we heard stories of cemeteries being moved so confused ghosts are lurking around and of how a guy entombed his murdered wife in the floor of the Dayton Daily News building (which happened to the neighbor of one of the people on the tour that night). They also told us of of the terracotta ornamented buildings. And how in the old days if buildings were made of stone it was meant as a sign of the city's richness. Instead of stone, Dayton used terracotta...cheaper with the same look. Downtown had recent reconstruction of some of the deteriorated ornamentation.
The man who was in charge of building the Dayton Daily News building made it fancy with the terracotta. People thought a bank was opening up, so they felt silly showing up on opening day with deposits in their hands.
Dayton Daily News building: It is said that the original owner still haunts his office.
Terracotta ornamentation up close:
Supposedly this site use to be a theater with dancing ladies. When the church was built one wall was left up from the theater. Some claim that if you walk in the church humming or thinking of a song you'll hear the ladies dancing.
We just took this picture for fun: We overheard one lady in the group say to her friend, "Remember the time we walked passed the Dayton Chess Club and I said who would be nerdy enough to go there and we saw your friend in there!" We laughed at that!
Our other guide:
It was a fun walk, but not very ghost like. They could have made up stories for entertainment purposes! They do tons of research and it can be found on the Dayton History website.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Party at the Prairies

Friday before Halloween we went to a harvest party for our housing community at the club house. It was simple, but the kids had fun. We walked down with the Thompsons. They went to a bouncy house (big thing around here right? I mean how many times have I blogged about the kids in some kind of inflatable??) and played at the playground. We then grabbed some pizza, punch and cookies.

Backpack dressed up:The Thompson's daughter:
Behind the club house is a pond for fishing. The kids (Trouble, Dynomite, and Thompson kiddos #1 & #2) went down to the pond to throw rocks in. While they were down by the pond, there was costume party going on. I called Trouble up. When he came he was soaking wet! He said he fell in....where was I?? His friend from church won the contest. He was a bottle of Raid. His sisters were ladybugs. It was very clever.
A side story: When we first moved here we went to church at the building that was the closest to us. However, it was the wrong ward! But we met a really great couple that had us over for dinner. Well, time passed and I never took the chance to have them over. I saw them at this party! It was great to reconnect, but they didn't remember us. Ha Ha, that's what we get for procrastinating a friendship!!
After that we gathered the kiddos, got some treats and glow sticks and stood in line for the hayride. I called home to see if Travis had arrived. He was home and ran down to join us.
Church friends on the hayride with us:

After that we went home, had dinner, and dropped the kids off for our Friday night date.
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