Our mostly-weekly survey of the tidbits that cross The Eight-Year-Old’s desk. This week, an innovative animal shelter campaign that pairs Star Wars characters with adoptable future friends, a proto-star cluster out in space, and of course, more books about aliens and dragons.
A sampling of this week’s books:
Aliens for Breakfast by Stephanie Spinner and Jonathan Etra
Ever since my daughter read this story about an alien stumbling out of Richard Bickerstaff’s cereal bowl, she has been pestering me to buy better cereal. You know, the kind that has aliens in it. She’s convinced her school has been infested and she is the only one who can possibly save it.
The Truth about Dragons by Rhoda Blumberg (Illustrated by Murray Tinkelman)
My daughter keeps bringing this one home from the library. It’s similar to the Dragonology series in that its a collection of tidbits about dragon habits, mating rituals, physical appearance, and nesting behavior rather than a collection of stories. The Eight-Year-Old considers it one of the key reference texts on the subject. According to her, anyone who wants to write about dragons needs to read this book first so that they can get their facts straight.
My Teacher Fried My Brains by Bruce Coville (Illustrated by John Pierard)
I’m not sure how I feel about The Eight-Year-Old reading horror stories about aliens posing as seventh graders teachers so that they can fry up the brains of their students for lunch. I mean, middle school’s hard enough right? But she seems to enjoy them. Here’s hoping these stories don’t come back to haunt us later.
In the news:
May the Furs be With You (CBS News)
Star Wars characters posing with shelter animals. What’s not to love? This marvelous marketing campaign was dreamed up by the Ottawa Humane Society in hopes of getting their 150 remaining shelter animals adopted. Simply brilliant. I’m looking forward to lots of copycat campaigns popping up around the country.
Proto Star Cluster a Dinosaur Egg Set to Hatch (Yahoo! News)
Astronomers are busily monitoring the incubation of a dense massive cloud of molecular gas they call the Firecracker. Scientists believe that millions of stars can form from clusters of gas like the Firecracker. Since they haven’t identified any stars yet within the Firecracker, leading scientists to believe that they may have stumbled upon a rare tangible example of a galactic nursery — a spot in the universe where the conditions for forming stars exist, but no actual star formation has happened yet. The other globular clusters found to date have all been in what astronomers refer to as their teenage years — with star formation already in process.
From the article:
“We may be witnessing one of the most ancient and extreme modes of star formation in the universe,” lead author Kelsey Johnson, an astronomer at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, said in a statement. “This remarkable object looks like it was plucked straight out of the early universe. To discover something that has all the characteristics of a globular cluster, yet has not begun making stars, is like finding a dinosaur egg that’s about to hatch.”