Fostering curiosity in kids (and their parents) since 2011

Posts from the ‘Questions’ category

So many questions…

So they named a new dinosaur species last week…

News broke this week that paleontologists have determined that a set of bones found in Big Bend back in the 1980s is actually a hitherto unknown type of duck-billed dinosaur. Whenever I hear of a new species, I can’t help but wonder how long that new species identification will last.

sleek black vintage convertible with white wall tires.

A selection of vintage Ford cars

Earlier this summer, we happened across a line of vintage cars parked on a street next to a town festival in Northern California. Naturally, I took pictures. Here’s a selection of vintage Ford motor cars from that show.

a purple bottle with silver polka dots lies on its side. a measuring tape is stretched across its length.

“How much did that plastic bottle shrink in the dishwasher?”

I got lazy this week so ran my daughter’s plastic (I know) reusable water bottle through the dishwater. It did not survive the experience. (I know.) But it did make for a fabulous opportunity to do a little science (and math — ssh!). Join my daughter and I as we figure out why our plastic water bottle melted in the dishwasher, and by how much.

Rear View of my daughter dressed as Mothman crossing the street.

Caterpickles Consults the 12-Year-Old: “What is Mothman?”

My daughter came down one morning dressed entirely in black, sporting a pair of gold-tinted sunglasses and a green knit cap with two blue feathers sticking out of it. She was clearly dressed up as some superhero, but for the life of me I couldn’t figure out who. “I’m Mothman, Mommyo.” Mothman? Who’s that? Some crappy off-brand Batman?

Two side by side false color images of Uranus, show the planet encased in a rainbow of colors from pale green to red. Around it are white rings that run around what I can't help but think of as the planet's north and south poles. Uranus, it turns out, looks like it's tilted up on its side.

Who was Uranus?

While reading Dava Sobel’s book The Planets last week, I learned that Uranus is the only major planet in our solar system named after a Greek myth instead of a Roman one. Off-hand, I couldn’t remember any mention of Uranus in Greek mythology. So I decided to look it up. Who was Uranus? Why is he the only Greek god to get his own planet?

The bird of paradise flower has tall spiky orange petals and a blue poky thing. (Sorry, not a botanist)

Why did the Bird of Paradise flower evolve to look like that?

It’s easy to see how the Bird of Paradise flower got its name. It looks like a crane’s head crafted from flower parts. Now I’m no botanist, but even I know enough about plants to realize that when such a highly specialized and unique structure evolves in nature, there’s generally a reason for it. All of which made me wonder: Why did the Bird of Paradise flower evolve to look the way it does?