From “Professor Astro Cat’s Frontier’s of Space” – Last night was all about the Hubble Space Telescope. This fine piece of machinery measures in at 43 feet by 8 feet. Making it personal – we learned that the idea of sending a telescope into outer space was first discussed in 1923 (the birth year of both of my son’s grandmothers) and we learned that the Hubble Space Telescope (HST to those in the know) was launched in 1990 (the birth year of my son). We thought about this: the HST has been repaired 5 times. That means astronauts had to sync up with it (how can this be easy?) and perform delicate technical procedures. Hmmm. Would we want to be (1) floating around in space and (2) fiddling with a 2.5 billion dollar telescope?
Our Main Science Unit – We are about half way through the “Usborne Book of Scientists”. We have covered astronomers, physicians, physicists, and chemists. Right now, we are reading about botanists. I think our take-away from this book is three-fold: (1) there are brilliant thinkers and observers EVERYWHERE, (2) brilliant thinkers stand on the shoulders of brilliant thinkers that have gone before and (3) brilliant thinkers have always had to battle (often uninformed, therefore seriously irritating) defenders of the status quo. Good book. Really good book.
The Le Fictitious Local Diner Story Problem of the day – The diner has 5 large windows that need constant cleaning (pollution on the outside, grimy fingerprints on the inside). The “Squeaky Clean Window Washing Service” cleans the exterior windows once a month, and the interior windows once a week. If the SCWWS charges $5 per single side of a window, how much does the diner need to budget per month for window cleaning?
Last night’s music theme was “Dealer’s Choice”– About once a week, I provide my son with a list of 10 compositions. He selects 3, by writing “yes” or “no” next to the title. I love the programs he puts together.
- Rossini’s “William Tell Overture” – what’s not to like? We enjoy a recorded version with Arthur Fielder conducting.
- Respighi’s “The Cuckoo”, from his suite, “The Birds”– a sparkling collage of the two-note cuckoo motive.
- Leonard Bernstein’s “Mambo”, from “West Side Story” – a steamy-hot composition in the hands of TODAY’S HOTTEST CONDUCTOR, Gustavo Dudamel. In this video he conducts the Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra (Venezuela). Who wouldn’t want to be part of this energy?
Welcome to the best part of my day!
– Jane BH