Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Last night, I noticed the viewcount for my seals/glacier video had gone up by about 50%. So naturally, I had to figure out why. First I looked at where the viewers were from - all over the US (with a concentration in Calif), Brazil, Oman, Portugal, Morocco and Pakistan. Interesting, but why? While hunting up the reason (or chewing up time) I found a new feature of Google called Live Search. You can search on a topic and view 20 videos at one time. If this were to explain the increase in viewcount, I would expect the viewcounts of all 4 videos to go up. They didn't. So the mystery remains, but Live Search was still worth mentioning.

I also received an email with a very encouraging comment from a scientist "This is a very cool article! It is fantastic that you are educating high school students and perhaps inducing them to go into science and make new discoveries."

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Here's a day worth noting - National Public Lands Day. I was delighted to be at a National Historic site at the right time to take advantage of the free admission. Next year it will be on September 26, 2009.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I am currently revamping the school visits portion of this website. Please check back at a later date for some exciting changes.

With visions of vitamin water dancing in my head I cut myself some slack and did 10 this morning instead of 11. Yep, you won't catch me signing up for one of these again. No sirree.

Monday, September 22, 2008

This evening, I received a couple of emails from the National Wildlife Federation asking for support against proposed changes to the Endangered Species Act. They didn't have to ask. I noticed they caught wind of the "we don't accept email" sentence that I've been harping about. Since they had a preprinted form, I shipped off my email to Congress. Before I did, I tacked on a few sentences about my own experiences of chewing up 1/3 (11 days) of the allotted public comment period of 30 days by mailing the document from CT to VA and losing 1/3 (1 pg out of 3) of the document when it went into the government's system.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

This morning, my brother mentioned he cleaned up a torn garbage bag between his house and his elderly neighbor's house. The neighbor came out to explain that at 11PM a black bear had dragged her garbage can all the way around the house. He also offered me some bear "scat" (yeah that's the word he used) for my class. Sorry to pass up such a find (he reported a "large find"), but my class is about grizzly bears. Such a shame, really it is.

Here's where the latest viewers of my videos reside:
Seals - Germany, Dall Sheep - Italy, Sea Lions - Australia, Grizzly Bears - Australia.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Yesterday, I found some helpful information online. It energized me enough to dig up a project I spent considerable time on in the Spring of 2007. I'd buried it in the cellar in disgust. Now, with renewed hope, I will revise it, make it stronger, and ship it back out.

On the running front, 2 days ago I ran 11 without incident!!!!!! I can't help but wonder why I signed up for this? What was I thinking?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Here's an update on the study I wrote about for a December 2006 Highlights article.
I tested out a few new hands-on activities for the class I'm proposing. On the upside, my helper spent a good hour on my food chain idea - and she's not one to sit still. It was a HUGE success. I allocated only 20 minutes for this activity, so I will up that. I played with plaster and playdough. I love the fact that I can make my own playdough and it's easy to get out of these awesome molds I picked up. But my efforts to air dry and slowly bake the playdough to harden it didn't work. I ended up with a hard casing that softened and cracked in the humidity. NO GOOD. So I'm off the library to get a book called Mudworks by Bright Ring Publishing, in hopes it will have some kind of clay that will permanently keep its shape. Good luck to me.

Friday, September 12, 2008

My comments were mailed at a post office on 8/25 and 2/3 of those comments were posted 9/5. It took ELEVEN days for them to get from CT to VA. I think I could have ran and got them there faster. I noticed this award winning system only tracks the date the comment was posted NOT the date the comment was received. How long do they sit around before someone puts a portion of them in the system? NOT FAIR!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Found those comments on this link.

Today I cut and pasted all of the missing page (#3) as a comment (Add comments) to this award winning system. The comment doesn't show up anywhere on this award winning system so I have no idea if it worked. Prior to my letter getting into this award winning system I did a search on "Linda Zajac" and came up with 23 hits. The two that I reviewed did not have "Linda Zajac" in them anywhere.

I also found out my 10 mile run was really more like 11 miles!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Today, I went on the award winning website, http://www.regulations.gov/ to find my letter (click views) about the Endangered Species Act. But I mailed in THREE pages, not two!
I have now committed to running a half marathon in mid October. Like writing, it's another long journey that seems to be plagued with challenges. I've been hobbled (by three blisters crowded on my pinky toe), stung (by two hornets), and sickened. Yesterday after ten miles (yippee!) the glass of tropical carrot juice didn't sit well. As I looked in the mirror at Casper I said to myself I am NOT running this half-marathon. I'm done. Then I went online and found out that after a long run you need to keep walking around afterward or you can get sick. As long as I can keep identifying the problems and fixing them, things may work out. I bought new sneaks, so the blister is gone. I was relieved the hornet's nest has been completely removed. I suspect the person that played pinata with the nest was the first to complain the hornet's were a problem. Could they have gone to science as this article makes mention of?

The Hartford Marathon is making waves with it's focus on the environment. Much of the proceeds are donated to various charities.

Friday, September 5, 2008

I have an article for high schoolers coming out in ChemMatters in December. I thought it might be an eye-opening topic for a class for elementary kids, but the content was too advanced. So I decided to create a class based on another article for younger kids.

Yesterday, I spoke to my neighbor about some of the amazing research that I read about for the ChemMatters article. Believe me, he can use a ray of hope. It has rekindled the challenge of taking an advanced topic and presenting it to younger kids in a way they can understand. Hm. This will require some thought.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Todays encounter with nature was not a pleasant one. I was out running on the trail and got stung twice by hornets. When they came after me, I screamed. My left hand now looks like a boxing glove. The knuckles and veins have been replaced by a hot itchy swollen mass. Last week, I noticed this hornet's nest hanging from a small tree like a tether ball. Today it was cracked in half. BUT I DIDN'T DO IT.