Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A Long Weekend & New Interests

We have a new family interest, and it is chemistry!!! You see it is an offshoot of playing PPGZ! Ant plays the professor, and he wants to make his characterization more realistic. He found these videos on Youtube - The Periodic Table of Videos. They are wonderful! We have all been watching some, and you learn so much about the elements, and how they all relate to each other. Of course, you get to see some pretty cool chemical reactions along the way. (We all waited with bated breath for the cesium to fall into the water!) Diana will be taking a graduate chemistry course in the near future, and all this chemical exploration should be a big boost to a successful course of study.

Chemisty has led to an interest in scientific measurement. We have been comparing the U.S. system of measurement and the metric system, and talking about how scientists measure various things and why. Antonio always has ideas on how to make various systems better, and Lia always wants to be vary hands on with everything!

The memory on our digital camara dropped by 50% overnight! After checking the camera settings and seeing that every was set right, Antonio had the answer. Flash memory is subject to memory wear. It only has so many erase cycles available. The number is a whole lot, but we are a big family who fills the camera many times each day, and we only have the small amount of integrated memory, no external storage. I was surprised that Ant knew this. (When will I stop being surprised?) So I looked it up, and he was exactly right! Ant and I talked some more about flash memory and other types of memory, and of course, about how he thinks everything could be improved.

Another new area of interest is map reading. We have been thinking about relocating, and the kids have been doing a lot of looking at maps online to check out various locales. On top of this, Diana remembered that we hadn't been letterboxing in awhile, so we have been doing some of that and some other hiking which has involved reading maps. All of the hiking has led to discussions of survival skills and safety in the wild and what to do if you are lost.

Esme has had some bad news. The American Girl doll Samantha is being archived. Samantha was her first American Girl love, and although she has a Samantha doll, she was hoping to accumulate some more Samantha stuff in the future. Although Samantha could be brought back, we can't be sure that she will. Reading about the archiving of Samantha has led to a resurgence in Dollytown (that is what the kids call our home when they are referring to it as their dolls' home.) The kids have been making homemade doll clothes again and have a story line going where the dolls of Dollytown are taking up collections because a hurricane destroyed most of the town, and many dolls are homeless. This has led to letter and speech writing.

This weekend the girls watched Chicago and enjoyed it more than any movie they have seen in quite awhile. All of us love a good musical, but I was surprised that they were so into this that they could hardly tear their eyes away from the screen!

Today we spent sometime together looking up words in the online dictionary. We all love words that have two totally different meanings and were concentrating on those and on words that have recently been added to the dictionary today.

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