Resources July 5, 2018 Angela No comments

What is living in a car really like?

 

There’s a stigma attached to living in your car. Although it is starting to disappear, there still are plenty of people who have the wrong image of what sacrifices and struggles residing in that compact space requires. It is a new way of living, that appeals to many young people who don’t want to pay rent. Let’s get more in-depth.

 

Costs

Like with any other alternative way of living, the expenses of car life can vary wildly depending on the size of your car. If you were to buy a van and only eat food from Whole Foods and farmer’s markets, the costs would add up, and it would be much higher than if you were to become a minimalist.

You can keep costs low by doing your own car maintenance, you should always try to find free parking, and you can also try to ride as slow as possible so you won’t burn up too much gas. A realistic budget is somewhere between $1,000 and $1,200. If you want to learn more about it, there are plenty of resources online.

 

Goals

Throughout my research, I realized that that the goals of those people living in their cars are varied and unique as all humans are. That being said, their motivations revolve around the same central themes like a desire for minimalism, ease of travel, they have a low income, or they want to connect with the natural world. These people also have a strong tendency to move from city to city, especially if they work online.

 

Long-term viability

It might be fun to run around in a car for a few years when you’re young and full of energy, but what about living in one as a long-term housing solution? Nowadays, people don’t think it’s far-fetched, and many are happy to live in their vans for years. It’s all about properly adjusting your notions of what shelter is, and determining what’s important to you.

But it is not a solution for those who want to live big and take advantage of modern housing equipment like showers and ovens. It is not something that appeals to those who like to have a garden to grow their own produce. Also, if you own a small car, it might get uncomfortable very quickly.

Not to mention that maintaining a romantic relationship while living in your car can be a challenge. You will meet interesting people along the way, but when moving too much, it’s understandably tough to settle into an honest relationship. But if you already have a partner to share this type of life with, things might not be as difficult for you. Although, most people suggest you look into an ultra comfortable bed or into some of the multiple alternatives available right now, especially if you have back problems.

Resources June 2, 2018 Angela No comments

Are bio foods really better than the rest?

 

This question has been asked more than once, especially by those who choose ordinary fruits and vegetables as opposed to organic ones, when doing their grocery shopping. However, some studies have shown that there are clear differences between the two options.

The term “organic” refers to the way agricultural products are grown and processed. The regulations vary from country to country. In the U.S., organic crops must be grown without using synthetic pesticides, bioengineered genes (GMOs), petroleum-based fertilizers, or sewage sludge-based fertilizers.

Moreover, organic livestock raised for meat, eggs, and dairy products must be allowed access to the outdoors and be fed organic food. Antibiotics, growth hormones, or any animal by-products are also forbidden in order to be able to label the end product as organic.

Although some argue that both conventional food and organic farming one taste the same, the fact remains that when it comes to conventional farming certain synthetic pesticides are used.

What studies tell us

A study conducted by Prof. Carlo Leifert at Newcastle University concludes that there are statistically significant and meaningful differences between the two types of food. According to this, a range of antioxidants is substantially higher in organic food, with variations ranging from 19% to 69%.

The researchers state that the increased levels of antioxidants are equivalent to one or two portions of the five fruits and vegetables serving recommended to be consumed daily. This could mean that organic food is significantly more nutritious for human consumption.

Leifert’s study concludes that many antioxidants “have previously been linked to a reduced risk of chronic diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, and certain cancers”. However, it also notes that long-term studies are necessary in order to show the health benefits of an organic diet, and these have not been conducted yet.

The researchers also found much higher levels of cadmium, a toxic metal, in conventional crops. Moreover, pesticide residues were found four times more often on conventional crops than on organic food.

What are the potential risks of pesticides?

We most probably have an accumulated build-up of pesticides in our bodies due to continuous exposure. This chemical “body burden”, as it is medically known, could lead to health issues such as headaches and add strain on a weakened immune system.

Children are, of course, most vulnerable to pesticide exposure because their bodies, brains, and immune systems are still under development. Similarly, pregnant women are prone to be more sensitive, as the substances add more stress to their bodies which is already going through many changes.

Let’s take a look at what makes consumers choose organic food when shopping for their groceries. 53% of them choose organic food in order to avoid chemical residues, 55% want to eat healthier, while 35% just like the taste better.

Whatever your reason might be, adopting a healthy lifestyle and diet is always a good idea.

 

Resources May 10, 2018 Angela No comments

Cool facts about Isaac Newton

 

One of the most influential scientists of all time, Sir Isaac Newton is a key figure in what we call the scientific revolution. His extensive work includes many areas of study, as he was a talented mathematician, astronomer, theologian, author, and physicist.

His book on “Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy” published in 1687, laid the foundations of classical mechanics. During his time, he also assumed that the Earth is shaped as an oblate spheroid.

Moreover, he built the first practical reflecting telescope and developed a theory of color based on the observation that a prism decomposes white light into the colors of the visible spectrum.

His famous equations on the force of gravity and mass brought him recognition and made him one of the most recognized and studied scientists of our history. The famous tale of the apple falling over his head is believed to be just a story by various historians who doubt the incidence.

However, there are many other fascinating facts about Sir Isaac Newton as, besides being a world-renowned scientist, he was, just like the rest of us, a human being. Below you’ll find some interesting things about the life of this remarkable scientist.

Sir Isaac Newton – the man

Newton was prematurely born in 1642, the same year Galileo Galilei died, and had little to no chance of survival. His natural father had died three months earlier and his mother remarried soon after, leaving the child into the care of his maternal grandmother.

It’s known that Newton hated his stepfather and threatened to burn his house down. Throughout his life, the scientist was notorious for having a bad temper and conflicts with other people, particularly with fellow scientists Gottfried Leibniz and Robert Hooke.

Sir Isaac Newton could not stand hearing any criticism and became embroiled in a bitter row with Robert Hooke, an original member of the Royal Academy. Given that Hooke died a long time before Newton did, his work and contribution are not as remembered today.  

Newton wrote prolifically on alchemy and believed that the Philosopher’s Stone (a substance which was said that would turn base metals into gold) was a key goal to attain. However, many of his writings on this subject were kept quiet as during those times some alchemy practices were punishable by death.

In the year 1696, Newton was appointed warden of the Royal Mint. He took his duties very seriously and implemented necessary measures in order to prevent corruption. As master of the Mint, he introduced a new mint ratio of silver and gold, and this eventually had the effect of putting Britain onto a de facto gold standard.

During a lifetime dedicated to studying, researching and finding answers about our environment, Newton suffered two nervous breakdowns, as he suspected that his friends conspired against him. However, his way of being led to the magnificent legacy we still see and use today.

 

Movies April 4, 2017 Angela No comments

Three motion pictures about space

 

No matter what the season, Hollywood always succeeds at delivering a variety of cinematic opuses about space. This means that outer space is so vast, movie creators are not fresh out of ideas to turn that immensity into a variety of entertainment fare that the moviegoer can see again and again at option.

One of those movies is Arrival, which stars Jeremy Renner and one of my favorite actresses, who always seems to have a good project, Amy Adams. This talented actress did three movies in 2016, so film creators must love her. She worked on Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, Nocturnal Animals, and Arrival.

In the movie Arrival, Amy Adams plays Louise Banks, an expert linguist who has to work together with the rest of an elite team assigned to investigate mysterious spacecraft touchdown all over the world. With humanity teetering on the edge of global war, the heroine and the team try to find answers as she takes a chance that poses a threat to her life, if not to humanity as a whole.

Utilizing her ability to interpret language, Louise Banks hopes to unravel the mystery of the mysterious spacecraft that have landed in 12 locations around the world. The movie tends to sound quite like Independence Day except there’s a mysterious and darker edge to it that alien lovers will find intriguing and exciting.

Although Life is still due for release on April 24, 2017, I am excited that two of my favorite actors are in it namely, Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Reynolds. The movie is about six astronauts aboard a space station who study a sample they had collected from the red planet Mars. They believe the sample could provide much-needed evidence that there’s extraterrestrial life on the red planet.

Serving as the first example of life outside of our planet, the sample is determined by the astronauts to contain a giant, single-celled organism. However, as it turns out, things are not always what they seem. As the research progresses, the crew finds that their methods cause unforeseen consequences, proving that the life form they had found was more intelligent than they ever knew.

Those who were terrified with Alien will find their fears resurging with this upcoming movie. I can’t wait for its release.

 

Tomorrowland tells the story of a bright and optimistic teen who attempts to save our world from danger. She works together with a former boy-genius inventor who has formed a jaded opinion of the world. The two undertake a dangerous mission to unravel the secrets of a mysterious place in space and time.

That place exists in their collective memory as Tomorrowland.

The best thing about this Walt Disney Pictures offering? It stars George Clooney, who was once the sexiest man alive. However, if George is not exactly your dream man, you can still find plenty to love with the robots, evil machines, and technology paradise that is Tomorrowland.

Grab a copy of the first and third movies, and wait for the second with me, will you?

Resources March 27, 2017 Angela No comments

Free online classes about space

 

 

Okay, so I mentioned something about the KidsAstronomy.com’s Online Astronomy Academy in an earlier post. This post will discuss that very section of the website. Owned and operated by KidsKnowIt Network, KidsAstronomy.com is a terrific astronomy site for kids.

If you want free online classes about space for your child, this is the one to look into.

The KidsAstronomy.com’s Online Astronomy Academy offers a free sky map to users. The Sky Map is interactive, so users can decide what to check out.

There’s The Stars Tonight 5.2 app that allows you to print a free sky map. You can see which constellations are in the sky at a specific month and time. This means you can find the exact constellations on specific nights using a good telescope, which is the best companion for the sky map.

The sky map, once printed out, can be held against the sky at night to allow you to locate the constellations displayed in the vast expanse of the sky. It’s always a fantastic experience for a child to view each one with their own eyes using a premium telescope.

 

There’s even a button that lets you play a song for that specific topic on the page.

The Home Page provides a means for the user to select an Astronomy Packet they prefer to make use of. Course 1, which has 32 assignments in all, is suitable for users ages 7 to 11. On the other hand, Course 2, which has 48 assignments, is recommended for users ages 12 to 18.

This is a wonderful online course for novice astronomers who are on a journey to find out if they have what it takes to study astronomy as a full course in the future. It is a non-complicated means to studying astronomy without the boring classroom atmosphere. Learners can study the celestial objects at their pace, with no pressure to finish a course at a specific time frame.

Learners are not under a rigid setting but can still learn a lot with every course. There’s a recording form through which the course taker can note down their answers to the questions for each course.

There’s also a section that says Homeworksimplified, which provides the following: Free Homework help; Math; English; and Science. I have not explored that section too much since my son Jason is more into astronomy, and that’s what we have focused on.

One astronomy packet ought to be enough for the young learner to learn much each week. Since no one will be around to check the learner’s assignments, it will be up to them to cultivate a culture of determination and commitment to finish the chosen course by themselves.

If you want something that will engage your child’s curiosity about astronomy, just give the KidsAstronomy.com’s Online Astronomy Academy a try. You won’t regret it.

 

 

App March 7, 2017 Angela No comments

The Meteor Counter app – a review

 

 

Available free of charge at Apple’s App store, The Meteor Counter app is one of those exciting things about modern day astronomy that lets you cultivate a real interest in the subject. The app allows people from all walks of life to do their part and share what they see to add to authentic NASA research.

The app is sponsored and supported by two partner organizations namely, NASA and spaceweather.com Awards. The enjoyment of finding something undiscovered in the sky is already pretty exciting, but when you add to that the opportunity to make astronomical discoveries and perhaps get a comet or a meteor named after you, it makes the deal even sweeter.

The data collected from users provides everyone plenty of information about meteor showers as well as the sporadic meteor background. This will allow NASA researchers to configure meteor rate profiles. The profiles will be extremely useful for mapping out a variety of cosmic debris streams that are encountered by our very own planet, thus improving NASA’s ability to make meteor shower activity forecasting.

This app provides a way for anyone to get really excited about watching meteor showers, since, on the average, over 40 tons of meteoroids hit the planet Earth, with most being merely tiny specks of comet dust that harmlessly get blown to nothingness high up in the atmosphere of Earth to generate a slow light rain of meteors across the night sky. Neat, huh? Some nightly fireballs go off around the globe, all from bigger pieces of comet and asteroid debris. Some of those fireballs are even large enough to hit the ground as actual meteorites. The Meteor Counter app enables users to make a simple key tap to record crucial data including the time the meteor was seen, the magnitude of the meteor and the location of the user. An optional voice recorder can even be switched on at your option so you can capture your personal description of the event.

The radiance and trajectory of the meteor can be commented on by astronomy experts, but any user can opt just to exclaim WOW when a meteor is sighted. The recorded data gets uploaded automatically to NASA researchers for in-depth analysis.

How’s that for doing your bit for the world, huh? Designed for all levels of skywatchers the Meteor Counter app can be utilized by first-time sky gazers and experts in science-grade meteor observation.

If you have never seen a meteor before, this is one product you definitely should not pass up on. It provides a way for novice astronomers to become genuine experts in celestial observation.

The experience that every observer gains will be accompanied by how much weight the NASA researchers put into their data for accurate analysis.

Also doubling as a meteor shower alert system, the Meteor Counter app will alert the observer to an event should a meteor shower be expected. App users also get treated to a routine updating executed by professional scientists.

After Jason visited KidsAstronomy.com I had to buy him a telescope for kids and the next thing on the list was this app. He is super excited about all this!

 

 

Resources March 1, 2017 Angela No comments

This website has helped me explain the solar system to Jason

 

 

My son Jason is an inquisitive kid like most kids his age. However, unlike most boys his age who are into motorcycles and scooters and such, my son is very much into astronomy. He loves science so much the telescope he was given by his granddad continues to be his most favorite thing in the house. It’s the last thing he holds at night. He even sleeps with it by his bedside.

I often have to remind him that sleeping with his telescope could cause the delicate or sensitive parts to get damaged, but he still finds a way to sneak the instrument onto his bedside table. Jason has grown so attached to his telescope that it has always been my perennial habit to check he doesn’t have it in his grasp when he sleeps at night.

Jason has plenty of questions about astronomy, and this has made me search far and wide and all over for the best website in astronomy for kids. Most of the sites available are filled with many interesting articles, but explaining each and every article to a child Jason’s age can be a tremendous challenge.

Fortunately, one of the other moms at Jason’s school also has a kid who is also very interested in astronomy. She told me about this website called http://kidsastronomy.com. I ventured into the website on my own, and I was impressed, sure enough.

KidsAstronomy.com provides plenty of astronomy information for students and children of all ages. Even parents like me are likely to pick up plenty of pointers on celestial objects along the way.

Jason and I visit the site together, so I instantly know how to explain particular topics he finds a bit complicated, but those times are seldom because the site is as kid-friendly as any astronomy website for kids should be.

 

Owned and operated by KidsKnowIt Network, which also provides resources on other topics that kids will find equally interesting including memory, math, biology and dinosaurs, just to name a few, KidsAstronomy.com is a simple website where kids can truly learn about astronomy in an effortless manner.

The website comes with a self-guided course that is provided when you decide to take the tour. Your child even gets a special certificate of completion when they have completed the different learning packets they have selected on their own.

KidsAstronomy.com is an free resource on astronomy that has been geared to enable children to enjoy learning about outer space. It presents a resource site that makes astronomy more interesting and not annoying.

 

Kids can enjoy exploring the moons of Jupiter and perhaps, even discover life on those distant worlds beyond our own.

I love that Jason can discover by himself just how expansive outer space is. He has even begun wondering if his Nana, granddaddy, himself and I could perhaps live in one of the other planets when the time comes.

It’s fun exploring KidsAstronomy.com with your child. There’s so much to learn, and there’s plenty to do. Your child will even become knowledgeable on what modern astronomers are doing to push the boundaries of space exploration each and every day.

Packed with activities, games, resources and fun facts, the website can help parents, Science teachers and students of all ages simply reach out and touch the universe in the convenience of the home.