pound & lbs


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Did you know that a ‘pound’ is one way to measure mass? There are 2.2046 pounds in 1 kilogram. But, why is the abbreviation for ‘pound’, lbs? When we weigh something we are referring to ‘pound-mass’ or pound by weight (compared to ‘pound-force’, which measures the amount of ‘push or pull’). The word and abbreviation for ‘pound’ comes from the Latin phrase libra pondo which means ‘a pound by weight’. The word pound comes from ‘pondo’, while the abbreviation for a pound comes from the word ‘libra’.

We hope that you lots of energy to ponder ‘weighty’ matters at school today! Remember to think kind thoughts, use kind words, and do kind things. We Love You.

Bonus Facts:
The ancient Roman unit for mass was a ‘libra’. A Roman libra is equal to about 328.6 grams.

The system that uses pounds and ounces is referred to as the ‘Avoirdupois’ system.

Throughout history there have been many definitions of what a ‘pound’ was. Many were defined by the number of grains of a cereal such as wheat or barley. A Troy pound was used by jewelers; it was equal to 5,760 grains, or about 373.24 of today’s grams. A Merchant’s pound was used in trade; it was equal to 9,600 grains of wheat. A London pound was equal to 7,200 grains. Another version of the pound was the Tower pound. However it was based on the weight of a dirham, an Arabic silver penny. A Tower pound was equal to the weight of 120 silver dirhams, which is equal to about 350 grams.


Thomas A Watson


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Did you know that Thomas Augustus Watson was born today in 1854? He was Alexander Graham Bell’s assistant and helped with Bell’s telephone experiments. Alexander Graham Bell would design the devices for their experiments and Thomas Watson would build the machines. On March 10, 1876 he became the first person to hear a voice transmitted electrically through a wire. After helping to create the Bell Telephone Company, Thomas Watson also created the Fore River Ship and Engine Building Company, which became one of the largest ship building companies in America.

We hope that you keep on thinking of ways to build a better future! Remember to think kind thoughts, use kind words, and do kind things. We Love You.

Bonus Facts:
Supposedly, on March 10, 1876, the words Alexander Graham Bell spoke, were not completely intentional. Their telephone experiment was set up in two separate rooms on separate floors of a house; a wire between the rooms connected the machines. Bell was in one room and Watson in the other. Bell had accidentally spilled some acid on his clothing. He called out for Watson’s help. Both men were surprised that Watson heard Bell’s voice through the wires. The exact words Watson heard are in dispute. Some say Bell said, “Mr. Watson – come here – I want to see you.” Others say he said, “Mr. Watson – Come here – I want you.”

Later on October 9, 1876, Watson and Bell set up a demonstration to speak to each other via telephones. They were two miles apart and had reporters at both locations. The reporters took notes of the conversation and a transcript of their conversation was printed side-by-side in the newspapers, touting the breakthrough of “Audible speech by telegraph”.

On January 25, 1915, Watson and Bell shared another groundbreaking telephone conversation, this time from New York City to San Francisco.

In 1881, Watson left the Bell Telephone Company. He made attempts at farming, acting in a Shakespearean company, and then started a successful shipbuilding company. His company, the Fore River Ship and Engine Company was one of the largest shipyards in the country.

James Earl Jones


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Did you know that James Earl Jones was born today in 1931? He has been described as “one of the greatest actors in American History”. For 60 years he has performed in theater plays, television, movies, and as a voice actor. As a child, a severe stutter prevented him from speaking. One of his high school teachers helped him discover a love and talent for reading and writing poetry, which helped him learn to speak again. While he has performed in hundreds of roles, you may recognize him best as the dark and menacing voice of Darth Vader.

We hope that you persevere and persist on working on things that are hard for you to do. Remember to think kind thoughts, use kind words, and do kind things. We Love You.

Bonus Facts:
As a child James Earl Jones was moved from Mississippi to Michigan to live with his grandparents. The experience was so traumatic that he developed stutter that was so severe he refused to speak. He was, more or less, mute for 8 years, until he entered high school and a teacher helped him find a passion for poetry and acting.

James Earl Jones has performed in varied and versatile roles. He has performed in Shakespearean plays and more modern plays such as Of Mice and Men or Driving Miss Daisy. Some of his film credits include a role in Dr. Strangelove, The Great White Hope, Conan the Barbarian, and The Hunt for Red October. His voice is heard on episodes of the Simpsons, as Mustafa in the Lion King, and in the CNN Tagline.

James Earl Jones was a pre-med major in college, but found that he was not well suited to becoming a doctor.

James Earl Jones served in the United States Army during the Korean War.

Eric Liddell


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Did you know that Eric Liddell was born today in 1902? He was a famous athlete and runner. Before the 1924 Olympics, he found out that the race he was best-at was scheduled on a Sunday, a day sacred to him because of his religious beliefs. Eric Liddell chose to not run in that race. Instead, he started training for another race, one that he was not as good at. At the Olympics, he won the Olympic Gold Medal for that race, and set an Olympic and world record. Eric Liddell’s decision was depicted in a famous movie called Chariots of Fire.

We hope that you work hard and do what you believe is right today! Remember to think kind thoughts, use kind words, and do kind things. We Love You.

Bonus Facts:
Eric Liddell was born in Tianjin, China. In 1945, he passed away from a brain tumor, while interned or imprisoned at the Japanese civilian internment camp near Weifang, China. He was serving as a missionary in China; he worked as a teacher and also provided medical aid. Even in the internment camp, he became a leader. He helped the elderly, taught classes for the children, and organized activities to help improve the life of the others also confined to the camp.

Eric Liddell also played cricket and rugby.

While in college, he set records in the 100-yard and 220-yard races.

In the 1924 Olympics, Eric Liddell was supposed to run in the 100-meter race. He instead trained for the 400-meter race. Before training, his time was moderately good. At the race, he was on the outside lane, so he could not see where the other runners were. Most runners sprinted for the first half of the track, and then ‘coasted’ for the second. Eric Liddell, ran the whole course in a sprint and set an Olympic and world record.

Deep Impact


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Did you know that the spacecraft Deep Impact was launched in 2005? Deep Impact’s mission was to study comets: what they were made of and how they form. After launch, the spacecraft traveled for 174 days to reach the comet Tempel 1. A part called the ‘impactor’ separated and crashed into the surface of the comet. Scientific instruments on Deep Impact, the Hubble Telescope, and other observatories on Earth collected data from the impact. Scientists discovered that the comet had more dust and less ice than they expected and that it may have formed between Neptune and Uranus.

We hope that you make a positive impact at school today! Remember to think kind thoughts, use kind words, and do kind things. We Love You.

Bonus Facts:
Deep Impact launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

The impactor left a crater about 100 meters wide and 30 meters deep. The comet lost an estimated 5 million kilograms of water and 10-25 million kilograms of dust.

As part of the mission, there was a promotional campaign “Send Your Name To A Comet”. Between May 2003 and January 2004 625,000 visitors to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory website added their names to a list that would be burnt on to a mini CD. The CD was attached to the impactor.

After the conclusion of the Deep Impact mission, Deep Impact was ‘put in hiberation’. The extended mission of Deep Impact has been designated as EPOXI (Extrasolar Planet Observation and Deep Impact Extended Investigation) and has tried to visit other comets and asteroids.

For more information about the Deep Impact mission, click here.

Moons of Uranus


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Did you know that in 1787, William Herschel discovered Titania and Oberon, the first two moons of Uranus? The moons of Uranus are named after characters created by William Shakespeare and Alexander Pope. Scientists have discovered 27 moons orbiting Uranus. The first five moons of Uranus were discovered between 1787 – 1851. The next moon was not discovered until 1948, the latest moon was discovered in 2016. The five largest moons are large enough to have planetary mass. If they orbited the Sun on their own, they would be considered dwarf planets!

We hope that you discover something fascinating today at school! Remember to think kind thoughts, use kind words, and do kind things. We Love You.

Bonus Facts:
Titania is the eighth-largest moon in the solar system. it is about one-twentieth the size of our moon.

Uranus’ 27 moons are divided in to 3 groups: inner moons, major moons, and irregular moons.

William Herschel also discovered the planet Uranus.

word root – labor


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Did you know that the word root ‘labor’ comes from the Latin word labor, which means ‘to work’? Some English words that use this root include elaborate, which means to work to put details into something; or describes something that shows great work and detail. To belabor is to ‘over’ work or to worry too much about an issue. To collaborate is to work together or to cooperate with someone to finish a project. Can you think of any other words with the root ‘labor’?

We hope that you labor industriously today! Remember to think kind thoughts, use kind words, and do kind things. We Love You.

Bonus Facts:
The word collaborate or collaborator has a slightly darker meaning, referring to helping an enemy nation during war or after an enemy has occupied a country. In many cases, after the conflict is over, collaborators were often persecuted or prosecuted.



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Did you know that Steve Jobs introduced the original iPhone in 2007? The first iPhone was described as ‘revolutionary’. Designing and developing the iPhone started in 2004. The secretive project was called ‘Project Purple’. At the time, other ‘smart phones’ were only designed for making calls or other basic communication tasks. The iPhone was designed for communication, but also browsing the web, taking pictures or videos, listening to music, watching movies, playing games, and more. Since 2007 Apple has created 11 ‘generations’ of the iPhone, each with different or improved features.

We hope that you have a great time connecting and communicating with your classmates! Remember to think kind thoughts, use kind words, and do kind things. We Love You.

Bonus Facts:
At the time, other mobile phone companies created and sold many different types of handsets based on different intended markets (e.g. business or personal use). Depending on the market, the same handset might have features such as cameras, games, or the ability to play music added or removed. Apple streamlined its product line and offered one model of phone for all markets. The phone was higher-quality and cost more as well.

Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone as a “widescreen iPod with touch controls”, a “revolutionary mobile phone”, and a “breakthrough Internet communicator”. He said the phone was not just a communication tool, but a way of life.

The “i” in iMac, iPod, iPhone, or iPad stands for internet, individual, instruction, inform, or inspire.

Johannes Fabricius


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Did you know that Johannes Fabricius was born today in 1587? He was one of the first astronomers to discover sunspots. Sunspots are dark patches that temporarily appear on the Sun’s surface or photosphere. Scientists are still studying this phenomenon, but they have found that sunspots are areas where the surface temperatures of the Sun are cooler (and therefore not as ‘bright’). They vary in size from 10 – 100,000 miles in diameter. A sunspot can last a few days or a few months and seem to follow an 11-year cycle.

After so much snow, we hope you have a bright and sunny day today! Remember to think kind thoughts, use kind words, and do kind things. We Love You.

Bonus Facts:
His name is sometimes listed as Johann Goldsmid.

Johannes Fabricius’ father was also an astronomer. He discovered the variable star, Mira Ceti.

Johannes Fabricius worked with his father as they observed sunspots through their telescope. Initially the observations were made directly!! Their writings describe the extreme irritations and danger of observing the sun with the naked eye. Later they used a ‘camera obscura’ technique; or projected an image of the sun through a pinhole.

Johannes Fabricius’s sunspot observations also helped to show that the sun rotated on an axis.

Johannes Fabricius’ sunspot observations and writings were forgotten for almost 100 years and rediscovered when some of his work was reprinted in 1723.

Sunspot temperatures register from 2700C – 4200C, which is cooler than the average surface temperature of 5500C.

Sunspots may be connected to magnetic flux tubes, and the movement and tangling of these tubes interferes with the movement of energy.

The sunspot phenomena also appear on other stars. They are called starspots.

word day – geo



Did you know that the word root ‘geo’ comes from the Greek word ‘ge’ or ‘gaia’ (γῆ, γαῖα) which means land, soil, country, or earth? English words that use this root include geology, which is the scientific study of rocks, minerals, and the physical history of the Earth. A geode is a special rock that is filled with crystals; the word geode means ‘earth like’. Pangea was huge continent that existed more than 300 million years ago. Can you think of any other ‘geo’ words?

We are happy that your studies help you ‘map out and learn’ about many places in the world! Remember to think kind thoughts, use kind words, and do kind things. We Love You.

Bonus Facts:
Gaia was a figure in Greek mythology that represented the Earth.

The term ‘geometry’ also uses the word root ‘geo’. The word is composed of the words ‘geo’ and ‘metron’, which means ‘earth measurement’. It is the study of shape, size, and relative position of figures and space. A person who studies or works with geometry is called a ‘geometer’.

Geography is the study of the physical and human features of the Earth, such as country boundaries or where mountain ranges and lakes are located.

The word ‘apogee’ also uses the word root ‘ge’. It means the point where an object such as a moon or satellite is at the farthest point from the Earth.