Daniel Bovet


, ,

Did you know that Daniel Bovet was born in 1907? He was an Swiss-Italian pharmacologist. A pharmacologist is a scientist that studies how chemicals, such as drugs, interact with and affect the human body. Our brain and body communicate using chemical ‘messengers’ called neurotransmitters. In 1957 Daniel Bovet received the Nobel Prize for his work studying drugs that block certain neurotransmitters. Daniel Bovet is best known for his discovery of antihistamines. Histamine is the ‘messenger’ that causes allergic responses such as itching, sneezing, and runny or stuffy nose. Antihistamine drugs block these messages and are used in allergy medications.

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

Bonus Facts:
Daniel Bovet also studied sulfa drugs, chemotherapy drugs, and curare (a natural paralytic).

Daniel Bovet won the 1957 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

Daniel Bovet was a native Esperanto speaker.

Click here for more information about Daniel Bovet.


World Water Day


, , , ,

Did you know that March 22nd is World Water Day? World Water Day highlights the importance of freshwater, safe drinking water, and managing water resources. Lack of safe drinking water causes problems with health, jobs, and education. Some issues that affect freshwater resources include natural and man-made water pollution, floods, droughts, overuse and more. Currently, 2.1 billion people in the world do not have access to safe drinking water! The theme for 2018 is ‘Nature for Water” and encourages people to look to nature for answers to water issues.

We hope that you think of possible ways to protect our world’s freshwater resources! Remember to think kind thoughts, use kind words, and do kind things. We Love You.

Bonus Facts:
The first World Water Day was established by the United Nations in 1993.

Events that observe World Water Day help inspire people to learn more about water-related issues and to choose to make a difference in protecting our freshwater resources. Some examples of activities include seminars, concerts, art and writing contests, performances, learning activities, and more.

The Tropics


, ,

Did you know that the ‘tropics’ are located between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn? The Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn are the northern and southern-most points from the Equator, where the Sun will appear to be directly overhead during the respective summer solstices. Areas within the tropics usually have closer to 12 hours of daylight and night time and stay the same (mostly warm) temperature year-round; they do not have what we call ‘seasons’. Because the amount of daylight varies through the year, areas north or south of these boundaries do have seasons, warmer summers and colder winters.

We hope that you maintain a warm and sunny attitude today! Remember to think kind thoughts, use kind words, and do kind things. We Love You.

Bonus Facts:
There is a geographic coordinate system, like a grid, used to identify points on the Earth’s surface? The vertical lines are called ‘longitude’ lines. The starting point, or 0° line is located at the Prime Meridian in Greenwich, England. The horizontal lines care called ‘latitude’ lines. The starting or 0° line is located at the equator. A geographic coordinate tells you how many ‘degrees’ east or west of the Prime Meridian and how many ‘degrees’ north or south of the equator the location is.

The Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn lies at 23.5° north or south of the Equator. The 23.5° is related to the axial tilt of the Earth. The exact position of the Tropic ‘lines’ is not fixed. The Tropic lines shift each year.

The Tropic of Cancer and Capricorn were named after the constellations the sun was located in 2,000 years ago. Currently the sun is Taurus.

Areas north of the Tropic of Cancer, or south of the Tropic of Capricorn will never experience a day where the sun is directly overhead.

Hawaii is one of the only places in the US that lies within the tropic zone. The Solstice sun event is called ‘Lahaina Noon’.

SS Georgiana


, ,

Did you know that the SS Georgiana was destroyed in 1863? The SS Georgiana was rumored to be the most powerful steamship built for the Confederate States Navy. However, the SS Georgiana never sailed as a warship. On the night of March 19, 1863, Union Navy ships spotted the SS Georgiana trying to sneak past the naval blockade. When the ship was heavily damaged and could not evade capture, the captain or the SS Georgiana ordered the crew to beach, or crash, the ship into too-shallow water. Exactly 102 years later, on March 19, 1965, E. Lee Spence discovered the wreck of the Georgiana off the coast of South Carolina.

We hope that you have a shipshape day today! Remember to think kind thoughts, use kind words, and do kind things. We Love You.

Bonus Facts:
The SS Georgiana was built in Glasgow, Scotland and was supposed to quickly sneak past the naval blockade around Charleston, South Carolina. The blockade ships that pursued the SS Georgiana came so close, the crew of the Georgiana could hear the commands being given on the other ships. After the SS Georgiana was scuttled, Lieutenant Commander John L. Davis ordered that the wreck be burned down to prevent the Confederates from salvaging the cargo from shore.

The SS Georgiana was a screw propelled steamship. The wreck of the Mary Bowery, a paddlewheel steamship, lies across the remains of the SS Georgiana. On August 31, 1864, while trying to run and evade the blockade around Charleston, South Carolina, the Mary Bowery struck the wreck of the SS Georgiana and also sank.

E. Lee Spence received the first salvage license in 1967. He was able to recover hundreds of thousands of artifacts.

The wreck of the SS Georgiana and Mary Bowery still lie in very shallow water. The boiler of the SS Georgiana is only 5 feet under the surface of the water. Divers can explore the hold of the Georgiana, which is heavy encrusted with sea life and a habitat for sea bass, grouper, stingrays, sea horses, living corals, and more.

Andrew Smith Hallidie


, ,

Did you know that Andrew Smith Hallidie was born today in 1836? He was an inventor and engineer. When he was 16, Andrew came to California from England and worked at the gold mines. At the mines, the ropes used to haul heavy machinery wore out after only 75 days. Andrew designed a new material – wire rope. The replacement ropes lasted for two years. Later Andrew Hallidie also designed the world’s first cable car system in San Francisco. The system used a wire cable to move cable cars along tracks. When the car or trolley ‘grips’ the cable, it moves, when it lets go of the cable, it slows down and stops.

We hope that you have a resilient day today! Remember to think kind thoughts, use kind words, and do kind things. We Love You.

Bonus Facts:
When he was 16 he and he father travelled from England to the gold mines of California. They did not succeed at gold mining and his father returned to England, but Andrew stayed and worked as a miner, surveyor, and blacksmith.

Andrew Smith Hallidie also built many bridges in California.

Initially wire ropes were used mainly in mining operations. Later they were also used for situations where heavy loads needed to be lifted safely and reliably, such as in cable cars, cranes, and elevators. Today, wire cables are found in many other applications such as the connection between the controls of an airplane and the various control surfaces on the wing.

The San Francisco cable car system may have been the first cable car system in the world.

A cable car system has a wire cable that is constantly moving along a track. When the cable car needs to stop, it releases the cable. When it needs to move, it grasps the cable again.

Johan Vaaler and the paper clip


, , ,

Did you know that Johan Vaaler was born today in 1866? He is a Norwegian inventor and associated with the creating the paper clip. In 1899, Johan Vaaler described his invention as a thread of steel wire used to bind paper together. It was rectangular, with two wires overlapping on one of the sides. Little did he know, a similar device (the Gem Paper-Fastener) had already been invented in Britain and in use since the 1870’s. The Gem paper clip was easier to use and is still the most common type of paper clip in use today.

We hope that you have a well-organized day today! Remember to think kind thoughts, use kind words, and do kind things. We Love You.

Bonus Facts:
The story of Vaaler’s ‘invention’ of the paper clip came to light during World War II and was eventually listed as fact in some encyclopedias. During World War II, the paper clip became a symbol of the Norwegian resistance to German occupation. During the occupation, all badges, pins, or other items bearing traditional national symbols, or symbols of the exiled Norwegian king, were banned. Members of the Norwegian resistance began to wear paper clips on their lapels instead to show support and unity with their cause. In Norwegian, paper clips are called ‘binders’ and reinforced the idea that ‘we are bound together’.

The Gem paper clip was never patented.



, ,

Did you know that March 14th is “π day”? The Greek letter π is pronounced ‘pie’, or sometimes written out in letters as ‘pi’. π is the symbol used to represent the special number that is calculated when comparing a circle’s circumference to its diameter. This number’s value is close to, but not exactly, 3.14. If you take a string and wrap it around something circular, you’ll find that the length of that string is about three times longer than the width of the circle. You’ll find this works, no matter how large or small the circle!

We hope that you have a well-rounded day today! Remember to think kind thoughts, use kind words, and do kind things. We Love You.

Bonus Facts:
The symbol π was used to represent this mathematical constant around the mid 1700’s. It is derived from the Greek word ‘perimetros’, which means circumference.

Sometimes π is called “Archimedes’ Constant”. Archimedes used nestled polygons to approximate the value of π. His calculated value is close to 22 divided by 7.

Many ancient civilizations approximated the value for π. Chinese mathematicians calculated a value accurate to seven decimal places. Ancient Egyptians used the approximation of 22 divided by 7. In 1873, William Shanks manually calculated 527 digits of π. Currently, programmers and mathematicians have used computers to calculate π to 22.4 trillion digits.

Since π is closely related to the circle, this ‘number’ and symbol appears in formulas in geometry, trigonometry, physics. It is also used in statistics, number theory, and more.

Joseph Biedenharn and Coca Cola Bottles


, ,

Did you know that the first time Coca-Cola soda was bottled was in 1894? Before it was served in bottles, Coca-Cola was only served in stores from a machine called a ‘soda fountain’. An employee, called a ‘soda jerk’ because of the quick motion of his hands, would mix the Coca-Cola syrup with carbonated water to make the drink. Joseph Biedenharn, the owner of a candy company, was the first to bottle pre-mixed Coca-Cola drinks, which allowed him to deliver and sell the drink to people who lived far away from soda fountain stores.

We hope that you find new ways to distribute your great ideas today! Remember to think kind thoughts, use kind words, and do kind things. We Love You.

Bonus Facts:
The machine that served carbonated beverages was sometimes called a ‘soda fountain’. Some had very elaborate designs. They were found in pharmacies, ice cream parlors, candy stores, department stores, and train stations. The employees that prepared these carbonated beverages were called ‘soda clerks’, which later became ‘soda jerks’ because of the quick hand motions they used while making the drinks.

Joseph Biedenharn’s first bottling facility was in Vicksburg, Mississippi. The bottles they used had a very different shape from the now iconic Coca-Cola bottle, which came in 1915. Later Joseph Biedenharn moved to northeastern Louisiana where he established another facility to bottle Coca-Cola.

Joseph Biedenarn was not just the first to bottle Coca-Cola. He was also the first to set up the marketing technique of franchise bottlers who distribute the carbonated beverages to stores and restaurants.

Gold! Rancho San Francisco


, ,

Did you know that the first documented discovery of gold in California happened in 1842? The discovery was made in a place called Rancho San Francisco, located in Southern California. As the legend goes, Francisco Lopez was resting under an oak tree and fell asleep. While he was sleeping he dreamed that he was floating in a pool of gold. When he woke up, he pulled some wild onions out of the ground and found flakes of gold in their roots! The tree he sat under still exists, it is a California Historical Landmark and called the “Oak of the Golden Dream”.

We hope that you find ways to make your dreams come true! Remember to think kind thoughts, use kind words, and do kind things. We Love You.

Bonus Facts:
The discovery of gold at Rancho San Francisco happened about six years before the larger Californian Gold Rush in 1849. While the legend likes to romanticize the situation and paint is a fortunate event, Francisco Lopez had knowledge of mineralogy and was using that knowledge to search for gold deposits.

While the news of the discovery of gold remained in the, then, Mexican territory, the news did cause a small ‘gold rush’. About 2000 people came to mine the gold from other Mexican territories. During the Mexican-American war, the mine was destroyed to prevent it from coming under control of the United States government.

Most of the modern city of Santa Clarita lies within the boundaries of Rancho San Francisco.

Ignacy Łukasiewicz


, ,

Did you know that Ignacy Łukasiewicz was born today in 1822? He was a Polish inventor, engineer, and businessman. He helped to establish the modern petroleum industry. Petroleum is a sticky black liquid which can be separated into parts or ‘refined’ to make different kinds of compounds such as gasoline or kerosene. Ignacy Łukasiewicz built the first modern oil well to collect petroleum, and oil refinery to separate petroleum into useable substances. He also invented the kerosene lamp and modern street lamp, which brought steady, clean light and are still used in parts of the world today, where electricity is not available.

We hope that you have an illuminating day at school! Remember to think kind thoughts, use kind words, and do kind things. We Love You.

Bonus Facts:
Ignacy Łukasiewicz is also known as Jan Józef Ignacy Łukasiewicz.

Petroleum or crude oil is created when large quantities of dead organisms are buried underneath sedimentary rock and experience intense heat and pressure.

Ignacy Łukasiewicz distilled kerosene from seep oil. In 1853 he created the kerosene lamp and the first modern street light. He built the first oil ‘mine’ or well in 1854; which is still operational in 2006. He built the first oil refinery in 1856, it was destroyed in 1859, but rebuilt.

On July 31, 1853, doctors needed to perform an emergency operation. Candlelight did not provide adequate light. They had heard about Ignacy Łukasiewicz’s invention, his new kerosene lamps. The lamp provided amazingly bright and clean light. Afterwards, the hospital ordered several more lamps and a large supply of fuel as well.

Sometime kerosene is called paraffin, lamp oil, or coal oil.

Humans have used petroleum for at least 4000 years.