Isaac Asimov

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Did you know that Isaac Asimov was born today in 1920? He was a very famous author and wrote books, short stories, magazine articles, and more. Asimov wrote nonfiction works about scientific concepts, chemistry, biology, astronomy, math, history, and William Shakespeare’s writing. He is best known for his fiction stories, especially his science fiction, but he also wrote mysteries and fantasy stories. Some of his most famous works are the Foundation series and the I, Robot series. During his life he wrote more than 500 books and 90,000 letters and postcards!

We hope that you continue to build a great foundation for reading and writing! Remember to think kind thoughts, use kind words, and do kind things. We Love You.

Bonus Facts:
Some say that January 2nd was not the day that Isaac Asimov was born. He was born in Russia, in a place and time where the records were not very accurate. It is possible that he was born sometime in October and January, but there are no supporting records and none of his family knew the exact date. Isaac Asimov picked January 2nd as his birthday.

Isaac Asimov was a capable and sociable public speaker. He made frequent appearances at science fiction conventions and gave science-themed talks on cruise ships. He was patient with answering questions and happy to give autographs.

Some of Isaac Asimov’s interests included Gilbert and Sullivan comic operas and the Baker Street Irregulars, a Sherlock Holmes society.

Isaac Asimov has published works in 9 of the 10 major Dewey Decimal System categories.

Isaac Asimov created the phrases ‘robotics’, ‘spome’, and ‘psychohistory’.

Isaac Asimov was also a professor of biochemistry at Boston University.

During World War II, Isaac Asimov served as a civilian at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Naval Air Experimental Station. He was drafted into the army, but his deployment was delayed by a bureaucratic error.

Despite writing stories about space flight, Isaac Asimov hated flying. He only flew twice in his life.

They have been adapted for television and movies; and many references to his ideas and works are found in popular culture.

An asteroid, crater on Mars, and literary award are named in Isaac Asimov’s honor.

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George W Fuller

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Did you know that George W. Fuller was born today in 1868? He was an American sanitary engineer. Sanitary engineers design treatment plants that purify water from lakes, rivers, and other sources to make it drinkable; and cleanse waste water from sewers, gutters, and storm drains before it is released into the environment. George W. Fuller designed and built the first system that used chlorine to disinfect a drinking water supply and significantly improved designs for waste water treatment. His work saved many lives by increasing access to clean water and reducing exposure to waterborne diseases such as cholera and typhoid fever.

We hope that you remember to be thankful for clean water! Remember to think kind thoughts, use kind words, and do kind things. We Love You.

Bonus Facts:
George W. Fuller also had training in chemistry and bacteriology. He was internationally considered an expert civil and sanitary engineer.

The first chlorination plant was built for Jersey City, New Jersey in 1908. Despite a near impossible deadline, George Fuller’s team completed the treatment plant in 99 days.

George W. Fuller also designed the first modern water filtration plant.

Water treatment plants use mechanical, chemical, and biological processes to clean water. Mechanical processes include sieves and sand filters to remove large debris and particulate matter. Chemical processes include disinfectants such as chlorine or ozone. Biological processes may include microbes that ‘eat’ biological waste.

word day – fict, fig, fing

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Did you know that the word roots ‘fig’ and ‘fict’ come from the Latin word fingo, which means to form, make, or shape something? Some English words that use these roots include configure, which means to organize something into a certain shape or order. To transfigure means to change the appearance or shape of something. A figurine, is a small ornament or statue made to look or represent someone or something. A figment is an idea or situation that is imagined or made-up. Can you think of any other ‘fig’ or ‘fict’ words?

We hope you know there is nothing fictional about our love for you! Remember to think kind thoughts, use kind words, and do kind things. We (really do) Love You.

Bonus Facts:
Other forms of the verb ‘fingo’ include fingere, finxi, and fictum.

The word ‘feign’ comes from the Middle English word ‘feinen’ and the Old French word ‘feign’. Both come from the Latin ‘fingere’.

Robert B. Sherman

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Did you know that Robert Sherman was born today in 1925? He composed music and songs for theater plays, movies, and more. Robert Sherman and his brother wrote songs for movies such as Mary Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and Charlotte’s Web. Their most famous song was written for a ride at the UNICEF pavilion at the 1964 New York’s World Fair. Initially the ride was called, “Children of the World”, but Walt Disney was so delighted by the song the Sherman brothers wrote, that the ride was renamed after the song – “It’s a Small World (After All)”.

We hope that you find that “a smile means friendship to everyone” today! Remember to think kind thoughts, use kind words, and do kind things. We Love You.

Bonus Facts:
When Robert Sherman was 16, he wrote a play Armistice and Dedication Day. It showed how lives changed following the attack n Pearl Harbor. The play earned thousands of dollars for War Bonds. Robert Sherman received a special citation from the War Department for his achievement.

During World War II, Robert Sherman asked for and received permission from his parents to join the army a year early, when he was just 17. After two years of service, he was shot in the knee; this injury would force him to walk with a cane for the rest of his life. Sherman received the Purple Heart and other medals for his service to the country.

Robert Sherman’s father was also a songwriter. After Robert Sherman returned from serving during World War II, Robert’s father challenged Robert and his brother to write songs together.

The music that was initially planned for the “Children of the World” ride was initially a collection of national anthems. However, the result was discordant, a cacophony. Disney wanted the Sherman brothers to write a song that could be easily translated into many languages, and could be sung in a round. Initially “It’s A Small World” was presented to Walt Disney as a slow ballad. However, Disney was looking for something more cheerful. The Sherman brothers sped up the tempo and created the song that became instantly popular and well-loved.

Robert Sherman also painted.

In 2008, Robert Sherman and his brother Richard received the National Medal of Arts, an award created by the Congress of the United States and presented by the President of the United States.

Robert Sherman and his brother Richard Sherman also received a “Window on Main Street” in Disneyland. This is one of the highest honors a Disney ‘cast member’ can receive. These windows appear to be part of fictional businesses, but aside from the names painted on the window, they also allude to a hobby or interest of the person honored. Their window shows the title “Two Brother Tune-Makers” and has a picture of a piano.

Paul Siple

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Did you know that Paul Siple was born today in 1908? He was an American explorer, author, and geographer. He participated in six expeditions to Antarctica. He wrote 4 books about his experiences, exploration, and about scouting. Later, he studied how explorers could adapt to cold weather. He developed equipment and clothing for extreme climates such as: the Antarctic and arctic, mountains, deserts, and the tropics. Paul Siple also helped to develop the idea of the wind chill factor. The wind chill is the cooler temperature you ‘feel’ when there is a strong wind.

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

Bonus Facts:
Paul Siple was one of very few individuals that participated in all five of Richard E. Byrd’s Antarctic expeditions. He was the first Eagle Scout selected for an Antarctic expedition; his place on the expedition was publicly funded ‘by pennies, nickels, and dimes’ sent in by supporters of scouting.

Paul Siple was an Eagle Scout with 59 merit badges. He was also a Sea Scout.

Paul Siple also traveled through Europe, the Soviet Union, Asia Minor, and Africa. It is said that Paul Siple visted seven continents and most major island masses.

Paul Siple was the inaugural scientific leader at the U.S. Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station in 1956.

There are many Antarctic geographic features named in honor of Paul Siple. Some examples are Siple Coast, Siple Island, Mount Siple, and Siple Station. He also received medals from the National Geographic Society, the Boy Scouts of America, and more.

Vibert Douglas

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Did you know that Vibert Douglas was born today in 1894? She was a Canadian astronomer and astrophysicist. An astronomer observes, locates, and maps new stars, planets, or other objects in space. Astrophysics study how stars ‘work’, develop, and evolve. In high school, Viber Douglas wanted to join a science club, but they did not allow girls to join. Her brother helped her unofficially participate by leaving the door open, so she could sit outside and still hear the science lectures. Later, she worked hard to become a university Professor of Astronomy and helped many other women enter and study science, engineering, and medicine.

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

Bonus Facts:
Vibert Douglas’ full name was Allie Vibert Douglas. She preferred to go by her middle name, Vibert.

Vibert Douglas was the first Canadian woman to become an astrophysicist.

During World War I, Vibert Douglas and her family moved back to England. While her brother served as an officer, Vibert worked in the War Office as a statistician. She persevered and excelled at her job, even when bombs fell close to her workplace. In 1918, when she was 23, she was awarded the Order of the British Empire.

A crater on Venus and Asteroid 3269 are named in her honor.

Last Man on the Moon

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Did you know that in 1972, Eugene Cernan became the last person to walk on the Moon? The first human to walk on the Moon on July 20, 1969. Between 1969 and 1972, there were 6 space flights to the Moon. As part of those missions, 27 men landed on the Moon and 12 men walked on the surface of Moon. These Moon landing missions gathered scientific data about the moon and brought back samples of rocks and dust. While it has been more than 25 years since a human step foot on the Moon, scientists all over the world continue to send space probes to gather data and study the Moon.

We hope that you take a giant leap towards discovering something new today! Remember to think kind thoughts, use kind words, and do kind things. We Love You.

Bonus Facts:
The first human to walk on the moon was Neil Armstrong.

Eugene Cernan was part of the Apollo 17 mission.

The Cold War incited the ‘space race’ between the Soviet Union and the United States of America. The two countries vied to the be first to their astronauts to the Moon and beyond.

The Apollo missions brought back 842 pounds of lunar rocks and soil for scientific study. Scientists have found that these rocks are very old, perhaps from a period of the Solar System’s early development. Some of the rocks brought back have no terrestrial counterparts – they are completely unique to the moon.

Robert Plot

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Did you know that Robert Plot was born today in 1640? He was an English naturalist. A naturalist was an early scientist that studied and observed animals, plants, rocks, and other parts of nature. He also studied ‘antiquities’ or artifacts from ancient civilizations. Robert Plot is best known for creating the first known illustration of a fossil. At the time, people did not know about dinosaurs or other prehistoric creatures. They thought that the odd ‘bones’ they found belonged to giants, or that they were just rocks that were coincidentally shaped like bones or other living things.

We hope that you have a ‘rock-solid’ day at school today! Remember to think kind thoughts, use kind words, and do kind things. We Love You.

Bonus Facts:
The fossil Robert Plot created an illustration of was a femur of a Megalosaurus.

Robert Plot also oversaw the Asmolean Museum, School of Natural History, and chemistry lab at Oxford. He was the first professor of chemistry at Oxford.

Robert Plot was also interested in alchemy.

Word Day – dec / decim

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Did you know that the word root ‘dec’ comes from the Greek word δέκα which means ‘ten’? The word root ‘decim’ comes from the Latin word ‘decimus’ which means ‘tenth’. Some words that use these roots include decade, which is ten years. A decagon is a shape with ten sides. A decathlon is a track-and-field contest with ten different events. The decimal system of numbers uses units of 10. Can you think of any other ‘dec’ or ‘decim’ words?

Your decapod friends and I can’t wait for you to come home from school! Remember to think kind thoughts, use kind words, and do kind things. We Love You.

Bonus Facts:
The month of December uses this word root. In the ancient Roman calendar, December was the tenth month of the year.

The word ‘dime’ is remotely related to the dec / decim root. It comes from the old French word ‘disme’, which comes from the Latin word ‘decimus’, meaning tenth.

The current events of the decathlon are the 100-meter race, long jump, shot put, high jump, 400-meter race, hurdles, discus throw, pole vault, javelin throw, and 1500-meter race.

The word ‘decimate’ used to mean to take a tenth part. It sometimes applied to the idea of ‘punishing every tenth soldier in a group’. Now the word usually indicates the idea of destroying a large proportion of something. Usually, the word ‘decimate’ is not used along with exact fractions or percentages. For example, you would not say, “The blight decimated 70 percent of the crop”.

Robert Koch

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Did you know that Robert Heinrich Hermann Koch was born today in 1843? He was a physician and microbiologist. He is also known as the founder of bacteriology; bacteriology is the study of bacteria. Robert Koch conducted experiments that supported the idea of infection as the method for spreading disease. Previously, people thought that diseases were caused by ‘bad air’, imbalances in blood, or just suddenly appeared. Robert Koch was able to identify the bacteria that caused the diseases anthrax, cholera, and tuberculosis. In 1905 Robert Koch received the Nobel Prize for his research on tuberculosis.

We hope that you find and recognize something that causes you to be happy today! Remember to think kind thoughts, use kind words, and do kind things. We Love You.

Bonus Facts:
Robert Koch developed what are now known as Koch’s postulates, or requirements for identifying a bacteria as the cause of a disease or condition.

  1. The organism must always be present in all cases of the disease
  2. The organism must be isolated from a host infected with the disease and be grown in a pure culture
  3. The organism grown from the culture must cause the same disease when used to infect a healthy test animal
  4. The organism must be collected and isolated from the test animal, and then identified as the same organism that was collected from the original infected host

Robert Koch also improved laboratory technology and techniques used in microbiology. For example, he developed the technique of growing bacteria cultures in agar gelatin. He also developed the procedure for isolating and growing specific kinds of bacteria.

The Robert Koch Institute, a German agency responsible for disease control and prevention, was founded by Robert Koch in 1891 and in named after him in his honor.