Watch the Perseid Meteors Tonight

By , August 14, 2010 2:53 pm

perseid_meteor_2007

By Brocken Inaglory – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2632873

Last night I woke my two oldest children up at 2:30AM.  I led my confused and sleepy babies out onto the golf course behind our house armed with a flashlight and a blanket.  I spread out the blanket on the cool, damp grass of the fairway, we all laid on it facing northeast … and hoped that the sprinklers would not go off! Lol!

The children were astonished by what they saw – shooting stars, lots of them!  We also saw the Milky Way and several satellites marching in line across the night sky.

Our fabulous unplugged (and free!) show was the annual Perseid Meteor Shower.  The peak was the nights of August 12 and 13th, but you might still be able to see a pretty good display through the 22nd (especially if you are lucky enough to live in a low ambient light area like we do).  Just look to the northeast after midnight.

PS.  Most visible in the Northern Hemisphere, sorry!

LINKS:

EarthSky’s Meteor Shower Guide

Excellent Perseid Meteor Shower Expected

How-To: Photographing the Perseid Meteor Shower

Perseid Photo Gallery

For another of our astronomy adventures, you might like to read: The Moon Unplugged? Not For Me!! (Part 1) and Mom Unplugged vs. Evil Sleepy Poser Mom – Lunar Dilemma Part 2.

“Unplug Your Kids” in Family Fun Magazine!

By , August 4, 2010 7:27 am

The August 2010 issue of Family Fun magazine has a great article entitled “The Great Unplugged Challenge” (“Better Than TV” on the cover) about a family who unplugs the TV and computer for 5 days. It would be an interesting and fun read for anyone considering unplugging their family.

Plus, I must admit proudly, that I was interviewed for the article and am mentioned (along with Unplug Your Kids) several times! VERY exciting!!

It’s on news stands now. Enjoy!

(PS.  A big thank you to Jennifer King Lindley for writing this article and for including me and Unplug Your Kids!)

Pretty – Monthly Unplugged Project

By , August 3, 2010 6:40 pm

Again, I am LATE!  The problem with trying to be unplugged is, well, you are often unplugged.  I guess that is a good thing.

The theme for this month’s Unplugged Project is the very open-ended concept of:

Pretty

Have fun and be creative!  If you have never joined us before, please consider it.  You can read more about how it works here.

Clam Shell Mobile – “Beach” Unplugged Project

By , August 2, 2010 2:01 pm

TURN YOUR DINNER INTO ART!

As is my pattern these days, I am a day or two late in posting our project for July’s Unplugged Project theme of beach.  Oh well!

I am such a packrat that I have had these clam shells sitting around all summer.  In fact, I am embarrassed to admit that I saved them from a fabulous meal in Upstate New York back in June and brought them all the way home with me!  (I just don’t really trust Arizona seafood.) We soaked them in hot soapy water right away after eating to clean off any grease and smell.

We used a dremel tool to drill a small hole in each one.  You’ll need a good masonry drill or dremel bit for this since, as we discovered, clam shells are quite hard.

Before we began painting, we soaked them again, this time overnight in pure bleach just to get rid of the last lingering slightly clammy smell. We then rinsed them off in cold water and let them dry.

Next we painted the outside of them bright colors. (I think it would also have been a pretty project with them left as-is, but my daughter wanted them to be colorful since this was to hang in her room.)

After the paint dried, we decided to splatter them with gold paint using old toothbrushes.  Fun but a bit messy!

We left the inside natural, but you could paint that too if you want.

After they had dried completely (overnight), we strung a piece of fishing line through each one.  My daughter brought in four sticks from the yard to make the frames for hanging them.

We tied each pair of sticks together in the form of a cross using yarn and then hung one shell off each arm of one of the crosses.  We suspended the second cross below the first using yarn to create a second tier.  We again tied one shell onto each arm and hung our final one much lower from the center.

Voilà!

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