Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Fascinating Force of Gravity

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by apple1165

ISAAC NEWTON, about 300 years ago, theorized how gravity works. He imagined a man throwing an object from the top of an unusually high mountain. If simply dropped, the object would fall, as would an apple, downward to the ground.

If, however, it was thrown forward, it would follow a curved path in falling to the ground. Newton then reasoned that if thrown fast enough, it would circle the earth in an orbit.

From this theorizing, the link between gravity and the movements of the moon and the planets became apparent to him: the moon bound in an orbit around the earth because of the pull of earth's gravity and the planets kept in their orbits by the sun's gravity.

A Universal Law

After careful study, Newton formulated a precise mathematical description of this universal law. Simply stated, Newton's equations said that all objects, small or large, exert a pull on one another, the strength of that pull being dependent on how massive the objects are and on the distance between them.

With some refinements, scientists still use Newton's basic formulas describing gravity, particularly in planning such space ventures as sending a space probe to encounter Halley's comet in 1985. In fact, English astronomer Edmond Halley, a colleague of Newton, used Newton's theories to predict the year when that comet would next appear.

Newton's discoveries about gravity gave him a glimpse of the order manifest in the universe, an orderliness that arises through intelligent design. But his work was by no means the final word on the subject. At the beginning of this century, scientists came to realize that some aspects of Newton's theories were inadequate, even inconsistent.

Einstein and Gravity

In 1916 Albert Einstein put forward his general theory of relativity. His amazing discovery was that gravity not only shapes the universe but also governs the way we see and measure it. Why, gravity even affects the way time is measured!

Again, an illustration helps clarify matters. Imagine space to be like a boundless rubber sheet. Now, placing an object on this flexible mat will cause a dimple, or depression. According to Einstein's description, the earth, the sun, and the stars are like objects on a flexible mat, causing space to curve. If you roll another object onto the rubber sheet, it will be deflected into a curved path by the depressed area around the first object.

Similarly, the earth, the planets, and the stars move along curved paths, following the natural "depressions" in space. Even a beam of light is deflected when passing near massive objects in the universe. Furthermore, Einstein's equations predicted that light traveling against gravity would lose some of its energy, as noted by a slight shift in color toward the red end of the spectrum. Physicists call this phenomenon gravitational redshift.

Thus, besides clearing up the discrepancies arising from Newton's discoveries, Einstein's theory revealed new secrets of how gravity works in the universe.

Fascinating Effects

The ability of gravity to affect the way light travels gives rise to some astonishing consequences that astronomers have observed.

Desert travelers have long been familiar with mirages optical illusions that have the appearance of water shimmering on the ground. Now, astronomers have photographed cosmic "mirages." How is this?

Light from a distant object, believed to be the active nucleus of a galaxy and called a quasar (or, quasi-stellar object), passes intervening galaxies in the line of sight from the earth. As the light passes the galaxies, it is bent by gravitational forces. The bending of the light forms two or more images of the one quasar. An observer on earth, thinking that light has come straight toward him, concludes that he is seeing more than one object.

Another fascinating aspect arising from Einstein's work concerns black holes. What are they, and what is their connection with gravity? A simple experiment serves to answer.

Try throwing an object above your head. You will notice that it rises to a certain height, stops momentarily, and then falls back to the ground. With light it is different. A beam of light can escape from earth's gravity because it travels fast enough.

Suppose now that the force of gravity was much stronger, strong enough to prevent even light from escaping. From such an object, nothing could escape. The object itself would be invisible because no light could escape its gravity and reach the eyes of an outside observer, hence the name black hole.

The German astronomer Karl Schwarzschild was the first to demonstrate the possibility, in theory, of black holes. Although there is, as yet, no unequivocal proof that black holes really do exist in the universe, astronomers have identified a number of possible candidates. Black holes may also be the hidden powerhouses of quasars.

Gravity Waves

On the basis of Einstein's work, we can also picture gravity as an invisible web, linking everything and holding the universe together. What happens when that web is disturbed?

Consider again the illustration of the rubber sheet, and suppose that an object on the sheet is suddenly jostled to and fro. The vibrations generated in the sheet will disturb nearby objects. Similarly, if a star were violently "jostled," ripples in space, or gravity waves, might be generated. Planets, stars, or galaxies caught in the path of a gravity wave would experience space itself contracting and expanding like a rubber sheet vibrating.

Since these waves have not as yet been detected, what proof do scientists have that Einstein's theory is correct? One of the best indications comes from a star system known as a binary pulsar. This consists of two neutron stars in orbit about a common center, with an orbital period of about eight hours. One of these stars is also a pulsar it emits a radio pulse as it rotates, like the sweeping light beam from a lighthouse. Thanks to the precise timing of the pulsar, astronomers can map the orbit of the two stars with great precision. They find that the time of orbit is slowly diminishing in exact agreement with Einstein's theory that gravity waves are being emitted.

On the earth, the effects of these waves are infinitesimal. To illustrate: On February 24, 1987, astronomers spotted a supernova a star undergoing a spectacular transformation, blazing forth with the brilliance of millions of suns as it blew off its outer layers. Gravity waves produced by the supernova would cause, on the earth, a shiver in dimension of only a millionth of the diameter of a hydrogen atom. Why so small a change? Because the energy would be spread out over a vast distance by the time the waves reached the earth.


In spite of great advances in knowledge, certain fundamental aspects of gravity still baffle scientists. It has long been assumed that there are basically four forces the electromagnetic force responsible for electricity and magnetism, the weak and the strong forces acting within the nucleus of the atom, and gravity. But why are there four? Could it be that all four are manifestations of a single fundamental force?

Recently it was established that the electromagnetic force and the weak force are manifestations of an underlying phenomenon the electroweak interaction and theories seek to unify the strong force with these two. Gravity, however, is the odd one out it does not seem to fit in with the others.

Scientists hope that clues may come from recent experiments performed in the Greenland ice sheet. Measurements made down a one-and-a-quarter-mile-deep [2,000 m] hole bored in the ice seemed to indicate that the force of gravity differed from what was expected. Previous experiments, performed down mine shafts and up television towers, likewise indicated that something mysterious was causing deviations from the predictions of the Newtonian description of gravity. Meanwhile, some theoreticians are trying to develop a new mathematical approach, the "superstring theory," in order to unify the forces of nature.

Gravity Vital for Life

The discoveries of both Newton and Einstein demonstrate that laws govern the movements of heavenly bodies and that gravity acts as a bond holding the universe together. A professor of physics, writing in New Scientist, drew attention to the evidence of design in these laws and said: "The most minute change in the relative strengths of gravitational and electromagnetic forces would turn stars like the Sun into blue giants or red dwarfs. All around us, we seem to see evidence that nature got it just right."

Without gravity we simply could not exist. Just consider: Gravity holds our sun together, sustaining its nuclear reactions, which supply our needed heat and light. Gravity keeps our spinning earth in orbit around the sun making day and night and seasons and prevents us from being thrown off like mud from a spinning wheel. Earth's atmosphere is held in place by gravity, while the pull of gravity from the moon and the sun generates regular tides that help circulate the waters of our oceans.

Using a tiny organ of our inner ear (otolith), we sense gravity and learn to take it into account from infancy when walking, running, or jumping. How much more difficult it is for astronauts when they have to cope with zero-gravity conditions in spaceflight!

Yes, gravity contributes to making life on earth normal for us. It is, indeed, a fascinating example of our Creator's "wonderful works." Job 37:14, 16.

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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Willie Never Had Braces

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by Missing Link

Willie never had braces, but it didn't impact his brilliant smile. The woman facing me across the table had lots of them, shiny and silver and they made her draw her lips and wipe her tongue across the front of them sometimes when she talked. Her blonde hair and her thirty-something blue eyes flashed as she made her case. She was at my meeting to argue for some of the Title I money. She wanted it for her child's school. She puled and she whined and she insisted that it was unfair for her child to be so deprived.

I found her attitude of entitlement repugnant. Here was a woman of privilege fighting for the scraps meant for the underprivileged. Here was a woman who measured all children as equal once they were inside the school house door. Here was a woman who probably spent more on her elaborate wedge hair cut than many families in poverty spend on a week's groceries. Her rings flashed and her bracelets jingled as she elaborated on the flawed federal law that restricted Title I money to the poorest schools.

I wanted her to know what she didn't know. I wanted to teach her about poverty and about how children aren't all equal when they arrive at school. So I told her about Willie.

I was a teacher years before in an inner city school and I taught fourth grade the year that Willie was in my class. My school was in the inner city and served children from one of the most poverty stricken areas in California, it was called North Richmond. This is a place that white people did not go if they knew what was good for them. It was a sad, desperate and violent place where drugs and gangs prevailed in a hideous cycle that killed most of the males and enslaved anyone who didn't find a way out. Willie lived there with his mother and his younger brother and sister.

Willie was a special kid and I pray for him still today. I trust that God saved Willie, because I was powerless to do so. He was a great kid, smart, and a good writer. He was on the school wrestling team and like most of the kids in that neighborhood Willie was a tough guy. But he wasn't mean.
One day Willie suddenly stopped coming to class. His absences continued for about two weeks and when I inquired at the office about Willie I was told that he had been picked up by Protective Services. It seemed that Willie's mother had disappeared and left the children. Willie's mother was a crack addict. I looked into the eyes of Miss Braces as I told the story and she was clearly unmoved and disgusted about the crack habit. I could imagine the valium in her purse tugging at her mind.

I went on to explain that I knew Willie's mother cared about her children. Despite being an obvious addict, this woman had kept her appointment with me for the annual parent teacher conference, she had come in with impenetrable black glasses and she sat in a chair opposite me. She sat turned away from me, with her back to me, and I imagined that she did so out of shame at her condition. She was skeletal and extremely lethargic, but she came, and she sat and she talked about her son Willie. She cared about his future, but she deeded his future to the school and to me.

Willie was discovered two weeks after his mother left. He and his brother and sister were continuing to live in the apartment alone. Throughout that two week period Willie continued to come to school. He continued to get his younger siblings to school. He fed them and he cared for them and he waited for his mother to return. He did this in spite of the fact that the power was turned off. Willie was an intelligent little boy. He knew that a neighbor had a credit account down at the corner grocery store. So Willie charged groceries to that account to feed his brother and sister, he bought candles to give them light to do homework, Willie knew how to survive. But the neighbor discovered what was going on and why. That's when Willie and his little family were picked up.

Most of the people in the room had tears in their eyes when I told this story. But not Miss Blonde in Braces, she was merely content to let the topic drop. But she was clearly annoyed that she'd been outflanked by a story about a poor little boy who lost his mother to crack.

It was a powerful truth in the room that Miss Blonde in Braces didn't feel the story, would not allow Willie's life to penetrate her arrogance. Willie had to skirt the gangs on the way to school. Willie had to steal to feed his brother and sister. Willie got his homework done in spite of his mother being high or simply absent. Willie was a lot stronger than most kids but he didn't start at the same starting line as the children born of Miss Braces. Willie started several laps behind her children.

Title I is meant to raise the opportunities inside the school house door for children like Willie. Schools can't change home circumstances but additional resources can enrich what happens at school. Kids like Willie deserve some help from those of us with enough money for cosmetic orthodontics and expensive haircuts. The Willies of this world didn't choose their life circumstances. If Willie's neighborhood got him, if he succumbed to drugs or violence, we all lost someone special.

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Monday, June 23, 2008

Austin Children’s Museum

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by Dane Smith

Austin families are lucky indeed to have a facility such as the Austin Children's Museum. With 7,000 square feet of interactive and educational permanent exhibits, inventive traveling features, story-times and public events, this museum serves as a hub of Austin's family community.

Upon entering, kids are delighted to board a scaled down Austin Metro bus. Sitting in the driver's seat or holding a strap in the passenger section, this exhibit is cleverly planned to distract the kiddos as the adult pays admission and learns about the day's events. Other permanent exhibits include the dairy cow, an oversized milk-cow statue with a looping video about dairy farming, with a doll-house sized barn and toy cows to play with. The Rising Star Ranch provides a wonderfully varied sensory experience especially designed for the under-two set, while the Tinkerer's Workshop allows older kids to experience creating their own structures by inventing, designing, building and testing their ideas.

This being Austin, music is emphasized in the amazing Austin Kiddie Limits. Fun for all ages (including adults), this room is a kid-oriented interactive version of the acclaimed live music television show Austin City Limits. With toy instruments, cowboy hats and other costume pieces, a stage and a video monitor, kids can play along with their favorite Austin musicians including Willie Nelson, Lyle Lovett, Miss Lavelle White, Asleep at the Wheel, Kelly Willis, Flaco Jimenez, and Toni Price. The best part is that the kids can see themselves on the video monitor, making it a real rock-star experience.

Their program offerings include something for every age group. Baby Bloomers is a weekly opportunity for kids under three to explore the entire facility with only toddlers and their caregivers in the museum. Discovery Time offers daily, hands-on activities that enhance the permanent and changing exhibits. Storytime, held in their large foyer, is offered for different age groups, and often includes music making, bubble blowing, and other interactive elements.

Gallery programs include the popular Wednesday Community Night, featuring different performances, storytelling, music and activities, and Science Sundays, featuring hands-on activities led by real honest-to-goodness scientists. Checkout the Childbloom guitar program for a cacophonous and hilarious take on combining story telling with accompaniment by the kids, or the Austin Keyboard Orchestra program to learn how to build and play an instrument.

Located in downtown Austin the Austin Children's Museum is centrally located for people in different areas of the city. It is also located close to other Austin attractions like Zilker Park the famed bat bridge so that visitors can see a number of fun Austin attractions in an afternoon.

The Austin Children's Museum offers camps during the summer and spring break, for ages 4 to 10. They offer seasonal programs including the popular Gingerbread House workshop in December. The facilities are available for birthday (and other kids of) parties, including sleep-over parties. Special events can also be held on the premises.

With a stated goal to help Austin's kids and families become more creative, more inventive, and more competent, the Austin Children's museum combines fun and education in a world-class facility.

Ki lives in Austin and enjoys the local music scene. He works as a realtor in the Austin real estate market. He also regularly writes on his blog about updates on Austin Texas real estate. His site features a graphical search of the Ausin MLS.

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Encino Personal Injury Attorney: Assessment, Law and Legal Help

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by Claysphere Rivera

"Motorcyclist dies after crashing into bridge", a familiar event that is not novel in our society today. The introduction may appear bluntly shocking, but it is not!

In almost all jurisdictions, this crippling situation is quite uncommon, as a fact, it is too all unavoidable. Most particularly, in Encino City-located in the greater Los Angeles, this classic personal injury involvement regularly happens or in a different scope, a non-issue.

With the never-ending growth of personal injury incidents in this part of Los Angeles, the Personal Injury Lawyers of the Encino City deemed best to make an assessment with these concerns. In addition, the attorney will give their input respecting the law and the travails in claim settlement and court trials as well legal formula for winning.

Assessment of Personal Injury involvement

As per record, all areas covered under the concept of Personal Injury have gained a mark in all injury related incidents in Encino City. A few of these events relates, car accident, hospital errors, industrial accidents and slip and falls.

The assessment has far gone to find that many of the injured victims has no real knowledge regarding their respective rights to claim for compensation and damages against the culprit. In effect, the injured was left with dilemma regarding how to be reimbursed for medical bills, loss of earnings and for other damages suffered.

With all the right information gathered, the Encino Lawyers continue by giving brief illumination of the law covering Personal Injury including the necessary legal information ascribed to the term, thus:

Personal Injury Law and Civil Lawsuits

Personal injury laws, commonly referred to as torts, are brought about by physical injury or mental anguish caused by actions or negligence of another party. Personal Injury is a broad legal concept that covers auto accidents, product defects and medical malpractice to name just a few.

The basis for legal responsibility for accidental personal injury or damages through the fault of another, the court looks for negligence or carelessness by one of the parties involved. The one to have been more negligent is the one legally responsible for at least part of the damages incurred.

To have more detailed account for this one, contact a Personal Injury Attorney in your area for clear lights.

Legal formula for winning

When confronted with personal injury legal battle, you may want to consider settling your claim or file constitutive case in court. Both avenues are permissive and sanctioned by law. Both has pros and cons.

Deciding which avenue to take is not always easy, especially when you just came from a crippling injury. With the help of Personal Injury Attorney, every nothing can be impossible.

For better formula in winning your personal injury battle, take this as a guide.

1. First thing, hire a qualified Personal Injury Attorney to represent you in you claim or case. Choose an attorney who has the following features:

• one who specializes in personal injury who have extensive experience in the field of personal injury
• One who keep current with the latest developments in personal injury law
• One who has considerable experience in dealing with insurance companies, especially the one who has proven record of ending successful negotiation
• Choose a personal injury lawyer with trial experience
• Choose an Attorney who knows how to communicate your claim or cause of action to the court

2. The victim should not be passive on things, especially in protecting their rights. Be proactive in defending your rights. In your injury involvement, take turns of gathering enough materials or information to substantiate your claim or causes of action.

3. Another thing, the victim should be proactive in preserving his right, which means that the victim should not sleep with your rights. Make a timely move to ventilate your concerns so that compensation for your injuries can be approximated at the earliest.

As a final word, personal injury phenomenon is hard to prevent, much more to avoid. It is a serious matter that needs a delicate consideration and given ample importance, especially when life is on hand. In order not to dampen your aspiration to receive fair compensation, think quickly and respond intelligently. To increase your chances of winning your injury claim or case, take this as your valuable guide as prepared by the Encino personal injury lawyers.

Our experienced personal injury lawyers are knowledgeable in accident laws and other related issues. To consult with our expert Los Angeles attorneys, you can log on to our official website and avail of our free case evaluation.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A Texas Zip Code Map: Cheap Teaching Aid

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by Ashley Lichty

Geography in a classroom setting seems to be less of a priority in the curriculum then it used to be. Particularly when it comes to younger teens having the ability to read and understand maps and their symbols. It's likely that many high school teens in Texas and other areas would not be able to use a Texas zip code map, or any other type of map, to easily plot a route from their town to another. Throw a good GPS into the mix or access to the Internet for driving directions, and all bets are off.

Although technology seems to be slowly phasing out atlases, road maps and other physical maps, it's unlikely that the pictorial representation of areas is going anywhere. When you log on to get directions online you get not only the step by step directions themselves, but also a map to highlight the route. Even GPS navigational systems utilize a map to show an actual demo of the route suggested. So while many people may not be able to take a road map and plot a course, they definitely like the ability of watching it plotted out on a map for them as they program their GPS.

Regardless of how navigational advances may make most physical map-reading antiquated, and comprehension of map symbols and legends unnecessary, it's still a very important part of any child's education. Learning the language of "giving directions" is an important part of any culture, and map reading is an important part of basic literacy. Let's not forget that a teacher's tool like a Texas zip code map is an easy way to get children familiar with their own areas – an safety precaution as well as educational measure.

Possibly the best thing about utilizing a Texas zip code map in Texas classrooms is how inexpensive it is for teachers. Most teachers have to pay out of pocket for additional supplies and aids necessary in quality education. A zip code map of Texas can be purchased online for under $20. It's available instantly for download and can be kept forever and printed out as often as the educator needs.

Another favorable aspect of the Texas zip code map is that it isn't as cluttered and detailed as globes and atlases. Elementary school children take one look at a map with every single little road, creek, river, highway and feature of the landscape depicted on it and their minds go blank – it's information overload. A Texas zip code map simply includes major roads and landmarks, as well as zip code borders.

The map can be printed at a local copy shop or even right in the school. If the school has a good computer system and projector, or even an overhead transparency, then printing may be unnecessary. It's also more environmentally friendly, which is always a good lesson for today's youth. However, it's probably best to give each child their own Texas zip code map for whatever tasks, games or homework assigned.

Whatever lessons used to teach young children geography and map comprehension, they need to engage the child. A Texas zip code map can even be purchased by county so that you can get into more detailed areas. It will help children to become more familiar with their state, town and neighborhood and in some cases, knowing how to read a map and knowing your neighborhood can be just as important as a child memorizing their phone number and address. It also strengthens literacy and communication skills at the same time. When it comes to visual aids for geography, a Texas zip code map gives the teachers the best of both world: it's cheap and engaging for their students. Lesson learned!

You can get more information on a Texas zip code map, or zip code maps in general by checking out ZipCodeGuy. Ashley Lichty works part time as creative coordinator, content developer and promoter of She has a background in marketing with an emphasis in PPC advertising, SEO and copywriting.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Environmental Benefits of Shredding Paper

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by Tom Simmons

Shredding paper is not only a safe and secure way of preventing valuable information from getting into the hands of the wrong people. It is also a great way to contribute to helping the environment.

Shredding companies will recycle whatever paper they've shredded, allowing your garbage to be used again instead of wasting space in a landfill. Also, by recycling the shredded paper, you help prevent the destruction of more virgin forest normally used to produce more, non-eco-friendly paper.

And if you don't use a shredding company, shredded paper can still be put to better use than un-shredded paper. Enough shredded paper can be used as a substitute for Styrofoam peanuts when packing products. Not only is this cost-effective, but the shredded paper is less harmful to the environment than the Styrofoam. Shredded paper can also be composted rather than thrown into a landfill. Composting helps break the paper down naturally. And, of course, you can always still recycle the paper yourself.

By shredding paper instead of throwing it out, you open up numerous environmentally healthy alternatives to disposing of it rather than simply throwing it in the dumpster.

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Monday, June 16, 2008

Get the Most Out of Homeschool Field Trips

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by GoldenTell

People would look at me horrified, and I would be mystified to justify that while we did not have a prim skill program, that my kids got stacks of knowledge instruction through arena trips and probing Internet searches. Field trips allow knowledge to be experiences instead of trained. Try to wait in context with what you are studying in other subjects. For instance, when we were studying early American History, we went to see the Titanic Exhibit. Besides the stumble reinforcing what they were wisdom about the historical proof of the significance, they also learned about rust and the knowledge of oodles and stresses that ultimately caused the send to sink. Mentally cook your children for the tumble. After deciding an exhibit to stay, seek for education activities that the children can do to make themselves for the stumble. For example, the Titanic Science Website has a 60 page boo let download with related hands on activities. My family went to the records and check out a team of historical biographies of people who had been on the ship, and a book based on the excavations of the Titanic. Timing is everything. Try to go on province trips when large groups are slightest possible to be there. I have found that schools holiday exhibits in the morning from 9 am pending lunch time and the universal broadcast visit exhibits in the sunset and weekends. The means the lunchtime hour through about 4pm are idyllic epoch to get exhibits all to manually. This means you will also have the tour guides to yourself.

Ask many questions. If there is a tour handbook presented, encourage your children to ask many questions to persuade their curiosity. If there are, no tour guides write down questions they come up with, and use the exhibit to explore and determine the answers for your questions. Look up remaining questions on the internet when you get home. Do admire-up studies after the spree. When I say do hunt up studies, I do not mean read a book and take an exam. What I like to do is let the children purchase a souvenir book, as they typically repress all the facts. I let them explore it at their leisure, and I find that will stay to confer the stumble for at slightest a month. Plan the next voyage. I try to give three weeks to a month between science exhibits. The gives children time excitedly to prepare for the spree and then to explore the business for a while on their own after the outing. When their discussions of the voyage are winding down, I know it time to graph the next pasture trip.

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