We have an exciting announcement! The second Bedtime Math book will be out next week. Bedtime Math 2: This Time It’s Personal launches March 11. It’s full of all-new wacky math…and we’re celebrating with a big party for you! Read on for details.
In English our alphabet has 26 letters, but somebody thinks it needs more. A guy in Australia wants a new letter that means the word “the,” since we use “the” so much. After all, as he says, the word “and” has its own symbol – an ampersand which looks like this –> &. So why shouldn’t “the” get its own letter when it’s used so much more often? Well, he has a point. His new letter looks like a capital T and lowercase h shoved together. And when you do the math, you see that a “the” letter could save us all a lot of typing.
We don’t usually name animals after money, but someone did do that with the sand dollar. A sand dollar is a flat, hard, circle-shaped sea creature that does look like an American silver dollar, except for the pretty five-pointed star design on it. The chunkier versions are called sea biscuits or sea cookies, and they’re also related to sea cucumbers, so clearly someone was also hungry when naming these guys. The thing is, you can’t eat a sand dollar, because it isn’t like a mussel or clam where there’s a soft animal inside that you can eat. With sand dollars, that hard circle is the creature! A sand dollar eats through its mouth, which is a tiny hole in the center of its bottom side, with five very small teeth to chew food just like we do. These hard, thin, circular creatures break easily, though, so if you do find a full sand dollar on the beach, that’s pretty exciting – and that feeling might be worth more than a dollar.
There’s a lot you can do with a blank sheet of paper. You can write a song or a story on it, paint a picture on it, or of you really want to stir up trouble, you can send it flying through the air. Balling it up is one way to do that, but it’ll go a lot farther if you fold it into a paper airplane. The two most common styles are the “ballistic dart” and the “glider.” The ballistic dart, besides having an awesome-sounding name, will travel very fast but is not as stable as the glider. There are also stunt planes that will loop-de-loop in the air or fly back to you like a boomerang. The good news about that last one is that then you get to launch it again. The longest distance a paper airplane has ever traveled is a little over 226 feet, thrown by a former college football quarterback. But no matter how strong your arm is, you need a good design.
If you’ve ever watched the clouds in the sky, you know how different they can look from day to day. When they’re fluffy like cotton or thin and wispy and white, it can be hard to remember that that’s actually ice and water floating above your head. How come it doesn’t fall?
Well, it eventually does. When water vapor rises from the ground, it rises as incredibly tiny droplets of water, and some form tiny ice crystals. When enough of those tiny pieces come together, they form a cloud. We’re talking about millions of droplets here, but they’re so tiny and light that they can float on the wind. If more and more droplets get pushed together, though, they eventually get so heavy that they can’t float anymore, and fall to earth as rain. Like us, clouds can’t fight gravity forever.
It’s hard enough to ride a bike and keep your balance on those two skinny tires. But it has to be far trickier to ride on just one wheel. A unicycle is basically half a bicycle, with one wheel and a set of pedals to make that wheel turn. Not only do you have to keep from tipping to the side, but you also have to avoid flipping back onto your behind or flopping forward onto your face. Throw in some juggling and some other stunts, and you’re really asking for trouble.
Easter is around the corner, and that means it’s egg hunt season. You might be looking for real eggs that were dyed, but obviously you’d rather find the plastic ones that split in half and have cool toys and candy and stuff inside them.
No matter what’s inside the eggs, the search can be just as exciting – depending on where they’re hidden.
Friday’s Statue of Liberty BMP turned up some other cool number facts about her. For instance, the Statue’s feet are 25 feet long, and she wears a size 879 sandal! That means if you’re 4 feet tall, you’re about the length of her big toe, and if you’re only 3 feet tall, you’re her pinky toe.
So what would it be like if she walked up your street?