Saturday, February 23, 2013

Science and Technology

Last week I was lucky enough to get a new I-Phone and the best part-it was free! Gotta love the fact your phone is so old,  you qualify for a free upgrade! 

Like a kid on Christmas morning, I had more fun finding apps! As I scanned the apps I downloaded, I realized almost ever single one of them had something to do with making my life more efficient or effortless.

This of course got me thinking. Can technology really make our lives easy or does it just complicate it more?

From the first microscope to the newest telescope, technology has changed the way we learn about the world, how we problem solve, and how we relate to each other. Scientist have certainly been able to unravel the mysteries of how this world works. Although they may never have all the answers, technology is allowing them to get close.

I still remember the day in July of 1999 when our school system began running Group Wise! Suddenly we went from having conversations on the phone to only speaking to people through electronic means. That was also the year I learned how to develop a web page and systematically managed to put the VBCPS Middle School Science website up as the VBCPS website! To this day I can’t tell you what I did, but I remember when I had to call IT and let them know “VBCPS, we have a problem!” Oh well, for five fleeting minutes, my work was famous!

As I have gotten older, I find myself picking up the phone more; wanting to simply hear a voice as opposed to reading words on a screen. I often wonder what my children’s life will be like in 10 years given the rate of change with technology.

I have found in the last five years that there are some technological tools that have made my life a little easier. Here are some cool apps I found that you might like as well-although I am sure many of my friends already know about them! I tend to be behind in the technology age! 

This app was downloaded after I asked my husband the question-can we find a grocery app that would allow us to have one list that updated automatically regardless of who put in the information. 

What a cool little app! After downloading it, I accepted a link from my husband and bzinga! We now have the Flannagan Grocery List! Yep, when either Bill or myself go to the grocery store, we can see what needs to be purchased. Just this morning I got up and there was the new Flannagan list for the upcoming vacation week!

So what else can this little app do? It has a built in coupon section. For the categories in the grocery list, you will find coupons linked to it. The only caveat to this is the coupon may not always be for what you need to buy but rather is for something also found in the category-like produce. Once you clip a coupon, you can print directly to your printer if it is wi-fi enabled or you can email them to yourself to print. 

There is also a location feature that allows you to find all the stores in your area. 

This little app is free and is a fun, navigation tool! Billed as a community navigation tool, this app allows you to post traffic updates, where cops are hiding, and can even allow you to share a drive. I also love the fact you can search for the cheapest gas! If you want to, you can even put in your mood for the day while you drive. The other day I was a ninja-yep slicing and dicing my way through traffic to get home!

In the groups setting, you can share the most relevant and up-to-date information about your commute. Of course the information is from people who actually drive the route every day! The only problem I have had with this app was on a recent trip to DC. For some reason, my route kept changing all by itself. Maybe the software had become possessed, or maybe someone was trying to get me to go a different direction. Either way, I had to keep rerouting myself. But as my husband reminded me, no technology device is perfect!

While technology may not be perfect, there are some technology tools that  make life a little easier. If a simple little grocery app can make our trips to the grocery store more productive, it was worth the download!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Red Sky in the Morning!

Red sky in the morning! Watch out!
When my children were little, they used to notice the red sky and inquired why it was red. In my explanation, I shared the statement my mom had shared with me-

Red Sky at night, sailor's delight.  Red sky in the morning, sailor take warning

Of course when they were little, it was a little easier to get them to believe me. I will never forget the day my daughter, in her wisdom, said to me "Really mom?How can simply looking at a red sky predict bad weather moving in!"

This morning, my son shouted this phrase as we looked outside and he quickly saw the pink hue on the morning clouds. With the prediction of snow for today, he is eager to see if the warning will come true!

Weatherlore or Weather Folklore is related to the prediction of weather. For centuries, people have been fascinated with the weather and with trying to forecast upcoming weather. As people made observations of the sky, water, and even insects, those observations were soon connected to changes in the rhythms or patterns of weather.
These observations were then translated into short sayings or rhymes for ease of memory. These sayings were then passed down from generation to generation. Some have been altered by the wisdom of the times.
Here are some ways weatherlore was used in the past:
·     Farmers used to watch cloud movement and the sky color to know when to sow and reap.
·     Mariners noted wind shifts and observed wave motions for signs of change.
Believe it or not, there is some truth to some weather folklore statements! Here are a couple that have been proven to be true:

  • Halo around the sun or moon, rain or snow soon
  • Clear moon, frost soon

Click here for a kids weather site that has some other statements. Here is another great site with lots of great information.

Start collecting data to see if any other of the weatherlore statements are true!

Go Science!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Early Spring for All

If you haven't heard-Phil gave his prediction for this year! 

And so ye faithful, 
there is not shadow to see 
An early Spring for you and me.

Enjoy any dusting of snow we may get tonight! If Phil's prediction is correct, spring is on her way!

If you are looking for a great site to share with the kids on Monday, just click here

For all of my high school friends, here is a great article on how to use data that is out on the web to analyze previous predictions from Groundhog's Day to see how often Phil has been correct! Just click here!