Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Fainting Goats

Here's a video to brighten your Wednesday! Fainting goats. It's a thing. And it's strangely funny and adorable all at the same time. Enjoy! :)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Sneak Peek: Creative Sundays!

This weekend we were finally able to check some of our projects off our extensive lists of things to make! I worked on a granny square pillow for a friend...I'm not quite finished with it but once I am, I'll post better pictures. But here is what it looked like when I was about halfway done!

And Julie sewed the most adorable shirt using the science fabric she got from Spoonflower. We'll have to take a proper photo of it because obviously this one doesn't even remotely do it justice.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

I'm seriously ready to try this...with soap!

As summer is rapidly winding down, school is firing up and getting crazy busy and of course this launches Gibberish's busiest time of the year. Doing dishes, making dinner, or pretty much any housework is going to take a herculean effort, so what's wrong with finding a few ways to combine tasks?

Salmon is on the menu for tonight and I'll let you all know how it turns out. And yes, I'm doing it the last way mentioned...with soap...while simultaneously cleaning our dishes. I'm ridiculously excited!

For all the delicious details, read this!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Cupcakes Make the World Go 'Round

Today is my brother's 27th birthday! He's old now so we went down to Orange County to celebrate with him, his wife, and their 2 year old, Charlotte. I know everyone probably bakes cakes/cupcakes for birthdays but in our family it's a really big deal. When we were kids and visiting California in the summer, our lovely Grandma Doris (who turns 100 in October!!) would always help us bake a cake for each other or our dad and those are some of my favorite memories. We always made a box cake but it was still tasty! My Grandma made the best frosting and she tried to teach me how but whenever I make her recipe, it never turns out as good as when she made it. So I was on the hunt for the perfect frosting that I could make and a few years ago I found it on the foodie blog, The Girl Who Ate Everything. Seriously, this is the best frosting you will ever make...Well, if you like super sweet frosting and I do so it's perfect! My family seems to enjoy it quite a bit too!

But I decided to try something a little different his year because my stepdad, Wayne, got me a Debbie Meyer Cupcake Genius. I was a little skeptical at first but it worked perfectly! I used The Girl Who Ate Everything's chocolate cake recipe which I've made before when I first made the frosting and it is so rich and moist and amazing. I can't say enough nice things about her recipes. 

I also used her homemade whipped cream recipe for the cupcake filling, which was delicious! I'd never made it before and I was so amazed by the process. Mom and I aren't fans of whipped cream but I think we both might be converts to the homemade variety!

And to top it off I used - guess whose? - The Girl Who Ate Everything's chocolate frosting recipe! I had never made chocolate frosting from scratch before and I was a little nervous but I think it turned out well. It's pretty light but a little too sweet for my tastes...I think I might try a dark chocolate frosting next time.

My brother is a pretty special guy and I think these cupcakes were the perfect addition to his birthday celebration.
Miss Charlotte seemed to enjoy them too!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Robots and Tea

When we went to the Maker Faire last May, we stumbled upon the T-We booth and fell in love with this small business, their fantastic selection of teas, and their inspiring ethics! They are a San Francisco based tea business that tries to spread the joy of all-natural ingredients. My mom got me the "Flailing Princess" tea for my birthday, along with an ADORABLY GEEKY robot tea infuser (ThinkGeek has the same one).

 I couldn't help it but giggle every time I steeped my tea. The tea cup and saucer are also gifts from my mom. She knows me so well! :) She found them on ETSY (where else??) from the shop, AmonstLovelyThings. How gorgeous are these? I think I might need to bake something pink now to go with those and my tea...

Friday, August 16, 2013

Aliens of all shapes and sizes!

Check out this interesting article on NPR about what extra-terrestrials might really be like...Fortunately, I think we're safe from dealing with any Jabba the Huts on Mars. Whoo! Personally, I'm not really all that excited about the day when we do find other life forms out in space. I think I've seen too many movies (Signs, Independence Day, Mars Attacks!, part of Alien...) and now I have an (un)healthy fear of aliens. My mother (Ms. Sciencepants) would probably disagree with me but I'm cool with not having a close encouter with an alien...Or I'd rather not have one burst out of my gut in a diner. Weird, right?

"It's not just that we've given up hope of finding intelligent beings, it's worse than that. The life we now expect (or rather hope) to find is usually imagined as depressingly small, pebble-sized, or even smaller, like the period at the end of this sentence."

Is There A Giant Life Form Lurking In Our Solar System? Possibly, Say Scientists

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Project we come?

Yesterday was filled with the sewing of the science fabric. I must say, I was pretty happy with the first shirt I made…

I love, love, love this spoonflower fabric (yes, even though it’s biology, and not representing physical science). It’s science-y (so my students will love it) and the images are quite spectacular with their watercolor effect. And hello? Any fabric that manages to squeeze an image of Charles Darwin into it, must be clever. Which is your favorite critter?
Here is mine...the lovely iguana.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Dr. Sally Ride

Welcome to Friday! Since the new school year starts next week, we are busy trying to eek out the last bit of irresponsible fun while we can. I’m sure the weekend will be filled with making fun stuff, hopefully going to the beach, and staying up way too late! 

Today we would like to introduce all of you to our newest necklace, the Sally.

It is named after one of the greatest women of science, Dr. Sally Ride. I was heartbroken last summer when I heard the news that Dr. Ride had lost her battle with pancreatic cancer. Not to wax too cheesy, but the stars were much dimmer that night. 

Dr. Ride, as the first American woman in space, provided numerous contributions to science and space exploration. She was a Mission Specialist on two space shuttle flights, became a professor of Physics at UCSD, the director of the University of California's California Space Institute and authored five children's science books. Go here to read more:

Jenavieve and I (and one of my dear science education friends, Rachael) were thrilled to have been able to meet Dr. Sally Ride back in 1997 in Omaha at a conference where she was the keynote speaker. I distinctly remember her intelligence, her enthusiasm for science education, and her humility. She even handled my babbling “new teacher” enthusiasm when I shook her hand and asked her a somewhat goofy question, “How can we encourage girls to follow a path into science, and science education?” She gave me a very gracious smile and said “I’m doing what I can…”  It was so profound and funny.

Dr. Ride left a legacy of science education through the work of Sally Ride Science   (an amazing science education organization dedicated “to educating, engaging, and inspiring all students.”
When you have a few minutes, watch this video Celebrating Sally.  

Thank you Dr. Sally Ride for all that you did for the advancement of science, science education and especially for women in science!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Fabric Palooza

Boom. Guess who is ready to sew?
So ridiculously excited!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

How Can You Not LOVE Science...and Art?

Jenavieve lived very close to the Mystery Spot in Santa Cruz. Here's a super cool indoor version! I wonder if we could build one in our  back yard??

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Los Angeles Zoo

“Angelinos” (as those of us that live in the Los Angeles area are called) are very lucky to have a lovely zoo, located in Griffith Park near Dodger Stadium. We bought a membership last year and we try to visit  as often as we can to commune with the animals. We went for a visit this week and saw all sorts of amazing critters, including an elephant that gave us a great water show on a warm summer day. There has been great controversy surrounding the elephant habitat, but when we were visiting this pachyderm seemed to be enjoying himself quite a bit!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Chemistry Thug Life

This design was inspired one morning by two of my favorite seniors who were pouring over a final review in my chemistry class. Everyone was struggling with periodic trend concepts from the beginning of the year and as frequently happens in my class, these two were talking big and bad because they got the right answers. They claimed to be science “thugs”. According to Urban Dictionary, and Tupac, “thug life” is…“when you have nothing, and succeed, when you have overcome all obstacles to reach your aim.” That’s the joy and fun that my amazing boys were throwing out there for the world when they nailed the right answers. We have lots of “thugs” at our school, and contrary to anyone that claims thugs are criminals, in OUR world, it is more of an endearing reference to success from struggle.  And who never struggled with chemistry??