Things to Know About Our Fifty States: Part One

All aboard Students! Everyone on this train? We are going across this country to visit every state and find at least two important things about each state!
So, have your tablets and cameras ready as we take this trip across the North American continent. You will not want to miss a thing! All of the states have something interesting they are known for.

Our first state is Alabama. One of our southern states. It is known for its NASA facilities, auto manufacturing and its iron and steel products. It was the birthplace of the African-American Civil Rights Movement.

Our next stop is Alaska. It is our largest state. It is known for it’s beautiful scenery with the Aurora Borealis. It is usually the only place in the USA where the Northern Lights can be seen. It also supplies oil to the mainland. The mainland of Alaska has only one time zone which causes northwest Alaska to experience two sunsets in one day each year. It is also the only state in the nation to experience 24 hours of daylight and 24 hours of night! At their closest point, Alaska and Russia are only three miles apart!

We move on to one of our desert states known as Arizona. Home to the Grand Canyon. It is one of the richest mineral zones and grows vegetables and fruit for our country. It has the most solar observatories in the United States.

Now it’s time for Arkansas. It’s known for its parks, caves and hot springs. It is our largest producer of poultry, dairy goods, and bauxite.

Next, we will visit California! It’s our golden state! Known for its gold, music, movies, wine, food, amusement parks and beautiful sequoia trees. It has the second largest city in the USA and also the state with the largest population.

On to Colorado. It is a beautiful mountainous state! Gold and uranium were once mined and supplied to the United States. Denver houses the US Mint.

Next, to Connecticut a state to the north. It has the largest maritime museum in the world. It was one of the original thirteen colonies and it is home to the oldest public library. It is home to the first frisbee, hamburger, Polaroid Land Camera, insurance company, FM radio station, and the arsenal for the thirteen colonies.

Down to Delaware! It is another one of the thirteen colonies. Home of the Nemours Foundation started by Alfred Du Pont, the inventor of the first combustion locomotive, the state has only three counties and the only state without National Parks or Monuments.

Now to Sunny Florida! Home to large citrus and avocado crops, amusement parks, car racing, NASA space program, water sports, tropical warm weather, and alligators. The oldest city in the USA is located here.

It’s up to Georgia, another southern state and the last of the thirteen colonies! It is known for its sweet peaches, pecans, peanuts, cotton, hogs, automobile manufacturing, southern fried chicken and soul food. Home to Martin Luther King, Coke, and Girl Scouts.

We will have to board a ship to take that trip to our fiftieth state Hawaii. It is the last state to be added to the union and the only set of islands. Known for its beautiful beaches, mountains, and scenery. It also gives us those sweet pineapples, coffee, cocoa and vanilla beans. Home to Pearl Harbor and the World War II museum, the only royal palace and tropical rainforest in the US. It has taught us how to surf, given us the largest volcano on earth and honors a royal monarchy.

We will now take our ship back to the mainland and board the train to Idaho. It’s known for its potatoes, water rafting, fishing, winter sports and more than 72 kinds of precious and semi-precious gemstones are mined there. Idaho has the deepest river gorge in North America.

Now traveling over to Illinois, Illinois had the first “skyscraper”, back then it was a building over ten floors. Now it has the tallest building in North America in Chicago. It had the first aquarium and is home to the most sophisticated prehistoric native civilization north of Mexico. Illinois was the first state to ratify the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution abolishing slavery.

Moving on to Indiana, where the first professional baseball game was played! Ninety percent of the world’s popcorn comes from Indiana. It is the home state of “The King of Pop”, Michael Jackson and his family. It is also known for its covered bridges. Speaking of building, it has provided the limestone blocks that were used on the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, the Pentagon, the US Mint and many other building in Washington DC.

Next, we are headed to Iowa. It is the only state with two borders that are rivers. It is the largest producer of pork, corn, eggs, and ethanol in the USA. The first female lawyer to practice in the United States was from Iowa. Fenton Place Elevator is the world’s steepest and shortest railway. It is also home to Quaker Oats, the largest cereal company in the world. Iowa is also known for its camper and motorhome production in Winnebago.

We will now stop in Kansas for a short break. It is famous for beer, wheat, and private aircraft production. Home of the designers of the helicopter, Amelia Earhart-the first licensed female pilot, Pizza Hut, and the inventor of the dial telephone. It also has the windiest city in the USA!

Our next stop is Kentucky. Kentucky is home to the Kentucky Derby, Mammoth Cave-the longest cave in the world and the US gold reserve, Fort Knox. It was the first state to observe Mother’s Day and has the only US city built in a meteor crater. It is also the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis, the key leaders in the Civil War.

Moving deep down south to Louisiana. It is known for its cotton fields, oil, and gas refinery and production, giving us jazz music, the French Quarter, Mardi Gras and spicy cajun cooking! It also holds some world records. The Superdome in New Orleans is the largest steel-constructed room unobstructed by posts in the world. Its capital building is the tallest in the USA. It also has the longest bridge over water in the world. Louisiana has the Crawfish and the Frog Capitals of the world.

Next, we will be stopping in Maine, the only state with one state at its border. It is the blueberry capital of the world. Maine is the biggest harvester of lobsters in the USA. It is home to the smallest lighthouse in the USA and the largest globe in the world.

We are on our way to Maryland! Maryland is home to the first school and the first dental school in the USA. It is home to the sailing capital of the world. It is also home to the production of the first umbrellas in the USA and Babe Ruth and Edgar Allen Poe. Maryland is home to the first railroad station.

Now pulling into the station in Massachusetts, one of the original thirteen colonies! It’s known for its cranberries, toll house chocolate cookies, cod fishing and Boston Cream Pie. It is known for having the first subway system. It is where the first basketball game was played and home to the basketball hall of fame. It is home to the only place in the world where a boat can sail under a train driving under a car driving under an airplane!

All aboard! We are on our way to Michigan! It’s the home of the car capital, the largest cement plant, the largest limestone quarry, the largest registered Holstein dairy herd, and the largest producer of magic supplies in the world! It is home to the first university in the USA. Michigan is the cereal capital of the world and home to the first soda pop. It has the longest freshwater shoreline in the world and has the world’s only floating post office! Michigan is also known for its cherries and the ‘Motown Sound” of the sixties and seventies!

We have to keep this train moving, so we are almost at our next stop, Minnesota! It is the land of more than 10,000 lakes, the source of the Mississippi River, the largest shopping mall in the USA, the largest skyway system in the world and the 3M company-makers of scotch tape and post-its notes. It’s home to the Milky Way, Snickers and 3 Musketeers candy bars! Minnesota is also home to the first bus service in the USA and the first supercomputer in the world. It is also where the first pacemaker was invented and placed on a patient and the place of the first open heart surgery. It is also the home of the musician Prince and actress Judy Garland.

Our next stop will be Mississippi! It is the home of the first teddy bear! The birthplace of the blues music and one of four cities sanctioned to host the International Ballet Competition. It is also where the first lung transplant was performed. It is also the catfish, cotton and pecan capital of the world.Mississippi is the birthplace of Elvis Presley, Morgan Freeman, and Walter Payton- the first football player to have his picture on a box of Wheaties cereal.

We are stopping now in the state of Missouri. It has the tallest man-made national monument in the USA. It has the largest beer producing plant in the United States. It also was the first to host the Olympic Games in the United States. Missouri is the home of the “Live Music Show Capital of the World” and the first public kindergarten in the United States. It is also home of the first ice cream and waffle cone, cotton candy and Dr. Pepper.

Now we are moving west to Montana, the largest landlocked state in the USA! Montana is the only state whose constitution recognizes the cultural heritage of the Native Americans and is committed to the preservation of their cultural integrity.It is also home to Yellowstone National Park and the geyser called “Old Faithful”. Montana is known for its gold and the sapphire from the state is the only gem from the US to be included in the Crown Jewels of England.

Next stop on this trip is Nebraska. It is home to the largest indoor rainforest and the largest hand planted forest in the USA. Nebraska is also home to the largest Mammoth fossil in the world. It is also where Kool-Aid started, the world’s largest railroad classification yard where railcars are repaired and serviced, and the birthplace of billionaire Warren Buffett.

Now we have arrived at Nevada. It is the largest gold and silver producing state in the USA. The federal government owns 85% of the land in Nevada. It has more hotel rooms than any other city in the world. It has more mountain ranges than any other state! It has the tallest freestanding observation tower in the US. It was the first state to ratify the 15th Amendment to the US Constitution prohibiting the federal and state governments from denying a citizen the right to vote based on his or her “race, color or previous condition of servitude.” Nevada is also the driest state in the nation and it also has the most hot springs. It is home to half of America’s wild horses and burros.

Now we will be stopping in New Hampshire. It was the first of the thirteen colonies to declare independence from Great Britain. The first successful planting of the potato was made in New Hampshire. The first alarm clock was invented in the state. It is also the only state that does not require by law for adult drivers to wear seatbelts while driving. New Hampshire has the shortest coastline of all the coastal states in the nation.

Our next stop is New Jersey. New Jersey has the most diners in the world and the most shopping malls in one area in the world. It is the only state that has had every one of its counties deemed “urban” as defined by the Census Bureau. It is the most densely populated state in the USA. New Jersey was the first state to sign the Bill of Rights. It was also the place of the first professional basketball game. New Jersey has more horses per square mile than any other state. Thomas Edison created most of his inventions in New Jersey. It is against the law for drivers to self-serve themselves gasoline. It is the only state the have full-service gasoline stations!

We are on our way to New Mexico! It has the highest and oldest state capital in the nation. Microsoft was founded in the state. It has the largest Latino population in the USA. New Mexico has the largest hot air balloon convention.

Next, we will be in New York, home to the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Central Park, and the largest city in the USA! It has the longest toll road, the first steam boat, and the oldest chartered city. It was the first state to require license plates on automobiles! It was the home to the first railroad with a locomotive engine. It has also been the birthplace of the most governors in the USA. New York is home to the most visited waterfall in the world.

We’re on our way down south to North Carolina. The first airplane was successfully flown from there by Wilbur and Orville Wright. The first English colony in America was in North Carolina. The first English child born in America was born in North Carolina. The state is the largest producer of sweet potatoes, tobacco, furniture, bricks and textiles in the nation. It also has the highest waterfall and tallest dam in the Eastern USA. The state is the home of Pepsi Cola and Krispy Kreme Doughnut.

We now will be making our way to North Dakota. It is the largest producer of spring wheat, durum wheat, sunflower seeds, oats, barley, lentils, honey, edible beans, canola, and flaxseed in the United States. North Dakota is the second largest oil producing state in the nation. It is home to more wildlife refuges than any other state. It is home to the largest buffalo statue and the inventor of the roll film camera.

Our next stop will take some days to travel so we will continue next week with great things to know about our fifty states!

References:

http://www.50states.com
http://www.funfacts.co

The Thumbprint Detective: What’s That Flying in the House?

I just got a call from 7777 South Bay Dr.
The owners of the house have a mystery they cannot solve and is not right.
It appears that there’s something dark and spooky going on at night.
I’ll pack up my things and head to the house to investigate.

It is dark outside with a full moon and many stars.
It seems rather quiet considering there are a lot of small people in costumes in the streets walking from house to house and cutting through the yards.

Now that I’m at 7777 South Bay Dr. tonight, I’ll ask one of these small people if they have seen anything here that wasn’t right.

The Costumed Pirate:

I came to the door and rang the bell. When the owner answered it looked like a dark cloud of something flew out at the top of the door! It scared us so bad that the owner hit the floor and I ran from the door! I hope you find out what that was soon! You know strange things happen during a full moon!

The Costumed Fairy and the sheep:

We were walking down the sidewalk to the house where the pirate stood when a dark cloud of something flew quickly out of the door. The dark cloud flew up high into the sky and left in a hurry and then it wasn’t there anymore!

I’ll talk with the occupants of the house to see what they saw.

The cat Sox:

I was sitting in the window watching these strange people go by when all of a sudden there was this great dark whooshing and gush of wind in the house then Chris opened the door and it all went out! It was the scariest thing so I hid under the chair! Go ask Chewy! He was there!

The dog Chewy:

I was sitting in the living room playing tug of war with Chris when the doorbell rang and Chris stopped and went to the door with a bucket of candy and a lot of sweet smelling things! When Chris walked to the door there was this dark cloud and lots of clatter then the cloud flew out the door over Chris’ head. I ran and hid in my bed! Ask Squawker he was close to the door.

The bird Squawker:

I was on my perch in the living room enjoying my seeds when a dark cloud of black bird looking beings flew from the kitchen ceiling and to the front door and when the door opened, I didn’t see them anymore!

Nephew Chris:

I was playing with Chewy while waiting to see if any costumed candy lovers would stop at our door. The doorbell rang and I answered it ready to dish out candy when I heard this loud whooshing and flapping and a dark mass came over my head and out of the door. I immediately fell to the floor and covered my head. I heard Kelsey screaming as if she found something dead!

Niece Kelsey:

I was in the kitchen getting more candy for Chris when I opened the pantry and out came a dark cloud of dark things with wings. I knew they weren’t birds. They have never been in our kitchen. I’ve never seen them before. That’s when I called you as they left out the front door!

I’ll ask the fish if they saw anything. I want to be sure I’m not missing a thing!

The fish Fish and Bowl:

We were swimming around and through our castle when it suddenly got dark and our water got rough! We started to think things were going to get tough! Then it got quiet as the dark left through the door. We don’t want to experience that anymore!

Let me look in the pantry again. If I look up I can see a big dark hole. I must see where this leads. I’ll climb up, up and up…..
I’m in the attic and it is dark as it can be at the end I can see a small amount of moonlight through the small hole in the soffit. As I turn on my flashlight I can see that a cloud of bats has been living here. They sleep during the day and find food in the night. The timing must have been just right when Kelsey opened the pantry door and the bats left into the night. There is an old bat hanging from a corner rafter. I’ll see if the bat will talk to me.

The perpetrator Old Bat:

We found this old attic a wonderful place to be! There was a tiny opening for our family to enter and live here. Then one day last week there was some house repair and we figured we needed to find a second way out so we found a large opening at the other end of the attic, our new living space had two exits and we could use either place! One to enter and one to exit, but we weren’t counting on people, animals, and birds in the space. Now we will have to find a new place!

Well, it looks like the owners will need some assistance from a bat moving team to assist with this mess since bats are protected animals and are guaranteed the best! Now that my obligations tonight have been filled. I will call you tomorrow with my bill!

This is another mystery solved by the Thumbprint Detective!

The Thumbprint Detective: Why the Fireworks?

I just got a call from 4444 Lakeshore Dr.
The owners at their lake house have a mystery to solve.
I wonder why a mystery shake on a holiday fling?
I will gather my things and head to the lake to get a new take on things.
There are beautiful fireworks in the sky over the lake.
I don’t see anyone outside or is it a mistake?
I will go to the backyard. Everything looks to be at peace. Oh! I see my first interview with the niece!

Niece Kelsey:

We were just beginning to enjoy our grilled meal when suddenly there were fireworks that looked like they were coming from the grill! There were ground spinners, sparklers, poppers, snappers, and snakes! The noise and the mess was threatening our meal. That’s why I called you to find out what is the deal?

There is the nephew on the lawnchair. I’ll ask him for anything new.

 

Nephew Chris:

We were all here in the backyard grilling some food when all of a sudden there was a loud boom and fireworks started shooting in the sky from everywhere.It really surprised and startled our guest. I tried my best to keep the guest at rest. I stored the box of fireworks near the shed far from the house and any fire. I wonder who moved them and started the fire?

 

It’s time I question some of the other witnesses on this matter. I’ll start with the bird he always has chatter.

 

The bird Squawker:

I was sitting on my perch eating my seed treat when all of a sudden there was this loud clap of thunder and whistles in the air! I flew to my cage and hid until nothing was there. I’m glad you came. I thought I was cooked! Ask fish and bowl they saw it too!

 

The fish Fish and Bowl:

We had just finished our wonderful meal when our tank shook and all of these colors glowed outside our tank! We thought we went to heaven! I hope you find out what happened and tell us if it was real!

 

There appear to be two missing. I wonder where they can be? Has anyone seen them? Where are Sox and Chewy? I must search the house.

 

Why Chewy’s in the bathroom hiding between the toilet and the sink and Sox has tucked himself tightly under Kelsey’s bed. I wonder what these two have to dread?

The perpetrator: The dog Chewy:

I was outside in the yard just doing my thing when Sox and I found this box with some really nifty things in it. The box had brightly colored toys and nice large bones to chew so Sox and I thought we would take just a few over to the porch where there would be more light, but when we passed the grill……

 

The perpetrator: The cat Sox:

A spark from the grill must have fallen on one of the toys and they popped, boomed and lighted up the sky! It scared us so badly that we ran inside! Chewy ran to the bathroom and I hid under the bed. I’ve never been so frightened! I’ll never touch those kinds of toys again!

 

Well the owners will have quite a clean up. At least it’s in the back. I must be going! I’ll leave my bill on the adirondack!

 

It looks like another mystery solved by the Thumbprint Detective.

 

The Thumbprint Detective: The Missing Shoes

I got a call from 7777 South Bay Dr,
Everyone in the house is missing one shoe and the owners do not know why.
I am on my way to the site to investigate.

There are shoes on the front lawn all singles and not pairs.  I better start looking for clues.
There is the dog. I will ask him if he has heard any news.

The dog Chewy:

It was late in the evening. I was eating my treat when I saw an army of short strange creatures with bird-like features march into the house. They went to the bedrooms like they owned the house! Ask Sox he saw them! Someone needs to take them away!

The cat Sox:

I was eating my fish dinner. It was totally divine when a group of tourists that looked like birds just walked through the house! They went to the bedrooms! I thought if I could catch them, they would be great deserts, but they kept walking and one pecked me! That should be a crime!

Maybe the fish saw more of what happened.

The fish Fish and Bowl:

We were swimming along quietly, we had not long been fed, when a large school of bird fish came walking into the house like they were going to bed! I’m glad they did not come to our room. We would have to push them out with our broom!  Squawker can tell you more!

The bird Squawker:

I was in my cage, almost ready for bed when it looked like all of my distant cousins came suddenly to visit. They walked to the bedrooms like they were in a hotel. Then one by one they walked out the front door with everyone’s shoes!

Nephew Chris:

I came home from my day at the park and I found most of my shoes scattered all around! Some of these were my one of a kind mark basketball shoes!

Niece Kelsey:

I just came home from the beach and saw all of my designer shoes bleaching on the lawn! That’s when I called you. Can you leach out the scoundrels who created this mess?

There appears to be a trail of shoes that leads next door. It goes up the front steps and stops at the doggie door. I’ll open the door and take a peek.

The perpetrators African Penguins:

We came to our normal daily places to nest. We found there are now houses where we used to rest. Our nests can be replaced by these nice strange cups, you call them shoes with strings, we can use for making new nests and other great things. We only took one on each foot and left the rest for next year’s nests.

Well, it looks like there will be some new shoe shopping needed soon. The braying African Penguins are an endangered species and need the room. Since your house is built on their nests, it may be best that you give up your shoes to help them make new nests!

Here is my bill and just give me a call when you have another mystery that you need me to solve!

It looks like another mystery solved by the Thumbprint Detective.

The Thumbprint Detective: What’s That Stink in the House?

I got a call from 7777 South Bay Dr.
The house is stinky and funky and the owner does not know why.
I’ll pack up my things and head out to the house to investigate.

Everyone is out on the front lawn. It looks like a great evacuation!
I will talk to Chris first to understand the situation!

Nephew Chris:
I came home from school, opened the front door and ran out because of the stink. My eyes and nose were burning so much, that I could not think! Ask Kelsey, she experienced the stink!

Niece Kelsey:
I came home from the library with a great recipe to cook. I opened the front door and the stink was so bad, my whole body shook! That’s when I called you!

The cat Sox:
It started after my afternoon nap. I came down the stairs and the stink was so bad, it raised the hairs on my neck and back! Ask Squawker, he would have tried to help me attack!

The bird Squawker:
It was late in the afternoon and I was sitting on my perch about to sing when the stink cloud came in. Oh, what a terrible thing!

The fish Fish and Bowl:
All we saw was Chewy run outside and this strange looking creature with tail held high walked by!

The dog Chewy:
I was looking for my afternoon bone to chew, when in walked this four legged black thing with this very long white stripe down his middle. I barked out a warning to all that there was a stranger walking in our hall!

I believe I have found the origin of the stink. I will carefully lure our perpetrator out from under the kitchen sink!

The perpetrator: the skunk Funky:
I was on my way to my uncle’s when I must have turned left instead of right. I walked through the small door and received a big fright when the large four legged beast yelled at me! I’m so sorry! It was a reflex and I sprayed!
I am so lost, please show me the way to my uncle’s house today!

Well, it looks like you will need a lot of tomatoes to clean out the funk on the walls. I must be going and I’ll leave my bill in the hall!

It looks like another mystery solved by the Thumbprint Detective!

The Thumbprint Detective: The Broken Vase

I just received the call from 7777 South Bay Drive.
They have a mystery on their hands that they cannot solve.
The mystery of the broken vase.
I will pay a visit to the site and begin to investigate.

I see the pieces of the vase on the floor in the living room near the front door.

I will find out who did it. I’ll begin interviewing the suspects and witnesses.

The goldfish: Fish and Bowl:

It was Saturday afternoon. It suddenly got dark and we could hear the rain falling on the roof of the house. Then there was a flash of light and a loud BOOM!
And the next thing we knew, the vase was in pieces on the floor.

The Nephew: Chris:

I was in my room playing my latest video game when it gotdark and there was lightening and a large clap of thunder and I heard a crash downstairs. That’s when I called you to find out what was going on up there.

The Niece: Kelsey:

I was in my room, writing my latest short story on my laptop, when the rain started and then the lightening and loud rumbling of thunder with a crash. There was no one in the room or near the door, just the broken vase on the floor.

The Dog: Chewy:

I was laying in the hallway for my afternoon nap when all of a sudden there was this loud BOOM! It was so loud it gave me the shakes and I gave one of my best guard barks! I let everyone in the house know that I was awake.

The Mouse: Squealer:

I was making my way to the kitchen for some really good snacks. Then there was a large BOOM just as I was almost to my room, with my snacks in the living room wall. The next thing I know that loud mouth Chewy is yelling and crazy Sox starts chasing me down the hall to the living room wall where I make it just in the nick of time.

The Cat: Sox:
I remember the day really well. It was a stormy Saturday afternoon. The house suddenly got dark and the rain started coming down. Then there was a flash of lightening, a loud BOOM and a loud bark from that crazy dog Chewy. I was in the middle of chasing Squealer when Chewy’s bark scared me so, that I hit the table with my tail and the vase fell and broke into a million pieces!

Can we silence that dog?

Well, it looks like another clean up and a redecoration will be involved. Maybe consider replacing the vase with something wooden or metal so that it will not break when it falls. Next time you have a mystery that you are unable to solve, don’t forget to give me a call!

Another mystery solved by the Thumbprint Detective.

The Thumbprint Detective: Who Flooded My House?

I got a call from 7777 South Bay Drive.
The house is flooded and the owner does not know why.
I’m on my way to the site to investigate!

Now at the site: The white house on South Bay Drive
Wow! There is water everywhere! It looks almost like Noah’s ark! I better start looking for clues. I’ll start with the goldfish. They have been washed out of the house and are still in their bowl. Maybe they know something.

The Goldfish: Fish and Bowl
We had settled down in our castle for the night…. Then everything rumbled. The next thing we knew, the front door tumbled down and our home took sail out to the front yard.

The Cat: Sox
You know I don’t like the wet! I was curled up asleep for the night in the nice warm laundry basket when there was a tsunami and all of a sudden, I am riding a wave of water in the basket–Hang Ten to the Yard!

The Bird: Squawk
I was asleep on my perch in my cage, when there was a big rumble and a great wave of water knocks my cage over, the door flies open and I flew out!

Nephew: Chris
I was asleep in my warm bed, dreaming of driving my race car in the Grand Prix when I felt a big rumble and I woke up and everything was flooded. So much for winning the race!

Niece: Kelsey
I was under my covers reading my latest mystery book when I heard a great rumble and then everything was wet and in the front yard. Good thing my book had a waterproof cover so that I can finish it! That’s when I called you!

Is anyone missing? Yes! Where is Chewy the dog?
He’s not in the living room or the bedrooms.
He’s not in the kitchen or the laundry room.
He’s not in the halls.
I’ll check the bathroom!
Chewy is hiding in the bathtub?

The dog: Chewy
I missed by bedtime treat, so I searched the house for something to chew on before I went to sleep. I found this shiny bone between the toilet and the wall and started to chew and chew and chew…..
Until a large amount of water came from between the bone and the wall! I jumped into the bathtub for safety as it flowed down the hall! I was so scared!
Can I help lick everything dry?

Well, it looks like you will need a wet vacuum, fans, rubberboots and towels to dry after this squall. I will leave you my bill on the wall in your hall.

It looks like another mystery solved by the thumbprint detective!

The Digestion Waterworks Vacation

It’s vacation time, but the Cumberland kids,can’t start their vacation until they

complete their summer learning assignment: How do mammals digest their food?

“Are you dressed and ready for your new assignment? I’m sure you will find this a

really great way to start your summer vacation.” said Mr. Burp.

Everyone entered the Digestion Waterworks Waterpark at the giant mouth. ”All goggles

on Everyone into a raft and hold on tight. We are going to follow digestion from the

beginning to the end!”,shouted Mr. Burp.

“We’re ready Mr. Burp!”,shouted Jon, Lisa, Mateo and Wan.

“Why is this one moving up, down and side to side with water shooting everywhere?”,

asked Lisa.

“Digestion begins in the mouth with chewing and saliva or what you call spit. Saliva

wets and begins to break down the food that is ripped and mashed by the teeth when

there is chewing. When the process is complete, the tongue pushes the food down the

tube called the esophagus(ee-sof-uh-gus)—and here we gooooo!!! AHHHH!!!”,screamed

Mr. Burp.

“The first stop is the stomach where more liquids called acids,enzymes hormones and

water are added to the food to break it down even further.”,said Mr.Burp.

“This feels like a big washing machine!,said Wan.

“Some foods are quickly processed and stored in the liver for later use. The liver

is a warehouse and a filter. It stores packets of food that are processed into sugar

for the body and collects the parts that cannot be used by the body for disposal

later. The rest goes to the small intestine.”, said Mr. Burp.

“Uh-Oh! Now it’s drain time!”,said Wan.

“Wheeee!”,squealed Lisa.

“We are now entering the small intestines it is twenty two feet long in humans.”,

explained Mr. Burp.

“Most of your food is absorbed in the small intestines.”,stated Mr.Burp.

“Hey, this is like passing through a carwash! We keep passing through those fringe

curtains!”,yelled Jon.

“Those things you call “fringe curtains are called villi(vill-eye) in the small

intestine. The liquid food now passes through the villi into the bloodstream to the

muscles and tissues by the red blood cells.”, yelled Mr. Burp.

“Whoa! Where are we now?, asked Mateo.

“It sure is dark! Watch that curve!”, yelled Lisa.

“You are now in the large intestine. This is where some of the water you drink and

water from the food you eat is collected and absorbed by the body.”,explained Mr.

Burp.

“It’s the real waterworks of the body!”,said Mateo.

“Yes. You are right, Mateo!”,said Mr. Burp. “It is also where the solid waste is

processed for disposal. The water from the large intestine is used to form stool or

feces(fee-sees) that is passed out of the body through the anus(A-nus).”

“Here we go!” yelled Jon, Lisa, Mateo and Wan as their raft shot out into a large

pool of fresh water. Wan said,”And now we are in a large toilet bowl waiting to be

flushed away!”

“That’s right, Wan!”,said Mr. Burp.”And that‘s how we digest food. Are you ready

for your summer vacation?”

“YEAH!”, shouted Jon, Lisa, Mateo and Wan.

References

http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/digestive-system-how-it-works
http://www.kidshealth.org/en/kids/digestive-system.html
http://www.wonderopolis.org/wonder/how-do-you-digest-food

The Cave of the Ear

“Wow, Mr. Burp! Another learning adventure? We have our cave exploring equipment ready to go. The spelunking gear is ready!”, said Jon.

“Yes, today, away we go into the ear and look at how it works!”, said Mr. Burp.”Is everyone attached to your tethers? We don’t want to lose anybody.”

“Yes Mr. Burp!” the group said.

“We will start with the auricle. The outer ear that directs sound. Headlights on as we go deep into the ear!” whispered Mr. Burp.

“Hey! There’s this sticky, slippery stuff on the bottom! I can hardly keep from falling!”, cried Lisa.

“That’s cerumen or what you call ear wax. It keeps insects and dirt from collecting on the eardrum or the tympanic membrane.”, explained Mr. Burp.

“There’s hair all around here on the top, the walls and the bottom. It’s like walking through a carwash!” said Jon.

“The hair helps push the wax and dirt out of the ear canal.”, said Mr. Burp.”Sometimes it builds up and needs a doctor to help move it out, Wan”.

“That is the tympanic membrane, also known as the eardrum. See it move as we talk?, asked Mr. Burp.

“What’s that on the other side of it?”,asked Jon.

“That is what is called the middle ear. We will explore further. Normally we would not be able to pass through the tympanic membrane, but we will today. Step through this hole.”, said Mr. Burp.

“When the tympanic membrane vibrates or shakes, it makes the three bones of the middle ear move. The bone next to tympanic membrane is the malleus or hammer, which strikes the incus or anvil which shakes the stapes or stirrup. The stirrup vibrates the hairs in the vestibule of the cochlea.”, said Mr. Burp.

“That big snail looking thing is the cochlea?”, asked Lisa.

“Yes.”, said Mr. Burp.”The cochlea is the beginning of the inner ear. There are many hairs in the liquid inside the cochlea that move the auditory nerve which goes to the brain and is recognized as sound.”

“What’s that big tunnel at the bottom of the middle ear under the bones?”, asked Mateo.

“That is called the eustachian (you-stay-shun) tube. It keeps the middle ear dry and maintains the air pressure so that the tympanic membrane and the bones of the ear vibrate without any problems.”, said Mr.Burp.

“Where does it end?”, asked Wan.

“Well, this is how we will leave, so let’s find out!”, said Mr. Burp. “Hold on to your tethers as we slowly descend! When you yawn, this tube opens to let a small amount of air in. It’s that “pop” you hear when flying on an airplane. The air it lets in keeps the middle ear bones dry and keeps the tympanic membrane from rupturing.”

“Weeeeee!”, said Lisa. “That was a straight drop with no curves.”

“Correction. That was a slightly slanted drop without curves.”, said Mr. Burp.

“We are in the mouth!”, said Jon.

“What happens when someone can’t hear?”, asked Mateo.

“It can have three causes or a mixture,” explained Mr. Burp. “The tympanic membrane can be torn as it was when we entered the middle ear, or the bones can become gooey and sticky and won’t vibrate.This is what happens with a cold, allergies or an ear infection. They also will not vibrate if they are under water. This usually happens with allergies or a torn tympanic membrane.”

“If the nerve is damaged,which can be from a virus, medications, or head injury, then the sound is still not transferred to the brain and sometimes there may be a combination of all three!”, stated Mr. Burp.

“Wow! You almost have to be a mechanic to repair the ear!”, said Jon.

“I guess that’s what you would call the doctor that works on the ear. The doctor for the ear is called an otolaryngologist (Oh-toe-laren-goll-oh-jest). Commonly known as the ear-nose and throat doctor.” said Mr. Burp. “They don’t like it when you put things in the ear canal. It is hard to retrieve them when they get stuck and they can cause a lot of damage to the ear by punching holes in the tympanic membrane and breaking the bones of the middle ear. It is not easy to make those repairs. There are very few replacement parts.”

“So we should take care of our ears like we take care of our cars.”, said Lisa.

“Yes.”, said Mr. Burp. “ We need to also keep them protected from loud noises. It damages the hairs in the cochlea. You don’t want to have to use hearing aids before you are 30 years old.”

“Well, this ends today’s adventure. Get ready for the next one, gang!”, said Mr. Burp. “Goodbye!”

“Goodbye Mr. Burp!”, said the gang.”See you next time!”

References

http://www.asha.org
http://www.mayoclinic.org
http://www.healthyhearing.com

The U Story

Once upon an unusual Saturday, Una Ewe awoke at her usual time and walked to her

place at the watering hole in the pasture. All of a sudden, there was a very loud

yell from You Urubu. It was so loud that Una could see You’s uvula when he yelled.

It appeared that You had unfortunately stepped on an unusual and ugly flower. You

was quite upset and unable to remove the ugly and unusual thorn that was on the stem

of the ugly flower. Una Ewe tried to help but was unable to undo the pain that was

making You unhappy and uncomfortable. So Una went to her uncle Uriah for

understanding of how she could best help You. Uncle Uriah called Uma Urial, Uday

Umhofo, Ulyana Uromastix, Ugo Upupa, Ursula Urraca, Ulrich Uakari, and Utku Uinta to

the watering hole for a meeting to decide how to help You.

Uma suggested that Una should use an umbrella to remove the thorn. Uncle Uriah told

Uma that the umbrella was too big.

Uday suggested they use an ultraviolet light on You’s foot and pump the thorn out

with a portable utility pump. Uncle Uriah told Uday that the pump would pump too

hard.

Ulyana suggested cooking some ube and feeding it to You to remove the thorn. Uncle

Uriah told Ulyana that the ube would only make You full and sleepy.

Ugo suggested You dancing a Ukrainian dance in a circle on three legs. Uncle Uriah

told Ugo that was too risky. If he fell, he would make a deep hole and they would

not be able to get him out.

Ursula said she could sew a unique uniform with umber underwear for You to wear to

remove the thorn. Uncle Uriah said he would only look good with the thorn still in

his foot.

Ulrich and Utka suggested that Una go to the university and ask for a solution to

solve You’s problem. Uncle Uriah agreed and sent Una to the university.

Una urgently arrived at the university and went upstairs to the library to look up a

universal answer to removing the thorn from You’s foot. All she found was a group of

people from Uzbekistan, Uganda, Uruguay, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, the United

Kingdom and the United States in an upper room, trying to plan a trip to Ursa Minor

and Uranus. They urgently dragged Una in the room to umpire where they should go

first. Una agreed to umpire their plot, only if they would help her solve You’s

problem. All agreed to unite to solve the problems. Una suggested that they go to

Ursa Minor first, then see Uranus on the way back home. The united countries gave

their suggestions:

Raise You’s foot up as high as possible.

Prop the foot upon a large rock.

Apply ultra utility tape over the thorn.

Pull the tape off the foot hard.

The thorn should be on the tape and have You wash his foot.

Una Ewe thanked the united countries and wished them well with their travels to Ursa

Minor and Uranus. Una Ewe urgently rushed back to the watering hole to tell Uncle

Uriah and the others the information she found. Uncle Uriah gathered all of the

others to assist You with his foot.

Ugo, Ulrich, Uday, and Uncle Uriah tied the finest thick rope around You’s foot and

a large limb of the big tree You was sitting under, and raised it up high. Uma, Una,

Ulyana, and Ursula pushed a large rock under his foot while Uncle Uriah and his team

lowered it onto the rock. Utku placed a large piece of utility tape on the thorn on

You’s foot. Everybody grabbed a piece of the utility tape and pulled H-A-R-D! The

tape was so sticky and strong, it pulled the thorn out of You’s foot.

You was so happy! He thanked everyone! He went to the watering hole and washed his

foot. Uncle Uriah told You that he was one of us and they would do it again if they

had to.

Everybody went to the watering hole and the meadow as they would usually do.

When someone else has a problem they cannot solve, they call Una Ewe.

Until next time, good bye!