Archive for March, 2010

“A Gem of a Book”

Saturday, March 13th, 2010
Just found this review of “Mary Mae and the Gospel Truth.”   Here’s the link:
Welcome to my Tweendom: Mary Mae and the Gospel Truth (http://www NULL.facebook NULL.php?u=http%253A%252F%252Ftweendom NULL.blogspot NULL.html&h=a068e32f2e1b0e93e38cdbf5a0d5f372&ref=mf)
Mary Mae likes it at Remnant Church of God. She likes all of the Praise the Lords and the Amens, and the fact that folks can just get on up and tell everybody what it is they’re thankful for. Her pastor, …
It’s also on Jacket Flap (http://www NULL.jacketflap NULL.asp?tagid=125032&tag=arc+6%2F10>).
(http://www NULL.jacketflap NULL.asp?tagid=125032&tag=arc+6/10)

Power Tools for Fossil Diggers

Sunday, March 7th, 2010

On the blogsite Louisville Fossils (http://louisvillefossils NULL.blogspot, you can see the tools an amateur “fossil detective” uses.  He says he always wondered how the museums got such beautiful specimens and then he learned that they use a variety of power tools.  Go to this site and you can see his equipment:  something called a “Dremel engraver”, which looks like an ordinary drill but actually is a miniature jack hammer.   He uses different tips for different purposes, the heavy duty ones for removing large sections of rock, down to smaller and finer points and a steel brush for fine cleaning.  He strongly recommends wearing safety glasses as well as a 3M dust mask (it’s very colorful).  Drill bits can snap off (I know, having used an ordinary drill) and fly into your eye; and the 3-M mask will prevent your inhaling dangerous dust.

In my book, Mary Mae and her class use chisels and screwdrivers to dig out their fossils.    Since they’re not using power tools, they don’t wear dust masks, but they do wear safety glasses.

Born With a Bang

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

(http://www NULL.universestories (http://www NULL.universestories

(http://www NULL.universestories

A Series by author Jennifer Morgan (http://http://www NULL.universestories illustrator Dana Lynne Andersen (http://http://www NULL.sacredcatalog

Three of the best children’s books I’ve found on evolution are a series by Jennifer Morgan and Dana Lynne Andersen (illustrator): Born with a Bang (http://www, From Lava to Life (http://www, and Mammals Who Morph (http://www tells the story of the universe from the universe’s point of view, using metaphors a child can identify with:  “About 13 billion years ago, or so, I was smaller than a piece of dust under your bed.”   That piece of dust bursts into a “gargantuan balloon the size of a galaxy” and describes its future in terms of dreams:  “fish cruising deep blue seas, insects alighting on flowers, reptiles basking on hot rocks in the Sun. . . .”   I like the use of dreams as metaphor for change and possibility.   Morgan emphasizes that the universe is “us.” We are all one, created from that single first piece of dust.  The second book, From Lava to Life, focuses on the growth of life on earth, beginning with bacteria and ending with the dinosaurs. And in Mammals Who Morph, we see the evolution of animals into humans, again with the universe telling the story.  On the last page we are reminded of our history:

            “Every cell in your body is packed with hydrogen, made when I was born.

            Your bones are hardened with calcium made by stars.

            Your backbone was fashioned by fish.”

Morgan, who has a degree in theology from the University of San Francisco, also studied science at Princeton and interviewed many physicists while writing this series.  She told the stories to her son, who wanted to know all about the universe, she said, including the texture of its edges. 

I recommend this series to children, parents, and teachers.