Week of March 24, 2013
Nominate a cool
website at:


Cool Spots
Back Issues
Visit the featured websites to find the answers.

What is an afterimage?
An image that stays with you after you’ve stopped looking
An image that shows "after" in a before/after comparison
An image that was produced using negative film

Which artist is featured in Soundscapes – Songs By and For Children?
Sarah Lee Guthrie
Justin Roberts

How fast can an alligator run on its toes?
10 km/h
30 km/h
50 km/h

Brain Tricks

spinner illusionFire up those brain waves with the Exploratorium’s Optical Illusions, exploratorium.edu/explore
. Certain patterns and pictures have the ability to alter your perception and confuse your brain. Join the fun and choose from Staff Picks such as Changing Illusions, five patterns that trick your eyes into seeing different sizes. Now stare at the Depth Spinner and see if the wall seems to be moving. The Temple Illusion is a perspective challenge – study the picture and figure it out. Squirming Palm makes your own hand play tricks on you.

Play Otter Rush
Otter Rush

Mix It Up

jazz ensembleDid you know that the Smithsonian Institution has its own record label? Folkways Recordings, folkways.si.edu/jazz/mixer.
, was established in 1948 to document sounds from around the world. Jam to some cool tunes as you create your own unique sound with the Smithsonian Jazz Mixer. Now visit the Map, pick a city and listen to great jazz musicians such as Count Basie from Kansas City or percussionist Chano Pozo from Cuba. Haven’t found a favorite tune yet? Explore Folkways, then listen to music from all over the
world in Soundscapes.

Unique Gardens

Gordon the GnomeExplore Global Gardens with Gordon the Gnome, www.show.me.uk/hosted/gg, and experience a collection of animated gardens. Did you know that there are gardens in nearly every habitat in the world? Each habitat has plants and animals that have adapted to living there, whether hot and dry, cold and wet, or something in between. You might be surprised to learn that jellyfish were on this planet before dinosaurs, and that electric eels shock their prey before eating it. See more fascinating sea creatures in the Ocean Garden. Move on to the Desert Garden, where it may not rain for years, and find out how rattlesnakes find their food.

Speak Out

Does your family plant a garden?
What do you grow?

Speak Out Here!

Dear Amy: What exactly is 3D printing and how does it work? — Alex, Joliet, Ill.

Dear Alex: When you print an image with an inkjet or laser printer, the image is printed in ink across the page, one line at a time, until it is complete. 3D printers do the same thing, except they print physical objects one layer at a time, using plastic or other materials.

Most 3D printers are found in industrial settings, but there are also 3D printers available for personal use. These home printers use spools or cartridges of plastic in different colors. The plastic is melted in the machine and then gradually layered to build a custom object. You can use software to design your own objects or buy patterns online from other designers. To learn more about 3D printing, check out 3D Printing for Kids at 3dprintingforkids.com/?page_id=11.

Designer Bernat Cuni has found a creative way to use 3D printing. His project Crayon Creatures brings children’s drawings to life by turning drawings into sculptures for display. To find out more about Crayon Creatures, visit 3dprintingindustry.com/2013/01/10/childrens-drawings-brought-to-life-with-3d-printing.


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