Once a Space Cadet, Always a Space Cadet
by Tim Reynolds
“Hello. My name is Tim, and I’m a Space Cadet.”
You laugh, but I am a Space Cadet, or better, a Space Fanatic. I always have been. I was born just before Yuri Gagarin went into orbit, and my childhood was spent watching the Space Race from the rug in the rec room right along with Dad, a former Navy pilot. Clutched tightly in one hand was my Major Matt Mason action figure because the whole idea of man landing on the moon fascinated me. The Moon! That waxing, waning white-grey shiny thingy hanging in the sky above the house!
I even built a monstrous (for me) plastic model of Saturn V rocket with removable Command and Lunar Modules. But a model, an action figure, and an old black and white television were all so abstract. They got me excited, but it wasn’t until the Ontario Science Centre opened in September 1969 (two months after Neil and Buzz stepped foot onto luna firma) that my love of space reached escape velocity. In that wondrous building were housed a real NASA spacesuit, a mock-up of the Command Module that I could actually sit in and flick switches and a Lunar Module Eagle simulator!
I spent hours trying to land that sucker on the “moon” and imagined that NASA themselves would pick the next crop of astronauts from the kids who could successfully land that Eagle onto that Sea of Tranquility. Sadly, I was never able to master the skill, and today I’m sure that’s why … Read more in the Fall 2019 issue
DIY Solar System
by Suzanne Madron
Remember those solar system science projects from grade school? This solar system gets an upgrade while also being a fun kid-friendly project.
Van Gogh’s Starry Night influenced the solar system in this project, using swirls of bright colors, but it is just as easily adapted for a more realistic looking solar system as well.
- Foam balls of varying sizes for the planets. It is recommended to have a few extra if you plan to make the moon, etc. it is definitely a good plan to have extras in case of painting mishaps.
- Wooden or metal skewer rods
- Board canvas large and enough to hold your solar system, or several if you plan to stretch the system over multiple canvases for effect
- Acrylic paint (a typical set which includes the colors of the rainbow, plus black, brown, and white)
- Paint brushes of various sizes
A New Frontier for the National Solar Observatory, New Mexico
by Michele Roger
In 2016 and 2017, the National Solar Observatory was drowning amidst scandal and neglect. It was yet another nationally science based tourist site falling into ruin. Telescopes were no longer in working order, staff nowhere to be found, and entire sections closed to the public.
It was presumed by many that the entire facility would be shut down for good by summer of 2017. Then, despite a sea of bad news, a helping hand became a new chapter in the space observatory.
Thankfully, New Mexico State University breathed life back into the site in the late summer of 2017. Students became docents, giving tours filled with enthusiasm. Funding from the university trickled in and slowly repairs to equipment were made and features of the building restored. The result? Tourism is beginning to flood the area once more. The National Solar Observatory is becoming a place where people of all ages are falling in love with the stars, space, and the skies above, once again … continue reading the Fall 2019 issue
Fall Editor’s Letter
The intrigue of space is undeniable. Whether it is the romantic glow of the moon, questions about our place in the universe, or pure scientific wonder that drives our imagination, we long to know more. The vast night sky demands that we raise our eyes from our everyday problems and recognize a different perspective.
Perhaps one day mankind will travel beyond our small sphere. Until then, we must celebrate the successes of our robots as they visit Mars and travel beyond the edge of our solar system, gathering knowledge to improve our lives and expand our understanding of what is possible. They can explore much more inexpensively and without risking an astronaut’s life.
While we perfect our science and consider options, we study images from far away, reap the benefits of material and engineering innovations, and speculate on what is still to be discovered. We may not travel in style, like Elon Musk’s red Tesla, but humans are curious and driven. So, enjoy a star-shaped cookie, paint a planet diorama, and consider what the future may bring to the exploration of space.
Heather Roulo/Editorial Director
We’re Going to the Zoo, Zoo, Zoo
by Michele Roger
The roars, the crowds and well, the smells; it’s all part of the excitement that accompanies a trip to the zoo. For some patrons on the autism spectrum, it’s some of these same aspects of a day at the zoo that can make it a challenge.
Zoos from around the world have come to appreciate that everyone experiences the zoo in their own way and have set up programs to help everyone enjoy the beauty and splendor of the animals.
Established in 1826, the London Zoo sits at the north edge of Regent’s Park between West Minster and Camden. The London Zoo is known for being the first zoo to open a reptile house in 1849, as well as the first children’s zoo in 1938.
In keeping with its pioneering tradition, London was one of the first zoos to create a digital package for autistic students attending with their school. The interactive, digital tour and printable pack is meant to be used ahead of the visit. The online tour goes through … continue reading the Summer 2019 issue.
by Donna Medina
Summer is approaching, and with it comes a lot of opportunities to get moving in the outdoors. While you might not wish to give up your studio and gym workouts totally, you might wish to consider squeezing in some of these activities whenever you can. We’ve pulled together some of the most typical outdoor activities you can do to get you ready for outdoors this coming summer.
WALKING This is one of the easiest ways to get fit outdoors. Brisk walking regularly can enhance the health of your lungs, heart, and circulatory system. According to CDC, ten minutes of brisk walking, three times per day for five days a week is enough to strengthen your aerobic health.
RUNNING Like walking, running helps enhance your cardiovascular fitness. … Continue reading in the Summer 2019 issue.
Grilled Veggie Pita Sandwich
by Brian and Patricia Dake
Picnics make summer outings complete, so we wanted to share a fun idea with a Mediterranean flare.
Traveling through Bulgaria and Turkey, we discovered that it’s customary to use fresh, thinly sliced tomato and cucumber to add flavor and crunch to sandwiches. Also common to Mediterranean cuisine is tahini, a thick paste made by grinding hulled white sesame seeds. As a staple of Middle Eastern cooking, it can be found in most large supermarkets on the ethnic food aisle. It’s not unusual for it to separate, so the oil and the sesame paste will need to be mixed back together before use. Using good quality tahini is essential.
Preparation – Marinade Base * Cut and discard stems from fresh basil leaves, slice basil leaves into fine 1/16-inch strips. Repeat until you have 1/4 cup loose packed strips. * In a non-metal bowl mix basil strips, balsamic vinegar, kosher salt, smoked paprika and black pepper until blended to make marinade base. Preparation – Grilled Vegetables * Rinse bell peppers and zucchini. * Cut and discard ends from zucchini. Cut each zucchini in half… continue reading the Summer 2019 issue.
Sea Otter Cuteness
by Vivianne Winter
In December of 2018 the Oregon Zoo said goodbye to Eddie, the sea otter, one of the oldest sea otters in the world. Wild otters often live between fifteen and twenty years. Eddie celebrated nearly 21.
Eddie became internet famous in 2013 after a video of him slam dunking a toy basketball as physical therapy for this arthritic elbow joints was viewed more than 1.7 million times on the zoo’s YouTube channel.
When Eddie was orphaned as a young pup along the California coast in 1998, he lacked the skills to survive on his own in the wild and was taken to the Monterey Bay Aquarium for rehabilitation. Deemed non-releasable by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in 2000 he went to live at the Oregon Zoo … continue reading the Summer 2019 issue.
Woodland Park Zoo
by Heather Roulo
When visitors come to Seattle, there are a few must-see sites. Besides the space needle and Pike Street Market, I insist my guests visit the Woodland Park Zoo.
Located near Green Lake in the northern part of Seattle, not too far from the University of Washington campus, Woodland Park Zoo boasts ninety-two acres of animals and attractions. Despite the large size, it is well-organized and very possible to see the zoo in one day or to pick your favorites and linger along the lush native-plant-lined paths. We go so frequently. The kids have learned the shortest paths between our favorite animals.
When our family hosted a Japanese exchange student, she was thrilled with the chance to interact with the animals. Young or old, the zoo entertains with its variety of animals, plants, education, and experiences. Where else can you be licked by a giraffe and experience how rough their tongues are?
The zoo also provides an opportunity to appreciate the diverse biosphere … read more in the Summer 2019 issue.
Spotlight on Oakland
by Sumiko Saulson
Oakland is a well-known spot for arts and culture, but not everyone knows that it is also the home of the nation’s oldest wildlife reserve, Lake Merritt Refuge, established in 1870.
It is a tidal pool three miles in circumference at the heart of the city featuring birds, gardens, and boating. On its shores is the fanciful theme park, Children’s Fairyland, opened in 1950, and one of the oldest such parks in the world. The Oakland Zoo, managed by the Conservation Society of California, is another type of sanctuary for wildlife. Founded in 1922 by naturalist Henry A. Snow, it houses … continue reading in the Summer 2019 issue of SEARCH.