Thursday, April 28, 2016

National Arbor Day(s) - US April 29, 2016

Arbor Day is an international celebration, but it is celebrated on different days around the world (usually in spring) depending upon local climates. The first (known) Arbor Festival was in Mondonedo, Spain, in 1594. The first *modern* Arbor Day was held in 1805 in Villanueva de la Sierra, Spain.

In the US the first Arbor Day was celebrated April 10, 1872, when ~1 million trees were planted in Nebraska. Over time Arbor Day became an official celebration with President Roosevelt issuing an Arbor Day Proclamation (April 15, 1907) addressed to the school children of the United States about the importance of trees, and encouraging that forestry be taught in US schools.

Over the years the date has changed a bit, and now Arbor Day is celebrated in the US on the last Friday in April, this year that is April 29!

A partial list of tree planting celebration (& times) around the world:

National Tree Day is on the last Sunday in July. Arbor Day has been observed in Australia since June 20, 1889.
International Day of Tree-planting is celebrated ~March 21 as an educational day/observance, not as a public holiday.
Arbor Day (Dia da Árvore) is celebrated September 21.
British Virgin Islands
Sponsored by the National Parks Trust, Arbour Day is celebrated November 22. \
Cambodia celebrates Arbor Day July 9.
National Forest Week is celebrated the last full week of September, with National Tree Day falling on the Wednesday of that week. Individual Arbor Days are celebrated around Canada in spring.
Central African Republic
National Tree Planting Day is July 20.
Arbor Day, celebrated on March 12, is upheld in China with the The Resolution on the Unfolding of a Nationwide Voluntary Tree-planting Campaign,1981
Costa Rica
"Día del Árbol" is June 15.
Arbor Day is January 15
The first Arbor Day ("Tag des Baumes") in Germany was in 1952, it is celebrated on April 25.
The tree planting festival in India is called Van Mahotsav (festival of trees). Originating in 1947, it lasts one week in July.
"National Tree Planting Day is on the 15th day of month Esfand which is generally ~ March5.
Tu Bishvat (the new year for trees), is on the 15th day of Shvat, which is ~ January or February.
Greenery Day, similar to Arbor Day, is celebrated May 4.
National Tree Planting Day is April 21.
National Tree Planting Day is in November.
Republic of Macedonia
'Tree Day-Plant Your Future' tradition was started on March 12, 2008, when over 150,000 Macedonians planted 2 million trees in one day (symbolically, one for each citizen). It continues now each year.
National Tree Planting Day is on the 2nd Monday of December.
The Día del Árbol , started in 1959, it is celebrated each year on the 2nd Thursday of July.
The first National Tree Planting Day was celebrated in 2010, it is now tradition on the 2nd Saturday of May and October.
Arbor Day is celebrated on October 8.
Begun in 1957, National Festival of Trees (Nationale Boomplantdag/Nationale Boomfeestdag) is celebrated the third Wednesday of March.
New Zealand
Arobor Day is on June 5.
Arbor Day is August 3.
National tree plantation day is August 18.
Arbor Day has been celebrated since 1947, and is now celebrated on June 25.
Arbor Day is October 10.
Arbor Day is March 21.
South Africa
Arbor Day, begun in 1945, was expanded to Arbor Week in 200, lasting from September 1-7.
South Korea
Arbor Day is celebrated April 5.
Celebrations for Arbor Day are chosen locally, but they are usually celebrated from February to May.
Arbor Day is celebrated on March 12.
National Tree Planting Day is April 1
National Tree Planting Day is March 24.
United Kingdom
National Tree Week, first celebrated in 1975, this year is from Nov 26- Dec 4.
United States
Arbor Day is on the last Friday in April.
Día del Arbol (Day of the Tree) is the last Sunday of May.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

QuestX’s Calendar of Science, Nature, and Other ...


The interactive calendar ^ (which can also be found through our web site on the QuestX home page) let's you see what is special about *today* or look up other days/ weeks/ months for science, nature, and otter celebrations!  ; )

A few days of Note coming up:
April 29 ~ National Arbor Day 
April 24-30 ~ World Immunization Week
May 6 ~ Space Day
May 14 ~ World Migratory Bird Day
May 22 ~ International Day for BioDiversity 
May 23 ~ World Thinking Day!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Richter Scale Day - April 26

Richter Scale Day is celebrated on April 26, the anniversary of the birth of the inventor, Charles F. Richter (April 26, 1900- Spet. 30, 1985). Charles Richter and Beno Gutenburg invented the Richter Scale in 1935 to measure the amount of energy released by earthquakes by measuring seismic waves (the type of waves/motion that are related to earthquakes), see graph below.

The Richter Scale is based on a base-10 logarithmic scale, ranging from 0 to 9+. On the scale, each increase in number represents an earthquake 10 times more powerful, a Richter 3 quake is 10 times larger than a Richter 4 and a Richter 5 is 10 times greater than a Richter 4; the result is that a Richter 5 is 100 times greater than a Richter 3.
The largest earthquake currently on record is the Great Chilean Earthquake of May 22, 1960, with a magnitude of Richter 9.5.

Here's a great graph from the USGS:

If you feel a quake, report it online at USGS "Did you feel it?"!

Celebrate what Makes you YOU! It's International DNA Day!

Similar to how letters form words, bases form the genetic code that creates genes.

International DNA Day April 25.
Today, in 1952, James Watson, Francis Crick, Rosalind Franklin, Maurice Wilkins, et al published papers in Nature (the journal) on the structure of DNA. 
It is also the day (in 2003) that the Human Genome Project was declared nearly complete and "the remaining tiny gaps [were] considered too costly to fill."

DNA stands for deoxyribonucleic acid.
The bases can be thought of like letters in an alphabet; as letters can be combined to create many words, the sequences of bases create the language of the genes. 

Friday, April 22, 2016

First Quest module on Youtube: What is science?!?

Happy Earth Day!!! Just in time, we have just posted our first module for the QuestX video series on Youtube!

Our first module is "So what is science?!?" It is an introduction to some common perceptions about science, and a brief introduction into what science is and what it does.
The entire Quest team is pretty excited to bring you this first module, and we are especially exited to bring you more, and even better, modules on exciting topics in science and nature in the near future. We will be following up this module with a full cluster of modules (sorry about the jargon---see definitions and how to watch here) on how science works, the scientific method, and distinguishing science from bullsh*t.


EarthDay 2016

Today and this weekend at Quest we are celebrating EarthDay. Go get on google and look up your local EarthDay events, or if you can't find any events listed that way check out your local wildlife, forestry, county extension. or parks services! Many of them have events planned for this weekend!
Or celebrate on your own, enjoying and appreciating our earth.

Still looking for something to do, check these out:

Forrest Fenn, one man's story of luring people to experience the treasure that is nature ...and he's put his money (or some of it at least ; )   )  where his heart is!

Today we are also releasing the 1st documentary module on the scientific method, "So...what is science?"!
Watch for the video upload on on YouTube site on EarthDay! (and we'll post it)

Color Me Page - EarthDay 2016!

Welcome to EarthDay 2016!

A day we set aside each year to explore our relationship with this planet Earth.

Just sneaking it *really early* to share this coloring page that QuestX created especially to celebrate EarthDay 2016:

 We look forward to you sharing your colored pages here, on G+, or on facebook!
(if you do, please let us know!)

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Deep Diving Physiology in Dolphins

Earth Day is dedicated to deepening understanding of the earth, and the creatures that live on it. By understanding the various ways life has adapted to different conditions, we gain an appreciation for life in all its forms and increase our resolve to preserve habitats for all forms of life. One unique adaption has allowed mammals, most commonly land residents, to live in the sea.

 Orcas (killer whales) are in the dolphin family, Delphinidae.

­­Dolphins are marine mammals and as such are perfectly adapted, both anatomically and physiologically, to life in the sea. Before we go any further, let’s make sure we understand each other by defining a few terms. A marine organism is one that lives in the sea. According to New Webster’s Medical Dictionary, anatomy is “the structure or study of the body”, and physiology is “the science of dealing with the normal functions of living organisms or their organs”. To put it more simply, anatomy and physiology collectively mean how a creature is “put together” and how it “works”.

Since dolphins and whales are mammals, they must breathe air. Since they live in the sea, they must swim and dive. Most of the dolphin’s adaptations to the marine environment are related to allowing them to swim and dive for extended periods, yet 
^ typical dolphin anatomy, click for larger image
breathe using lungs like those of humans instead of using gills like those of fish.

The marine environment is much different than that of the land, so to understand how dolphins have adapted to sea life we must first understand some of the unique problems that they face. One of the major problems involves the relationship between gas exchange and pressure. As one descends into the ocean depths, the pressure exerted on the body by the surrounding water increases. This increased pressure on the lungs causes the gases in the lungs, namely oxygen and nitrogen, to leave the lungs and enter the bloodstream. If much time is spent at depth, a large amount of nitrogen may be dissolved into the blood. Upon resurfacing, the pressure decreases and the dissolved nitrogen may expand enough to form bubbles in the blood and other tissues. This is similar to the formation of carbon dioxide bubbles inside of a bottle of soda pop when the cap is removed, and the pressure inside the bottle is suddenly decreased. The accumulation of such nitrogen bubbles in the joints causes a painful disease known as “the bends” in humans. Since dolphins dive frequently and for extended periods, why don’t they get the bends? Let’s consider another problem that diving mammals have and since the adaptions for bother are inter-related, we will find how nature has provided for the dolphin.

When humans take a breath-hold dive, they can stay underwater for 3 to 5 minutes, depending mainly on how much oxygen they have in their lungs. The lungs of a dolphin, relative to its body size, are no larger than our own. How then can a dolphin remain submerged for such long periods?

Among the numerous adaptations of the dolphin for life in the sea, the most important ones for oxygen conservation are: 1) lung collapse, 2) circulatory redistribution, 3) modified oxygen – storage mechanism, and 4) resistance of the tissues to lactic acid build-up.

The lungs of the dolphin are made to collapse under pressure. Some of the ribs are even jointed to assist in this collapse. When the pressure is great enough, the lungs collapse to the point where exchange ceases. With no gas exchange, excess nitrogen cannot enter the bloodstream and the bends cannot occur.

To reduce the use of oxygen during a dive, the circulatory system has become adapted to supply oxygen only to tissues that need it most, namely the heart and the brain. When a dolphin dives, the heart slows way down and blood flow is restricted to the heart and the brain. The muscles and other organs receive only a little blood.

The method by which oxygen is stored is quite different with the dolphins, too. “Hemoglobin”, a pigment in our blood, carries oxygen from our lungs to the tissues, with a small amount being 


stored in "myoglobin”, another pigment in our muscles. Dolphins, however, have more hemoglobin than we do and much more 
myoglobin, so the muscles can 
get plenty of oxygen during periods of reduced blood flow.

When muscles operate with oxygen for a while, they build up a waste product called “lactic acid”. Everyone knows that burning sensation you get in your muscles from working out too hard. This is caused by working the muscle so hard that the stored oxygen is depleted and lactic acid accumulates. Due to the circulatory redistribution described above, the muscles must operate for prolonged periods with little blood circulation. Their muscles have evolved with a biochemical resistance to such side effects as burning and cramping due to over-accumulation of lactic acid.
Respiratory specializations such as those listed above have enabled the dolphin, and air-breather, to spend very little time at the surface breathing, and spend the greater majority of its time swimming in the ocean’s dept

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Today at QuestX - the Rules of ZombieLand apply

Today we found  that the rules of ZombieLand apply at unexpected times...
like when printing t-shirts.

Today was screen printing guerilla warfare 101. We haven't screen printed t-shirts in, well, let's just say *a while* (ok, transparency, a VERY long while). We picked up a fresh screen printing kit. And some of the instructions were even given a glance... we felt ready.

We didn't realize we were actually in training for the next zombi-pocalypse, which rules applied?
  1. Cardio - best to be ready because there was a lot of running around at the last minute grabbing things because "wow! we need that".
  2. The Double Tap - regardless of any and all directions it really is best to double swipe the screen with the squeegee during the inking process. Regardless. Do it!
  3. Beware of Bathrooms - what can i say? Screening ink? (you figure it out)
  4. Wear Seat Belts - ok, this one doesn't really apply, except driving back and forth to the store to get the items hidden in the directions (rather than in the materials list), best to follow the law and not get slowed down.
  5. No Attachments -just plain bad advise with this one!
  6. The “Skillet” -or whatever other *iron* implement you want to apply.
  7. Travel Light - wish I'd paid attention to this one ; )
  8. Get a Kick Ass Partner - check! A good partner is definitely a big advantage!
  9. With your Bare Hands - definitely easier, except at the one stage that got really messy and a bit toxic...
  10. Don’t Swing Low - huh?
  11. Use Your Foot - well, unh, no, this one doesn't really apply either.
  12. Bounty Paper Towels - YES! ...the quicker picker upper... or any brand of your choice.
  13. Shake it Off - every time i had to dry the screen, a gentle shake.
  14. Always carry a change of underwear - i'll leave this one up to you.
  15. Bowling Ball - helpful in that same way as Rocket needing that man's leg.
  16. Opportunity Knocks - yep, now respond.
  17. Don’t be a hero (later crossed out to be a hero) - yeah, be it.
  18. Limber Up - before and after.
  19. Break it Up - Don't. Don't try to do it all at once, you'll ruin the back  ; ) .
  20. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, unless it’s a sprint, then sprint - self explanatory. And, btw, these weeks? These are sprints.
  21. When in doubt Know your way out - yes. Screen print a bunch of t-shirts and you'll see how this one applies.
  22. Zipplock - apparently this rule wasn't memorable for me...
  23. Use your thumbs - well, yeah...
  24. Shoot First - and last.
  25. A little sun screen never hurt anybody - not true. BUT! When screen printing out-of-doors (like we were today) it is exceptional advice!
  26. Incoming!
  27. Double-Knot your Shoes - very helpful. Very.
  28. The Buddy System - already covered in "get a kick ass partner".
  29. Pack your stain stick - again i saw hunh?!?
  30. Check the back seat - because that is where you left most of what you can't find.
  31. Enjoy the little things - and the big things. Actually? Just enjoy all the things!
  32. Swiss army Knife - well, duh. Or any decent knife. Always.

I'll talk about screen printing technique and procedure another time ... today was about prepping for Quest's next documentary short release on Earth Day!!! (perspectives on science!)

(the front design is top-secret 'til then!)


Saturday, April 16, 2016

Creative Projects > Crochet

Links to crocheted projects (this blog page will be updated as more projects are added):

Evolution of the Crocheted Kraken 

Crochet Terms, Definitions, and Conversions

Beginner's Crochet and Basic Crochet Starter Projects

Water Cycle #3 (complete!) > National Water Week (April 10- 16)

Basics of

Transpiration /
Precipitation (rain, snow, fog, etc.)
Plant UpTake
Sun (solar energy)
Plants/ Trees
Ground Water
Water Table

It's been a busy week, so, unfortunately that's all for National Water Week... but next week is Earth Day! (and the earth *is* ~70% water, so......   ; )   ).


Thursday, April 14, 2016

Water Cycle #2 (hints!) > National Water Week! (April 10- 16)

 As promised, here are a few hints to give you a starting place for filling in the water cycle coloring page.

 Try to look up some of the terms and put them in the diagram! On the last day of National Water Week, Saturday, I will add the definitions in case you can't find them.

Some of the terms used in describing the water cycle:

Plant UpTake
Plants/ Trees

The blank coloring page:

And a colored page:

And last, for today, fill in the blanks!

I haven't given you all of the blanks, first try to fill in some on your own!