Humans are amazing.

Screen Shot 2013-11-21 at 9.18.04 AM

Before you watch this incredible video, think of most of the music you listen to. There’s a good chance it’s made by one or more instruments, maybe also a drum and often with someone singing.

Now let’s talk about: A Cappella.

You pronounce it: Ah. Kah. Peh. Lah.

Now put it all together: A Cappella.

It’s an Italian phrase. If you were to write it in Latin, you would only write one ‘p’. Either way, it means music that is either sung by one person or a group singing without sound coming from any instrument.

You may say, “Hey! That’s no big deal! I sing a cappella all the time in my shower! Or even just walking around.”

Oh yes indeed, friend! But does your a cappella sound something like … THIS???

(Maybe it does. In which case: wow!)

As you watch the video, remember that there are no instruments in the clip. Every single sound is made by a person.

Now you tell me: Aren’t humans glorious?


Hey pretty pink princess, you are one heck of an engineer

Screen Shot 2013-11-19 at 5.56.40 PM

I just cannot watch this video for Goldieblox toys enough.

Yep. It is true. Girls are so much more than pretty pink princesses.

Girls are creators, innovators, thinkers, engineers, designers, scientists, leaders. And more.

Don’t settle, girls.

Dream big. Do big.


Extinct rhymes with stink


This animal is a quagga. It’s a kind of zebra.

You will never see a quagga on our planet again because quaggas became extinct in the late 1800s. That’s almost 150 years ago.

“Extinction” — which is when things become extinct — is pronounced like this: X – Stink – Shen.

And in a way extinction can stink because it means that an animal or a species no longer has any living members. Poof. They’re gone.

There are lots of reasons why animals can become extinct. Can you think of a few?

Can you think of a really well-known species that is now extinct?


Screen Shot 2013-11-13 at 11.49.22 AM

What can we humans do to stop animals from becoming extinct? Do we want to stop animals from going extinct? What is the downside (bad thing) of extinction? Are there any upsides (good things) to extinction? Think about this. Let’s talk about it again.

Here is a slide show of rare photographs of 7 animals that became extinct in the last two centuries. You can also read about the last time they were seen and what happened to them.

Photo credit: The Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC (awesome, must-see museum!!)


The boy with Werewolf Syndrome

Screen Shot 2013-11-06 at 12.57.23 PM

Niraj is 12. He lives in Nepal. He and several members of his family suffer from a rare illness with a very long name that causes a person to have too much hair growth. The disease is also known as “Werewolf Syndrome.”

Take a look at this amazing slideshow of glimpses of Niraj’s life. The last few pictures are of him and his family getting laser hair removal treatments at a local hospital to get rid of all the extra hair.

What do you think about Niraj and his family? What if you had a condition that made you stand out? How would you feel? What would you do?

Photo credit: Navesh Chitrakar for Reuters