End of Summer

At the beginning of the summer as the temperature rises, the native Floridians prepare to hibernate in their climate controlled dens for the summer.Knowing that going out in such high temperatures can cause severe burns, incite violence, and completely stop the brain from functioning, the native Floridians turn down the air conditioner, pull the blinds closed, and prepare to avoid the sun as much as possible for the next several months. 

As fall approaches the Floridan begins to stir.Since the temperature does not change in their climate controlled dens, it is not clear what lets the Floridan know that fall is approaching.Perhaps they can tell based on subtle signs, such as the the snow birds returning from their annual migration, or the proliferation of pumpkin spiced everything.What we do know, is that the Floridians emerge from their caves every year on labor day weekend.If that that time the Floridian begins to sweat, it is said that summer will last another 6 weeks, but if the Floridian doesn’t sweat, legend says that Fall will come early.
beginning of fall


We had a high of only 81 F today, and we are forecasted to have a day this week with a low in the 50s.  That is unprecedented.  I don't remember the last time it felt cool outside before October....ever.  It is amazing.  I'm actually sitting outside today writing this.  

My kids even willingly went outside to play today.  I think that may be the first time they have willingly gone outside to play without water involved since we moved into this house in April.   We decided to put up a temporary play area for them out of a sun sail and table and chairs to encourage them to go out a bit more, and so far it is working!

We originally got the sun sail from Ikea to block out the horrible light of the day star, but began to melt during our original attempt to put it up, so it has been in the hall closet ever since.  It made a great little lean to type structure for the kids to play under.  

If you have any suggestions for outdoor activities that won't cost an arm and a leg, that big kids would like, please leave a note in the comments.  I would love to hear your suggestions!

The Mag Lab

This weekend the National High Magnetic Field Lab had their annual Open House, and it was awesome. It was our first time at the Open House, and we really didn't expect to see much, other than the 45 Tesla Electro Magnet. What we found was that the entire complex had been set up with different experiments and demonstrations, each designed to get kids interested in science.

Firebeard and Thing 2 visited the Cryogenics Lab and saw the Liquid Nitrogen rocket car, and flash frozen flowers, while Thing 1 and I visited the big magnets in the DC Field Building.

Thing 1 wasn't very impressed in the world's largest magnet, because "it looked like a bunch of tubes" (her words), but the other demonstrations in the magnet cells were pretty awesome. She especially like the electric pickle, the cloud made in a bottle, and the thunder tube.

In the end, Thing 1's favorite part was the exhibit set up by the Sci Girls, a groups of girls just a few years older than her. They were showing the conservation of angular momentum with bike wheels, and making cloud bubbles with dry ice. Thing one didn't want to leave. It makes me wonder if she will be demonstrating in a few years.

Next year we are planning to go earlier and see some of the demonstrations were didn't get to see this year, like the MagLev Train in the Applied Superconductivity Center and the hydrogen powered toy car in the center for alternative power systems (Hint, hint, Mag Lag open house organizers). I also hope that next year they will have the robots that Thing 2 was wishing for.