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A place for the geek in all of us.
Kids and parents can go on Disney and create themselves in any setting they would like. Want to dress like Moana? Do it! I'm pretty sure this is my latest obsession.
Check me out:
What a fun thing to do when a snowstorms a'coming! Click here and you can do it yourself.
Travel in Western Massachusetts is always interesting. I grew up here, and still there are places to go that I haven't yet explored. Join the Davis' as we explored the dinosaurs of western Massachusetts. We became amateur paleontologists, hands lovingly feeling out dinosaur tracks as we tried to locate them all. In a little town called Holyoke, MA we began our adventure. It was here that we were able to walk with the dinosaurs literally.
The dinosaur track preservation sits on 8 acres of preserved land that the Trustees purchased in 1935. People visit the tracks every year, they are amazingly preserved on the banks of the Connecticut river. First discovered in 1836 by Edward Hitchcock, a professor at Amherst College. Hitchcock famously described the tracks:
"The largest numbers by far have been found at various localities in the general direction of Turner's Falls and South Hadley. In regard to the perfect preservation of such a vast number of geologically ancient animal tracks no district in the world is at all comparable with the Connecticut Valley ... In one case the writer is able to step, with a stride of about three and a half feet, in a series of eleven footprints, each about a foot long, exactly where a giant dinosaur left his foot print impressions on the original surface." Wikipedia
Western Ma is steeped in dinosaur tracks!
The tracks at the dino reserve provided a nice walk and exploration of local treasure. But, I kept wondering what kind of dinosaurs made these?
Pretty cool! The tracks were made by two legged carnivores, that were running through a tropical swamp at the time that they were created. After the trustees spot, we headed to the Springfield museum's dinosaur hall because they had an awesome dinosaur exhibit.
The dinosaur tracks are always being talked about , YANKEE magazine even commented on their discoveries. Umm....Pliny in the clip below thought that the prints were from Noah's missing raven!
"Young Pliny Moody dug an odd-looking rock out of his family’s field in 1802, he wasn’t sure what to make of it at first. It was pockmarked with three-toed impressions that looked like the scratchings of some ancient bird. The most likely answer, he reasoned, was that they must be the footprints of “Noah’s Raven,” a creature that had never returned after the great flood.
Such discoveries were not uncommon in the fields around Moody’s farm in South Hadley, Massachusetts. Every spring, farmers would harvest the fresh crop of rocks left by frost heaving, and every so often they’d find one marked with the unmistakable imprint of an animal track. The first person to take this local curiosity seriously was Edward Hitchcock, a science professor who arrived at Amherst College in 1825. He devoted his career to searching for the origin of these strange markings and, in the process, established the discipline of ichnology, the study of prehistoric prints. He’s remembered as one of the earliest paleontologists–so early, in fact, that his first paper on the prints was published in 1836, six years before the term dinosaur was even invented. He claimed that the tracks were made by giant prehistoric birds, which modern paleontology tells us isn’t far from the truth."
Yankee Magazine March/April 2011
We enjoyed exploring the trails of dinosaurs. We will definitely make another track there, and perhaps to Nash dinosaur tracks as well. Check it out!
I like LEGOS, I hate stepping on them because my kids like to drop them everywhere, but they are cool. I love the LEGO movie too. I stumbled across these classic paintings, reimagined by Italian artist Stefano Bolcato. Bolcato says he has been playing with them since he was a kid, so he decided to make famous paintings into legos.
Smallpox, or the "Red Plague" caused many deaths, and even blindness in its survivors. In 21st century America, almost nobody from my generation is vaccinated against it. I had to know why, and found this answer from the CDC:
"Thanks to the success of vaccination, the last natural outbreak of smallpox in the United States occurred in 1949. In 1980, the World Health Assembly declared smallpox eradicated (eliminated), and no cases of naturally occurring smallpox have happened since. " CDC.gov
How is it transmitted?
Smallpox is transmitted through the inhalation of the virus, face to face within a distance of 6 feet is enough transmission space. During the first week, it can be transmitted to others-but it's slow to take on because it requires closer contact than other diseases.
What does it look like?
The Outlander series by Diane Gabaldon frequently encounters smallpox epidemics and her heroine Claire Fraser tackles them all. But I was most interested in how to fake it-because you never know when you have to. In Dragonfly in Amber, Claire tries to mimic smallpox with her herbs. She uses rosemary, stinging nettle, bitter cascara, and Rose madder.
Stinging nettle can be mashed in a morter, while it topically creates a rash it does have other purposes.
Mother Earth News:
"For over 2,000 years, doctors have recognized the herb's ability to stop all kinds of internal and external bleeding, and considered it a good blood purifier. Taken as a tea, it has been found to help cure mucus congestion, skin irritations, water retention, and diarrhea. The beverage is also said to help nursing mothers produce milk and it also stimulate the digestive glands of the stomach, intestines, liver, pancreas, and gall bladder. Applied externally, nettle tea — it is claimed — relieves rheumatism in both people and animals, makes a first-class gargle for mouth and throat infections, helps to clear up acne and eczema and promotes the healing of burns."
"Cascara bark was used as a laxative for centuries by Native American tribes. The bark was collected in spring and put into the shade to dry. Green bark would cause vomiting and severe diarrhea, so the aging process, taking at least a year, was an important part of preparation.
Cascara found its way to Europe by way of the Spanish conquistadores who explored the Pacific Northwest in the 1600s. They gave it the name Cascara Sagrada, or sacred bark, because of its efficacy." From Outlanderherbal.blogspot.com
According to Wikipedia, "By 1877 the U.S. pharmaceutical company Parke-Davis was producing cascara preparations, and soon afterwards cascara products were being exported overseas to European markets. The explosion of the cascara industry caused great damage to native cascara populations during the 1900s, as a result of overharvesting."
"Poison for a rival," he said. "or at least she thinks so.""Oh?" I said. "And what is it really? Bitter cascara?"He looked at me in pleased surprise. "You're very good at this," he said. "A natural talent, or were you taught? Well, no matter." He waved a broad palm, dismissing the matter. "Yes, that's right, cascara. The rival will fall sick tomorrow, suffer visibly in order to satisfy the Vicomtesse's desire for revenge and convince her that her purchase was a good one, and then she will recover, with no permanent harm done, and the Vicomtesse will attribute the recovery to the intervention of the priest or a counter spell done by a sorcerer employed by the victim."-- From DRAGONFLY IN AMBER, by Diana Gabaldon
Here are some interesting smallpox things:
Ben Franklin's regret that he did not inoculate his son.
The first inoculations!
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