Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day Today

Here it is: Earth Day. I've decided that I'm going to observe the day by going without electricity for a full day on Sunday. I thought trying to do this on a work day would be silly because I really don't use that much electricity at work and any that I do use is pretty much necessary for the job. I've already thought a lot about how this might go and I think the most annoying things are going to be not being able to listen to music and not being able to use my camera. Lousy digital technology. I knew there was a reason I should have held onto that film SLR. Depending on how this goes I'm hoping to turn it into a No/Low-Impact sabbath...maybe once a month? We'll see how it goes...

In other Earth Day news there's an outdoor concert going on this afternoon on the Rose Kennedy Greenway featuring World's Greatest Band They Might Be Giants. It's from 12-3 so barring any thunderstorms you should check that out if you live around the city. Hopefully my lunch hour will be around this time so if they're not being attacked by lightning I may get to see TMBG.

What are your Earth Day plans? Wishes? Gripes? Hysterical Doomsayings?


  1. At the Museum today, the theme was dress in honor of Earth Day. Staff were in earth tones, jackets made out of bags and crowns out of newspapers. And we had our favorite actors do "No Time to Waste!"

  2. This seems somewhat unrelated to a science blog--although they did teach me that the sun is a mass of incandescent gas--how were TMBG? Did you go?

    In more blog-related news, I was greatly impressed by the fact that even children I wouldn't have expected knew all about Earth Day when we discussed it at my daycare center. Also, they all seem quite pleased that just because Earth Day came and passed, we are still trying to keep up with a green theme. While I know there is so much more we could be doing at the center, and I could be doing myself, it has given me much pleasure to see children not only enlightened at the age of three, but happy to even more enlightenment.

    I have been so stressed out recently about what we could do in honor of Earth Day; what turned out to be most effective was to encourage the children for what they already do every day, and then brainstorm some things we could do more.

    I was hoping to continue our theme throughout the summer, too. As a science educator, do you have any quick and fun recycling etc activities? Most of what I do is recycled art, and that only goes so far...

  3. Well...actually as TMBG sing in their updated version of Why Does the Sun Shine the sun isn't a mass of incandescent gas but a "miasma of incandescent plasma." Plasma is the little known cousin state of gas that involves such high heats that the electrons "boil" off the atoms leaving a cluster of seething nuclei. It's pretty intense stuff.

    I also just learned that there is a fifth state of matter on the cold end of the spectrum with the terribly wonky name of Bose-Einstein Condensate. It's something I really can't explain and don't understand but it has to do with being so close to absolute zero and having such low amounts of energy that the matter actually exhibits quantum mechanics at a gross level. A few thousand science points to anyone who can explain it further than that.

    As for Earth Day, I think at the age level of preschoolers just encouraging them to be aware of environmental issues and getting outside to appreciate the wonders of the natural world are completely fine activities. Take a walk, maybe. Look for birds. Recycling is, unfortunately a more complex issue than we'd like to believe. The recycling of plastics is actually very energy intensive and generates a lot of emissions and toxic chemicals. It's really not the best. I try to focus on the other two Rs that often get overlooked: Reduce and Reuse. It might be tough with the preK crowd but maybe brainstorming inventive ways to reuse things/make new stuff from old stuff could be productive.