Greetings All, Happy Reading for today. best, <Karen> 1) Mathematicians Map E8 http://www.aimath.org/E8/Details about the mapping by mathematicians of "the inner workings of one of the most complicated structures ever studied: the object known as the exceptional Lie group E8." Provides an overview of the project and explanations of E8, Lie groups, and groups and symmetry. Also includes technical material "intended for mathematicians who want a more detailed explanation of the Atlas project and the E8 calculation." From the American Institute of Mathematics.
2) Rube Goldberg Contest at Purdue http://www.purdue.edu/UNS/rube/rube.index.htmlDetails about this competition inspired by cartoonist Rube Goldberg, in which "college students nationwide compete to design a machine that uses the most complex process to complete a simple task," such as screwing in a light bulb, in 20 or more steps. Provides a FAQ, results of past competitions (back to 1999), photos of some of the machines, and background about Rube Goldberg and the contest. From Purdue University.
3) The Race From Space<http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/expeditions/expedition14/exp14_boston_marathon.html>http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/expeditions/expedition14/exp14_boston_marathon.html 210 miles above Earth, Expedition 14 crew member Sunita Williams will attempt to do something no other astronaut has ever done. She will run the Boston Marathon while in orbit.
4) Hilton Pond Center [ HARD FREEZE] http://www.HiltonPond.org Like many locales in the Carolinas, Hilton Pond Center awoke to a very hard freeze on Easter morning, which caused environmental problems we first detected with our sense of smell. The newspapers have been full of articles about how the cold will hurt this year's peach harvest, but what about damage to trees themselves? Many tender new leaves were killed by cold, which undoubtedly will have lasting impact on woody plants--to say nothing of caterpillars that would have eaten those leaves AND hungry birds that will be looking for caterpillars as they pass through in migration. And what about all this dead foliage on Trumpet Creeper? Will the plants still be able to make nectar-laden blossoms that attract hummingbirds? Our sense of smell and how it's related to the potential long-term devastation wrought by a late cold snap is the topic for our 1-9 April 2007 "This Week at Hilton Pond" photo essay, accessible at http://www.hiltonpond.org/ThisWeek070401.html As always we include a tally of birds banded, a list of recaptures (of which there were several old-timers), and miscellaneous nature notes. 5) NOVA presents "First Flower" Broadcast: Tuesday, April 17, 2007 http://www.pbs.org/nova/flower/ (NOVA airs on PBS at 8 p.m. ET/PT. Check your local listings as broadcast dates and times may vary. This program can be used up to one year after it is recorded off the air.) 21st-Century Plant Hunter http://www.pbs.org/nova/flower/hinkley.html Find out the difference between wild plants and garden flowers, what it was like during the golden age of plant hunting, how plant diversity in China compares to that in the United States, and more in this interview with horticulturist Dan Hinkley. Five video extras of plant life the Hengduan Mountains are featured. (QuickTime, RealVideo, or Windows Media plug-in required for video.) (Grades 6-8, 9-12) Mother of Gardens http://www.pbs.org/nova/flower/gardens.html Take a look at some of the most stunning transplants from the wilds of China to the world's gardens. (Flash plug-in required; printable version available.) (Grades 3-5,6-8, 9-12) Flowers Modern & Ancient http://www.pbs.org/nova/flower/anatomy.html Watch a video that illustrates how a lily reproduces and see how the lily's reproduction compares to that of an ancient Archaefructus plant. (Flash plug-in required.) (Grades 6-8, 9-12) Pick the Pollinator http://www.pbs.org/nova/flower/pollinator.html Match seven plants with their pollinators and find out how flowering plants have come to dominate the botanical world. (Flash plug-in required; printable version available.) (Grades 6-8, 9-12) Teacher's Guide http://www.pbs.org/nova/teachers/programs/3405_flower.html In this classroom activity, students extract DNA from bananas. (Grades 6-8, 9-12) Program Transcript http://www.pbs.org/nova/transcripts/3405_flower.html The site includes a complete narration for this program. 6) NASA Science News for April 12, 2007 NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has observed a remarkable eclipse of a supermassive black hole, allowing a disk of hot matter swirling around the hole to be measured. http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2007/12apr_blackholeeclipse.htm?list111411 NASA Science News for April 13, 2007 Dusty HurricanesWhat happens to a hurricane when it gets hit by a dust storm? This is an important question because Atlantic hurricanes are born not far from the Sahara desert. Recently NASA scientists gathered data that brings them closer to the answer. They did it by flying directly into a dusty hurricane.
<http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2007/13apr_dustyhurricanes.htm?list111411>http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2007/13apr_dustyhurricanes.htm?list111411 7) 2007 Guitar Woods Recent developments in CITES regulation enforcement, which are starting to make it very difficult to travel internationally with most stringed instruments on almost any itinerary. The intent to protect endangered species has created an inconsistent maze of red tape, so that players had best not chance, for example, crossing a border with pernambuco (most fiddle bows) or Brazilian rosewood (even fingerboards or bridges on older guitars) before doing some serious legal preparation. For further discussion of this situation, see the p. 35 article in the Jan-Mar newsletter of the AFM Nashville local