December 25, 2018

christMy absolute favorite day of the year and the day I want everyone to be happy and feel loved… MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!!!!

Turkey Tail (Trametes versicolor)

TurkeyTailThis common mushroom is found all over the world — though however common it might be, it is always beautiful. It’s fanning shape and layers of coloring resemble a tom turkey’s tail. Colors can range depending on location and age, and the cap can be shades of rust-brown, dark brown, grey, and even black. Some older caps can appear green when they have a greenish algae growing on them. The turkey tail is considered a medicinal mushroom, and may possibly have positive benefits in protecting against cancer, though this is debated.

DVD Rewinder… Wait… what??



Earthday Suncatcher

SunCatcherGather your materials. You will need a plastic lid, some glue, blue and green glitter, ribbon, a plate and hole punch. Oh and a q-tip that was added on the fly.



Remote Wrangler

remotewranglerThe Remote Wrangler is basically a ski mask with velcro that you can stick your remote on so you never lose it. But really, this is an extreme solution to the problem. Nobody wants to wear their remotes. The look is completely ridiculous and the person who invented it has lost touch with reality.





Hands Down

Winning “hands down” once referred to 19th-century horseracing, when a jockey could remove his hands from the reins and still win the race because he was so far ahead.

Thank you to friends and family for your help and love!!!  Until next year… LOVE YOU!!!






December 24, 2018

Merry Christmas Eve!!!eve.jpg

Latticed Stinkhorn (Clathrus ruber)


This mushroom is known as the latticed stinkhorn, the basket stinkhorn, or the red cage. These mushrooms can be found growing in leaf litter, on garden soil, grassy places, or in mulches. Though it isn’t clear if it is edible, apparently its smell is enough to deter anyone interested in eating it.


Balloon Pinwheel

BalloonPinwheelThe pinwheel works by inflating the balloon and then letting it go.  Air rushes out of the balloon through the straw, which causes the pinwheel to spin.

To make one, you will need:

  • Straw
  • Pencil with a good eraser
  • Straight pin
  • Tape we used duct tape
  • Balloon



Sale on the new, lightweight cell phone!

“The brick” weighed 2 pounds, offered just a half-hour of talk time for every recharging and sold for $3,995.

Clunky and overpriced?

Not in 1984, when consumers lined up in droves to buy the first cellular phone as soon as it hit the market



Echinocereus Stramineus (Strawberry Hedgehog)


Weird Food Combinations:

Some people put ketchup on anything.  I know people that might do this… but really… what did popcorn ever do to you??



Don’t Count your Chickens before they are Hatched

The short answer is that Aesop said it. He wrote of a young milkmaid balancing a pail on her head. The girl thought, The milk in this pail will provide me with cream, which I will make into butter, which I will sell in the market, and buy a dozen eggs, which will hatch into chickens, which will lay more eggs, and soon I shall have a large poultry yard. I’ll sell some of the fowls and buy myself a handsome new gown and go to the fair, and when the young fellows try to make love to me, I’ll toss my head and pass them by. At that moment, the girl tossed her head and lost the pail of milk. Her mother admonished, “Do not count your chickens before they are hatched.”chicken




December 23, 2018

Indigo Milkcap (Lactarius indigo)

This purple beauty can be found in the coniferous and deciduous forests of eastern North America, East Asia, and Central America. When the mushroom is cut or broken open, the milk, or latex, that oozes out is a beautiful indigo blue. Though it looks quite poisonous, it is reportedly edible and is sold in some markets.


Defying Gravity with Magnets

PaperClipsMaterials for Gravity Experiment

  • Small dowel or stick
  • String
  • Paperclips
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Strong magnets (Use either neodymium magnets .5 inch or bigger or ceramic magnets .75 inch or larger. Regular craft magnets won’t work.)
  • Metal ruler (or wooden ruler with tape)
  • Blocks, books, or other material for stacking

Long Name:

Taumatawhakatangi­hangakoauauotamatea­turipukakapikimaunga­horonukupokaiwhen­uakitanatahu, New Zealand

The world’s longest place name belongs to a hill near Porangahau in the southern Hawke’s Bay in New Zealand. It is a name given in the Moari language. This hill is 305 meters tall and is famously known for its long name. This name has since been shortened to Taumata for the ease of pronunciation. The meaning of the name has been translated to mean “the place where Tamatae, the man who had big knees, the climber of mountains, the slider, the land-swallower that traveled about, played the nose flute that he had to the loved ones.” With 85 characters, it is the longest place name in the world according to the Guinness World Records.

Weird Food Combinations:

peanut butter pickle.jpg

Peanut Butter / Pickle Sandwich – this is actually supposed to be good, but I don’t think I will be eating it.


Walking Sleeping Bag

walkingsleepingbagThis sleeping bag allows you to walk comfortably while still maintaining inside of sleeping bag status. The makers probably thought hopping looked silly, so they thought making a person look like a creature from a swamp would be more sensible. The bag would be great for freaking people out.




Cotton Pole (Austrocylindropuntia Vestita)


Better than any electric fence:



Close, but No Cigar

closeCarnivals used to give out cigars as prizes, so almost winning would get you close to achieving a cigar, but not quite. The phrase evolved in meaning and now refers to coming close to a goal, but falling short.



December 22, 2018

Entoloma hochstetteri

BlueThis lovely blue mushroom is found in New Zealand and India. Though possibly poisonous, its beauty has been recognized by it being part of a set of fungal stamps issued in New Zealand in 2002 as well as put on the back of a $50 bank note in New Zealand in 1990.


Build a Rocket

rocketUse a simple baking soda and vinegar reaction to launch your rocket.  Who knew that baking soda and vinegar had that much power?

Here is what you need to make one:

  • A 2 liter soda bottle
  • 3 pencils (unsharpened is best)
  • Duct tape
  • A cork that fits the soda bottle
  • Paper towels
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar – we went through an entire large bottle, so get a lot!

Make your own penicillin??


Button Cactus (Epithelantha Micromeris)



Armed to the Teeth

armedThe idea behind being “armed to the teeth” is that the weapon wielder would carry the maximum number of weapons, so many that he or she would be forced to carry some between his or her teeth.



December 21, 2018

Fingal’s Cave – Scotland



Ping Pong Launcher

pingpong.jpgPull the string back and let go, and the ball goes flying!

To make one you’ll need:

  • An empty plastic bottle. We used the small 12 oz. sized Gatorade bottles.
  • Scissors
  • String
  • Rubber bands – two per toy
  • A large bead
  • A nail for punching a hole in the lid of the bottle


The Car Exhaust Grill

carexhaustgrillMmmm, cancer never tasted so good! This invention allows users to make nice savory burgers with car exhaust. The makers say the fumes stay away from the burger, but really, is it worth the risk? Plus, if you don’t have the time to make a burger, but you do have the time to use an ignorant device like this, you need to re-prioritize your life.


Weird Food Combinations:

twinkie-weiner-sandwich.jpgIt’s a hot dog (which may or may not be cooked, judging by this photo) inside a sliced Twinkie…. With mustard.


There’s really nothing more to say here.


Tephrocactus Malyana



Get one’s Goat

goatThis one comes from horseracing. Jockeys placed goats in the stables with their horses as this was said to relax the horses. However, competitors would remove the goats of their rivals to spook their competitors’ horses, hoping they would consequently lose the race.



December 20, 2018

Pamukkale Turkey

Hot springs spilling over rock terraces.



Create Your Own Marble Game:


What you will need:

  • Shoe box
  • Tongue depressors
  • Hot glue or fast drying glue
  • Small marbles

Butterfly Tree



Rejuvenique Electric Facial Mask

mask.jpgFor those who want to look like a serial killer and seem younger at the same time.




Astrophytum Myriostigma



Pull Out all the Stops

organ.jpgAlluding to the piano-like instrument the organ, this phrase refers to when the stops are pulled out to turn on all the sounds in an organ, allowing the organ to play all the sounds at once and, therefore, be as loud as possible.






December 19, 2018

Zion National Park – Utah



Make Fireflies with a Glow Stick

FireliesTired of waiting around for summer to come and the fireflies to make their presence? Buy some glow sticks at the dollar store and open them up very carefully. Put the contents of the sticks into cleaned mason jars. Seal the jars, and then shake them well. The glow stick chemicals will affix to the jar sides and provide a soft glow. This is actually a nifty experiment if kids are going to have a classroom party and want a cool effect for table lanterns.

Long Name:

Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, Wales

This name is often shortened as Llanfairpwll or Llanfair PG for brevity. This is the name of a large community of villages in Wales found on the Islands of Anglesey. Initially, this community was referred to as Llanfair Pwllgwyngyll before its name was changed in the 19th century to promote it as a tourist attraction center. In the year 2011, the population of this community was 3,040. With 58 characters, Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch is the longest one-word place name in the United Kingdom and the world’s second longest place name.

This long name was invented in the 1860s for promotional purposes. It was aimed at being a commercial avenue as it was assumed that tourists would come to see the community with the world’s longest name. The long name has been credited to a local cobbler although it has also been attributed to a tailor who lived in the locality.

Weird Food Combinations:




Just going out on a limb here… were there mind-altering drugs involved in the decision to craft this meal?






Nintendo Virtual Boy

boyThe Virtual Boy will go down as Nintendo’s shortest-lived system, staying on the market for just six months in 1995 before its mercy killing. The system consisted of bulky, bright red headgear that completely obscured a gamer’s vision as he tried to play games rendered in rudimentary 3-D graphics. It was expensive (retailing at $180) and came with a limited slate of games (only 14 were ever available in the U.S.) Nintendo decided to focus its efforts on the far more successful and traditional Nintendo 64 system, relegating the Virtual Boy to the recycling bin.

Matucana madisoniorum


Bee Orchid (Ophrys apifera)


Widespread across central and southern Europe, as well as North Africa and the Middle East. Its range stretches from Portugal, Ireland and Denmark east to Iran and the Caucasus. It is quite common in the Mediterranean region eastwards to the Black Sea, but is less common in its northern range being uncommon or local in Germany and Ireland.




You’re Pulling My Leg

Meaning to tease someone or jokingly lie to them, “pulling one’s leg” actually started in the 18th century.  Street thieves would literally pull victims down by their leg in order to more easily rob them.


December 18, 2018

Big Island – Hawaii



Eeek! That Egg Is Naked!

eggWhen most eggs are without their shells, they certainly can’t be easily handled. But what would happen if you allowed an uncooked egg to sit in a glass filled with vinegar for about a day? Try it and carefully remove the shell, which will already been partially removed from the acidic solution. The egg should feel rubbery. See if it will splatter when you drop it from a height of a few inches.


Swim Flippers

swim.jpgIn the early 1700s, an 11-year-old boy who loved to swim noted that he could cut through the water more easily if he had more surface area to push through it with. He fashioned handheld swimming fins out of oval-shaped planks, making holes in the middle for his hands. He made fins for his feet as well, but wasn’t happy with the clunky design and quickly abandoned them.

The fins were just one of the boy’s many inventionsthe kid we know today as Ben Franklin grew up to create a stove, the odometer, a lightning rod, and bifocals, among other things. As an adult, his continued love for swimming earned him a spot in the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

Euphortia Horrida “Snowflake”


Snake Gourd (Trichosanthes cucumerina)

SnakeGourdTrichosanthes cucumerina is a tropical or subtropical vine, its variety is raised for its strikingly long fruit in Asia and eaten immature as a vegetable, much like the summer squash, and in Africa, the reddish pulp of its mature fruit is used as an economical substitute of tomato. Common names of the cultivated variety include snake gourd, serpent gourd, chichinda, andpadwal.


Let the Cat Out of the Bag

This finds its roots in 18th-century street fraud. Suckling pigs were often sold in bags, and a popular scheme was to replace the pig with a cat and sell it to an unwitting victim.




December 17, 2018

Glow Worm Cave – New Zealand

The Arachnocampa luminosa glow worms survive in the cave by spinning a silk nest from the ceiling and lowering a thread down to fish for their prey. The roof of the cave is a breathtaking sight dotted with brightly glowing specks like a sky full of stars.


Lion’s Mane Mushroom (Hericium erinaceus)

LionsManeMushThis strange mushroom goes by many names, including Lion’s Mane Mushroom, Bearded Tooth Mushroom, Hedgehog Mushroom, Satyr’s Beard, Bearded Hedgehog Mushroom, pom pom mushroom, or Bearded Tooth Fungus. Native to North America, it can be found growing on hardwood trees. Despite its strange looks, it is indeed edible.


Help a Plant See the Light

PlantPlants will always try to seek the sunlight, and you can show how this happens by making a maze out of shoebox, and then adding an everyday bean plant to the bottom of the maze. As the plant stretches and grows, it will twist and turn throughout the maze in order to reach the sun.

Long Name:

Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg, United States

Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg is a lake found in Webster, Massachusetts in the United States. It is also referred to as Lake Webster. This name is from the Nipmuc, which is an Algonquian language. It translates to “fishing point that’s at the boundaries and which is a neutral meeting point.” The lake is found near the state’s border with Connecticut. The name is made up of 45 letters and is believed to be the longest place name in the United States, as well as the third longest in the world.

Weird Food Combinations:


Ah yes, the perfect foundation for all of your favorite gummy bear dishes, like meatloaf (with gummy bears), or perhaps some delicious meatballs (with gummy bears).

File this one under: Why, though?






Toy Trucks

truck2In 1962, 5-year-old Robert Patch cobbled together a couple of shoe boxes and some bottle caps to create a vehicle that could transform into three different trucks: a dump truck, a flatbed, and a box truck. His patent attorney father saw potential and applied for a patent in his son’s name. Young Robert Patch signed his name with an “X”he didnt know how to spell yet. Though Patch turned 6 by the time the patent was granted, it was still young enough to be the youngest patent holder ever at the time.

Pequeno Cactus




19th century Mercury used to be used in the making of hats. This was known to have affected the nervous systems of hatters, causing them to tremble and appear insane. Mercury poisoning is still known today as ‘Mad Hatter’s disease’.hat




December 16, 2018

1,000 Year Old Yew Tree – West Wales



Oobleck Fun

OobleckIf you’ve never heard of Oobleck, it’s a creation of two cups of cornstarch mixed with one cup of water. When you play with it, it’s like a solid. When you allow it to rest, it becomes a liquid. Have fun trying some different ways of making it turn from a solid to a liquid and back again.



brailleLouis Braille suffered a serious eye injury when he was just 3 years old. Not only did the accident render him blind on that side, the infection spread and blinded the other eye as well. After more than a decade of struggling with the slow system of tracing his finger over raised letters, Braille was 12 when he learned of a method of silent communication originally created for the French military. He simplified it, and in 1824 the Braille language was born.

Teenagers continue to revolutionize the Braille system. In 2014, 12-year-old Shubham Banerjee created a Braille printer from a LEGO Mindstorms set. Named the Braigo, the $200 printer is much more affordable and attainable than the $2,000 alternative.

Compass Barrel Cactus (Ferocactus Acanthodes)



In the Buff

buffA buff-coat was a light browny/yellow leather tunic worn by English soldiers up until the 17th century. The original meaning of ‘in the buff’ was simply to be wearing such a coat. Later on, ‘in the buff’ was used to mean naked, due to the colour of the skin, which is similar to the buff coat.