Arts & Entertainment | A NEW TWIST IN SCIENTIST | October 31, 2021

There’s a new kids show on Netflix and it’s about science and mysteries! Ada Twist, Scientist is an animated series based on popular picture books. Each episode follows Ada and her two best friends, who use their talents to solve mysteries.

New Netflix series: Ada Twist, Scientist

Kerri Grant is the showrunner on Ada Twist, Scientist. That means she is in charge of all parts of the show. Grant says the show helps viewers see the science all around us. “The entire world is explorable,” she said. “From building a fort to baking a cake to searching for the source of a stinky smell.”

Movies | UNLIKELY FRIENSHIP | October 24, 2021

What happens when an awkward middle school boy meets a defective robot? Ron’s Gone Wrong tells the story of an unlikely friendship between 7th grader Barney Pudowski and his robot, Ron.

The voice of Barney, a student at Nonsuch Middle School, is played by Jack Dylan Grazer. “He’s a vulnerable and golden-hearted kid with a lot of weak spots,” Grazer said of the character. “His uniqueness makes him similar to his faulty B*Bot—more than he even realizes at first.”

In the end, Ron’s Gone Wrong is a buddy story. Grazer says that the relationship between Barney and Ron redefines what it means to be best friends. “The main message is about true connection and the value of friendship.”

Ron’s Gone Wrong hits theaters on October 22.

Environment | A GLOBAL EFFORT | October 18, 2021

There is a new and wonderful tool in scientists’ toolbox – it is called the Allen Coral Atlas. It is an online map of the world’s coral reefs and conservationists intend to use the atlas to help them protect coral reefs.

Coral reefs are home to many diverse ocean animals and sea creatures, like fish and crabs. The reefs also protect coastlines. And when tourists visit reefs to enjoy their beauty, it brings economic benefits to millions of people.

The atlas was made using more than 2 million images. The images were taken by satellites. The atlas gives users detailed views of coral reefs. It shows sand, rocks, and seagrass. It also shows coral bleaching. Bleaching happens when coral reefs are unhealthy.

The atlas is the work of many people. Scientists at Arizona State University led the project. They worked with other groups.

“It really was a global effort,” Helen Fox of the Coral Reef Alliance said. “There were huge efforts [to help] people be aware of the tool and the potential scientific and conservation value.”

History | ICE AGE ARTWORK | October 13, 2021

A large display of ancient rock art was discovered by British and Colombian archaeologists, known widely as the Serranía La Lindosa paintings.

Spectacular Ice Age Rock Painting

Tens of thousands of paintings created with red mineral pigment, reported to extend over eight miles of rock, were found on cliff faces in the Colombian Amazon rainforest in what is now Colombia’s largest national park, Chiribiquete. The drawings are believed to be over 12,000 years old. They provide further proof that the rainforest’s earliest inhabitants lived alongside Ice Age animals as many of the drawings depict such creatures as mastodons, paleolama, and ice-age horses. The archaeologists made this discovery in 2019 but kept it secret until now, ahead of the rock art’s debut in an upcoming documentary.

Culture | GOLDEN OLDIE | October 12, 2021

It was 90 years ago in France that an amazing discovery was found – a conch shell that is now thought to be the oldest of its kind. Researchers estimate that it’s about 18,000 years old – and it is believed to have been used as a musical instrument.

18,000 year old conch shell!

The shell was found in a cave in France’s Pyrenees region in 1931. Archaeologists thought it was an ancient cup. For decades, it sat in a natural history museum in the city of Toulouse. But recently, researchers took a fresh look at the shell. They found that the tip had been broken off to make a mouthpiece and sound holes had been added. When you blow into it, the shell can play three clear notes.

Rasoul Morteza, a composer in Canada, has studied the sounds produced by shells. “It’s amazing when there’s an object forgotten somewhere,” he says, “and suddenly, it comes again into the light.”

History | STEPPING BACK IN TIME | October 9, 2021

Footprints made thousands of years ago in White Sands National Park in New Mexico have been analyzed by scientists and confirm that humans lived in North America 5,000 years earlier than previously believed.

Footprints forever embedded in the land

Researchers say the fossilized footprints are between 21,000 and 23,000 years old. They were preserved in the mud of an ancient lakeshore, per the findings that were published last month in the journal Science.

Hundreds of thousands of footprints have been found across 125 square miles of the park. One path reveals people hunting a giant sloth, and another path shows a woman walking with a toddler.

To add to this fascinating find, researchers also discovered ancient grass seeds. They were able to estimate the age of the prints by measuring the carbon in those seeds.

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