Owl Development

Another poem for National Poetry Month. I couldn’t resist one with owls:

How To Build an Owl
By Kathleen Lynch

1. Decide you must.

2. Develop deep respect
for feather, bone, claw.

3. Place your trembling thumb
where the heart will be:
for one hundred hours watch
so you will know
where to put the first feather.

4. Stay awake forever.
When the bird takes shape
gently pry open its beak
and whisper into it: mouse.

5. Let it go.

(via swissmiss)

Write Your Own STEM Haiku

What happens when you combine the sciences and the arts? STEM haiku at STEM Friday! The idea, in celebration of National Poetry Month:

  1. Select a STEM (science, technology, engineering or math) topic.
  2. Brainstorm a list of words about your topic.
  3. Count the syllables in each word.
  4. Use the words to share a short STEM thought using the haiku format.

What a cool way to combine poetry and science. My example:

A siren wails.
It approaches, wavelength shifts–
Wave farewell, Doppler.

Try out your own science haiku and share below or in the comments at STEM Friday.

Links Galore

A few more links for the afternoon:

  • Jill overheard the cutest/most inspiring conversation. My new motto: you always play your best!
  • I’m going to be looking at members of my book club a bit more suspiciously now. Although our treats are so good the poison risk is worth it.
  • Anyone want to buy District 12?
  • Forward, preface, intro…there are a lot of ways to start your book before you start your book.
  • What are some good astronomy books for kids? Awesome blog Bad Astronomy is looking for your suggestions!

A Whale of a Tale

Confession: I love giant sea creatures. I’ll watch any movie about them (even horrifically bad SyFy channel movies). I love real life versions. Shark Week is like a holiday.

So of course I have to share this article by Ben Shattuck that answers the question: Can you actually survive in the belly of a whale? I won’t give away the answer (lots of cool whale info in the actual article), but here’s a taste:

“You want to believe in an animal that can fit you inside them — that you might be consumed not piece-by-piece, mouthful-by-mouthful as sharks and bears would eat you, but wholly; to be encased as your full self, womb-like. You want to believe in big animals like you did when you were a kid. You want to be powerless as you are leaning into hurricane winds or with your eyes closed or looking into the ocean.”

The sea is not our natural habitat, and it’s so thrilling to think of these ancient, giant creatures that could overwhelm us. Make sure to check out the whole article. Shattuck even ends up at the New Bedford Whaling Museum, which isn’t far from Boston and a place I haven’t visited when I was very young. This might inspire me to take a visit this spring. Maybe a nautical  novel is in the works at some point? Apparently the museum has a Visiting Scholar in Residence program, so anyone interested in writing about whales or whaling should check it out.

(image via KPBS, Nantucket Historical Association)