Have you ever seen a snowy owl? It’s one of the largest members of the owl family. Here are some interesting facts about this majestic bird:
• It’s sometimes called a polar owl or Arctic owl
• It mainly eats lemmings, hares, and ducks
• It’s about 1.5 feet tall and has a wingspan of nearly five feet
• Unlike most owls, it hunts during the day and night
• It has thickly feathered legs that keep it warm in temperatures as low as -58 F
• It has rigid feather disks around its eyes that reflect sound waves to its ears to help it find prey in the dark
• It likes to survey its territory and spends a lot of time perched in high places
• Adult male snowy owls are almost entirely white, while females have brown spots
Snowy owls prefer to live in open areas with few trees. Consequently, they’re typically spotted in marshes, grasslands, and fields.
The exact number of snowy owls in the wild is unknown. However, it’s estimated that fewer than 30,000 adults remain in North America and fewer than 200,000 globally.
Five surprising facts about the Sun
Without the Sun’s heat and light, life on Earth wouldn’t exist. Here are five amazing facts about this spectacular star.
1. The Sun isn’t yellow
During space missions, astronauts discovered the Sun is actually white. As you may already know, white is a mixture of every color. During the day, the Earth’s atmosphere scatters blue light more efficiently than red light. This causes the human eye to perceive the color of the Sun as yellow.
2. The Sun’s rays take time to get here
Sunlight takes about eight minutes to travel to Earth. If the Sun suddenly went out, you’d have time to play two or three songs before everything went dark.
3. The Sun is very old
The Sun is over 4.5 billion years old. Scientists have established this star is about halfway through its lifespan.
4. The Sun makes a sound
The Sun emits a low buzzing noise that sounds like a fan. The closer you get, the more clearly you can hear it.
5. The Sun is too far to drive to in a lifetime
If there was a road that went straight to the Sun, it would take more than 170 years to reach it by car, provided you were traveling at 60 miles per hour.
Incredible, isn’t it?
Experiment: How to make a mini iceberg
Icebergs are large pieces of ice that break off from ice floes and glaciers. You can only see the tip of an iceberg because the rest is hidden underwater. Observe this phenomenon yourself by creating a miniature iceberg at home. Follow these seven steps.
1. Fill a recyclable plastic cup with tap water
2. Add a few drops of blue food dye
3. Put the cup in the freezer for about four hours or until the water is completely frozen
4. In the meantime, fill a large container, like a salad bowl, with warm water
5. Take the plastic cup out of the freezer and remove the ice
6. Place the miniature iceberg in the container of water
7. Watch what happens
The iceberg floats because of a phenomenon called buoyancy. When an object is immersed in water, it tends to rise to the surface. Since ice is less dense than water, the iceberg floats near the surface, while 90 percent of its volume hides below the waterline.
If you want, you can repeat this experiment using another color for the iceberg.
Did you know?
Real icebergs, like those in Alaska, are over 10,000 years old.
Five ideas for fun in the snow
Is the ground covered in snow? Are you looking for some outdoor fun? Here are five ideas that may inspire you.
1. Snow painting. Mix water and food coloring in plastic containers to make your paint. Use a paintbrush or pour the liquids into spray bottles to create snow art.
2. Frosted bubbles. Blow soap bubbles onto a branch, fence post, or snow on a very cold day and watch them freeze. It’s beautiful!
3. Scavenger hunt. Make a list of items to collect outside, like pinecones, rocks, twigs, feathers, and dead leaves. If necessary, ask an adult to help you. Can you find everything around your house? How long does it take you?
4. Headless snowman. Make a snowman with only two snowballs. It should be about shoulder height. Take turns standing behind it to make it look like the snowman has your head and arms. Don’t forget to take silly photos!
5. Hide and seek. Hide and seek is fun, but it can get cold if you have to stay still for a long time. Instead, try having one person hides an object while everyone else races to try and find it.
Enjoy the joys of winter!
Quiz: How to use common baking ingredients
Do you enjoy baking cookies, cakes, pies, and other desserts? If so, try answering the following questions about common baking ingredients.
1. What’s cream of tartar used for?
a) It stabilizes egg whites in meringues
b) It makes pie crusts crispy and flaky
c) It’s a zero-calorie sweetener
2. Which is more pure, vanilla extract or essence?
a) Vanilla extract is more pure
b) Vanilla essence is more pure
c) They’re the same thing
3. What’s special about pastry flour?
a) It’s sweet and contains a lot of gluten
b) It has a fine texture and low-protein content
c) It’s very white and contains sugar
4. What’s the purpose of baking soda?
a) It prevents baked goods from burning
b) It makes baked goods taste better
c) It allows baked goods to rise and become light and fluffy
5. When do you need to use butter sheets?
a) When making certain pastries
b) When making silky smooth mousses
c) When making soft cookies
6. What does cornstarch do?
a) It reduces baking time
b) It can be used as a vegetable oil substitute
c) It thickens liquids and sauces
1. A), 2. A), 3. B), 4. C), 5. A), 6. C).
Three Christmas craft ideas
Are you in the mood for crafting? Here are a few ideas to help you decorate your home for Christmas.
1. String tree
Cut a triangle out of cardboard and wrap a string around it until it’s completely covered. Make sure to glue the string at the beginning and end to keep it from unrolling. Decorate your tree with pompoms, sequins, or tiny multicolored beads to give it a festive look.
2. Paper Santa
Paint almost half the surface of a white paper plate red. Draw the red paint down one side of the plate, creating a rounded, tapered edge to form Santa’s hat. Color everything else beige. Then, draw Santa’s eyes and nose. For the finishing touch, glue cotton balls all over the bottom of Santa’s face and around the edge of the hat to make it look like his beard and hair.
3. Winter landscape
Glue a large black circle in the middle of a colored piece of cardboard. Glue a white half-moon on top to hide the bottom of the circle. This will create snowy ground and night sky. Glue two bottle caps on top of each other in the middle of the landscape to form a snowman. Draw a face on the bottom of the top cap and buttons on the lower one. Then, make Christmas trees out of green and brown cardboard and glue them to each side of your snowman. Finally, if you want it to look like it’s snowing, sprinkle white confetti in the sky.
Now, all you have to do is display your work!
Holiday quiz: can you find the one that doesn’t belong?
Do you love the holiday season? Test your knowledge about Christmas by correctly identifying the answer that doesn’t belong. Good luck!
1. Which of these words doesn’t mean “ornament”?
2. Which of the following plants isn’t associated with Christmas?
3. Which of the following isn’t one of Santa Claus’s reindeer?
4. Which of these characters isn’t part of the Nutcracker ballet?
B. The Mouse King
C. The Ice Queen
5. Which of these trees isn’t used as a Christmas tree?
B. Bay laurel
6. Which of these names doesn’t mean Santa Claus in another language?
B. Babbo natale
C. Selamat natal
7. Which of these rituals isn’t related to the Christmas holiday?
C. The Nativity
8. Which of the following isn’t a Christmas movie?
A. Home Alone
B. Forrest Gump
C. Miracle on 34th Street
1-A, 2-C, 3-B, 4-C, 5-C, 6-C, 7-B, 8-B