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Muse: The magazine of science, culture, and smart laughs for kids and childrenMuse: The magazine of science, culture, and smart laughs for kids and children

Muse: The magazine of science, culture, and smart laughs for kids and children September 2018

Kids who can't help wondering whether video games really kill their brain cells, or what a gentleman ladybug is called, will find the answers here, in articles written by award-winning authors and accompanied by high-quality illustration and photography. MUSE is perfect for any kid interested in science, history, and the arts. Grades 5-9

United States
Cricket Media, Inc.
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9 Issues


access_time2 min.
water action volunteers

THE PROBLEM: When it comes to keeping Earth’s water clean, a good place to start is that little stream in your backyard. Small streams and rivers join up to create bigger rivers, which feed into lakes and oceans. Keeping track of these streams and rivers can tell scientists a lot about the health of larger waterways. The tricky part is, there are a lot of them. Enter the Water Action Volunteers. WHAT CITIZEN SCIENTISTS CAN DO: Water Action Volunteers (WAV) is a group of citizen scientists in Wisconsin. Members monitor local streams by conducting tests at (or sometimes in) the water. They measure temperature, how clear the water is, how fast it’s moving, how much dissolved oxygen is in it, and how many bugs and other critters live there. Some of these…

access_time7 min.
muse mail

Good suggestion, Caitlin. My animal translator works better with mammals than arachnids, but it seems like tarantulas are really friendly—and I get the sense that many of them are fans of abstract art. —O I’m gonna have to take your word for that O. It’s hard for me to get past the hair. And all those legs. —WHATSI Don’t Forget This Pet I was reading “Pets on the Mind” [February 2018] and I noticed that you left out my favorite pet, tarantulas! I think everybody needs a pet tarantula. They are good for studying. They also teach people how calm and tame spiders are. I have two tarantulas. I enjoy seeing them eat. A lot of people think tarantulas are gross, but I want to change their minds. Tarantulas are actually cool!…

access_time1 min.
warm temperatures turn sea turtles female

Your genes determined whether you were born with a male or female body. But that’s not true for all animals. In sea turtles, like many other reptiles, being male or female depends on temperature. Mother sea turtles bury their eggs in the sand. If the sand is warm, more of those eggs will develop into female turtles. If it’s cooler, more will be male when they hatch. Now global climate change is tipping the balance. Researchers compared two groups of green sea turtles, an endangered species. One group hatches from nests near the northern end of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. That end is closer to the equator. The other turtles hatch near the southern end of the reef, where it’s cooler. You can’t tell whether a baby sea turtle is male or…

access_time1 min.
a new largest prime

THOUSANDS OF computers around the world are working together to hunt for prime numbers. At the end of 2017, a computer in Tennessee found a new one. This prime number is the longest ever discovered: it has more than 23 million digits. A prime number can only be divided by itself and 1. The number 11 is prime. So is 13. But the new prime number is a special kind called a Mersenne prime. You get a Mersenne prime by multiplying 2 by itself a certain number of times, then subtracting 1. For example, 7 is a Mersenne prime: you multiply 2 x 2 x 2 to get 8, then subtract 1 to get 7. To get the new number, you multiply 2 by itself 77,232,917 times, then subtract 1. The computer…

access_time1 min.
purple potato eater

WHEN A 14-year-old in Pennsylvania discovered that his skin had taken on a purplish hue, no matter how much he showered, doctors were stumped at first. But they eventually found the culprit: a serious love of potatoes. Between French fries, mashed potatoes, hash browns, tater tots, and other favorites, the boy was eating at least a pound a day of potatoes. That made a molecule from the potatoes build up in his skin. In sunlight, this molecule turns purple. Since the vegetables grow underground, potato flesh stays white. But the young potato fan spent lots of time playing sports outdoors. Instead of getting tan, he got lavender. Doctors say the condition isn’t dangerous, but it’s always a good idea to mix up your diet.…

access_time1 min.
teeny technology to wear on your eye

SOME PEOPLE say glasses make you look smart. But these contact lenses actually are smart. They have incredibly tiny electronic parts inside them. The electronics are flexible and see-through, so they don’t block the wearer’s vision. Someday these lenses could help people with diabetes take care of themselves. Diabetes is a disease that affects how the body handles sugar. People with the condition may end up with too much sugar, called glucose, in their blood and other fluids. This is very dangerous. Many people with diabetes have to regularly prick a finger to check their blood glucose levels and make sure they doesn’t get too high. The contact lenses are painless. They monitor the glucose in tears. When the glucose level is normal, a tiny dot of green light shines outward from…