ZINIO logo
Kids & Teens
Muse: 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 May/June 2019

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

Read More
United States
Cricket Media, Inc.
9 Issues

in this issue

4 min.
muse mail

HPB PSA I am a representative from the Intergalactic Organization of Hot Pink Bunny Hunters (IOHPBH for short). It has recently come to our attention that HPB infestations are at a record high. The information contained in this letter will help you safely and efficiently get rid of these fluffy pink nuisances, rendering them helpless and no longer pink without harming them. How to De-HPB Your Home, Planet, Solar System, or Galaxy: 1. Make sure all residents are informed of the fact that HPB removal will begin (insert date), as they may have to leave if the HPBs put up a fight. A single home should last a couple days. An entire planet will take approximately 2.5 weeks. To calculate the period of time your solar system will take, multiply the number of…

1 min.
why wombats poop cubes

A wombat is a very adorable Australian mammal with a very weird skill: its poop comes out in cubes. It’s the only animal in the world with turds you could use as dice. But no one knows how or why. To get some clues, researchers studied the intestines of two wombats that had been hit and killed by cars. The scientists saw that feces only formed cubes in the very last part of the intestine. They cleaned out the animals’ intestines and then filled them with a long balloon. This let the scientists measure how tight or stretchy the intestine was. They found that some parts of the intestine walls were stretchier than others. When poop travels through this unevenly tight tube, it squishes into a square shape. But the intestines…

1 min.
builder bugs

IN THE FORESTS of northeastern Brazil, big dirt piles are everywhere. The mounds are about 8.2 feet (2.5 m) tall, and 30 feet (9 m) wide. But the architects behind the massive building project are tiny: they’re termites. The insects have been living and building here for up to 4,000 years. Some termite species create tall mounds full of complicated tunnels, which they live inside. But when scientists looked inside the Brazilian mounds, they found . . . nothing. Just dirt. That’s because the termites here live underground. As they dig, they carry dirt out of their tunnels and put it into these giant heaps. The researchers estimate that these termites have built 200 million mounds. The dirt inside all those piles would be enough to build the largest Egyptian pyramid about…

1 min.
mapping a mars visit

FOR FIVE years, NASA scientists have debated the best place to send a Mars rover in 2020. Now they’ve chosen the robot’s destination. It will land in a site called Jezero Crater. Billions of years ago, a river of water flowed into this crater. That water might have held Martian microbes. That’s why scientists think Jezero Crater is a good spot to search for signs of ancient life. The rover will collect rocks and soil samples. In a future mission, NASA and European scientists hope to bring those samples back to Earth to study them. Now that scientists have decided on the rover’s landing site, they can start mapping exactly where the rover will roll and explore. For an interplanetary road trip, it’s good to plan ahead.…

1 min.
a new kind of airplane

FOR THE first time, engineers have flown a plane that has no moving parts. Most airplane engines have spinning parts inside. But this machine flies on batteries and air. The airplane uses a technology called ionic wind. Its engine generates a strong electrical field. This turns nitrogen molecules from the air into charged particles, or ions. As the nitrogen ions bump into uncharged air molecules, they push those molecules out of the back of the airplane. This propels the plane forward. You can’t ride this airplane yet. It has to be very light to fly. Although the plane has a wingspan of 16 feet (5 m), it weighs only 5.5 pounds (2.5 kg). In tests, the remotely controlled plane stayed in the air for 12 seconds. Researchers think this technology could help…

1 min.
from gps to sos

THE NAVIGATION systems in our smartphones and cars are pretty good at helping us get places. These programs, such as Google Maps, use satellites to look down at Earth and tell us where to go. But researchers want to develop a program that’s even smarter. They built a new kind of navigation program with artificial intelligence. It’s supposed to learn from observing users, and predict where they want to go next. For example, at 3:30 on a Friday the program would know to lead you home from school. If someone’s out doing errands at lunchtime, the program might guide them to a sandwich shop. Early tests, though, revealed the program wasn’t working well. Whether people were driving or walking, they weren’t getting where they wanted to go. In fact, they were…