Archive for January, 2012

A Uganda Little League Baseball team proudly holds up their country's flag. Image: provided by the Uganda Little League Baseball organization.

Canadian Little Leaguers Travel To Uganda

In the African country of Uganda, there are two million orphans. Nearly half of the children have lost their parents from AIDS, a terrible and widespread disease.

Many children are very poor. Many live in slums.

However, some children in Uganda have found something great that helps them in their lives: playing baseball.

Uganda’s Little League team is very good. So good, in fact, that last year they beat the team that had held the regional championship for 11 years, Saudi Arabia.

It was the first time that an African team had won the regional tournament.

by · January 31, 2012 · Kids, News, Sports
Professional hockey players, like Sidney Crosby, are required to wear helmets every time they play hockey. Image: VancityAllie.

Skiing, Snowboarding Cause Most Winter Sports Injuries In Canada

Last winter, more than 5,600 Canadians ended up in the hospital with an injury from hockey, skiing or another winter sport.

That information comes from a new report by the Canadian Institute for Health Information.

Most of the injuries were from skiing and snowboarding. More than 2,300 Canadians went to the hospital after they had an accident in either of those sports.

Hockey (1,114 injuries) and snowmobiling (1,126) were next on the list of injury-causing sports.

by · January 30, 2012 · Health, News, Sports
Two Canadian high school students, Mathew Ho and Asad Muhammad, send a Legonaut into space. Image: screen capture from their time-lapsed YouTube video.

Toronto Teens Send Legonaut Into (Near-) Space

Two teenagers in Toronto, Ont. have taken a giant leap – for themselves, and for one little Lego man.

The teens launched a Lego figure into near-space.

They hooked a helium weather balloon, a home-sewn nylon parachute and four cameras to the figure. And then they went out to a soccer field and let their contraption go.

The cameras were set to take pictures every 20 seconds.

When their figure came back to Earth, they looked at the pictures the cameras had taken.

They were shocked to see their little Lego figure, clutching his Canadian flag, with a picture of the curved horizon of the Earth in the background.

by · January 29, 2012 · News, Science, Technology
Image: Owen Scott.

Zebra Dung May Be New Fuel Source

Thanks to zebra dung, cars could one day run on fuel made from old newspapers.

Today, we use mostly oil and gas to run our cars; oil and gas come from fossilized plants and animals. But fossil fuels are expensive, and there aren’t enough of them. Scientists are looking for cheaper and more plentiful fuels.

David Mullin is a biology professor at a university in New Orleans. He and his students are trying to make a fuel from plants. Plant-based fuels are called “biofuels.”

He knew that if he could break down “cellulose,” he could turn it into a fuel that could run vehicles.

by · January 26, 2012 · Animals, News, Science
A poor neighbourhood shows the damage after an earthquake measuring 7 plus on the Richter scale rocked Port au Prince Haiti just before 5 pm, January 12, 2010.

On Second Anniversary, Haiti Still Recovering From Earthquake

Jan. 12 was a significant date for the people of Haiti. It was two years ago on that date that the country suffered a terrible earthquake.

More than a million people had their homes destroyed.

After two years, many people think that new homes, jobs and clean streets are not coming fast enough.

Haiti’s new President, Michel Martelly, is known as Sweet Mickey. He believes education is one of the most important things for the government to fix first.

by · January 26, 2012 · News
School Children at Imperial Primary School in Eastridge, Mitchell's Plain (Cape Town, South Africa). Image: Henry Trotter, 2006.

Are Parents Smarter Than Their Kids In Math And Science? Maybe Not

Do you think you know more about science than your parents do? You could be right.

At a big science fair in England last November, 2,000 moms and dads were asked what sort of questions their kids had about science, and how they answer them.

Most of the parents said they found it hard to answer their children’s questions. A few of them said they think their kids know more about science than they do.

by · January 24, 2012 · Kids, Lighter, Science
The Costa Concordia floats in the Tyrrhenian Sea Isola del Giglio, near the western coast of Italy. Image: Rvongher

New Facts Emerging About Italian Cruise Ship Disaster

Since the Italian cruise ship sank off the coast of Tuscany on Jan. 13, many new facts have come out.

As you may recall from TKN’s article about the disaster, the captain of the 13-deck Costa Concordia cruise ship steered the boat too close to an island. Rocks tore a hole in the hull and the ship sank.

There were more than 4,200 people on board; some said that while they were scrambling to leave the ship, they saw the captain already in a lifeboat.

Since TKN reported on the story on Jan. 15 there have been many accusations against the captain, Francesco Schettino, who is currently under house arrest.*

He is accused of manslaughter (unintentional murder), causing a shipwreck and leave the ship when there are passengers and crew still on board.

by · January 23, 2012 · News
Polio immunization rally at the Kranti Vidhaya Mandir school in the Bangla-Bazar area of Lucknow, organized by Rotary clubs of Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. Image: Jean-Marc Giboux

No More Cases Of Polio In India

India made history this month when it announced that there were no more cases of polio in the country.

The victory came after years of work by India’s public-health workers. They travelled to the most remote places and the poorest areas in the country. They gave vaccines—medicine that prevents diseases—to 172 million children.

Polio is a viral infection that can paralyze (stop movement in) the body, especially in people’s arms and legs. It can also make people’s breathing difficult is if they have very bad asthma. It can even be fatal.

by · January 23, 2012 · Health, News
The New York Philharmonic playing at the National Grand Theatre in Beijing in 2008. Image: chrissuderman

Mahler Symphony Gets An Unwelcome Addition

When you go to hear live classical music, it’s usually quite a formal occasion.

The audience is respectful of the musicians.

Usually people even clap only at certain times. That’s so the beauty of the music isn’t interrupted.

The New York Philharmonic is a very famous classical music orchestra.

So you can imagine what people in the audience were thinking when, right in the middle of the soft and beautiful ending of Mahler’s Symphony No. 9 – someone’s cell phone started ringing.

by · January 19, 2012 · Arts, Lighter, News
Mitt Romney speaking in Washington D.C on February 11, 2011. Image: Gage Skidmore

Republicans Prepare For U.S. Election In November

There are two main political parties in the United States: the Republicans and the Democrats.

Right now, the Republicans have to choose someone to run for president against Democrat Barack Obama, in time for the presidential election on Nov. 6.

To pick a Republican candidate, every state in the U.S. holds an early election called a primary.

The front-runner in the Republican race is Mitt Romney, who was the Governor of Massachusetts and is now in business.

by · January 18, 2012 · News, Politics