Sea level projections

I know I’m finding this stuff way late, but just in case you haven’t seen these yet –

Flood Maps:  Really cool use of the Google Maps API plus NASA data to show projected sea level rise.  You can choose from zero to +14m sea level rise, and view almost anywhere on Earth!  It isn’t perfectly accurate, but it gives you a good idea of what parts of the coast would be under water with several meters of sea level rise.  I can say that my house wouldn’t be under even with +14m sea level, and neither would my office.  But a bunch of land in between my home and my office would be!

CReSIS (Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets): A compilation of sea level rise maps and GIS data.  You can view JPG or PDF maps of certain vulnerable places on Earth, and you can also view in Google Earth if you have it installed on your computer!

These websites are awesome!  It can give you a good idea of what the Earth might look like with up to 14 meters of sea level rise.  Many populated places would be under water.  Many people would be displaced.  How do we plan for a future with sea level rise?  Something to think about…

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May 29, 2009 at 1:27 pm Leave a comment

German song

I have a great CD of German children’s songs that Froggy and I love to listen to.  I know a bit of German and my hope is that Froggy will not have an American accent if she chooses to learn German one day.  I know a couple of the songs from my German grandmother, but most of them I hadn’t heard before I got the CD.  This song is one I really like (with the German and English translation) –

Weißt du wieviel Sternlein stehen? Do You Know How Many Stars There Are?
Weißt du, wieviel Sternlein stehen
An dem blauen Himmelszelt?
Weißt du, wieviel Wolken gehen
Weithin über alle Welt?
Gott der Herr hat, sie gezählet,
Daß ihm auch nicht eines fehlet
An der ganzen großen Zahl,
An der ganzen großen Zahl.


Weißt du, wieviel Mücklein spielen
In der hellen Sommerglut?
Wieviel Fischlein auch sich kühlen
In der klaren Wasserflut?
Gott der Herr rief sie mit Namen,
Daß sie all’ ins Leben kamen,
Daß sie nun so fröhlich sind.
Daß sie nun so fröhlich sind.


Weißt du, wieviel Kinder frühe
Stehn aus ihren Bettchen auf,
Daß sie ohne Sorg’ und Mühe
Fröhlich sind im Tageslauf?
Gott im Himmel hat an allen
Seine Lust, sein Wohlgefallen,
Kennt auch dich und hat dich lieb.
Kennt auch dich und hat dich lieb.
Do you know how many little stars there are
In the wide blue sky?
Do you know how many clouds go about
Over the world?
The Lord God counted them so well,
That none are missing
From the whole lot of them.


Do you know how many little flies play
In the clear heat of Summer?
How many little fishes cool themselves
In the clear high tide?
The Lord God called them by name,
So they all came to life,
And they’re all so happy now.


Do you know how many children,
Get up early from their beds,
That they’re without worry and sorrow,
Happy all day long?
God in Heaven has, for everyone,
His pleasure, his welfare.
Knows you too and loves you.

My family isn’t religious.  I was raised Lutheran but I’m not religious any longer.  We don’t usually sing religious songs at home, because that’s not a part of our lives.  But every time I hear this song and stop to really listen to it, it gives me the warm fuzzies.  It is nice to think of a great god in heaven that named all the animals one-by-one and knows you and loves you personally.  That’s just so nice.  I don’t believe it, but it is nice to think about in the context of this little children’s song.

May 28, 2009 at 5:34 pm Leave a comment

Froggy’s preschool adventures

I just dropped Froggy (my daughter) off at her new preschool.  Today is day #2 there.  She was a little upset today, but not crying.  Yesterday the drop-off was a huge success with no tears and no “Mommy, stay!”  When I picked her up yesterday she was bubbling over with excitement.  She had to show me a picture of Tinkerbell she thoughtfully colored black and green.  She had to tell me about “Little Gym” and how they danced, and how she got rained on outside, and she ate all her lunch and she slept at naptime.  I know she had a great day, and I know that today will be great too.  But there is always that part of me that feels really guilty dropping her off at school while I go to work, and it gets amplified when she doesn’t want me to leave.  But, notice, she doesn’t want me to take her away with me, she wants me to STAY.  The kid likes school.

This is Froggy’s third “daycare” situation since January.  If it was a perfect world we would have picked the right place from the start.  But, we didn’t.  Back at christmas time I was interviewing for jobs, and I had two really great prospects.  We had just relocated for my husband, so we were totally new to the area and had to start looking for daycares.  Originally we planned on one near our house, in the city.  We looked at a few there, and were all set to start at one when I got a job.  The school was nice enough, but my job turned out to be about 30 minutes out of the city, with hours of 8:30 to 5:30.  I couldn’t make it to pick Froggy up by 6.  So, my husband was picking her up; not a problem in general, but he’s got to go do field work for 3 weeks in the fall, and our situation has to be doable without Daddy.  Froggy liked that school, but not enough.  She would whine in the morning when I dropped her off and it was usually a little bit of a struggle (hello guilt!).  So, we started looking for a place closer to my job.

We found an agency that manages in-home daycares, and through them we found a great “nanny” – a woman with one 4-year-old boy who was looking to care for just one other child around Froggy’s age.  I liked her so much that I didn’t interview anyone else at the time.  And we thought that Froggy may do better in a home environment than in a school (at that point she was just 2.5 years old).   So she went to the nanny’s house for about 2 months.  We would have kept her there but the nanny’s husband got transferred and they were forced to move, very quickly in fact.  We had to find another place.

Our nanny told us that Froggy was definitely ready for a school environment.  She would take her to her son’s preschool when they were dropping him off and Froggy wouldn’t want to leave!  She grew a little less introverted and started liking to play with other kids a little bit.  So, when the nanny told me they had to leave, I started looking for a school again.  And I found one that is really close to my workplace and also one of the best preschools in the area.  Luckily, they had an opening for her age group!  I visited, and then I took Froggy to visit, and then her nanny took her there for a few minutes each day during their last week together.  Like I said, she started there yesterday with no tears!  It is a great environment and I’m so glad we found it.

I feel bad that Froggy’s had to go through so much change in the last 6 months.  But she is amazingly resilient.  When she’s in the right place, she’ll be just fine.  And she’s going to learn so much and make friends.

May 27, 2009 at 1:21 pm Leave a comment

Plug for APOD

APOD (Astronomy Picture of the Day) is cool and you know it.

May 26, 2009 at 5:23 pm Leave a comment

Slowly starting

I am beginning to build my reportoire.  I am a scientist working at a private company doing mostly lab stuff.  Mostly chemistry, some other sciences, a teeny bit of engineering-type work.  I am also a mommy of a little girl, preschool age.  I am also wife to an aspiring astrophysicist nearing completion of his PhD.  I need a place I can write about all of these things and not feel weird.  So, here it is.

May 26, 2009 at 4:56 pm Leave a comment

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The Stars

SkepticMommy : Me! I'm a scientist working in industry. I get to play in the lab most of the time. I also run, do yoga, and read. And I'm always learning more about the world around me.

SkepToad : My husband, a 6th year astrophysics PhD student. He's involved in some really cool research and he also likes teaching and outreach.

Froggy : My preschool age daughter. She loves to dance and sing and color and go to the Children's Museum, and she has a great sense of humor.

Ringo : Froggy's lovey, a stuffed frog that's been with us since she was born. Yeah, his name is Ringo.