Friday, September 24, 2010

Student Rocketeers Wanted For World's Largest Amateur Launch

Defense Secretary Robert Gates shaking hands w...Image via Wikipedia
Registration for the 2011 edition of the world's largest rocket competition is open now through November 30. The Team America Rocketry Challenge will accept up to 750 student teams in grades 7-12 from any U.S. school, home school, or non-profit youth organization. The annual rocket contest, sponsored by the Aerospace Industries Association, challenges teams of three to 10 students to design and build a rocket that will climb to 750 feet with a raw egg payload and stay aloft for 40 to 45 seconds. The egg must then return to earth unbroken.

"The Team America Rocketry Challenge is a vital part of our industry's outreach to young people," said Marion C. Blakey, AIA president and CEO. "TARC provides a great opportunity for students to work with scientists and engineers and learn in an exciting and fun environment." The top 100 TARC team finalists will be notified April 8 that they have earned a spot in the May 14 competition just outside of Washington, DC. Student participants compete for $60,000 in prizes, scholarships, and a trip to the 2011 international air show in Paris for an international "Fly-Off" with student teams from France and the UK. AIA sponsors TARC with the
National Association of Rocketry, NASA, the Defense Department, the American Association of Physics Teachers, and AIA member companies. The contest is in its ninth year and is proving to be a catalyst for generating student interest in math and science. The 2011 contest rules and registration information are available at

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Thursday, September 16, 2010

To Your Dog's Health! by Mark Poveromo

To Your Dog's Health!: Canine Nutrition and Recent Trends Within the Pet Food IndustryTo Your Dog's Health! Canine Nutrition and Recent Trends Within The Pet Food Industry
by Mark Poveromo
Poor Man's Press; February 2010

When I was given the opportunity by the Online Publicist to review To Your Dog's Health! I jumped at the opportunity to learn more about dog nutrition. If you've ever talked with me about my dogs, you've probably heard that we don't feed kibble, and we have raw fed for 6 years. Coming with the research I had done before beginning to raw feed, I was interested in what Mark Poveromo would have to say.

Mark does a great job clearly outlining the health needs of dogs (and cats) in this book. He walks through the different types of nutrition such as grocery store kibble, holistic foods, home cooking, and raw. He gives great advice and recipes for home cooked meals, meals for dogs with kidney disease or cancer, and what to look for in kibble.

His one chapter on raw feeding was a bit of a disappointment compared to the amount of time he spent on other subjects. While he went into great detail on kibble, home cooking for your dog, supplements to use, recipes, and things to keep in mind for certain health issues, he spent only one chapter on actual raw feeding and did not discuss how to do it yourself. He mentioned that there are good raw food manufacturers, but did not discuss how to balance your dog's meals if you don't buy a prepackaged raw diet. I would have liked it if he went into more detail in some areas, including this one. I found this lack of information especially odd in light of the last paragraph of the chapter on raw feeding where Mark Poveromo said, "For the record, I have been feeding my pets a raw diet for about seven years now, and have had tremendous success."

However, there was a wealth of information about vitamins, enzymes, carbohydrates, and vegetables, that I still came away learning a lot. Based on this information, I will try changing up our dogs' diet a bit, but I will probably also consult some other raw diet resources before making a final decision.

I was delightfully surprised that he wrote a chapter about vaccines and other treatments. I must say I found his thoughts on that subject well balanced and helpful.

I do recommend this book for a quick, easy to read overview of dog nutrition. In fact, despite my disappointment with the raw food chapter, I found enough good information in the book, that I am keeping it on my shelf to read again. There are various facts in this book that more pet owners, and some vets, need to know. One such fact is that the protein in most kibble is from rendering facilities. These facilities take leftover animal pieces (meat, fat, blood, bone, and feather) and render them down to be included in kibble. These are the animal pieces that are not sold in grocery stores because they are not fit for consumption! And because of this poor protein quality, we are seeing increased incidents of health issues in our pets.

Just like humans, our pets are what they eat, and we owe it to them to make sure we give them the best nutrition possible.

Learn more about Mark Poveromo
See a preview on Google Books
Buy To Your Dog's Health! now on for $10.17 (sponsored link)

I received this book free from The Online Publicist. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own

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Saturday, September 11, 2010

I will never forget...

Tribute in Light, 9/11/03Image by Brendan Loy via Flickr
Nine years ago today, our country lived through events that we had never seen so close to home. Without a second thought, our fire, police, medical, and military rushed in to help. Today I remember those we lost, and we honor those who continue to put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe. Thank you for your dedication and sacrifices.

I remember...
I was at home with my 2 boys -- ages 3 and 1 -- and exactly 1 week from delivering our daughter. My husband was at work at a CVS/Pharmacy in Massachusetts and called to tell me what his customers were telling them. I tried to sneak peaks in between kids TV shows to know what was happening without alarming the kids. If I heard something, I called his store. They then found a radio and everyone sat around it in the stock room. His coworker called to tell me not to go into labor that day; that it wasn't a good day to give birth. I thought, this sounds like the perfect day to give birth to a new life! Every year, when I think back I can feel being pregnant and wanting to protect my kids and family.

What were you doing? Do you remember?

Related sites:
National September 11 Memorial & Museum
Days of Terror: A Photo Gallery

These photos I saved to include in our family scrapbook right after this happened. I have given credit where possible.

Click the picture to see the caption.

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And the winner is...


Friday, September 10, 2010

Book Giveaway Closing Soon!

This is the last day to enter the giveaway for Stephen R. Lawhead's wonderful new book (published 9/1/10) The Skin Map. Click here for my review and to enter!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

School food -- Feedback needed

School lunchImage by chidorian via Flickr
Shared by request of Healthy Child Healthy World
What do you think about the food served in schools?

More and more parents are expressing deep concerns about the quality of food being served in schools. And, many are still unaware that there might be anything to worry about. Healthy Child is taking our Eat Healthy program to the next level by joining forces with Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution and MomsRising to help propel national efforts to improve school food. Are you interested in helping?

The first step is helping us determine what the main concerns of parents are and how to best empower them. We've developed a very short survey and we need to get as many people as possible to fill it out to help guide our campaign and make it as successful as possible. Will you please fill it out and share on your blog and with your social networks?

You can find the survey here:

Jamie Oliver's team is hoping to get feedback within the next week or two, so we'd really appreciate your immediate help spreading the word and encouraging people to take 2 minutes to voice their concerns (or lack thereof - whatever the case may be). Please let me know if you have any questions or if you're interested in participating in our Eat Healthy program in a deeper way.

Thank you!

Janelle Sorensen
Chief Communications Officer
Healthy Child Healthy World
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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Seeing Obstacles through God’s Eyes

This devotional comes to my email box every day. Not that I read it every day, but I try. This one comes at a perfect time.

Seeing Obstacles through God’s Eyes

From InTouch Ministries
Thursday, September 02, 2010

Read | Joshua 2:1-24

Jericho was the first city that the Israelites needed to conquer in their quest for the land of Canaan. When Joshua sent a pair of spies to check it out, he probably didn’t realize that he would receive a glimpse of God’s  impressive behind-the-scenes activity.

God wants us to look at every obstacle through the lens of His unlimited strength and resources. Anything that appears to block His plans is an opportunity for Him to demonstrate His sovereign power. Just because we don’t see anything happening, that doesn’t mean He’s inactive.

Always remember that God is at work on the other side of our obstacles, arrang-ing the details and bringing His plans to fruition. When the spies returned to Joshua, they reported that the people of Jericho were scared to death. Having heard about the Jews’ deliverance from Egypt and the parting of the Red Sea, they were gripped by fear of the Lord.

The stage was set for the conquest, yet by that point, Joshua had done nothing. Sometimes we think we need to be involved in the solution to our problem, but God is not limited with regard to whom or what He can use to accomplish His will. In this case, He worked in the hearts of the enemy by instilling demoralizing fear.

For Christians, great obstacles need not be reasons for discouragement. Although much of the Lord’s activity is silent and invisible, we can be sure He is dynamically working out His will for our lives. When the pieces of His plan are in place, He will move us on to victory.

Gordon Dam, Southwest National Park, Tasmania,...Image via Wikipedia
When I'm looking at things from my perspective, I have no idea how our plans are going to work out. I keep telling myself they will, that God can do it, but it's hard to really believe. I try to visualize the analogy of the dam. We can't see the water rising on the other side, but eventually the water will reach the top, and we'll see it overflow. I need to remember to keep reading about what God has done before to help me really KNOW that He can -- and will -- work it all out for good.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28

We will remember, we will remember
We will remember the works of Your hands
We will stop and give you praise
For great is Thy faithfulness

When we walk through life’s darkest valleys
We will look back at all You have done
And we will shout, our God is good
And He is the faithful One 

Is your dog cool?