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Humans hear millions of sounds everyday. For many people, an alarm clock begins the morning. A trickling coffee pot may filter a hot cup of Joe. And as you start your car, the engine roars as you drive to work or school. Some sounds are pleasant, like birds singing in the trees. But there are plenty of other sounds that drive people crazy. What sound makes people cringe the most? According to an article in Time Magazine this week, whining is one of the most bothering sounds ever.

Researchers for the Journal of Social, Evolutionary, and Cultural Psychology had participants do math problems as various sounds were played in the background. Levels of concentration varied as they heard silence, talking, “motherese” (aka baby talk), whining and a high-pitched table saw. To make sure participants weren’t distracted by the words themselves, the researchers played foreign language recordings. In the end, whining affected participant’s productivity on their subtraction equations more than the other sounds. According to the study’s co-author and professor of psychology at SUNY New Paltz, Rosemarie Sokol Chang, people of both sexes did fewer problems and did those worse when they heard the whines. Scientists tend to pay more attention to the effect of the other three sounds on humans, so Chang hopes this study will result in further research on whining.


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Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s a dinosaur! LiveScience.com reports that a small adult dinosaur fossil has been found in the southern U.K. At roughly 15.7 inches long, the new fossil could belong to the world’s tiniest dinosaur.

Many of us think dinosaurs were all large creatures that roamed the Earth. But there were actually many smaller groups of dinos that existed as well millions of years ago. University of Portsmouth paleozoologist Darren Naish explained the tiny neck bone belonged to a creature from the maniraptoran group that lived in the Cretaceous period 145 million to 100 million years ago. It is this group that is thought to have led to modern day birds. Because only one vertebra has been found, researchers are unable to say what the dino ate and how long it truly was.

Two techniques were used to estimate the size of the maniraptoran. One method involved fitting a digital model of the dinosaur's neck into a body of a generic maniraptoran. The other method used neck-to-body ratios of other related dinosaurs to estimate the maniraptoran's length. Both methods estimated the size of the dino to be 13 to 15.7 inches.

The new dinosaur has not been named yet, but it’s being referred to as the “Ashdown dino,” based on the location where it was found. If the Ashdown dino is found to be the smallest on record, it will beat out Anchiornis, another birdlike dinosaur that lived in what is now China 160 million to 155 million years ago. It would also be smaller than North America's smallest known dinosaur, Hesperonychus elizabethae, a velociraptor-like predator that was about a foot and a half (50 cm) tall and weighed 4 pounds (2 kilograms).

Dino

A newly-discovered maniraptoran dinosaur may have looked like the feathered dinosaur seen here, about to become a snack for the larger Darwinopterus modularis.
CREDIT: Mark Witton/University of Portsmouth


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In Our Planet, Our Universe, you can step on a scale to see how much you weigh on each planet. The difference of mass, gravity and planet’s distance from the sun makes your weight fluctuate by sometimes thousands of pounds! Take your curiosity further and see how many years and days old you are on each planet in relation to their rotation periods. You’ll also be able to see when your next birthday would be on each planet! Start celebrating by entering your birthday on this website:

Birthday


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Did you know that simply listening to a cricket could tell you more about the weather than you might think?! Mother Nature offers its own built-in thermometer-the cricket.  Simply listening to the frequency of a cricket’s chirp and counting the number of chirps in 15 seconds and adding 37 will provide you with a rough estimate of the outside temperature.

The reason these crickets are such adept thermometers is because they are cold-blooded creatures. The warmer it is, the faster the crickets are able to rub their legs together. The colder it is, the slower crickets move. That means temperature is the determining factor of their movement and sound-making abilities. All you have to do is use your ears to determine the temperature relative to the cricket’s activity level.

So when you go to bed tonight, listen closely to the crickets chirp outside your window and try figuring out the temperature it is outside.


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By: Liz Rosenberg

This book is great for your child to give dad for father’s day! It’s a perfect blend of tender and funny. Tobias’s father is a lot like other fathers - he likes corny jokes, and doing magic tricks, and works really hard at the office. But there the resemblance ends. He has teeth as sharp as steak knives, is forty feet high, and weighs as much as a locomotive. He is, in fact, a tyrannosaurus.

Come check out our DinoDigs exhibit where you can uncover fossils in the dig pit with dad!

Tyrannosaurus Dad


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Dads Get Free Admission on Father’s Day to Orlando Science Center

Sunday, June 19, 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Guitar_Father

Photo courtesy of Michael Van Gelder.

Who: Dads rock! So, this Father’s Day, the Orlando Science Center is offering a full day of rockin’ fun for all fathers. On Sunday, June 19, Dads can explore the new exhibit, GUITAR: The Instrument That Rocked the World and everything else the Orlando Science Center has to offer for free.

What: GUITAR: The Instrument That Rocked the World features entertaining, and educational displays specific to the guitar, including historical artifacts, models, posters, video screens, interactives, and kiosks. Dads can check out ancient stringed instruments like the Persian Tanbur, the Indian Sitar and the Chinese Pipa. See dozens of iconic guitars from industry giants like Gibson, Fender and Rickenbacker, including some famous pieces played by Johnny Winter, Vic Flick, Adrian Belew, Steve Vai and Joe Bonamassa. There are also interactive kiosks exploring the science of sound at work within the guitar and a display featuring the world’s largest playable electric guitar, measuring 43.5 feet long and 16 feet wide.

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As Father's Day approaches - and with it, long green days outdoors - here's a “card” that your child can make to last for years and years. Using a few simple materials from your local craft store, you can create an artistic garden stepping stone that shows your appreciation for Dad.

stepping_stone

 

What You Need:

  1. 1 5-lb. bag of dry cement, available in craft or hardware stores
  2. 1 cement mold (you can find plastic ones in many shapes at a craft store, or just use a sturdy corrugated cardboard base from a large pizza box, reinforced at the seams with a little duct tape!)
  3. Wooden paint stick for stirring
  4. Plastic bucket
  5. Chopstick or bamboo skewer for marking words in concrete
  6. Broken tile and/or round colored glass pieces (available at craft stores or, if you ask, at hardware or tile stores)

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777 E. Princeton Street • Orlando, Florida 32803 • Phone: 407.514.2000 • TTY: 407.514.2005 • Toll Free: 888.OSC.4FUN • Email: [email protected]
  Orlando Science Center is supported by United Arts of Central Florida, host of power2give.org/centralflorida and the collaborative Campaign for the Arts.
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