The Scottish Saltire

The Scottish Saltire

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Nuggets from NPR

I love NPR! I never know what cool little tidbits I'm going to hear that I might not have gotten from anywhere else in my little world. I was very excited the other day when Sherry's dad told me where to find my old friends on the Pittsburgh radio dial. This afternoon I was listening to Robert Siegel, the ever comforting voice of All Things Considered. This man could describe paint drying to me and I would somehow find it fascinating but today he really was talking about really interesting stuff.

It seems that researchers from The University of Oregon have found evidence that humans roamed the Americas more than a thousand years earlier than previously believed......14,300 years ago!

I had just been watching something about the Clovis culture on the History Channel the other night so when, today, they said that this human DNA evidence predates that culture by 1,200 years I was amazed. I also took a little pleasure in hearing that the site of the find is in Oregon, less than 300 miles from my hometown.

The other story that intrigued me was about a Michigan fifth grader who, last December, was visiting the Smithsonian Natural History Museum (Tops on my must see list next week. What? Did I not mention that I'm going to Washington DC next week? Well, more on that later). Anyway, this 11 year old was looking at the museum's Tower of Time and noticed that it wrongly labeled the Precambrian as an era, when it is actually a supereon. He knew this was wrong because he had just been studying the subject in his science class. Imagine how many uber-educated adults have perused the Tower of Time over the last 27 years! Did not one of them notice the error? Or did someone see it and think, "It's not that big a deal"? Young Kenton Stufflebeam thought it was a very big deal and brought it to the attention of the museum biggies. Can't you just picture it? A little kid pulling on some guy's coat tail "...excuse me, sir..."
The Smithsonian Natural History Museum corrected its mistake this week.
Are you smarter than a fifth grader?

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