Author Archives: Brian K.

April 22, 2016

5 Ways for Boys to Add Style

Posted by at 1:08 am in Writing Prompt | Permalink

5 Ways for Boys to Add Style to an Outfit

Fashion isn’t just for the girls. While women have an assortment of accessories and jewelry to choose from, boys have tons of ways to add some style their outfits.

1. Colorful shoes
Don’t let your shoes be an afterthought. Find a pair of sneakers with a crazy pattern or with bright colors that will help you stand out in a crowd.

2. Hoodies
T-shirts are fun and can say a lot about a person, but you can add flair to an outfit with a hoodie. Find a cool zip-up sweatshirt that complements your t-shirts. If you wear it unzipped, people can still see the cool design on your t-shirt and the hoodie adds another dimension to your outfit.

3. Sunglasses
Sunglasses are perfect for any outfit. If you slip on a pair of aviators, you look like a cool fighter pilot ready for a mission. If you put on a sleek pair of black shades, you can master the mysterious and cool look. Or find a colorful pair of sunglasses and you look ready to party.

4. Scarves
If it’s cold outside, scarves are the perfect accessory to keep your neck warm. But they’re also super-fashionable. Just ask Harry Potter, who wore his Gryffindor scarf everywhere.

5. Pins
Wearing a pin is a great way to express your personality. Find a cool pin that represents something about yourself and fasten it to your shirt. Hey, if Katniss Everdeen can pull off a pin, why can’t you?

So there you have it, 5 fun ways to spice up an outfit. So, how do you keep yourself looking fashionable? tell us in the Comments.

Brian

April 21, 2016

Is Bigfoot Real?

Posted by at 1:50 am in Writing Prompt | Permalink

Is Bigfoot Real?

I hate when I can’t find the remote for the television, so I can only image what it’s like hunting for Bigfoot. Also known as Sasquatch, Bigfoot is a hairy, ape-like creature that is believed to live in northwestern United States, but no one has ever confirmed its existence.

Bigfoot entered pop culture in 1951, when Eric Shipton photographed a giant footprint. The myth grew even larger when residents of California continued to find abnormally large tracks in 1958. The manhunt for the creature was launched at Bluff Creek, California to find the source of the tracks, and a legend was born.

Over the years, people have reported more Bigfoot sightings. In 1967, Roger Patterson and Robert Gimlin claimed they captured Bigfoot on film, but many years later, a close friend admitted he wore a costume to fake the sighting.

Rick Jacobs thought he captured a photo of Bigfoot using an automatically triggered camera, but park rangers later identified the creature in the photo as a sick bear.

Unfortunately, scientists proved many of the sightings to be hoaxes. After the death of Ray Wallace, his children came forward with a 16-inch wooden foot their father used to fake those California Bigfoot tracks in 1958. Scientists also believe other sightings occurred when people mistook bears and chimpanzees for Bigfoot.

Although scientists have disproved all supposed Bigfoot sightings, believers continue to search for the elusive Sasquatch. So, do you believe in the legend of Bigfoot, or is Sasquatch just a hoax? Tell us in the Comments!

Brian

April 11, 2016

How Electric Cars Work

Posted by at 5:00 am in Writing Prompt | Permalink

How Do Electric Cars Work?

I love driving remote-controlled cars. But when the batteries die, the fun is over. Now, inventors have found a way to build full-sized cars that run on rechargeable batteries.

Electric cars look like any normal car on the street. Drivers still control the car with a steering wheel and push the gas pedal to make it move. But if you look under the hood, an electric car operates differently from a gas-powered car.

The major difference between these two types of cars is their power source. The electric car receives power from an electrical charge, while a regular car is powered by burning gasoline. Every electric car has a battery pack, which is a collection of car batteries that act like a fuel tank and provide power for the motor. This battery is recharged when an electric car is plugged into a power source, just like recharging a cell phone or laptop.

Under the hood of an electric car is an engine just like a gas-powered car. The gas-powered car burns gasoline to power the engine. But in an electric car, the battery sends power to the engine to turn the wheels and make the car move. The electric engine works by using electromagnets. When the power is sent from the battery, the electromagnets use that electric power to operate the vehicle.

Electric cars are still a new technology, but they are better for the environment and might be the way of the future.

What kind of car do you want when you grow up? Tell us in the Comments!

April 8, 2016

Loch Ness Monster

Posted by at 1:40 am in Trivia | Permalink

Loch Ness Monster

Everyone has heard of monsters under the bed. But what about monsters in the lake? Some people believe that a real monster (affectionately named Nessie) inhabits the lake called Loch Ness in Scotland.

The legend of the Lock Ness Monster dates back to the 6th century, when an Irish Monk, Saint Columba, encountered a vicious creature in the River Ness. Reports described the monster with a large body and long narrow neck. Since these early encounters, other people have claimed to see the Lock Ness Monster. The most famous is Dr. Robert Wilson, who captured a photograph of the monster’s head and neck.

Over the years, many teams have visited Loch Ness to try to discover the monster. In the 1930s, a group of 20 men watched the lake with binoculars for five weeks. Recently, more technologically savvy methods have been used, including sonar and satellite tracking .

Not everyone believes the pictures and reported sightings of the Loch Ness monster. Some believe Dr. Wilson’s photo is not the Loch Ness monster, but the head of an elephant . Some sightings are probably optical illusions. Other people believe the reports are just hoaxes.

Even though there is no proof that Nessie exists, many people continue to believe in the Loch Ness Monster. What do YOU think? Is she fact or fiction?

April 2, 2016

Most Powerful Greek Gods and Goddesses

Posted by at 1:44 am in Trivia | Permalink

Most Powerful Greek Gods and Goddesses

Take the trivia quiz  to see how well you know Greek mythology.

  1. Perseus, the famous slayer of Medusa, was the son of a mortal woman and which god? A) Poseidon B) Zeus C) Apollo D) Hermes
  2. Which god is known for his super-fast speed? A) Hermes B) Poseidon C) Zeus D) Apollo
  3. Which god is the twin sister of Artemis? A) Poseidon B) Zeus C) Apollo D) Aphrodite
  4. Zeus and the Olympians defeated which of these groups to gain their power? A) The Titans B) The Heroes C) Mortals D) The Argonauts
  5. This Greek warrior died when he was shot in the foot by an arrow: A) Heracles B) Perseus C) Achilles D) Paris
  6. Although known as Helen of Troy, Helen was originally from this Greek city: A) Athens B) Sparta C) Thebes D) Argos
  7. Most known by his Latin name Hercules, this Greek warrior famously slayed the nine-headed Hydra. A) Hermes B) Apollo C) Heracles D) Icarus
  8. This friendly Titan was a supporter of humans, giving them the ability to make fire: A) Prometheus B) Cronos C) Atlas D) Lapetus
  9. These fierce creatures enchanted passing sailors with their songs, causing them to shipwreck: A) Sphinxes B) Nymphs C) Gorgons D) Sirens

Read on for the answers. . . Continue reading

March 20, 2016

Are Ghosts Real?

Posted by at 1:21 am in Writing Prompt | Permalink

Boo! Did I scare you? I hope not, but ghosts have been scaring people for centuries. The big question is, are they real?

Since Ancient Egypt, people have believed that the soul or spirit of a dead person remains on Earth and can appear to living humans.

Some people believe ghosts can be found anywhere, from old castles to haunted houses. Most ghost stories tell of people who died unexpectedly, either by accident or murder, and their spirits still want to remain on earth.

Some people conduct séances in an attempt to speak to the dead. Believers claim these rituals let them speak to ghosts and prove they exist. Skeptics, or non-believers, say that séances are a hoax.

In an attempt to prove the existence of ghosts, many believers have turned to science for evidence. The art of ghost hunting is traced back to London’s Ghost Club, which sought out ghosts in the English city. Modern ghost hunters use high-tech equipment, including handheld infrared thermometers to measure changes in room temperature, and audio recording equipment to pick up ghostly voices.

Skeptics believe that evidence found by ghost hunters can be attributed to many different things. These scientists say that images of ghosts are most likely dust particles in the air, while audio recording devices picked up signals from local radio towers.

There is still no evidence proving ghosts definitely exist, but the debate rages on. So, do you believe in ghosts? Tell us in the Comments.

Brian

March 15, 2016

Cool Things Invented by Kids

Posted by at 1:34 am in News, Trivia | Permalink

popsicleCool Things Invented by Kids

You may think of inventors as geniuses with years of experience, but some of the coolest inventions actually came from kids!

In 1858, 15-year-old Chester Greenwood invented earmuffs. He hated hats and hated cold ears even more. So he tied fur patches to a headband and invented the first earmuffs.

Robert Patch was only 6 years old when he turned the model truck into a children’s toy. The boy created a toy truck with parts that could be taken apart and rebuilt into different vehicles. Patch’s truck was patented way back in 1963, but is still selling in toy stores today.

Frank Epperson accidentally stumbled across the Popsicle when he was 11. One frigid night, he left his drink outside with a stirring stick inside. The next morning, he found a frozen drink, and the world’s first Popsicle was born.

Krysta Morlan was in 10th grade when she invented the cast cooler, a device that pumps air into a cast and relieves irritation. But Krysta wasn’t done yet. She also invented the Waterbike, a bike-like vehicle you put in the water and power by pedaling.

Ryan Patterson was working at Burger King when he saw a translator ordering for a deaf friend. That sparked Ryan’s imagination and he soon invented a glove with sensors that translate sign language into written word.

Louis Braille was only 15 when he invented his own language for the blind. Braille, named after its inventor, uses a series of dots that people can trace their hands over and read.

Kids have created some of the coolest gadgets and also helped a lot of people. What invention would you like to create?

Brian

“blackberry watermelon popsicle” Flickr photo by stu_spivack

March 15, 2016

Harry Potter Book Club Meeting 2

Posted by at 1:29 am in Harry Potter | Permalink

StacksBookClubSTACKS Book Club: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Welcome back to the magical STACKS Book Club! What an amazing ending to J. K. Rowling’s, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone! This book is filled with so many villains, so many friends, and so much magic, I hardly know where to begin. We’re always welcoming new members, so whether you joined Meeting 1 or this is your first time, please join the conversation!HP1_KK

  • What type of mischief would you get into if you had an invisibility cloak?
  • Would you be afraid of entering the forbidden forest?
  • Hagrid’s giant, three-headed dog is named Fluffy. If you had a three-headed dog, what would you name it?
  • What would your reaction be if you discovered your friend was raising a baby dragon?
  • What obstacle would you be best at completing: catching a winged key, winning a game of chess, or solving a riddle and drinking the correct potion?
  • What would you be thinking if you were face to face with Voldemort?

Post your answers in the Comments below and ask your own questions to the STACKS Book Club! To meet and chat with other Harry Potter fans, join the Harry Potter Message Boards.

–Brian, STACKS Staffer

March 13, 2016

Are UFOs Real?

Posted by at 1:16 am in Trivia | Permalink

Do you believe? UFO stands for Unidentified Flying Object. While this term refers to any object in the sky people cannot identify, UFO traditionally refers to alien spacecraft. UFOs have been reported throughout history, dating back to early comet and meteor sightings.

People have observed UFOs in all shapes and sizes. In 1878, John Martin reported seeing a circular flying object moving at high speeds through the sky.  A United States Naval commander reported a red-shaped objects flying in formation over San Francisco.

The Roswell Innocent occurred in the summer of 1947 when an object crashed in New Mexico. Many conspiracy theorists believe the crashed object was a UFO.

All human UFO sightings are highly controversial and many teams have set out to find conclusive evidence of alien life. Project Sign was an official project conducted by the United States Air Force. Project Sign concluded there was not enough data to determine the origin of UFOs.

Scientists have provided countless explanations for UFO sightings. Astronomical objects, such as bright stars, planets, and even the moon have been confused for alien spacecrafts. People commonly mistake airplanes and weather balloons for UFOs. Everyday objects have been confused for UFOs, including kites, birds, and clouds.

The debate still rages on over UFOs and may never be settled. So, now I ask you, do you believe?

Brian

March 6, 2016

Worst Volcanoes in History

Posted by at 10:42 am in Trivia | Permalink

Most Destructive Volcanoes in History

An erupting volcano may be the scariest natural disaster there is. It spews molten lava and has the power to destroy entire cities. Volcanoes can lay dormant for years, which means they won’t bother anyone, but then suddenly erupt with little warning.

Mt. Vesuvius erupted in Italy in the year 79 and completely destroyed the towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum. The eruption only lasted 19 hours, but still covered Pompeii in ten feet of volcanic ash. The heat was so severe that many people burned to death. Read more about it in the book I Survived the Destruction of Pompeii, AD 79.

The Laki Volcani System in Iceland was active for almost all of 1784, creating a dusty haze so bad that the country suffered massive food shortages.

In 1816, Mt. Tambora erupted in Indonesia and killed thousands of people. When the volcano exploded, the tremors were felt up to a thousand miles away. The eruption spit so much ash into the atmosphere that it lowered worldwide temperatures and 1816 became known as the “year without a summer.”

Most people thought Mt. Pelee was dormant, so it was a surprise when it erupted in 1902. The volcano destroyed the city of St. Pierre and the only survivors were a man in a jail cell and another man living at the edge of town.

In Columbia, South America, Nevado del Ruiz erupted in 1985, melting the volcano’s ice cap and causing a mudslide that swept away the city of Armero.