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Kimberly CrandellRSS Feed of this column.

I'm a mother of three, with an aeronautical engineering degree.  Although it's been a while since I've done any aircraft design, there are surprising applications of

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As the story was told to me, the realization that my eyes were “different” wasn’t discovered until I’d been home from the hospital for a couple weeks. You know how it is - newborns sleep a lot, and eye contact is a bit limited when you’ve got a little one that is only awake a small portion of the day. Then of course the majority of those waking hours are usually spent with the eyes scrunched up in a squawk. But after settling down a bit, the day came when my mother and I finally got a good look at one another. And as I understand it, the first time I looked my mom straight in the eye - she had a bit of a panic attack. Because when she looked down at her youngest baby daughter, I looked back with eyes that didn’t look like hers - but looked more like our pet cat’s.
Scientific happenings, big and small, on this day in history…

But first, today’s quiz:
What favorite American snack food was invented on this day by chef George “Speck” Crum in response to a picky customer that complained that the chef’s french fries were too thick? Chances are, most of you reading this have enjoyed a serving or two of these sometime this past week. Not sure? Check out the answer at the end of the article.

On to other historic happenings…

79 AD
Mount Vesuvius Eruption

As a kid, there were few things more satisfying to me that being given a helium balloon... and then almost immediately letting it go for the pure enjoyment of seeing it float out of sight into the sky. For some reason, seeing a small balloon set against a vast blue background gave me a small sense of power simply from knowing that I was the one that put it up there. A silly grin would spread across my face as I stared at the small dot in the sky, knowing that only a minute earlier I held that very same balloon in my own little hand. I felt like a small part of me was launched along with it, and had just started off on a grand adventure. Since I was never able to actually go along for the ride, it was up to the limits of my imagination to envision where the balloon would land.
This Memorial Day weekend, it is tradition to visit the graves of our fallen military soldiers – to remember, appreciate, and honor the lives given in service to our nation’s security and freedom. It is humbling to visit a national cemetery and see the thousands of headstones – each representing a life, a story, and a service to our country.

Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day
Spring has officially arrived. I don’t need the budding trees or the warmer temperatures to tell me – I can tell just by the chatter of birds that has returned, kicking into high gear as soon as the sky begins to lighten each morning. We have a large tree in our back yard, and it appears to be one of the neighborhood meeting places for local birds of all shapes and sizes. It’s not something I mind; in fact I’m sure I’ve encouraged it by hanging a fairly substantial bird feeder on one of the lower branches of this particular “meeting tree.”
A few photos from around the world of cities that participated in Earth Hour 2009.
Nearly 4,000 cities and towns in 88 countries took part in an effort to call attention to climate change. The event, sponsored by the World Wildlife Fund, called on cities to dim nonessential lights from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Earth Hour 2009 - Sydney
Earth Hour Sydney