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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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This Saturday night, a global effort is set to take place to promote energy conservation – the 3rd annual Earth Hour. To join in on the effort, simply turn off your lights from 8:30 – 9:30pm in your local time zone. This worldwide effort is designed to demonstrate that each person has a choice in their energy consumption - and at any time can simply choose to use less.

Turning off your lights is an easy way to reduce your energy usage, as well as reduce your energy bill. But as with many things, it’s always more fun to do it with friends. So 8:30-9:30pm on March 28th 2009 has been designated as the specific time when people and cities around the world will dim their lights to show their acknowledgement that sometimes little actions can have big impacts.
I have a curious mind and like to find out how and why things work. Unlike my husband and my two boys, I don’t necessarily take things apart to uncover how they operate (what is it with the Y chromosome and the inherent need to do this?) – instead, I’m more of a look-it-up-and-research-it type of girl. Thank goodness for Google.

At the same time, there are some of life’s mysteries that I am happy to accept. I don’t really understand how volume control works. I mean, I know it has something to do with sound waves and amplitude – but all I really know is when I turn the knob up, I can suddenly hear my movie again over the ruckus of the kids. Mystery of how to hear the ending of “Stardust” while the boys play destruction derby in the other room – solved. **
February 20th marks a historic anniversary in the American Space Program. On this day in 1962, astronaut John Glenn boarded the Friendship 7 spacecraft and became to first American to orbit the earth as part of the successful Mercury-Atlas 6 mission.

The drive to put a man in orbit was unofficially launched years earlier, after the Soviet Union successfully launched Sputnik I on October 4, 1957. Americans suddenly found themselves "second best" in the area of space and related technologies, a position they quickly realized they didn't want to be.
This is pretty amazing, although I can't help but be reminded of the morning I came downstairs and discovered that ants had invaded my kitchen overnight.

After clicking play, make sure you click the little "up arrow" in the lower right corner and choose "HQ" to get the full effect.

When thinking of a child with ADD, most people will picture an easily-distracted hyperactive child... long on energy, and short on attention span.  And although that is sometimes the case, that description accurately describes only a portion of children diagnosed with ADD - and very rarely describes the behavior of girls with the condition.

Every six months or so, I come home to find a stack of new phone books waiting for me by my front door.  My shoulders slump as soon as I catch sight of them - because honestly, I practically never use them.   I drag them inside, swap out the previous year's unused (sometimes even unwrapped) versions, and close the cupboard that's precious shelf space is devoted to this strange, archaic tradition.

There was a time that I did actually use phone books, but that was in the age before I became forever spoiled by immediate access to information through the likes of Google.  I grab my laptop when I need to find something these days - not a phone book.