In 2013, responding to California state plans for a high-speed rail line connecting Northern and Southern California, SpaceX Founder and CEO Elon Musk called for engineering teams to create something called a Hyperloop. His idea: build a vacuum tube transport system that can travel from San Francisco to Los Angeles in 30 minutes. It’s a pod that travels in a low pressure tube with air and magnets causing it to move at at 760 mph. You wouldn’t lie down in it; you’d sit up in it like a passenger on an airplane.
Part of the technology was tested in the Nevada desert in May by a startup called Hyperloop One. It took 1.1 second to go a mile. It was just a model of the Hyperloop, a prototype with a 10-foot sled on the back.
The full model prototype will be done by the end of the year, and tested on a longer stretch of track. The May test didn’t have brakes figured out, and they drove into sand to stop it. A bunch of teams are helping to work on it.
“I’d like to travel in it one day. My grandma lives in LA; it’d be fun to travel there in 30 minutes,” says Brandon.
When the city of Flint, Michigan switched using water from Lake Huron to using water from the Flint river, problems began. The river water had salt and other particles in it that picked up the lead in the pipes that went to people’s houses. This has been going on for nearly two years. People found out when Virginia Tech sampled the water and found high levels of lead in it. People were getting sick. Children get more affected by lead than adults. They can get brain damage, kidney damage and attention disorder problems. I don’t know whose job it is to clean it up. It’s happening in a kind of poor neighborhood. The city switched the water from Lake Huron to the Flint River to save money. I think the Mayor should get fired, because he was the one who allowed the people to switch it. He said that the water was okay, even when it wasn’t, and he knew that it wasn’t. (editor’s note: Flint has a new Mayor, Karen Weaver, who won election over Dayne Walling).
People in Flint have to wait until the water is clean again. They are using bottled water from Detroit to drink until the pipes are fixed.
What is crunning? Crunning is a new sport. It’s a mixture of running and crawling. I tried it; it’s very fun. You run on all fours. When you are doing it, you put your hands on the floor. It’s basically like you are in a cow stretch. I pretend like I’m a monkey. If you do it on the road or something, it’s really hard. If you just do it for one minute, it’s really easy.
Shawn McCarthy came up with this as a sport. He’s a fitness guy in Melbourne, Australia. He has a video of him crunning with a few other people doing it, too. And then there’s a picture of kids doing it, too. It’s a very good work-out. I love doing it. You need a face mask to crun, in case you fall on your face, it would be a big problem. You also need gloves.
People do something like crunning in China, but in a slower movement. They’ve been doing it for a long time. They do it to help heal their backs. It’s good for your core. Some kids in my class like doing it. When I did my current event, some of the kids did it in class. And they didn’t know about it before or what it was called.
My current event was about “if” there is a 9th planet in our solar system. Scientists from the California Institute of Technology were looking at orbits of things in the Kuiper Belt. (That’s a line of asteroids, dwarf planets and icy bodies, past Neptune). The first body that caught their attention was Senda, a dwarf planet. Then scientists looked at other orbits in the area, and they saw that things were all on one side of the sun. They figured there must be a bigger planet on the other side, one that was not orbiting in a strange pattern. In fact, they thought because it had a more normal orbit, it was actually making the dwarf planets orbit strangely because of its gravitational pull.
If this ninth planet exists, it might be three times the size of earth, and it could weigh between 1-10 times the weight of earth. But no one knows for sure. Scientists also don’t know what it looks like or what it’s made of — the planet is so far away from the sun.
This possible planet was unknown before, because it is so far away from us. We don’t know if it even exists. Remember, I said IF there was a 9th planet? The evidence that it exists is that the scientists can measure the orbits with a computer program. If there wasn’t a 9th planet, the weird orbits wouldn’t happen they way they found. One of the scientists from CalTech, Mike Brown, is the guy who made Pluto into a dwarf planet.
I think the 9th planet is real. I think they should name it after a Greek or Roman god. Earth is the only planet in our solar system that wasn’t named after a Greek or Roman god.
My current event was about twelve kinds of rainbows. First people thought there were six, but now a French meteorologist called Jean Ricard (from the National Centre for Meteorological Research) says there are twelve. I thought there was only one kind. Scientists first thought rainbow colors came about mainly because of the angle you see the light at and the size of raindrops. But some rainbows might have more of certain colors because of different light wave lengths — based upon the distance of the sun from the horizon. Red has the longest wavelength and is seen more at sunrise or sunset. Blue and green have shorter wavelengths and are more visible when the sun is overhead.
I learned about something called the Alexander Band. It’s the dark area between two rainbows. The second rainbow is usually fainter and the colors are inverse to the first rainbow. Some rainbows don’t have Alexander bands; some do. Other kinds of rainbows have only red, orange, yellow, indigo or violet. That has to do mostly with where the sun is in the sky.
The rainbow with more red looks cool, I think. The only blue and red and also the only yellow, orange and red one looks pretty cool. I also like the classic rainbow (ROYGBIV).
I probably have seen other kinds of rainbows than the classic kinds. One day I went somewhere, and it kept raining on and off, and there were lots of rainbows that day. I bet there were a few of the non-classic kind, just I didn’t notice.