dimanche 30 juin 2013

The Bahamas - Junkanoo party time !

The dolls visited Khlians's baseball field...

Down at the cruise port they saw the mail boat at dock...

                                                                       Montague beach...

A native restaurant...

Paradise Island bridge, with Atlantis Hotel in the background...

 At church with Sunday school kids

At Rawson Square, Queen Victoria, Government House (pink building with white pillars)

Fort Montague

samedi 29 juin 2013

Summer Teen Workshop Day 4 : Cool Science

The first thing our teens did today was learn a little about some of 

The World's Great Scientists

 Albert Einstein

Even when very young, Einstein showed great ability in both maths and science. He was naturally curious and had a brilliant analytical mind.

 He produced perhaps one of the most famous equations ever: E = mc² (energy equals mass multiplied by the speed of light squared). He is also well known for his theory of relativity.

Einstein won the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on theoretical physics.

Isaac Newton

Born in England, Isaac Newton was a highly influential physicist, astronomer, mathematician, philosopher, alchemist and theologian.

In 1687, Newton published Philosophae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, what is widely regarded to be one of the important books in the history of science. In it he describes universal gravitation and the three laws of motion, concepts that remained at the forefront of science for centuries after.

Newton was known to have said that his work on formulating a theory of gravitation was inspired by watching an apple fall from a tree. A story well publicized to this very day.


Galileo was a ground breaking astronomer, physicist, mathematician, philosopher and inventor. Among his inventions were telescopes, a compass and a thermometer.

With these telescopes, Galileo was able to observe the skies in ways previously not achieved. 

In 1610 he made observations of 4 objects surrounding Jupiter that behaved unlike stars, these turned out to be Jupiter’s four largest satellite moons: Io, Callisto, Europa and Ganymede.

Charles Darwin

He is most famous for his work on natural selection, the idea that all species of life have evolved over time from common ancestors.

His 1859 book ‘On the Origin of Species’, detailed much of his research on natural selection, it contained a large amount of evidence to back up his ideas and became a landmark work in the field of evolutionary biology.

Darwin’s ideas created a lot of discussion regarding the impact on various scientific, religious and philosophical viewpoints.

Louis Pasteur

He is well-known for inventing a process to stop food and liquid such as milk from making people sick. This method is called Pasteurization.

Many of Pasteur’s experiments supported the germ theory of disease, they helped show that microorganisms are the true cause of many diseases.

In honor of his work and influential contributions, Pasteur was made a Grand Croix of the Legion of Honor, a prestigious French order.

Pierre & Marie Curie

Marie Curie was a chemist and physicist famous for becoming the first person to be awarded two Nobel Prizes.

Pierre Curie was a French physicist who made many breakthrough discoveries in radioactivity, crystallography and magnetism.

They discovered polonium and radium.

Nicolas Copernicus

The astronomical model that Copernicus developed was called heliocentrism (helios = Sun). It has the Sun motionless at the center of the Universe while the Earth and other planets rotate around it in circular paths.

A much earlier geocentric model (geo = Earth) created by Ptolemy featured Earth at the center of the Universe. This model was used by astronomers and other scientists for centuries before Copernicus developed his heliocentric model.

Many believe that the theory and ideas put forward by Copernicus started modern astronomy and were the beginning of a scientific revolution.

Alexander Graham Bell

He is widely credited with the invention of the first practical telephone.

Bell experimented with sound, working with devices such as a ‘harmonic telegraph’ (used to send multiple messages over a single wire) and a ‘phonautograph’ (used to record sound).

Then the teens took a fun, short quiz to test what they remembered.  Can you match the names (below) to the short bio ?

Great Scientists Quiz

__________ changed the world of science with his brilliant work in theoretical physics. His theories, equations and ideas became the stuff of legend and his image is known around the world.

__________developed the theory of universal gravitation as well as his famous three laws of motion, forever leaving his mark on physics, astronomy and mathematics.

Italian scientist ________developed telescopes and used them to make revolutionary observations about our solar system, discovering new objects like the moons that orbit Jupiter.

________introduced the idea of natural selection to the world, backing up his theories on evolution with substantial observational data recorded on his long sea voyages.

French chemist and microbiologist _______created a new level of understanding regarding microorganisms, the causes of disease and disease prevention.

The husband and wife combination of _________contributed much to science through both their own individual work and their combined research efforts in the field of radioactivity.

At a time when astronomers believed the Earth was at the center of the Universe, ___________developed a radical new theory, kick starting modern astronomy in the process

___________studied the human voice, experimented with sound and is credited with the invention of the first practical telephone among other scientific achievements.

Albert Einstein – Alexander Graham Bell – Nicolas Copericus – Charles Darwin – Galileo – Louis Pasteur – Isaac Newton – Pierre & Marie Curie

Next we checked out   Volcanoes


with Bill Nye The Science Guy


Of course, we had to build a volcano of our own and make it explode !

More experiments followed, such as paper chromatography, to answer the question "Are black markers really black ?"

Start : black marker line on coffee filter...

place in water, wait 10 minutes and voilà ! A spectrum of colors 

Joe shows us that you can make an egg squeeze through the narrow opening of a plastic bottle


The enormously popular mentos-coca cola rocket explosion experiments

 At lunchtime we made spaghetti and meatball volcanoes and discussed digestion, answering the question "Where does my spaghetti go when I eat ?"


The final experiment was the impressive imploding (collapsing) coca cola can :

 We filled a large bowl with some cold tap water, added some ice and let the ice melt. 
This made the water nice and cold.

We took an empty soda can and poured a tablespoon of water into it. This 
was just enough to cover the bottom of the can.

We turned on the electric stove-top burner to high 

Carefully and using oven mitts, we placed the can on the stove-top and heated the can until the water 
began to boil. A cloud of 
vapor steamed up from the opening in the can to show it was boiling.

We let the water boil inside the can for 30-40 seconds.

Then we grasped the can using metal tongs. Very quickly we turned the can upside down and 
shoved it deep into the bowl of cold water. 

The can collapsed almost instantly with a loud crushing sound.

The Science Behind The Collapsing Can:

Why did the can collapse? We heated the can on the burner and made the water 
inside boil. As we did this the water vapor from the boil forced air out of the can. 
Once the can was filled with hot water 
vapor, it was cooled quickly  by turning it 
upside down and submerging it in the cold water. The cooling process caused 
the water vapor inside the can to condense. Which in turn created a partial 
vacuum. The partial vacuum generated low pressure inside the can (lower than 
the 14.7 pounds per square inch that surrounds us). Then the higher air pressure 
of 14.7 pounds per square inch outside the can crushed it.

The can was crushed / collapses when the 
air pressure outside became  greater 
than the pressure inside. That pressure difference was greater than the can was 
able to withstand. The same thing happens when you collapse an aluminum can 
with your hand. Squeezing the sides of the can makes the pressure outside 
greater than the pressure inside. If you squeeze really har the can is crushed. 
Normally, air pressure inside a open can equals the pressure outside. But in this 
demonstration, all of the air was foreced out of the can by water vapor. Once the 
water vapor cooled and condensed, the air pressure inside the can became much 
less than the air pressure outside. Next the greater pressure outside the can 
crushed it. 

We ended the day with a trip to the Palais de la Découverte to discover more COOL things about SCIENCE

Foucault's Pendulum

A lesson in Chemistry :  "La matière dans tous ses états !" (chaleur et fluides)

Nothing like a little liquid nitrogen to wow a crowd !

Pretty cool (cold !) stuff !!

The infrared camera amazed the guys  

jeudi 27 juin 2013

Summer Teen Workshop Day 3 : Modern and Contemporary Art

Abstract Art, Expressionism and Pop Art....

What is Art ?

Makes people think/react
Skill (natural ability vs. training)
Beautiful (always ?)

Types of Art ?

Street art (graffiti)

Elements of Art ?

medium (paper, metal, wood, clay, stone, pencil, paint)

Pablo Picasso (October 25, 1881- April 8, 1973)

Jackson Pollock (January 28, 1912 - August 12, 1956)

Andy Warhol (August 6, 1928 - February 22, 1987)

Read about the artists. Which artist do you prefer ?

As a leading artist of abstract expressionism, Jackson Pollock is best known for his works of splattered paint on huge canvases. His work was so recognizable and unique that he was nicknamed “Jack the Dripper” by Time magazine in 1956. From his teenage years to his death, Pollock earnestly searched himself and his environment for inspiration to help develop his uncanny style. Although it was quite a while before Pollock reached his current level of fame, his popularity remains strong to this day.
On January 28th, 1912, Jackson Pollock was born to Scotch-Irish parents in Wyoming.  Growing up, he lived in Arizona and California and helped his father on many surveying jobs in the Grand Canyon. Historians speculate that his experiences exploring Indian reservations caused the Indian and Spanish influences that can be seen in many of his works.
In 1929, Pollock moved with his brother to study at the Art Students League in New York. Pollock went there with hopes of working with famous Depression-era artist, Thomas Hart Benton.  He was fortunate enough to work with this artist for two years.
Pollock’s first show was held in 1943 at the Art of This Century Gallery in New York. Owned by collector Peggy Guggenheim, the gallery became famous for hosting both little-known and already established American artists of talent.
In 1944, Pollock married Lee Krasner, who was an abstract painter of some popularity. It was around this time that Pollock began to gain status in the art world. By the mid 1940s, he was painting in a completely abstract manner. Pollock coined the “drip and splash” style and inspired the term “action painting” for his unconventional techniques where he removed a canvas from its easel to be painted directly on the floor. In contrast to the norm, he would work from all sides of a picture, frequently walking across and even through his painting.
Pollock didn’t only create paintings by pouring paint from a can. He often used sticks, trowels, knives, sand, even broken glass or other foreign matter to perfect his art. By 1960, he became recognized a principal figure in the abstract movement of American painting.
Unfortunately, as Pollock’s reputation grew, so did his doubt and anxiety. Such emotions were reflected in his later works, which became increasingly dark and lacked his former “lyrical harmony.” An unhappy personal life combined with heavy alcoholism plagued him until his death on August 11, 1956, when he died in a car accident.
Pollock was honored that year in a memorial exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art. He remains a force to be reckoned with, as no artist has come close to creating anything like his thought-provoking and abstract works. Although Pollock will never paint again, echoes from his paintings and style can be seen in the work of many modern artists.

Andy Warhol was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1928. His parents had only recently moved to the United States from what is now Slovakia. As a child Warhol, was often sick, or thought he was sick, so he spent a lot of time in bed. During this time, Warhol drew many pictures. He also listened to the radio and collected pictures of celebrities.

After studying fine art in college, Warhol moved to New York City and began illustrating for magazines and creating advertisements. He became very popular, especially for his drawings of shoes.

During the 1960s, Warhol began creating the paintings he is best known for today. Warhol loved pop culture and he decided to paint what he loved. You may have guessed that he was a Pop Artist like 
Roy Lichtenstein. Warhol painted large pictures of Coca-Cola bottles, Campbell’s soup cans, and dollar bills. He also painted pictures of celebrities.

Because he was creating pictures of mass-produced items, Warhol thought it would be fitting to mass produce the artwork. He did this by creating screen prints rather than painting each picture separately. This allowed him to make many copies of each painting, but each copy was an original Warhol painting. 

Warhol founded “The Factory” which was his studio. At the Factory, he was always surrounded by people. Some of these people were in films that he made, some were writers or artists, some were celebrities. Warhol wanted to create an image for himself and he chose carefully the people in his circle.

Andy Warhol was criticized for turning art into a business. Many people didn’t like the idea that he was just making copies of the same picture to sell and make money. Warhol believed in what he was creating, though. He continued to make screen printed paintings of celebrities.

Warhol died in 1987.

Pablo Picasso was born on October 25, 1881 in Malaga, Spain. He was the first child of Don Jose Ruiz y Blasco, an art teacher, and Maria Picasso y Lopez. At an early age Pablo showed an interest in drawing. His first words were "piz, piz", which is short for "lapiz", the Spanish word for pencil.
At the age of 7, Pablo began receiving art instruction from his father. His father believed that an artist's training should include copying the masters and drawing the human body from plaster casts and live models. The precision of Pablo's painting technique grew until it soon surpassed that of his father.
In 1895, Pablo's father accepted a position at Barcelona's School of Fine Arts. He asked officials to allow his son to take the entrance exam. The officials were impressed with Pablo's abilities and admitted him to the academy. As a student he lacked discipline but made friends and continued to grow as an artist.
At the age of 16, Pablo's father enrolled him in Spain's most distinguished art school, Madrid's Royal Academy of San Fernando. However, his instruction at the Royal Academy lasted only a short time as he struggled to accept formal instruction. In spite of these difficulties, his time in Madrid was not wasted. Pablo visited Madrid's museums and saw the paintings of Diego Velasquez and Francisco Goya, though it was the works of El Greco that he admired most.
In 1900, Picasso made his first trip to Paris. At that time Paris was considered to be the art capitol of Europe. While in Paris, Picasso's work began to attract the attention of art collectors. By 1905, he had become a favorite of American art collectors Leo and Gertrude Stein. It was through them that Picasso met French artist Henri Matisse. The two became lifelong friends.
In 1907, Picasso painted one of his most important works - Les Demoiselles d'Avignon,- creating with painter and sculptor Georges Braque the brand new art movement known as "Cubism". Cubism allowed the artist to show his/her model from many different viewpoints. In the paintings of earlier times, the artist showed his subject from one particular viewpoint. In cubist paintings the artist may show the front and the side of a person's face at the same time.
Pablo Picasso died on April 8, 1973 in Mougins, France. He is best remembered as the co-founder of Cubism, and for Cubist works Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, Three Musicians and Guernica. As a young boy, Pablo Picasso was a prodigy whose skills became an expressive power that profoundly affected the art of the twentieth century.

Detective work : "Whose line is it anyway ?"
Can you figure out which artist said what ?

"But when you're painting out of your unconscious, figures are bound to emerge."

"There was a reviewer a while back who wrote that my pictures didn’t have any beginning or any end. He didn’t mean it as a compliment, but it was."

"I'd prefer to remain a mystery. I never give my background, and, anyway, I make it all up different every time I'm asked."

"Everyone will be famous for 15 minutes."

"Art is what you can get away with"

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.

I paint objects as I think them, not as I see them.

Drip painting on T-shirts while listening to Steve Reich


Art Cooking

Picasso in action :


Picasso Pizzas

We watched "Exit Through The Gift Shop", a film about the street artist Banksy.

Here's some extra reading on street art from the magazine  "Today in English"...

Some souvenir shots from our trip to the Centre Pompidou ...

Parisian street art


Pollock's "The Deep"(1953)

Joe and Léger

We all tried our hand at copying Bridget Riley's work...

Joe's hig-tech version....

Performance Art ... (diving off a high platform on to a gigantic air mattress)

A great day was had by all ...

Further reading and art activities :