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muse
®
MAY/JUNE 2018
MAY/JUNE 2018
Volume 22, Issue 05
FEATURES
MMM, IT SMELLS
TOO GOOD TO BE
TRUE IN HERE...
34
Flesh Eaters
or Friends?
Carnivorous plants and
their animal partners
by Rebecca E. Hirsch
10
20
29
40
The Measure
of a Hero
Lending a
Hairy Hand
Waste Not,
Want Not
A Perfect
Match
Why do some people
risk their own lives
to save others?
How chimps help
one another out
Turning trash
into energy
Seeking the right job
for a talented dog
by Galadriel Watson
by Lisa Christensen
by Susan Wroble
by Diana Lynn
CONTENTS
DIRECTOR OF EDITORIAL
EDITOR
CONTRIBUTING EDITOR
COPYEDITOR/PROOFREADER
ASSISTANT EDITOR
ART DIRECTOR
DESIGNER
CARTOONIST
RIGHTS & PERMISSIONS
James M. “Gonna” O’Connor
Johanna “Try” Arnone
Kathryn “With” Hulick
Meg “A” Moss
Maria “Little” Hlohowskyj
Nicole “Help” Welch
Kevin L. “From” Cuasay
Caanan “My” Grall
David “Friends” Stockdale
DEPARTMENTS
DEPARTMENTS
2
Parallel U:
How Do You Feel?
by Caanan Grall
7
Muse News
by Elizabeth Preston
BOARD OF ADVISORS
ONTARIO INSTITUTE FOR STUDIES IN EDUCATION,
UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO
Carl Bereiter
ORIENTAL INSTITUTE, UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO
John A. Brinkman
NATIONAL CREATIVITY NETWORK
Dennis W. Cheek
COOPERATIVE CHILDREN’S BOOK CENTER, A LIBRARY
OF THE SCHOOL OF EDUCATION, UNIVERSITY OF
WISCONSIN–MADISON
K. T. Horning
16
Science@Work:
Jai Ranganathan
by Alice Andre-Clark
47
Your Tech
by Kathryn Hulick
48
Last Slice
by Nancy Kangas
FREUDENTHAL INSTITUTE
Jan de Lange
FERMILAB
Leon Lederman
YOUR TURN
UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE
Sheilagh C. Ogilvie
WILLIAMS COLLEGE
Jay M. Pasachoff
UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO
Paul Sereno
MUSE magazine (ISSN 1090-0381) is published 9 times a year, monthly except for combined May/
June, July/August, and November/December issues, by Cricket Media, 70 East Lake Street, Suite 800,
Chicago, IL 60601. Additional Editorial Office located at 1751 Pinnacle Drive, Suite 600, McLean, VA
22102. Periodicals postage paid at McLean, VA, and at additional mailing offices. For address changes, back issues, subscriptions, customer service, or to renew, please visit shop.cricketmedia.com,
email cricketmedia@cdsfulfillment.com, write to MUSE at Cricket Media, PO Box 6395, Harlan, IA
51593, or call 1-800-821-0115. Postmaster: Please send address changes to MUSE, Cricket Media, PO
Box 6395, Harlan, IA 51593.
Editorial office, 70 E. Lake Street, Suite 800, Chicago, IL 60601. May/June 2018, Volume 05, Number
22, © 2018, Carus Publishing dba Cricket Media. All rights reserved, including right of reproduction
in whole or in part, in any form. For information regarding our privacy policy and compliance with the
Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, please visit our website at cricketmedia.com or write to us
at CMG COPPA, 70 East Lake Street, Suite 800, Chicago, IL 60601.
3
Citizen Science
by Maria Hlohowskyj
4
19
Muse Mail
Do the Math: Coins in a Row
by Ivars Peterson
24
Hands-On: The Toxic Waste
Disaster at the Train Tracks
by Kathryn Hulick
39
Q&A
by Lizzie Wade
Cover art by Pipi Sposito
Photo credits: 1 - JTKP/Shutterstock.com; 3 (TC) NASA/JPL-Caltech; 4 (LT) Jonathan McHugh / Alamy
Stock Photo; 5 (RT) Alexey Seafarer/Shutterstock.com; 6 (LB) Classic Image / Alamy Stock Photo, (LB-2)
Eneng Komariah Ef/Shutterstock.com; 7 - Daleen Loest/Shutterstock.com, (RC) Andrii Zhezhera/Shutterstock.com; 8 (CC) Africa Studio/Shutterstock.com, (LC) Photo by University of Colorado, (LB) Photo
by University of Colorado; 9 (LB) © Lauren Stanton, (RT), (RT-2) From Science, 13 Oct 2017: Vol. 358,
Issue 6360, pp. 210-214. Reprinted with permission from AAAS, (RC) Rich Carey/Shutterstock.com; 1011 fotohay/Shutterstock.com; 12 (RT) 1943 photo reprinted from Narrow Escapes by Samuel P. Oliner,
© Paragon House, with permission; 12 (BC) Lilla My/Shutterstock.com; 13 (RC) United States Holocaust
Memorial Museum, courtesy of Eve Nisencwajg Bergstein; 14 (LT) United States Holocaust Memorial
Museum, courtesy of B. Ashley Grimes II, (RB) United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of
Tova Teitelbaum; 14 (RC) Zuma/Newscom; 16 (RT) Nicole C Berry; 17 (RT), 18 (LT), (LB) Jensen Hande; 17
(LB) Kristina Killgrove; 19 (LT) Joe Belanger/Shutterstock.com, (bkg) Evgeny Karandaev/Shutterstock.
com, (LT-2) Fat
Fat Jackey/Shutterstock.com;
Jackey/Shutterstock.com; 20
20 -- Sergey
Sergey Uryadnikov/Shutterstock.com;
Uryadnikov/Shutterstock.com;21
21(RT)
(RT) Lara_KoLara_Korneeva/Shutterstock.com; 22 (LT) Vladimir Wrangel/Shutterstock.com, (RT) Arthit Premprayot/Shutterstock.com, (RC) Ger Bosma / Alamy Stock Photo; 23 (LC) Sergey Uryadnikov/Shutterstock.com; 29
- vchal/Shutterstock.com; 30 (LB), 31 (LB) Houweling’s Group, (RT) Photo smile/Shutterstock.com,
(RB) Patryk Kosmider/Shutterstock.com; 32 (LC) KuzmenkoD/Shutterstock.com, (RT) Bloomicon/
Shutterstock.com; 33 (LT) Bloomicon/Shutterstock.com, (RT) pingebat/Shutterstock.com, (RC)
Aliaksei_7799/Shutterstock.com; 34 (RC) Den Zorin/Shutterstock.com; 35 (RT) Mark Moffett/ Minden Pictures/Newscom, (RT-2) darvis/Shutterstock.com; 36 (TC) Lattasit Laohasiriwong/Shutterstock.com, (RC) Mark Moffett/ Minden Pictures/Newscom; 37 (LT) © Ch’ien Lee / Minden Pictures, (LB)
Ch’ien Lee/ Minden Pictures/Newscom; 38 (RT) © Ch’ien Lee / Minden Pictures, (RT-2) darvis/Shutterstock.com; 40-41 Children’s Hospital Colorado, (bkg) REDPIXEL.PL/Shutterstock.com; 40 (TC) Natalia
Fedosova/Shutterstock.com; 41 (LB) Michelle D. Milliman/Shutterstock.com, (RB) Andrii Oleksiienko/
Shutterstock.com; 41 (LB-2), (CC), (LB-3), (RT), 42 (LT), (RT), (RB), 44 (LT), 45 (RT),
(LT), (LC) Susan Wroble; 43 (LT) Angel Sallade/Shutterstock.com, (RT) Igor
Levin/Shutterstock.com; 44 (BC) Joy Colbert
Printed in the United States of America.
1st printing Quad/Graphics Midland, Michigan
April 2018
From time to time, MUSE mails to its subscribers
advertisements for other Cricket Media products or
makes its subscriber list available to other reputable companies for their offering of products and services. If you prefer
not to receive such mail, write to us at MUSE, P.O. Box 6395,
Harlan, IA 51593-1895.
46
Contest: Imaginary Friends
O
TYCHO
FULL FIRST NAME Orion
HEIGHT 5'6"
AGE 13
BORN San Francisco
INTERESTS
Inventions, animals,
interstellar travel, comics
ONCE SAID “When I was
little, I couldn’t pronounce
my ‘r’s.”
PARALLEL U
2
CAANAN GRALL
Citizen Science
BY MARIA HLOHOWSKYJ
Conceptual art shows some of
the new planets discovered by
volunteers like you.
Find Your Project
Browse a variety of citizen science
projects to find one you love! Here
are a few places to start.
scistarter.com
zooniverse.org
science.nasa.gov/citizenscientists
SCIENCE WANTS YOU
Volunteer, make real
discoveries, and have a
whole lot of fun.
Loyal Muse readers may have
noticed that we often use this
page to talk about citizen
science. But what is it, and why
are we so obsessed?
Citizen science refers to
any project where members of
the public—regular people—
volunteer to help scientists. You
may think of scientists as people
who have all the answers, but in
reality, they’re often working on
projects that they can’t complete
alone.
DAWN OF A GOOD IDEA
In 1999, researchers at SETI
(Search for Extraterrestrial
Intelligence) wanted to analyze
data they had collected with
radio telescopes. They didn’t
have a computer powerful
enough to do the job, so they
asked volunteers to help by
using their home computers. The
project was a huge success. Soon
other scientists began enlisting
volunteers.
Now, citizen scientists search
satellite images for specks of
stardust, find animals in photos
snapped by motion-sensor
cameras, play puzzle games to
imagine how complex proteins
move and fold, and more. Many
of these projects have led to
important discoveries. More
than 300,000 volunteers looked
at pictures from the spacecraft
Kepler. Some of them discovered
new planets!
Feel like going outside
instead? Ordinary people
have long contributed to
scientific discovery by making
observations about the world
around them. Whether you have
a passion for birds, beetles, frogs,
fungi, clouds, or bacteria, there’s
probably a scientist who wants to
record what you’ve been noticing.
IT’S REWARDING TOO
Citizen scientists get to learn about
cool subjects like biodiversity, space
exploration, gene sequencing, and
climatology by doing hands-on
scientific research. And projects are
often fun: playing games, observing
nature, and looking at cool photos.
You never know where your
volunteering might lead. Three
volunteers in Norway—two scuba
divers and a photographer—teamed
up to help scientists find and
photograph local nudibranchs, a
type of sea slug. Thanks to their
years of hard work, scientists
discovered three new species that
had never been seen before. In
return, they named the nudibranchs
after the citizen scientists.
3
Muse Mail
Yum, Plastic!
Fan Mail How-To
Muse readers everywhere! Tired of sending in your
LETTER
of the
letters and only getting a pie in the face in return?
MONTH
Well, no longer! Follow these guidelines and your
letters are guaranteed to take a top spot!
1. Gush about Muse and how you love everything about it.
Example: I LURRRRRRRRRRRVE MUSE!!!!!!
2. Threaten that if you don’t get your way, you will destroy
Muse and everything about it. Example: If this goes in the
Fan Mail Pit, I shall send in the dark green rabbits to give
you all the rhyming curse.
3. Claim you are a mythical creature. Any imaginary beast
will do.
4. Be originally original. Example: As far as I can tell, no
one has written a fan mail how-to guide before.
5. Don’t make your letter too long. Example: This is my
last tip.
Just remember to follow these hints and you’ll be rocking it in
no time!
—SAM L. / Texas
P.S. I will be sad if this ends up in the FMP, as it has all the
necessary elements of a successful letter.
In the November/December
2017 issue, you talked
about the greater wax moth
caterpillars, or Galleria mellonella.
As soon as I saw that, I flipped out. I
had done a research project on these
caterpillars in May 2017. The project
was called “Proposal to Monitor &
Minimize a Human Impact on the
Environment,” and I had chosen to
find a solution for ocean pollution.
I talked about how garbage in the
ocean could hurt animals and their
environment. But luckily, I had heard
of Galleria mellonella, and I planned
to use them to help save the world!
(And get a good grade in science
class.)
I wrote, “To minimize or reduce
the impact of ocean pollution
(specifically plastic) I propose that
we can send drones to collect plastic
from the great Pacific garbage patch
and feed it to wax worms, which can
easily digest plastic without being
harmed.” Now, I’m not 100 percent
sure that Galleria mellonella can
just eat and eat and eat plastic and
not be harmed, but I was young and
foolish back then. (That probably
explains why I only got a B.) But still.
I was super excited that you guys
talked about these worms, and I hope
scientists continue their research on
this fascinating subject. —SAMARA THE FOOLISH SCIENTIST
Don’t Forget Forgotten
Inventors
I just started reading Muse. It took
me a while to get used to it, and now
I love it! The only thing is, I have no
idea what the deal is with these hot
pink bunnies. Please give me an update. Oh, and one more thing: why are
only some inventors really famous?
Why not the inventor of, let’s say, the
swimming pool? It would be really
great if you could mention some of
the other inventors.
—MIRIAM / age 10 / Pennsylvania
Well done Sam. But no one ever said
I couldn’t tweak the FMP algorithm.
Hey Miriam. How about Tom
Blake, who invented the
hollow surfboard?
—WHATSI
4
Totally Epic
Normally, I don’t read magazines very much, because I use
all of my time reading Percy Jackson and playing Minecraft. But
my dad bought me Muse’s Water
Secrets [May/June 2017], and now
I think that Muse is totally EPIC!!!
My favorite issues are Water
Secrets and It Will Have Blood [October 2017], but one about space
would be epic! (By the way, epic is
my favorite word, if you can’t tell.)
Please do not throw this into the
Fan Mail Pit, or I will have a horde
of angry narwhals sent to your HQ.
—CLAIRE, MASTER OF EPIC / age 10
/ Oregon
Fuzzy and Adorable
I like books, furry tiny animals,
and my family. I LOVE guinea
pigs!!! I love them because they are
furry and adorable and I have two
at home. Their names are Cookie
and Flash. (Cookie belongs to
my brother.) They are both boys.
Could you be so kind as to publish
an article on them? I would like
to know why they make so much
noise. My guinea pig jumps around
like a rabbit, but CRAZED!!! Also,
O, is your name just O, or does the
O stand for something else?
Go Makers!
I just wanted to ask if you
could do an article on the
maker movement: DIY projects, tech, coding, and things
like that. I am homeschooled
and LOVE computer science
(and coding). O, you are my
favorite! I noticed how you are
born in San Francisco . . . I just
went there!
—A, RULER OF ALL PENGUINS/
age 12 / Rhode Island, United
States, North America, Earth, the
solar system, the Milky Way, the
local group, the universe, the
multiverse
P.S. I love penguins!
—IZZY Y. / age 10 / Nevada
I like to joke that his full
name is O Please. ;) But it’s
actually Orion.
Dragon Friends
SNARL ROAR HISS—I mean,
hello people! I am the green
dragon with mauve talons! This
letter MUST NOT, under ANY
CIRCUMSTANCES be thrown
in the FMP ( fan mail pit for
y’all new Musers)! The hot pink
bunnies have overthrown my
—AARTI
art by Izzy Y.
art by the Green Dragon
with Mauve Talons
section of dragons in Pennsylvania! To the gray dragon with
blue swirls, the black dragon
with orange stripes, and the
plain gray dragon, the government has eradicated my dragon
friends with HPBs! I have been
a faithful Muser for, like, 5 years,
and you may not have heard
of me as I live in dimension
448625, the dimension of bearsized rats. I enjoy reading and
art, though I find paper to be
extremely flammable.
—THE GREEN DRAGON WITH
MAUVE TALONS
P.S. Aarti, you are my favorite! I feel like you get me (even
though we’ve never met, and
if we did, you’d probably run
away).
Aarti never runs away
from her friends.
—O
Not
from dragons,
either.
—CATE
5
Muse Mail
“Dreamy,” digitally
manipulated photo by
Midnight Rhymo
Call Me Queen
Call me the Distant Queen
of Pandas. I am the 26th
granddaughter of none other
than Eleanor of Aquitaine,
according to genealogy. That
makes me a very distant but
nonetheless glorious queen. I
suppose you need the reason
behind the “Pandas” in my
title. I LOVE PANDAS. I never
remember having any other
favorite animal, so I know I
have loved them my entire life.
I got a stuffed panda around
six years ago and still have her.
I NEVER remember getting
tired of pandas. And yes, I saw
true, living pandas in a ZOO.
Imagine a giant cotton ball with
cuddly black arms, legs, eyes,
and ears. I YELPED FOR JOY
when I heard pandas weren’t on
the endangered list anymore.
#Pandasareforeverthebest.
My favorite part of Muse is
Last Slice, and I LOVED the
dreaming issue [November/
December 2016]. Please publish
an issue on genealogy because it
is really interesting. If you don’t
publish this letter, I will send my
army of Royal Pandas that are
so cute you’ll DIE.
—THE DISTANT QUEEN OF
PANDAS
Bring on the Hypotheses
I know it’s late to be coming
up with a hypothesis
about the HPB origin, but I
want to share an idea about
them. Scientists might have
been doing experiments on
some pure white bunnies
to try to give them a bit
more intelligence, but the
experiment went awry.
—RAYQUAZA / The Hoenn Region
P.S. My favorite is Ms.
Acorn. But all the characters
are awesome.
Lucid Dreaming
God dag! (Good day, in
Norwegian.) I loved the
[November/December 2016]
issue on dreaming! I love
dreams. They completely
fascinate me, and I remember
about 90 percent of mine. I
recently got a book on lucid
dreaming, and it’s AMAZING.
I’m training. I’ve had one-anda-half lucid dreams so far. In
case you don’t know, lucid
dreaming is where you become
aware in the dream and are
able to control what happens.
Yes, you can fly.
I have attached a picture
I took and edited. It’s kinda
“dreamy” I guess.
—MIDNIGHT RHYMO / California
Something to say?
Send letters to Muse Mail,
70 E. Lake St., Suite 800,
Chicago, IL 60601,
or email them to
muse@cricketmedia.com.
6
BY ELIZABETH PRESTON
SQUEEEE
Muse News
Beluga Learns to
Speak Dolphin
M
aking friends when you move to a
new home can be tough. One beluga
whale found a good way to do it: learn a
new language.
The female beluga moved to a new
aquarium in 2013. In her old tank, she swam with
other belugas. But in her new tank, the only other
animals were four dolphins. Using underwater
microphones, researchers studied the sounds the
beluga made in her new tank. At first, they heard all
kinds of squeaks and chatters that are normal for
belugas. One of those sounds, a “contact call,” is a way
for belugas to check in with their friends and family.
Two months later, the researchers eavesdropped
on the beluga again. She had stopped making her
contact calls. But she had started imitating the
unique whistles of her dolphin companions. Th e
scientists think the beluga learned dolphin calls so
she could fit in with their social group.
text © 2018 by Elizabeth Preston
One of
these stories is
FALSE
FALSE. Can you
spot which one?
The answer is on
page 19.
7
Muse News
PSYCHOLOGY
Why You Should Befriend Bigfoot
WE TALK about giving someone a helping hand,
but maybe we should say “a helping foot” instead. A
new study shows people with bigger feet are more
helpful than those with petite feet.
Researchers were inspired to look for a connection by a famously helpful professor at their
university who also has enormous feet. They
measured the height and foot size of more than 400
students and staff at the university. And they used
questionnaires to ask about people’s personality
traits, including helpfulness. (To make sure they got
to the truth, researchers also had a friend or family
member fi ll out a questionnaire about each
subject.)
People with especially large feet for their height
were more helpful than those with average or small
feet. The scientists aren’t sure why. Maybe the
hormones that affect our growth also increase the
size of brain areas that make us more sociable, they
say. Or maybe big-footed people have evolved to be
extra helpful so others don’t bully them for their
clownish feet.
PALEONTOLOGY
Vegetarian Dinos
Cheated on Their Diets
Fossilized poop
8
SOME DINOSAURS, like T. rex, were hunters. Others were planteaters, or herbivores. These dinos had teeth and jaws specially built
for grinding up leaves. But now scientists know that herbivores
weren’t all strict vegetarians. Some ate shellfish.
The discovery came from fossilized poop about 75 million years
old. Researchers found the ancient turds in Utah. The poop fossils,
also called coprolites, are large and packed with woody plant matter.
That means they likely came from herbivores. But researchers found
something else inside the fossilized poop: shells.
The shells probably belonged to crustaceans, such as ancient
crabs. (Other crustaceans today include shrimp and lobsters.) Back
when dinosaurs lived here, a sea covered part of Utah. Scientists
think the dinos munched on rotten logs in which crustaceans lived.
But they may not have dined on seafood year-round. Maybe female
dinosaurs ate shellfish when they needed extra protein and calcium
to make eggs, the researchers say.
TECH DESK
Robotic Skin
Changes Texture
ANIMAL INTELLIGENCE
Raccoons Crack
an Old Puzzle
AESOP’S FABLES are stories from ancient
Greece about animals learning lessons. In
“The Crow and the Pitcher,” a thirsty bird
finds a jug of water but can’t reach far
enough inside to drink. By dropping stones
into the pitcher, the crow raises the water
level until it can get a sip. Scientists have
used a test like this to study the intelligence
of real crows and their relatives. They found
that some birds can solve the puzzle as well
as a human kindergartener can. And now
raccoons have solved it too.
Researchers tested eight raccoons. First
they showed the animals a clear cylinder of
water with marshmallows floating just out of
reach. They put small stones on the edge of
the cylinder. If a raccoon accidentally
knocked stones into the water, the marshmallows would float higher. Two of the eight
raccoons eventually learned to drop stones
in the water on purpose. (A third raccoon
solved the puzzle in a different way: she
knocked over the entire heavy tube to get the
marshmallows out.)
TO DESIGN a new shape-shifting material, scientists
took inspiration from octopuses. These animals and their
relatives are masters of camouflage. They can change
colors to match many underwater backgrounds. They can
also change the texture of their skin, becoming spiky to
blend in with a coral, for example.
Octopuses change textures by using muscles to squeeze
round bumps on their skin, making them bulge outward.
To mimic this octopus ability, scientists combined
stretchy silicone and stiff mesh. Using these materials is a
lot like tying a string around a balloon as you blow it up,
the scientists say. An ordinary balloon will just turn out
round. But a balloon squeezed by a string will form a
different shape. Th e researchers infl ated their robotic
surface to make it look like a pile of stones. In another
test, they inflated the artificial skin to match a succulent
plant.
Shape-shifting silicone
mesh, inspired by
scientists’ eightarmed friends
MAR THOSE
SHM
ARE ALLOW
S
MIN
E!!
That’s the news!
Go to page 19 to
see if you spotted
the false story.
9
The
Measu
10
H
re
WHY DO SOME
PEOPLE RISK THEIR
OWN LIVES TO SAVE
OTHERS?
by Diana Lynn
of a
HERO
11
S
am Oliner was 12 years
old when German
soldiers, Nazis, swept
through his Polish
village. The Nazis
ordered all Jews to quickly pack a
few belongings and then moved
them into a crowded, sealed-off
neighborhood 10 miles (16 km)
away. Two miserable months of
near starvation passed. Then the
Nazis came again at dawn. They
yelled and pounded on Sam’s door.
His stepmother told him, “Run
away, my child, so that you will
live!” Still in his pajamas, Sam ran
and hid on the roof. From high
up, he watched the soldiers load
everyone else onto trucks and
drive away. It was 1942, and World
War II was tearing Europe, and his
family, apart.
Sam Oli
a young ner as
man
“I Will Help”
The next day, Sam snuck back down to their rooms. His
mother had died when he was seven. Sam wanted the only
photo of her, but he couldn’t find it. He grabbed clothes
and set out on his own. With nowhere to go, Sam wandered
around alone. He slept in barns and ate fruit he found in
orchards. After a few days, he decided to walk to a village
where he knew of a woman named Balwina who’d gone
to school with his father. He knocked on her door. She
immediately recognized him. She’d heard that Nazis had
HEROES ARE MADE, NOT BORN›› But how did these rescuers and bystanders get like that?
The Oliners’ research revealed big differences in their childhoods.
RESCUERS’ PARENTS . . .
IN-BETWEENERS’
. . . modeled kindness by regularly helping others.
. . . were close to them
so they felt very loved
by their families.
. . . rarely punished or yelled at them.
. . . explained why bad
behavior is not OK.
. . . were not prejudiced
and welcomed many
. . . respected them, so they
different kinds of
grew up confident about
people in their homes.
their own power.
. . . showed
them how to
help others
in need.
12
. . . encouraged them to use their
own judgment.
. . . occasionally
helped others.
. . . were somewhat
close to them so they
felt somewhat loved
by their families.
. . . sometimes
punished and
yelled at them.
. . . sometimes
explained why
bad behavior is
not OK.
Ordinary Bravery
murdered all the Jews from his neighborhood. Balwina said,
“You poor boy. I will help. You must live.”
The Nazis killed anyone who helped Jews, but she still
took Sam inside. Balwina and her family risked their
own lives to hide him. She taught him how to pray like a
Catholic, and she changed his Jewish name to a Polish one.
Sam made up a story about an imaginary Polish family and
went out to work as a farmhand. He passed as non-Jewish
for the next three years until the defeat of the Nazis.
After the war, Sam made his way to the United States.
He became a citizen, served in the US Army, and went to
college. Sam always remained grateful to Balwina. Before
he left Poland, he says, “She gave me a little lecture saying
I must tell the world about this barbarism.” Today, people
refer to the Nazis’ large-scale murder of Jews and other
groups as the Holocaust.
The rescuers interviewed by Sam and Pearl Oliner
deeply cared about others. But they didn’t consider
themselves special. Kindness felt ordinary to them.
They explained saving others as just what people do:
“
We had to help these people in order
to save them, not because they were
Jews, but because they were persecuted
human beings who needed help.
”
“
I sensed I had in front of me human
beings that were hunted down like wild
animals. This aroused a feeling of
brotherhood and a desire to help.
”
“
My parents taught me to respect all
human beings.
Turning to Science
Sam Oliner never stopped wondering why Balwina and
her family saved him. Most people would have turned him
away. Some would have given him to the Nazis. He read
about other rescuers too. What separates these heroes from
everyone else, he wondered? He needed to know.
To find answers, Oliner became a social scientist: Dr.
Sam Oliner, PhD. He researches social behavior with his
wife, Pearl Oliner, an education professor. Both work at
Humboldt State University in California.
Social scientists, like all scientists, use precise methods.
They start out describing a problem. Then they do studies.
Finally, they explain how they reached their conclusions. One
big difference, though, is social scientists research real people
and communities instead of conducting science experiments
in laboratories. They often gather statistical evidence.
Oliner started with his big question: how did Balwina
PARENTS . . .
. . . were sometimes prejudiced and less welcoming
of different kinds of people
in their homes.
. . . sometimes respected
them so they grew up to
feel somewhat confident
about their own power.
. . . sometimes let them use
their own judgment.
. . . sometimes
showed them
how to help
others in need.
”
A Polish Catholic couple hid Eve Nisencwajg, fifth from left,
by claiming she was their niece. Here, Eve poses with children
receiving their first Communion around 1943.
BYSTANDERS’ PARENTS . . .
. . . were not close to
them so they felt unloved by their families.
. . . seldom or never
helped others.
. . . punished and yelled at them.
. . . did not explain why bad
behavior is not OK.
. . . were prejudiced
and did not welcome
different kinds
of people in their
homes.
. . . disrespected them, so
they grew up feeling less
confident about their
own power.
. . . rarely or never
showed them how to
help others in need.
. . . did not allow them to
use their own judgment.
13
In 1939 in Poland, a German solider laughs in
the direction of a Jewish man and his daughter.
British stockbroker Nicholas Winston
rescued 669 mostly Jewish children from
Czechoslovakia before 1940. Today, artwork at a train station in Prague, Czech
Republic, memorializes the moment
when parents and children parted.
and thousands of other heroic rescuers like her differ from
people who stood by and did nothing during the Holocaust?
To find out, he and Pearl Oliner devised a study to
compare rescuers to non-rescuers. First, they located 800
rescuers plus a sample of non-rescuers, or bystanders.
Using careful methodology, they matched the two groups
by age, sex, education, and location during World War II.
The Oliners or members of their research team traveled
to everyone’s homes. With the help of local researchers,
they interviewed subjects in their own languages: French,
German, Italian, Polish, and Norwegian. Following that, the
Oliners compared the two groups.
In the process, Oliner found more than answers.
He found his life’s work! By now, he and his team have
interviewed around 900 rescuers. He says, “I grew more
indignant about evil and in my small way could do
something about it.”
The results of this research are published the Oliners’
book The Altruistic Personality: Rescuers of Jews in Nazi
Europe. (“Altruism” means super unselfishness.) It reports
that rescuers felt a greater sense of responsibility for the
well-being of others They tended to trust people, to think
well of themselves and others, and to include people. Nonrescuers, on the other hand, tended to be suspicious and
insecure, to focus on themselves, and to feel responsible to
only a small group. Pearl Oliner points out that non-rescuers
aren’t necessarily bad people. Often, they just feel powerless
and don’t know what to do. The Oliners’ scientific research
showed altruism can be taught.
Rays of Hope
Remember what Balwina said to Sam Oliner as he was
leaving Poland? She asked him to “tell the world about this
barbarism.” He did. He taught and wrote books. And his
14
In the 1940s, Slovakian grocer Jonas Eckstein
cared for orphans who had fled from Poland.
LEARN BY DOING
Want to practice altruism?
Try these activities.
Good News
Set up a place to post stories about
acts of kindness. Put up everyone’s
stories and drawings. Add clippings
from newspapers and magazines.
Bystander or Upstander?
In a group, think of 20 problems, such as
losing lunch money or falling down in
front of others. Write each problem on a
different card. One person draws a card
and acts out that problem. Someone
else comes in and acts out helping.
Another comes in and acts out not
helping. Afterward, talk about what
happened and how it felt.
One Good Thing
The Center for Healthy Minds, at the
University of Wisconsin–Madison, has lots
of ideas for teaching kindness. This is a
favorite. In a group, ask everyone to think
about one good thing that happened
today. It can be something simple. Maybe
it’s “my lunch was delicious” or “I met
someone nice.” Then say, “Think about
your good thing. Notice how it feels inside
your body.” Wait a few moments. Let
anyone who wants to share their good
thing and tell how it feels inside.
work has influenced others to do more research. He has
appeared on television shows and lectured in the United
States and other countries. In 1982, Sam and Pearl Oliner
founded the Altruistic Personality and Prosocial Behavior
Institute in California. The Oliners’ institute continues to
study and promote unselfish behavior while helping people
in their own community.
Even better, once the Oliners’ research showed how to
encourage altruism, Sam Oliner added a message about
creating a better world. In a video by the USC Shoah
Foundation Institute describing his experience of the
Holocaust, Oliner says, “In the midst of evil are rays of hope.”
In 2018, Oliner is 88 years old. He has retired from
Volunteers Rock
Volunteers work for free because they
want to make the world better. Some
might help at a school. Others might
volunteer at an animal shelter or
hospital. Find some volunteers. Ask
each one three things: What do you do?
Why do you do it? How does it make
you feel? Share their stories.
Hey, Thanks
Assemble a group in a circle at the end of the
day. Invite people, one at a time, to yell “Hey,
thanks!” to someone else. Then have them
tell why. For example, “Hey, thanks Mike, for
showing me how to catch a ground ball.”
teaching. He is writing a book on the nature of good and
evil. When asked about his advice for young people, he
wrote, “All schools should teach about the consequences
of indifference to other people’s troubles.” He says
besides learning reading, writing, and arithmetic,
students need to learn altruism.
In spite of the horror he witnessed as a boy, Oliner
wants us to remember this: it’s possible to create a more
cooperative and caring world.
Diana Lynn is an educator and writer lucky to live in the same
Northern California town as the Oliners. It’s so beautiful there, she
says, it must be the end of a rainbow.
15
Science@Work
by Alice Andre-Clark
JAI RANGANATHAN
BIOLOGIST AND COFOUNDER OF SCIFUND CHALLENGE
Jai Ranganathan is a biologist who has
studied rain forest conservation. But
now he devotes his time to a different
project. You may have heard about how
crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and
GoFundMe are helping people raise
money for medical care, charity work, new
businesses, or artistic projects like movies
and board games. With crowdfunding, a
lot of people each put a little bit of money
GUYS, I DONATED
TO THE DINOOBSERVATION
PROJECT TOO!
toward solving a problem or making
an exciting idea a reality. Ranganathan
wants to do the same thing for scientific
research. The organization he helped
found, SciFund Challenge, is teaching
scientists how to get better conversations
going with the public. One goal is to
convince average citizens to donate
money to help scientists make amazing
discoveries.
I JUST HOPE IT
REACHES ITS
GOAL.
SHOULD BE A SURE
THING, NOW THAT
THEY CORRECTED
THAT DIMENSIONAL
ADDRESS ERROR.
16
WHAT’S SCIFUND CHALLENGE, AND WHAT INSPIRED
YOU TO START IT?
Another scientist and I noticed there were two problems in
science. Problem one is that government research dollars got
harder to come by. The second problem is that there’s such a huge
gap between science and society. And part of the reason for that
problem is that scientists don’t reach out to the public. We thought,
wait a minute, these two problems actually have one solution, and
that solution was crowdfunding. SciFund Challenge is focused on
training scientists how to engage with the public. You don’t just
reach your hand out and ask for cash—no one likes that. The only
way people give money to you for anything is if they care about you,
and that care takes time to get.
HOW DO SCIENTISTS GET PEOPLE TO CARE ABOUT
THEM AND THEIR WORK?
They reach out on a regular basis with their material via public
talks, blog posts, YouTube, social media. It doesn’t matter what
they’re doing. What does matter is that they do it on a regular basis
so they build an audience. And that’s not to say scientists have to
be there every day, but they do have to be there consistently. Then
every so often, say once a year, they have their own pledge drive,
like the ones we hear on public radio. There was one anthropologist
who wrote a blog about the TV show Bones—how each episode
got the anthropology right and wrong. She had a huge audience,
and she raised $10,000 for her research. A microbiologist who was
studying bacteria engineered them so they glowed. The reward for
donors was that if you gave her $25, she would take a picture of
your glowing name, or whatever you wanted.
SO ORDINARY PEOPLE WHO AREN’T SCIENTISTS MAY
BE PLAYING A BIGGER ROLE IN DECIDING WHICH
SCIENTIFIC PROJECTS TO FUND. HOW WOULD YOU GO
ABOUT DECIDING WHETHER TO SUPPORT A PROJECT?
I’d want to see first that there’s a long track record of trying to reach
out to people. If [the researchers] have been doing a lot of magazine
Kristina Killgrove, an anthropologist with lots to say
about bones, raised research money online.
4 SECRETS FOR
CROWDFUNDING
SUCCESS
Would you like to get funding for a project
of your own—maybe an experiment, a film,
or help for a friend in need? Plan your pitch!
That’s a short description of your project
aimed at getting others to support it. Here
are some steps you and your project partners
can take to help your pitch stand out in a
crowd.
1) Start networking. Jai Ranganathan thinks
that nothing is more important than to
be involved in a community of people
interested in science—whether it’s through
articles, videos, blogging, or social media.
To generate traffic for your site, try
commenting on online forums relevant to
your project, guest posting on blogs like
yours, or posting interviews with experts
who do projects like yours. When you’ve
built a community and kept it up, it’s time
to make your pitch.
2) Get emotional. Donors say they like
proposals that make them laugh or think,
17
Science@Work
Aspiring astronaut Taylor Richardson and her mom Toni
have launched more than one successful, super-cool
GoFundMe campaign.
or that touch their hearts. A lot of campaigns out there
are competing for attention. Work on a pitch (a great
video often helps) that captures people’s hearts and
minds in seconds. Try it out on family and friends. Not
only can they give you feedback, but they may also be
your first donors.
3) Make a plan. If you’re going to use your resources wisely,
you’ll need a budget and a timeline and the right
crowdfunding platform to make your pitch. Consider how
each site calculates how much to charge and whether
projects like yours are successful on that site.
4) Keep your donors involved. Don’t just say thank you—offer
rewards. They can be as simple as a t-shirt or a button,
but you can get more creative for big donors—a bit
part in your film, or their names in glowing bacteria. But
make sure that your rewards are things you can actually
accomplish. Donors care about your project—keep them
updated, ask their advice, and suggest they contact their
friends about your project. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!
Taylor Richardson also goes by Astronaut StarBright. In an update to
her GoFundMe campaign to send 1,000 girls to A Wrinkle in Time, she
wrote, “Girls will know that the possibility of going into space, exploring
other planets, being rocket scientists, engineers, mathematicians and
astronauts is . . . limitless!”
articles—if they care about
connecting me to the
science—I’d say that’s a very
important thing. If the person
is studying birds, is he or she
presenting things about birds
to nonexperts? Second, you
might think about whether
the project makes sense with
what you’ve learned in school
about how science works.
For example, there was a
crowdfunding project where
they were going to Africa to
look for live dinosaurs. You
might decide, well, I don’t
think that works.
WHAT CAN KIDS DO TO
GET INVOLVED IN THIS
NEW CONVERSATION
BETWEEN SCIENTISTS
AND THE PUBLIC? (IN
ADDITION TO READING
MUSE, OF COURSE!)
Kids can have their own
presence on YouTube or in
blogging about science. Are
they professional scientists?
No, but they’re learning. Why
can’t they talk about what
they’ve learned in middle
school and high school? They
know things their parents
have long forgotten, or never
knew. Science and science
communication isn’t just
for professionals. It’s for
everyone.
Alice Andre-Clark is a writer who
loves reading about science and
who appreciates that scientists like
Jai Ranganathan are helping to
make more scientists’ work easy
for nonscientists to understand.
18
ILLUSTRATOR
Do the Math
BY IVARS PETERSON
odd
position
2
even
position
3
odd
position
4
even
position
5
odd
position
6
even
position
COINS IN A ROW
Ivars Peterson is a freelance writer,
blogger, and author of The Mathematical Tourist. He enjoys applying the
greedy algorithm to rows of cookies.
text © 2018 by Ivars Peterson
Simple, two-player games can
be fun. They also let you try out
strategies that may later help
solve difficult problems.
Try this game: place an even
number of coins in a line. Use
coins of various values. You
and another player take turns
removing a coin from either
end of the line until there are
none left. The winner is the
player who collects the most
money.
If you’re using US coins, you
could create a row of six coins
using a penny, a nickel, a dime,
a quarter, a half dollar, and a
dollar, placed in any order. In
this case, the winner will be
the player who gets the dollar
because the other coins, taken
together, total less than a
dollar.
How would you make sure
you get the dollar? If you go
first, one strategy would be to
check the ends of the line and
pick the larger of the two coins
available on each turn. To
mathematicians and computer
scientists, such an approach is
known as a “greedy algorithm.”
And it works a lot of time—but
not always.
For instance, suppose
MUSE NEWS
FALSE STORY
To win the game, think over
your first move!
Why You Should
Befriend Bigfoot
1
the coins were in this order: 10,
50, 1, 5, 100, 25. If both you and
your opponent followed the
greedy approach, you would
end up with 25 + 10 + 5 = 40,
and your opponent would get
100 + 50 + 1 = 151. You lose!
So what could you do to win,
if you go first? Think about what
your opponent’s move will be at
each step, and work backward
to figure out what to do. In this
case, to keep your opponent
from getting the dollar, you
would select the dime first. You
would earn 10 + 1 + 100 = 111,
and your opponent would get
50 + 5 + 25 = 80.
Can you think of a foolproof
strategy that would lead to a win
(or at least a tie) no matter what
even number of coins you have?
Try this. Add up the values of
the coins in the odd positions.
Then add up the values of the
coins in the even positions. If the
total of the odd-positioned coins
is greater, take the leftmost coin
first. Then choose a coin that was
originally in an odd position on
each later turn. If the total of the
even-positioned coins is greater,
start by taking the rightmost
coin. Then take a coin that was
originally in an even position on
later turns.
Following that strategy
guarantees you won’t lose. But
it’s not the full answer. You might
need a diff erent approach to
make sure you get the highest
possible total.
Testing ways to sort through
huge numbers of possibilities to
find the best answer is part of
what computer scientists and
programmers do. Want to think
like them? Figuring out ways to
win simple games is a great place
to start.
19
by Galadriel Watson
20
Lending
a Hairy
Hand
Chimpanzees are similar
to humans, even when it
comes to helping.
H
elping other people is super
nice—but also sometimes
selfish. Today at lunch I
may give you a handful of
my pretzels, secretly hoping
that tomorrow you’ll give
me a bite of your chocolate
bar. Or maybe I volunteer
to play tuba for the school band knowing I’ll
get to go on a cool trip. Helping others out feels
great—but would it be as wonderful if I wasn’t
going to benefit too?
Let’s ask the chimps. Chimpanzees are
among humans’ closest relatives, and they’ve
also been known to help each other. They
sometimes hunt together, share food, or groom
each other. But what if the favor won’t be
returned or—worse yet—there’s an actual cost
to helping out? Would a chimp still do it?
21
Thanks, Tai
Meet Tai. She’s a chimp who lives in the Wolfgang Köhler
Primate Research Center in Germany. She was trained to
help out other chimps, so researchers could see if those
chimps would help her out in return.
In one version of the experiment, Tai didn’t do much
of anything. She stood outside a small metal booth. On
the opposite side of the booth stood another chimp. For
some of the trials, this was a chimp named Kofi. Inside
the booth were two choices of food. By pulling on various
ropes, Kofi could give himself four pieces of food and give
Tai none or give both Tai and himself three pieces of food.
Not surprisingly, Kofi almost always picked the selfish
option and took the four pieces of food for himself.
Then researchers had Tai take a chance. She got first
choice of the food bowls. But rather than selecting food,
she pulled on a rope that opened a latch. This allowed
Kofi to decide who got what food instead. Tai was trained
to take this action, but Kofi didn’t know that. To him, it
looked like Tai had taken a big risk—perhaps not getting
any food at all—by letting Kofi pick.
In this case, Kofi didn’t always take all the food for
himself. Instead, he often chose option #2, which gave both
him and Tai some food. This was “prosocial,” meaning he
acted to benefit Tai as well as himself. The kicker is that he
chose #2 even though it meant he got less food. If he had
chosen #1, he would have gotten four pieces. By paying Tai
back for her risky decision, he got only three.
All in all, the researchers studied six chimps with 24
trials each. Forty percent of the time, a chimp gave Tai
some food when she took this risk, even though that
chimp would get one less piece of food him- or herself.
“This doesn’t sound like much,” says lead researcher
Martin Schmelz at the Max Planck Institute for
Evolutionary Anthropology. “But it is actually amazing
because it has been believed for a long time that chimps
will always be selfish when it comes to giving up food for
someone else.”
The generosity might have to do with oxytocin. In
humans and chimps alike, this hormone makes us bond
22
with each other and care for one another. Schmelz says, “It
might be possible that the act of seeing Tai pulling that rope
and releasing that latch made the subject chimps feel good
about her.” That could explain why they chose the more
generous option.
Another Cooperation Example:
Wild About Patrolling
The group of wild chimps is on the move. In single file, they
walk toward the edge of their territory. They don’t pause
to eat, and they don’t make noise. They’re on the lookout
for chimps from neighboring groups. If a strange chimp is
on their turf, they’ll let him know this is unacceptable—
helped conduct a 20-year study on chimps living in Kibale
National Park in Uganda, Africa.
Not surprisingly, a lot of the males that went on these
patrols had a selfish reason: they had children. Keeping
their youngsters safe and well fed was a good reason to
volunteer. Most volunteers were also among the healthier,
stronger members of the group. Long days spent patrolling
weren’t as hard on them.
But some of the weaker males, who didn’t have young,
also patrolled. Why did they bother? There wouldn’t be any
punishment if they didn’t participate, so why not simply
spend the day eating like they normally would?
The researchers theorize these males were looking
toward their futures—eventually, almost all of them had
babies. Volunteering helped make the group healthier right
away, which made it healthier later on too. Langergraber
says the chimps helped patrol because “even if you have
nothing to gain from it now, and even if the costs are high,
in the long run it will pay off.”
A Lengthy History
sometimes in violent ways. Or they may penetrate their
neighbors’ territory and claim that turf for themselves.
There are several reasons male chimps cooperate to
patrol like this. It keeps their territory and group members
safe. It expands their territory, giving them more sources of
food. And it increases their group size when they take over
neighboring females.
But why volunteer to go on patrol? That’s what Kevin
Langergraber, an anthropologist at Arizona State University,
wondered. He says, “Patrols can last a long time and cover
long distances. So time spent patrolling is time that you’re
not feeding or mating with females.” To better understand
why a chimp might give those things up, Langergraber
Through studies like these, researchers have shown that
chimpanzees make complex decisions when it comes to
cooperating. They consider whether another chimp has
taken a risk to help them, or look far ahead to see if the
benefits of working together will come to them too.
And understanding chimps—our closest relatives—
may help us understand ourselves. Chimps are one of the
few species that cooperates to kill individuals from other
groups; their patrols are similar to humans waging war. “If
we as a society want to decrease things like warfare,” says
Langergraber, “the first step is to understand them.”
The fact that humans and chimps are two species that
cooperate also points to this being a behavior we’ve both
been doing for a long time. Schmelz says, “It can be argued
that if we find similarities between these species, then our
last common ancestor also already behaved in that way.
Differences probably only evolved later, and we can then
think about what happened in our evolutionary history that
caused these differences.”
Overall, Schmelz says humans are probably more
prosocial than chimps. In another version of the food
experiment, when Tai hadn’t risked anything and Kofi got
the same amount of food either way, he didn’t seem to
care whether Tai got food or not. If Kofi were human, he
probably would have been nice more often and given Tai
food too.
So yeah, help yourself to a handful of my pretzels. Then
I’m off to band practice. (Just remember, please, to bring
that chocolate bar tomorrow.)
Canadian writer Galadriel Watson (whose first name comes from the
series The Lord of the Rings) was excited to hear one of the German
chimps was named Frodo (which comes from the same books). More
proof that humans and chimps are closely related!
23
Hands-On
by Kathryn Hulick
Pipi Sposito
THE TOXIC WASTE DISASTER
AT THE TRAIN TRACKS
How will the story end? Choose wisely!
GRAB SOME friends and see if you can solve this cooperative challenge! Before you start, make sure you have at least four people and
an open, flat space outdoors.
The story begins . . .
Whoo whoo! A train whistle blares, louder and louder. You and your
friends, Sonia, Max, and Jackson stop biking to watch the freight train
pass. It zooms by, trailing car after car. Sonia’s pet rabbit Pocus pops
his head out of her backpack to see too.
“Wouldn’t it be cool to drive a train?” Sonia says. Max nods. Jackson
takes binoculars out of his backpack—and waits for Sonia to tease
him about all the random tools he always carries around.
But just then, as the train rounds a bend up ahead, a door on one
of the cars flies open. Dozens of bright orange plastic containers roll
out, thudding to the ground like a rockslide.
“Yikes!” Max jumps on his bike. “Let’s go! We’ve got to tell someone!”
But Pocus has other ideas. The rabbit leaps out of the open backpack and hops off toward the crash.
Make a choice!
24
If you go toward the
crash, go to Canister A.
If you run away, go to
Canister E on page 27.
Recipe for Toxic Waste
You’ll need:
Small bucket or other small,
watertight container with a
handle
3 cups water
4 Tbsp baking soda
4 Tbsp liquid laundry detergent
Food coloring (optional)
1 cup vinegar
A
DIRECTIONS:
1. Add baking soda and laundry detergent to the
bucket.
2. Pour in water. Add a few drops of food coloring
if desired.
3. Gently stir the mixture.
4. When you’re ready for fizz, quickly drop in the
vinegar.
Sonia starts after the rabbit. You, Jackson, and Max
follow.
As everyone approaches the fallen containers, a
salty, sour stink fills the air. You cover your noses.
“That one’s leaking,” Jackson says. One
container has burst open, and something gross
oozes slowly out into the ground.
Make a choice!
If you stop in your tracks,
go to Canister B. If you
check out the ooze, go to
Canister F on page 27.
B
“It’s toxic waste!” Max says. “Don’t touch it.” Symbols on the
side of each container warn of hazardous contents.
Sonia grabs Pocus and places him safely back in her
backpack. “We can’t just leave it here!” she says. “That stuff will
hurt animals.”
“But . . .” Max says. He still doesn’t think this was a good idea.
But Jackson is grinning. “Who’s got the tools to clean up this
mess? Me!” He holds up his backpack.
Make a choice!
You open the backpack. If you find duct
tape and gloves, go to Canister G on page
27. If you find an empty bucket and some
bungee cords, go to Canister C on page 26.
25
Hands-On
C
Move the Toxic Waste!
You’ll need:
1 small bucket with a handle,
containing toxic waste
1 empty bucket of the same
size
2 Hula-Hoops
4 or more bungee cords, each
at least 12 inches long
Set-Up:
1. Place the Hula-Hoops on the ground, about 10 to 20 paces apart from
each other.
2. Place the bucket of toxic waste on the ground in the middle of one
hoop and the empty bucket in the other hoop.
3. Hand one bungee cord out to everyone participating in the challenge.
The Rules:
1. The Hula-Hoops designate a toxic area. Anyone who enters either area
will suffer from a horrible coughing fit and will have to sit out for five
minutes
2. No one may directly touch any part of either bucket. If a person’s hand
or foot passes into a toxic zone or gets too close to a bucket, that body
part gets “burned.” The person will not be allowed to use it for the rest
of the challenge.
The Challenge:
1. Find a way to transport the bucket of toxic waste over to the empty
bucket.
2. Next, tip the toxic waste into the empty bucket.
What Happened?
If you’re stuck trying to figure out how
it’s even possible to move the toxic waste
bucket without touching it, read Canister D
below—you’ll get a hint.
If you moved the bucket but spilled some
waste or lost a limb along the way, read
Canister H on page 28.
If you got all the waste into the empty
bucket, congratulations! Read Canister I
on page 28.
D
Jackson picks up a bungee cord and puts it down.
He has the tools but doesn’t know what to do with
them!
Finally, Sonia suggests, “What if we loop the
cords together?”
“Yeah!” says Max. “Then we can each hold an
end.”
Soon, your group has moved the toxic waste
safely into the new container. But the extra time it
takes for you to figure out what to do means that
you all fall sick with a horrible cough for a week.
Pocus has the sniffles too.
26
E
All the friends race away to get help. Meanwhile,
Pocus warns the animals in the area. Soon, the
deer, squirrels, and chipmunks all know to steer
clear of the crash site. But in the hour it takes for
a clean-up team to arrive, lots of toxic waste seeps
into the ground and pollutes a nearby stream.
F
You walk closer to the ooze, despite your friends’
fearful cries. The smell doesn’t seem so bad any
more. In fact, the ooze is sort of pretty. You dip
your fingers in—and everything goes black. Two
months later, you wake up in the hospital. Sonia,
Max, Jackson, and even Pocus are there. “We didn’t
think you’d make it!” they say.
G
You put on the gloves and then pull off a long
piece of duct tape.
“I don’t know about this,” Max says.
“Don’t worry,” says Jackson. “Duct tape fixes
everything!”
You walk up to the leaking waste container and
try to wrap the tape around it. But the ooze eats
right through the tape! Then it burns through your
gloves!
“Ahhh,” you shout and drop everything. You and
your friends run away.
27
Hands-On
H
You and your friends find a way to move the toxic
waste container, but it isn’t easy.
“This was such a bad idea!” Sonia wails. The container tips this way and that. As it starts to spill,
you reach out.
“No, don’t!” Max shouts, but it’s too late.
You yowl as the waste sloshes over the edge
and burns your hand. Your friends quickly dump
the waste in the container and run for help. You
have to keep your hand bandaged for a week.
I
28
You and your friends quickly and safely transfer
the toxic waste to the new container, where it can’t
leak any more. Then you run for help. The local TV
news shows up and interviews you about the crash
and your prompt actions to prevent pollution. You
learn that the waste had been on its way to a factory that could recycle it to make useful products
. . . including fertilizer for growing Pocus’ favorite
food, carrots!
Solution on page 46
Turning trash into energy
by Lisa Christensen
29
P
eople throw out
a lot of garbage,
but there are some
places where waste
is worth its weight in gold.
Houweling’s Group is a business that grows and
sells greenhouse vegetables. Company chairman Casey
Houweling runs the business. He has always been
interested in making sure the company’s greenhouses really
are “green”—meaning friendly to the environment. A green
business may use fewer resources than similar businesses
or make a very low level of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other
air pollutants. (These pollutants are sometimes called
greenhouse gases because they trap warm air in Earth’s
atmosphere like a roof traps warm air in a greenhouse.) In
2016, Houweling’s took the “green” concept a step farther,
says David Bell, a spokesperson for the company.
GOOD NEIGHBORS
The company was looking for a new place to build a
greenhouse that would let them capture and reuse
industrial heat and CO2 waste to grow tomatoes yearround, he says. Mona, Utah, a small town in the central
region of the state, was exactly what the company was
looking for. After three years of planning, Howeling’s built a
greenhouse next door to a power plant.
The power plant creates electricity by burning natural
gas. Besides electricity, the process produces heat and
carbon dioxide. Before Houwelings came to town, these
30
One company grows
tomatoes in an
especially “green”
greenhouse.
In Mona, Utah, a greenhouse benefits from
heat and CO2, which are waste products from
the power plant next door.
were considered waste products. Houweling’s worked
with the owner of the power plant, a company called
Rocky Mountain Power, to funnel the extra heat and carbon
dioxide into the greenhouse. The heat keeps the greenhouse
toasty warm during cold Utah winters, and the tomatoes
grow faster because the carbon dioxide helps fertilize them.
Rocky Mountain Power provides electricity for customers in Utah, Wyoming, and Idaho. The plant in Mona
is what’s called a combined-cycle power plant. That means
that it initially burns natural gas to turn two big turbines,
which look like the fan in a jet engine. They’re connected to
a generator. When the turbines turn, they create electricity
through the generator. The exhaust from that process is
sent to what’s known as a heat recovery steam generator,
where the extra heat boils water to create steam. The steam
turns another turbine, which produces electricity through
the generator too.
Combined-cycle power plants can create up to 50
percent more electricity than simple-cycle power plants.
In simple-cycle power plants, electricity is generated only
by burning natural gas, without using the extra heat to
boil water and produce more electricity with the steam.
Combined-cycle power plants are also very reliable, which
31
From WASTE
to ENERGY . . .
with a Side
of SALAD
FUEL SOURCES
ENTER A
POWER PLANT.
Sweden converts waste to energy by burning
trash. In the United States, common fuel sources
for making electricity are natural gas and coal.
is an important quality. Customers are counting on the
lights turning on when they flip the switch!
“As customer needs increase, we have to increase
our generation, and as customer needs decrease, at night,
we have to decrease our output,” says Dave Eskelsen, a
spokesperson for Rocky Mountain Power. “I like
to say electricity is the only product that is
manufactured and delivered in the same instant
the customer asks for it.”
Eskelsen says the process of siphoning off the
waste heat and carbon dioxide doesn’t affect the
power plant at all, and the company’s leaders were
happy to work with Houweling’s. Capturing the
waste carbon dioxide and heat means that original
material used by the power plant gets a third use.
“Our company has a long interest in
environmental responsibility,” he says. “Our
first and highest duty is to supply our
customers with electricity, so we don’t do a
lot of cutting-edge or experimental work in
that area.” But when another company had
an innovative, “green” idea, Rocky Mountain
Power signed up.
HEAT PLUS
POWER
Reusing waste is a smart
recycling practice in general.
Using the leftover heat from a
power generator has a term and
history all its own: cogeneration, or
combined heat and power (CHP).
32
Although it’s not common in the U.S. today, it’s not a new idea.
In 1882, Thomas Edison used the idea of CHP in the very first
commercial power plant, Pearl Street Station in New York City.
CHP works well when a power plant is near its customer for
leftover heat, such as the Houweling’s greenhouse.
ELECTRICITY FLOWS TO HOMES
AND BUSINESSES.
LEFTOVER HEAT AND CO2 MAY
GET ANOTHER USE.
Combined-cycle power plants make more electricity than
simpler power plants with the same amount of fuel. In the
first step, burning fuel releases hot gas, which enters a
turbine that generates electricity. A second step captures
heat from step one. The heat makes steam, which turns
another turbine and makes more electricity.
The idea stuck around through the early years
of commercial electricity but grew less popular as
consumers began to demand more and more power
and companies started building larger, more centralized power plants to produce enough electricity to keep
up. Because CHP plants tend to be more complex to
build, simpler forms of power generation ruled.
GARBAGE TO BURN
But in Europe, CHP is much more widely used, especially
in Sweden. There, the fuel of choice is not natural gas, but
garbage. People in that Scandinavian country recycle most
of their household waste. Anything that can’t be reused or
recycled is burned for heat and hot water for millions of
people. In 2016 alone, the country burned nearly 2.3 million
tons of household waste for energy. They’re so efficient
with recycling or reusing waste that they sometimes don’t
have enough of their own waste to burn and get more from
other countries, which pay Sweden for the service. But all
of this didn’t happen overnight.
Sweden started burning garbage for heat and energy
in 1904. Through the twentieth century, officials
encouraged residents to separate recyclables. In the
1970s, 38 percent of household waste in Sweden was
recycled. Today, more than 99 percent of Sweden’s
waste is recycled or burned in power plants. By
comparison, in 2013, Americans recycled just over 34
percent of their household waste. Anna-Carin Gripwall,
the communications director for Swedish Waste
Management, says the country is so good at recycling in
part because the government has worked hard to make
recycling easy and to tell people why it’s important.
“If you can give them the reason why they should
recycle, they’re more likely to do so,” she says. “When
everyone communicates the same thing, it gives more
impact.”
Recycled paper becomes new paper products.
Recycled plastic becomes new plastic products. And
recycled food scraps turn into compost and dirt. About
half of household waste can’t be recycled into new things,
so it’s burned for energy instead. The fires heat water,
which generates electricity and also helps heat homes.
Because burning is a dirty process, the smoke runs
through a series of air filters before it escapes the plant.
“Basically, what comes out of the chimney stacks is
water,” says Gripwell. “It’s very, very clean.” The dirty
air filters are even reused afterward. They help fill
abandoned mines.
WORTH A SECOND LOOK
The United States is far from Sweden’s rate of recycling
and tends to use different fuel sources. But the efficient
combined-cycle power plant is common here. And some
American companies are looking at CHP again.
Houweling’s, the greenhouse attached to the power
plant, is planning to expand its operations in 2019.
Bell says it can do even more with the heat and carbon
dioxide from the power plant, doubling in size during
the coming expansion and doubling again in the future.
Turning greenhouse gases into greenhouse vegetables?
Sounds like a pretty tasty plan.
Lisa Christensen lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, and has eaten
tomatoes grown from energy-plant CO2. They are delicious.
33
Flesh-Eat
by Rebecca E. Hirsch
CARE TO
JOIN ME FOR
LUNCH, CATE?
UH . . . I’D BE
DELIGHTED . . .
TOMORROW. OR
THE NEXT DAY.
34
or
aters
CARNIVOROUS PLANTS
AND THEIR ANIMAL
PARTNERS
A
hungry fly zips
through a steamy
jungle on the island
of Borneo. The fly
is on the trail of
a fruity smell, the smell of dinner.
The fly lands on the leaf of a
pitcher plant. The vase-shaped leaf
is filled with fluid and topped with a
lid that is partially ajar. The fly walks
along the slippery rim of the pitcher.
The fly takes a wrong step and,
whoops—it tumbles into the pitcher.
The watery fluid begins to digest the
body of the drowning insect. The fly
has just become a meal for one of
Borneo’s meat-eating pitcher plants.
Borneo is a dangerous place for an insect. The large,
mountainous island is home to dozens of species of
pitcher plants. Some dangle like lanterns from the
branches of trees. Some rest on the ground amid the
grasses and ferns. Pitcher plants are carnivorous, eating
bugs and other small animals to survive. Any insect that
flies or crawls near the pitchers could end up as the
plant’s next meal.
Slippery Pits of Doom
Like all plants, pitcher plants make their own food
through photosynthesis. They use sunlight to turn
carbon dioxide and water into sugars that provide
energy to the plant. But all plants also need other
nutrients, like nitrogen. Most plants absorb this
nutrient from the soil through their roots. But
the soil on the mountain slopes of Borneo is low
Friends?
35
in nutrients, so pitcher plants can’t get much nitrogen
through their roots. Instead, they draw nitrogen from the
bodies of animals.
An insect that lands on the slippery rim of a pitcher
plant can slip and fall in. The pitcher walls are also
slippery, so the insect can’t escape. Inside the pitcher is a
mix of rainwater, acid, and digestive enzymes. This lethal
liquid breaks down the bodies of prey so the plant’s walls
can absorb them. The pitcher trap works so well, these
plants can catch and devour insects, spiders, centipedes,
and many other invertebrates (animals without
backbones).
And yet, despite the obvious dangers, some of
Borneo’s animals benefit by living closely with the flesheating killers.
No Escape
A cockroach walks along the mouth of a pitcher plant,
Nepenthes bicalcarata. A pair of thorny spikes gives the
pitcher its monster-like appearance and its common
name—the fanged pitcher plant. The cockroach loses its
footing on the slippery rim and splashes into the water
below.
When that happens, diving ants pour out of a hole in
the pitcher plant’s stem, ready for action. One ant jumps
into the pitcher to fetch the drowning cockroach. Other
ants wait along the edge, ready to help haul the creature
from its watery grave.
36
But this isn’t a rescue mission. The ants promptly tear
the cockroach to bits and devour it.
Diving ants are adapted to live with fanged pitcher
plants. The ants are able to walk across the slippery rim
without falling in. They can even swim and dive in the
digestive fluids. The ants live in hollow, swollen stems of
the fanged pitcher plant. The ants gain a safe home and
a ready supply of food, feasting on the prey that falls into
the pitcher and licking sweet nectar from the plant.
But the fanged pitcher plants benefit from the
relationship too. Although it might appear that the ants
are robbing the pitcher of food, that’s not really true.
Research shows that fanged pitcher plants that live with
diving ants grow more quickly than those without diving
ants. So how exactly do the ants help their plant host?
A team of scientists set out to find the answer. Using
a traceable form of nitrogen, the scientists tracked
the nitrogen’s path from the diving ants to the fanged
pitcher plant. They found that when diving ants feast on
insect prey, they leave their nitrogen-rich droppings in
the pitcher, and the plant absorbs the nitrogen. When
the ants die, their bodies tumble into the pitcher, and the
plant digests them.
Tree Shrew Toilet
!
EET ADE
SW
M
ET
ME!
OIL
T
R
O
A
T F
JUS
Nepenthes rajah, often called the king of the pitcher
plants, makes unusually large, football-sized pitchers.
For a long time, the overgrown size of the pitchers was
a mystery to plant experts. Since a small pitcher would
work well for catching insects, spiders, and other small
prey, why does the plant make such a large pitcher?
The answer comes in its relationship with the
mountain tree shrew. This squirrel-sized animal uses
the plant as a toilet. The tree shrew clambers onto the
pitchers, straddles the rim, and slurps sweet nectar from
the underside of the lid. As it dines, the animal poops
into the pitcher.
In this symbiotic relationship, mountain tree shrews
gain a source of food. The pitchers get regular deposits of
nitrogen-rich feces.
This relationship explains the size of the pitchers.
When scientists measured the pitcher opening, they
found that it perfectly matches the body size of tree
shrews. Smaller pitchers simply wouldn’t cut it as a
toilet, as any droppings would land on the ground
instead of inside the pitcher.
The pitchers have another critical feature that makes
them effective as a shrew toilet: a bowl-shaped lid. The
lid of an N. rajah pitcher is curved, with a coating of
nectar inside, like an upside-down mixing bowl coated
with frosting. According to Charles Clarke of Monash
University in Malaysia, who has studied the relationship,
there is only one way mountain tree shrews can reach
the nectar.
“They must climb onto the pitchers and orient
themselves in such a way that their backsides are located
over the pitcher mouths,” Clarke told BBC News.
Mountain tree shrews are not alone in using N.
rajah as a toilet. Clarke’s team set up video cameras to
see what else could be visiting the pitcher plants. They
Some meat-eating pitcher
plants have turned a new
leaf and are living cooperatively with animal partners.
37
placed a thin plastic cup inside the pitcher to
catch any droppings left inside. They discovered
that mountain tree shrews visit the plants during
the day and summit rats arrive after dark. Like
the tree shrews, summit rats straddle the pitcher,
lick nectar, and deposit their nutrient-rich
droppings.
Poop isn’t disgusting enough for this plant. It
also eats bugs! The smell of rotting feces draws
flies, which drown in the pitcher. Mountain
tree shrews and summit rats themselves aren’t
free from danger. If a tree shrew or rat should
accidentally tumble in, as sometimes happens,
the pitcher plant is quite capable of devouring
the unlucky creature.
Bat Hotel
Another species of pitcher plant, Nepenthes
hemsleyana, has mostly given up its meateating habits. It makes its living mainly as a
hotel for bats.
When a Hardwicke’s woolly bat flies through
the jungle in Borneo, it calls out with high-pitched
squeaks. The bat is echolocating, bouncing sound
off objects and listening for the echo. In this way,
the bat can find a place to roost in the dense, leafy
jungle. When the bat calls, a pitcher plant shouts
back with a distinctive echo, inviting the bat to
roost inside it.
Is this bat toast?
The pitcher plant is adapted to reflect the
No! It’s ready to
rest in the cozy
bat’s call back to it. The back wall of the pitcher
plant hotel.
is wide and curved, like a satellite dish. Sound
bounces easily off of the curved surface. When
a bat follows the plant’s echo, it finds an ideal
place to roost, protected from weather and free
of parasites. As with diving ants and tree shrews,
the roosting bats poop into the pitchers, feeding
the plant the nitrogen it needs.
Unlike other species of pitcher plants,
N. hemsleyana has largely abandoned its
carnivorous lifestyle. It is so well adapted for bats
to roost inside that it is no longer good at catching prey.
accessible. “Bats are better hunters than plants,” Schöner
Its pitchers contain very little digestive fluid and catch far
explains. By giving up its hunting habits, and instead
fewer insects than closely related species of pitcher plants.
catering to bats, the plant gets access to a wider variety
Instead, the plant is a super-cozy bat toilet that survives by
of nutritious bugs.
gobbling up waste. In some pitchers, bat youngsters snuggle
Pre-digested insects, also known as bat poop. Yum.
beside their parents.
It shows once again that Borneo’s pitcher plants have
“The pitchers of N. hemsleyana have evolved to perfectly
unusual animal friendships—and rather disgusting
fit the bat’s body,” says Caroline Schöner of the University
taste in food.
of Greifswald in Germany, who has researched the
relationship.
Rebecca E. Hirsch finds carnivorous plants to be fiendishly clever.
Her upcoming book, When Plants Attack, explores the dark side of
The bats perform another service for the plants by
the plant kingdom.
pre-digesting insects and making the nutrients more
38
BY LIZZIE WADE
PIPI SPOSITO
Q&A
Q:
How did the
human body
evolve to how
it is now?
—Audrey, age 11, California
What makes us
human?
—Aswath J.
Six million years ago
in Africa, certain
of apes tried
: kinds
something new.
Instead of living in
trees like all their
ancestors had, these apes
climbed down to the ground
and started walking on two feet.
They were the first members on
the branch of the primate family
tree that would eventually lead to
Homo sapiens—us.
These apes might have
experimented with life on the
ground because life in the trees
was becoming more difficult, says
Carol Ward. She’s a scientist who
studies anatomy and evolution
at the University of Missouri. At
that time, the climate in Africa
was getting colder and drier, and
the forests that apes lived in were
shrinking. Th at made it hard for
tree-living apes to find enough
food and space for their families.
Walking apes, on the other hand,
could move more easily between
patches of forest. They could also
look for new kinds of food in the
grasslands that were spreading
between the forests.
Over time, apes that were best
at walking were able to survive
long enough to have the most
A
abilities are important pieces
of what makes humans special,
but they didn’t all evolve at
once. In fact, it took millions
of years, and scientists have
never been able to define a
single, clear line that separates
“humans” from all our ancestors
that came before. “Those differences accumulated little by little
over time,” Ward says. “What
made us human was a gradual
process, not an event.”
—Lizzie
Have any questions?
Send them to Muse Q&A,
70 E. Lake St., Suite 800,
Chicago, IL 60601,
or email them to
muse@cricketmedia.com.
text © 2018 by Elizabeth Wade
Don’t miss next
issue’s Q&A for
part two: will
humans evolve
in the future?
children. Th e children that were
even better at walking eventually had more babies themselves—and so on for millions
of years. Th at’s called natural
selection. The process explains
why our skeletons look the
way they do now. “It’s what our
ancestors needed to be able to
do that ended up shaping our
bodies,” Ward says. “What we
see today is a legacy of our past.”
Still, those early walking
apes were very diff erent from
humans today. They couldn’t yet
talk with words and sentences,
and they didn’t have the nimble
hands that let us use all sorts
of tools. They also didn’t have
the big brains that help us
invent things like language and
clever gizmos. Those traits and
39
SEEKING THE RIGHT JOB FOR A TALENTED DOG
by Susan Wroble
I
could hear the protests from the end of the
hallway at Children’s Hospital Colorado. “No!
NO!” Nico’s* leg had been amputated after an
injury. Now he had an artificial leg. His therapists
wanted him to try to walk. “No!” he shouted
again. “It hurts!”
Hathaway, a therapy dog, had met Nico during earlier
visits. I’m Hathaway’s human partner. The dog took me to
Nico’s wheelchair. “Would you like to take Hathaway for
a walk?” I asked. Nico stopped crying. He forgot about the
pain. Instead, he reached for the leash and stood up. With
Hathaway beside him, Nico left the wheelchair behind and
walked. Then, standing and balancing on his brand-new
leg in the therapy gym, he played fetch with Hathaway, his
Labrador retriever friend.
A therapist shook her head in disbelief. “When Hathaway’s
here,” she said, “miracles happen.”
*Name has been changed
40
41
A Black Ball of Fluff
In June of 2009, my family and I picked up an eightweek-old black ball of fluff from the airport. Hathaway
was a Canine Companions for Independence (CCI)
puppy. CCI provides highly trained service dogs, free of
charge, to people with disabilities. We were her puppy
raisers. For the next year and a half, we took her to
puppy classes, taught her commands, and socialized
her. She went almost everywhere with us. We took her
shopping, to restaurants, and to museums.
When she was about a year and a half old,
Hathaway went to California for more training. She
passed her advanced classes. But the professional
trainers noticed that she no longer seemed happy
and confident. She was showing signs of anxiety, like
licking her lips and turning her head away. They knew
that becoming a service dog was the wrong job for
Hathaway. They asked if we would like her back. We
said, “Yes!” We were sad that she would not graduate
and become a service dog—but we were also thrilled
that she was coming back to us.
The (Right) Job Hunt Begins
Full-time work as a service dog wasn’t right for
Hathaway. But she loved going out. She loved being
around people. She was calm and smart and knew
about 40 different commands. She had learned to work
alongside wheelchairs and loved the command “visit.”
We needed to work together to find her a new job.
Hathaway and I became a certified team with
Pet Partners, an organization that registers therapy
42
animals. We started volunteering with the Reading
Education Assistance Dogs (R.E.A.D) program. A local
school chose two students who needed help with reading.
Each week, they read to Hathaway for half an hour.
Hathaway didn’t judge them. She didn’t laugh at mistakes.
Her job was to cuddle and to listen.
OF SERVICE ANIMALS
Guide Dogs guide blind or visually
impaired people.
Hearing Dogs alert their human
partners to sounds.
WHAT A WOLFHOUND!
Once, Hathaway helped test a huge wolfhound.
Hathaway didn’t stay neutral. She just kept staring.
She had never seen a dog that big! Fortunately, the
wolfhound just ignored her. He passed his test.
By the end of the year, the students who read to
Hathaway were no longer behind. They loved the
program. So did their teachers. But just like the
professional CCI trainers in California, I noticed that
Hathaway wasn’t excited about her work. She did it, and
she did it well. But she didn’t really like being a reading
dog. Her eyes didn’t light up. Her tail wags were slow.
We are a team. I wanted my partner to love her therapy
work. Once again, it was time to find a different job.
Ready for a Test
Pet Partners had other opportunities for Hathaway.
When human-animal teams are tested for therapy
work, the dogs must be good with commands like sit,
stay, and come. They must walk closely beside their
handlers on a loose leash. They must recover quickly if
there is a sudden noise. But the hardest part of the test?
For many dogs, it is simply walking past another dog
without pulling.
A Pet Partners evaluator asked if Hathaway would
work as a “neutral” dog. In this job, neutral means not
providing help or assistance. Hathaway would be the
dog that the teams taking their test had to walk past. I
agreed. As the human-dog teams being tested walked
past us, Hathaway would look at me. By not looking
at the other dogs, she made it easier for them to pass
their test! I could tell that Hathaway enjoyed being a
neutral dog. Her eyes shone. Her head was up. But the
evaluations take place only a few times each year. It
wasn’t enough. We needed to find a more regular job.
Service Animals have been
trained to do work or perform
tasks to help people with a
disabilities. Under the Americans
with Disabilities Act (ADA), only
dogs can be service animals. A
service animal must be allowed
into restaurants, stores, hotels,
and other public spaces.
Skilled Companion Dogs
work as part of three-member
teams. A team is often a child with
a disability, a parent, and
a highly trained dog.
Facility Animals are assigned
with human partners to places—
facilities—where they
work nearly full-time as members
of teams. For example, a facility
dog might live with a speech
therapist and go with her each
weekday to the school where
she works.
Emotional Support Animals
(ESAs) help people with a mental
or emotional disabilities by being
companions. These animals may
be allowed in housing with “no
pets” rules. They may travel with
their owners. But ESAs do not have
what is called “public access.” This
means they are not allowed to go
with their person to people like
schools, restaurants, or stores.
Therapy Animals go with their
handlers (their human partners)
to places like schools, hospitals,
and nursing homes. Therapy teams
often volunteer for shifts of a few
hours each week. Pet Partners,
a large therapy animal program,
registers cats, equines (horses,
ponies, and miniature horses),
rabbits, guinea pigs, llamas and
alpacas, birds, miniature pigs,
and rats in addition to dogs.
43
Airport Allies
Staffers at nursing homes, colleges, and courthouses
have asked Pet Partners if dogs can come visit. Petting
animals helps people feel calm. It lowers heart rates
and reduces blood pressure. United Airlines contacted
Denver Pet Partners too. The airline’s staff knew that for
many passengers, traveling over the holidays is stressful.
They started a program called “United Paws.” In cities all
across the United States, therapy dogs come to airports
over the December and spring holidays.
Hathaway and I were part of the group that headed
to Denver International Airport. Sometimes, passengers
reached out for pats and hugs. For others, just seeing
the therapy dogs put a smile on their faces. Hathaway
liked the people and the excitement. But this was
seasonal, temporary work. Our hunt for a permanent
job continued.
A Prescription for Pets
Children’s Hospital Colorado also had a program for
human-dog teams. The Prescription Pet Program at
Children’s Hospital Colorado was founded in 1984. It
was the first program in the country where therapy dogs
came regularly to visit kids in a hospital. Initially, doctors
had to write “prescriptions” for the kids in the hospital to
get dog visits. Now, therapy teams make rounds visiting
children’s rooms.
Veterinarian Sara Mark helped develop the Prescription Pet Program. She felt that Hathaway was a good
fit for a special program in the hospital. She suggested
working in the rehabilitation gym. Hathaway’s job there
would be to provide animal-assisted therapy (AAT).
ABI’S MATCH
Six-year-old Abi had an injury to her
brain. In the rehab gym at Children’s
Hospital Colorado, therapists took Abi’s
hand and opened her fingers. Then they
helped Abi pet Hathaway, running Abi’s
hand along Hathaway’s fur. The warm
fur helped Abi’s fingers stay open. The
therapists said Hathaway could help Abi
begin to feel what she touched again.
Abi’s mother asked about Hathaway’s
training. She contacted Canine
Companions for Independence. After
applications and interviews, Abi was
matched with a CCI Skilled Companion
dog, a yellow Lab-golden retriever mix named Fynn. Fynn pushes buttons to open doors so Abi’s wheelchair can get
through. He snuggles beside her during therapy sessions. He pulls off her socks at night. And Abi takes care of Fynn,
feeding and brushing him. People in the service-dog community sometimes say that each dog ends up where it was
meant to be. If Hathaway hadn’t found her perfect job, Abi and Fynn wouldn’t have found their perfect match!
44
After a major injury, kids who need to re-learn how to
use their bodies may stay in a hospital for weeks or months.
Rehab gyms in children’s hospitals are full of toys, games,
and kid-sized equipment designed to get bodies moving
again. Dogs that work in AAT serve as another kind of tool.
Therapists use the dogs to help motivate their patients and
to get patients moving.
Before going to the hospital, Hathaway takes a bath.
In addition, I brush her teeth, clean her ears, and trim her
nails. In the parking lot, she gets another brushing. Then
a special vest goes on. It covers Hathaway’s body from her
shoulders to her hips. The bath and brushing cut down on
the amount of fur that might get on a patient. This helps
reduce the possibility of allergic reactions.
Many of the children in the rehabilitation gym are
working on range of motion—stretching and re-training
their muscles so they can reach or stand or walk.
Hathaway’s gym bag contains dog toys shaped like
footballs, soccer balls, and basketballs. One ball has a
bell inside it. Patients with limited eyesight can hear
the ball, even if they can’t see it. The therapist tells me
what each child needs. Many times, kids who play with
Hathaway don’t even realize that they are doing their
therapy exercises!
For Hathaway, it is hard work. The gym often hosts
several patients at once. Each patient usually has two
therapists and a family member or two along. Doctors
came in and out of the room, checking on patients.
Sometimes, as many as 20 people occupy this small gym.
Hathaway has to stay focused on just two people—me
and the child she is working with right then—even if that
means jogging past 10 other people to retrieve a ball.
Hathaway loves doing animal assisted therapy. I know
because each time since that first session, she sits up in
the car as we turn into the hospital parking garage. She
quivers with excitement. Once her vest is on, she prances
her way into the building.
It took time, but our teamwork paid off. We found
her perfect job.
Susan Wroble is a Denver-based writer with a passion for science,
education, kids, and dogs. When she isn’t writing, she is chauffeuring her two therapy dogs around to their perfect jobs.
45
CONTEST
ANNOUNCING
NEW CONTEST
Imaginary Friends
“Flesh Eaters or Friends?”
describes symbiotic
relationships between
plants and bugs and other
animals. But let’s expand
our horizons. Invent two
different imaginary
creatures that live in the
Parallel U dimension.
Describe these creatures
and their symbiotic
relationship. How does each
one help the other? What
do they think of one
another? Extra points for
notes on their habitat!
CONTEST WINNERS!
The January 2018 issue was covered in germs.
We asked readers to draw a map of microbes’
favorite places on your body. To everyone
who got past the eww-factor and mapped a
microbe city, we salute you. High fives go out
to all the winners—to be followed
immediately by vigorous hand washing.
Hand Landia
—GRETTA V. / age 13 / North Carolina
CONTEST RULES
1. Your contest entry must
be your very own original
work. Ideas and words
should not be copied.
2. Be sure to include your
name, age, and full address
on your entry.
3. Only one entry per
person, please.
4. If you want your work
returned, enclose a selfaddressed, stamped
envelope.
—ANNA S. / age 13 / Ohio
5. All entries must be
signed by a parent or legal
guardian, saying that this is
your own work and no help
was given and granting
permission to publish. For
detailed information about
our compliance with the
Children’s Online Privacy
Protection Act, visit the
policy page at cricketmedia
.com/privacy.
6. Your entry must be
received by June 30, 2018.
We will publish winning
entries in the November/
December 2018 issue of
Muse.
7. Send entries to Muse
Contest, 70 E. Lake St.,
Suite 800, Chicago, IL 60601
or via email to muse@
cricketmedia.com. If
entering a digital photo or
scan, please send at
300 dpi.
46
Los Armpit-angeles
California
—ELLEKAH W. / age 11 /
—DEAN H. / age 9 / New York
RUNNERS-UP
10 / Texas
—DANIELLE B. / age
Hands-On: The Toxic Waste Disaster at the Train Tracks
Solution: Loop the bungee cords together to make several
longer cords that reach all the way across the Hula-Hoop. With
one person holding each end of a chain of bungee cords, use
the hooks at the middle to grab the bucket’s handle, lift it up,
and carry it over to the empty bucket. Another pair of people
can use another chain of bungee cords to tip the bucket from
the bottom to pour it out. Other solutions may work as well!
Honorable Mention
This month’s runners up are
Mina L., age 12, Idaho;
Alexandra R., age 12,
California; Izzy J., age 11,
New Hampshire; Peter H., 8,
Virginia; and Tilda K., age 11,
California.
MATTHEW BILLINGTON
Your Tech
BY KATHRYN HULICK
DO BIONIC LIMBS GIVE ATHLETES
AN UNFAIR ADVANTAGE?
MARKUS REHM can leap much farther than the length of
your family car. He’s a world champion long jumper. But he
only has one leg. He wears a device called a prosthesis in
place of his missing leg. You’d think that a missing leg would
cause problems—especially for an athlete. But the prosthesis
Rehm wears is specially designed to propel him forward. It’s
a lightweight, curved metal blade. Some call Rehm “Blade
Jumper.”
At a 2015 competition for athletes with disabilities, he
sailed 27.6 feet (8.4 m). That distance would have beaten the
non-disabled gold medalists at the 2012 and 2016 summer
Olympics. Rehm wanted to compete in the 2016 summer
Olympics. But some thought his blade leg gave him an unfair
advantage. And he couldn’t prove that it didn’t.
Researchers have conducted extensive tests on the benefits
of blade-shaped legs when it comes to running and jumping.
The results are mixed.
The main benefit of a blade leg is that it weighs much less
than a typical leg and foot. That means an athlete can move
the leg more quickly. One test on a sprinter who ran with two
prosthetic legs showed that he could swing his legs 15 percent
faster than other world-class athletes.
However, a blade leg also has drawbacks. A real leg has many
muscles and joints that all act independently. A runner can
Cyborgs for
the win!
reposition all of these parts as
needed to make each stride more
efficient. A prosthetic, though, “is
an entirely passive system,” David
Morgenroth of the University
of Washington told Scientific
American. “That could be a
disadvantage when you’re trying
to get up to speed as a runner.”
Over time, though, engineers
will continue to improve blade
legs and other bionic limbs. They
may eventually offer as much or
more efficiency compared to a
real leg.
What does Rehm think of
all this? He just wants to do his
best. “I always said I want a fair
competition,” he told World
Para Athletics. “I don’t want
to have any advantage out of
a prosthesis, I just want to do
what I love and train really hard
for outstanding performances. I
don’t want to say sorry for it.”
What do you think? Should
athletes with blade legs compete
alongside non-disabled athletes?
47
BY NANCY KANGAS
SERVICE ANIMALS
Last Slice
IN OUR DREAMS
GIRAFFE
text © 2018 by Nancy Kangas
PEACOCK
48
JR ZUCKERBERG
DOLPHIN
GORILLA
NAKED MOLE RAT
DISCOVER THE CITY FROM
A POET’S PERSPECTIVE.
text © 2007 by Cynthia Porter, art © 2007 by Nate Williams
CHECK OUT CRICKET® MAGAZINE FOR MORE POETRY, STORIES, AND ART.
SUBSCRIBE AT SHOP.CRICKETMEDIA.COM/TRY-CRICKET
May/June 2018
Even if you
have nothing to
gain from it
now, and even if
the costs are high,
in the long run it
will pay off.
Volume 22
Number 05
cricketmedia.com
$6.95
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