Science Rhymes eNewsletter #11 April 2016
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The First to Fly: Insects were the first creatures to take to the air. Later they were joined by pterosaurs, birds and bats. Although self-powered flight is impossible for humans, our presence in the sky is assured through technology. And much of our aviation know-how was learnt by studying the experts - birds and insects in flight!

Butterfly Blues
by Celia Berrell

The Music Teacher's garden wall
was in the sun at ten-past-four.
A butterfly then came to rest
where she could hear the music best.

But after one ten-minute song
the butterfly had clearly gone.
So did it simply fly away ...
or had it been a gecko's prey?

(What time do you think the gecko showed up?)

Butterflies: are the insect most humans are happy to encounter:  Pretty and harmless, they never sting or bite us! The superfamily of butterflies is called Papilionoidea. Most of them only exist in their flying form for a few weeks (depending on their species).  A Ulysses butterfly lives for about two weeks while a Cairns birdwing can survive for a month - providing it isn't eaten first! Butterflies are active during the day and have antenna which are club-shaped at their end, whereas moths are active at night and have feathery antennae.

(The butterfly image above is an excerpt from the oil painting "Time To Grow" by Sharon Davson)

On Thursday evening 5th May at the Centre of Contemporary Arts (CoCA), we're having a Humourosity Speechfest. I'm one of ten local speakers giving the audience an excuse to have a good laugh.

Last month, I practiced my 7 minute speech at the Innisfail Toastmasters Club. It's called THE BIGGEST BUTTERFLIES. 
If you live in Cairns, maybe you'd like to come along!

This year's theme is the technology of Drones, Droids and Robots. We're complimenting this with uplifting poetry about FLIGHT - in nature, man-made devices ... and even in our dreams!

Students at Whitfield State School will be creating Flighty Science Rhymes for a presentation to celebrate National Science Week (Aug 13-21). 

You are invited to submit poems too!

Book Reviews!

The latest review of the book Celia Berrell's Science Rhymes appears in the April issue of CSIRO's Double Helix.  It is written by one of the magazine's young readers, Leo Marland
Leo says "I really enjoyed reading Celia Berrell's Science Rhymes.  I think it was a really unique way of showing science, and it had a lot of information in it.  It was a very basic black and white layout, but there were many different styles of poem and they were often funny as well.  I learnt many things, including the light spectrum and flexible forces.  Both my 7 year-old sister and 41 year-old dad liked it as well!  I would recommend this book for ages 7-12."  Thanks Leo!

Last year, Harmonie (aged 10), gave a lecture at James Cook University in Cairns, about her own environmental project called:


Her blog post on the Science Rhymes website includes her own poem too.  Thanks Harmonie! 

Earlier this year, LIGO scientists announced they finally have proof that Einstein's proposed gravity waves really exist!
So we've featured Merrissa's poem about gravity to celebrate.
Merrissa shares her love of physics, chemistry and astronomy and everything mysterious with her two daughters. Her passion is creating glow-in-the dark jewellery at Clover 13 in Texas USA.

All's Fair in Earth's Gravity
by Merrissa Sorrentino

Here is a lesson you won't learn in class.
A gravity concept that leaves out the mass.
So pull out some paper and start taking notes.
There's a moral inside that is getting my vote..

Gravity acts on us all as the same.
It doesn't point fingers or play silly games..
We all hit the ground with the same exact speed
if we fall the same height. No-one gets in the lead.

The black and the white, and the shades in between
are treated as equals. The way it should be.
Light as a feather or heavy in weight
nobody comes in a second too late.

The good and the bad, the large and the small
they all become weightless when in a free-fall.
It doesn't have favourites or need to choose sides.
A fact that can be easily verified..

The point of this lesson should be crystal clear.
(I think that you know what I'm getting at here).
Stripped of our differences, one thing remains.
Deep down inside, we are all just the same.

Would you like to see your own poem on the internet?
If you have written a short poem about science, nature or the environment, send it to for consideration to be posted on the Your Poems page on the Science Rhymes website.
Previous eNewsletters: Best Wishes,
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