Saturday, April 30, 2011

Pic Today 4/30/11


Day two at the World Robotics Championship
student competition in St. Louis.
School teams from around the world
compete in age categories, K to 12th grade.

Very young students built models and robots
in the LEGO competition, while teams in grades 5-12
spent the day fine tuning and adjusting
more complicated robot designs
(VERY complicated designs!)

Countries advancing into the final rounds
of the high school competition include:

Saudi Arabia
United States

(Some teams seemed confident enough
to spend time in more leisurely activities!)

Friday, April 29, 2011

Pic Today 4/29/11


580 student teams
throughout North America
have brought their robots to St. Louis this weekend
for the 20th Annual F.I.R.S.T. Robotics Championship Competition.

Students compete in 4 categories, grades K through 12,
and design radio controlled remote robots
who perform in competitive arenas through Sunday
at the Edward Jones Dome in downtown St. Louis.
There are junior categories for students 6-9 years of age,
and even a LEGO League for grades 4-8.

Prestigious colleges and universities,
as well as corporate sponsors (IBM, Google, Apple, Rolls Royce)
support the competition with funding and scholarships.
Top competitors apply for $20-million in scholarship funds.

Teams have been working on their robot entries all year,
with the help of their science teachers, sponsors and parents.
The Championship Competition is expected to fill the stadium
and is free to the public to attend.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Pic Today 4/28/11


may flowers, flooded rivers and
lots of green in the forest and woodlands.

Despite a Spring full of rainy days
and stormy weather,
the woods are quickly greening up . . .
with groves of tulip trees, fat snails,
overnight mushroom crops,
lichens covering soggy branches
and the sweet smell of the wet forest floor.

A walk through the wilderness shows
a promise of a healthy summer ahead.

And they say the peach crop will be good this year.
That's good. That's very good.

(Got to stay positive.)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Pic Today 4/27/11


1. An F-4 Tornado.

With winds in excess of 230 mph,
these powerful cyclones can lift semi-trailers
like toy trucks, and tear houses from their foundations.
This St. Louis house lost its roof,
and incredibly its garage and kitchen
were totally blown away . . .
while its refrigerator was left standing,
door wide open with all its food left inside.

2. A community's helping hand.

An equally powerful force,
neighbors and church groups teamed up
to help those in need . . .
opening their doors to those left homeless,
providing food, shelter, clothing and a helpful hand.
At Zion Lutheran Church, the congregation
accumulated clothing, blankets, food and money
at an emergency shelter in their neighborhood.
Shelters and emergency help centers have
sprung up around the damaged communities.

It's hard to say
which force is most powerful.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Pic Today 4/26/11


Ever since our 'tornado weekend'
it's been raining . . . raining hard.

The forecast calls for rain all week.
It's too much for the earth to absorb.

Rivers are breaking their banks . . .
flooding the fields, the roads, where we live.

Levee gates are closing.
Sand bags stacking . . . makeshift dams, and hopes.
Flash flood warnings throughout the state.

People are evacuating . . .
wondering . . . praying!

Relentless rains . . .
shouldn't someone start building an ark?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Pic Today 4/25/11


Three tornados ripped through northern
neighborhoods in St. Louis, including a direct hit
on St. Louis International Airport.

According to the U.S. Weather Bureau,
of the 300 tornados in the U.S. so far this year
-- and that's a record --
the most powerful (rated an F-4) took its toll in St. Louis . . .
taking the roof and windows off part of the airport
and destroying 1,000 homes in Bridgeton & Maryland Heights.

Some homes were totally leveled, down to the foundation.
A week of rain and thunderstorms is predicted to follow.

Thanks to a network of tornado warning sirens,
there were no reported fatalities!

God bless all the displaced and distressed families affected.

(Aerial photo: Courtesy, St. Louis Post Dispatch)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Pic Today 4/24/11


In my hometown, Kirkwood, Missouri,
we celebrated Earth Day and Easter together
at our Farmers Market and Train Station.

In between thunderstorms and tornados,
it stopped raining long enough for neighbors
to share in the celebration . . .
with music, "green" demonstrations and train tours
while we shopped for plants for our gardens,
fresh fruits and vegetables for the table,
and cute bunnies and Seeds of Happiness
for Easter Sunday morning.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Pic Today 4/23/11


Help Robert Redford stop a crime
"against our planet" in the Alaska wilderness.

The mining giant, Rio Tinto, is planning
their largest excavation in Bristol Bay, Alaska,
just like the one they put in Robert Redford's home state
at Bingham Canyon Mine, Utah.

Redford paid for full page newspaper ads on Earth Day
so we could stop this travesty before it's too late.

The above ad is probably too difficult to read,
so please help by visiting

It's the least we can do for Earth Day.
Mother Earth thanks you!