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"Potholes in the Road & How to Avoid Them!"
The dumpster not only had the pizza but it also had a few hundred pounds of chocolate pudding, some anchovies, and a whole barrel of pickles! So Jack and Jill ate their fill and plopped out.
But now, Jack and Jill were a little bit chubbier than before.
So, they decided they needed some exercise. As they wandered through The Sixth City of Cibola they came across a swami playing a flute. Next to the swami was a large basket with something that looked like a fat rope extending clear up into the clouds.
"Bet you can't climb up that rope," challenged Jill.
"Jack is nimble," said Jack "and Jack is quick. Jack can easily climb this candle wick!"
So with nary a thought for life or limb Jack and Jill — along with their pet bowling balls — started to climb up what they thought was a harmless rope.
Higher and higher they climbed until they were clear up into the clouds. Just when they thought their climb would never end they found themselves face to face with the giant open mouth of a deadly, poisonous, killer COBRA!
Without a thought Jack and Jill jumped off of the cobra. This would have been the end of Jack and Jill except...
"We interrupt this story to bring you a knowledge brief"
When Jack and Jill were climbing the cardboard box skyscraper they were using 'climbing energy.' When Jack and Jill were on top of the skyscraper, their climbing energy had changed into 'height energy.'
When Jill and Jack jumped off the building, their height energy changed into 'falling energy.' When they ate the food in the dumpster they developed 'chocolate-pizza-anchovy-pickle energy.' When they were climbing the cobra they changed their 'chocolate-pizza-anchovy-pickle energy' into more 'climbing energy.'
As they climbed up into the clouds they changed their 'climbing energy' into 'height energy.'
When the cobra confronted them, they developed 'fear energy.'
And when they jumped off of the cobra they traded 'height energy' for 'falling energy.'
The point here is that energy can change forms in the same way that the food you eat is being used by your bodies to keep you warm and alive. Scientists made up weird names for these types of energy — words like 'kinetic energy' for things that move, and 'potential energy' for things that go higher up.
We now return you to your regularly-scheduled story where, as you recall, Jack and Jill, with their pet bowling balls on their heads, appeared to be doomed by their fall from the giant Cobra!
You might guess that a bowling ball doesn't make the best pet in the world, especially if it is sitting on your head as you plummet to earth! But in this case Jack and Jill each took their bowling balls and, just before they were going to hit the ground, they threw the bowling balls downward with such great force that they stopped in mid air for a moment and were able to land more slowly without even falling down! (It did, however, take them two days to dig the bowling balls up out of the dirt crater that was formed from their heave-ho.)
The rest of the poor people in the Sixth City of Cibola didn't have adventures like Jack and Jill. They took such good care of their bowling balls by keeping them polished and warm that one night, the Good Fairy of Bowling Balls flew into town and took pity on the people and gave life to every one of the bowling balls.
The bowling balls had eyes that completely disappeared when they were shut. Their ears were flaps like a cat's ears but they could close them so that they also were invisible. Their nose holes were two of the finger holes, and their mouths were the third finger hole. So a sleeping bowling ball pet looked exactly like an ordinary bowling ball (unless it snored, of course).
Everyone in the city immediately took their pet bowling ball out for a walk and, at the end of the day, every bowling ball got to take part in a rousing bowling match. The people soon discovered that the bowling balls were somehow clever enough to hit the bowling pins just right so that every pin fell down no matter how poorly the ball was rolled down the bowling alley.
That's when the mayor of the city had a brainstorm: What if one or two people took their pet bowling balls to tournaments? They could win all kinds of money for the people of the city. So Jack and Jill went from bowling tournament to tournament making millions of dollars which they sent to help all their friends in the Sixth City of Cibola.
Things couldn't have been better in the Sixth City of Cibola. For the first time ever there was hope that life would improve for them. Now they had a little money to enjoy life and all was good ...but not for long ... Somehow, the evil Mister Fred discovered the secret of the bowling balls and he came to the Sixth City of Cibola disguised as a musician playing a flute. He walked the streets playing his flute and sang this song: "Walk your bowling ball for a penny. Rest your toes and relieve your woes, let me walk your bowling balls."
The magical flute enticed everyone in town into letting the evil Mister Fred take their pet bowling ball for a walk. Before the day was over the evil Mister Fred walked every bowling ball in the Sixth City of Cibola over to the rattlesnake-covered volcano. He told the rattlesnakes that he would pay them in with all the diamonds they could possibly carry on their backs if they'd roll the bowling balls to the top and perch them on the rim of the crater above the hot lava.
When Jack and Jill returned to town the next day (still with their own pet bowling balls who had traveled with them), they were greeted by the cries of all the people mourning the loss of their bowling ball pets. "Please help us," they cried. "An evil person has kidnapped our pet bowling balls and is threatening to roll them down into the hot lava if we don't give him one million dollars!"
Jack and Jill ran right over to the volcano and hollered up to the rattlesnakes, "Roll those bowling balls right back down to us this very instant or we'll huff and we'll puff and we'll blow you all down!"
But the rattlesnakes answered, "Not by the hair of our chinny-chin-chins." And they added, "Mister Fred has mysteriously disappeared on us, so if you want your precious bowling balls back, you'll have to give each one of us a diamond for every bowling ball we return!"
Jill said to Jack, "OK, this calls for dramatic and foolish action, what do you recommend?"
Jack answered, "Well, since I'm an expert on this sort of thing, I say we try to sneak to the top of the volcano by going down into the old mineshaft that has killed everyone who has ever entered."
So Jack and Jill entered the shaft with their bowling balls perched on their heads. Remember what the sign said? It said, "Only those carrying that which was dead and now is alive may enter, otherwise, that which is alive will die."
Of course, Jack and Jill didn't die and neither did their pet bowling balls Why?
Well, as Jack and Jill followed the mineshaft up into the center of the volcano, it became hotter and hotter. It got so hot that even the bowling balls began to sweat, but they didn't sweat salty water like you or I; the bowling balls sweated diamonds! By the time Jack and Jill came out at the top of the volcano, their pockets were bulging with diamonds!
So there they were, Jack and Jill, up on the rim of the volcano with the kidnapped bowling balls and all they had to do was roll the bowling balls down the side of the volcano. They realized, however, that if they just rolled the balls off the side from the lip of the volcano, many would shatter and break on their bouncy ride down. At the same time, some of the bowling balls might roll right over a rattlesnake and smashing a rattlesnake wouldn't be good, either.
How would they get the bowling balls down in one piece without injuring the rattlesnakes on the mountain? Do the experiment and you'll discover what Jack and Jill had in mind:
The objective has two parts:
So . . . .
Put the fat old books under two table legs to make it tilt.
Tape the straws on the table so that when you release it, the marble will roll as slowly as possible touching each straw on its way down the table.
This is all related to energy: The marble starts with potential energy (energy of height in this case). When you release it, the potential energy changes into kinetic energy (energy of motion). Some of the energy may be turned into noise and heat if the marble rubs on the straws.
One family taped cardboard to a wall and let the marble go back-and-forth down their wall. A careful design like this can have a run time of several minutes.
As we left them, Jack and Jill were debating about how to get the bowling balls down off the lip of the volcano. If they just rolled them straight down the side, the bowling balls would hit rocks and break and they might also hurt some of the rattlesnakes. So Jack and Jill took each of the bowling balls near the hot lava so that they would sweat lots of diamonds. They told the bowling balls to store all their diamonds in their mouths.
Then Jill stood up on the edge of the volcano and shouted down to the snakes: "Hello rattlesnakes! Listen to what I have to say! If you help our bowling balls get to the bottom of the mountain safely, each bowling ball will give you a diamond as it passes by."
Since this was what the rattlesnakes wanted anyway, they were glad to help. So, the rattlesnakes arranged themselves in slightly tilted rows and the bowling balls were slowly rolled down — row to row — all the way to the bottom.
Then Jack and Jill followed, giving each rattlesnake a diamond as they passed.
The rattlesnakes put the diamonds they received on their backs and, to this very day, you can still see diamond-backed rattlesnakes because of what happened that day just outside the Sixth City of Cibola.
© 2007, Rock-It Science and John McChesney, All Rights Reserved
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