Mercury MESSENGER Spacecraft & Nepal Video


The MESSENGER spacecraft, launched in 2004, arrived at Mercury in 2011 to photograph the surface of the planet. Yesterday, MESSENGER ended operations — it crashed into the planet. The mission was only supposed to last until 2012, but since it was still operating, scientists guided it to lower and lower elevations, which resulted in the closest images ever of the planet. Unfortunately, that meant MESSENGER fell out of orbit and finally crashed yesterday.

To see images, click here!


Here is a video that shows a building collapsing during the earthquake. The magnitude was 7.8–huge, compared with our 3.4 earthquake yesterday.

Nature has been busy!

As I went to sleep on Saturday, I was planning to have you investigate the hurricane and tropical storms in the Pacific. Then on Sunday, I woke up to the earthquake in Napa, Sonoma, and American Canyon up north. Take your choice!

The Napa-American Canyon Earthquake


1) Here are some quotes from Twitter:

“OMG GUYS!!! My 1st #California #earthquake just now!!! Woke up to the bed swaying, the window blinds shaking and dogs barking!!

“Wow. That was either really big or really close!”

“And…Worse earthquake I’ve ever felt.” “I can hear my neighbors outside in pitch black knocking on doors asking ‘Are you ok?'”

2) Here is a link to a news report with video and images about the Napa/American Canyon earthquake: 6.1 from NBC Bay Area News.

3) The USGS has information on the latest earthquakes around the world. Here’s where it occurred:


Credit: U.S. Geological Survey
Department of the Interior/USGS


Hurricane Marie is active in the Pacific Ocean. Right now it is south of Baja California. Scientists believe it will head further into the Pacific Ocean, between Mexico, Southern California and Hawaii. You can read more about it here: NOAA Hurricane Center.

Hurricane Marie

Image credit

Click here for how it might affect weather in Mexico: Accuweather

San Diego is a little worried about possible effects: Times of San Diego

The tropical storms AND Hurricane Marie: NOAA National Hurricane Center


Your First Post

April is Earthquake Preparedness month. For your first blog post, please choose from the topics below. When you finish writing, go to our copyright “OK” image links (LMS Tech) and find an image to illustrate your blog post. Don’t forget the link!

Choice 1: Make a list of 5 ways you can prepare for an earthquake.

Choice 2: What should you do during an earthquake? Explain.

Choice 3: Explain where earthquakes happened this week…give me a list of at least 5 places + tell me what was the strongest magnitude?


When you finish writing, and dragging your image + URL to your server, you need to upload your image and link. It should look like this:




Earthquake Preparedness Post


Image: USGS

As you know, we live in earthquake country. The most important thing you can do to help yourself is to be informed. I’d like you to take the information that classmates put into Google Docs and think about your family. What does your family need to do to be prepared in case of an emergency? Look at the suggestions on your Google Docs page. Write 5 steps you and your family should take to be prepared. Write them in your own words and be specific!!

Add an image to your post. You can use the usual links (WikiWix, Stock.xchng) or you can try the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and see what you can find. Remember to give credit and add a link to the image. Use this tool to create your link:

Paste in the URL, highlight the URL, click this link tool–>linkpic and paste in your URL again.

In summary, your grade will be based on–

1) You created a New Post.

2) You went back to Google Docs, and decided on ways your family could prepare for an earthquake.

3) You wrote in your post 5 ways your family could prepare. You checked your spelling.

4) You added an image, with a link to the image’s website.

5) You added a title, tags, and a category.

6) You published it.