Monday, January 26, 2015

Episode 250 (1-26-15): Reaching the Boiling Point

CLICK HERE to listen to episode audio (3:52)

Transcript, photos, and additional notes follow below.


TRANSCRIPT

From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of January 26, 2015.
This week, we have the second of two special episodes on the physical states of water, written especially for Virginia science students in kindergarten to third grade.

You’re about to hear a mystery water sound.  Have a listen for about 10 seconds, and see if you can guess what this sound is.  And here’s a hint: It’s not only rain that can end up as drops.

SOUND – MELTING ICE FROM TREE LIMBS IN BLACKSBURG, VA., JAN. 24, 2015

If you guessed, ice melting from trees, you’re right!  After a night of freezing rain in January 2015 in Blacksburg, Virginia, thin layers of ice coated many tree limbs.  But energy from the next day’s sunshine soon warmed the ice, causing it to melt from a solid into falling liquid drops.

A day or two later, those liquid drops were gone.  Some of th3 drops sank into the ground or ran off into creeks.  But with more heat from the sun, other drops evaporated, that is, they changed into an invisible gas called water vapor.  You might think you can see water vapor when you look at clouds.  But clouds are actually water in the sky that has cooled enough to condense, or turn back into visible liquid water.

What’s a very common place where can you watch and hear liquid water being turned into a gas and back again?  See if you know while you listen for about 10 seconds to this mystery sound.

SOUND – BOILING WATER IN A WHISTLING TEA KETTLE

If you guessed boiling water on a stove, right again!  A hot stove can add enough energy, fast enough, to liquid water to make it boil and give off bubbles of water vapor.  The escaping water vapor makes the tea kettle whistle, but the steam you can see above a whistling tea kettle is no longer water as a gas.  Instead, its water that cooled as soon as it left the kettle and changed back into a liquid.

The normal temperature of boiling water is 212 degrees Fahrenheit, or 100 degrees Celsius.  But sometimes water boils at a temperature higher or lower than that.  For example, in Denver, Colorado, at about 5000 feet above sea level, water boils at only about 200 degrees Fahrenheit.  How come?  That’s a question for YOU to answer.  And here’s a hint: this sound [SOUND - AIR BEING RELEASED FROM A BIKE TIRE] means somebody’s bicycle tire is losing air pressure.  Good luck!

[The answer to the question, not included in the audio: Water boils when the vapor pressure of the water equals the pressure of the surrounding atmosphere; at that point, bubbles of water vapor escape from the liquid water.  Water reaches atmospheric vapor pressure at 212 degrees F or 100 degrees C when the atmospheric (or air) pressure is at what’s defined as “standard pressure” or “standard sea level pressure,” 29.92 inches of mercury.  At higher elevations, like Denver, air pressure is lower, so water will boil at a lower temperature.  For more details, please see the information sources listed below.]

For other water sounds and music, and for more Virginia water information, visit our Web site at virginiawaterradio.org, or call us at (540) 231-5463.  From the Virginia Water Resources Research Center in Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.

SHOW NOTES 
[All Internet addresses mentioned were functional as of 1/26/15]

Ice-covered tree in Blacksburg, Va., January 24, 2015
Ice-covered shrub in Blacksburg, Va., January 24, 2015.
Ice pieces fallen from tree limbs in Blacksburg, Va., January 24, 2015.
Water at full boil on a stove in Blacksburg, Va., January 25, 2015.

Sources for this Episode
Virginia Standards of Learning, Virginia Department of Education, online at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/.

“Kindergarten Science Vocabulary,” VocabularySpellingCity.com, online at http://www.spellingcity.com/kindergarten-science-vocabulary.html.

“First Grade Science Vocabulary,” VocabularySpellingCity.com, online at http://www.spellingcity.com/first-grade-science-vocabulary.html.

“Second Grade Science Vocabulary,” VocabularySpellingCity.com, online at http://www.spellingcity.com/second-grade-science-vocabulary.html.

“Third Grade Science Vocabulary,” VocabularySpellingCity.com, online at http://www.spellingcity.com/third-grade-science-vocabulary.html.

“Water Properties and Measurements,” U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Water Science School, online at http://water.usgs.gov/edu/waterproperties.html.

“Atmospheric Pressure,” Encyclopedia Britannica, online at http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/41486/atmospheric-pressure.

“Boiling Point,” Encyclopedia Britannica, online at http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/71799/boiling-point.

SOLs Information for Virginia Teachers
This episode may help with the following Virginia’s 2010 Science Standards of Learning (SOLs):
Measurements of temperature on metric and English scales (2.1 and 3.1);

Physical properties of matter in different phases (2.3);

Physical properties of water in different phases (K.5);

Energy’s effects on water and water cycle (1.6, 2.3, 3.9)
;
Weather basics (2.6).

Some Related Virginia Water Radio Episodes on Water’s Physical and Chemical Properties

(Teachers: Please note that the episodes listed below were not written specifically for elementary school children, except for Episode 249, which was written for K-3 students.  The episodes may, however, have information or sounds that might help teachers in various grades with water-related topics.)

Physical phases of water |
EP144 – 1/14/13 (ice on ponds), EP199 – 2/3/14 (snow), EP249 – 1/19/15 (ice on streams)


Surface tension | 
EP217 – 6/9/14

Water as a solvent | 
EP93 – 12/19/11; EP210 – 4/21/14; EP236 – 10/20/14

For a subject index to all previous Virginia Water Radio episodes, please see this link: http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/p/index.html.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Episode 249 (1-19-15): At the Freezing Point

This episode has been replaced by Episode 403, 1-15-18.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Episode 248 (1-12-15): Exploring Stream Channel Energy and Patterns through "Minor Meander" by No Strings Attached

CLICK HERE to listen to episode audio (3:24)

Transcript, photos, and additional notes follow below.


TRANSCRIPT

From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of January 12, 2015.

This week, we feature a Blacksburg- and Roanoke-based musical group, with a tune whose name and note patterns recall how rivers and streams follow laws of energy and physics.  Have a listen for about 40 seconds.

MUSIC


You’ve been listening to part of “Minor Meander,” by No Strings Attached, on their 1999 CD, “In the Vinyl Tradition Volume II,” from Enessay Music.  As the tune repeatedly builds up and then cascades down, it captures the pattern of solar energy evaporating water up into the atmosphere, and gravitational energy pulling water back to the landscape, down through stream and river channels, and ultimately to the ocean.  That energy gives water the force to erode and shape a stream’s landscape.  But water’s erosive force—which varies depending on the water’s rate of flow—meets different levels of resistance in the various kinds of rocks, soils, living things, and human structures over which water flows.  Following laws of physics that control how energy changes and materials move, the complicated interaction between stream force and landscape materials results in a variety of stream-channel patterns, which range from single, straight streams to braided rivers with many winding and intersecting channels.  One of the possible patterns is large bends called meanders, seen famously in the Seven Bends area of the North Fork Shenandoah River in Shenandoah County, Va.  Thanks to No Strings Attached for permission to use this week’s music, and let’s end with about 15 more seconds of musical energy from “Minor Meander.”

MUSIC


For other water sounds and music, and for more Virginia water information, visit our Web site at virginiawaterradio.org, or call us at (540) 231-5463.  From the Virginia Water Resources Research Center in Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.



SHOW NOTES
[All Internet addresses mentioned were functional as of 1/12/15] 

Post card image (dated between 1930 and 1945) of part of the Seven Bends of the North Fork Shenandoah River, in Shenandoah County, Virginia.  From the Boston Public Library, made available (for uses allowed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License) by the Digital Pubic Library of America, online at https://www.digitalcommonwealth.org/search/commonwealth:2z10wt39r.

Meanders in the South Fork Shenandoah River, as seen from Cullers Overlook in Andy Guest/Shenandoah River State Park (Warren County, Va.), March 12, 2014.

 
Acknowledgments
“Minor Meander” and “In the Vinyl Tradition Volume II” are copyright by No Strings Attached and Enessay Music, used with permission.  “Minor Meaner” was composed by Wes Chappell and appeared originally on No Strings Attached’s 1986 album, “Dulcimer Dimensions.”  More information on No Strings Attached is available from their Web site, http://enessay.com/.

Thanks to Kevin McGuire, associate director of the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, for his help with this episode.


Sources for this Episode
Encyclopedia Britannica, “Meander,” online at http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/371575/meander.

Stream Hydrology: An Introduction for Ecologists
, by Nancy D. Gordon et al., John Wiley & Sons, Chichester, England, 1992.

Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, “Seven Bends State Park: 2008 Master Plan Executive Summary and 2014 Master Plan Renew,” accessed online at http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/recreational_planning/masterplans.shtml.



For More Information about Watersheds, Streams and Rivers, and Other Water Science Topics
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) “Water Science School,” online at http://water.usgs.gov/edu/.

Some Related Virginia Water Radio Episodes on the Water cycle, Watersheds, and Stream Flow
Blue Ridge and the Rockfish River | EP192 – 12/16/13
Blue Ridge creating watersheds | EP209 – 4/14/14
Groundwater | EP178 – 9/9/13
Hydroelectric power | EP170 – 7/15/13
New River | EP109 – 5/7/12
Ohio River Basin rivers | EP108 – 4/30/12
Rappahannock River | EP89 – 11/21/11, EP245--12/22/14
Shenandoah River | EP130 – 10/1/12
Three forks of the Big Sandy River | EP162 – 5/20/13
Water as a solvent | EP93 – 12/19/11
Water cycle | EP191 – 12/9/13; EP198 – 1/27/14
Watersheds | EP156 – 4/8/13

For a subject index to all previous Virginia Water Radio episodes, please see this link: http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/p/index.html.

SOLs Information for Virginia Teachers
This episode may help with Virginia’s January 2010 Science Standards of Learning (SOLs) for Force, Motion, and Energy in grades 4 (4.2) and six (6.2); for Earth Patterns, Cycles, and Change in grade 5 (5.7); for Matter in grade 6 (6.5); for Living Systems in grade 6 (6.7); for Life Science (especially LS.6); for Physical Science (especially PS.6 and PS.10); for Earth Science (especially ES.8); and for Physics(especially PH.4, PH.6, and PH.7).

Monday, January 5, 2015

Episode 247 (1-5-15): January Means State Budget Time in the Virginia General Assembly

CLICK HERE to listen to episode audio (2:58)

Transcript, a photo, and additional notes follow below.


TRANSCRIPT

From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of January 5, 2015.  This week, travel back in time—for about 17 seconds—to Richmond in January 2014.

[EXCERPTS FROM OPENING CEREMONY AT VIRGINIA GENERAL ASSEMBLY ON JANUARY 8, 2014]


With those or similar words, the Virginia General Assembly convenes in Richmond each year on the second Wednesday of January.  During their annual sessions, the 100 members of the House of Delegates and the 40 members of the State Senate consider several thousand bills, many of which deal with subjects related to water, like fisheries [FISHING LINE SOUND], wildlife [BEAVER TAIL SPLAT SOUND], boating [MOTOR SOUND], drinking water [HOUSEHOLD FAUCET SOUND], and energy [POWER LINE SOUND].  But this sound [COINS SOUND] symbolizes the main event of many General Assembly sessions—the state budget.  The state government operates on a biennial budget, covering two fiscal years.  In even-numbered years, the General Assembly sets the budget for the upcoming two years; the Assembly considers amendments to that budget during sessions in odd-numbered years.  Each year in December, the governor submits a budget proposal, and in January separate budget bills are taken up by each house.  After each house passes its own budget bill, a joint conference committee sorts out differences between the two versions.  Once both houses agree on a final bill, that bill goes to the governor, who may approve it, veto it, veto parts of it, or seek amendments.  Any vetoes or amendments go back to the General Assembly in a reconvened, or “veto,” session in April.

Every year, the General Assembly passes lots of bills on lots of issues, but legislators’ decisions about whether or not to "select your method of payment" [GROCERY STORE SELF-CHECKOUT SOUND] often have the biggest impacts that follow final adjournment.


For other water sounds and music, and for more Virginia water information, visit our Web site at virginiawaterradio.org, or call us at (540) 231-5463.  From the Virginia Water Resources Research Center in Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.


SHOW NOTES 
[All Internet addresses mentioned were functional as of 1/5/15]
Cartoon by George Wills of Blacksburg, Va. (http://www.etsy.com/people/BlacksburgArt), published originally in “Inside Virginia’s State Budget for Water,” Virginia Water Central, April 2001, p. 1; available online via http://www.vwrrc.vt.edu/water-central-news/.  (Please see below under Sources for More Information for more details about that article.)

Acknowledgments and Sources for More Information on the Virginia General Assembly

The excerpt from the Virginia General Assembly heard in this episode was recorded from live-streaming of the General Assembly’s opening House of Delegates session on January 8, 2014, accessed at http://virginia-house.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=3 in January 2014.

The fishing line sound was taken from “Bass Fisherman’s Reel” on the 2004 CD “Virginia Wildlife,” copyright Timothy Seaman and Pine Wind Music, used with permission.  More information about Timothy Seaman is available online at http://timothyseaman.com/.


Information on the General Assembly is available from the Assembly’s Web site, http://virginiageneralassembly.gov/.  That site offers several useful features, including member lists, session calendars, links to the live video of floor sessions, and information on legislative processes.

Information on the Virginia state budget process is available from the Department of Planning and Budget, online at http://dpb.virginia.gov/budget/budget.cfm.

The Virginia Legislative Information System, at http://leg1.state.va.us/, is the online location for following the legislation of General Assembly sessions.


For water-related bills in the current and previous sessions of the General Assembly, please see the Virginia Water Resources Research Center’s “Virginia Water Legislation” page, online at http://www.vwrrc.vt.edu/virginia-water-legislation/.

Committees and subcommittees play key roles in the progress of legislation in the General Assembly.  The General Assembly’s standing (or permanent) committees are listed online at http://leg1.state.va.us/121/com/COM.HTM.  That site provides links to each committee; in turn, each committee’s online page provides a list of members, agendas, reports, and legislation on the committee’s docket.

To express an opinion on legislation, citizens can contact their members of the House or Senate.  You can find your representatives and their contact information by using the online “Who’s My Legislator” service, available at http://whosmy.virginiageneralassembly.gov/; or you can find members’ contact information at these links:


Senate: http://apps.lis.virginia.gov/sfb1/Senate/TelephoneList.aspx.

If you know the numbers of your legislative districts, you can also use the following code to identify your representatives’ Capitol phone numbers: for delegates, (804) 698-10 + district number (for example, 698-1003 for the District 3 delegate); for senators, (804) 698-75 + district number (for example, 698-7510 for the District 10 senator).

The Lobbyist-In-A-Box subscriber service also offers free tracking for up to five bills, and it offers tracking of more than five bills for a fee; visit http://lis.virginia.gov/h015.htm.  For assistance, phone Legislative Automated Systems at (804) 786-9631.

For an introduction to water-related spending in the Virginia state budget, please see “Inside Virginia’s State Budget for Water,” Virginia Water Central, April 2001, p.1; available online at http://www.vwrrc.vt.edu/water-central-news/ (click on the link under “Newsletter Archives”).  The article is somewhat dated now, of course, but it retains a good deal of useful, basic information on Virginia’s budget process and on how different water-related functions are distributed among different agencies.  A slightly later overview of the budgets of Virginia’s agencies with water responsibilities is available in the January 2004 issue of Water Central, p. 18 (see the same link for access).

Virginia Water Central
News Grouper posts on news, events, and information resources relevant to the Virginia General Assembly are available online at http://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.wordpress.com/?s=General+Assembly.


Related Virginia Water Radio Episodes


Episode 143, 1/7/13
– Music for the Past and Present of the Virginia General Assembly.


Episode 147, 2/4/13 – Committees Guide the Flow of Bills in the Virginia General Assembly.

Episode 196, 1/13/14
– The Virginia General Assembly on its 396th Opening Day, January 8, 2014.

SOLs Information for Virginia Teachers


This episode may help with Virginia’s 2010 Science Standards of Learning (SOLs) for Grade 6 (particularly 6.7, 6.9), Life Science (particularly LS.4), and Earth Science (particularly ES.6 and ES.10).
  It may also help with Virginia’s 2008 Social Studies SOLs in Civics and Economics (particularly CE.1, CE.7, and CE.9), World Geography (particularly WG.7), and Government (particularly GOV.1, GOV.8, GOV.9, and GOV.16).