Science – The Elements – Hydrogen


What is an Atom?

What is Hydrogen?

Hydrogen is the very first element on the periodic table. It’s made up of just one proton and one electron. Hydrogen atoms are the smallest and lightest atoms that exist, and there are more of them in the universe than anything else!

Hydrogen gets its name from two Greek words. Hydro, which means water, and Genes, which means forming. It got that name because, when hydrogen burns, it makes water! Weird, right?

Atomic Number1
Atomic Weight1.008
State of MatterGas

Hydrogen is a gas at room temperature, and it has no color or smell. It doesn’t usually show up by itself on earth, but there is still a lot of it here. Water, or H2O, is made up of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom.


How was Hydrogen Discovered?

In the 1500s, a scientist named Paracelsus noticed that when he poured acid onto iron it made bubbles. Those bubbles were hydrogen, but he didn’t know it!

Later, in 1671, Robert Boyle did the same experiment and saw the same bubbles. But he didn’t realize it was hydrogen either!

Finally, in 1766, Henry Cavendish did the same experiment again and discovered that the bubbles were hydrogen gas.

An atom of Hydrogen

What is Hydrogen Used for?

Hydrogen is used as a clean fuel today. Some buses and cars run on hydrogen and make steam instead of pollution! Liquid hydrogen is also used as rocket fuel. Astronauts get to space by blasting out steam! Hydrogen can be used to make powerful nuclear bombs, or to clean cuts. You probably have a bottle of hydrogen peroxide at home!

Science Facts
Did you know that the sun is powered by hydrogen? The sun’s powerful gravity mashes hydrogen atoms together to make helium. When hydrogen turns into helium, a huge amount of energy gets released. That’s where all of the heat and light from the sun comes from!

In the next article, we will learn about Helium. Hopefully, I don’t get too carried away!

The Elements – Helium


Blog – Quick Fix History

Hello Readers, Writers, Teachers, and Children! Would you like to learn more about the treasure fleets of China or the stone castles of Great Zimbabwe? What about the horses of St. Mark or the dog dance of the Hidatsa?

“Yes, but I have neither the time, nor the desire to read a history textbook!”

Well, that’s where I come in! I’ll read those books for you and condense them down to bite-sized chunks chock full of the good stuff. Each installment of Quick Fix History will take about 1-2 mins to read, so you can finally learn who Harold Bluetooth was and still get on with your day!

Check out the archives: Quick Fix History

Flash Fiction – Rotten Iron Wrought in Green

Zippy Flash Fiction

Inspired by 5 Words #47

Chunk ka-chunk ka-chunk…ssssss

The heavy, rust-pocked bulk came to a halt and depressurized with a hiss of steam. Spyglass eyes flashed brightly and dimmed as the machine revved down to a rumbling idle. Its head swiveled slowly one way, then the other.

Painted along the wall was the word “CAUTION” in bright yellow letters half-covered in grime. Beyond that, was open air and a thirty-foot drop onto a jagged, broken foundation. The entire corner of the derelict factory had sheered away at some point.

Near the edge, among the rusted out teeth of a shattered floor, an air plant held fast. Its bush of green tendrils swayed in the breeze like a patch of unruly hair.

Sheenk sheenk sheenk… sssss

A round hatch on the belly of the machine turned jerkily and swung open with a screech. A slender figure stepped out, wiping sweat from her brow. She took in a deep breath. The air was better here; it was healing. Removing a thick glove, she knelt and scooped up the lonely plant and peered out across the horizon.

A new day was rising, and the world felt like… hope.

Flash Fiction – The Void

Zippy Flash Fiction

For the Carrotranch September 3: Flash Fiction Challenge

Arture dashed across the windswept plain. His heart pounded in his head; his feet pounded the ground. Sand bit at his face as it was dragged away into the void behind him.

What now?

A rocky outcropping jutted up ahead. Perhaps it would shield… Arture faltered and dodged as the mighty wind peeled giant jagged stones away from the earth.

Every fiber of his body strained forward. Then… Arture left the ground. The void pulled him in like a great whirlpool.

Arture set his jaw, tucked his legs, and sped at the void like a cannonball. This wasn’t over.

Blog – What Topics Interest You?


Hello Readers, Writers, Teachers, and Children! I have several nonfiction article series planned for the coming months, (I’m stuck at home, what else am I gonna do?) and I’d like to know what topics interest you?

Would you like to hear reviews on literature or analyses of classic books?

Do you want to understand how gravity works or how a tree decides whether to grow leaves or fruit?

Have you wondered what it was like to live in ancient Egypt or why Bluetooth is called Bluetooth? (It’s named after a Viking.)

Let me know your thoughts and interests, and maybe you’ll find a short, easy-to-read article here to answer your questions!

Flash Fiction – Exile

Zippy Flash Fiction

“Adjust 9 degrees. Increase charge by 12%. Fire in 7 seconds. 5… 4… 3… 2… 1… Fire.”

The ground lurched and quaked as the giant gun fired its capsule into orbit around a distant chunk of earth. Number 46 was prone to a wild elliptic due to the slingshot created when Number 16 and Number 23 came alongside its east and west hemispheres at almost exactly the same time before falling away again in opposite directions. Pinpoint accuracy was necessary in any case when it came to launching among any of the 48 regions, but Number 46 was a special case.

As the capsule entered the low orbit of Number 46, triangular wings emerged from either side of the craft. Sprays of air escaped sporadically from the shuttle as it rolled, flipped, and aligned itself flat against the atmosphere of Number 46. It sailed slowly down, cutting through the sky and clouds of the speeding planetoid.

The shuttle rattled and smoked as small explosions shredded the thin metal hull. Boxes of supplies and tools began pouring out through the gaps, freefalling to the earth below. The shuttle started to swing around due to air resistance tearing across the widening holes. Faster and faster it spun, staying level. It came down on a lake like a giant skipping stone, skidding across the water’s surface before losing momentum and flipping. A tidal wave rippled away from the wreckage as it began to sink.

The water boiled as air bubbled up from the sinking shuttle. Slowly, the water became calm.
Suddenly, a head popped out of the water. The man gasped, pushing shaggy black hair out of his eyes.

The exile emerged from the lake coughing. He stood and stared out across the path of supplies spread far and wide over the land. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a compass.

“Well, better get started.”

Poem – Anatomy of a Strange Man in Love

How can I put this?

What can I say?

Why do my words roll and tumble

And trip and catch in my throat

So that what I say

Is neither what I meant

Nor what I wished to convey?

They pour out,

A jumble of letters on the floor

And what they mean is,

“I love you.”

How all the winsome words

Form and dance and sing

In my head.

And from my finger tips

A beautiful sonata flies.

Down on paper

I can show you

Who I am inside.

But why,

Why do the words not fly

From my lips so shy.

They fly and fall

And smash to the floor.

And you ask me “why?”

I do not know why.

I do not know.

It tears me.

It rips me inside.

When my heart speaks,

My mind is blank

And I stutter.

I stutter and sigh,

“I love you.”

Forgive me please.

It’s foolish it seems.

I feel foolish

And still I cannot speak.

I wish to say:

“Your beauty is like the sun

And down on me it shines.

It parts the rain.

It warms my life.

Your lips are like blossoms.

Soft and delicate.

For a kiss so sweet,

Anything, my love.

Your touch leaves me helpless.

It melts into me

And gives me life.

Your skin is like mahogany.

It makes me blush inside

And drives me mad.

Your eyes are wide and deep.

Your gaze makes me naked.

Oh, for eternity

Should I be lost within them!”

But when my heart speaks,

My mind tumbles.

My jaw is tight

And I am lost.

So many words rush up

And catch in my throat.

And what escapes is only,

“I love you.”

Poem – Confessions of an Avid Author (or Artist) #3

I’m not 100%


If I’ve been to sleep

In the last three days,

But this coffee

Is good,

There are no bananas


And I’m still wearing

The same


Series – Nitro! Frog – Issue 001


“Nitro! Yo, Nitro! Wake up!” Teach shouted. Smack! Teach slapped the napping frog with a wet mackerel.

“Ouch! What’s that all about?” Nitro cried.

“You were napping again!” Teach shouted as he tossed the mackerel back into the ocean.

“Now, everybody listen up! Today, you graduate from Teach’s Life Training! Some of you did better than others!” Nitro withered under Teach’s glare.

“It’s time to choose your skills! Choose carefully, you only get one shot at this! When I call your name, step forward and get your R.I.B.B.E.T.S.!”

“Isn’t this so exciting?” Gloria, a pink frog, asked.

“Yeah! I can’t wait to get my skills! I’m going to be a master fisherfrog like Teach!” Nitro answered with stars in his eyes.

“Penelope!” Teach shouted.

Penelope, a sassy purple frog in a tutu, claimed her R.I.B.B.E.T.S. She turned the small red tablet over in her hand.

“Thank you, Teach!” she said, prancing back.

“Dexter!” Teach shouted.

Dexter, a blue frog and King of Nerds, retrieved his R.I.B.B.E.T.S.

“Why thank you, sir,” Dexter said, adjusting his thick glasses.

“Nobody likes a suck-up, Dex! Next, Gloria!” Teach shouted.

Gloria practically floated over to get her R.I.B.B.E.T.S.

“THANK YOU, TEACH!” Gloria said, over-enthusiastically.

“Lance!” Teach shouted.

Lance, a gray frog of few words, collected his R.I.B.B.E.T.S.

“Teach,” Lance nodded.

“Lastly, Nitro! Try not to break it right away,” Teach said, momentarily losing his usual enthusiasm for shouting.

Nitro, a typical green frog, snatched up his R.I.B.B.E.T.S.

“Thanx, Teach!” Nitro shouted.

“Excuse me?! I don’t think I heard that spelling correctly! Let’s try again!” Teach shouted.

“Oops. Thanks, Teach!” Nitro corrected himself.

“That’s more like it! If you have any questions, refer to the ‘HELP’ menu! DO NOT ASK ME! Good luck with life, cadets! I’m going to take a nap,” Teach said, exhausted.

After Teach had gone to lay in his hammock, the five young frogs chattered excitedly over their R.I.B.B.E.T.S.s. Nitro turned his over and over, tapped it, shook it, and sighed.

“How does this thing work again?” Nitro asked.

The other frogs fell over. This was going to be a long day.

Issue 002

Poem – Barney the Sheep

Barney the sheep
Had tons of friends.
Barney the sheep
Was the center of attention.
Barney the sheep
Was a baaad boy at heart.
Barney the sheep
Loved the lambs.
Barney the sheep
Had it all. But
Barney the sheep
Felt empty inside.
Barney the sheep
Wondered what he could do.
Barney the sheep
Had an idea.
Barney the sheep
Shaved off his wool.
Barney the sheep
Made sweaters for all.
Barney the sheep
Had tons of friends. And
Barney the sheep
Was a friend to call.

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