What makes rocks slide across the desert?

This undated photo provided by the National Park Service shows rocks that have moved across a dry lake bed in Death Valley National Park in California's Mojave Desert. Cousins Richard Norris and James Norris say the movement is made possible when ice sheets that form after rare overnight rains melt in the rising sun, making the hard ground muddy and slick. (AP Photo/National Park Service)

This undated photo provided by the National Park Service shows rocks that have moved across a dry lake bed in Death Valley National Park in California’s Mojave Desert. Cousins Richard Norris and James Norris say the movement is made possible when ice sheets that form after rare overnight rains melt in the rising sun, making the hard ground muddy and slick. (AP Photo/National Park Service)

DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK, Calif. — For years scientists have wondered how large rocks — some weighing hundreds of pounds — zigzag across a flat portion of desert in Death Valley National Park. As they moved on their own when no one watched them, the rocks would leave long trails etched in the earth.

Now two researchers have photographed these “sailing rocks.” How are they moving? It turns out they are being blown by light winds across the former lake bed known as the Racetrack Playa.

Cousins Richard Norris and James Norris said the movement is made possible when ice sheets that form after rare overnight rains melt in the rising sun, making the hard ground muddy and slick.

Last year, the cousins catalogued 60 rocks moving across the playa’s pancake-flat surface.

“Observed rock movement occurred on sunny, clear days, following nights of sub-freezing temperatures,” they wrote in their report.

The conclusion proves theories that have been floated since geologists began studying the moving rocks in the 1940s.

The phenomenon doesn’t happen often because it rarely rains in the notoriously hot and dry desert valley. Even more impressively, the rocks move about 15 feet per minute, the report says.

The Norrises launched their “Slithering Stones Research Initiative” in 2011. After getting permits from the National Park Service, they installed a weather station in the area and placed 15 stones equipped with global positioning devices on the desert surface.

The “GPS stones,” which were engineered to record movement and velocity, were stationed at the southern end of the playa. They were placed near where non-GPS-infused rocks begin their strange journeys after tumbling down a cliff.

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‘Tales of Buried Treasure’ contest: First Place Winners

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This is it! We’re ready to announce the big winners of the “Tales of Buried Treasure.” These champions and the second and third place winners will be awarded their prizes at a special ceremony at the York Emporium on Friday, Oct. 4.

We will be contacting all the winners shortly, so keep an eye out in your e-mail in boxes and your regular mail.

After weeks of reading and evaluating the crack team of Junior Dispatch literary judges have made jd-sitenewstheir selections on the best stories submitted in our “Tales of Buried Treasure” short story contest, which Junior Dispatch offered with the help of the York Emporium and the York County Libraries.

We received more than 100 entries and now we are announcing the third place winners in each of our age categories. Second and third place winners will be announced Wednesday and Thursday.

12 to 18 AGE GROUP

Awarded to Tristan Albert, 16, of Hanover for the story titled “The Treasure of the Upson.” Read the story here about a treasure no one is meant to find.

8 to 11 AGE GROUP

Awarded to Amanda Cox, 11, of Red Lion for the story titled Death Gaze’s Hoard.” Read the story here about a young dragon named FlashBolt.

7 and YOUNGER AGE GROUP

Awarded to Eliana Whing, 7, for the story titled “A Family Treasure Hunt.” Read the story here about kids seeking out a leprechaun’s hidden riches.

As first-prize winners, these amazing writers earn a $50 movie gift card and a $50 gift certificate from the York Emporium.

 

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‘Tales of Buried Treasure’ contest: Second Place Winners

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It seems appropriate we would be announcing another set of winners on Talk Like A Pirate Day, so here goes!

After weeks of reading and evaluating the crack team of Junior Dispatch literary judges have made jd-sitenewstheir selections on the best stories submitted in our “Tales of Buried Treasure” short story contest, which Junior Dispatch offered with the help of the York Emporium and the York County Libraries.

We received more than 100 entries and now we are announcing the third place winners in each of our age categories. First and second place winners will be announced Thursday and Friday.

12 to 18 AGE GROUP

Awarded to Kennedy Bryant, 14, of Spring Grove for the story titled “The Siren’s Slave.” Read the story here about the hunt for a sea creature’s treasure.

8 to 11 AGE GROUP

Awarded to Imani-Unheri White, 8, of Dover for the story titled “The Crystal Chest of the Mystical Island.” Read the story here about a young girl’s quest.

7 and YOUNGER AGE GROUP

Awarded to Alex Fisher, 7, of Windsor for the story titled “Fairytale Treasures.” Read the story here about a boy named Joe Joe on an “adventure walk.”

As second-prize winners, these amazing writers earn a $20 movie gift card and a $20 gift certificate from the York Emporium.

 

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‘Tales of Buried Treasure’ contest: Third Place Winners

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After weeks of reading and evaluating the crack team of Junior Dispatch literary judges have made jd-sitenewstheir selections on the best stories submitted in our “Tales of Buried Treasure” short story contest, which Junior Dispatch offered with the help of the York Emporium and the York County Libraries.

We received more than 100 entries and now we are announcing the third place winners in each of our age categories. First and second place winners will be announced Thursday and Friday.

12 to 18 AGE GROUP

Awarded to My-Hoa Do, 12, of New Oxford for the story titled “Message in a Bottle.” Read the story here about a mysterious locked chest.

8 to 11 AGE GROUP

Awarded to Rhiannon Ernst, 11, of Dover for the story titled “Digging Up A Fortune.” Read the story here about a the secrets of Greenmist.

7 and YOUNGER AGE GROUP

Awarded to Charlotte Pinamonti, 5, or Lewisberry for the story titled “Susannah and the Buried Treasure.” Read the story here about a team of treasure hunters, including 2,000 chickens.

As third-prize winners, these amazing writers earn a $10 movie gift card and a $10 gift certificate from the York Emporium.

 

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Make ‘Your First Comic’ with Junior Dispatch

The June "Your First Comic" class brought more than a dozen artists to Red Land Community Library.

The June “Your First Comic” class brought more than a dozen artists to Red Land Community Library.

Junior Dispatch’s John Simcoe is visiting York County libraries this summer to help kids create their very own comics.

Make your first comic in classes at one of York County's libraries in July or August.

Make your first comic in classes at one of York County’s libraries in July or August.

The program, which lasts about one-and-a-half hours, focuses on the basics of creating a comic book with the help of a few handouts. The key to the whole program is a “blank” comic book which kids use to create their very own unique illustrated story.

Prior to class, youngsters are encouraged to think of a story they would like to create, as well as coming up with three characters to star in their comic book.

If you’re already an artist, bring along your sketchbook and show it off to the class.

Catch a class at the following York County libraries. Be sure to call the library to register for a spot.

  • Kreutz Creek – Tuesday, July 9, 6 p.m.
  • Dover – Thursday, July 11, 2 p.m.
  • Village – Thursday, July 18, 2 p.m.
  • Collinsville – Monday, July 29, 1 p.m.
  • Kaltreider – Tuesday, July 30, 2 p.m.
  • Martin – Friday, August 2, 3 p.m.

Need a little inspiration for your comic book? Check out all the free online comics available right here on Junior Dispatch!

 

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Catch the JD on WJTL

Junior Dispatch is thrilled to announce that we’ll be appearing on Kid’s Cookie Break at 9 a.m. on Saturday, January 19. You can hear the show on WJTL 90.3 FM or 24/7 on the Kid’s Cookie Break website.jd-sitenews

Junior Dispatch will visit with Kid's Cookie Break host Lisa Landis, above, on its Saturday, January 19 show.

Junior Dispatch will visit with Kid’s Cookie Break host Lisa Landis on its Saturday, January 19 show.

As an enticement for you to listen, come back here Saturday for a special gift to all the KCB listeners!

We’ll be there (starting around 10 a.m.) to talk with host Lisa Landis about what Junior Dispatch does and how kids and classes can contribute to the site. Aside from getting kids to contribute more, we’ll also take a whirlwind tour of the site so we can show off our videos, comics, reading projects, activity-and-event listings and reports from kids just like you.

Just in case you weren’t sure how you can contribute, have your parents, teachers, scout leaders and coaches check out this link for more information.

So tune to 90.3 FM on Saturday at 9 a.m. to catch all the Kid’s Cookie Break fun!

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Barack for four more

President Barack Obama waves as he walks on stage with first lady Michelle Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha at his election night party Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, in Chicago. Obama defeated Republican challenger former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

The cover of the Nov. 7 edition of the York Dispatch marks President Obama’s historic re-election.


U.S. President Barack Obama was re-elected yesterday for a second term in the White House, meaning that he, his wife Michelle, and children Sasha and Malia get to stay in Washington, D.C. for another four years.

The president earned 303 Electoral College votes, beating his challenger Mitt Romney, who was able to score 206. Another 29 Electoral College votes will be awarded when Florida determines its winner, but Obama already has enough to claim the win.

As the vote totals stand now, the President got 59,721,271 individual votes to Romney’s 57,095,396.

Some of the top issues of the campaign were the status of the President’s health-care plan, the economy, taxes and the War in Afghanistan.

In acknowledging Obama’s win, Romney urged his supporters to work with the president, saying: “This is a time of great challenges for America, and I pray that the president will be successful in guiding our nation. … Our leaders have to work across the aisle to do the people’s work”

Obama repeated his campaign slogan of moving “forward” repeatedly in a victory speech early Wednesday in his hometown of Chicago.

“We will disagree, sometimes fiercely, about how to get there,” he said. “As it has for more than two centuries, progress will come in fits and starts. It’s not always a straight line. It’s not always a smooth path. By itself, the recognition that we have common hopes and dreams won’t end all the gridlock, or solve all our problems, or substitute for the painstaking work of building consensus, and making the difficult compromises needed to move this country forward. But that common bond is where we must begin.”

The Electoral College is a strange way to resolve an election, and only the United States uses such a system. You can learn more about it in this video. http://youtu.be/OUS9mM8Xbbw

You can watch Obama’s acceptance speech too. http://youtu.be/nv9NwKAjmt0

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden celebrate on stage at the election night party at McCormick Place, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, in Chicago. Obama defeated Republican challenger former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Reported by THE JUNIOR DISPATCH STAFF & THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

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Junior Dispatch welcomes ‘Big Nate’

Junior Dispatch is pleased to announce a new addition to our stable of online comics — Big Nate.

The comic is written and drawn by Lincoln Pierce and stars Nate Wright, a sixth grader who is always getting in trouble. Learn more about the strip here.

You can now enjoy Nate’s adventures every day at JuniorDispatch.com’s comic page (and in the print addition of The York Dispatch, too!).

Aside from Big Nate, we have a few other comics for you to enjoy:

  • Belvedere – The crazy comic about a dog who does his own thing. (New comics posted Monday through Saturday on JD’s Comics Page)
  • Tundra – A look at wildlife (and a few snowmen too) that can act a little too human. (New comics posted Monday through Saturday on JD’s Comics page)
  • Phil Hardy – This special 100-episode comic is about an adventure at sea. See it here.
  • Learn to Cartoon – A multi-part course on learning how to cartoon. See it here!
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Get drawn to Dracula

Click on this picture for a printer-friendly image. When the image appears against a black background, click it again for a full-size version. Finally, when you print it, click on the “scale image to fit paper” in your printer settings.

Sure vampires are always pale looking, but this guy is a little too pale. Why don’t you get in the Halloween spirit and color the image?

If you color it, have your parents take a picture of it or make a scan and send it back to us so we can post it for the whole world to see!

Click on the image for a printer friendly version of this drawing, color it and then mail it back to us so we can post it here. Get even more coloring pages at the Junior Dispatch’s COLORING PAGE section!

MORE HALLOWEEN COLORING PAGES

You can find even more coloring pages at our special coloring pages section!

The vampire coloring page was created by Junior Dispatch editor John Simcoe. You can have him visit your classroom, youth group or scout meeting. Just contact us at juniordispatch@yorkdispatch.com to set up an event.

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