The Cosmic Sprout #1

Sprout - Friday.pdf

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The Cosmic Sprout #1


Norwescon 35


The Friday issue of the Norwescon 35 daily 'zine for kids


Katrina Marier




April 6, 2012



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The Cosmic Sprout

Growing up for over several billion years...

Family Track


Junkyard Spacecraft Workshop Pt. 1 10-11:30 AM OLY 1
Family Games ages 6-12 11—1 PM CAS 9&10
Thumbprint Picassos Noon OLY 1
Exploring The Sparklies for Pre-Schoolers 1 PM OLY 1
Bongo for Board Games! 2 PM OLY 1
Family Games ages 2-8 3 - 5 PM CAS 9&10
Family Movie Previews 3:30-4:30 PM OLY 1
Baby Lounge and Quiet Hour 4:30 PM OLY 1
Embroidery 201 7-9 PM OLY 1


Ewok Flower Vase Project 10-11:30 AM OLY 1
Family Games ages 10+ 11 - 1 PM CAS 9&10
Wand Making Workshop Noon-2:30 PM OLY 1
Junkyard Spacecraft Workshop Pt. 2 3-4:30 PM OLY 1
Baby Lounge and Quiet Hour 4:30-5:30 PM OLY 1
Children's Masquerade 6:30 PM CAS 2


Easter Egg Hunt - 4 and Under 10-10:30 AM OLY 1
Easter Egg Hunt - 5-8 10:30-11 AM OLY 1
Easter Egg Hunt - 9-12 11-11:30 AM OLY 1
Easter Carnival 1-3PM OLY 1


Maxi’s Lounge is open for Norwescon members age 21+ on Friday and Saturday night. Please note that the 14th floor of the tower is closed to people under 21 as of 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday night.


BY Katrina marier

“What? Honey, there are hundreds, if not thousands of fast-moving satellites passing over the earth right now. Not to men on all of the orbiting garbage.”

Rosemarie shook her head. Again. “No, Dad. One of the spiders escaped her habitat. Look.” And she indicated the cage with a now-solitary orb weaver spider. “And I'm not sure how she got out.”

Her dad shrugged. “No reason to panic. One escaped arachnid is within the allowable margin of scope creep. Other insects have escaped from time to time, no harm came of it...”

“Then why...,” Rosemarie's voice trailed off as the comm overhead bleeped.

“Uh, Dr. Evans? We have a problem...” It was First Officer Mifune, part of the crew of the Challenger Space Station. “Dr. Choudhurri will meet us in Botany Bay.” Botany Bay was the nickname for Hydroponics1. Normally, he always had a quick wink and nod for Rosemarie; but today he was preoccupied.

“A problem, Tosh?” Her dad's voice grew fainter as they stepped over the threshold and moved down the hall. She'd have to pester him again over dinner. Maybe, mom was covering someone's shift and Rosemarie was in charge of dinner. Which reminded her, she had to feed the remaining orb weaver and other arachnids2 and the ant colony and check on the pupae3 larvae,4 and eggs in storage. All were destined for the bio-domes in Lunaport; and it was Rosemarie's responsibility to make certain they were healthy, if not happy, upon arrival.

As she left her workstation in Bug Heaven, Rosemarie privately thought that the ants were none the wiser about their change of venue, or at least didn't care. The spiders on the other hand...instead of the gossamer wheels that elegantly decorated bushes back home, their work here resembled three-dimensional tangles of ramen noodles.

I would want to leave them too. In disgust. She thought as she headed to her family's pod. Yes, I know spiders don't feel disgust but I sure think they know something is de nitely wrong. Gravity was not a priority on the space station. Shorts stints in zero-gravity had not proven too harmful over the course of decades of experiments. And the scientists back home haven't figured out how to create true artificial gravity yet, Rosemarie thought as she looked out a porthole to see the big blue marble below. There's Asia. I wonder if Cho's having a good time with her parents at the training camp. Rosemarie sighed. Cho and her family were also emigrating5 to the moon, but they would be arriving six months after Rosemarie.

I hope there are kids on the moon. Delete that, cool kids on the moon. Emigration's been so tight...Even with the space elevators in place to shoot astronauts up to the orbital pla orm where shuttles launched to and from to both the space station and the moon, space was still at a premium.

Rosemarie's family had spent several months aboard Challenger because her dad was an environmental engineer and had volunteered to fill in during the gap due to staff rotation. Hopefully next week they would be en route to the moon. And now there was a spider on the loose. Maybe Dad's right and one little spider isn't a problem. But what with all the weird technological problems... The corridor lights abruptly flickered and then steadied. Like that. She shrugged as reached their family pod. It's not like dinner is all that difficult to prep. Select packets and ready water. I'll be glad when we have a real kitchen again, no matter how cramped, she thought to herself as she selected the evening meal. None of the food was great; but some things just didn't translate and even their novelty couldn't make them edible. Fried chicken for instance. It never came out crispy, despite what the experts claimed. Thank goodness for squeeze bulbs of water. Ah, Szechuan noodles. Or macaroni and cheese?

While she heated water, Rosemarie considered her missing charge and tried to come up with a plan to trap it. Pesticides6 were forbidden station side; and releasing one of the shrews would create more problems and was strictly against regulations anyway.

Rosemarie tried to get her dad's attention again about the missing spider over dinner; but her dad seemed quite worried as he wolfed down his dinner and then went right back to work. Her mother too was worried, saying that now some of the computers in the med lab were malfunctioning. Minor stuff really, she said. Rosemarie began to worry. The entire station operated by computers and if they began to...her alarm must have showed because her mom gave her a quick hug.

“Don't worry sweet pea. According your father and Tosh it's just some minor fluctuations in temperature control. They're confident they'll have it under control by morning,” here she smiled, “remember, temperature critically affects my work; and so far everything seems to be fine with the medicines I'm working on,” but Rosemarie could see her mom was concerned. To keep her mind off her internal panic button, Rosemarie decided to research spider traps.

The informa on she dug up was so interesting she went to bed with her head whirling about ways to trap her eight-legged friend. Let's see, I can't use pesticides...spiders need food and water just like any other living creature...set a trap with a live insect?, that might escape too, water...water...and thinking that she drifted off to sleep.

And woke up with the germ of an idea. A quick search of the storage cabinets near Bug Heaven came up with packages of double-sided tape. I can put several of these around my workstation and the cage with the remaining orb weaver in it and bait them with droplets of water. The spider will need water and come to drink and she'll s ck to the paper. Carefully she broke the seal on a squeeze bulb, covered it with her thumb, and then managed to attach an eye-dropper to the open end without letting any water loose. Gently squirting a small droplet onto the sticky strip proved tricky, but she managed. She left a test strip out right near her computer console and checked it after lunch. The test droplet was still firmly attached!

She knew she couldn't lay traps for the spider throughout the sta on until she cleared it with the crew. But since no one except Dr. McIntosh or occasionally her parents ever came into Bug Heaven, it was reasonably safe to lay down sticky strips, each with its small pool of water, around the door, the ceiling, the remaining spider in his cage, around the ant colony and so on. The strips were a distinctive mauve color so Rosemarie knew people could easily see them. So she finished up, snagged her uchuu-bento7, and went toward the exercise area. To be continued....

  1. Hydroponics: the cultivation of plants in nutrient solutions without the use of soil.
  2. Arachnids: scientific name for the class of invertebrates spiders belong to. Also includes scorpions, ticks and mites.
  3. Pupae: insects at the immobile, non-feeding stage between the larva and adult.
  4. Larvae: insects hatch from eggs as larva. They will mature through the pupae stage into adults.
  5. Emigration: the act of moving from one country to another.
  6. Pesticides: substances intended to prevent, destroy or repel pests.
  7. Uchuu-bento: “space lunch” in Japanese. Slang term in this universe for a lunch in a sealed box.

Norwescon 35 Children’s Masquerade!

The Kids' Masquerade allows kids who are too young to compete as Rising Stars (self made costumes by children 13 years and under) to show off their costumes. They will go on first. Kids wishing to participate must attend the 6 pm meeting on SAT in CAS 2 to full out the form. They will then walk as a group down to the Masquerade and strut their stuff!


Friday starting at 3 pm in Grand Ballroom 2
Saturday starting at 9 pm in Evergreen 3 & 4


Teens, do you come to Norwescon with your parents and spend your time wandering or in panels with a bunch of talking heads?

The Volunteers department has activities and volunteer jobs for you!

Come down and make your own dog tags, origami, and jewelry, decorate a seed pot and your own rubber duck!

Earn prizes from the dealers room, participate in daily volunteer mini-parties, and socialize with other teens. Come check us out in the Olympic Hallway, Wing 7!


  1. Which planet tells the day’s temperature?
  2. Why do the stars come out at night?
  3. Why don’t they run out of drinking cups in space?
  4. Which planet can we see most often without a telescope?
  5. What is the main use for flying saucers?

Flashback Arcade Room 7110

Friday: opens at 10 am
Saturday: opens at 10 am
Sunday: opens at 10 am and closes at 2 pm


Friday, 3:30pm – 4:30pm In Olympic 1

Come see what cool (and family friendly) stu is coming to the movies this summer.


What is science? The intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment, according to the dictionary. Many of the everyday items you use, from your computer to the family car, came in to being through science in one way or another. Being open to the wonder of the world around you is key to science. Imagination, coupled with hard work and patience, are the hallmarks of many famous scientists. Here is a simple experiment you can do with materials on hand!

Bending Light

You will need a shoe box (any sort of small cardboard box should do), scissors, a glass filled with water, flashlight and a darkened room.

  1. Cut a narrow slit at one end of the shoe box using sharp scissors.
  2. Fill the jar with water.
  3. Place the flat-sided jar of water in the shoe box. Posi on the jar at an angle near the slit.
  4. Place the flashlight/torch up against the slit so that the beam of light goes straight through to the jar of water.

Light moves slower through water than it moves through air. When the light goes through the water, it slows down and bends. As the light re-enters the air, the beam of light speeds up again and bends back. This is called refraction.

I found these at and there were many others that looked really interesting!


Players take turns adding a single horizontal or vertical line between two unjoined adjacent dots. A player who completes the 4th side of box earns 1 point and takes another turn. Game ends when no more boxes can be made. The winner of the game is the player with the most points.

ANSWER to jokes riddles

  1. Mercury
  2. Because they have no place else to go.
  3. Because they always have the Big Dipper.
  4. The planet Earth
  5. To hold flying cups.

Norwescon 35, ISSUE 1.0 4/6/12



Katrina Marier, “The Cosmic Sprout #1,” Norwescon History, accessed May 17, 2022,

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