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March 27, 2010 / milesandhisfavorites

Educational Universe: Substitute Giganotosaurus

Ah, the Dinosaur Train.  Goes everywhere in the Educational Universe, you name it, it goes there.  Mega Mountain, the Jungle Of Life, Pteranodon Terrace, yep, it goes everywhere.  But one day, there were some extra Troodon working on the train in Troodon Town, where the repair shop and Master Dinosaur Train Control Center is located.  There was just on peculiar thing-Laura The Giganotosaurus wasn’t there!

Laura The Giganotosaurus was a Russian Giganotosaurus, a large theropod carnivore bigger than even Boris Tyrannosaurus!  Worst of all, she was the Dinosaur Train lookout, which meant the train could hit anything without her!  The Conductor, a Troodon with a familiar hat and knowledge of any dinosaur, no matter what, was supervising repairs on the Passenger Car.  I asked him what was wrong.  “Laura The Giganotosaurus got sick from some infected carrion, and without her, we hit a sequoia while on our way to Deinonychus Depot.” he replied.  “Unless we can get a replacement lookout, we’re going to have to cancel the whole route until further notice.”

“I’ll do it!” I blurted out without even thinking.  What else could I do?  Everyone would be crushed if the Dinosaur Train route got canceled until Laura got better.  By my estimate, we probably had a week to at least a month or two until Laura got better.  Do you know how hard it is to walk everywhere, not to be lazy or anything.  “Great, then!” replied the Conductor.  “You’ll begin as soon as we finish repairs!”  What had I done!  Giganotosauruses had superior eyesight, not to mention smell and height!  How was I going to pull this off?!  Then I got an idea.  If anyone knew science, it was Suzy from Sid The Science Kid.

So I got some fresh spring water from the Big Pond at Rhabodon Resturant and headed off to Suzy’s School.  It was a nice suburban area with bungalo houses lined up in neat little rows.  In the center was Suzy’s School, a big preschool with a big playground out front to match.  Suzy was outside, welcoming anybody who came by.  “Miles, hello!” she said as soon as I walked in the gates.  “Do you need some help with something?”  I told her about the problem, and she just smiled and brought me inside.  “I think I have the answer.” she said.  “Periscopes!”

She told me that if I took something as simple as a cardboard tube, bent it a bit on each side, and placed angled mirrors in the tube, I could see for up to half a mile in front of me.  We made a periscope of our own to see.  It worked!  I headed to the Dinosaur Train station at the east edge of town to begin work the very next morning.  As it turned out, Laura only had a minor sickness, so she was back on the job in less than a few days.  In the meantime, I was using my periscope to avoid the Dinosaur hitting yet another sequoia, a few medium sized rocks and a migration of Argentinosaurus that wandered into the middle of the tracks!  Everyone was amazed that a simple periscope could save the train, not one, but FOUR times!  What a week!

The End


Today, I made a periscope and used it to substitute Laura The Giganotosaurus.  Now, let’s learn about the science behind it!  A periscope is a curved tube with a mirror set in a diagonal angle at each opening, sort of like this.

Periscope Diagram

Light bounces from one mirror to the other, allowing you to see sideways, above things or below them!  Did you know that people in submarines use really big periscopes to see above water?  This only works if you’re just below the surface, though!  Wow!


You know that in this fan fiction, the Dinosaur Train hit a sequoia, but what does the word sequoia even mean?  Sequoias are giant trees, otherwise known as redwoods.  The biggest tree in the world is the General Sherman Tree, located in Sequoia National Park.  It’s over 274 feet high!  Thanks for reading!  See you next time!



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