The Tale Behind the Tale of Winking Kat Tales’ podcast of Purrlie
Where did you get the idea for this show?
That is often the question people ask me whenever we performed the show. Like many of the shows I’ve written, the idea came from a request by teachers and librarians for a show about science and STEAM subjects. I’ve always wanted to write a story about space and our solar system. The fact that I have two curious cats who, if they could, would gladly hop into a rocket ship and travel to space made the decision of what kind of animal my main character would be an easy one. Here in western Washington State it’s often too cloudy to see the stars and definitely not the Milky Way. I’ve only seen it three times – once on a vacation to Arizona (like our dog in the story, Bruno), once when driving along the Oregon Coast, and once on a trip to a mountain observatory in Oregon with my youngest daughter, Charlie. It is amazing. And it’s only natural for a curious cat like Purrlie to wonder if the Milky Way might be made out of milk – maybe it’s just wishful thinking.
Is Purrlie the first cat to go into space?
NO. Scientists wanted to make sure it was safe to send a person into space and test what they might experience. To do that they sent animals. First small animals like mice and rats. Then, bigger animals like dogs, cats, and monkeys. The first cat to go into space was named Félicette. She was in a French rocket launched into space on October 18, 1963. She spent 15 minutes in space then the space capsule fell back through the atmosphere, released a giant parachute, and landed safely back on earth.
Can the Planets Sing?
In our musical podcast about Purrlie, several of the planets sing. Jupiter in particular has a very loud voice. What you may not know is, during the conversation Jupiter has with Purrlie, our sound engineer inserted an actual recording of Jupiter singing. It’s not singing like we know it, but a recording of radio waves that are given off by the planet and sent into outer space – similar to the radio waves that you hear on your radio here on earth. Planets, our sun, and stars can make radio waves when there are changes in their electromagnetic field.
Here is a link if you want to hear more of Jupiter’s song.
Sounds of Saturn: Hear Radio Emissions of the Planet and Its Moon Enceladus – YouTube
Speaking of Singing… Meet the Podcast Cast
To listen to the podcast look for Winking Kat Tales on your favorite podcast app or:
So… Why isn’t Pluto a Planet Anymore?
When astronomers first discovered Pluto in February of 1930, it seemed to have everything it needed to be a planet. It was small, but it orbited the sun and was inside our heliosphere. In 2006, the International Astronomical Union (the organization that decides how an astronomical object is classified, decided that Pluto didn’t have one of the three things needed to be a planet. They are:
- To be a planet an object has to orbit the Sun – CHECK
- To be a planet must exhibit hydrostatic equilibrium (be close to spherical in shape) – CHECK
- To be a planet an object must have a clear orbital path – X (Pluto has other objects in it’s orbital space)
As our telescopes got better, astronomers noticed that Pluto’s gravity wasn’t strong enough to clear other objects out of its orbital path. That’s why Pluto was downgraded to a dwarf planet.
Jupiter’s Milkshake Recipe
Don’t worry. There is no tuna in the milkshake. Catalina ate all the tuna before we made the recipe.
- 1/2 cup whole or 2% milk
- 1 1/4 cup vanilla ice cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring (for fun we used 2 Tbsp pandan/coconut drink powder instead – delicious)
- 5 Tbsp Hot Fudge topping (softened in the microwave)
- 1 Tbsp Strawberry jelly or jam
- Whipped cream for topping
- Pieces of Strawberry or Chocolate Astronaut Ice Cream for decoration
Mix the vanilla ice cream, milk, and flavoring in a blender or food processor. Do this on high speed and quickly so the ice cream doesn’t melt too much.
When that is ready, load up a spoon with some of the softened hot fudge topping and make a stripe around the inside of the glass. Repeat this two or three more times. Stripes don’t have to be perfect.
Pour some of the ice cream mixture into the glass. Then take the spoonful of strawberry jam and press it against inside of the glass just above the top of the ice cream mixture. Gently finish filling the glass with the rest of the ice cream/ milkshake mixture.
Decorate the top with whipped cream and crumbled pieces of the Astronaut Ice Cream.
Now you’re ready to enjoy your delicious treat. Be sure to contact us and let us know what you think of the recipe.