Monthly Archives: March 2013

For the Our World, Our Numbers post...

Topic 5: Animals

Hello everyone,

After watching the informative video made by Mrs. Watson and her class, I wondered if I could find similar animals found in Australia. We don't have  the same species of animals with one exception, Australia also has killer whales but more about them later.

For each Australian animal I show, you will see I mention one of the 16 animals Mrs. Watson's K/1/2/3's class shared. The Australian animals I share might have similar appearance, similar names, similar food or similar habitat. Some of my drawings were prepared for first time use in this post.

 

1. Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus)

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Platypus

I don't have a photo I have taken so I prepared this drawing for you.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Class: Mammalia

Order: monotremata (egg- laying mammals)

Like the beaver, the platypus spends much of its time in rivers and streams. It doesn't build dams. Instead it lives in burrows in the banks. It has thick, water-proof fur. It's sometimes called the duck-billed platypus but its "bill" isn't like a duck's bill, its more flexible and is used to search the bottom of streams for grubs and worms. When a specimen was first sent to England, scientists thought it was a hoax made by sewing bits of different animals together.

"Weight varies considerably from 0.7 to 2.4 kg (1.5 to 5.3 lb), with males being larger than females; males average 50 cm (20 in) in total length, while females average 43 cm (17 in)." Wikipedia

Here is a link to a You Tube video of the platypus from National Geographic...

This is not my video clip.

 

2. Humpback Whale (Megaptera novaeangliae)

Reference:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humpback_whale

Here is a drawing I prepared for another post.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Class: Mammalia

Order: Cetacea

Like the beluga, the humpback is a whale. It can be seen in any of the world's oceans whereas the beluga whale is only found in Arctic waters. Beluga are toothed whales whereas humpback whales are baleen whales. A beluga mainly feeds on fish like the Pacific salmon whereas humpback whales feed on krill (like small shrimp/prawns) and schools of small fish. Visitors to my town can take trips on boats to watch humpback whales on their annual migrations along our coast.

 Fully grown, the males average 13–14 m (43–46 ft). Females are slightly larger at 15–16 m (49–52 ft).

3. The Tasmanian Devil (Sarcophilus harrisii)

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tasmanian_devil

Again, I didn't have a suitable photo. This drawing was prepared for another post.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Class:Mammalia

Infraclass: Marsupialia  (pouched mammals)

Order: Dasyuromorphia

Comparing an Australian animal to the wolverine was difficult. We don't have any large, strong natural predators in Australia but the Tasmanian devil is a carnivore. It's only the size of a small dog and can only be found in the wild in Tasmania, Australia's most southerly state.

"Males are usually larger than females, having an average head and body length of 652 mm (25.7 in), a 258 mm (10.2 in) tail and an average weight of 8 kg (18 lb). Females have an average head and body length of 570 mm (22 in), a 244 mm (9.6 in) tail and an average weight of 6 kg (13 lb)." Wikipedia

I have a You Tube clip I found on the web. You will see and hear two Tasmanian devils having an argument.

 

This is not my video clip.

 4. Common Brushtail Possum (Trichosurus vulpecula)

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_brushtail_possum

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Bournda National Park, N.S.W., Australia

Class: Mammalia

Infraclass: Marsupialia  (pouched mammals)

Order: Diprotodontia

 I chose to compare the brushtail possum to the raccoon because they both don't mind living in urban areas and getting any human food they can find. The one in the photo was seen on a school camp one night. It was watching to see if we would leave any food out.

The common brushtail possum has a head and body length of 32 – 58 cm (12.5in - 23in) with a tail length of 24 – 40 cm (9.5in - 15.5in). It weighs 1.2 - 4.5 kg (2.6lb - 10lb).

 5. Tasmanian Tiger (Thylacinus cynocephalus)

Reference:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tasmanian_tiger

I don't have any photos of a Tasmanian tiger (thylacine) as it is thought to have become extinct in the 1930s. Here is a drawing I prepared.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Here is a link to a You Tube clip showing the last known thylacine.

This is not my video clip.

Class: Mammalia

Infraclass: Marsupialia  (pouched mammals)

Order: Dasyuromorphia

Australia doesn't have any native cats in the wild (there are escaped domestic cats). To choose something like the cougar, I chose the marsupial Tasmanian tiger. It was a nocturnal (nighttime) animal that looked a little like a dog but it was a marsupial and the famales had pouches to carry its young. Like the cougar, the thylacine was carnivorous. It once also roamed mainland Australia with remains of one being found to be over 3,000 years old.

"The mature thylacine ranged from 100 to 130 cm (39 to 51 in) long, plus a tail of around 50 to 65 cm (20 to 26 in). The largest measured specimen was 290 cm (9.5 ft) from nose to tail. Adults stood about 60 cm (24 in) at the shoulder and weighed 20 to 30 kg (40 to 70 lb)." WIkipedia

6. Little Pied Cormorant (Microcarbo melanoleucos)

Reference:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_pied_cormorant

 

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Merimbula, N.S.W., Australia

Class: Aves (birds)

Order: Suliformes

Since first seeing a photo of the puffin, I found them fascinating birds. They look a little like penguins but aren't and can fly.  The little pied cormorant has similar feeding habits. It dives under the water looking for small fish or bottom-dwelling crustaceans.

It can measure 56–58 cm (22–23 in).

7. Dingo (Canus Lupus Dingo)

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dingo

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

Class: Mammalia

Order: Carnivora

While Australia does have red foxes, they were only introduced to Australia in the 1800s. There were people who wanted to go fox hunting. The dingo was first thought to have been brought to Australia by Aborigines perhaps 6000 to 10,000 years ago. They are thought to be closely related to grey wolves and dingoes.

Dingoes can be 52 to 60 cm (20 to 24 in) tall at the shoulders and measure 117 to 154 cm (46 to 61 in) from nose to tail tip. The average weight is 13 to 20 kg (29 to 44 lb).

8. Black Swan (Cygnus atratus)

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_swan

It was a surprise I couldn't find a black swan in my collection of photos so I added a photo of a pair today.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Merimbula, N.S.W., Australia

Class: Aves (birds)

Order: Anseriformes

Black swans can be 110 and 142 centimetres (43 and 56 in) in length and weigh 3.7–9 kilograms (8.2–20 lb).

Australia also has swans. The black swan is an Australian native and is part of the state of Western Australia's coast of arms and flag.

This graphic is in the public domain and was listed in Wikimedia Commons.

9. Tiger Quoll (Dasyurus maculatus)

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiger_quoll

Again, I don't have a tiger quoll photo in my collection so here is my attempt at drawing one.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Class: Mammalia

Infraclass: Marsupialia  (pouched mammals)

Order: Dasyuromorphia

Australia doesn't have any native cats  such as the lynx but does have escaped domestic cats in the wild. I chose the quoll because it is also a carnivore. It is an endangered species. Climate change, predation and even poisoning from baiting for feral animals are some of the cause of their decline in the wild.

Quoll males weigh around 3.5 kg (7.7lb) and females around 1.8 kg (4lb).

10. Dromedary Camel (Camelus dromedarius)

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_feral_camel

 This is the scan of a 35mm slide I took near Alice Springs in Central Australia nearly 30 years ago.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia

Class: Mammalia

Order: Artiodactyla

Australia doesn't have native deer or, for that matter, native camels, so white-tailed deer might only be found in zoos and on deer farms. I chose to add feral (gone wild) camels because they can be seen wandering Australia's deserts. Australia has the largest population of feral camels in the world (estimated around one million in 2009. In the early 1800s, exploring inland Australia's desert regions needed a good means of getting around. Camels were used by some explorers. In the early days of settlement, camels also provided a way goods could be taken over desert regions. They aren't used now, except for tourists as those in the photo. Road, rail and air has replaced them. They cause problems for native wildlife and cattle fencing so the numbers have to be controlled. Many are exported to the Middle East from where they once had come.

Camels can weigh 300 to 600 kg (660 to 1,300 lb).

11. Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus)

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koala

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

Class: Mammalia

Infraclass: Marsupialia  (pouched mammals)

Order: Diprotodontia

Australia doesn't native bears like the grizzly bear but sometimes the koala is called the koala bear. The grizzly  bear is a placental mammal whereas the koala is a marsupial mammal. The female koala (Suzie) in this photo had a joey (marsupial baby) in her pouch when this photo was taken.

The koala has a body length of 60–85 cm (24–33 in) and weighs 4–15 kg (9–33 lb)

Below is a video I had taken on one of the first times Suzie's baby looked out of her pouch. Like all marsupials, the young are born very small and have to make their way into the pouch where they remain until ready to leave the pouch.

Schools and students have permission to use this video clip for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

12. Diprotodon (Diprotodon optatum)

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diprotodon

Wikimedia Commons graphic created by Dmitry Bogdanov

This is a Wikimedia Commons graphic by Dmitry Bogdanov.

Class: Mammalia

Infraclass: Marsupialia  (pouched mammals)

Order: Diprotodontia

We don't have any bison native to Australia. There are feral species of water buffalo in the north but I have chosen an Australian megafauna (big animal) example.

Imagine a giant wombat taller than a human at its shoulders. They are thought to have become extinct 28,000 or more years ago. The first Aboriginal people coming to Australia probably saw them but I have only seen fossils and bones of them. It may look a little like a bear but it's a marsupial so females had a pouch for their young.

The diprotodon can be up to 3 metres (10 ft) from nose to tail, standing 2 metres (6.6 ft) tall at the shoulder and weighing up to 2,800 kilograms (6,200 lb).

13. Short-beaked Echidna or Spiny Anteater (Tachyglossus aculeatus)

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Short-beaked_Echidna

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

Class: Mammalia

Order: monotremata (egg- laying mammals)

You can see why I chose to compare the porcupine with an echidna. They both have a spiny defence. With the platypus I showed as number 1, the different species of echidna and the platypus are the world's only surviving species of monotremes, i.e. egg laying mammals. The short-beaked echidna in the photo is common in most areas of Australia and I have even found one in my garden.

The short-beaked echdina can 30 to 45 cm (12 to 18 in) in length, with 75 mm (3 in) of snout, and weigh between 2 and 5 kg (4.4 and 11 lb).

Below is a video clip of an echidna.

Schools and students have permission to use this video clip for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

14. Killer Whale (Orcinus Orca)

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Killer_whale

We also have orcas here in Australia's water. They are widespread throughout the world's oceans and seas. Below is a photo of an orca skeleton to be seen inside the Eden Killer Whale Museum about 20km from my town. The skeleton is of Old Tom. After you look at his photo, I will tell you why he is locally famous.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Eden Whaling Museum, Eden, N.S.W., Australia

Class: Mammalia

Order: Cetacea

Whaling was banned in Australian in 1979. The town of Eden was once a whaling town. Whales were hunted as they made their way along our coast. It's at Eden a strange relationship began between the whalers and a pod of killer whales began. The whales began helping the whalers by herding other whales (baleen whales such as the humpback) into Twofold Bay. The killer whale thought to be the pod leader, Old Tom, would come to alert the whalers. The whalers would head out in their boats with Old Tom sometimes taking hold of a rope and towing a boat out.

Why would killer whales do this?

Killer whales naturally hunt other whales along our coastline but it can be an effort for them. Their reward was the whale tongue and lips. The whalers would use most of the whale but would throw the tongue and lips to the killer whales. The tongue and lips were favourites of the orcas. Old Tom died in 1930, his skeleton now in the Eden Killer Whale Museum. His mouth shows the wear caused by towing the boats.

Killer whale males typically range from 6 to 8 metres (20 to 26 ft) long and weigh in excess of 6 tonnes (5.9 tons). Females are smaller.

15. Tawny Frogmouth (Podargus strigoides)

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tawny_Frogmouth

Australia has a number of native owl species but the snowy owl isn't one of them. I could have chosen an owl but I instead chose the tawny frogmouth. It is a bird sometimes mistaken for an owl and one I have seen while hiking.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

Class: Aves (birds)

Order: Caprimulgiformes

(Owls are in the order Strigiformes.)

Like owls, the tawny frogmouth hunts at night. Unlike owls, they catch their prey with their beaks. When scared, they will stand perfectly still with their heads pointing upwards in the hope their camouflage will protect them. While I have seen them doing this, the pictured tawny frogmouth simply opened its eyes, looked at me and didn't seem to worry I was nearby.

They can grow to 35–53 cm (14–21 in) long and can weigh up to 680 grams (1.5 lbs).

16. Red-bellied Black Snake (Pseudechis porphyriacus)

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red-bellied_black_snake

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Wolumla, N.S.W., Australia

Class: Reptilia

Order: Squamata

Like the rattlesnake, the red-bellied black snake is poisonous. The black snake, or any other Australian snake, doesn't have a rattle in the tail. I have seen this species a number of times when hiking but it's not a very aggressive snake and generally is more interested in getting away from people.

They can grow to 1.5m to 2.0m (5ft to 6ft 9inches).

9 Comments

Dear Heather and Keira,

I never know when a post or comment from a student or class might prompt an extended comment. Something written makes me recall some information I have read or seen over the years and before long I find a comment growing longer or I want to include photos, videos, audio or links.

In the "How did the Earth begin?", the challenge was one I thought I could meet. Being keen on science and many other things, I had been following theories on the origin of the Earth and the universe. Once I have an idea for a post, I research my facts to try to make certain my thoughts are on the right track then start writing the post. I knew "How did the Earth begin?" would be a longer post because there is much to consider.

Geocentric is a term used to describe the belief the Earth is the centre of the universe and all planets, stars including our sun, and the moon orbit us. From research, I have found many people still believe in geocentrism today. For some, it may be a religious decision, others a firm belief they believe science can support, and for others it's more a matter of not knowing any other way.

We do live on the crust of the Earth. It's the solid part that is our land and the bottom of oceans and seas. Compared to the rest of our planet, it is very thin but I wouldn't have it any other way. If you cut an apple in half, you can see the thin skin (like the Earth's crust) covering the rest of the apple down to its core.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

The inner core is thought to be very hot but solid iron hotter than the surface of the sun. It's pressure keeping it solid. The outer core is still mostly iron but it is liquid and flows around the inner core. Remember, the Earth turns on its axis and this causes the spin and also gives us night and day. Think of stirring a drink. You can see the liquid moving around as you stir.

It's this movement of the outer core that gives our planet a magnetic field and protects us from much of the sun's dangerous radiation. Mars doesn't have this activity so has a weak field. Even if there was air to breath on Mars, we would probably still need special clothing to protect us.

The mantle is semi-liquid and is basically moving hot rock (magma).

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

The mantle movement is known as convection. We can see this effect in boiling water. Below is a video clip I prepared for you. To see the movement of the water, some rice grains were dropped into the water. You can see them move to the side being heated, rise with the heated water then sink back down as the water cools a little. The same thing happens in the mantle. The hot rock (magma) sinks down as it cools a little, is heated near the outer core and rises again. There are many of these convection currents in the mantle not just one big one.

Schools and students have permission to use this video clip for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Sometimes this movement of the magma brings magma to the surface and it flows out as lava. I was on Hawaii (The Big Island) a number of years ago and took a helicopter ride over the Kilaeua and along the coast. Look in the photo below and you see see the lava pouring out into the sea. Kilaeua has had a very active period.

The photo is a scan of an old 35mm slide so the quality isn't the best.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Kilaeua, Hawaii, U.S.A.

Curiosity is a great gift. It's something still driving me to explore new ideas and things. I can see you both have curiosity. I wonder what great discoveries and learning is ahead for you? 🙂

7 Comments

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Katey was wondering about extinct species in Australia. I have gathered some references for extinct and endangered animal species in Australia...

 

The First reference is of extinct species as listed on Wikipedia...

List of Extinct Animals of Australia

One of our wonderful Australian magazines, Australian Geographic, has featured extinct and endangered animals. I have been collecting this magazine from it's first issue. Here is a link to their listing of endangered animals...

Latest Endangered Species

 

Looking at Some Animals

Being extinct or endangered, I don't have photos of most mentioned species but I can share some information on related species.

Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat

There are three known species of wombat to be found in Australiia. They are...

Of these wombats, the northern hairy-nosed wombat is listed as critically endangered. There is a protected colony in the state of Queensland where some births have taken place.

I don't have any photos or videos of my  own of the northern or southern hairy-nosed wombats but I do have photos and videos of the common (or smooth-nosed) wombat. Below is a photo of a wombat joey (baby) named Bert. He was orphaned and has been raised in an animal sanctuary known as Potoroo Palace. Potoroo Palace is run by volunteers. They care for injured and sick animals with the hope of returning them to the wild. Donations and entry fees from visitors help fund the animal sanctuary.  This photo and video clip was taken at a visitors' encounter with Bert.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

I uploaded this video clip so you can see this cute little guy.

Schools and students have permission to use this video clip for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

For the general Wikipedia information about wombats...

WOMBATS

Long-Beaked Echidna

The only monotreme (egg laying) mammals we know still to exist in our world are the platypus and echidna. The platypus is only found in Australia but echidna are found in Australia and New Guinea. Australia is home to the short-beaked echidna and New Guinea to the long-beaked echidna. Long-beaked echidna were thought to be extinct in Australia but there is a chance they might still exist. If they are found, they would also be seen as critically endangered. To read about the possible rediscovery of the long-beaked echidna in Australia...

Extinct echidna may be alive and well in Western Australia

The photo and video clip below are of the short-beaked echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus). I have found one wandering in my yard but the below was taken in Potoroo Palace. This is another video clip prepared for you.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

Schools and students have permission to use this video clip for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

 Tasmanian Devil

The Tasmanian devils (Sarcophilus harrisii) are now only found in the wild in Tasmania. The devil has become endangered in the wild due to a facial cancer first identified in 1996. It's thought 85% of wild devils may have died. There are breeding attempts in zoos and sanctuaries. Below is a link to an article on the Tasmanian devil.

Genetic diversity gives hope to Tassie devils

I don't seem to have a photo of a devil in my collection but I prepared the below drawing for another student and thought I would also share it with you.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Here is a link to the Tasmanian devil post I wrote for Christian...

Tasmanian Devil

Some Animals from the Past

When we go back in time, we can find many animal species have become extinct. You have heard of dinosaurs and perhaps the dodo bird and passenger pigeon. Australia has a number of creatures from the past. Let's see what you think of a few extinct species from Australia's past. I will given you links for more information if you are interested...

Diprotodon optatum - This large marsupial looked something like a large bear but, like all marsupials, the females carried young in their pouch. They could grow to nearly 4m (11ft) long from head to toe. They existed when the first Aborigines came to Australia but habitat change brought them to an end. Fossils have been found.

Dromornis stirtoni - What would you think if you saw a 500kg (1100lb) flightless bird about 3m (9ft) tall? Some scientists believe this bird might have been a meat eater.

Muttaburrasaurus langdoni - The muttaburrasaurus was a large plant eating dinosaur.

 

Alexis wants to become a vet. I explained part of my degree was the study of animal behaviour, my fondest memories included spending some time studying the behaviour of South American spider monkeys at Sydney's Taronga Zoo. I wanted to share one of the photos taken about 40 years back. This photo is a scan of a 35mm slide.

 South American Spider Monkey (Ateles fusciceps)

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Taronga Zoo, Sydney N.S.W., Australia

For the Wikipedia reference...

South American Spider Monkey (Ateles fusciceps)

 

Alexis, knowing you love animals, I thought I would share a video clip of an unusual friendship in Australia's Darling Downs Zoo. Honey and Kwanza are best friends. Kwanza's mother wasn't able to produce enough milk so Kwanza has been hand reared. As Kwanza has much growing to do, he won't be able to play with Honey much longer but what you can see is an amazing friendship. 🙂

This is not my video.

To see the Darling Downs Zoo website...

Darling Downs Zoo

 

 

1 Comment

For the Battalion Hawk Bloggers original post

Making the World a Better Place

Hello Battalion Hawk Bloggers,

Thank you for another thought-provoking comment on my comment.

One slight correction, I have only scanned between two and three thousand photos and negatives so far. I’ve owned digital cameras for about ten years. Because it costs virtually nothing to take digital photos, most in my collection are digital. With many negatives and slides still to be scanned, I will probably be preparing another two or thee thousand photos.

How long did it take?

I hadn’t really thought about the time taken to scan and process negatives, photos and slides so I ran a little test. I scanned a set of 34 negatives with a stop watch keeping time. They took 58 minutes from start to processing and adding to iPhotos. That is an average of about 1 minute 40 seconds per photo (100 seconds).

You know I like working with numbers so I next worked out the time 1,000 negatives would take. It would take 100,000 seconds. That is about 1,667 minutes or about 27 hours 45 minutes. Of course I don’t scan these all at once as there are other things to do in the day so a 1000 scans would be done over about one week.

Here are two photos from the timed scans. While the quality isn’t as high as modern digital photography, they brought back memories of a weekend I organised for children from my school to visit an old gold mining town named Hill End. The first shows the town and the second a place known as The Golden Gully where people digging and panning for gold were the cause of large amounts of erosion.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Hill End, N.S.W., Australia

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Golden Gully, Hill End, N.S.W., Australia

Family History

I love the idea one of you has a speeding ticket as a memory of being a baby. I have nothing so unusual, only photos. 🙂

It’s very true, family history connects us with the past and if we could go back far enough we would find every person in the world is a distant relative. You would probably have seen this before but in July, 2012 I wrote a post about Genealogy (family history). In it I showed the numbers of relatives would be impossible unless we were all connected through time. Here is the link…

We're All One Big Family

Memories

Our memories can be like  a movie from the past as we remember our experiences but the movie has sometimes big parts missing.

My first memory goes back to when I was about two. I can remember walking out of our laundry, falling over and crying but I couldn’t remember at the time the doctors found I had a slight problem with my legs and I had to wear a brace to correct it. My patellas (kneecaps) needed repositioning.

The next memory is of being three. I was sitting on our large dining room table. My mother had been cutting beans but had to get something from the kitchen. I wanted to help so I picked up the sharp knife and cut my thumb. I still have the scar.

The time in between these two memories was blank but photos can fill in some gaps. When scanning a recent batch of photos I found this one taken of my mother, older brother and me during the in between time…

This photo is not to be used without written permission.

Location: Unknown

Can you see it shows me what we looked like back then, how we dressed and what we were doing? Without the photo, I wouldn’t have any memory of that day in 1957 but one more section of my life movie has been added.

Old Cameras

Danny’s family friend would have a very interesting camera collection if it includes one of the first cameras ever made. I suspect it could be something like a glass plate camera. They were big and used glass plates coated in chemicals. Here is a Wikimedia Commons image of a glass plate camera.

Photography by: Frank Gosebruch

I also found a number of glass plate camera photos on Wikimedia Commons…

This image is of the Ipswich Photo Society in Queensland, Australia and was taken in the early 1900s.

This image is in the public domain.

Making Change

Making change doesn’t only mean working out what coins to give someone when they buy, the money itself can change over time. I can see why Mrs. Renton isn’t happy about not being able to use an old song that has worked so well.

For Australia, there is talk of another change, the end of our 5c coin may be in our future. We already round up or down to the nearest 5c but, if the 5c coin ends, we will be rounding up or down to the nearest 10c.

When I was your age, Australia didn’t use dollars and cents. Like England, we had pounds (£), shillings (s) and pence (d).

Twelve pennies (12d) made a shilling.
Twenty shillings (20/- or 20s) made a pound.

On the 14th February, 1966, Australia changed to decimal currency. Our coins were 1c, 2c, 5c, 10c, 20c and 50c. Out notes were $1, $2, $5, $10 and $20. A $50 note was issued in 1973 the $100 note in 1996. We lost the 1c and 2c coin in 1992. The $1 coin came in 1984 and the $2 coin in 1988.

An international group of classes are taking part in an online activity known as “Our World, Our Numbers”. One activity looked at the different currencies of each country. When the Australian class wrote of their money and compared it to others, I wrote a post for them showing the money I grew up with.

Older Australian Currency

Copyright and Sharing

It is important for people to be aware of the need to give credit. I know two companies very strong on protecting their rights are Disney and Apple. For them and many others, what they create, whether as ideas, words, art, music or inventions, is the way they make money.

In my case I don't set out to make money from most things I do. My payment comes when I find people enjoy what I share or find it useful. Under most of my photos I add a message saying the photos can be used by schools and students. Sometimes, as in the family photo, I restrict permission to needing written approval to use them as I don't wish them used.

I'll share one more graphic on this post. On another of my blogs, I was writing a short, fictional 104 word story for a writing group. In it I wrote of a humpback whale named Solana. While they can be seen along our coast, I didn't have a decent photo of my own so I drew one using Photoshop. As it hasn't appeared on this blog, I thought I would share it with Battalion Hawk Bloggers...

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Yunus left a comment on an earlier extended comment where he commented and asked for more information. Here is a link to the post. scroll down to find his comments...

Yunus on "What technology did I use when younger?"

Hello again Yunus,

"The Video Cameras were really small but very interesting."

Rather than the video (movie) cameras being small, it was the film used in them. The cameras really worked by taking many small photos. They were one after the other on plastic film. Each photo in the film was only 8mm wide. When they were run through a movie projector, they flashed on the screen one after the other quickly enough so we saw them as moving pictures (movies).

Look at this animation I made showing a drawing of a projector. On the left you can see a small movie playing. It was made with an 8mm movie camera. When using a movie projector, you would make in look larger  when the projector showed the movie on a screen. Until recently, cinemas used movie films and large projectors. The only difference is their film used a 35mm series of photos. There were some cinemas using even larger film.

Now I will show you some photos. I still have the movie projector I used in schools back in the 1970s. An uncle also gave me his old 8mm movie camera. I have put a ruler in the photos so you can see their size.

Super 8mm Movie Camera. This one also recorded sound. There was a tiny magnetic strip on the film for the recording of sound. It was like a tiny strip of cassette tape if you have seen them. You can see a reel of 8mm movie film beside the camera.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

The second photo is the 8mm movie projector I used in schools all those years back. You can see a blue film reel and a black one on the projector in the left. Many projectors had one reel at the front and one at the back like the cartoon drawing in the video clip above. The film would be loaded into the projector. Little cogs would catch into the holes on the side of the film and the film would be pulled through  the projector and out of the projector. The extra film reel would be winding the film up as it came out of the project after being seen.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

The next photo shows you a scan of some 8mm movie film and a ruler. You will see the film is 8mm wide. I have shown four sections of the film.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Now let's look closer at four pieces of 8mm film I have magnified. You can see it is a series of pictures. To save on drawing of cartoons, cartoon films like this used two of each picture. You can see slight changes in the frames. When each picture is projected quickly in turn, we see them as a moving picture. Click on the film to see it larger so you can have a closer look at each frame (picture). The third strip of film shows a scene change after two frames. You can see a car on a road changes to a flying saucer.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

To show you how the brain is fooled by the pictures, here is a video clip looking at the eight frames of the first of the pieces of scanned film.

Let's look at another video clip made using 14 frames from an 8 mm showing a person. You will see the film at 2 fps (frames per second), 6 fps and 12 fps. When we had film taken on a camera and not a cartoon, each frame is different as a person or thing moves.

"How did you have to use the Hole Punchers?"

I think you must mean the holes punched in the film. If you look at the film scan above, you can see holes on the left hand side of each film strip. The projector cogs would grab these holes to pull the film through. Notice each hole is in the middle position to each frame. This makes certain  each picture appears correctly.

Why were the videos silent like Charlie Chaplin?

Film history reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_film

Charlie Chaplin reference:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlie_Chaplin

The first movie camera appeared in the 1880s. The camera operator would wind a handle. A shutter would open then close to expose a frame of film. The film would then move to the next frame. Frame after frame the films were made as the camera operator turned the handle. At this early stage, movie cameras were more like a novelty. The earliest known film comes from 1888...

The first films were just of everyday scenes but some realised films could be made to tell stories. Here is a film made in 1902. Again there is no sound. Cinemas would have musicians playing music and possibly people making sound effects as the movie played. This clip has no sound. The film is called "Le Voyage dans la Lune" (A Trip to the Moon).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YH0hKrOsBvo

There were attempts to record sound but it wasn't recorded by the camera. The early attempts had trouble keeping the sound in synch (in the right place) in the movie*. By 1923, they had worked our how to synch sound and in 1927 "The Jazz SInger" was released as the first movie with sound.

Charlie Chaplin first appeared in a film in 1914. When sound came along he, like many others, thought it wouldn't last. People, they thought, would always prefer silent films. He continued making silent films into the 1930s but in 1940 he produced what was probably his first talking movie, "The Great Dictator". He wanted to make a film condemning Adolf Hitler before America entered World War II. I have this film in my DVD library. It is my favourite of all of his films.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

* Synching sound means putting the sound to a film so the people's mouths move to the sound as they should and music plays in time with dancers or people playing musical instruments. From my first video camera I owned I was able to record sound but the quality wasn't always good. There could be, and still is, a problem with noises from the audience.

In 1985 I filmed my first school production. A high school known as Prairiewood High in Sydney knew of my filming and asked me to make a VHS tape for them. Wanting better sound, they gave me an audio cassette tape of the production. It contained the sound from the microphones so little could be heard of the audience. In order to synch the sound, I had to drill a hole through a cassette player and tighten or loosen a screw to slow (tighten) or speed up (loosen) the sound.

These days I use a digital audio recorder and can line up sound on the computer.

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To visit the Techie Kids blog...

Techie Kids

Hello again, Christian.

As promised, here is some information on the Tasmanian devil. Firstly, I was surprised to find I didn't have a photo of a Tasmanian devil in my collection. While I know I have photographed them years back, the photos no longer seem to be here to scan and share. As such, I have prepared a drawing of one for you using Photoshop.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Here are some Tasmanian devil facts...

* Tasmanian devils are marsupial mammals. The females have pouches and give milk to their developing young.

* Their scientific names is Sarcophilus harrisii.

* They are only found naturally in Tasmania but are also in many mainland zoos. They had once lived on the mainland.

* With the extinction of the Tasmanian tiger (thylacine) in the 1930s, the Tasmanian devil became the largest marsupial carnivore. They are the size of a small dog.

* For their size, they have a very strong bite.

* Being carnivores, they eat meat. They hunt for prey but will eat carrion (dead animals) or even household scraps from humans.

* They normally live alone but can be found in groups if there is a large dead animal available for feeding.

* Like all marsupials, the young are born quite small (0.20 g or 0.0071 oz) and must make their way into the pouch to attach to a nipple to feed.

* After around 100 days, the young are ejected from the pouch but they become independent after about nine months.

* Whereas foxes and cats introduced to the mainland have caused problems for many small mammals, the devil's habit of eating carrion and their ability to kill cats and foxes has kept the introduced animals under control in Tasmania.

 Wikipedia reference used...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tasmanian_devil

 

The Devil's Future

In the wild, the Tasmanian devil is now classed as endangered. A devil facial tumour disease has been reducing their numbers since the 1990s. The Tasmanian state government is trying to save them by establishing isolated colonies free from the disease. Mainland zoos also have breeding devils.

 

You Tube

Here are some You Tube clips I've found. I don't have clips of my own because my local animal sanctuary doesn't have devils.

 

The first introduction many people have had to the Tasmanian devil is through Bugs Bunny cartoons. Tassie, the Tasmanian devil, is shown as a spinning creature capable of going through any object. Here is a cartoon of Tassie I found on You Tube.

This embedded You Tube clip is not my video.

Now let's look at some You Tube clips showing the real Tasmanian devil. This first clip shows a captive devil in a zoo enclosure...

This embedded You Tube clip is not my video.

You can see them feeding in this clip taken in a zoo...

This embedded You Tube clip is not my video.

Why are they called devils? Early settlers in Tasmania would hear sounds coming from the forest and thought something evil or threatening was lurking in there watching them. Listen to the sounds they made. If you didn't know what was making the sound, what would you think?

This embedded You Tube clip is not my video.

For a last clip, I found this copy of a silent film made in 1936. It shows the last known living Tasmanian tiger (thylacine). When it died on 7 September 1936, the Tasmanian tiger was classed as extinct. Some people have claimed to have seen them in isolated areas of Tasmania since then but no proof has ever been shown.

This embedded You Tube clip is not my video.

6 Comments

Recently, I have been asked a few times what tips might I give new bloggers. The following is an updated set of tips I first posted in May, 2012.

What tips would I give to new bloggers?

1. The first and most important tip is to have a go. Sometimes people are held back because of a fear others mightn’t like what they post or people might think them dumb. It’s true, there are some people out there who only want to criticise others but you will find the majority of people are supportive. For younger users, there is always comment moderation. A trusted adult checks on comments before they are allowed on the blog. When I first started this blog I had no idea it would be visited so many times.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

2. The second is to make posts. There is no use setting up a blog if you don’t intend making regular posts. While people may enjoy what you write, they will stop visiting your blog if nothing new appears.

Adding  graphics, sounds and video clips can add to your posts but the work should be your own. If using something another has made, make sure you have permission and give them credit. On this blog, many photos and graphics have "Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes." under them. If you are using them for school work, I have given you permission to use them.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

3. The third is to visit other blogs. It’s not only polite to visit a blog of someone who regularly visits your blog, it’s also an opportunity to add comments to another person’s blog. When you do this and possibly add a link to your blog in the comment, the other person is more likely to visit and comment on your blog.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

4. The fourth is to be positive in comments. I like to look for the good things in a person's post and highlight these in my comments. I also might make suggestions on how a student’s post might be improved. I never say their post is bad. They have taken the time to share their ideas and I appreciate what they do and know they’re doing their best.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

5. The fifth would be to try to reply to anyone who leaves a comment on your blog. I try to write a reply on my blog to any comments left. This can sometimes take up a reasonable part of my day. Any comment left on my blog normally gets a reply thanking them for commenting. I always add a little extra in my reply to acknowledge what they have written.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

6. The sixth tip is one I don’t always use due to lack of time. In your comments, it's okay to ask questions of the person who wrote the blog if you want to carry on a discussion with them. Questions invite the person to answer you.  🙂

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

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To see the Techie Kids blog…    Visit Techie Kids

Hello Again Alexis,

I have sorted through more photos. I don't think I have shared many of these before. Here they are, starting with...

Invertebrates

1. Blue-bottle Jelly fish ( or Portuguese Man-of-war)

These jelly fish are found along our coast. The air sac keeps them on the surface as they drift along. Long tentacles drag behind them trapping small fish. Beaches can close when they are blown towards land. If a tentacle contacts you skin, it can be very painful and can leave a red mark where the tentacle touches. They are sometimes blown onto beaches like this one. As the tentacles can still sting when the blue-bottle is on the beach you still need to take care. This one's air sac would have been about 2 inches (5cm) long and its tentacles two to three feet long.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Bournda National Park, N.S.W., Australia

2. Sand spider

On the same beach walk I photographed the blue-bottle, I photographed this spider. It's a good example of camouflage. Had I not seen it moving, I might have missed seeing this small spider.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Bournda National Park, N.S.W., Australia

3. Yellow-Striped Hunter Dragonfly

It took a few attempts to take this photo. Dragonflies can move quickly but it finally settled long enough.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Bournda National Park, N.S.W., Australia

4. Some Butterflies and Moths

Two butterflies I haven't been able to identify. I must buy a butterfly identification book. 🙂

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Bournda National Park, N.S.W., Australia

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Bournda National Park, N.S.W., Australia

Painted Lady Butterfly

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Bournda National Park, N.S.W., Australia

Hawk Moth (about 2 inches (5cm) long)

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Bournda National Park, N.S.W., Australia

Common Brown

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Yellowpinch, N.S.W., Australia

Vertebrates

1. Reptiles

Lace Goanna (or Lace Monitor) (about a metre long - 3 to 4 feet)

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Yellowpinch, N.S.W., Australia

Red-bellied Black Snake (poisonous but not very aggressive)

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Wolumla, N.S.W., Australia

2. Birds

White-faced Heron

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Merimbula, N.S.W., Australia

Swamphen

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Bega, N.S.W., Australia

Australian Pelican

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Merimbula, N.S.W., Australia

Coot

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Bega, N.S.W., Australia

Pied Butcher Bird

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Imbil, Queensland, Australia

Brush Turkey (not really a turkey)

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Brisbane Hinterland, N.S.W., Australia

Bronzewing Pigeon

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Merimbula, N.S.W., Australia

3. Mammals - Monotreme (Egg Laying Mammals)

The only known monotreme mammals in our world are the platypus (Australia only) and the echidna (Australia and New Guinea). Here is a an echidna (or spiny anteater) I saw while on a hike.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Merimbula, N.S.W., Australia

4. Mammals - Marsupial (Pouched Mammals)

Brushtail Possum

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Bournda National Park, N.S.W., Australia

Eastern Grey Kangaroo joey (This joey is now too big for the pouch.)

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Bournda National Park, N.S.W., Australia

4. Mammals - Placental

Bottle-nosed dolphins - They were swimming parallel to a beach

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Bournda National Park, N.S.W., Australia

Dingo - dingoes are our wild dogs. They were thought to have arrived with the first Aboriginal people. This make is named Djingo. He lives at Potoroo Palace. WIld dingoes aren't found in my area. They can't bark like domestic dogs. Like wolves, they can howl.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

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This short post is in answer to a comment left by the Battalion Hawk Bloggers. For their original post and the comments...

Making the World a Better Place

Hello Battalion Hawk Bloggers,

When seeing world globe graphics they so often centre on more equatorial countries. I had decided to create world globe graphics from different perspectives (ways of looking). The first graphic I created was placing Canada at the top of the globe because I was writing an extended comment for you.

Photos

There are now over 38,000 photos in my iPhoto library's photo section with a few hundred more negatives to scan before I start scanning 35mm slides. During the process I have discovered long lost photos and negatives. It's part of a discovery of the past. At one time, I found an old tin and opened it. Inside were photos measuring only 3" x 2" (7.5cm x 5cm). The photos included family members as well as photos of people I couldn't identify. There were also negatives needing changing to positives.

Long Lost Memories?

Probably the best memories come when you find photos of relatives no longer with us...

This graphic should not be copied.

1. My maternal great grandmother, i.e. my mother's grandmother. The photo would have been taken around 1930.

2. My maternal great, great grandfather, i.e. my mother's mother's grandfather. This photo was probably taken around 1900.

3. My Maternal grandparents, i.e. my mother's parents. This is a photo from 1958.

4. May paternal grandparents, i.e. my father's parents. Probably taken about the same year as 3.

I never met my great grandmother or great, great grandfather. Photos therefore are a journey into history where we can meet  people from the past.

Being Positive not Negative About Photos

Before we had digital cameras, we used film in cameras. Film was a roll of plastic coated with chemicals. It was inside a film container so light couldn't change the chemicals. When film was in a camera, you closed the camera to keep light out then wound the film to the first position (frame). When you pressed the camera button, a shutter would open and close. The moment of light would react with the chemicals and change them. You then wound to the next frame. When the film was used, you would rewind the film into its container and take it to a camera shop or process it yourself.

I know many of you may not know what negatives are. They were what appeared on plastic film when we took photos. Either through a camera shop, or your own equipment if you had it , you would open the film roll in a dark room and put the film in a chemical bath. This would make the film (negatives) safe to see in light. With the negatives now safe, it was time to make your photos. This was done by projecting the negative onto chemically treated paper. The light would change the chemicals on the photo paper. Another chemical bath, this time for the photo paper, made the photos safe to be in light. After the photos had dried, you could take your photos out of the darkened room to show to friends.

Below I have simulated two types of negatives and photos so you can see what they looked like. The first is a black and white photo from 1940 and shows the negative on the left and positive on the right. Do you notice they are opposite? Dark on the negative becomes light on the positive.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Now look at this next pair. The top shows how a colour negative would look while the bottom would be the print.

Do you notice blue on the negative becomes yellow on the positive?

Can you see what colour red on the photo looks like when you look at the negative?

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Nuevo Sol, the Peruvian Currency

Knowing some words in Spanish may have helped me know this meant "New Sun" but it didn't help me know why their currency was thus named. I did a little research.

Before the Nuevo Sol was introduced, the Peruvian currency up to 1985 was the Inti but inflation became very, very bad in Peru. Just by chance, amongst the few international currency notes in my small collection is a Peruvian 100 Inti note, the money before the Nuevo Sol. Here is a scan of both sides of the old note.

As this is no longer legal tender, it should be acceptable  for schools and students to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

The government replaced the Inti (Sol) with the Nuevo Sol. The exchange rate was 1 Nuevo Sol = 1,000,000 Inti so this means you would have needed 10,000 of these notes just to get 1 Nuevo Sol. This note was practically worthless.

I checked and found Inti was the name of the Inca's sun god so Nuevo Sol is a good name as, in a way, it means New Inti. Here is the link  with the information I used...

Peruvian Nuevo Sol

With Nuevo Sol not worth as much in Canadian dollar, you would expect prices to appear higher but, in real terms, the prices probably aren't that different when you consider you have more Nuevo Sol. Converting Canadian dollars to Nuevo Sol, you might find some items cheaper in Peru because people are, on average , not as well off as the average Canadian.

Just checking today's exchange rates, $1.00 Australian = $1.06 Canadian but when you look at the fees for exchanging Australian dollars to Canadian, our currencies are about the same.

Just an added thought, your $830.45 would have been worth about 2,099,970,000.00 Intis before the currency changed to Nuevo Sol. That is two billion, ninety-nine million, nine hundred and seventy thousand Intis. That would have meant just $1 Canadian would have been worth  2,528 713.35 Intis so if you had a dollar, you'd have been a multi-millionaire in Peru in 1985. Can you imagine the price for a can of soda? Life would have been very hard for the Peruvian people. Savings would have become worthless. I think I would rather have Nuevo Sol.

 

Quotes and Being Quoted

If I use something said or written by another, I always try to add a credit for the writer after a quote. It's only fair. Unless you see credits for a quote in my posts, they would normally be my words but I know some people can pretend they first used a quote. When we use the words of others and pretend they're ours, it's called plagiarism.

On December 7 last year I wrote an extended comment when you discussed the marvellous book, “If the World Were a Village”. After sharing my ideas and reading your wonderful comments in that post, I wanted to sum up my thoughts on what had been discussed. At the end, I wrote...

One world, one village, one family… Together, hand in hand, we can achieve great things.

It can be a good skill to summarise information in brief sentences so others find it easier to remember.

Receiving the Parcel and Snail Mail

I thought I would finish off this comment with a picture rather than a sentence.

(I think the Battalion Hawk Bloggers might understand the blue words in the picture.)

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

 

 

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I had written a post on plate tectonics and continental drift for Mrs. Yollis and her class. Two students, Heather and Keira, challenged me to explain how the Earth began. This post is an attempt to provide an explanation according to my understanding of the science. To see the comment and challenge, click the link and scroll down to the comments.

Plate tectonics and our dynamic continents

How Did the Earth Begin?

Dear Heather and Keira,

There are so many stories of how the Earth began if we look though the amazing cultures in our world. It would be remiss of me not to mention one or two. Because of my home and yours, I have chosen stories from the native people of Australia and North America.

The Aboriginal People of Australia

Many people think there was one Aboriginal (native Australian) culture and one language but, before the coming of European colonists, there were many, many of those cultures now lost. One of the best sites I have seen comes from the Yolngu people of Ramingining in the northern part of Central Arnhem Land in Australia's Northern Territory.

For one of their creation stories, click the link Twelve Canoes and wait for the site to load. The picture below will appear. Once loaded, click on the picture indicated by the arrow to see a creation story.

This graphic should not be copied.

I think you will find many interesting things on this site as well as one of their creation stories.

Native American People

I found the following You Tube clip telling the story of creation of the Earth through the traditional beliefs of three Native American tribes, the Iroquois, Seminole and Cherokee.

This embedded You Tube clip is not my video.

Let's now start looking at what science is finding...

Let's start with some word learning. You have had many ideas in your life but have you ever heard someone say they have a theory? Many people confuse "idea" and "theory".

A scientist has an idea after looking at the information available through study or research and proposes an explanation for what has occurred. Other scientists look at the conclusions and test the idea against other data or new information. This may lead others to agree with the idea. With other scientists agreeing and available evidence supporting, the idea becomes a theory. Science is a path to discovery. We learn more and more about how things work.

Did you know up until a few hundred years back people thought the Earth was the centre of the universe and all of the stars, planets and our Sun orbited around us? This idea is called Geocentric.

A Geocentric View of the Universe

This drawing is based on a map by Bartolomeu Velho (1568)

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

A second geocentric model has Earth at the centre of the universe. The other planets orbit the sun and the sun and all the planets orbit the Earth.

It wasn't until about the 1500s more and more evidence was being gathered to show Earth isn't at the centre of the universe. It is a planet orbiting our Sun and now we know our Solar System is towards the outer edge of a double spiral galaxy we call, The Milky Way. We also know our galaxy is one of very many, probably billions, in our universe. We know this because of what scientists have been able to observe and because of the theories arising.

Watch the below video to see an explanation of what is thought to have happened to form our planet and others in our Solar System. Remember, you can click on the small box symbol on the bottom right of the video to watch full screen.

 Now let's look at the information in the video

* About 9 billion (9,000,000,000) years after the universe was born a massive start went Supernova - A supernova is an explosion of a star. It might have been caused by the collapse of the massive star's core. Radiation, energy and stellar dust explodes out from the collapsed star. Back in 1987, we were able to look into the sky and see a supernova astronomers named SN 1987A. Where once nothing could be seen, a star bright enough to be seen without a telescope had appeared. It is said to be 167,885 light years distance. This means the light took 167,885 years to reach us. The supernova happened a very long time ago.

* Gravity began its work on regions of the massive dust "cloud" sent out. The "cloud" particles started to gather. Pressure and heat increased. Our Sun was being formed.

* The temperature increased to about 10 million (10,000,000) C or about 18,000,032 F. About 4.5 billion (4,500,000,000) years ago our sun lit up.

* The Sun used much of the "cloud" leaving only 0.1%. Look at this picture. Imagine the cloud was made up of 1000 students in a school. 999 of them would go to make up the Sun. Just one of them would be left to make all of the planets and asteroids in the Solar System. The little guy in red looks a little lonely. 🙂

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

* The left over material was caught in the pool of the Sun's spinning motion. The left over material was spinning (orbiting) around the sun. The spin and gravity of the sun was drawing the material into rings (like Saturn's gravity has drawn material into rings around it). The way the material was orbiting the sun stopped it from being pulled into the Sun. I know this can be hard to understand so look at the next graphic I have prepared.

Imagine you are the Sun. You have a long, strong elastic attached to a tennis ball and you are spinning it around your head.

The ball is orbiting you. The elastic is your gravity trying to pull the tennis ball to you. The tennis ball is one of the planets. If the movement of the ball slows, the elastic draws it closer. If the ball moves faster, the elastic stretches further. Yes, in case you wonder, if the tennis ball was instead a basketball, the amount of stretch would be bigger.

Jupiter is said to be 317 more massive than the Earth. Imagine trying to spin 317 tennis balls on the end of the elastic. You wouldn't need to spin the balls as fast to keep the elastic as stretched as one tennis ball. Our Earth takes one year to orbit the Sun (that's what a year is, the time it takes our Earth to go once around the Sun). Jupiter takes about 12 years. If you could spin the tennis balls fast enough, the elastic would break and "Jupiter" would sail off into space.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

* The debris in the rings around our sun started to collide and come together to form larger masses. Their journey to becoming planets had started.

Have you heard of the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter? This ring of debris wasn't able to form a planet because it was being pulled from two sides, the Sun and Jupiter, the largest of our system's planets. Our ring was able to produce a planet which is fortunate for us or I wouldn't be writing this.

* From 4.8 to 3.5 billion years ago (4,500,000,000 to 3,500,000,000 years ago), the Earth was being bombarded from space. Combined with this bombardment, radioactive elements and pressure, Earth became a molten furnace. Heavier minerals like iron and nickel sank into the core and lighter minerals rose to the surface.

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You have probably seen how certain things float while others sink. If you drop stones or pieces of metal into a container of water, they sink to the bottom because they are heavier. Put in olive oil and it will float to the top.

* Around this time a large object about the size of Mars collided with our early Earth. Part of the collided matter broke off to eventually become our moon. The Moon at first was much closer to our planet.

Remember the elastic experiment? Earth's "elastic" isn't quite strong enough so it is gradually "stretching" but the Moon isn't expected to break away, just reach a distance where there is a balance but this is billions of years into the future so we needn't worry.

* Because of all of the heat and volcanic activity throwing out gases, Earth's atmosphere was mostly nitrogen, water vapour and carbon dioxide. We couldn't have survived the heat let alone the poisonous atmosphere.

* As the bombardment of debris from the creation of the Solar System reduced, Earth's surface started to cool. Water vapour cooled and the first ancient ocean formed. The cooling crust of the Earth formed the first land, Pangaea. Remember the layers of the Earth?


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In the  final video clip at the end f this post you will hear it said, if the Earth were a basketball, the crust would be thinner than a piece of paper on its surface yet that's where we live.

* The Earth had an atmosphere and water, conditions needed for the first life but that is another story.

Are there any other systems with planets or are our Solar System planets the only ones? Is there life on other planets in our universe?

I have a favourite quote from a man called, Carl Sagan. He was an astronomer, astrophysicist, cosmologist and author. He wrote a novel named "Contact". The quote comes from his book...

"The universe is a pretty big place. If it's just us, seems like an awful waste of space."

Many people had suspected other stars would have planets but it wasn't until 1988 the first planet outside our Solar System was found. Before this we simply didn't have the technology to do this. Now the possibility of around 2400 planets outside our Solar System are being investigated. It would seem planet formation as is said to have happened with our system is much more common that we had thought. You know I like numbers so look at this...

 

If there were only 1 billion galaxies in our universe each with 1 billion star, then there would be...

1,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars

(one quintillion stars)

Just say of these only 0.1% (like the amount of material left when our sun formed) had planets, then there would be...

1,000,000,000,000,000 stars with planets out there.

That is one quadrillion stars with planets.

Now just say of these only 0.0001% of the planets had life (that is not 1 out of a 1,000. It is 1 out of a million), then there would be...

1,000,000,000 planets with life.

That is one billion planets with life.

But there are probably many more than a billion galaxies in our universe and I suspect life is much more common than the above but reaching planets outside our Solar System to find life doesn't seem likely because of the vast distances between the stars and far greater between galaxies.

As you know, NASA has the Curiosity rover on Mars. Latest news shows it has found rocks on Mars have some of the chemicals necessary for life - sulfur, nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and carbon. If we find evidence of life on Mars or that it once existed, we have proof we are not alone but don't expect Martian people. If life is found it will most likely only be something like bacteria.

Early Earth & Plate Tectonics

This one talks of the possibility of a number of land masses forming over time and gives them names. This is quite possible but I am happy enough with just Pangaea unless I find further evidence. The clip does show you how our Earth is protected from harmful radiation from our sun by it's magnetic field caused by our rotating liquid iron outer core. Mars's interior cooled a very long time ago. Solar radiation shed much of Mars's atmosphere but Earth has been protected. Our volcanoes, tectonic plates and earthquakes show us our world is still very active and I am thankful it is.

This embedded You Tube clip is not my video.

 New Video Clips to Watch

(added: March 24, 2013)

When checking through You Tube, I found this clip showing an animation of the Big Bang, and the beginning of our system, the Sun, Earth and Moon. This clip has nothing to read just images to watch as billions of years pass.

This embedded You Tube clip is not my video.

You know our Sun is much larger than the Earth. It's said it would take about a million Earths to make the size of the Sun but is our Sun a very big star? I found this video clip to show our Sun is so much smaller than the largest known star. This video clip shows just how tiny our Sun is compared to some other suns (stars).

This embedded You Tube clip is not my video.

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Dear Alexis,

As promised, here are some horse photos from my collection. Some are of my local country show's equestrian events. I am the show's unofficial photographer and an official help and tech assistant. This means I just help where needed. 🙂

Back on the old family farm when my mum was a girl and teenager in the 1930s and 1940s, horses were used for ploughing, pulling wagons and riding. Three of her favourite farm horses were Bud, Darby and Duke. This photo was taken in 1948...

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Location: Bega, N.S.W., Australia

Not all horses in my photo collection are real. I took this one of a winged unicorn at a World Expo held in Brisbane in 1988. This horse was part of an evening light parade.

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Location: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

The following photograph was taken in 1990 when my grade was on a four day visit to an old gold mining area, Bathurst.

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Location: Bathurst, N.S.W., Australia

In 2007 the local country show had horse drawn coach rides for visitors.

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Location: Pambula, N.S.W., Australia

Two new friends I met in our 2013 country show.

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Location: Pambula, N.S.W., Australia

Our shows also have equestrian events, both dressage and jumping.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Pambula, N.S.W., Australia

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Pambula, N.S.W., Australia

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Pambula, N.S.W., Australia

There is also an historical group in my shire who appear at shows in the uniform of the Australian Light Horse from World War I. The first is the full colour photo and the second has been "aged" to look more like an old photo .

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Candelo, N.S.W., Australia

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Candelo, N.S.W., Australia