One World, One People

To see Global Grade 3's post, click the link blow...

Investigating Fossils

Life can be full of wonder and discovery if we only keep our minds and senses open to the world around us.

Some Fossils In My Collection

Hi there!

I didn't think I would be preparing another extended comment for you so soon but you wrote a post about one of my favourite topics, fossils. I thought I would write a post so I could share photos of some fossils in my collection and links to other posts written on this blog.

At the end of this post, I have added links to some other posts I have written about fossils and dinosaurs.

Some of my favourite fossils I collected.

Being able to find your own fossils makes a specimen more special because you could be the first person to have seen it.

The sample below was collected from a dolomite quarry. You can still see the remains of the original shell but the soft parts of the animal have been replaced by dolomite. This shell belonged to an animal living perhaps 30,000 years ago.

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

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

The next dolomite stone was found when I was walking along a beach. You can see it has been rounded by wave action and rubbing against other rocks. In it are the remains of small shellfish. I can stlll find small shells similar to these on beaches today.

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

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

Below is part of a fossilised tree trunk I found when looking over a rockfall. I only have this section but I always wondered if the entire tree was somewhere in the tonnes of rock in the rockfall. According to my geological map, this fossil may have been a living tree perhaps 200 million years ago.

I don't know when the rockfall happened but I had also been to the same place before part of the cliff above gave way.

WARNING: unstable areas can be very dangerous. I only examined the edges of the rockfall and kept well away from the cliff area.

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

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

In the next fossil we see a leaf in the middle and a piece of a branch below it. As it was found in the same rockfall as the fossilised tree trunk above, it may have come from the same tree.

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

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

And some favourites I purchased...

Fossiled ammonite shell. Ammonites lived in the ocean from about 400 million to 65 million years ago.

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

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

This ammonite fossil shell has been cut in half and polished to show the chambers inside the shell.

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

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

Dinosaur coprolite from U.S.A. Did you know it can be possible for scientists to find what animals had eaten from coprolite samples? This was from a herbivore dinosaur. It may only be a coprolite but it is my only real dinosaur fossil.

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

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

Trilobite - Species of trilobites roamed the oceans from about 500 to 250 million years ago.

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

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

I've included the photo below but it isn't a fossil. It is a piece of wood from a New Zealand kauri tree found in a swamp. Because of the quality of the timber and the lack of oxygen in the swamp, it had been preserved but you can see the writing printed on the timber telling us it has been carbon dated to 44500 years. Imagine, it's over 40000 years old but looks as though it has been cut from a modern tree. Kauri trees are still found in New Zealand forests today.

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

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

Below is a photo of a kauri tree I had taken in 1986. It is known as Tane Mahuta. It's thought to be between 1250 and 2500 years old but is still alive. It's the largest kauri tree known to be standing in New Zealand. In the Maori language, Tane Mahuta means "Lord of the Forest".

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

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

Some of the most interesting dinosaur fossils found are those of dinosaur eggs. Look at the photo below. It shows dinosaur eggs in a nest so we know at least some dinosaurs had nesting grounds for their eggs. Can you imagine seeing a heard of nesting dinosaurs caring for their eggs?

This image was sourced through WIkimedia Commons where it is listed as in the public domain. It was taken in China's Kunming Natural History Museum of Zoology.

This image was sourced through WIkimedia Commons where it is listed as in the public domain. It was taken in China's Kunming Natural History Museum of Zoology.

And now for something a little different.

Below is a photo of a toy dinosaur egg.

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

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

When placed in water and left, the egg starts to open and the toy dinosaur can be seen hatching. It grows (swells) in the water.  It can take up to one week so I might have to top up the water. According to the information sheet, the dinosaur in this egg is named Matilda and is a Diamantinasaurus matildae. The diamantinasaurus is an Australian dinosaur. Fossils were found in the Australian state of Queensland.

I don't know whether to try it or not because I like the secret inside being a secret.

Would you hatch it if you had one?

It's only through fossils and other remains we can start to discover animals and plants from the past. As examples, some are simply washed out of the ground in storms, some uncovered in mining, and some are seen after rockfalls. Back in 1984, I visited Naracoorte's Victoria Fossil Cave in South Australia. Animals had wandered into the cave, become lost and died. Paleontologists had been digging and found, amongst other animals, the remains of an extinct kangaroo species as well as diprotodon (a little like a huge wombat). Here is a photo of the dig site back in 1984..

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

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

I checked Wikipedia to see what they have since discovered and found Wikimedia Commons has a wonderful public domain photo taken in the cave in 2006. It shows thylacoleo skeleton. This was an extinct carnivorous marsupial. Being a marsupial, the females would have had pouches for their young.

his image was sourced through WIkimedia Commons where it is listed as in the public domain. It was taken in China's Kunming Natural History Museum of Zoology.

his image was sourced through WIkimedia Commons where it is listed as in the public domain. It was taken in China's Kunming Natural History Museum of Zoology.

And now for a little gift I posted to you today...

I have just finished collecting cards from a new series named "Ancient Animals". I thought you might like one of the sets for your class. It has 81 cards on different types of animals from the past. It does come with a special magnifying glass with a UV light to show secret information on some of the cards. I had to put the UV magnifying glass in a small box to keep it safer. Both were posted on October 16. If all goes well and both parcels reach you, I wonder how long they will take and whether the book or magnifying glass arrives first?

Ancient Animals

 

AND NOW FOR THE LINKS TO EARLIER POSTS ON THIS BLOG I PROMISED

It was back in 2012 I wrote a post about fossils for the Global Grade 3. They would probably be Grade 6 now. Here is a link...

My Fossils for Global Grade 3

I've included links to posts I wrote after a visit the the National Dinosaur Museum in Canberra, Australia's capital city.

What the Dino Saw

What the Dino Saw Next

 All of the knowledge in the world is of no use unless it's used to help, and is shared with, others.

6 Comments

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

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

Like the bears in the photo above? They are Orlando Pirate and Polly Princess I purchased from The Kids' Cancer Project. Read to the end for a birthday surprise.

Background to Items given away on this blog...

When considering my major blogging events at the beginning of this year, I knew three were approaching. At that early time, I thought they might spread throughout the year but, with the free or not for profit photographic, video, DVD, CD work I do for community and schools growing, busy times have meant the events have come close together. Two have already been achieved and posts written. They were...

Koala – Phascolarctos cinereus & 100,000 Visitors posted February 18, 2015

Post 201: About Bilbies and 200 Posts posted May 23, 2015

It wasn't meant to be but I am writing this blog birthday post on the same day I wrote the post celebrating the 200th post which included a class giveaway. It means I will be running two giveaways for classes (the bilby items in another post and the above bears), both to be decided June 6 to allow for Northern Hemisphere classes approaching their end of school year.

Why giveaways? Whenever I can, I support a number of charities. Some, as fundraisers, offer items for sale. The koala in the Feb 18 post came from "Backyard Buddies", a group supporting animals and the environment in national parks. The bilby items come from "Save the Bilby Fund" raising money to help preserve the bilby.

For the 3rd birthday post, items come from "The Kids' Cancer Project" from The Oncology Children's Foundation. I bought two of their bears to give away. Details of the giveaway after a little information on "The Kids' Cancer Project".

A Little About The Kids' Cancer Project

(Text taken from The Kids' Cancer Project notes.)

The Kids' Cancer Project has a single mission: To cure kids' cancer

Childhood cancer is the leading cause of death from disease in Australian children. Finding cures for 100% of kids' cancer is dependent on medical research. The Kids' Cancer Project funds The Tumour Bank, The Gene Therapy Trial, Drug discovery Program and the C4 Consortium of 8 expert cancer scientists, as well as other targeted research.

Two Bears Needing a New Home

 

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

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

Orlando Pirate and Polly Princess want to find a new home with classes somewhere in the world. If your class would like a chance to receive one of the bears, simply leave a birthday greeting for the blog in the comments. A random draw will decide the winning classes if there are more than two class comments. You don't need to have received a post or to have visited this blog previously. It's open to any school class.

* Note: If individual students want to leave a comment, they must ask permission from their teacher. The bears can only be sent to a class and not an individual student.

For the original post click 20 SOMETHING KIDS AND 1 KOOKY TEACHER 

Hello everyone,

I was reading your post on the Robinsons musicians' visit to your school. Is drumming fun? What I like best is you can feel the beat as well as hear it. I can't quite tell from your video clip but were they djembe drums? If they are, I think they began in West Africa but have since spread around the world.

Did you know schools in my area have drumming groups? In my area, I produce DVDs and CDs for local schools and community groups. This includes filming our area's major 14 school performance. While I can't show the actual video, I can share the sound of the drummers from a couple performances.

Djembe Drums

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

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

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

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

Click on the video below to hear the drummers.

Taiko Drums

In another school, a teacher was fascinated by Japanese culture. She introduced Taiko drumming into her school. To buy genuine Taiko drums would have been too expensive for a small school but, being creative, the teacher realised a similar sound could be made using large plastic drums.

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

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

Click the video below to hear the Taiko drum performance.

(Yes, I managed to misspell Taiko on the video clip.)

With continued thoughts and questions from the Battalion Bloggers, another post was necessary to answer. To see their initial post and the follow up comments, here is the link...

A Surprise Post Inspires Action

Hello Battalion Bloggers,

There is no need to apologise for taking time to reply. I have seen how many quality experiences you have been having through blogging and know you would be having many other learning experiences in school. When we are keen to learn, there is always something to keep us busy.

Ethan, Isaac & Alex – There was no need to use a zoom lens to take the close up photo of emus. While it isn’t possible with emus in the wild, the photo was taken at Potoroo Palace, my favourite local wildlife sanctuary. I have hand fed emus at the sanctuary so being up close isn’t hard. I have seen emus a little taller than me and I stand 185cm tall so they probably can reach around 2m in height.

Dinosaurs – Well, there’s a coincidence. I am preparing something on dinosaurs for Year 1 and 2 in my local school. It will include a blog post I will also share with your class when it’s ready. It will take time as there is much to prepare. Below is a sample photo I have taken of a friend lurking near a tree at Australia’s National Dinosaur Museum in Canberra…

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

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

Kale – I think emus can run up to around 50kph (31mph) so they can run much faster than us. I think the one I saw would have only been running in the 30s.

As far as winged dinosaurs are concerned, there really weren't any. They were flying reptiles like the ones pictured below. When I was your age most thought they could only soar like kites but it has been shown they could really fly and some are known to have had feathers.

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

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

Melvin – One of the amazing things about learning is the way we can recall information we may have learned some time ago. That’s one of my secrets in blog commenting. Someone writes something and I remember a fact or two and, with extra research, I start writing a post.

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

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

Amy, Catherine & Noam – We don’t tend to see emus walking around wild in my area. However, in my first school as a permanent teacher, I sometimes had to chase emus out of the school playground before children arrived. In the first photo below, you can see my first school. It was 100km from the nearest town. Children lived on sheep and cattle stations.

The second photo shows you a close up of emu feathers. They feel almost furry but, of course, emus have feathers and not fur. You can also see an emu wing but, of course, they can't fly.

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

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

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

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

Martin and Zyne – Auckland Museum was full of amazing displays of history, culture and nature but it was the moa I most liked to see. It would be amazing to see a living one but, unfortunately, they are now extinct.

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

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

Jenna, Hilary and Claire – While I don’t have a photo of my own of the hoatzin adult, below is one accessed from Wikimedia Commons. They are amazing looking birds.

As far as emus go, I really only call them male or female although, as with other birds, you could call females “hens” and males “cocks”. In the post for Daniel, I mentioned males tend to make a grunting sound. I searched through my archive of video clips I have taken and found one where, if you listen carefully, you can hear what I think is the grunting sound of a male emu (on the right of the trio). Soon after Europeans first settled Australia, two species of emu became extinct and fossils show there was a third. The Tasmanian emu was thought to have become extinct in the mid 1800s. What we do have are three types of the one species of emus, Dromaius novaehollandiae novaehollandiae (in the south) and Dromaius novaehollandiae woodwardi (in the north) and Dromaius novaehollandiae rothschildi (in the south-west). Being the same species, they look similar but do have some differences. I will let your class know when I have my dinosaur post ready for my local school.

By Kate from UK (Hoatzin  Uploaded by FunkMonk) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Kate from UK (Hoatzin Uploaded by FunkMonk) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Lane – When you see me write about many different things, I didn’t know about much of what I shared beforehand. It’s the questions people ask that give me the chance to research and learn more. As an example, in the comment above for Jenna, Hilary and Claire, they asked me how many species of emu there are. I did some research and now know there were other species but they have become extinct. We now have only one species with three subspecies. That was my learning from finding the answer. We don’t need to know the answers to everything but we must know how to find answers when we need them.

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

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

Peng Peng & Daniel – I’ve always thought the Chinese system of names make more sense when the family name comes first so I would be Mannell Ross rather than Ross Mannell but I didn’t know about family tree differences. My family tree includes both male and female ancestors but the further back in time we go the more my family tree looks like a family forest because there are so many relatives.  Look to the end of this post for some big maths about relatives.

There are a number of museums in London. I visited the Natural History Museum, the London Transport Museum, the Science Museum, and the British Museum. There were so many fascinating displays in each I couldn’t choose a favourite. Remember, I’m interested in very many things and took many photos. Here are a few…

Science Museum

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

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

British Museum

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

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

Natural History Museum

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

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

London Transport Museum

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

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

Imperial War Museum

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

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

Aya, Hannah and Kelly – Like many things in life, I am still learning. Answering your class’s questions, I have learned more facts. We should always keep or minds and eyes open to a world of learning. Writing comments and posts is my way of learning more and sharing what I find. All the knowledge in the world is no use unless we share with others.

What do I like about emus? With the kangaroo, they appear in the Australian Coat of Arms and so are a national symbol and, I think, remind me a little of dinosaurs from the past.

This is a public domain file.

This is a public domain file.

Some extra maths for Peng Peng and Daniel

I once looked at the numbers of parents, grandparents, great grandparents, great great grandparents, etc. we have. Before long, I realised there are so many every human on Earth has to be related to every other human somewhere back in time. Look at this maths…

If we go back only 10 generations (parents to great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, grandparents) there would be 1024 great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandparents.

If we go back 20 generations, there would be 1,048,576 great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandparents (that’s 18 greats).

Before you think I sat there working out all of this by hand, there is a maths trick we can use in a computer spreadsheet to work this out. If we start a spreadsheet and type the following into a cell,

=2^20

(for 20 generations) it gives you the answer…  1,048,576

=2^10 gives you 1024 for 10 generations

=2^25 gives you 33,554,432 for 25 generations

=2^30 gives you 1,073,741,824 for 30 generations

Can you see how big the numbers are becoming? By only 30 generations, there are over one billion great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandparents (that’s 28 greats).

Before long, there would be more people than there have ever been if everyone was still alive today. This means families marry into others families but, somewhere back in time, they were already related. We are all part of the same family. I am part of a family forest of which you are also part.

The Family Forest

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

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

1 Comment

The photos appearing on this post were taken by me on 35mm slide film in 1985. They have been scanned at 3600dpi.

Declan and Connor wrote a descriptive piece about the Australian Desert. This post will share some photos of Australia's arid centre.

Back in 1985, I organised a trip for some families from my school through Australia's centre. Our journey in the minibus I drove covered over 6500km. Below shows the journey we took from Sydney to the north, through central Australia and back to Sydney.

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

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

The photo below shows the border country to the west of Mt Isa on the map. Some parts of Australia are very flat with few trees.

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

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

Occasionally, hills can break the dry scenery.

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

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

We stopped to explore Karlu Karlu (also known as Devil's Marbles)...

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

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

You can see from this photo including two of our group just how large the rocks are. The rocks aren't balancing. They have been eroded over time with the base of the upper rock slowly wearing away from the base rock. Eventually enough rock will erode away and the upper rock will fall.

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

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

 The large town closest to Australia's centre is Alice Springs, also known as "The Alice". The site is known as Mparntwe to the traditional owners of the land, the Arrernte people. On our visit, we were able to see a rare rainbow across the town's surrounding MacDonnell Ranges.

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

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

Travelling south from Alice Springs, we turned west to reach Uluru (also known as Ayers Rock) standing high above the ground in this low desert country.

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

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

You can see the size of Uluru in the next photo. Uluru is sacred to the traditional owners who would never climb the rock but they don't stop visitors who wish to climb but prefer people to respect their beliefs. Visitors have to take care to follow the trail because the climb can be dangerous.

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

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

Many areas around Uluru have traditonal art work painted on the rock. Some areas have a low fence with warning signs asking visitors not to enter as the sites are scared men or women areas where only traditonal people should enter. The photo below was taken in an area visitors could enter.

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

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

About 30 km (more by road) to the west of Uluru is Kata Tjuta (also known as The Olgas).

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

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

Like Uluru, these rock formations are huge and tower above the surrounding land.

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

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

As we left Uluru and Kata Tjuta, we joined the main road south and passed through more flat country.

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

Eventually we reached the opal mining town of Coober Pedy.

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

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

To escape the high summer temperatures, some of the town's people have built homes into the low hills.

This photo was sourced through WIkimedia Commons. The information below shows the original author.

This photo was sourced through WIkimedia Commons. The information below shows the original author.

Heading south from Coober Pedy, we pass salt lakes...

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

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

...before heading east from Port Augusta back into the state of New South Wales and on to Sydney. Australia is a very large country but much of it is arid (desert) or semi-arid (almost desert).

2 Comments

to see Global Grade 3's original post, click the below link...

On Your MARK … Get SET … GO!

A very busy time involving around 300 hours work (from rehearsals, photography, filming, editing and producing) on a twin DVD set then travelling a total of around 1400 kilometres delivering them to 15 schools (some more than one visit) meant this is the first extended comment since July 9th. With the Northern Hemisphere on summer vacation, I spent more time on special fiction writing groups I visit. What a wonderful surprise it is to see, by chance, the first extended comment since July goes to a class blog I have so often visited. Here goes...

It's Just a Dot

Have you ever heard someone say it's only them and so what can they do? Your Dot Day post had me thinking about this. I thought I would share my thoughts with you through a short video clip I posted to You tube for you...

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

Making Your Mark

I watched your video clip about how you will make your marks and was very impressed by all of your ideas. They were of helping, persevering, caring for the environment and trying to be brave and do your best.

I hope I have all of the names from your video and they're spelt correctly.

Lane - Helping others is an outstanding way to make your mark.

Isaac - Using less electricity helps conserve resources.

Peng Peng - Being kind to other adds happiness to the lives of others.

Kelly - Trying your best and helping others will help you grow into a wonderful adult.

Hilary - Never giving up on something important is a way to make a difference.

Kale - Trying hard means you will always put your best effort into things you care about.

Hannah - Helping others who are sick or hurt suggests you might want to be a doctor or nurse. Caring for others is very rewarding.

Laurie - Being brave enough to try new things means you can face future challenges.

Aya - Persevering and helping others needing help means you will make a difference.

Noam - Smiling can bring brightness to a dull day and light into the hearts of those who share a smile with you.

Claire - Together with Noam, I think you will make the world a happier place.

Jenna - Helping others not knowing what to do is important. We should share our skills and knowledge with others.

Kennedy - Being kind to people shows them you care and helps them feel good about themselves.

Daniel - Being helpful adds to the happiness of others and rewards you with smiles.

Ethan - Helping everyone even when it's hard means you will make the world a better place.

Catherine - Cheering people up when they're sad is very important. Happiness brings health.

Alex - Making the world a better place is always a good goal and recycling is one part of the goal.

Sam - Helping your family can start you on a path of helping others. People who help others make a difference.

Zyne - What a great idea. I like to try to find ways of using things again. When we do this, we are part of recycling.

Cohen - Picking up litter gives us a tidy environment. Helping others gives us smiles.

Thinking About Dots, what would be mine?

I looked back on my life and wondered what a suitable dot for me might be. I thought what better than a dot made up of hundreds of faces from my classes over around five years. You saw it briefly at the end of the video clip. Here is my dot showing how I have made a mark...

 

This graphic should not be used without written permission from me.

This graphic should not be used without written permission from me.

Have I ever been faced with a challenge that I have overcome by PERSEVERING?

What an interesting question you've asked. I suppose I have faced many challenges in my life but that is part of living. A life without any challenges, no matter how small they might be, can be very empty. It's through life's challenges and how we deal with them we grow as people. Here are some of the challenges I've set myself...

When a boy, I was a Scout. I set myself the task of gaining the highest awards as a Cub (Leaping Wolf badge), Scout (Green Cord) and Senior Scout (Queen's Scout Award). Below is a picture of my Senior Scout shirt I still have. It's now over 40 years old.

Scout uniform

When I was seven, I set myself the goal of becoming a teacher. By high school, I was collecting things I thought might be useful (including newspaper clippings of the first landing on the Moon). I decided I wanted a science degree even though I wanted to teach primary school. Most primary school teachers back then had diplomas and not degrees and few now have science degrees. My curiosity of the world around me and how it works drove me into science, a curiosity I tried to share with my students. Below is a photo on the day I received my Bachelor of Science degree (I should have worn a suit).

 

This graphic should not be used without written permission from me.

This graphic should not be used without written permission from me.

When computers came along, I set myself the task of learning how they work and what I could do with them. There weren't any classes to teach you how back then so I had to learn by myself. I started back in 1975 and am still learning about them and what they can do. I have been persevering with computing and technology for around 38 years now and have shared my knowledge with others. The photo below was taken 15 years ago so the students in the photo are all now adults facing their own challenges.

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

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

It's the challenges we face in life and how we deal with them that make us the people we are.

2 Comments

3/4B, 4T and 3SF visited the Penrith University of Western Sydney Observatory and share their experience in a blog post. They also asked questions and I loved the challenge of trying to answer them. To see their post…

Bloggers of the Week: Our Excursion to the Observatory

To see Part 1 of this comment...

Observing Space, there’s so much of it out there – Part 1

Hello 3/4B, 4T and 3SF,

Here are some possible answers to the second set of questions.

1. How many more years until we have to pack up and move to another planet, because the sun died?

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

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

Firstly, let's look at how our Earth is thought to have come to be. Heather and Keira from California had challenged me to explain how the Earth had begun. Here is a link to the post I wrote for them if you are interested.

How Did the Earth Begin?

... and here is a link to a Wikipedia post looking at history of the Earth. It is about  Earth from its formation to now.

History of the Earth

Okay, we have an idea how our Earth began but how might it end? As our planet's birth was linked to the formation of our sun, the sun is also involved in its suspected end.

Back in 1987, I was able to look into the night sky and see a "new" star. A star astronomers named SN 1987A had gone supernova. It is about 168,000 light years* from Earth and could not normally be seen without a powerful telescope. It is again too dim to be seen without a telescope. Had it been our star, our planet would have been destroyed.

Then what about our Sun? How old is it? What might happen to it? When might it happen?

This is a NASA photo released into the public domain. It was sourced through Wikimedia Commons. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_Sun_by_the_Atmospheric_Imaging_Assembly_of_NASA%27s_Solar_Dynamics_Observatory_-_20100819-02.jpg

This is a NASA photo released into the public domain. It was sourced through Wikimedia Commons.
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_Sun_by_the_Atmospheric_Imaging_Assembly_of_NASA%27s_Solar_Dynamics_Observatory_-_20100819-02.jpg

Our Sun is thought to be about 4.6 billion (4,600,000,000) years old. I had to do a little research about the Sun to find out what might happen. I found interesting information suggesting our Sun is becoming brighter by about 10% every billion years and it's surface is slowly becoming hotter. As it gets older and burns more of its hydrogen fuel it will grow in size to eventually become a red giant. By this time Earth, if it still exists, will not be able to support life.

The video clip below shows what might well happen when our to end of world. Duration: 3:04 minutes.

It replaces the original linked video clip now blocked from viewing in Australia due to copyright issues.

This is not my video clip.

Should we worry?

It is thought it could take about 5 billion (5,000,000,000) years before our Sun is a red giant and perhaps 1 billion (1,000,000,000) years before the Sun's rising temperature means all water will evaporate away from Earth. A billion years is a very long time. However humans develop in that time, we can only hope they have solved the problems. For a time until the sun gets too big or hot this might mean people moving to Mars but to go to other stars people might have to spend a very long time in space. By the time people reach other stars, they could be the great, great, great, great,... great, great, great, grandchildren of those who left Earth.

But I've seen movies where they move through gates or hyperspace at faster than the speed of light and arrive quickly...

The movies love finding ways to arrive quickly. Who knows what science might discover in a billion years. For now, the idea of travelling close to the speed of light is beyond us. Whatever the future brings, I have faith humans will find a solution if there's one to be found. I know NASA engineers are looking at ways it might be one day possible to warp space and make travel to the stars real. 🙂

168,000 light years* - as explained in Part 1, a light year is the distance light travels in a vacuum in one Earth year. While I saw the supernova as a bright star in 1987, the light had started on its way 168,000 years ago. When we look at stars, we are looking back in history. Even light from our own sun started its journey about 8.3 minutes before we see it.

2. Did you know that there are many different galaxies in space?

Yes. Too quick an answer? 🙂 I'll share some NASA galaxy photos using links.

The two galaxies shown here are in the early stage of an interaction that will eventually lead to them merging in millions of years. The two galaxies are about 450 million (450,000,000) light years from us. If you look carefully you can see other galaxies in the distant background.

UGC 9618, Chandra + Hubble

By Smithsonian Institution [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

This second photo shows galaxy M33. It is about 3 million (3,000,000) light years from Earth. The really bright stars are young, very large stars. Yes, stars are still being made in our universe from the remains of other stars.

Galaxy M33 Chandra X-ray Observatory

By Smithsonian Institution from United States [see page for license], via Wikimedia Commons

The third photo shows galaxy Centaurus A. If you can see what looks like a line of white light coming from its centre, that's the result of Centaurus A having a supermassive black hole at its centre.

Centaurus A Chandra

By NASA/CXC/CfA/R.Kraft et al (http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2008/cena/) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Galaxies are not all one size. Dwarf galaxies might only have as few as 10 million (10,000,000) stars whereas giant galaxies might have up to 100 trillion (100,000,000,000,000) stars. There are estimates the might be up to 170 billion (170,000,000,000) galaxies in the observable universe . There may be very many more but they are so distant their light still hasn't reached us, they're not yet observable. That's a lot of galaxies.

I like looking at big numbers so let's look at big numbers. I have said their might be 170 billion (170,000,000,000) galaxies in the observable universe. I also said galaxies could have from 10 million to 100 trillion stars. Let's say the average galaxy has 1 billion (1,000,000,000) stars.

How many stars might their be in the observable universe?

170,000,000,000 galaxies x 1,000,000,000 average stars = 170,000,000,000,000,000,000 (I make that 170 quintillion stars.)

In Part 1 of these answers to your questions I mentioned it has been said there are more stars in the universe than all of the grains of sand on every beach on Earth. Would one of you start counting so we can check? 🙂

Below is a You Tube video clip from NS showing galaxy M31 known as the Andromeda Galaxy. It is the nearest large spiral galaxy to our own. Our galaxy, The Milky Way, is also a spiral galaxy. Duration: 3:06 minutes

This is not my video.

3. Did you know that Pluto has 2 more moons?

Yes, but I found there seems to be more discoveries when I was researching. In order of distance from Pluto they are Charon, Styx, Nix, Kerberos, and Hydra. It is possible more small "moons" might be found. Click to read Moons of Pluto on Wikipedia.

In this photo taken by NASA in 2005, the two dots listed as candidate satellites
Pluto system 2005 discovery images

When Pluto was discovered in 1930, its brightness suggested it was much larger than it was found to be but that was because it is icy. Charon was discovered in 1978. I always found its name was a great choice. In ancient Greek mythology, Pluto was the god of the underworld where people went when they died. To reach there, you had to cross the River Styx. This could only happen if you had a coin to pay the boatman, Charon. It was common for ancient Greeks to bury their dead with a coin so they could pay Charon. This is why I thought the name is a good choice. Pluto and Charon are together in ancient Greek mythology.

One unusual piece of information I read was about Pluto and Charon. Moons orbit around their planet as does our moon but Pluto doesn't seem to be the centre of Charon's orbit. The centre of orbit is somewhere in between but closer to Pluto. What a strange place Pluto would be.

While searching online, I found an animated file showing a computer generated rotating image of Pluto you might like to see. It's based on NASA images of the surface of Pluto. This an embedded NASA file in the public domain.

Pluto animiert 200px
By Aineias, NASA, ESA, and M. Buie (Southwest Research Institute)  derivative work: Aineias, Ilmari Karonen (Pluto_hubble_photomap.jpg via Pluto_animiert.gif) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

4. Did you know that Neptune's ring is made out of ice particles?

Below is my favourite image of Neptune. NASA released this image into the public domain. Neptune's atmosphere seems to be mostly hydrogen and helium. "The interior of Neptune, like that of Uranus, is primarily composed of ices and rock." (Wikipedia). Remember, ices aren't necessarily only water. Have you heard of dry ice we can buy here on Earth? It isn't water. It's icy carbon dioxide. For Neptune, the ices are thought to be mostly water, ammonia and methane. The core of the planet is said to be rocky.

Neptune

By . (http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA00046) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The next NASA image was taken by the Voyager 2 and shows the rings on Neptune.

Neptune rings PIA02224

By Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech (http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA02224) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The rings are thought to probably contain large amounts of micro-dust as well as ice.

 

5. Did you know that it takes 1 month for the moon to orbit around the earth?

Wikipedia reference for the different types of months and years: Month

This embedded graphic shows the phases of the Moon seen as it orbits the Earth. Do you notice we only see one side? The other side is often called the dark side. It also comes into sunlight but, since it faces away from Earth, we don't see it.

File:Lunar libration with phase Oct 2007 450px.gif

This work has been released into the public domain by its author, Tomruen. This applies worldwide.

This is an interesting question even if it sounds simple. Rather than say "yes" or "no", I might ask what type of month?

I know the months we talk about run from January to December. February has 28 days or 29 in a leap year. The others have either 30 or 31 days. The average number of days in a month is about 30.4 days. If you mean one of our Gregorian Calendar months we use, the answer is not quite a month.

When compared to the position of stars, the Moon takes about 27.3 days to orbit the Earth but Earth is also moving through space so the time between two full moon is about 29.5 days.

Did you know there was something known as a lunar calendar?

The calendar we use is a solar calendar. It's based on the time it takes for the Earth to complete one orbit around the Sun. Lunar calendars are different because they are based on cycles of the Moon.

Many cultures have had lunar calendars.  One of the important examples is the Islamic Calendar. A year has either 354 or 355 days where as the Gregorian Calendar has 365 or 366 days based on a solar year. If you have Muslim friends, you might know the first day of their new year is a different day on our calendar each year. This happens because their lunar year is 11 days shorter.

The Gregorian solar year has an average of about 30.4 days per month giving us about 365 days a solar year.

The Islamic lunar year has an average of about 29.5 days per month giving us about 354 days a lunar year.

Can you see the solar calendar gives us about the time it takes for the Earth to complete an orbit of the Sun while the approximate number of days in a lunar month is how long it takes the Moon to go from one full moon to the next?

The embedded diagram below shows how the phases of the Moon come about while the Moon orbits Earth.

Moon phases en

By Orion 8 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

6. Did you know that (it takes) a year for the earth to orbit around the sun?

Our Gregorian solar calendar is based on how long it takes the Earth to complete one orbit of the Sun, that is it takes about 365.25 days for Earth to orbit the Sun. We call that a year of 365 days with a leap year helping us catch up on the extra bits by having an extra day.

UpdatedPlanets2006

By Adam850 at en.wikipedia [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

What would a year be on other planets and dwarf planets?

Here are the other planets and known dwarf planets in our Solar System with how long their years would be in our Earth years (Ey).

Mercury ....................... 0.24 Ey (88 days)

Venus ........................... 0.62 Ey (226 days)

Earth ............................ 1.0

Mars ............................. 1.88 Ey

Ceres (dwarf) ............... 4.6 Ey

Jupiter .......................... 11.86 Ey

Saturn ........................... 29.46 Ey

Uranus .......................... 84.01 Ey

Neptune ....................... 164.8 Ey

Pluto (dwarf) ................ 248.09 Ey

Haumea (dwarf) .......... 282.76 Ey

Makemake (dwarf) ...... 309.88 Ey

Eris (dwarf) ................... about 557 Ey

A little extra...

In July last year a class asked some questions about space. I didn't add and pictures to the post but you might like to see their questions and my answers...

Wonderings About Space

* * * * * * * * * *

And one final You Tube video clip answers,

"What Is Space?"

Duration: 55:43 minutes

This is not my video clip.

3/4B, 4T and 3SF visited the Penrith University of Western Sydney Observatory and share their experience in a blog post. They also asked questions and I loved the challenge of trying to answer them. To see their post...

Bloggers of the Week: Our Excursion to the Observatory

To see Part 2 of this extended comment post...

Observing Space Part 2

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes. This is not a real star photo but one I created.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes. This is not a real star photo but one I created.

When we look out at night, staring into space, we come to realise space is big, very BIG. I have heard it said if we were to count all of the grains of sand on all of the world's beaches there would still be more than that number of stars in our universe. This helps us realise there is so much more to know than we can possibly see.

At the end of last year, I prepared a short video clip about a small community known as Earth. It was for a class looking at ways of making a difference globally. It shows we can start by looking at ourselves and as we expand our view we move out into the universe.

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

As there is quite a lot to cover, this comment has been broken into 2 parts, each dealing with 6 questions on the class blog.

Hello 3/4B, 4T and 3SF,

I was fascinated by your post entitled “Bloggers of the week: Our excursion to the Observatory”.  I have very many interests in many subjects but the sciences are particular favourites. While I was a primary school teacher before retiring, I held a degree in science. Seeing your questions, I knew I had to try to give answers to as many as possible.

Let’s start with one you have answered…

1. How do solar eclipses happen?

“Solar eclipses happen when the Moon crosses over the sun and shines a shadow over a part of the earth.” I have prepared a diagram you can use if you wish...

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

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

If you look at the diagram, it shows the shadow of the Moon cast on the Earth. In the centre of the shadow there is a very dark area know as the umbra. The umbra is the area of total eclipse. The lighter shadow area is the penumbra or area of partial eclipse. The faint lines I have added help show why we have darker and lighter areas.

WARNING: You all know you should never look directly at the sun. The light entering your eyes can cause blindness if you stare at the sun. Only when there is a total eclipse is it safe to look but only until the sun is about to reappear. You cannot even look at the Bailey's Beads or Diamond Ring effect as this is still direct sunlight.

One of the most amazing parts of viewing a solar eclipse is when the sun starts to reappear. The Moon's surface isn't smooth. There are craters, mountains and valleys. Light first appears through gaps. Light appears in what is known as Bailey's Beads. When only one bead is left we have what is known as the Diamond Ring Effect. Here is another diagram I drew to show what the Diamond Ring Effect can look like.

 

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes. This not a photo but a created graphic.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes. This not a photo but a created graphic.

Did you also know there are lunar eclipses?

In a lunar eclipse, the Earth passes between the Moon and our sun. You can find out more with the link.

The video clip below comes from You Tube. It shows the 2012 total solar eclipse filmed in Northern Queensland. Once the eclipse is total, the camera person swaps filters and you can see the total eclipse more clearly. Keep watching and you will see the "diamond ring". Duration: 4:35 minutes

2. Can you bungy jump on the Moon?

I loved this question. There might be some tourism potential there.

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

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

I see it’s been suggested you can’t because there is nothing to land on but I think it would be possible. You may have read gravity on the Moon is only about one sixth that of Earth. That would mean someone weighing about 36kg on Earth’s surface would weigh only about 6kg on the Moon. Of course, there is very little atmosphere on the Moon and solar radiation would be a big problem so a space suit would be necessary and that would add weight. Okay, we have gravity and weight to make us fall. What next?

Bungy jumps on Earth are usually over water from a bridge. If the cord breaks, you get wet. On the Moon, the only suspected water would be in craters where direct sunlight doesn’t hit but it would be ice so there is no liquid water. A broken cord would mean hitting the ground. You might be much lighter but it would still hurt but what a thrill to be the first.

Height is not a problem. There are craters, peaks and valleys on the Moon so in the future some enterprising tour company might be able to set up a bungee site. Look at the below photo from NASA released into the public domain…

This is a NASA photo released into the public domain. It was sourced through Wikimedia Commons. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lunar_crater_Daedalus.jpg

This is a NASA photo released into the public domain. It was sourced through Wikimedia Commons.
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lunar_crater_Daedalus.jpg

Now here’s a thought in a different direction. When astronauts have gone on “space walks” tethered only to their spaceship by a cord, are they bungy jumping or going space skiing?

While no one has been able to bungy jump on the Moon, back in 1971 Alan Shepard (Apollo 14 astronaut) hit two golf balls on the Moon. Duration: 1:35 minutes

This is not my video clip.

3. What is the biggest gas planet?

Wikipedia reference: Gas Giant

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

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

Again I see an answer has been given. I agree. Jupiter is the largest gas planet in the Solar System. Planets larger than around 10 times Earth's mass are said to be giants.

There are four in our Solar System: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. To be a gas giant, they have to be mostly gaseous.

Jupiter and Saturn are mostly hydrogen and helium. Each of these are gas giants.

Uranus and Neptune could be called ice giants. They are thought to have a hydrogen atmosphere but icy cores of water, methane and ammonia.

Did you know stars are gas giants? Huge masses of mostly hydrogen is found in newer stars. If a gas giant is big enough, a nuclear reaction known as fusion can start and a star is born. It's estimated a gas giant about 13 times the size of Jupiter might be big enough to start fusion. Imagine if Jupiter had been big enough. Our sky would have our bright sun and a less bright star known as Jupiter.

Jupiter is the biggest gas planet but our sun is the biggest gas object in our Solar System. Astronomers tell us compared to the largest stars in our universe, our sun is really small. There's a lot of gas out there. 🙂

This You Tube video clip shares some information about the four gas giants in our Solar System. Duration: 8:19 minutes

This You Tube clip is not my work.

4a. What is the smallest planet in our Solar System?

Another answer has been given, Pluto. I will give an answer but to do this I will answer a question out of order. Above is 4a and below is 4b.

4b. Why isn't Pluto considered a planet anymore?

Wikipedia reference: Pluto

In my book library, I have some old science books. One set of five was published in 1919 and the other was a book published in 1930. In 1919, science spoke of the eight planets in our Solar System. In order from our sun, they were Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Mercury, closest to the sun, was the smallest planet.

Some astronomers noticed something unusual in the orbit of Neptune. They suspected there was another planet. The 1930 science book mentioned the possibility of a ninth planet. It was in that year the discovery of Pluto was announced. It became the ninth planet and was listed as the smallest.

This is a NASA photo released into the public domain. It was sourced through Wikimedia Commons. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pluto_System.jpg

This is a NASA photo released into the public domain. It was sourced through Wikimedia Commons.
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pluto_System.jpg

So why isn't it a planet now?

Pluto is now known a a dwarf planet. It is only one five hundredth Earth's mass. Think of it this way. If Earth's mass was one hundred $1 coins, just one $1 coin would be the mass of five Plutos.

We didn't really know how small Pluto was until the late 1970s. Since then Charon has been discovered as a moon of Pluto, followed by two more moons named Nix and Hydra in 2005. Other large objects almost the size of Pluto had also been found. Astronomers believed there are many large objects (watch the video clip below). They realised it was probably only a matter of time before an object larger than Pluto was found. This happened with the discovery of Eris in 2005. Astronomers decided there had to be a way of saying whether objects were planets. This was done in 2006.

From Wikipedia, here is what a mass needs to be if it is to be called a planet...

  1. is in orbit around the Sun,

  2. is nearly round in shape, and

  3. has "cleared the neighbourhood" around its orbit.

Wikipedia reference: IAU Definitiion of Planets

Pluto passed 1 and 2 but failed 3 and so is now known as a dwarf planet. Mercury is again the smallest planet in our Solar System.

Since then, other dwarf planets have been identified. They are Eris, Ceres, Haumea, and Makemake. The closest dwarf planet to Earth is Ceres. Ceres is in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. When it was identified as a dwarf planet, it became our closest.

In the video clip below, "Why Pluto is Not a Planet", it's explained why Pluto is now known as a dwarf planet. Duration: 4:54 minutes

This is not my video clip.

5. What is a light year?

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

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

A suggested answer was, "A  light year is the speed of light when light travels."

Let's look at this.

Some people make the mistake of thinking of a light year as time or speed. It isn't. A light year is a distance. It is the distance light travels through a vacuum (no air) in an Earth year. The suggested answer wasn't correct because it suggests a light year is a speed.

How far is a light year?

In just one second, light in a vacuum can travel almost 300,000km. Do you think a police officer would be able to catch speeding light?

According to Wikipedia, a light year is a distance of a little under 10 trillion kilometres.

1 light-year = 9,460,730,472,580,800 metres

1 light-year = 9,460,730,472,580.8 kilometres

If your family car was able to travel into space for one light year distance at an average speed of 100kph, it would take you around 95 trillion years. Can you imagine how much the fuel would cost and how many times you would ask your parents when you will arrive? 🙂

Our sun is about 149,600,000 km from us. Your family car would take around one and a half million years to reach it if your car travelled at 100kph but light only takes around 8.3 minutes.

With next closest star to us being about 4.37 light years distant, I think you might start to understand why travelling to planets around another star is way beyond what we can do.

BUT WAIT... I found this video clip on You Tube while looking for other information. A NASA engineer was interviewed this year about the idea of warp space. It's said we can't travel at the speed of light for reasons I won't explain here but the engineer was talking about warping (expand and contract/grow and shrink) space. If this is one day possible, travelling to the next nearest star to our Sun might be possible in weeks or months but this is a long way off if it's possible.

This is not my video clip.

 

 

Recognising the Original People of This Land

Official school events in my region normally start with an Acknowledgement of Country. It recognises the original owners of the land. Click the link below to hear one of my recordings.

Acknowledgement of Country

This audio recording should not be used without my written permission.

The Australian Aboriginal Flag

The Australian Aboriginal Flag was designed by artist Harold Thomas and first flown at Victoria Square in Adelaide, South Australia, on National Aborigines Day, 12 July 1971.

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

Torres Strait Islander Flag

The Torres Strait Islander flag was designed by the late Bernard Namok as a symbol of unity and identity for Torres Strait Islanders.

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

In 1995, both of these flags became official flags of Australia.

Source of information:   INDIGENOUS AUSTRALIAN FLAGS

In order to share some of the stories from the many peoples of Australia, below are a series of embedded You Tube videos sharing Dreaming stories. Where I can, I have added personal photos or drawings relating to the stories if students want to use them. At the end of this post you will find a video looking at indigenous tourism in Australia (52:26min).

Dreaming Stories

1. About Dreaming Stories  (7:32 min)

This embedded You Tube clip is not my video.

This is a draft video for the Australian Museum for their Dreaming Stories. The performers are Gumaroy Newman, Eric Arthur Tamwoy and Norm Barsah. Video by Fintonn Mahony, Lisa Duff, Bronwyn Turnbull and Gina Thomson.

2.  Aboriginal Dreaming story of Waatji Pulyeri (the Blue Wren or superb fairywren) (5:33 min)

This embedded You Tube clip is not my video.

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

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

These small wrens often visit my garden searching for insects. The drawing is of a male. Females and juveniles are plain brown.

 

3. The Rainbow Serpent  (11:23 min)

This embedded You Tube clip is not my video.

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

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

Rainbow lorikeets are native to my area and regularly visit my garden.

4. Mirram The Kangaroo and Warreen The Wombat (4:32 min)

This embedded You Tube clip is not my video.

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

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

A species of kangaroo common to my area is the eastern grey kangaroo.

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

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

Although mainly nocturnal, I found this wombat out during the day.

4. Girawu The Goanna  (4:00 min)

This embedded You Tube clip is not my video.

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

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

One of our local goannas.

5. Biladurang The Platypus  (2:58 min)

This embedded You Tube clip is not my video.

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

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

The platypus, a monotreme (egg laying) mammal, can be elusive. I have caught glimpses of them in mountain streams but don't have a photograph.

6. Tiddalick The Frog  (2:43 min)

This embedded You Tube clip is not my video.

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

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

7. Wayambeh The Turtle (2:43 min)

This embedded You Tube clip is not my video.

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

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

Snapper turtle at a local animal sanctuary.

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.

Indigenous Tourism in Australia Today (52:26min)

This embedded You Tube clip is not my video.

3 Comments

Battalion Hawk Bloggers have prepared a post on their marionettes...

Presenting...our GLOBAL Marionettes!

Hello Battalion Hawk Bloggers,

I was very impressed when I saw your Global Marionette presentation. With 200 nations in our world, it can be hard to decide which countries to represent and/or study but you have chosen four very interesting countries of a most certainly global nature. Here are our world's seven continents in their order from largest to smallest area and the countries you have chosen...

Asia - India - Often said to be the Indian sub-continent because it had once been separate but continental drift had it collide into Asia and caused the rise of the Himalayan mountains.

Public Domain graphic sourced through Wikimedia Commons

Public Domain graphic sourced through Wikimedia Commons

Flag of India

Nations of Asia table

Africa - Tunisia - The smallest North African nation.

Public Domain graphic sourced through Wikimedia Commons

Flag of Tunisia

List of sovereign states & dependent territories in Africa

North America - This is your home continent so you have it covered. You live there.

List of sovereign states and dependent territories in North America

South America - Peru - We have shared your studies on this country.

Public Domain graphic sourced through Wikimedia Commons

Public Domain graphic sourced through Wikimedia Commons

Flag of Peru

List of sovereign states and dependent territories in South America

Antarctica - This continent is international. While some countries, including Australia, lay claim to parts of it there are no real borders and no people living there permanently.

Europe - Ukraine - Once part of the former U.S.S.R., it is an independent nation.

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

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

Flag of Ukraine

 List of sovereign states and dependent territories in Europe

Australia - The only continent that is one country. I don't know of any national costume for Australia so clothing for a marionette could have many options. As well as the native Australians (Aborigines), Australians have many cultural backgrounds. My heritage before Australia is Scottish and English but I know my ancestors stretch across Europe, Africa and Asia. We are all in one big family.

 

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

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

Flag of Australia

Types of Puppetry

All of the below embedded You Tube clips are not my work.

Since I was little, puppets have interested me so I carried out a little research through Wikipedia to see what kinds of puppets can be made. Here are the types and You Tube clips of some I found and I must admit I hadn't heard of all the listed types...

  • Black light puppet

Chelsea, Rayann and Rebecca from Battalion Hawk Bloggers were interested in black light puppetry. I explained black light (ultraviolet) puppetry doesn't need to be complicated. White paint or material can be used to make the puppets. Below is another black light puppet video from You Tube. The puppets are gloved hands with the people wearing black...

An ad has been playing on Australian television recently. It seems to be the actors in the ad are wearing fluorescent suits where colours can be turned off and on. They look like black light  puppets but may be black light/body puppets.

  • Bunraku puppet

  • Carnival or body puppet

  • Finger puppet

  • Sock puppet

  • Hand puppet or glove puppet

  • Human-arm puppet

  • Light curtain puppet

  • Marionette

Jayden and Joyce were interested in the goat marionette video so I've embedded another video clip, this time of a marionette clip from "The Sound of Music".

  • Marotte

  • Pull string puppet

  • Push puppet

  • Toy theatre

  • Rod puppet

  • Shadow puppet

  • Supermarionation

  • Ticklebug

  • Table top puppet

  • Ventriloquism dummy

  • Water puppet

  • Object Puppet

I've added another below because this type includes my favourite puppet you will see at the end of the post. This type is really two types combined.

  • Hand and Rod Puppet

Wikipedia Reference if you want to find out more....   Types of Puppetry

Can you see what type of puppets you made? Visit the "Types of Puppetry" link to read more.

Over the years I have made, used or seen a number of the puppet types. My classes have made finger, glove, shadow, sock and rod puppets. They can be sometimes messy to make but are always fun, especially when they're ready to use. 🙂

Recently, puppets have made it to big stage productions. Perhaps some of you have heard of the production, "War Horse". I find their puppets fascinating, particularly the adult horse, Joey. Below is a You Tube clip showing the ad for the production. Watch to see how puppets become "real" members of the stage show.

This is an embedded You Tube clip and is not my work.

Who or what is my favourite puppet? He is a hand and rod puppet you might know...

 

Christopher was asking about The Muppets and the number of types they used. Below are some more Muppet clips. You will see glove, glove and rod, and body puppets. Cane you see other types?

Body puppets start what once introduced The Muppet Show on television.

This clip shows glove puppets. At the end Kermit (glove and rod) appears.

And for another student who likes Elmo.

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.

1 Comment

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.