Going Batty – A few weeks ago, my son and I retrieved a frog from the backyard pool and lifted it to safety. A few days ago, we again saw something fluttering madly in the water, and assuming it was another frog, we were stunned to find a little bat in our net! Now we needed to read about bats (the biggest take-away: bats eat TONS of insects) (yay bats!) and celebrate our successful life-saving effort by listening to a waltz from Johann Strauss’s operetta of 1874, “Die Fledermaus” (“The Bat”) (which is not about bats, but about amusing revenge plotted by a man who one evening wore a bat costume to a party). (Not much to look at in this video, but we love the conductor, Mariss Jansons. Beware the LONG 1 minute 20 second introduction):
Teaser! A few posts back (May 25, 2018, “It’s All about the Triangle”), I mentioned that my son and I learned about Janissary bands, and it seems unfair to leave it at that, so: Ottoman Janissary Bands, thought to be the oldest type of military band, date back to the 14th century. (The Janissary were the elite infantry guarding the sultan’s household.) My son and I speculated as to the type of musical instruments used in the 1300’s in Turkey – certainly pipes and percussion. The music pretty much sounds exactly as we imagined. Stirring. Nobody sleeps when a Janissary band plays:
The Body Beautiful – We are chock full of interesting information from Professor Astro Cat’s HUMAN BODY ODYSSEY, by Walliman and Newman:
- we know about the most useful joint in the body (the thumb)
- we know about the speed of a sneeze (100 MPH!)
- we know about hiccups!
Last night we read about the lymphatic system; tonight, the endocrine system. Every few days we toast the healthy body by tapping our toes to the Powers/Fischoff/Keith GIANT hit of 1967, “98.6”:
We keep learning:
The Reference Section – After my son and I talked about the difference between a synonym and a definition, we read through the fabulously illustrated “Roget and His Thesaurus” by Jennifer Bryant/Melissa Sweet, and then compared a few words (book, study, snack) from our Roget’s Thesaurus (“treasure house”) and our dictionary.
A Reread – This is our third time through “Hatchet” by Gary Paulsen, a book found on every young adult book list, so I don’t need to wax on about the author’s skilled command of great story, poetic pace, and worthy theme (self reliance). Even the third time through we are leaning forward to hear what happens next.
(Story Problem) Little Picnic Boxes at Le Fictitious Local Diner – To surprise little Miss G and little Miss P, the diner’s favorite mini customers, the chef has added onto the menu a “Mini Mermaid Summer Picnic Box” (teeny tuna sandwiches, sea salt chips, sand dollar cookies, and blue lagoon lemonade). Priced at $5, the picnic box is such a hit!
(For my son to compute in his head, no paper) A local elementary school is purchasing picnic boxes for the final day of summer school. If there are 85 students enrolled, the school accountant needs to write the diner a check for how much? (answer at bottom of post)
A. $225 B. $325 C. $425 D. $525
(For my son to compute in his head, no paper) Did we mention that the recyclable paper boxes are super cute and are purchased in units of 50? If the diner projects that they can sell 750 Mini Mermaid Summer Picnic Boxes during the month of August, and they add on the summer school order, how many units need to be ordered? (answer at bottom of post)
A. 15 units B. 17 units C. 20 units D. 25 units
Insects in the Air! What we were also listening to this past week:
– Spring, Movement 1, from Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” (1721). For about a half a minute, beginning at 35 seconds into the piece, my son and I can hear a chaotic riot of buzzing cicadas, mosquitoes, dragonflies, and bees. Wow:
– Fireflies, from the solo piano work, “Four Sketches” by Amy Beach, composed in 1892. We love this piece; when we lived in Georgia, our backyard was alight with fireflies all summer long and Amy Beach has captured the sparkly magic:
– La Cucaracha – well, this is just so sad. The original words to this traditional Spanish folk song (composer unknown) tell about a cockroach who has lost one of his legs! Somebody actually wrote a song about this????? OH DEAR, the poor thing is hobbling about on 5 legs – and yet – the melody is full of upbeat happiness, encouragement and warmth. Let this be a lesson!
Welcome to the best part of my day!
story problem answers: C. $425, and B. 17 units