Sea Hunt – Do you know about the Sargasso Sea? Located in the Atlantic Ocean, to the east of Bermuda, it is about 2/3 as wide as the continental USA (so it is HUGE), yet there is a glaring shortage of non-fiction books focused upon this important ecosystem. Surely my son and I are not the only people who want to know more about the turtles and eels of the Sargasso Sea. We learned a bit by reading through Ruth Heller’s, “A Sea Within a Sea”, a lovely book with information set to rhyme, but we want more. Attention people who are looking for something to write about: big opportunity here.
Great Beginnings – We are hopeful about two books we began last night: “Ocean” by Ricardo Henriques and Andre Letria (in just the first four pages we enjoyed a richness of information woven into sparse, eye-catching graphics) AND, we started an abridged version of Homer’s “The Odyssey”, by Gillian Cross and Neil Packer (oh my, the illustrations! and of course, oh my, the story!)
What else are we reading?
“Boats Fast & Slow” by Iris Volant and Jarom Vogel (almost a bit too elementary for us. Nonetheless, there are things to learn from this well organized book).
“The War I Finally Won”, by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley (a sequel to the excellent “The War that Saved My Life”).
“While Mrs. Coverlet Was Away” by Mary Nash (only our 6th time through) (a plot line that makes us smile through every single re-read) (this book needs to be read during the summer).
Willy Nilly Time Zones – My son and I love opening up a Ken Jennings book – his writing is clever, funny, and informative. This week, we are in the middle of his “Junior Genius Guide to Maps and Geography” and have spent time twirling our globe while we read about the International Date Line, the Prime Meridian, and time zones.
WE DID NOT KNOW THIS: countries can determine whether they want to follow international time zone designations. China, which spans 5 time zones, and Greenland, which spans 4 time zones both make do on a single time zone. We spent a few minutes thinking about what this would mean if you lived at the far east or far west of either country. Interesting.
When we are feeling rebellious we say THROW AWAY the state approved text books and replace them with anything written by Ken Jennings.
A Farmer Brown Story Problem – Over Labor Day weekend, there is to be a kayak race in the local river and Farmer Brown is anxious for his ranch team to win the competition (good publicity for his farm stand). He is purchasing 6 kayaks at $250 each for his employees to practice with, and super competitive Farmer Brown has promised to captain the team! (the ranch team will be so glad when the race is over)
After the race, Farmer Brown is going to offer kayak rentals to be used on his ranch pond. If he charges $15 to rent a kayak for an afternoon of paddling fun, and assuming that 6 people want to kayak every single day, how many afternoons will pass before he makes a profit (which will probably go into kayak maintenance)?
A) 17 B) 27 C) 37 D) 47 (answer at bottom of post)
For discussion: Is this a fast way to make money?
Water Water All Around – a classical music theme to compliment all the reading about oceans, seas, and boats:
- “The Aquarium”, from Camille Saint-Saens’ “The Carnival of the Animals”, composed in 1886. Saint-Saens congers up an atmosphere of creepy deep sea mystery in this short short two minute piece –
- “Jeux de Vagues” (“Play of the Waves”), from Debussy’s “La Mer”, composed in 1904. We haven’t braved listening to this intellectual masterpiece until this very week; a bit too sophisticated for us, I thought. But this week, my son and I sat back and let Debussy bring us the sounds of waves being pushed around by the wind, currents, and other waves. Terribly elegant –
- “Over the Waves”, composed by Juventino Rosas in 1888. This waltz rhythm is definitely happier listening than the Aquarium or Jeux de Vagues. However (semi-interesting side-note), we keep getting this confused with Emile Waldteufel’s “The Skaters Waltz” of 1882 (could Rosas have been “more than” inspired by Waldteufel’s piece?) –
Welcome to the best part of my day!
– Jane BH
(story problem answer: A) 17 afternoons)(and our discussion topic: we decided that this actually was a semi-fast way of making money, faster than we thought)