I can’t remember how I got to it, but at some point this summer I discovered explore.org. Explore is a website (and App) jam packed full of webcams about animals and nature, films, photos and information on a huge range of topics.
“Explore is for everyone who enjoys learning new things and understands that education is a lifelong pursuit. To that end, explore provides a variety of educational resources — from articles to films and photographs to interactive maps — to encourage everyone to “never stop learning.” We like to think of ourselves as Sesame Street for adults.”
The first webcam I saw was trained on a place called Brooks Falls in Alaska where brown bears come to fish. It still doesn’t stop being amazing that we were able to watch bears roam freely from nearly 4000 miles away! (Probably a good distance to keep…) Then we clicked on lots of other webcams and were inspired by all of the wildlife we could see from all over the world and also domestic rescue animals we saw being looked after.
One evening I was also lucky enough to click in at the right time and be … Read more...
It’s not got butter on it! It should be called ‘big-wing-fly’…
And so the conversation with 6-year-old continued, with much laughing over the name of the beautiful creature – the butterfly. So why is it called a butterfly? No one knew, but a quick look in the partner database (aka Google, thanks Peter) brought up a few suggestions:
because they would flutter around milk while it was being turned into butter
because witches that took on the shape of the ‘butterfly’ stole milk and butter
it was really called a ‘flutterby’ but that got mixed up
because the first butterfly to come out of hibernation (yes, this one hibernates) in the summer is the male brimstone butterfly and it is yellow, the colour of butter
There doesn’t seem to be any clear answer, all of these sound like they might be right – what do you think?… Read more...
This was the question from the curious 6 year old as we drove along. Answer offered by adult: “Because their feet don’t conduct electricity. Electricity doesn’t pass through their feet because of what their feet are made of.” Question from other adult: ” What are their feet made of?” Well, no one in the car knew. Were we even right with our first answer? It turns out we were not!
The bird is not grounded. It has not created a path of lesser resistance for electricity to follow. If the bird simultaneously touched two wires, the difference in resistance between the two wires would create a path through the bird and it would be electrocuted.
Question from 6 year old: “Why are there no seatbelts on a bus?”
Good question. I don’t know. 8 year old offers answer that because there are seatbelts on a coach but not on a bus, it must be that a bus goes slow enough that you don’t need them, because a coach can go on the motorway and so goes faster and you do need them.
Here is some information from childcarseats.org.uk:
“Buses used for public services generally do not have seat belts because their construction will not allow seat belts to be installed with adequate safety. And they are designed to carry standing passengers.” (That last sentence would match up with 8 year old’s answer…)
You can read more about how to stay safe on a bus without seatbelts here.… Read more...
Question from 8 year old: “Who found out that water was good for you?”
Good question! After discussion, we thought that it must have been since the start of time, because people would realise that when they drank water they were fine, and if they didn’t drink it they were not well. Here’s a section on the Discovery Channel about why we need to drink water. Although how did we know this at the start of time? I don’t know! Any ideas?…… Read more...