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...
Friends and I were discussing yesterday how playing and experiencing music together with other people, in bands, orchestras, choirs, whatever group, is a magical experience. When I’m playing in a group I always feel that we’ve got on a train, and once it gets going we’re not stopping until we reach the end of the journey. We’re a unit, yet we’re still individuals. When we’re in that moment, we’re creating something that is so much bigger than the group. So what is that thing that makes 2+2=5? Where does the extra 1 come from?
For years now I’ve imagined that my (completely imaginary) PhD thesis would been on the phenomenon that is stadium singing. As I’ve carried this idea around with me for so long I knew it would have already been done, and a friend told me yesterday of a Coursera class in Model Thinking where these sorts of things are touched upon. (The next class starts on October 7th if you’re curious about using models to make sense of the world around us. I’ve just signed up – thanks AN, and thank you technology!) I can understand when a group of 10 or 100 people making music together … Read more...
Good question! I had no idea and could give no answer. A quick look at wikipedia, and we learned that the word ‘bus’ is the shortened form of the Latin word ‘omnibus‘.
One etymology (the study of the origin of words) holds that “omnibus” is derived from a hatter’s shop which was situated in front of one of the first bus stations in Nantes, France in 1823. “Omnes Omnibus” was a pun on the Latin sounding name of that hatter Omnès: omnes meaning “all” and omnibus means “for all” in Latin. Nantes citizens soon gave the nickname of Omnibus to the vehicle.
When motorised transport started replacing horse-drawn transport in 1905, a motorized omnibus was called an autobus, a term still used today. Wikipedia
We’ve just spent a few sunny days in London, travelling around the city on the tube. We noticed that some tube stations were really busy whilst some were pretty quiet, and so we wondered: ‘Which is the busiest tube station in London?’
Answer: Waterloo. Waterloo station also has the most escalators – 23!
You can read more facts and figures about the tube on the Transport for London website here.… Read more...