Tag Archives: lists

It’s Not Easy Being Green

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After a fairly depressing few days (weeks) of battling with teenagers, I couldn’t bring myself to blog about teaching this week.

Having said that, however, this morning I was at a really inspiring assembly about reading. Yes, really.  And it got me thinking about where my love of all things literary came from, stories particularly.  As a child, I always looked forward to bedtime stories (my love of sleep was also present from an early age), and the ones my Dad told were spectacular. He created his own stories, based around the life of a character called Freddy – a frog who lived in the pond at the bottom of our garden, had a racing driver for an uncle, and whose favourite snacks were chocolate covered flies or crispy lily pads.

Therefore, in honour of my dad – and the memory of Freddy the Frog cheering up a horrible week – here are my top ten facts about frogs.  Ribbit.

  1. Frogs can see forwards, sideways and upwards all at the same time. They never close their eyes, even when they sleep.
  2. Certain frogs can jump up to 20 times their own body length in a single leap.
  3. Frog bones form a new ring every year when the frog is hibernating, just like trees do. Scientists can count these rings to discover the age of the frog.
  4. One type of desert frog can wait as long as seven years for water by surrounding itself in a type of transparent bag that becomes its first meal once the rain comes.
  5. The golden dart frog is the most poisonous frog on earth and the skin of one frog could kill up to 1,000 people. a single touch of its skin can kill ten humans.
  6. Frogs can retract their eyes and when they do, they bulge inward in their mouths and help them swallow their food.
  7. A frog can only see moving things. It could literally starve to death with live prey in front of it if the prey never moved.
  8. The North American Wood Frog is the only species of frog found above the Arctic Circle and in winter it actually freezes, its heartbeat stops, and it thaws again in spring, coming back to life.
  9. A tadpole is also known as a polliwog (like Pokemon!)
  10. Australian Tree Frogs emit a chemical substance that heals wounds on humans.
English: A green frog on a palm frond.

English: A green frog on a palm frond. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sources:
http://www.gardenbuildingsdirect.co.uk/article/fun-facts-about-frogs
http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/sciencefacts/animals/frog.html
http://lefo.net/documents/main/3klass/1kala/interesting_fact_about_frogs.htm

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List: Odd London Encounters

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I love London. Yes, it has it’s downsides – it takes forever to get anywhere because it’s so big, for example – but it’s worth it for the wealth of experiences you get. And one of the reasons I love London in particular is because you never know what you’re going to see from one day to the next; just pottering around the city during your daily life, you can come across the most surreal and mind-boggling sights. So here’s a few of my favourites from the past year (off the top of my head!). What is your favourite/most bizarre London encounter?

  1. The man standing on top of a car next to Wandsworth Road… just standing, staring into the middle distance. As you do.
  2. The middle-aged woman walking down the King’s Road in Kensington with a parrot on each shoulder.
  3. My route home from the bus stop being turned into the set of a low budget zombie movie at 2am. At least I hope it was a movie.
  4. Grown men and women running around the Science Museum dressed up as cockroaches, chanting ‘scuttle, scuttle, scuttle’. Apparently this is a regular occurance.
  5. This sheep – spotted outside the station in Wimbledon.261395_10152546737580234_1165374424_n
  6. A woman putting her washing out to dry in the middle of one of the Royal Parks.
  7. Walking past a woman that looked the SPIT of Cruella Deville. Stripey hair and everything.
  8. That one day when for some reason it seemed that everybody except us was dressed in animal onesies. Except the man wearing a leather business suit.
  9. Wandering through Leicester Square one day, when I walked past a man in a suit wearing a Mr Bean mask, holding a teddy bear and dancing on the spot. This was bizarre enough in itself, but about 5 yards away there was a man singing down a traffic cone. Are these the two worst buskers in London?
  10. The wonderful ways in which some people travel to work – on rollerblades, children’s scooters and tandems, amongst others – and always whilst wearing a posh suit. Totally what Boris’s Cycle Super Highways should be used for.

Today’s Top Ten…Grrrr!

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So, today’s post was going to be some kind of angry diatribe about Michael Gove (top ten reasons to hate him, top ten pictures of him looking silly, top ten completely unsubstantiated views he’s put forward about education, etc etc).

But then I thought, why spoil a good day by reminding myself of the many reasons why I think he’s a muppet? So instead, here is my Top Ten Facts About Bears. Of course. Because that’s a natural progression from thinking about Michael Gove… Enjoy!

  1. Bears can run up to 40 miles per hour, fast enough to catch a running horse. Usain Bolt can only run 27mph.
  2. Black bears are not always black. They come in a variety of colors from black to reddish brown (cinnamon bears), light brown or white.
  3. Unlike many mammals, bears can see in color.
  4. A swimming polar bear can jump 8 ft. (2.4 m) out of the water to surprise a seal (probably not a flowers-and-hugs kind of surprise…)
  5. In 2004, a black bear was found unconscious in a campground in Seattle, Washington. It had broken into a cooler and used its claws and teeth to open dozens of beer cans. Although it sampled other types of beer, it chose to drink all the cans of only one type of beer.
  6. Most types of bears are born without fur… Only polar bears and giant pandas are born with thin white fur. N’awww.

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  7. Bears lose most of their heat from their paws. While most bears have bare feet, the paws of polar bears have fur on the bottoms and between the toes.
  8. During hibernation, bears don’t poo. Its body can somehow recycle body waste into protein—a process scientists still do not understand.
  9. Teddy Bears are so named after U.S. President Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt, who refused to shoot a black bear cub on a hunting trip.
  10. Baloo, from The Jungle Book, is a sloth bear.