Archives for November, 2012
The birds-of-paradise of Australia and New Guinea are visually stunning and have amazing courtship dances. A new exhibit at the National Geographic Museum highlights all 39 species of these incredible birds with photography and video.
The exhibit is open now and will be at the National Geographic Museum through May 12, 2013.
Photograph by Tim Laman, National Geographic
Hello readers! Guess where I was this week. You give up… okay I’ll tell you… this week we were on the Greek island of Skopelos where they filmed the movie Mamma Mia. The island was amazing and full of beauty. We woke up every morning gazing at the ocean. We toured the little island one day in an open top jeep and went to see many of the places where they filmed the movie. Have you ever seen Mamma Mia!? Mamma Mia! means a lot to me because I was in the play a couple of years ago and played the role of Donna.
Another day we hiked in fields of eight hundred year old olive trees and watched some local families make olive oil. First they pick the olives, then they remove the stems, then they cleaned them, then they mix them into a paste, and finally they separate the oil and the solids. After watching it being made we had to try some. We had it on everything from salads to bread. Greece is the third leading producer of olive oil in the world and it is delicious! Did you know you know that in Greek mythology Poseidon (God of the sea) and Athena (Goddess of wisdom) were in a battle over who would rule the city? Each god brought one gift to the people. Athena brought the olive tree and Poseidon brought the salty water of the sea. The people of the city chose the olive tree, the symbol of peace and named Athens the capitol city after Athena.
One evening we received a very special blessing from a priest at the church right above our house. The sun was setting over the Aegean Sea and the bells were ringing. He seemed like the grandfather to all the children in the town.
Later in the week we had our Friday Night Dance Night which is a tradition we’ve had in our family for a really long time. We put on funny hats, use kitchen utensils as microphones and dance around. We of course danced to the Mamma Mia! soundtrack this week. After all the crazy dancing we needed some Greek fuel so we set out for the local taverna. The food here has been amazing. Some of my favorites are saganaki (fried cheese) and tzatziki (cream yogurt with cucumbers.) We had a great time eating, dancing, and exploring Skopelos, but now it is time for one of the greatest history lessons ever, so we are off to Athens. Talk to you next week.
Although lions are known as the kings of the jungle, their numbers have been dwindling due to a loss of habitat and prey. Humans have been encroaching on the lion’s home turf by cutting down trees to create farmland and other developments. This causes the lions to lose both their home and favorite foods.
Any amount will do, but five dollars can buy a lion guardian to protect the big cats.
Photograph by Beverly Joubert
Hello, friends in cyberspace. What did you do this week? I was in Meteora, Greece. The word Meteora means “in mid-air.” There are monasteries that sit on top of these sheer, ancient, massive rocks that seem to hang mid air. We did some pretty awesome things while we were there. We visited all the monasteries and all the convents. There once were 24, now only six remain, four monasteries and two convents. They built them on top of the rocks to avoid invasion. My favorite was Great Meteoron. It is the biggest monastery in Meteora and in my opinion it was the most beautiful and moving.
Did you know the Greek word monk means alone? Since these monasteries were built on top of huge rocks they had to pull the monks and their supplies up in a basket. Luckily now there are stairs. When you reach the top you fell like you’re on the top of the world and could fly away. No, I didn’t try… AHHHHHHHHHH!
We didn’t try flying, but we did do something pretty crazy. With the help of our rock climbing guide Kostas; I put on my harness, tied up my shoes, and conquered one of the massive rocks. It was a little scary; OK a lot scary, but totally worth it. It was awesome. Everest even made it to the top. It was totally different from climbing a wall in a gym or other rocks I have climbed back home. Have you guys ever been rock climbing? If you have then you know how amazing it is. If you haven’t you should definitely give it a try. Well, that’s all for this week. Aubrey signing off!
After much observation and research, scientists have found some easy ways to make you feel happier. Make a difference! You’ll get an ego boost and feel better about yourself knowing you’ve done something nice for someone else. Or how about being nice to Mother Earth? By taking shorter showers, recycling, or organizing a clothing swap, you can help the planet and make a difference! Try making a change for the better in your community, school, or home. Then enjoy those happy feelings. Who knew being green could make everyone so much happier?
Photograph by LittleMissMagic, NG Kids My Shot
BOOK NAME: Of Mice and Men
AUTHOR: John Steinbeck
Of Mice and Men, written by John Steinbeck, is a story of friendship and hardship.
George and Lennie are two men who are best friends. Lennie, with a huge build, is not mentally sound and often acts like a little child. George, the exact opposite of Lennie, is short and straight to the point. Together they work on a ranch, hoping to gather enough money to buy their dream house – a small farm with rabbits, chickens, and alfalfa. However, Lennie, who is immature, often gets in trouble with Curley, the ranch boss’s son. As a true friend, George supports and cares for Lennie through all his hardships. However, one day Lennie takes things too far by accidentally strangling Curley’s newly-wed wife. How will George manage to help Lennie in this tragic incident?
Of Mice and Men is an amazing book for teens. It realistically portrays the two men’s friendship through good times and hard times and their everlasting support of each other until the very end. At times, the plot is dramatic and the story turns in ways I would never have expected. The unexpected ending mystified me and left me with mixed feelings. However, the author’s descriptions helped me clearly picture the plight of the ranch workers during the Great Depression.
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Hey there readers, how’s it going? This week we were in Dihovo, Macedonia. After 18 months on the road we realize it’s not the places we go but the people we meet that make the journey special. This week we met some pretty fabulous people. The family that ran our bed and breakfast couldn’t have been any more hospitable, friendly and welcoming. We joined them for a traditional lunch one day and met every one from the great aunts to the second cousins. There were even two girls around my age Matea 11 and Alexandra 14. We had a great time together playing cards and eating ice cream. We also did tons of other fun things.
We went on an absolutely, positively, amazing hike in the Baba Mountains. When we got to the top it was pouring rain, we were sopping wet and the wind was howling, but that added to the awesomeness. Our guide taught us a lot about mushrooms and showed us which mushrooms were poisonous and which ones weren’t. If you eat one type of mushroom you will slowly die for two to three years.
Another day we visited the ancient ruins of Heraclea Lyncestis which was founded by Phillip II in 168 B.C. It is the remains of a roman village. There is an amphitheater, church, the foundation of many houses, and beautiful floor mosaics. We also visited the American corner in Bitola. There is a little library area were Americans can go and read. They also have activities and classes offered in English.
For Halloween many American children and some Macedonian children went trick or treating and to a party there. Our last day we went into town and explored the old bazaar which oddly enough was filled with new stuff. The market was full of fruits and vegetables. Apples are in season and so delicious that we decided to get a four pound bag of every kind you can imagine. Another week filled with amazing people and things. Ciao for now, Aubrey.
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Hi guys, I hope you had a great week, because mine sure was fantastic. We spent our days on Lake Ohrid, Macedonia which is one of Europe’s deepest and oldest lakes. Do you even know where Macedonia is? You don’t… okay I’ll tell you. It is a little country bordering Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia, Kosovo, Albania, and Montenegro. We had an amazing time touring the city on the shores of the lake.
Did you know the man Saint Clement who invented the Cyrillic Alphabet was from Ohrid? The Cyrillic Alphabet is used by over 250 million people all over the world. Every single letter of the Cyrillic Alphabet has it on unique sound. We also visited a place called the Bay of Bones which is a recreation of an old Macedonian village dating back to between 1,200 and 700 B.C. At this site they have found artifacts dating back to 2800 B.C. We visited the 2, 500 year old amazing churches filled with the most outstanding frescos (paintings) I have ever seen.
The next day we went on an amazing hike in the beautiful Galichia Mountains. The leaves were just starting to change from green to scarlet, golden, and orange which made it even more gorgeous. We went on a stunning boat ride and saw naked algae… awkward. We also went to their farmers market and saw the biggest cabbage I have ever seen. They were bigger than basketballs. One Macedonian treat that cannot be beat is the baklava. It is a sweet treat swimming in honey.
Something else very special and spooky happened this week… it was Halloween. In Macedonia no one celebrates Halloween so we got a lot of funny looks while we were walking through the village all dressed up in our costumes. I was a mouse with a bow tie…cheese please, Everest was Dracula… I want to suck your blood, Mom was a sheep… baaaa, and Dad was a crayon. We trick or treated at any door my mom could find and got some yummy candy. What’s your favorite type of candy? My favorite might have to be Twix… yumm. It truly was a spectacular week. Until next time Aubrey.
BOOK NAME: Wild Things
AUTHOR: Clay Carmichael
Sometimes you feel like you can trust no one. 11 year old Zoe doesn’t feel like that just sometimes, but all the time! Her Dad left her at an early age and her irresponsible mother died. With both parents gone, Zoe is left to go to different relatives, staying for short amounts of time until they discard of her like a used tissue. Usually they will pretend to care about her until they ship her off to the next relative. So naturally Zoe thinks it will be the same routine when she is placed with a little known relative named Uncle Henry. However, she is surprised to find that Uncle Henry won’t give up on her and that they share many things in common. Both stubborn and hotheaded, they can sometimes clash but they also share broken hearts. Unknowingly, they start to pick up each other’s pieces and start to create a loving home.
Along the way, Zoe meets many other interesting characters including a wild cat, a white deer, and a mysterious boy. Zoe’s curiosity and wild spirit lead her to finding the identity of the boy, and she uncovers the truth about a local lie. This book had a spirit of its own and I loved reading each wondrous page. I was amazed at the depth of the characters and how I was able to connect with each of them. I also thought it was interesting how the author added narration from the cat’s perspective. If you like adventure and humor books, I highly recommend this. It’s a great book for all ages. I look forward to reading this author’s future works.
You love books. You love DogEared. You love to tell people about the books you’re reading. Does this sound like you? Enter the 2012 “So You Wanna Be a DogEared Blogger” Contest, and you could be one of three new bloggers for the National Geographic Kids DogEared Book Blog!
For your chance to be chosen as one of the three new bloggers, read a book, write a review according to the instructions in the official rules, and enter the 2012 “So You Wanna Be a DogEared Blogger” Contest. We’d
love to make you part of the DogEared team!
Illustration by Chris Rooney
You’ll get an extra hour of sleep this weekend! Daylight saving time ends for most of the U.S. on November 4.
Daylight saving time isn’t observed everywhere in the United States. Some places, like American Samoa, Hawaii and most of Arizona, don’t change their clocks. For those places that do observe it, though, the law says that people must set their clocks back one hour to standard time at 2:00 a.m. on the first Sunday in November. This Sunday, the sun will set an hour earlier. During daylight saving time, there’s less light in the morning and more light in the evening.
What is daylight saving time? Get the scoop in this News Bite.
Spend your extra hour this weekend reading a good book! Get recommendations from other kids on the DogEared Books Blog.
Photograph by Jellybean12, NG Kids My Shot