Monday, July 31, 2006

Today we got the last three copies of horrible histories.

Fish and I played Rise of Nations together we played for an hour and a half and wiped out 4 nations. I was the US and he was the Russians.

Today I cooked tea: chicken and bean burritos.

Fish and I worked together on a map of warcraft a few hours.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Reader's Digest

Today I read two articles in August's Reader's Digest.
  • one called Home Smart Home which is on the "homes of the future" by Max Alexander,
    • which is based on Grace, the talking house. I like some of the ideas:
      • projects a list of recipes that would use the items you put on the benchtop.
      • a touch-screen computer you can stick rfid encoded postcards or invitations that could access the internet.
      • smart glass that can be transformed into a TV.
  • the second one is called "Three hours of Fear and Hope" by Kenneth Miller, which is about a plane whose front landing gear had failed. One of the passengers found comfort by his seat mate who said take a "swig of this" and passed him a plastic tonic water bottle and said "its leaded" - the man had smuggled aboard a litre of vodka and tonic.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I am sorry

- dictated, and edited by mum -

I worked out only a few days ago how to write "I am sorry". >clapping< Yay!

Dad helped.

I wrote "I am sore" and Dad asked me what I was trying to write and he fixed "sorry".

Why was I trying to write "I am sorry"?

I was playing World of Warcraft online in a group and when I went to blow a kiss I accidentally did a chicken impression instead, and I was worried that I might have hurt the other player's feelings.

Mum was very proud of me using my new knowledge of the sounds letters make to compose words - the dictionary spelling will come later. >kisses< >hugs<


Today I started looking at the WW2 battle (at wikipedia), Battle of Normandy (or Operation Overlord) which was the landings on the Normandy beaches: Omaha Beach, Pointe du Hoc, Utah Beach, Gold Beach, Juno Beach and Sword Beach. I saw a list of games that referred to Operation Overlord and some of the games were ones that I used to play called Medal of Honour (or moh).

Monday, July 24, 2006

Hall of Fame and how to care for a thermos

Mum wasn't impressed that I passed up the opportunity to experience the Hall of Fame with Helen, Graham & Richard - she thinks I should take up as many opportunities for new experiences and in-person learning as possible. So, here I am, having to find out what I missed. AFL's Hall of Fame web site shows pictures of what I missed but Wikipedia gave more information: with links to articles about all the inductees. While AFL's site gave some basic information about the Legends, it only listed the inductees.

Mum was even more unimpressed that I put milo and milk in the thermos. So my biggest lesson for today is not to put anything but water in the thermos.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Go 'pies!

Today I went to the football with Chris and Gabe (and Helen, Graham & Richard) to see Collingwood (go 'pies) vs West Coast Eagles at the Telstra Dome. The 'pies won 127 to 90. I was only there for the 1st half because Gabe is 2 and a half yrs old and got restless. Helen, Graham & Richard, who had come up from Portland, invited me to go the hall of fame with them tomorrow but I did not feel like going.

Friday, July 21, 2006


Today I watched part 2 of Killing Hitler - a documentary on the British Special Operations plan Operation Foxley to kill Hitler.

I found an article at wikipedia and mum taught me note-taking strategies: identifying key and sub-points:
  • an assassination attempt was never made,
  • historians believe the most likely date for an attempt would have been July 13 or 14, 1944 when Hitler was visiting the Berghof.
  • The plan was to assassinate Hitler on his morning routine as he walked unprotected to the tea house in the Berghof compound.
    • The scheme called for the British to parachute a two-man team into the area surrounding the compound.
    • The two soldiers were a German-speaking Pole and a sniper.
    • The men would infiltrate the compound and get in place to shoot Hitler.
  • Security around Hitler was minimal because he felt nothing could touch him.
  • As a result, several attempts had been made to kill him,
    • including one that took place during the planning of this operation, by a German officer named Claus von Stauffenberg.
    • However, none of these were successful.
    • Stauffenberg's attempt only injured Hitler.
    • It did, however, have the effect that public appearances of Hitler were greatly reduced, to one or two per year, thus limiting the opportunities for another attempt.
  • One of the first plans was to bomb the train Hitler travelled around in.
    • SOE had ample experience with derailing trains (it was actually what they did most),
    • but the plan was dropped because Hitler's schedule was too irregular, with stations being informed of his arrival only minutes beforehand.
  • The following plan was to poison his tea,
    • to which he was addicted,
    • but this was considered too complicated because of the necessity for an inside man.
  • Next a sniper was considered.
    • A talk with a German POW who had been part of Hitler's personal guard revealed that at the Berghof, Hitler always took a morning walk,
      • around the same time (after 10)
      • and for the same duration (about 20 minutes).
      • In addition, he wanted to be alone during this walk,
      • leaving him unprotected near some woods,
      • where he was out of sight of sentry posts.
      • To top it off, every time Hitler was at the Berghof, a Nazi flag was put up, which was visible from the nearby town.
    • A sniper was found and briefed and the plan was submitted.
    • An inside man was even found,
      • Heidentaler,
      • the uncle of a captured soldier, Dieser, who
      • was vehemently anti-Nazi,
      • lived in Salzburg, 20 km from the Berghof and
      • regularly visited a shooting range 16 km from the Berghof with likeminded shopkeepers.
    • There had been some resistance against the plan,
      • especially from a superior called Thornley,
    • but he was replaced by a supporter of the plan,
      • Templar, and
    • Churchill was also in favour of it.
    • The sniper and a Polish companion who spoke German were to be dropped by plane and sheltered with Heidentaler,
    • after which they could make the approach disguised as German mountain troops.
  • The plan was submitted in November 1944,
    • but was never put into practice
      • because there was some controversy over whether it was such a good idea.
        • Hitler was such a bad strategist that it was believed whoever might follow him up might lead a better war-effort.
        • Also, Germany was almost defeated and if Hitler were assassinated, he would have become a martyr to some, while also leading to speculation that maybe Germany would have won if Hitler had lived. Since the idea was not only to defeat Germany but Nazism in general, that would have been an unfortunate development.
      • However, there were strong advocates on both sides and the plan was not put into practice because no actual decision was reached.
    • By late November Hitler left the Berghof, never to return. He killed himself when the war came to a close on 30 April 1945.
I think they should have gone ahead with Foxley because it would have saved about 10 million lives (based on the historian's calculations in the documentary: Jews and others in concentration camps; Soviet and German soldiers in the Battle of Berlin; bombed cities).

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Architectural fragment = Goa'uld cargo ship?

Mum showed me her link from that sculpture in front of the State Library in Melbourne that reminded her of the Planet of the Apes. When I looked at Lucy Tartan's photo of "Architectural Fragment" I thought I saw a Goa'uld cargo ship.

I love chicken

BBQ Chicken Pizza, Chicken and Potato Parcels, Lime Chicken Soft Tacos (actually tortillas) and Spicy Rice are recipes I thought might be tasty and new. What is Monterey Jack cheese? In the taco/tortillas we would use mozzarella instead. Instead of using a fire or grill for the parcels we would use an oven. That one could probably be done as a stew or casserole instead of wasting foil.

The rice dish: I've heard of 'sirloin' as a cut of meat but I don't know what 'sirloin tips' are - we'd probably just use strips of any kind of steak. Habanero peppers... pass ... don't like very hot food. Mum tells me a skillet is a heavy based frypan. Just checking: Google says "A long-handled, round pan with sloping sides. Also called a frying pan." It also says "A skillet or frypan (American English) or frying pan (British English) is a pan used for frying foods, usually heavy-bottomed and made of cast iron" - and mum explained the she thinks of a frying pan as any kind of pan for frying including light pans whereas when someone says skillet she thinks cast iron.

While we were there we also learned about sauté pans: "A sauté pan has a more specific meaning: a deep, straight-sided pan that usually comes with a lid. You can sauté foods in either kind of pan, but the sauté pan holds more, so it's handier for dishes that have lots of sauce, vegetables, or other ingredients."

Mum thinks she'll try the chicken pizza because of the smoked gouda - I don't know about that - I think I'd prefer mozzarella.

Carpet Bowls developed by Henselite

Today, I learned from the Henselite company (via Google) that "The Game of 4 Inch Indoor Biased Bowls was developed in 1956 by the Henselite Company". Mum and I guess they made it so that bowlers could play during winter - thus expanding their market - guessing that Henselite were a major supplier of bowling gear already to the outdoor market.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Letters, Sounds and Words: a phonic dictionary

Fish has almost complete recognition of the sounds of the alphabet, 2 & 3 letter consonent blends, and is beginning to recognise the special sounds ch, sh & th.

Thanks to Collins Book of Letters, Sounds and Words: a phonic dictionary by Linda Hayward

Progress at last.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Base 10

Wendy at Always Learning, British Council's Magic Gopher and Joyce Fetteroll introduced us to some of the fun one can have base 10.

From a visual riddle or a mystery to an exploration of art

The clue didn't really help me work out what was going on with  Sandra Dodd's Mystery Art.  However I am not perturbed as the clue page linked me to Sandra's Art Ideas and Links which will contribute fascinating material to the arts elements of our 'curriculum'.

Today, particularly, we enjoyed Julian Beever's pavement drawings , particularly the 3-D ones - & the peeks into what they look like from other angles, giving the boys a little insight into how some of the effects were achieved.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Xrefer Brainteaser: Hot and Cold

Disappointed that House is not on tonight - Mum scrolled through her backlog of newsfeeds and found a recent brainteaser...

Cricket identified snow from the "dictionary definition: "Precipitation in the form of aggregations of ice crystals falling to the ground in soft white flakes, or lying on the ground as a soft white mass"."

Cricket identified correctly that direct sunlight causes sunburn from UV (ultraviolet) rays.

For measuring temperatures, Cricket guessed first at "Fahrenheit", but immediately agreed with Mum's suggestion of " Celsius" as the word officially replaced "centigrade" in 1948.

We learned that Frostbite is what made the explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes abandon his solo trek to the North Pole in 2000.

Cricket was correct this time that Fahrenheit is the name for the scale of temperatures in which 212 degrees represents the boiling point of water.

Fish & Cricket both immediately declared Antarctica to be the coldest continent on Earth.

Cricket correctly remembered (he thinks from M*A*S*H) that "Pyrexia" is another word for Fever.

Mum couldn't call to mind the phrase absolute zero to describe the point at which it would be impossible to get any colder (minus 273.15 degrees C)?

Mum guessed correctly that in 1626, the famous person who died of a cold contracted when stuffing a fowl with snow as an experiment in refrigeration was Francis Bacon not Christopher Marlowe or William Shakespeare?


While waiting for Mum I played Hexalot