Thursday, February 28, 2013

Amazon: Lungs of the planet

I love the BBC (something to do with being English and brainwashed from birth.....) and have just discovered their new website called Future, where they post interesting videos, articles, quiz etc.....

I watched this short video about how the Amazon rainforest contributes to more than just the local wildlife but to the air we breathe and through destructive deforestation we are in effect destroying our air.

"..... this felling also has an impact on the planet as a whole because the forest also plays a critical role in cleaning the air we breathe.

It does this by sucking up the global emissions of carbon dioxide from things like cars, planes and power stations to name just a few."

Lots more to see.... check it out.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Andreas Schleicher: Use data to build better schools

Interesting video, although I have a feeling there was much more he could have told us but he only had 20 minutes.

I'm not a fan of testing but if it helps governments to rethink our education system and value our teachers, both financially and within society, then I'm all for it.

Sunday, February 24, 2013


MAN from Steve Cutts on Vimeo.

Disturbing..... but mainly because we can see that it's true...

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Advice to my kids by Leo Babauta

I wish I could be this eloquent and thoughtful when giving advice to my kids. Read it here.

Via Swissmiss.


I feel like I should have posted about this before and maybe I have, but no harm done in reminding myself to cut my carbon by 10% every year.

10:10 believes "Big tasks are easier if broken up into smaller, manageable pieces – and 10% this year is much more tangible and achievable than, say, 80% by 2050. Two studies conducted by the Tyndall Centre (summarised in PIRC's Climate Safety report) suggest that 10% in a year starting this year is the kind of target that will give us the best chance of a safe future for our children and grandchildren. Cutting our carbon by 10% a year is just the first step, of course, but it puts us on the right track."

Friday, February 22, 2013

I Am Creative

I like this idea, for 13 to 19 year olds, looking for work experience in the creative communications industries.They get to work on live briefs for some of the top brands in the UK.

Sometimes it's hard at that age to image what you want to do when you finish school and these real life experiences are great for finding out what's out there.

"I Am Creative is part of Ideas Foundation. The Ideas Foundation identifies and nurtures creatively gifted young people and gives them the skills and experience they need to gain employment."

Words for Teenagers: doing the rounds on Facebook

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Every Last Drop

Beautiful website to complement the above video by Nice & Serious, teaching people about their water usage and how they can reduce it.

Last day to join the Nation Nest Box Week

A little late with this one..... but better late than never.

The National Nest Box Week is organised by the British Trust for Ornithology, but I reckon we could all do with helping out our indigenous bird populations.

The website has guides on building the boxes, so how about starting a new project with the kids? Tons of information on their website......

Friday, February 15, 2013

John Lloyd

John Lloyd, the British television producer of QI, Blackadder and Spitting Image (among others) gave at talk at TED where he inventoried the invisible. Very funny and now also in animated form.

He ended with this quote.

"We are all here on earth to help others; what on earth the others are here for I don't know."

W. H. Auden

Africa and the green turtles

If you haven't watched any of the new series "Africa" by the BBC and David Attenborough then please do. It's stunning and thought provoking.

I'm watching it with my kids and we were all moved yesterday when we watched the baby green turtles try and race to the ocean before any predators got to them. I don't want to give anything away but the behind the scenes part at the end is well worth holding on for........

The Library Farm

Lovely idea by the Northern Onondaga Public Library in Cicero, NY. The Library Farm is an organic community garden on one-half acre of land that they own.

"Anyone can “check out” a plot for no cost. Its purpose is to teach and learn “food literacy,” as well as to preserve knowledge that our grandparents might have had but that never got passed down, and to provide fresh organic produce for local food pantries."

They have classes too......

Photo courtesy of their website.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Andy Warhol

“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” 

 Something I need to do......... sound advice.

 Via Swissmiss.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The scared is scared

Fab film by
Bianca Giaever, who explained it by saying "I asked a six year old what my movie should be about, and this is what he told me."

Oh, how I wish I had the imagination of a 6 year old.....

Friday, February 8, 2013

Happy Friday

Hope your weekend isn't grumpy.....

Via Tard the Grumpy Cat.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Unstructured Recess in Schools Leads to Better Students

I know, it's not something we all don't know but it's nice to see it in black and white. ASLA's blog LAND Connections posted a comprehensive explanation of why recess is so important in schools.

"It is clear and unmistakable, through all the available research, that children perform better, are more socially adept, and more physically healthy when unstructured play is incorporated into school curriculum. However, when discussing the topic of recess and breaks during children's academic pursuits, there are still many avenues of research left to explore. Issues such as bullying in the schoolyard, social inclusion, childhood obesity, sensory integration, and inclusion of natural elements are all very real and important topics needing attention. As a start, let's let the children play!"

Alain de Botton: Ten Virtues for the Modern Age

Over at The School Of Life, Alain de Botton posted the 10 virtues for modern life and while this is a response to his latest book Religion for Atheists, I personally think it is a great list for all, young and old, religious and atheist.

1.   Resilience
2.   Empathy
3.   Patience
4.   Sacrifice
5.   Politeness
6.   Humour
7.   Self-awareness
8.   Forgiveness
9.   Hope
10. Confidence

United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child

I'm a little behind on this news but on the 1st February in Geneva the UN Committee announced the adoption of an official document:

"that clarifies for governments worldwide the meaning and importance of article 31 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Article 31 ensures that:

“States Parties recognize the right of the child to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities…and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts.”

Theresa Casey, President of IPA, welcomed the adoption of the General Comment, saying:

"Play, recreation, rest, leisure and involvement in cultural and artistic life are all interrelated and critical to a happy, healthy childhood. Problems arise when such activities are considered luxurious or frivolous. Nothing could be further from the truth. They are all fundamental rights of children and IPA will do its best to continue supporting policy makers and practitioners who turn these rights into concrete actions. We are delighted by the Committee’s decision to emphasize the importance of Article 31 in a General Comment, and are honored to have assisted in the effort."

Monday, February 4, 2013

Why Parents Need to Let Their Children Fail

I may have to have a serious rethink after reading an article over at The Atlantic......

I recently reacted very similarly to some of the parents in the article, I'm ashamed to say. I believed my son over the temporary teacher..........

Jessica Lahey, author of the article and an English, Latin, and writing teacher wrote:

"......I fantasize about the day I will be trusted to teach my students how to roll with the punches, find their way through the gauntlet of adolescence, and stand firm in the face of the challenges -- challenges that have the power to transform today's children into resourceful, competent, and confident adults."

That's what I want - resourceful, competent and confident sons....... Time to step back.

The Imagination Foundation

Built on the success of the above video, which I thoughtlessly forgot to post when it went viral, The Imagination Foundation's mission is to find, foster, and fund creativity and entrepreneurship in kids.