Caveman Masks, Ravens and Long Memories

Something about this series of science experiments tickles me.  From New Scientist….

Crows not only can recognize individual human faces, but they can hold a grudge against you for years, a new study shows. Field biologists have long noticed that wild crows seem to remember them from past experiences of being captured for ID tagging – swooping, attacking and “scolding” any offending biologist who returns for more – but they don’t bother biologists they’ve never met, and it’s never been clear how exactly they tell the difference. To find out, researchers from the University of Washington wore a rubber caveman mask while capturing and tagging wild American crows, then sent various other people to approach the crows wearing the same mask. The crows attacked anyone wearing the caveman mask, and when the researchers upped the ante by making plaster casts of real people’s faces, the crows continued accosting anyone wearing the mask of someone who’d captured them in the past. “We may think they are just bystanders minding their own business, but we are their business,” an evolutionary ecologist tells New Scientist


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A Quick Post

We finally had Anna’s birthday bash today, at the YMCA.  Only a few friends could join us but we had a blast and it was nice to catch up with neat mama (and papa!) friends while the kids played.  And to see really rosy, fat baby cheeks.  Mmmmm, fat baby cheeks make every day better!

Anyway, I was preoccupied with swimming and cake and decorating and yapping all day and didn’t get a chance to write my next lapbook article or my next AP article or blog or pack for our trip to the in-laws’ tomorrow, so I have no time to post a billion pictures and tell stories.

I’ll do that soon.

And I’ll share a cool game idea the kids came up with and all sorts of other cool stuff I keep wanting to yap about.

This is why I like winter, because usually there’s time to just write articles and sleep odd hours and read to the kiddos and dream up crafts and do science experiments and play and read and blog and pretend to be a hermit.

Wow.  I just said I liked winter!  Now there’s a first.  Huh.

Anyway, I’ll be back soon!

10 Fun Ways We've Learned and Played Lately

Here’s a bit of what we’ve been up to the past couple of days…

1.  We’re reading the Felicity books to go along with our unit study on the Revolutionary War.

2.  Victoria and I researched opossums for her opossum lapbook.  Did you know they’re North America’s only marsupial and they help homeowners?

Opossums help maintain a clean and healthy environment. They eat all types of insects including cockroaches, crickets, beetles, etc. They catch and eat rats and mice. They consume dead animals of all types. They like overripe fruit, berries and grapes that have fallen to the ground and they think that snails and slugs are a delicacy. They are one of the few animals that regularly prey on shrews and moles. They are known as “Nature’s Little Sanitation Engineers!

They also move on from each site after a couple of days, so they clean up the place and then go on to the next neighborhood!

3.  We’re all making Alex a lapbook about colors.  He loves to name colors and we found out today that he adores lapbooks (especially flaps and things) so we’re helping him make his very first lapbook.

4.  Daryl has been teaching Anna more guitar chords and has been giving Jack some easy lessons.

5.  The girls did practice standardized math tests and we talked about new concepts on them like right angles and obtuse angles for Anna.

6.  Victoria and I played “Scrambled States of America.”

7.  Jack, Anna and Victoria played “Are Your Smarter Than a 5th Grader?”  That game is excellent at sneaky homeschooling, by the way!

8.  Anna, Victoria and I played “Apples to Apples.”  That game is not so good at sneaky homeschooling but is very good for silly fun.  Quick, convince me which one of these goes best with “lucky” — swamps, Superman or science tests?

9.  Jack has been researching insects and making a lapbook about those.

10. Anna is reading a book about famous magicians and doing a lapbook about those.  Yes, can you tell I posted a lapbooking article today and got out our old ones for pictures?  🙂  You can read it and see a slide show of some of our favorites here.

And now, I have to check on our breadsticks and break up a fight…  I mean, teach some mediation skills.  😉

Burns Night

Last night was Burns Night, so we had to have our annual Burns Night supper of haggis (with a wee dram of whisky stirred in, as the label instructs) for Daddy and neeps and tatties (turnips and potatoes) for the rest of us.

Incidentally, have you ever read the label for haggis?  Probably not, since you can’t buy it in the U.S.  Daryl and a friend of ours have kept us stocked with imported stuff.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Daryl also printed out Scottish coloring pages for the kids but we forgot to do most of the usual stuff we do for Burns Night.  Daryl didn’t read the Address to a Haggis or read our haggis picture book (yep, we have one) or even make everybody wear kilts.  😉

The girls did play a historic Scottish game though.  Or was it a Viking game?  I’ll  have to check!

Ah well.  Maybe we’ll do even more than usual next year.