The Eight-Year-Old browses our bookshelves

FunnyStuffDaughter2

The Eight-Year-Old, while browsing through our bookshelves, stops abruptly at a shelf full of pastel-spined books.

Mommyo, curiously: “What are you looking at, The Eight-Year-Old? My books on child behavior?”

The Eight-Year-Old: “Yeah. Why do you have those?”

Mommyo: “They are my attempt to understand you better.”

The Eight-Year-Old: “Can I read them? I don’t understand me at all.”

And with that, we’re off. Caterpickles is taking a short break to enjoy what’s left of the summer before it’s gone. I may post occasionally this month, but regular posting won’t resume until school does. See you in September!

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Wordless Wednesday: Best summer ever

In Canelo’s opinion, anyway.

(Photo: Shala Howell)

(Photo: Shala Howell)

 

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“What’s the difference between an alligator and a crocodile?”

Recently, it has come to The Eight-Year-Old’s attention that her Mommyo doesn’t know the difference between an alligator and a crocodile. You may remember, a week or two ago, I reported that The Eight-Year-Old had spent part of her vacation cuddling a crocodile. But Mr. Cuddles, as you can clearly see, is actually an alligator.

The Eight-Year-Old with Mr. Cuddles (Photo: Barbara Howell)

The Eight-Year-Old with Mr. Cuddles (Photo: Barbara Howell)

Frankly, The Eight-Year-Old was a little embarrassed that I couldn’t tell the difference.

So she assigned me one last bit of homework before Caterpickles breaks for its August vacation.

The Eight-Year-Old, firmly: “Mommyo, you need to do a Caterpickles on telling alligators and crocodiles apart. That’s the only way you’ll ever learn it.”

The good news is that according to LiveScience, I only have to check three things, and I’ll be able to differentiate between alligators and crocodiles with the best of them:

  1. What shape is their snout? Alligator snouts are shaped like the letter U. Crocodile mouths are pointy V’s.
  2. Can I see teeth even when its mouth is closed? If yes, it’s a crocodile. The upper jaw on an alligator is wider than its lower jaw, so when an alligator closes its mouth, no teeth show.  Crocodiles, on the other hand, have wider lower jaws, which means that even when their mouth is closed, you’ll be able to see the fourth tooth on each side of their lower jaw.
  3. Is that body of water over there fresh- or salt- water?  Crocodiles tend to live near saltwater. Alligators prefer freshwater marshes and lakes.

And now I know.

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Wordless Wednesday: A cat’s life

(Photo: Shala Howell)

(Photo: Shala Howell)

Dude, holding down this bed is exhausting!

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And for you long-term readers:

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The Eight-Year-Old redraws famous works of art with tigers: Blue Tigery

Thomas Gainsborough's The Blue Boy, painted in 1770.

Thomas Gainsborough’s The Blue Boy, painted in 1770.

Earlier this summer, The Eight-Year-Old stumbled onto the concept of derivative art. She looks up various works of art on her Daddyo’s iPad, then redraws them as portraits of Tigery. Earlier this summer, she integrated Tigery into da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, Munch’s The Scream, and Manet’s Self-Portrait with Palette. This week, The Eight-Year-Old and her buddy Tigery are reworking Thomas Gainsborough’s The Blue Boy.

Like any serious artist, The Eight-Year-Old first draws a study for her work, before attempting the final version. After some discussion, she agreed to let me use her works for a summer series on Caterpickles, on the condition that I tell you a little bit about the original work in the post.

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The Eight-Year-Old eats lunch

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The Eight-Year-Old, munching happily on a picnic lunch: “Pringles should not mess in the affairs of humans for they are crunchy, and good with ketchup.”

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What’s The Eight-Year-Old reading this week?

July 17
Our mostly-weekly survey of the tidbits that cross The Eight-Year-Old’s desk. This week, The Eight-Year-Old boards a moving castle, travels by airship, and provides friendly encouragement to a reluctant dragon.  

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Wordless Wednesday: Gardening with Grandpa

(Photo: Barbara Howell)

(Photo: Barbara Howell)

I’m told they are planting a white bird of paradise.

Thanks, Grandma, for providing a photo we can use on Caterpickles!

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“What’s the difference between a centipede and a millipede?”

An assortment of millipedes. Thankfully, not to scale. (Photo by Animalparty via Wikipedia)

An assortment of millipedes. Thankfully, not to scale. (Photo by Animalparty via Wikipedia)

It’s been a buggy summer here at Caterpickles. I’ve tried to distract The Eight-Year-Old with art, but she keeps coming back to bugs. As you may recall, so far this summer we’ve learned that:

Which left The Eight-Year-Old with a third question: If centipedes and millipedes can have the same number of legs, what’s the difference between them?

I’ll be honest. I didn’t really want to go into great detail on this answer. So I’m just going to give you the highlights.

Centipedes eat meat, most millipedes eat decaying plants

Centipedes are carnivores. Most eat spiders and other small invertebrates.  One species, the Amazonian giant centipede, which can grow to 30 cm in length, has been known to eat bats, mice, lizards, and frogs, as well as spiders.

Millipedes on the other hand, eat decaying leaves and other dead plant matter. Very few are predatory.

Scolopendra gigantea, aka the giant centipede who eats bats. Man, I want to run just looking at this picture. (Photo by Katka Nemčoková via Wikipedia)

Scolopendra gigantea, aka the giant centipede who eats bats. Man, I want to run just looking at this picture. (Photo by Katka Nemčoková via Wikipedia)

Centipedes have fangs, millipedes don’t

Because they are predators, centipedes are equipped with venomous fangs, which they use to paralyze their prey.

Millipedes have a more peaceful lifestyle. Although millipedes can wreak havoc in a greenhouse, their plant-loving nature means they can get away with simply oozing noxious chemicals from their pores when they need to defend themselves.

Centipedes are fast, millipedes are slow

Again, because centipedes prey on live things, they move quickly. A millipede’s favorite plant-based snack doesn’t typically get up and run away at the sight of them, so millipedes are relatively slow.

Centipedes have one pair of legs per body segment, millipedes have two

Those horrors aside, the main difference between centipedes and millipedes is the number of feet they have per body segment. Centipedes have one pair of legs per body segment. Millipedes have two pairs of jointed legs on most of their body segments.

And once again, that’s about all I can take of that.

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What’s The Eight-Year-Old reading this week?

July10Montage
Our mostly-weekly survey of the tidbits that cross The Eight-Year-Old’s desk. This week, The Eight-Year-Old takes a break from fishing to indulge in a bit of nostalgia reading about life in first-grade, homes with gigantic gardens, and those good old days when people still sent letters by post. 

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