Fostering curiosity in kids (and their parents) since 2011

Posts from the ‘Questions’ category

So many questions…

Rear View of my daughter dressed as Mothman crossing the street.

Caterpickles Consults the 12-Year-Old: “What is Mothman?”

My daughter came down one morning dressed entirely in black, sporting a pair of gold-tinted sunglasses and a green knit cap with two blue feathers sticking out of it. She was clearly dressed up as some superhero, but for the life of me I couldn’t figure out who. “I’m Mothman, Mommyo.” Mothman? Who’s that? Some crappy off-brand Batman?

Two side by side false color images of Uranus, show the planet encased in a rainbow of colors from pale green to red. Around it are white rings that run around what I can't help but think of as the planet's north and south poles. Uranus, it turns out, looks like it's tilted up on its side.

Who was Uranus?

While reading Dava Sobel’s book The Planets last week, I learned that Uranus is the only major planet in our solar system named after a Greek myth instead of a Roman one. Off-hand, I couldn’t remember any mention of Uranus in Greek mythology. So I decided to look it up. Who was Uranus? Why is he the only Greek god to get his own planet?

The bird of paradise flower has tall spiky orange petals and a blue poky thing. (Sorry, not a botanist)

Why did the Bird of Paradise flower evolve to look like that?

It’s easy to see how the Bird of Paradise flower got its name. It looks like a crane’s head crafted from flower parts. Now I’m no botanist, but even I know enough about plants to realize that when such a highly specialized and unique structure evolves in nature, there’s generally a reason for it. All of which made me wonder: Why did the Bird of Paradise flower evolve to look the way it does?

Have you heard about the National Park’s free annual pass for fourth graders?

Have you heard about the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Every Kid in a Park program? In a nutshell, the program offers fourth graders (and 10-year-old home-schooled equivalents) a free annual pass to every National Park in the U.S. Between now and August 31, 2019, fourth graders can use their passes to get free admission to any park in the National Park system for themselves and a select number of family and friends.

stuffed penguin looking at a manmade fountain on the hospital grounds

How can you keep kids in the loop when you visit a sick relative without them?

My father has been having a few health issues lately, which have resulted in my flying down to Texas a couple of times to help out with this and that. My daughter, being the curious and caring sort, has had all sorts of questions about what’s going on with Grandpa. Respecting both my father’s need for privacy and my daughter’s desire for answers has been challenging at times. On my last trip, I accidentally hit upon a good solution. I thought I’d share it with you in case you also wanted to try it.