Fostering curiosity in kids (and their parents) since 2011

Posts tagged ‘history’

Yellow crocuses pushing up from a wintry brown soil.

What is a Victory Garden and do I need one to survive 2020?

Recently I’ve realized that the only thing worse for my mental health than Political Twitter is Coronavirus Twitter. To cheer myself up, I’ve started reading post-apocalyptic dystopian novels. I haven’t read that many yet, but I have read enough to notice that the just-in-time food supply rarely survives the first few chapters. That made me wonder… what if my best strategy for surviving an apocalypse is not merely to stockpile food, but to learn how to grow it?

sleek black vintage convertible with white wall tires.

A selection of vintage Ford cars

Earlier this summer, we happened across a line of vintage cars parked on a street next to a town festival in Northern California. Naturally, I took pictures. Here’s a selection of vintage Ford motor cars from that show.

line drawing of several large and small sauropods underwater.

Shala reads books and starts counting OSHA violations: The Bones for Barnum Brown Edition

Regular readers know that I’ve been looking for a copy of Roland T. Bird’s 1944 essay, “Did Brontosaurus ever walk on land?” since 2011, when I had to rely on J.A. Wilson’s second-hand account of it while researching the answer to the pressing question: “Could sauropods swim?” A few weeks ago, I discovered that I could acquire Roland T. Bird’s memoir, Bones for Barnum Brown: Adventures of a Dinosaur Hunter, through the Northern California Interlibrary Loan Service. So of course I did.

The movie poster for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs shows Snow White, the 7 dwarfs, the evil queen, and the handsome prince arranged in a rough triangle in the foreground. A grey castle stands in the background. A blue oval at the bottom displays the movie title.

“Snow White was filmed in 1937? Did they even have TVs back then?”

One of the wonderful things about having both Netflix and a child is that you get to introduce her to all of your favorite childhood movies in the comfort of your own living room. This week’s movie was the 1937 edition of Snow White, and as usual, my daughter had questions about it. “This Snow White was filmed in 1937? Did they even have TVs back then?”

Oil painting showing John Franklin leaning on his boat, trapped in the Arctic ice and surrounded by the dead bodies of his crew.

“What killed the sailors on the 1845 Franklin Expedition?”

Earlier this year, The Ten-Year-Old’s fifth grade class spent 18 hours learning what it meant to be sailors in 1906 as part of the Age of Sails program at the San Francisco Maritime National Park.  Ever since then, she’s been reading everything she can get her hands on about life on the sea between the mid-1800s and early 1900s. After learning that the entire crew of the Franklin Expedition of 1845 died in one of that century’s greatest tragedies, the Ten-Year-Old naturally wanted to know why.

The Ten-Year-Old dressed up as a Thin Mint.

“Were Thin Mints really the third type of Girl Scout cookie ever introduced?”

It’s Girl Scout cookie season, and that means we get to talk to all sorts of Girl Scout alums about their experience selling cookies back in the day. This week, we met someone who claimed that Thin Mints are not only one of the most popular types of Girl Scout cookies, they’re also one of the oldest. So of course, we had to know: Were Thin Mints really only the third Girl Scout cookie to be introduced?