Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Absolutely Fascinating!

As a children’s librarian I find myself hunting down the answers to a lot of bizarre questions put to me by kids. Because of this I have picked up some absolutely fascinating but completely useless knowledge over the years. I don’t know how the kids hear about this stuff but I’ve learned to look information up and ask questions later. If you want to entertain yourself for hours try looking up information on the internet about these bizarre but oddly enthralling subjects.

The Mysterious Moving Stones of Death Valley – These rocks move by themselves. Seriously. There are lots of different theories, but no one knows for sure how they do what they do. Two stones right next to each other will sometimes move in completely opposite directions. Don’t believe me? Look up some pictures on the internet. You won’t be able to sleep at night for wondering how those darn rocks do that!

Faces of Belmez – Images of strange faces began spontaneously appearing on the kitchen floor of one home in Belmez, Spain. They dug up the floor and laid a new one. New and different faces quickly appeared in the cement. Faces also appeared around the rest of the home with alarming frequency. This is probably a hoax, but I find it intriguing that no one has been able to figure out how they did it. The pictures are not just on the surface but inside the cement. Hmmmm.

Tunguska Event – A big explosion more powerful than an atom bomb happened out in the middle of nowhere. It leveled trees for miles but left no impact crater. People saw a ball of light in the sky and were knocked over by the explosion. Science has explained this one but it is facinating all the same.

The Cottingley Fairies – Two young girls in 1917 take photographs of real fairies. Or so they claimed. Many people believed them, including Sir Arthur Connan Doyle of Sherlock Holmes fame. Eventually they addmitted the whole thing was a hoax. I can’t help wondering what the girls thought when their little prank got so out of control. Till the day they died both women swore they had seen real fairies and that the last photo they took was genuine. Curiousier and Curiousier.

Ball Lightning – According to eyewitness accounts this stuff is really creepy. Floating balls of light have been known to appear inside airplanes while in flight, come up out of the ground after a lightning strike, and it has even been known to burn or kill people. I hope I never have to see any in my lifetime.

Tasmanian Tiger (Thycline) - Last captive Tasmanian Tiger died in 1936 at Hobart Zoo. These animals are officially extinct. So how come people still report seeing them in England every year? Logging companies actually put out poison whenever there is a sighting near their camps because they know they would be shut down if there was proof these rare animals had managed to survive after all this time. No one can stop the logging companies putting out poison because officially Thyclines don’t exist.

Mentos and Diet Coke – Try putting a Mento into a bottle of Diet Coke and watch what happens. Just make sure you do it OUTSIDE and stand back. YouTube has some really hilarious videos on this subject.

There are some really strange things in this world. Try not to lose sleep over any of them tonight. : )

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Great Summer Books for Chapter Book Readers!

Sylwia, as per your request--here are some of my favorite summer books for kids:

Seven Wonders of Sassafras Spring by Betty Birney
The Boys Start the War by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
This Island Isn’t Big Enough for the Four of Us! by Gery Greer
Defenders of the Universe by D.V. Kelleher
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
No Flying in the House by Betty Brock
Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary
Summer of the Monkeys by Wilson Rawls
Trolls by Polly Horvath
From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg
Fire Within by Chris D’lacey
City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
Dealing With Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede
Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies
Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall
Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher by Bruce Coville
Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Luis Sachar
Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke
The Great Brain by John D. Fitzgerald
Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander
Frindle by Andrew Clements
No Talking by Andrew Clements
Bunniculia by James Howe
Found by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Rowan of Rin by Emily Rodda

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