04 June 2008

Hurray, it's Tuesday again!

Let's begin by hearing what Chris had to report.  "It's about astronauts," he began.  Immediately Joe's ears pricked up! 

"Their toilet (on the ISS, explained Joe) is blocked because something is broken."  The enormity of this struck when Chris shared a bit of a joke with us; he had read it on the 'newsround' website.  "You know what it's like when you need the loo (translation: toilet) and you can't find one close by?  Well, imagine what it would be like if you were all the way in space with no toilet!"


But what Joe then told us, was something of a relief.  "A spaceship went up yesterday with a new pump.  But at the moment they are using plastic bags; and anyway, there is a fan that blows the....."  Well, my mind began to boggle a bit when he went into (great) detail, about quite exactly how these bags and fans work; I think I had better spare you the details!

Giulia was itching for me to add a space-related link to Chris' news.  With the words, 'To infinity... and beyond!' Buzz Lightyear will head up into space - for real!  Here you can see the preparations he has had to undergo. 

Joe in his own right now.  "There is an event called a 10 kilometer swim in open water.  It is usually held in the ocean.  25 men and 25 women will compete in the race. There is a 16 year old girl who has just qualified.  She will represent the US in the Olympics.


"I heard my news on the BBC," started Maya.  "Here is my headline: Train Crashes into School Bus.  It happened in France.  A train has crashed into a school bus and six children died."  A brief silence ensued as we, particularly those of us who travel to and from school by bus, thought about this.  A terrible thing to have happened.


"Mothers and fathers have been sad that their children have died."

Naoya doesn't have any more near-relatives, I am afraid.  However, his news was, again, from his home-country.  "The Japanese Prime Minister, Mr Fukuda has visited Germany, UK and Italy."  They will talk about the food crisis amongst other things.

Chancellor Merkel Meets Japanese Prime Minister ZJgr9LMjqpsl

Staying in Japan, Giulia, had something to share with us.  "In Japan they made a robot called ASIMO (ASIMO, she explained, stands for Advanced Step in Innovative MObility).  They took him to an orchestra and he conducted the orchestra.  He conducted well-enough.  But not as well as a human because he only kept the time of the music.  Most of the audience said he was very stiff.  He bowed very stiffly and he said hello to people."  Have a look and see what you think!

"How did the robot know how to do that?" wondered Evie. 

"I don't really know but I think it is like a computer," answered Giulia.

"I think they have installed a special system," said Joe. 

Giulia continued on a serious note, "They wanted to test him because they wanted him to be helpful and to see if he could rescue people."

Danah had a bit of last-minute help to find her story.  Mightily relieved, she was able to tell us, "It happened in London.  It's about Big Ben.  That's a tall tower with a clock on it (.....or is it?)  They made a Big Ben out of Coca Cola cans."


Obvious question this; Why?  After a bit of discussion, we hit upon the probable reason, which we thought was to do with recycling.

Isabella's news was also can-related.  "It happened in London.  There's a tunnel and above the tunnel there's a train station.  Taxis used to wait to pick people up and it was a very boring tunnel because it was all black.  (Maybe a bit like this.....)


A man had an idea and the idea was to draw lots of things and he got lots of kids to draw things and he asked the people on the street to help, with this kind of spray." 

"I like the graffiti," said Rekik.


By the way, if you look really closely at the man in the picture, you might be a bit surprised.  Is he real - or is he graffiti too?

Staying in the UK for Fiona's news.  "It's about a dog who got his head stuck in a garden pot.  His name was Hector and he was five years old.  The pot was so heavy that the poor little thing couldn't even move his head.  Some firemen had to come and free him.  They had to cut a little hole in it to set him free. 

Someone wondered; Did he choke?  "No," said Fiona.  "He is fully recovered."

So now here I am trying to find some pictures for Fiona's story - and I have another one of those 'Oh my goodness, there's something odd going on here' moments.  I looked up Dog gets head stuck in pot on Google and came up with this dog.....


.....who was released by animal rescue experts after getting his head stuck in a garden pot.


Then I looked back at the picture Fiona had brought in and thought that her Hector looked a bit different from my dog.  Sort of browner, fluffier and much smaller.  The pot was different too. 

More research needed I think!  And now, here we have the real Hector, before.....


and after.....


getting his head stuck in a garden pot.

And would you believe it?  Dangi's story (which, due to time restraints, we had to wait until today to hear) was about a cat - who got its head stuck.  Read on.  "A cat was chasing a mouse (remember the mouse please!).  The mouse jumped into a jam jar and then the cat put its head into the jam jar and got it stuck."  (Funnily enough we had been talking a while earlier about how a cat's whiskers usually prevent such mishaps).  "The cat's name was Lindy and her jaws were just millimetres away from the mouse.  They took her to a police station where they tried to take the jam jar off the cat's neck.  They smashed the jar (ouch!) on the floor.  Luckily the cat (and the mouse!) were safe.  A police spokeswoman said it was like a scene from Tom and Jerry....."


Oh and that mouse?  Apparently Hector the (brown, fluffy, small) dog was also chasing a mouse when he got his head stuck in that garden pot.  And I thought that it was cats that chased mice.  Oh well.....

By the way, Umar had also found the story of Hector.

Vaishnavi's story had a cat in it.  She told us that a girl and her brother in the US have been selling lemon juice at the side of the road to raise money so that their cat can have surgery.  It has been suffering from a spinal cord injury. 

Staying in the US but a change of species now.  There, as Michelle told us, "Scientists are studying the language of dolphins.  They 'talk' through whistles and clicks."


Tanmay's news was about a baby leopard.  "A baby leopard was found in a house in India.  The mother had left it alone.  The man took good care of the leopard.  How would you feel if you found a baby leopard in your home?" he asked.

Cries of either 'Ooh scared' or Ooh cute' resounded!  I think that although it might very well look 'Ooh cute' it would be a bit better to feel 'Ooh scared' - just in case the mum came back!


Actually, having seen the video clip, I think I might just have switched to the 'Ooh cute' camp.  Because my goodness, he is very 'Ooh cute' indeed!

Our sports editor next.  Justin explained, "It's the final of the eight best players.  (Tennis, he added when we asked!)  The first one (the first seed) is Federer and I think he will play against Nadal in the final.  If they play on the red surface (clay) then Nadal will win.  If they play on the green surface (grass) then Federer will win.  Grass goes faster. (So there you have it; put your money on Federer to win at Wimbledon!)


Justin goes on.  "There is one French player in the last eight called Monfils.  If they meet I don't know who will win.  Federer has no muscles but he's really good.  The French player has lots of muscles and he's fast."  Justin has promised to keep his finger on the pulse of French tennis.  That and the soccer.

And now.  Strong stomachs needed for Matthew's news.  "Scientists," he explained, "think that eating bugs is good for your health."

IMG_5999 IMG_6047 IMG_6012

Pause while the entire class collapses into a noisy group 'eugh'.

"But lots of people in the world eat lots of tasty bug snacks," persisted Matthew.  "People in 113 countries are already tucking in."

Now how about a plateful of wriggling maggots or worms for supper?


Talk rapidly moved on to that delicacy beloved of the French; quite a few children in the class have tried them. 


Somewhat fewer enjoyed the experience.  Giluia's mum collected lots once when she was a little girl and they cooked and ate them.  Patricia used to like them when she was four, but now she thinks they are disgusting.  To me they just taste like rather chewy buttery garlic.....but that owes somewhat more to the addition of garlic and butter than to the 'escargot'.  Bon appetit!


Photo by Adrian Moore

STOP PRESS: I have just read this on the BBC news website:

'World number one Roger Federer will play Gael Monfils in the French Open semi-finals after both men came through their last-eight matches in four sets.

Top seed Federer struggled early on against Fernando Gonzalez before coming through 2-6 6-2 6-3 6-4

And he will face Monfils for a place in the final after the unseeded Frenchman beat David Ferrer 6-3 3-6 6-3 6-1'

I note that Federer has beaten Monfils on each of their three previous meetings.....

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