Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Room5ians RulE!!!!!

omigod - i can't believe how cool the official research monkeys are. such inspirational students.
many thanks to those of you who allowed us to go off into the old board room to do our session with Rob and Annick. [i must say it's a shame that some people let us down a bit]... anyhoo - we are on track to develop some very interesting new research, ideas and ways of facilitating learning thanks to the valuable insights or our own Im a Room5ian and her fellow official research monkeys. a big thank you also to the other room5ians who are working so hard and creatively in class to produce scintillating projects.
Luigi and his cronies have been so unbelievably cool in working on developing the animation software "marvin".
please add more examples of amazing achievements by room5ians this week:

[if you work hard at this we can help convince the adults that there is a new and better way to learn...]

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

check out new clustrmap visitors!!!

we now have people checking us out from canada, alaska, and at least three countries in africa - including egypt! hooray!


if 15 Room5ians post here tonight i will get two of the rats for our classroom 8>)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

giant sea scorpion!

wow - glad these don't cruise the beaches during summer.... [excuse the sexist title]

BBC news reports:

"Man-sized sea scorpion claw found"

How the creature compares for size with a humanThe immense fossilised claw of a 2.5m-long (8ft) sea scorpion has been described by European researchers.
The 390-million-year-old specimen was found in a Germany quarry, the journal Biology Letters reports.
The creature, which has been named Jaekelopterus rhenaniae, would have paddled in a river or swamp.
The size of the beast suggests that spiders, insects, crabs and similar creatures were much larger in the past than previously thought, the team says.
The claw itself measures 46cm - indicating its owner would have been longer even than the average-sized human.
Overall, it exceeds the record for any other sea scorpion (eurypterid) find by nearly 50cm.
The eurypterids are believed to be the extinct aquatic ancestors of modern land scorpions and possibly all arachnids (the class of animals that also includes spiders).
"The biggest scorpion today is nearly 30cm so that shows you how big this creature was," said Dr Simon Braddy from the University of Bristol, UK.
It was one of Dr Braddy's co-authors, Markus Poschmann, who made the discovery in the quarry near Prum in south-west Germany.
"I was loosening pieces of rock with a hammer and chisel when I suddenly realised there was a dark patch of organic matter on a freshly removed slab," he recalled.
"After some cleaning I could identify this as a small part of a large claw. Although I did not know if it was more complete or not, I decided to try and get it out.
"The pieces had to be cleaned separately, dried, and then glued back together. It was then put into a white plaster jacket to stabilise it."
Super-sized meals
The species existed during a period in Earth history when oxygen levels in the atmosphere were much higher than today.

The fossil was locked in a siltstone from the Carboniferous PeriodAnd it was those elevated levels, some palaeo-scientists believe, that may have helped drive the super-sized bodies of many of the invertebrates that existed at that time - monster millipedes, huge cockroaches, and jumbo dragonflies.
But Dr Braddy thinks the large scales may have had a lot to do with the absence early on of vertebrate predators. As they came on the scene, these animals would have eaten all the biggest prey specimens.
"The fact that you are big means you are more likely to be seen and to be taken for a tastier morsel," he told BBC News. "Evolution will not select for large size; you want to be small so you can hide away."
The scorpions are thought to have made their first scuttles on to land about 450 million years ago.
While some would have taken up a fully terrestrial existence, others like Jaekelopterus rhenaniae would have maintained an aquatic or semi-aquatic lifestyle.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

tv studio visit

Tomorrow we are walking to the uni tv studio in the sun with Jimmy's mum and sister, Daniel's dad, Miss Burdie and I. Sasha will meet us there and Mr Sanders will tech us how to use the studio. We are all chipping in for a gift for him for helping us. Don't mess with him - he is grumpy.
You must be at school at 8:20am
You must have comfortable walking shoes to wear, preferably shcool sandals or shoes. Wear correct uniform to school.
You may not wear mufti except during filming.
You will be creative, attentive, obedient, careful, polite, sensible and you will have fun.
If you break something your family will pay for it - not me.
It will be great!

Monday, November 19, 2007

the latest clustrmap

This is the latest clustrmap for Room5ians to view at school. Since our blessed system somehow stops us from viewing it at school, i need to capture an image for you to see. here is Movember's smattering of world wide interest in Room5ian wisdom...
There has been a lot more interest from the mighty USA since JimmyL joined us from North Carolina. Maybe he's famous there - he certainly is here.
Today was another typical Room5ian/Jimmy moment - he sacrificed himself for the sunsafety of others and got in trouble for it - but he didn't complain or blame others. He simply took it on the chin. What a guy!
Who are other thoughtful folk in Room5ian land this week?
Jgirl from the centre table group recommended yorT for a certificate last Friday - I thought that was pretty thoughtful given how he gets told off a bit. It always amazes me how you kidlets are so kind to each other - I love it - it inspires me to be a better person too.

Our Breathing Space

we can breathe. We can go out in the Sun with out getting fried. We can watch life evolving all around us.
How do we do this when we are on a lump of rock hurtling through space?
We have an atmosphere. Let's find out a little more about it...


1. how come we have air to breathe?
2. why doesn't the sun fry us?
3. why does our air stay around us instead of flying out into the vacuum of space?
4. why does the air temperature change and how come we aren't frozen like we would be if we left the Earth without a spaceship?
5. where does the ozone layer exist? what is it? how does it help us? is there a hole in it? how did that happen? is it our fault?
6. do we humans have an effect on our atmosphere?
7. what is the greenhouse effect? can we replicate that in class somehow as an experiment?
8. do you like growing tomatoes or chillis or beans?

[I'm hoping you will add todays questions to this post]

here are sone links to investigate:

take this quiz when you've done some research... or take it first to find out what you don't know ...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

touched a chord

the japanese snow monkeys in Baraka [a great movie] touched a chord in my heart



i just write something to you kids that i thought was really poignant - like JimmyL's writing this week - but for some reason blogger had a glitch and i lost it.

suffice to say - you are the best for not giving up, valuing quality, and other such qualities

all of you are Room5ians - the greatest class ever! - unique amongst the fabric of the universe. never heard, or seen, or smelt before. you are incomparable, outstanding, marvellous, super and fantastic!

i hope you will count me amongst you when i proclaim proudly
"I'M a RooM5iAN!!!"

thank you for this year

mr woody / senor becada

In the Land of the Monkey God, a Primate Menaces

By Alistair Scrutton
28 minutes ago

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - First it was the death of Delhi's deputy mayor, who fell after a fight with monkeys on the balcony of his home last month.

Then, 25 residents were bitten, scratched and mauled by a lone monkey which went on the rampage in the capital last weekend.

The monkey reportedly tried to snatch several infants before being beaten back by residents armed with sticks and metal bars.

"Primal Invasion" read the headline in the Hindustan Times.

Authorities are struggling to contain primates that are stubbornly resisting efforts to portray New Delhi as a modern, clean and globalize capital.

The city of 14 million people is growing quickly and experts say monkeys are increasingly being forced out of forests to lead urban lives, putting them on a collision course with humans.

It is a pattern seen across India as the economy booms. Elephants, leopards and tigers are also coming face to face with man as cities sprawl into their former habitats.

Monkeys are a regular sight in New Delhi. They can be seen in groups climbing outside government ministries. Troupes lounge on pavements, oblivious to the chaotic traffic around them.

But culling monkeys has never been an option as many Hindus worship the monkey god Hanuman, seen as a symbol of strength, perseverance and devotion. And when Delhi tried to shift them out of the city, neighboring states complained.

Faced with what many saw as a monkey plague on homes, offices and ministries, this year city authorities started to capture and send them to a sanctuary on Delhi's outskirts.

Delhi government officials say they have caught and relocated around 1,900 monkeys. While there is no census of monkey numbers, officials say thousands still live on the city's streets.


But a spate of high-profile monkey attacks has made headlines and increased public pressure for the government to act quicker.

"The latest attack was unprecedented," said J.K. Dadoo, environment and forest secretary in the Delhi government. "Monkeys normally operate in groups."

Experts say there is a growing pattern of lone attacks that may highlight the random way authorities are trying to reduce the monkey population in the city.

"Incidents of lone monkey attacks were almost unknown until recently," said Sonya Ghose, founder of Citizens for the Welfare and Protection of Animals and a member of an enforcement panel overseeing the monkey relocation campaign.

"I fear that monkeys are being trapped in a haphazard manner. Monkey catchers are breaking up troupes of monkey families, leaving some monkeys alone without their families."

"Then they have nothing to lose and turn aggressive."

Last year, the Delhi Metro train service hired a larger langur monkey to frighten off smaller creatures after a monkey boarded a train and scared passengers by scowling at them for three stops.

Another langur is on the government payroll to scare off monkeys from Delhi's top federal government offices.

This year, a monkey sneaked into New Delhi's international airport, forcing the partial closure of the lounge for more than an hour as it scampered through the international departures area.

Dadoo said the problem was that some people fed monkeys on Tuesdays and Saturdays, seen as auspicious days for the animals.

"That is when we have most cases of monkey attacks, when people try to feed them," he said.

Ghose said she suspected monkey catchers -- often villagers from outside Delhi who are paid 450 rupees ($11.5) a monkey -- sometimes snatched monkeys in nearby forests and claimed they were caught in the city.

The Delhi residents terrorized at the weekend said the monkey attack was a terrifying experience.

"I thought it was a man at first," Manohar, one of the residents, was quoted as saying in the Times of India.

"It got hold of my son's leg and was carrying him away but I managed to snatch him back."

(Additional reporting by Onkar Pandey; editing by Y.P. Rajesh)

Monday, November 12, 2007


do you know your world news?
does politics and international relations tickle your fancy?
are you a geographer?

where would you say there are political hotspots to watch out for?

today we discussed Pakistan and the state of emergency which General Musharraf has put in place... why?

any other potential hotspots in the world? places that could effect all of us if things went wrong?

AND what about ecological hotspots? perhaps the Amazon Rain forest?

OR how about environmental hotspots? like the ever growing economy of China or India using up resources?

OR countries like America and Australia who refuse to sign the Kyoto Protocol and continue to dispute global warming and the perils of carbon emissions?

please post intelligent justified opinions with references if needed.

the great paddle hunt

the great kayak hunt has begun - i have an average kayak [not yet tried out on water]- but i need a paddle and a life jacket and maybe a spray skirt...
if anyone knows of any second hand stuff for sale let me know please.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Jandal Day

National jandal day for surf lifesavers
New 5:00PM Wednesday November 07, 2007

Photo / Sylvie Whinray
New Zealanders are being urged to show how they can handle the jandal next month on an appeal day for Surf Life Saving New Zealand.

Kiwis from all walks of life are being encouraged to don jandals on December 7 to support the nationwide street collection for the voluntary organisation.

Surf Life Saving spokesman Geoff Barry said it would be the first time the group had held a national fundraising day and hoped it would become an annual event.

"New Zealand has a drowning rate twice that per capita of Australia, so we need to be doing so much more like increasing public education, expanding our services to increase our beach access and meeting the demand for more equipment and training for our lifeguards."

The national Jandal Day is a joint initiative between Surf Life Saving New Zealand and wine range, Bach 22.


Sunday, November 04, 2007

any jobs you fancy?

when i was your age i really wanted to be a wildlife documentary maker and primatologist/zoologist. i was fascinated by the natural world, particularly animals, and i enjoyed wildlife docos on tv. i learnt a lot from being interested and just observing or finding out for myself through books, etc. we had no computers and the internet didn't exist.
sadly i never really pursued it because i didn't really get encouraged to follow my passion. advice was given with the best intentions, and it made sense in many ways, but it was to follow things i had no interest in. the down side of that was that i spent at least a decade of my adult life farting around doing jobs i didn't like until i eventually got the courage to study things i liked at uni and found myself doing this cool job. however, i would rather have been a film maker cartoonist zoologist.
what are your passions and interests that might lead to a career? remember, you will and can change what you do as you go through life. your future will hold many amazing possibilities - there are already so many more things you can do than were possible when i was growing up. the world is your oyster! listen to your heart and dare to dream 8>)