Science, Nature and Tech, Toys and Games

Why DO Kids Want to Play Minecraft?

Sitting back, ready for another interesting and rather aggressive night on COD (Call of Duty), I launch my dashboard to see the usual suspects all gathered playing the latest shoot ’em ups.

Except one.  Looking again, I notice my 13-year-old brother Jimbob is playing a game I’ve never seen – MINECRAFT.

After much persuasion and explanation “COME ON BRO, BUY IT PLEASE, YOU BUILD STUFF”,  I decide to purchase it, in order to support him in our mum’s campaign to play online more responsibly.

The game launches and all I see is blocks. Have I got the right game? Where are the graphics?

Wandering mindlessly around, past trees, rivers and spiders, until Harvey Jimbob asks me to come to his house. Here’s the strangest part: he built it.

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Home, Health & Style

Good Relationships – Healthy Relationships – Tips for Kids

Relationships are hard at any age. Remember that we don’t just talk about relationships when we mean a boyfriend or a girlfriend – it’s about how you get on with your parents, your friends and other people important to you.
There are certain basic ideas that are important to developing good relationships; you master these and life suddenly becomes a lot less stressful! Alice Hoyle has some ideas that may help you have better relationships with the people in your life.

 

Communication

Communication is the most important aspect of any relationship. Sharing things with people in your life is important. We do this mostly by speaking and listening. It is important to share how you feel about things and to listen and try to understand how others feel about things (this is called empathy).

How good are you at both talking AND listening? If you favour doing only one of them in a relationship then this isn’t as balanced as it could be- you probably need to work on doing both and so should the other person.

Also sometimes people might say something but their body language (how someone uses their body or their facial expression) maybe saying something different. Take some time to consider what is your body language saying when you talk? What is their body language saying? Do you make eye contact when you talk?

A key to successful communication is to use “I” statements instead of “you” statements- eg. “I feel sad when you call me silly” is better than “You calling me silly makes me sad” because the second one can put the person on the defensive straight away and the conversation can go badly after that.

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Written By You

The Adventures of Cha Cha the Dragon – Part 2

Following on from Iona’s wonderful story of Cha Cha the Dragon, here is Part 2

 

Once upon a time, in deepest China, there lived a man named Li-Wang. Li- Wang was getting on in years. His wife and son had both died in childbirth, and he had only his beautiful daughter to comfort him and to keep him company. It was widely said that the daughter of Li-Wang could be no mortal being, but was an angel, sent straight from the Gods as a token of their grace and kindness. However, Li-Wang, poor man rarely ever got to see his beautiful daughter, for Li-Wang was a builder, and his latest line of employment was on The Great Wall of China Teapots.

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Science, Nature and Tech

What is a Stick Bomb?

11-year-old Andre Jefferson explained stick bombs as being, ‘a kinetic chain reaction that is weaved together with jumbo popsicle sticks, that creates tension, and when you take one of the sticks out, it releases potential energy and makes it pop up about this high’.
If you are thinking ‘What?’ then watch the rest of his TEDx talk to find out what a ‘Stick bomb’ is and what makes them jump. 

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Language & Literature

Where Does the Word Candidate Come From?

Today is election day in UK, when the citizens of the country choose their new government. You can read all about how the elections work here. You wouldn’t think that dress codes of ancient Rome would affect the elections of today, but they do! Millie Slavidou explains.

Today is a good day to think about the word ‘candidate’. I rather like the etymology of this one.

It comes from Latin candidus, which is the past participle* of candidare, which meant ‘to make white, to make bright’.

Not because of whitewashing whatever the candidates might have said or done! It was because in ancient Rome candidates who wanted to be elected either to the Senate or any other office wore white robes.

If we take it one step further back, to a root meaning ‘white, shining’, we find that ‘candle’ is a cognate.**

 

*Past Particle

The past particle is the past form of the verb that can also be used as an adjective, like “a fallen tree”. In the case above, the adjective is like saying ‘whitened’ in English. Other examples of past particles are:

verb: bite
past particle: bitten
example: a bitten apple

verb: choose
past particle: chosen
example: aa chosen present

verb: crash
past particle: crashed
example: a crashed bicycle

 

**Cognates

A cognate is a distant relative, a word ultimately from the same root. Like a third cousin. Here are some examples of cognates.

 

14126405243_c179f6f9b8_qBook is related to beech. Well, actually, book means beech! Both come from Germanic word meaning beech tree, Buche.

Germanic runes were originally inscribed on tablets made of beech wood. Modern German for book is Buch!

 

2400500463_67988839f0_qWOOL and FLANNEL are distant cognates.  Today, fashion stores often describe plaid shirts as ‘flannel’, but it is actually a soft woven fabric, originally made of wool, but now often cotton or synthetic. You might have a flannel pyjamas, which are lovely and cosy in the winter!
The word wool is from a Proto Indo European root *wele meaning ‘wool’.
 In Welsh, the word gwlanen, means ‘wool’ and is from the same root. The word flannel comes from the woollen vests that were made, presumably by Welsh traders from Welsh sheep –  Gwlanen became fwlanen, and then flannel. So wool and flannel are distant cousins!

 

5556105449_ebe9616b47_q 14322245779_00c3428d73_qToday’s featured image is Marasmiellus candidus, a type of mushroom. You will often find the word ‘candidus’ used in botany or biology to describe something that is white, such as crocus candidus or the white woodpecker Melanerpes Candidus. There is even a white monkey called Propithecus candidus. 

Crocus Image

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