Art & History

An Aztec Beauty Regime

Our contributor Dr Corrinne Burns is a chemist (not a person who works in a pharmacy and doles out medicine, but an expert in the science of chemistry). She is an exhibit designer at the Science Museum, London and Guardian columnist.
She was interested in Aztec women’s beauty routines and shares her fascinating report on Jump! Mag for Girls.

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Travel

The Best Urban Beaches

Who else is looking forward to the summer? Whether you call your summer break a ‘vacation’ or a ‘holiday’, there is a good chance that some of you are heading for the beach.
Did you know that around the world there are hundreds of artificial beaches. Some are near the coast, but others are miles away from the seaside – perfect for those who don’t or can’t travel far.

City beaches are sometimes called ‘urban beaches’ like the one above in Cologne, Germany. This can involve the delivery of hundreds of tonnes of sand, to a place where there is no sand.

 

Islands Brygge, Copenhagen, Denmark

 

There is no sand here, but it is an oasis of fun in the middle of the city. For many years, this area was run down and neglected, but after a regeneration project, new life is blossoming. Who wants to jump off this diving board?

 

Festival of Love Beach, South Bank, London UK

This beach is all about relaxing and digging your feet into the sand. No pool (and the chilly Thames is certainly no alternative!) but great views over London, and the South Bank centre often has great activities for kids on offer. Check out their website for details.

 

Paris Plage, France

The capital city of France can get really hot and muggy in the summer months, so what better way than to cool off at an urban beach? Check out the huge showers in the picture!

 

Bundek Lake, Zagreb, Croatia

Lake Bundek

Lake Bundek

In the south of the city of Zagreb, this park was brought back to life after many years of neglect. It is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike, hoping to cool off in the hot Croatian summers.

 

 

Baby Plage, Geneva, Switzerland

BABY-PLAGE-5347-jjkphoto

Baby Plage, Geneva

Baby Plage, Geneva

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This might be the MOST fun urban beach for kids in the world. The huge trees are festooned with old tyres and bicycle tubes, knotted together to create ladders and swings.

 

 

San Alfonso del Mar, Chile

Ok, this is a bit of a cheat, cause it isn’t an urban beach, but it is the biggest swimming pool in the world, so we had to include it! It is 8 hectares, and holds 250 million liters of water. That is equivalent of 6,000 familiar 8m long pools! It is part of a privately owned complex in South America.

 

 

BONUS BEACHES

beach at homeNow, don’t tell your parents that we showed you this, and don’t try it out at home, but how awesome does this look? We can’t help thinking that this would be VERY messy, but it looks so relaxing and fun!

The artist Justin Kemp created home sandbox for under his desk.

 

 

Ocean DomeThis was built in Japan in 1993 – an artificial beach with a retractable roof. It was not commercially successful and closed over 10 years ago. Which is a real shame, because it looks really amazing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Featured Image – Cologne KM689 Beach Bar in Germany

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Toys and Games

What is Geocaching?

 

What is Geocaching?  It’s like a real-life treasure hunt and is a great way to make a walk in the woods just a bit more interesting!

Julianne Robertson explains what it is and how to do it. 

 

What is it?

Players use a handheld GPS device or a smartphone to look for a set of co-ordinates near to wherever they are and find the geocache (or treasure!) hidden at that location.  These are usually a small container of some kind with a logbook and ‘treasure’ inside – this can be anything, like a little toy, some stickers, a badge, a pretty stone – basically anything small enough to fit inside and be worth finding!

 

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Sounds good!  How do I get started?

Go to the website www.geocaching.com and register – it’s free to sign up.  Then you put in your postcode and you should see a list of all the geocaches near to where you live.  Choose one and you’ll get the co-ordinates you need to put into the GPS, as well as a description of the area and clues about how to find the cache.

 

Are geocaches always hidden in the woods?

No – there are geocaches all over the world and they are usually put in places which are important to the person hiding them.  Some are hidden in forest areas, others are in local parks, or city streets – even underwater!  There are also different sizes of geocache and a range of difficulty – you should probably start with one that’s easy, at least to begin with!

 

What do I do when I find one – can I keep the treasure?!

Yes, but you should replace anything you keep with something of equal or greater value.  You should also write about your find in the logbook and when you get home log your experience on the website too, so that others know the cache is still active.

 

 

 

Can I hide my own cache for others to find?

Yes, once you’ve found a few caches you’ll know what makes a good geocache and hiding place, and you might want to create your own!  There are lots of guidelines on the website about how to do it.

 

Now you know about geocaching – go and try it!  It’s a great activity to do with your family or a group of friends.  Once you’ve found one, you’ll want to find more!

 

 

 

Julianne Robertson is a freelance journalist, based in Dundee. Her background is radio news, and she now writes features and reviews, specialising in parenting, faith and religion, events and lifestyle issues.

 

Featured Image

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Art & History

Falconry and the Tudors

Falconry and the Tudors

When you write a book that is set in a particular period of history, it is important to get the details correct. This means that writers of historical fiction have to do a lot of research.
The first scene of Katharine Edgar’s novel, Five Wounds takes place on a hillside in sixteenth century England, where her heroine, Nan, is hoping to see her young merlin falcon make its first kill. Katharine had find out all about falconry and the Tudors – the keeping and training of falcons, and other birds of prey.

When I showed the first scene of Five Wounds to some writing friends, some of them asked a question I wasn’t expecting. ‘How rich is Nan’s family? They live in a big house so why does she need to hunt for food?’

Good question!

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