Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Sometimes do you think of yourself at your kid's age, and think about how innocent/naive/childlike you were way (way, way) back then compared to what your kids are like today. And my eldest is 10. I can only imagine (shudder) teenagers. Maybe my parents hit paydirt with me, I'm sure I was one of the most geekiest, uncool 16 year olds out there. Thank god for my gorgeous cool friends with cars and boys hanging around (hello Katie/Ann/Becs/Sheree). I still shudder about some of the a) outfits, b) hairstyles, c) boy experiences of my youth. I'm shuddering as I write this in fact. Maybe one day I will subject you to an outing of my most horrific teenage moments. In the mean time I will keep them in the Memory Bank of Shame.
So where is this going again?
So often when I'm driving I have lots of boys in the car. And it tickles me pink how blimmin witty these kids are. We had a hilarious game of "20 questions" the other day with Tony Abbott (Australian Leader of the Opposition for you non-Australian Peeps) the person we needed to identify. These kids are 10. And fountains of knowledge too...I have my own Google, he is 10 and my baby. When I get a sticky question from one of the others, I almost always say "ask Will, he'll know" and he almost always does. The other day I had two big kids in the car and it was poetry in motion. They were having a serious discussion about polar bears and how all polar bears are left handed. What the...?
It's a sad day, when I need to slink off to my blog to find out whether what my son says is true. Actually make that a fabulous day when I need to do that!
So what do I know about polar bears (otherwise known as Ursus maritimus)?
The polar bear or the sea/ice bear are the world's largest land predators. They can be found in the Artic, the U.S. (Alaska), Canada, Russia, Denmark (Greenland), and Norway. Each of these countries either banned hunting or established rules for how many polar bears could be hunted within its own boundaries. These rules help keep polar bear populations stable. Today, 25,000 to 40,000 polar bears roam the Arctic.
They are very strong swimmers, and their large front paws, which they use to paddle, are slightly webbed. Some polar bears have been seen swimming hundreds of miles from land, though they probably cover most of that distance by floating on sheets of ice.
Polar bears live in one of the planet's coldest environments and depend on a thick coat of insulated fur, which covers a warming layer of fat. Fur even grows on the bottom of their paws, which protects against cold surfaces and provides a good grip on ice. The bear's stark white coat provides camouflage in surrounding snow and ice. But under their fur, polar bears have black skin—the better to soak in the sun's warming rays.
They are solitary animals, with bodies designed to handle the extremely cold weather. They evolved from brown bears more than 38 million years ago, and now there are 19 species of them known in the world.
Polar Bears give birth to their young on land, but then they spend most of their time in the water. Most people assume that they are mainly land animals but that isn’t true. It is due to the fact that they spend so much time in the water that they are classified as marine mammals.
Whether polar bears are all left handed is widely known and discussed but has not yet been proven by scientists.
But I think that with the electronic games, cartoon characters and other stuff competing for the attention of kid's today, the fact that my son and his friends know this, and are happy to innocently discuss this, is priceless.
Labels: My Year of Self Improvement