|Aquila November 2012|
|Copyright (C) BBC|
MEET THE TEAM - YOUR AQUILA GUIDES
VEOLIA ENVIRONNEMENT WILDLIFE OF THE YEAR 2012
THE STORY OF SILK - SCIENCE SCENE
AQUILA PEERS INTO THE PAST AT... CHILD SILK WORKERS
THE STORY OF SILK - THINGS TO MAKE
THE STORY OF SILK - FEATURE
THE STORY OF SILK - PAWS FOR THOUGHT
STORY - AKBAR'S RETURN
READERS LETTERS - OVER TO YOU
NURSE NANCY - STAYING WELL IN WINTER TIME
BRAINFEEDERS QUICK QUIZ ANSWERS
WHO TOLD YOU THAT..
What do you think of when you hear the word 'silk? Do you think of something smooth, soft, luxurious and expensive - or do you think of caterpillars! Thanks to the silkworm moth, whose caterpillars spin their cocoons out of one of nature's strongest materials, we have been harvesting the silk thread to dye and weave into beautiful fabrics for many hundreds of years.
This is the story we tell in this month's topic, while Harvey explains the science behind silk, and Pepe investigates a more eco-friendly way of collecting the thread. Aquila looks back to the days when children worked for long hours and low pay in England's silk mills; there is our usual quick quiz, readers letters and jokes; and we hope you enjoy the story of a brave elephant, told in Akbar's return.
Now that winter is upon us, Nurse Nancy has some advice for staying healthy; and, finally, Pepe has asked me to remind you to be very careful around bonfires and fireworks, and to make sure your pets are safely indoors when fireworks are going off near your house.
Have a sparkling November!
Best wishes from Aquila and the team.
MEET THE TEAM - YOUR AQUILA GUIDES
Aquila the eagle is the team leader and looks after history.
Astra is in charge of space and astronomy.
Calculata is the maths expert.
EB - originally called Envir Badger - deals with the environment and our world.
Harvey is our resident scientist (named after William Harvey).
Kit the kangaroo is sports crazy, and loves anything to do with keeping fit.
Pepe is the Aquila office dog, and conducts features on pets and animals.
Polly Chrome is our artist-in-residence and does all the art and craft pages.
Wordworm is the language specialist.
Other guests pop in from time to time, for example Nurse Nancy with health advice, and Philip and Phoebe the argumentative twins who debate philosophy.
Not all the team appear in every issue.
VEOLIA ENVIRONNEMENT WILDLIFE OF THE YEAR 2012
YOUNG WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHER
Young photographers from the UK have been dominating the prizes in this year’s Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year awards, with two winners and four commended. You can see a selection of their fantastic photographs here, but you’re in for even more of a treat if you can get to the Natural History Museum in London, between now and 3rd March 2013, to see the whole exhibition. A must for all wildlife lovers! And if you don’t make it to the Natural History Museum, don’t worry, as the exhibition will go on tour round the UK and Europe during 2013. Check the website for details: www.nhm.ac.uk
10 YEARS AND UNDER:
WINNER - Bartek Kosinski (Poland) 'DAWN FLIGHT
Bartek spent five days with his father at Milicz Fishponds Nature Reserve, western Poland, photographing the common cranes. These impressive birds – adults have a wingspan of more than two metres – spend a few days on the shore of the shallow lake on their way south to Africa for the winter. Bartek spent every morning and evening taking photographs from the lakeshore hide. On the last dawn, a mist descended and gave the scene a wonderfully mysterious atmosphere. ‘After sunrise,’ says Bartek, ‘we could hardly see the birds. I was using manual focus. So I was very lucky to get them as sharp as this.’
RUNNER-UP - Liina Heikkinen (Finland) 'SQUABBLING JAYS
It was winter in Kouvola, Finland, and Liina set off with her father to their hide to take pictures of birds. ‘It was still completely dark,’ she says, but soon the early morning light revealed a group of around six jays close by. ‘There was a lot of squabbling.’ This was her favourite shot because of the angle of the birds and the way their feathers are spread apart. The low light also helped bring out their beautiful colours.
COMMENDED - Hannah Bedford (UK) 'CAUGHT IN THE ACT
‘There was a commotion in the garden,’ says Hannah, ‘and this was what was causing it.’ The fox had killed all four hens in the chicken run and was in the process of eating one of them. Hannah dashed in to get her camera, and caught the fox still on top of the hen house, mouth full of feathers, frozen in fear at seeing the family of humans. ‘I loved seeing a fox soclose up,’ adds Hannah, ‘but we don’t keep chickens any more.’
WINNER - Owen Hearn (UK) 'FLIGHT PATHS
Harvest time at Owen’s grandparents’ farm draws in the birds of prey to feed on the fleeing small mammals, and it also attracts Owen, with his camera at the ready. ‘Seeing this red kite with an aeroplane in the distance was a moment I couldn’t miss,’ says Owen. The shot is symbolic for him for two reasons. It was taken at the centre of the Bedfordshire site chosen for London’s third airport back in the late 1960s. ‘Opposition to the planned airport stopped it going ahead, which is why I can photograph the wildlife on the farm today.’ At the same time, British red kites also faced extinction following centuries of persecution. But following reintroductions, numbers have increased dramatically, spreading east from the Chilterns.
Joshua Burch (UK) 'BLOOD DONATION
The dragonflies weren’t cooperating. Joshua had borrowed his dad’s macro lens and sat down by the pond in his garden in Surrey to photograph them, but they just weren’t staying still for long enough. Then a very willing subject appeared. This one offered to sit very still indeed – but for a price. ‘I took about 10 pictures of the mosquito, starting with the ‘empty’ stage and ending when it had a full tank,’ says Joshua, who had to take the shot one-handed. ‘It’s a female – they need blood to develop their eggs (males don’t bite). My dad thought I was mad. But I told him that it was all part of the dedication of being a nature photographer, as he so often reminds me. One of the things I really like about photography is that you look at things differently and notice much more around you.’
WINNER - Eve Tucker (UK) 'CITY GULL
Some of the tallest buildings in London surround the docklands at the heart of the business and financial district of Canary Wharf. As Eve walked along the wharf, a bird caught her eye. It was a black-headed gull, of which there are many in the city. But this one was resting on a very remarkable area of water. Eve realised that she was looking at reflections of the straight lines of the nearby office block, distorted into moving swirls. ‘The effect was so unusual – it gave a beautiful setting for an urban wildlife image.’ Like all true photographers, Eve had noticed what others most often fail to see, even when it’s right in front of them.
COMMENDED - Oscar Dewhurst (UK) 'BITTERN IN WINTER
One of Oscar’s favourite photographic subjects is the bittern. And one of his favourite places to photograph it is at the London Wetland Centre, where several of these secretive herons usually overwinter in the reedbeds. They tend to stay tucked among the reeds, searching for fish at the water’s edge and are notoriously well camouflaged and shy. But when the water freezes, they are sometimes forced out onto the ice to look for food. ‘During the very cold winter of 2010,’ says Oscar, ‘there were seven bitterns at the site.’ He explains how he was in the public hide, photographing a bittern close by, when a blizzard started. He was just about to pack up and leave when he saw ‘another bittern suddenly set off across the ice.’ The image ended up being his favourite shot of the day.
Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year is owned by the Natural History Museum and BBC Worldwide.
ANTI-BULLYING WEEK 19-23 November
You probably already know that bullying is something that does happen in schools, but do you realize the devastating effect it can have on schoolwork and the personal lives on those being bullied?
The Anti-Bullying Alliance (ABA) is calling on everybody to get involved in Anti-Bullying Week and to make sure that anyone who is experiencing bullying is aware that they can speak out and will be taken seriously.
The ABA produces a campaign pack for schools as well as tips to help inspire awareness activities during Anti-Bullying Week.
To find out more go to www.anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk
DWARF MONGOOSES AT EDINBURGH ZOO
A group of dwarf mongooses grew by three when they welcomed a trio of new arrivals recently. They are currently just over two months old.
In the wild, dwarf mongooses can be found inhabiting the dry grassland and bush lands of Africa. Small by name and small by size, these little creatures are usually around 16 to 27 centimetres in length and are Africa's smallest carnivore, as well as the smallest of the mongoose species.
THE STORY OF SILK - SCIENCE SCENE
WHERE DOES SILK COME FROM?
The silk moth caterpillar makes its cocoon from silk. It is inside the cocoon that the caterpillar will slowly change into an adult moth. Each cocoon is made from one strand of silk fibre, which may be up to 950 metres long, if carefully unravelled. Because it takes a long time to rear the silk moths and great care is required to get this fibre, silk has always been expensive. Silk has a unique texture; it is very light and smooth to touch, as well as having a very appealing shine. What is so special about the silk fibre that gives silk these properties?
WHAT IS SILK?
Silk is mainly protein, sometimes called fibroin. Proteins are one of the basic building materials of all living things and are biological polymers, very large molecules made up of hundreds of repeating subunits. Plastics like polyethene (carrier bag plastic) are chemical polymers in which all of the subunits are identical.
But proteins are different; they are made up of 20 different units (called amino acids), in almost any order, although the joints between them are all the same.
The strength of the polymer is to do with how strong the bonds are between different chains. In the case of silk, nearly all of the amino acids are quite small ones. This means that the protein chains can pack together tightly. The more tightly or regularly packed the protein molecules, the stronger the forces holding them together. This is what makes silk very strong as well as smooth.
Apart from being used to make beautiful light clothing, silk has been used for many years in parachutes, because of its great strength to weight ratio. A huge area of parachute can be packed into a small space. Silk thread is also used to make sutures (stitches) in surgery.
Spiders make different kinds of silk for different purposes. Spinning a web is one use, of course, but spiders also use silk for making cocoons for eggs and "ballooning". In warm weather some spiders extrude several gossamer threads into the air, which carry them off in the breeze. Spider silk is thinner than silk moth cocoon silk, and stronger, and more elastic: it will stretch a lot before it breaks.
SPIDER SILK CAPE
It isn't easy to collect spider silk, but it can be done. Recently a beautiful cape was woven using silk from Madagascan Golden Orb spiders. These spiders are as big as your hand. It took Simon Peers and Nicholas Godley eight years and about a million spiders to make the cape. The spiders were returned to the forest afterwards. You can learn more about this at:
STRONGER THAN STEEL
Scientists compare the strength of materials by measuring the force required to stretch it until it breaks. Spider silk can be much stronger than steel, comparing fibres of equal mass (up to 20 times). It can also be up to five times stronger than the strongest man-made fibres, such as Kevlar (used in body armour). Its strength and ability to stretch comes from its structure being slightly different from silk moth silk.
SPIDER SILK GENES
Because of its lightness, great strength and toughness, scientists are very interested in using spider silk as a material, but spiders are difficult to work with and they have a tendency to eat each other. New biological methods have recently tackled this problem. Spiders have DNA just like other animals, and it contains the genes that provide the building information for making spider silk. Recently, scientists have been able to extract spider silk genes and put them into other organisms.
The bacterium, Escherichia coli, can be genetically modified with spider silk genes and grown to make spider silk, but not in the form of a fibre. It must first be harvested and then spun into a thin fibre.
Scientists at the University of Wyoming have managed to put the spider silk gene into some silk moths. This special strain of silk moth makes large amounts of silk, like a pure-bred moth, but their Genetically Modified silk is a mixture of normal silk and spider silk and is just as tough as spider silk. This GM silk is expensive, but uses much less energy to make than synthetic "plastic" fibres. There is a BBC news article about this at www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-16399257
DID YOU KNOW?
A strand of the thinnest spider silk long enough to encircle the Earth would weigh only 500 grams (that's as heavy as five apples).
YUMMY FRIED SILKWORM TAKE-AWAY
Silkworms are best known for their silk-producing ability. But silkworm larvae are popular in many East Asian countries for their rich flavour and protein content. Cans of larvae can be found in supermarkets.
AQUILA PEERS INTO THE PAST AT... CHILD SILK WORKERS
by Aquila the eagle
SILK THREAD IS USED FOR EMBROIDERY OR FOR WEAVING SOFT, BEAUTIFUL FABRICS. IT WAS NORMAL FOR MANY BRITISH CHILDREN TO WORK LONG HOURS IN THE SILK INDUSTRY OVER A HUNDRED YEARS AGO.
SILK PRODUCING AREAS
The Spitalfields area of London, and Cheshire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Coventry were important silk-producing areas. Fibres from the silkworm cocoon are processed into silk thread, which can be woven into cloth. Silk cloth was woven on a handloom: a 'shuttle of 'weft thread was pushed in and out of 'warp threads stretched over a frame. Weaving silk required great skill.
Children helped their parents as they wove silk at home. Their parents taught them to weave so they could earn a living. Sometimes children assisted weavers in factories, or in workshops. Some children in workhouses (where very poor people were cared for by their local parish) were set to work winding silk to pay for their upkeep.
William Hutton began working at Lombe's factory in Derbyshire when he was seven. William was too small to reach the machinery, so he wore special overshoes to make him tall enough to work.
Adam Rushton was a farmer's son in Cheshire. But Adam's father lost his farm and the family became very poor. In 1829, when Adam was eight years old, his parents sent him to work in a silk-throwing mill at Macclesfield.
Adam worked as a 'piecer for twelve hours a day: 'a murderous length of time. 'Piecers tied together any silk threads, which broke during the winding process. Adam only stopped work for meal times (one hour and forty minutes for the whole working day). He hated the noise of the factory, and the stifling atmosphere inside. He only earned 6d (in today's money, maybe 20 pounds or so) per week, but his wages helped his family buy food. Adam did not have time to go to school during the week, so he learnt to read and write at Sunday School.
In the 1860s, boys worked as 'loom-turners, turning a wheel to operate a handloom. Twelve-year-old Thomas Eld worked in a silk ribbon factory at Hillfield. He is recorded as saying, 'It is hard work turning a loom . . . I sweat a good deal . . . I earn 3s 3d.
Gerald Massey (born in 1828), was the son of a canal boatman at Tring in Hertfordshire. Gerald learnt to read at a 'penny-school (paying a penny a week for lessons). If no work was available, the family had very little money. When Gerald was eight years old, he started work at a silk factory. Every day he got up at five o'clock in the morning and worked until half-past six at night. Like Adam Rushton, he only earned a few pennies weekly. One night the factory burnt down, and all the children danced around the flames. When Gerald grew up, he became a poet, and campaigned for workers rights.
In the early 1830s, parliament set a minimum age of nine years, and a working day of twelve hours, to protect child workers in cotton factories. In these factories, children breathed in cotton dust, which made them poorly. But silk factory owners said their factories were cleaner than cotton mills, so there was no minimum age for child workers in silk mills. Investigators discovered some children as young as six years old at work.
At last in 1844 a new law said that only children at least eight years old could work in textile factories, including silk mills. Now children under thirteen must attend school for half a day, too. But as late as 1875, 15 per cent of silk factory workers in Britain were children under thirteen years old.
Five years later, compulsory education was introduced for all children under ten. Cheap silk imports from abroad also meant fewer jobs were available. Finally, in the UK, child labour in the silk industry became a thing of the past.
WHAT KINDS OF WORK DID CHILDREN DO?
- 'Reelers unwound the silk moth cocoons to form bundles or 'skeins of 'raw silk.
- 'Winders wound the raw silk thread onto bobbins.
- 'Throwsters or 'twisters strengthened the delicate thread by twisting it.
- 'Doublers twisted together two or more threads to make an even stronger yarn.
- 'Pickers cleaned loose fibres from the warp threads for the weaver.
DID YOU KNOW?
In India today, children still work long hours for poor wages in the silk industry.
TO FIND OUT MORE GO TO:
Silk Industry Museum, Heritage Centre, and Paradise Mill, Macclesfield: www.silkmacclesfield.org.uk
Whitchurch Silk Mill, Hampshire: http://whitchurchsilkmill.org.uk/mill
THE STORY OF SILK - THINGS TO MAKE
CREATING A PICTURE WITH SCREEN PRINTING
Screen printing was first used in China over a thousand years ago. By using simple shape masks on a specially prepared screen, you could make your own unique picture.
YOU WILL NEED:
Voile (semitransparent net curtain fabric) enough to cover your
frame with overlap
A stiff piece of smooth card for squeegee (about 10 cm high)
An old picture frame (A4 is a good size)
Red and green acrylic paint (or any two colours of your choice)
Waterproof PVA glue
Paper to print on
1. Making an empty screen
Cut a piece of voile fabric to fit your frame. Leave a few centimetres overlap.
2. Pin the fabric to the flat edge of the frame using drawing pins. Pull the fabric as tight as you can (see tips below).
MAKING MASK SHAPES
Draw seven petal and two leaf shapes, together with a small circle for the centre of the flower on a piece of thin card and cut out.
HOW IT WORKS
Hold the card squeegee at an angle.
Using the edge of the squeegee pull the paint across the surface of the screen.
The paint is squeezed through the screen on to the paper.
MAKING THE DESIGNED SCREEN AND PRINTING
1. Place the masks on the inside of the screen. Draw around the masks with pencil, and then remove them.
2. Paint all of the fabric screen surrounding the pencil outlined shapes, with thick PVA. Leave overnight to dry.
3. Hold the screen up to the light to check for any tiny holes in the fabric surrounding your shapes (see tips).
4. Replace the leaf masks on the screen and secure with masking tape.
5. To print the flower: Place the screen on the printing paper and squeeze out the red acrylic paint in a row at the top of the screen. It should be about 2 cm thick and look like a long sausage.
6. Wrap masking tape along the length of your card squeegee, to give it extra strength.
7. Line up the bottom of your card squeegee, behind the row of paint and tip the card forwards at an angle. Using both hands, pull the card towards you dragging the paint to the end of the frame (see tips).
8. Lift off the screen carefully, to see your printed design and leave it to dry.
9. Remove the leaf masks and wash the screen carefully to remove the red paint and leave to dry. You could do this over the bath using a shower head.
10. Cut a circle of thin card, making sure it is big enough to cover the flower area on the screen. Secure it with masking tape.
11. Follow steps 5 to 8 again, this time using the green paint or second colour of your choice.
Screen printing is a simple method of making multiple copies, ideal for your Christmas cards.
- When pinning your fabric to the frame, start the pinning in the middle of the frame and stretch outwards towards the corners.
- When applying the PVA glue, you may need a smaller brush when going around your design.
- If there are any gaps in the glue, repaint the screen with more glue avoiding the pencil outlined shapes and leave to dry thoroughly.
- Craft PVA glue is fine if you want to do just one colour. The glue must be waterproof if you are going to wash your screen.
- If there are gaps in the paint, push it back to the top and repeat step 7.
- You could use leaves as a template, or any other object that you like, which can be drawn around easily and cut from thin card.
THE STORY OF SILK - FEATURE
GODDESS OF SILKWORMS! EVER HEARD OF HER? WELL, IT IS SI LING-CHI, CHIEF WIFE OF THE CHINESE YELLOW EMPEROR, WHO LIVED AROUND 3,000 BC.
One story is that Si Ling-chi happened to be walking under a mulberry tree in her garden, when out of curiosity she picked a white cocoon from its leaf and later accidently dropped it into her tea. Can you imagine her amazement when she discovered she could pull a continuous long thread from it?
AN IMPORTANT SECRET
Si Ling-chi and others not only learned to rear the silkworms but discovered how to reel the thread and weave it into silk. The production of silk (known as sericulture) was so important to the Chinese that the women of every family were made responsible for producing silk, even empresses and princesses! During several periods in Chinese history, taxes were payable in silk. This meant that a family's fortune often depended on women's skill and hard work in sericulture. The secret of silk production was known by practically every household in China, but it was kept from the rest of the world for 2,000 years.
WHO COULD WEAR SILK?
After silk was first discovered, only the emperor, his close relatives and the very highest of dignitaries could use it. It is believed that the emperor wore a white silk robe within the palace and a yellow silk robe while outside, along with his principal wife and heir. Yellow signified the colour of the earth. Gradually the various classes of society began to wear tunics of silk.
SILK USE IN INDUSTRY AND CURRENCY
Finally, it began to be used for industrial purposes: musical instruments, fishing-lines, bowstrings and the world's first luxury paper. During the Han dynasty, and later the Tang dynasty, silk was not merely an industrial material but became very valuable. Values were calculated in lengths of silk as they had been calculated in amounts of gold. It soon became a currency used in trade in foreign countries.
THE SILK ROAD
For thousands of years, traders and travellers journeyed to and from East Asia, the Middle East and Europe on ancient routes through some of the most difficult landscapes stretching 4,000 miles. This journey came to be known as the 'Silk Road. The route actually existed much earlier than the trade in silk. The earliest trade was in rock salt mined in Afghanistan, essential to preserving meat.
While sericulture reached Korea around 200 BC with the arrival of waves of Chinese immigrants, it didn't reached Europe until around the thirteenth century.
SILK IN BRITAIN
In 1608, King James 1st had a large number of mulberry trees planted on what is now the garden of Buckingham Palace in an attempt to create a homespun English silk industry. He was extremely fond of silk clothes, which were an expensive luxury of the day. Unfortunately he chose the wrong kind of tree and the silkworms weren't interested. But, by the early 1620s silk production was established in Britain and machinery was developed for the spinning of silk giving rise to silk production mills in the early 1700s.
Spiders and even centipedes produce silk, but the silk that we use in textiles comes most commonly from the moth Bombyx mori. It has been domesticated for so long that it probably no longer survives in the wild. The blind Bombyx mori moth has lost its power to fly and is only capable of mating and producing eggs for the next generation of silk producers. The female moth lays 500 or more eggs in four to six days and then dies soon after.
EGGS, WORMS AND COCOONS
The production of silk is a long process and needs many workers. The eggs have to be kept at the perfect temperature till they hatch. The baby worms are fed day and night on fresh mulberry leaves until they multiply in weight. The silkworms feed until they have stored up enough energy to enter the cocoon stage. The worms produce a jelly like substance in their silk glands, which hardens when in contact with air. They spend three or four days spinning a cocoon around themselves and look like puffy white balls.
After eight or nine days in a warm, dry place the cocoons are ready to be unwound. First they are steamed or baked to kill the pupae. The cocoons are then dipped into hot water to loosen the tightly woven filaments, which are wound on to a spool. Between five and eight of these super-fine filaments are twisted together to make a single thread.
WHY SILK IS SO POPULAR
The beauty of silk is that it is the softest, lightest and most breathable natural fabric. It is hypoallergenic as no chemicals are used in its production and is resistant to mould, fungus and dust mites. It is versatile and can be used in summer or winter, as it feels cool to the touch in summer and warm in winter. Silk thread can be dyed into different colours and woven into the most exotic designs. Today we can all enjoy the luxury of silk, which once was only used by emperors.
Did you know?
Around the years 2697-2597 BC, writing was developed in China, inspired by the patterns of bird tracks in the sand? Paper was originally made from scraps of silk and plant fibres. So the early silk paintings and first written communications appeared on this material.
(Answers at end of magazine)
1. WHICH YEAR WAS THE GUNPOWDER PLOT?
2. WHAT IS THE OTHER NAME GUY FAWKES IS CALLED?
a. Guido Fawkes
b. Gareth Fawkes
c. Garcia Fawkes
3. WHAT IS A ROMAN CANDLE?
a. A candle made only in Rome
b. A firework
c. A candle found in a Catholic church
4. IN WHICH COUNTRY IS THERE A CELEBRATION IN NOVEMBER KNOWN AS THANKSGIVING?
5. WHAT MEAT IS USUALLY EATEN AT A THANKSGIVING MEAL?
6. SILK IS USED TO MAKE SOME BOWSTRINGS.
True or false?
7. WHO WERE THE FIRST PEOPLE IN CHINA TO WEAR SILK CLOTHES?
a. The silk factory workers
b. Foreign travellers
c. Chinese emperors
8. WHAT WAS A 'PENNY-SCHOOL IN THE 1800S?
a. A school which charged a penny a week for its lessons
b. A place where children helped to make pennies
c. A place where pennies were collected for poor school children
9. HOW MANY HOURS A DAY DID CHILDREN WORK IN FACTORIES IN THE EARLY 1830S?
a. Six hours
b. Twelve hours
c. Sixteen hours
10. SILK HAS BEEN USED TO MAKE PARACHUTES IN THE PAST.
True or False?
11. THE FIRST EPISODE OF DOCTOR WHO WAS TELEVISED ON NOVEMBER 23, BUT IN WHICH YEAR?
12. WHAT IS SPECIAL ABOUT NOVEMBER 11? IS IT
a. St Andrew's Day in Scotland?
b. Remembrance Day?
c. Comic Relief Day?
(Answers at end of magazine)
THE STORY OF SILK - PAWS FOR THOUGHT
by Pepe the dog
NOT HAVING MET A SINGLE SILKWORM IN MY LIFE I HAD TO ASK A FRIEND OF MINE TO TELL ME ALL ABOUT THEM, AND I FOUND IT FASCINATING. IT IS CERTAINLY GREAT NEWS ABOUT THE PEACE SILKWORM, AS YOU WILL FIND OUT IF YOU READ ON.
When silkworms are born, they learn quickly to eat their greens, gobbling up mulberry leaves to make themselves big and strong! After 35 days of munching and chewing happily, it is time for metamorphosis - this means they turn from a worm into a moth!
For the change to happen they need to build a silk cocoon, so they start work by pushing liquid silk out through their heads. This solidifies when it comes into contact with air. It takes the busy, hard-working worm about two or three days to spin one mile of silk. More than enough to make a cocoon in which he or she can sleep while the change happens.
Just imagine how exciting that must be . . . going to bed thinking that in the morning you will be a beautiful moth! But what if the morning never arrives?
KILLING THE WORM
There is a dark side. In the production of ordinary silk, these hard-working little creatures never get to wake up from their slumber. Their cocoon is dipped into boiling water by silk farmers, which kills the worm and enables people to use the silk cocoon to make fine garments.
PEACE SILK IS WORM-FRIENDLY
Don't despair because there is a better way! Eri, known as 'peace, silkworms, make their cocoons in the same way, but their cocoons are open ended. This means, when they are ready to hatch, the moths crawl out safely. The farmer doesn't collect the cocoons until the moths have abandoned them, so the worms turn into big moths. They have a combined wingspan of up to 15 centimetres! They are free to fly away and have little baby worms of their own!
The 'peace silk produced by these worms is considered to be eco-friendly and is gaining popularity worldwide as an ethical alternative to traditional silk. Peace silk has a cottony texture but can also be soft and shiny. It has a long history of use in the developing countries where it has traditionally been made. In India it is commonly used for bed sheets, curtains, shawls and jackets.
Did you know?
Eri, or peace, silkworms feed on castor plant leaves, not mulberry leaves.
They originate from India, China and Japan.
Peace silk is darker and heavier than other silks.
It keeps you warm in winter and cool in summer.
In 2007/8 India produced 1530 tonnes of peace silk.
Q. What do silk moths study in school?
STORY - AKBAR'S RETURN
BY J. D. CHANEY
"This elephant was not meant for work," complained Suresh, the mahout (elephant trainer). Hopping off the giant beast, he shook his head in disgust. He looked over at his son, Arjun, whose eyes clearly pitied the elephant.
"I'm sure he will work out father. I think it's just that ... that you don't have to hit him so hard with the stick."
Suresh took the boy by his shoulders. "Look around you Arjun. The men here in the forest rely on these beasts for their livelihood. They spend hours every day chopping down these gigantic rosewood trees, but without the elephants to lift and carry them to the villages ..."
"I know but..." Arjun began to interrupt, but his father ignored him.
"Our tradesmen make musical instruments and furniture from these trees, without them they would starve. I'm afraid Akbar is the type of elephant that will never learn. I've worked with him for a year now, but he resists doing even simple tasks. Tomorrow I will talk with the foreman, and suggest he be returned deep within the forest."
"But father," Arjun protested, but his father cut him off.
"It's no good Arjun. Perhaps he will be accepted by another group of elephants and live out his life far from here. Meanwhile, let me see if he will at least obey the simplest of commands."
He turned his attention to the elephant.
"Head, head, head," he ordered, hoping the elephant would lower his head in an attempt to scoop up the heavy trees. But the elephant did nothing. In fact all he did was to turn his tortured face towards the boy where he seemed to be looking for help.
The boy guessed his age at about five years and remembered that same look of terror in his eyes when the elephant was first captured. His father had been abrupt with him from the very start, hitting him hard on the left flank to make him turn direction, and then repeating the process on his right side.
A high-pitched screech of pain echoed from Akbar, clearly unsure of what was happening. The mahout began yelling at the elephant, repeatedly having the elephant watch as others of his kind reached down at the fallen trees, cradling them delicately between their tusks and trunk. "Now let's try it again!"
But as Arjun's father gave the command again, the animal suddenly backed away from his task, prompting his father to take a stick to the elephant's forehead. "Lower your trunk, Akbar, NOW!"
It appeared that even beating the elephant would be useless as he defiantly locked his knees and curled his trunk into his mouth. "That's it," Suresh shouted. "Tomorrow, back to the forest you go, you lazy animal!"
Arjun waited as his father dismounted before approaching him. "Father, do you think I might be the one to take Akbar back into the forest? After all, you've trained me well. I am almost fifteen and soon will be a mahout myself."
Suresh sighed deeply. "Alright, take him into the forest tomorrow, then return before noon. The foreman told me he has a new elephant that we will be breaking in then."
The following morning, Arjun began his two-hour trek into the jungle, his body bobbing up and down with every step the elephant took. He sensed it knew that something different awaited him.
"I'm sorry that we have to let you go Akbar. I know how ruthless my father was with you. I wish he'd let me handle you but..." His voice faded as he heard the sounds of other elephants gathered in some deep vegetation at a nearby creek. "Stop Akbar." The elephant did as he was told, then lowered his head, allowing the boy to dismount. Arjun nuzzled up to Akbar, stroking his trunk. "Good luck my friend. I hope you'll be happy in the wild."
A moment later Arjun was gone, jogging through the jungle and back to the worksite, his heart heavy with sadness.
Two years went by, and Arjun was now a professional mahout just like his father. They worked hard from sun-up to sundown, directing their elephants to lift logs that weighed over 450 kilograms. But, occasionally, while sitting in the shade drinking tea, the boy would catch sight of an elephant off in the distance, watching them. This made him smile, for he knew it was Akbar. These sightings would only last for a few minutes before Akbar disappeared into the jungle. "I miss you too," Arjun would always mutter to himself.
Later, as the monsoon season was fast approaching, the last days of work were hurried. Finally the morning arrived when several mahouts would drive the elephants up into the highlands for the season, to keep them safe. The villagers themselves lived just on the outskirts of the jungle, in small thatched huts that ringed the forested area.
When all the work was completed, the village planned on having a celebration, but the rains were attacking them even more intensely than ever. Flood waters, mixing with high winds, swept through the village forcing the villagers to dig a series of canals to redirect the water. But this proved useless. This season's monsoons were the worst they'd had in years. Numbers of people were gathering their belongings and heading for the eight-hour march to the highlands to join the elephants.
Arjun and his father remained sealed up in their hut. "This will pass, boy." But the worried look on his father's face showed otherwise. The winds howled so loudly Arjun had to yell at the top of his lungs to make himself heard.
"Father, I think we must go with the others."
"No we're staying ... or, at least, I must stay," he added. "Your late mother and I built this hut together and I could never leave it. But perhaps you should go." He bent over grabbing a family photo, which had hung over his bed. He'd made his decision. "Here, take this and go."
Arjun knew it was useless to argue with his father. He nodded, and then embraced him. "I'll be back the moment it's over, father. Please take care of yourself." Reluctantly, he stepped outside.
Looking down, he noticed the water enveloping his feet and ankles. Whipping winds tore at his face and clothes forcing him to bend low in the storm. Wading through the water, he'd only got twenty feet from his home when he heard a loud crash directly behind him. Turning around a look of horror etched his face. A fifty-foot sandalwood tree had been completely uprooted and fell directly on to their family hut.
"Papa," he cried. The tiny hut was completely crushed. The roof had splintered into hundreds of pieces exposing his father, lying trapped under the fallen tree. He lay on his back, his legs unable to move. Immediately Arjun attempted to lift the tree, but failed - the tree was just too heavy.
Again and again, he strained, but the tree wouldn't budge. Frantically, he looked around the village for help, but everyone had already gone to high dry ground. Rains continued to pour into the now flattened house and water had risen to a dangerous level. The boy cradled his father in his arms and bundling up an old rug he'd found, he lifted his father's head above the pooling water. But the boy knew the rising water levels would mean disaster for his father.
In desperation he looked in every direction for an answer. And it was when his eyes met the forest that an idea came to him. "Hold on father, I’ll be back as soon as I can.” Without waiting for a reply, off he went, forcing his way through the flooded village and into thejungle – looking for Akbar.
After twenty minutes of pushing his way through the heavy foliage, he came to a clearing and there Akbar stood, calmly seeking shelterunder a large heavily branched tree. His ears were flapping wildly in the penetrating winds and he was looking directly at Arjun. “Do youremember me Akbar?” asked Arjun tentatively as the giant elephant’s eyes narrowed. In answer, Akbar slowly raised his trunk and movedit alongside Arjun. He’s smelling me, the boy told himself.
“Yes, Akbar, yes it is me Arjun and I need your help. Only your strength can help us now.” Standing on his tiptoes Arjun tapped the elephant on the forehead. “Down,” he commanded. The elephant responded immediately, allowing Arjun to climb atop him. Then came another tap on his right flank. “Go Akbar.” The elephant turned and it didn’t seem too long before they entered the flooded village.Arjun prayed that the waters had not risen any higher than when he’d left. Otherwise his father … he dare not think any further.
Trudging through the waters, Arjun leaned low on the elephant trying his best to avoid the howling winds. At last they reached the ruins of the family hut. The boy saw that the rising water level had reached his father’s neck and was climbing higher. The elephant stoppedabruptly, quickly recognizing the mahout who had mistreated him for nearly a year. Lifting his trunk the elephant trumpeted excitedly then began backing away.
“No Akbar, no,” pleaded the boy. “My father is trapped under the tree, please help him.”
Akbar halted, his eyes riveted on the mahout. He inched forward to where he stood directly over him. But Suresh lay unconscious,unaware of the elephant’s presence. Arjun stretched forwards and tapped Akbar’s jaw. “Lift Akbar. You must lift the tree. I know you can do it.”
Precious seconds drifted by before the giant head swooped down, his tusks pointing in the right direction. Carefully he placed them under the water-logged tree, inches from the mahout’s chest. With the tree firmly held between trunk and tusks he lifted it slowly, moving the half-ton tree off Suresh successfully and placing it outside the ruined hut where the flowing waters escorted it down stream.
“Good boy, Akbar,” cried Arjun, leaping off the elephant and scrambling to his father.
“Father, can you hear me?” He placed his hand on his father’s face. Suresh remained motionless, his eyes closed. Arjun shook his father’s shoulders. “Please father, please, please wake up!”
Slowly, Arjun’s father began to regain consciousness, opening one eye. As he focused on what was around him, he let out a panicky sound. Staring down at him was the elephant he knew as Akbar. “Uh … uh … keep him away from me,” he shuddered. “He might try to…”
“You’re perfectly safe father,” Arjun reassured him. “It was Akbar who saved your life. He lifted a tree which had broken our roof and pinned you down.”
Wincing in pain, Suresh brought himself up on one elbow. “Akbar? How would he know the commands?”
“I told you Akbar was intelligent,” Arjun explained. “It was your methods he didn’t like. I gave him the commands and he knew exactly what to do, even after two years.”
Rising to his feet, Suresh shuffled unsteadily over to Akbar, who appeared to stiffen. Arjun watched as his father studied the animal.
“When you took him to the forest did you notice if he tried to mix with any of the other elephants out there?”
“No father, I don’t think he did. When I occasionally saw him, he would be standing alone just beyond the clearing watching us work. I think this is really where he wants to be.”
The older mahout put his hand to his chin, clearly in thought. The rains had suddenly stopped and a sliver of sunlight had broken through. “You know boy, I think you may be right. When things settle after the rainy season I will go to the foreman and tell him Akbar is ready to be a worker.” Arjun couldn’t believe his ears.
“However,” his father went on, “he is going to need an experienced mahout who can control Akbar and perhaps help us rebuild our humble home.” He turned to his son and with a wide smile and added, “I don’t suppose you would know of anyone?”
READERS LETTERS - OVER TO YOU
Email email@example.com or write to:
AQUILA Over to you Studio 2 67A Willowfield Road Eastbourne East Sussex BN22 8AP
It's so great to receive my own copies of your magazine, no borrowing from the school library! This magazine is perfect for me because you write about very interesting things and because you publish kids letters and help to find friends with similar hobbies.
I like puzzles and enjoy projects to create something new. It can be writing stories, making videos and designing stuff. I am doing a big research project now, which is about the mind in humans and machines. There are so many amazing facts and mysteries about the mind, Dad and I love talking about it all the time. From Maria Sipols
PS. I am 101/2, live in London and I love art, science, sports and music.
In response to Bryn Mollet (September issue), I love birds too and my favourite one is the peregrine falcon. It's the fastest 'animal in the world and can reach speeds of 242mph in a full stoop (the downwards flight it uses to catch its prey). I enjoy reading, does anybody else? I recommend 'The Last Dragon Chronicles by Chris d'Lacey. I also love animals and I am thinking of working for the RSPB or the RSPCA one day. Your magazine is BRILLIANT! I've been getting it for about four years now. I have a VERY greedy pet shubunkin (colour variety of goldfish) called Winner. I'm calling my next three Podium, Silver and Bronze! I play the piano and the recorder. From Lucy Snowdon, age 81/2
I live with my mum, dad, sister and my dog. I play the flute and the piano. I have only been getting AQUILA for a year but I already love it! My favourite animals are golden retrievers. In the summer holidays I went to Turkey and stayed with a lady called Pauline who took in stray dogs and cats and gave them names! One of the dogs was found on the road in a sack. They were called: Bran, Watson, Holmes and Max (dogs) and Gremlin, Teacat, Mrs Thatcher and Blackadder (cats). Pauline takes them to the vet and cares for them. She makes sure that they are all healthy and loved. From Cecily Foggitt
PS Please could you do an issue on music?
I like your magazine a lot. I drew some pictures for you of Polly Chrome, Pepe and Aquila. Can you do something about the Stone Age please? From Shara Samara, age 10
We hope you enjoyed our September issue, which was all about the Stone Age.
I have been reading AQUILA for about six months and I love them! In September's magazine I have noticed something very odd. It does not have anything about Stig of the Dump and he was a caveman. Never mind. From Elena Graziano, age 11
Thank you for reminding us about a fantastic story which is well worth reading. Anyone who hasn't already read it, should be able to find Stig of the Dump, by Clive King, in the library.
I really enjoy doing origami, so I bought a book called Easy Origami. It also has lots of hard ones too! (PHOTO) Here are some I can make: pinwheel, penguin, lantern, sailboat, tall cap and piano. Could you feature origami so that readers can learn some folding skills. I love cycling, swimming, running and tennis and of course AQUILA. From Jodie Cheetham
Your magazine is awesome! It's so much better than all those girly, gossip magazines. On the 2nd of January 2012 I set off for a three-month trip to South Africa. I think my trip there was amazing. I loved the scorching hot weather (it was summer) and I loved having a chance to go swimming every day. Another brill thing about it was school. The name of the school I went to was Nongoma Primary School. It was an English-speaking school for Zulu-speaking children to get better at English. The work at the school was too easy for me and the grammar was very bad, but even if there were boring lessons the playtimes were even more fun than the English playtimes. At break we would munch on food from the snack shop, whilst playing a wide variety of games. The downside of South Africa was 1) frogs (which since going to South Africa I am very scared of) would hop into my room. 2) the food wasn't very good. 3) the water was hardly running. 4) church was in Zulu not English. Apart from that I really liked South Africa.
I've noticed that in most letters people talk about their pets. Unfortunately, I do not have a pet, but I am soon going to get a kitten. I can't wait! I may not have a pet but I sure do love animals. My favourites are cheetahs, tigers, pandas and kittens. They are all so cute and clever.
In reply to Joshua Kinderman (July/August issue), I LOVE Tintin comics, but am not as keen on Asterix. In reply to Chloe Kinderman (same issue) I draw manga. My friend just taught me how to. My favourite pages of AQUILA are Ian, Brainfeeders and Over to you. My interests are reading, writing, drawing, playing Moshi Monsters, listening to music and reading AQUILA. When I am older I would like to be a lawyer, a zoologist or a singer. Does anybody else want to be one of those? Does anybody enjoy singing? I really do. From Jessica Catgill Thompson, age 9
PS. Could you please do an issue on Ancient Egypt?
I have been longing to write to you for ages, but I have never had enough courage to write in, so there is quite a lot I need to tell you. Firstly, I absolutely love your magazine, and it encourages me to carry out lots of experiments. Also, in response to Hope (April issue), I really, really like your poems, especially your poem 'Mummy's Dog Jetson. As well, in response to Jane Ambler (same issue), I really enjoyed reading your poem, I'm also against animal testing, and I loved your painting of a cheetah! In response to Caitlin Cox (July/August issue), I'm learning French and also I'm so jealous! You camped in the Sahara Desert! Lucky! I learn a lot from AQUILA, and in my opinion, it's much, much better than all the other magazines. My favourite parts of AQUILA are Brainfeeders to test my brain, Aquila peers into the past, to see how things used to be before, Over to you to see other people's opinions of AQUILA and Kit's page because I adore sport and I'd do anything to try out new sports. Here is a poem I wrote, I hope you like it.
Down in the Jungle
Down in the jungle,
Where trees and bushes grow,
There are lots of animals and wildlife,
where blue waterfalls flow.
Down in the jungle
Everything's quiet and calm
Until come some hunters
Who make all the damage and harm.
Down in the jungle
There are big crashes and bangs,
The hunters are ruining everything,
With their guns making twangs.
Down in the jungle
There is a ferocious roar,
And out come some more animals,
Ready to make war.
From Gezana Rai, age 9
PS. I'd really appreciate it if you did an issue on Education or on our Solar System
PPS. Also, completely randomly, I'm a TOTAL tomboy!
I am sure that loads of people have written letters to you and have said that your magazine is epic or cool. I agree with everyone's comments as you are just unbeatable. My favourite character has got to be E.B. He is so adorable. My family have a hamster called Nutty. He has chocolate brown fur and has shining, black ebony eyes. He comes from Syria. Does anyone else have a hamster? To show how fabulous AQUILA is I've written a poem about it. From Olivia, age 8:
Every first day of the month I'm up and ready,
Waiting for the clonk! and slap! of the post arriving.
When I hear it I shout and cheer it
"AQUILA's here. Hurrah!"
PS. Hi to all my family and aunties, uncles, granny, grandpa, grandma and granddad.
I've been reading your magazine for ten months now. I'm really enjoying it. My favourite sections are Paws for thought, Brainfeeders, Over to you and Things to make. My favourite people from the team are Pepe, Polly Chrome, Kit, E.B and Aquila and finally, Calculata. I cherish the time I have to read AQUILA and find facts. Can you please do an issue on Charles Darwin and Shrewsbury town, as it is the same town I live in? Every month (on the 1st of every month), I enjoy running to the mailbox to collect the magazine. From Eliza Mangham
I have been getting your magazine for over a year now, and I'm really enjoying it. In response to Lucia Betts and Joey (July/August issue), I like Club Penguin too and in response to Issy Donald, your cats are very cute! I like Pepe's pages because I love animals. I like the page E.B. did about big cats in Britain. I entered the competition in November  and I won a Meccano set. I have a black and white cat called Tibby who likes to sleep. I really like drawing, does anyone else? From Abigail McCaffrey, age 11
I live in Stavanger, Norway. In the summer I sailed to Kristiansand and saw beautiful sea trout and seals. On the 8th I saw a red squirrel (you can adopt one) and baby deer. Can you do a page on otter-watching in Surrey? From William Dove, age 9
I LOVE your magazine! It is really interesting and as soon as it comes through the post every month, my sister and I fight over who gets to read it first! We've been getting it for about three years now and I've always wanted to write a letter to you, but I've never known what to say.
I went in June with my year group on a trip to Osmington Bay for a weekend. It was at a PGL activity centre and it was fab! We did loads of outdoor activities like abseiling, aero ball, Jacob's ladder, climbing, zipwire, archery and sensory trail. My favourite was definitely aero ball. You are in pairs and you bounce on trampolines and try to shoot balls into the other team's net. Has anyone else done aero ball? Has anyone else been to Osmington Bay's PGL?
My favourite parts of AQUILA are Over to you and Ian. To AQUILA readers who have written in with poems, I love them all! In reply to Beth Moore (June issue), I also went to the Aquatics Centre in March. I went to see Becky Adlington, who is my idol. I really want to be an Olympic swimmer when I'm older like her. My favourite sport is swimming and my best stroke is backstroke. My time for 100m back is 1:30 mins and for 50m back is 40 secs. Does anyone else do the IAPS? In the December 2011 issue, you had a double page on the history of Christmas. It proved to be VERY useful. Our class was doing a Christmas assembly and we had to research facts about the history of Christmas. I got lots of my facts from your magazine - I also brought it in and it was extremely helpful.
I am writing a book at the moment called The Japanese Mystery and it is about this girl who has to move to Japan and she is unhappy because her father and mother have split up. She finds out her aunt is evil and goes on a mission to save her dad. Finally here is a poem:
Standing by the block,
Examining the other competitors,
Are they muscly? Do they look fast?
Suddenly, the whistle blows,
I jump into the freezing water,
Take your marks - I hear,
Pull into the block,
GO, the gun blows,
And I'm off, my butterflies suddenly gone,
My racing suit, like another layer of strong skin,
Helping me through the water,
Will I make it?
I'm catching up,
And first place, I easily take.
From Kaiya, age 11
PS Hi to anyone at CLFS!
Get in touch with your address, Kaiya, and we will send you a star letter prize.
NURSE NANCY - STAYING WELL IN WINTER TIME
ONCE AGAIN NURSE NANCY DROPS IN TO OFFER SEASONAL TIPS FOR STAYING SAFE AND WELL.
Some people now think that the reason we get sniffs and snuffles in the winter isn't simply because of the cold weather. It is because we all spend more time together indoors and germs and diseases are passed on more easily. So what can we do to stay healthy? Diet, hygiene and exercise all play their part in keeping us fit and well during the bleak winter months.
Two vitamins are very important all the time, but especially during the winter:
Vitamin C - If you eat enough leafy green vegetables and plenty of fruit packed with this vitamin this should help fight off any nasty germs lurking around.
Vitamin D - This vitamin is necessary for healthy bones and teeth and is produced in our bodies when we are exposed to sunshine. When the sun refuses to shine you can always top up your vitamin D by eating plenty of dairy products and oily fish such as salmon or tuna.
You probably won't feel as thirsty as you do in the summer months, but it is still important to drink plenty of fluids - low sugar juices high in vitamin C not only taste good but are good for you.
HYGIENE AND GOOD HABITS
Coughs and sneezes spread diseases - you may have heard that before. Coughing and sneezing in an enclosed room gives the dirty germs a real boost as they don't have far to travel to find someone else to infect. Keep plenty of tissues handy and if you can't reach them in time, sneeze into the crook of your elbow NOT your hands. Germs on hands are passed on whenever something is touched.
Wash hands often - always wash hands, using soap, after using the lavatory and touching cistern handles and flush buttons. Germs are always present on public transport, especially bus poles and stop buttons. Hundreds of people touch these every day and some folk might not be as hygienically savvy as you!
ASTHMA OFTEN GETS WORSE IN COLD WEATHER - all asthma sufferers should make sure they have their medication with them all the time AND USE IT!
Always wrap up warm - loose layers of waterproof and windproof clothing are best. Tight clothes and footwear restrict the blood flow and will make you colder. In extremely cold weather hats, scarves and gloves are a must. If you are playing outside for any length of time it is a good idea to go inside and warm up every now and then. You can run your hands under a warm tap to heat them but NEVER USE HOT water and dry your hands thoroughly to prevent chapping. Apply hand cream if hands become dry.
ICE SKATING, SLEDDING AND SLIDING - winter games are a fun way of exercising but you must follow some safety rules.
Get an adult to test the thickness of ice first.
Never skate on a frozen pond without an adult present.
Sled or slide only on paths away from roadsides.
Wear a helmet when sledding down steep hills.
Wear sunscreen on your face, as harmful light rays reflect off snow.
BRAINFEEDERS QUICK QUIZ ANSWERS
1. c) The Gunpowder plot was in 1605.
2. a) Guy Fawkes is also known as Guido Fawkes.
3. b) A Roman candle is a firework.
4. b) Thanksgiving takes place in the USA.
5. a) Turkey (Roast turkey has certainly been the main Thanksgiving dish since the 1800s, and turkeys were plentiful in America when the Pilgrim Fathers first arrived, but they also ate deer and other wildfowl at the early Thanksgiving celebrations.)
6. True, some bowstrings are made from silk.
7. c) The first people in China to wear silk clothes were Chinese emperors. At first, they and their families were the only ones who could afford to have garments made from costly silk.
8. a) a penny school was a school that charged a penny a week for lessons.
9. b) In the early 1830s children worked for twelve hours a day in factories.
10.) True. During the Second World War when clothes were rationed, some women actually used parachute silk to make their wedding dresses and also underclothes.
11. a) The first episode of Doctor Who was shown in 1963. The outside of Doctor Who's time travelling machine was a police (phone)box. In 1963, before mobile phones, these were a common sight.
12. b) November 11th is Remembrance day. Also known as Armistice Day and Poppy Day, when those who have died in war are remembered.
WHO TOLD YOU THAT..
...A dog year is the same as seven human years?
This all depends on what you mean by 'the same as. There are important differences between human beings and dogs.
If a dog year is the same as seven human years, this would mean that a 14-year-old dog would be the equivalent of a 98-year-old man.
But dogs mature much more quickly than humans.
By its first birthday a dog is practically an adult. A human being is not considered as being fully adult until their eighteenth birthday. So, by this reckoning one dog year is the same as eighteen human years.
Also, dogs have much shorter life spans than humans. Generally speaking, the smaller the dog, the longer it is expected to live. Some, like poodles and chihuahuas, may live for thirteen to fourteen years, whereas the big Irish Wolfhound and the Great Dane seldom make it past nine or ten years.
There are exceptions, of course. Some dogs have been known to live for twenty years. If the seven-year rule were true it would be the equivalent of one hundred and forty human years old!
What day do monsters eat people?
From Faraz Ahmed, age 9
Doctor, doctor! I think I’m
turning into a pancake!
Oh, how waffle!
Why did Little Bo Peep lose her sheep?
She had a crook with her.
Where do you find giant snails?
On the end of giants’ fingers!
What is the tallest building in the world?
A library – it has the most stories.
How do snails keep their shells shiny?
They use snail varnish.
What’s the difference between a guitar and a fish?
You can’t tuna fish!
Why do bees have sticky hair? Because they use honeycombs!
Pleases end us your best jokes soon by email or post
The Firework Display, by Catherine Wheel
A Good Read, by Paige Turner
Sweet Treats, by Candy Cane
Unsolved, by Miss Terry
In the Garden, by C. A. Plant
NEXT MONTH IN AQUILA:
It’s the great AQUILA Christmas party!
Celebrate with a free pull-out things to make and games to play booklet
Learn about wolves
Make a file to keep your AQUILA magazines in