Posts Tagged "elephant"

Elephant Appreciation Day

Dear Kid,

Happy Elephant Appreciation Day! Take a moment to appreciate your favorite elephant.

Today is Elephant Appreciation Day! And who doesn’t appreciate elephants?

In order to help you appreciate elephants more (or to help you appreciate more elephants), I have helpfully compiled some Extremely Interesting elephant facts. (You can tell they are Extremely Interesting because I just said so.)

An average newborn elephant weighs around 200 pounds and stand about 3 feet tall. That’s bigger than you were when you were born.

An adult elephant will eat about 300 pounds of food a day. Personally, I don’t see this as a huge accomplishment, since there have been days where I’ve eaten 300 pounds of Oreos before noon.

Nature’s great masterpiece, an elephant; the only harmless great thing. John Donne

An elephant’s trunk has more than 100,000 muscles. Elephants use their trunks to breathe, pick things up, make noises, drink, and smell. Also to look cute.

Elephants are the only mammal that can’t jump. Which explains why you never see elephants on professional basketball teams.

Elephants are the only mammals besides humans to have chins. (I love that.)

One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got into my pajamas I’ll never know. Groucho Marx

Elephants normally only sleep 2 or 3 hours each day, proving that they would make excellent college students.

An elephant’s skin can be as thick as 1 inch, so while they may not be sensitive to most insects or insults, they are sensitive to the sun. Rather than invest in sunscreen, elephants will cover themselves in mud or dust. Interestingly, they are scared of bees. Me too.

Only those with skin as thick as elephant hide can hope to sail through their teens unscathed by self-doubt and bouts of depression. Mariella Frostrup

Elephants prefer one tusk over the other (think of it as handedness except with tusks). About 100 elephants a day are killed for their tusks. That is not part of appreciating elephants.

African elephants have the best sense of smell in the animal kingdom. They can smell water 12 miles away and detect rain 150 miles away. Elephants would make excellent TV weather people, except they are smarter than the average meteorologist.

I have a memory like an elephant. In fact, elephants often consult me. Noel Coward

Elephants are extremely intelligent animals and have memories that span many, many years. This helps during dry seasons when they need to navigate to watering holes; they just pull up the memory and follow their memory GPS to the drinking fountain.

Happy Elephant Appreciation Day! Take a moment to appreciate your favorite elephant. DearKidLoveMom.comElephants communicate over long distances (except the ones in elephant college who are busy ignoring their mothers) by producing a sub-sonic rumble that can travel over the ground faster than sound through air. Other elephants receive the messages through the sensitive skin on their feet and trunks. Think of it as ground-based cell phones for elephants.

Elephants purr (like cats) as a means of communication.

Elephants can hear one another’s trumpeting calls up to 5 miles away. Except for teenage elephants who have selective deafness.

Love, Mom

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Elephants Require Advance Planning and Jellyfish in the Mediterranean

elephants require advance planningDear Kid,

There is a jellyfish outbreak in the Mediterranean. Having had my share of jellyfish hugs, you know how I feel about them (they belong anywhere I’m not). According to NPR, the reasons for the outbreak are climate change, overfishing, and desire to reduce the number of tourists on the beach.

Best fact of the day: In Spain, they call jellyfish Medusas. That is perfect. I was going to include a picture of jellyfish, but they give me the heebie jeebies. The images I found of Medusa aren’t much better, so you will have to use your imagination.

According to one expert, jellyfish are very smart because they can reproduce more quickly than fish can. There is nothing about that sentence that makes any sense to me.

Officials are doing all sorts of things to try to contain the jellyfish population. In Spain, they are posting jellyfish flags along the beach to scare off the tourists and cause the jellyfish to die of loneliness. In Israel, they are testing sound frequencies (like bad rap music) to encourage jellyfish to float elsewhere. My idea is they should develop some sort of peanut butter invertebrate and serve lunch to the turtles. (Fact: Leatherback turtles like Man o War jellyfish. Moms do not.)

Today is the first day of Pi’s sophomore year. Which means summer homework (by definition) is done. Guess when she started? Wrong. She started in June. Guess when she finished? Yup, last night. (Fortunately, she finished at reasonable hour.) And yes, there was a pretty darn big gap in the middle.

There are things that can be done at the last minute and things that require advance planning. Figuring out the difference—and actually doing things in advance that require doing in advance—may be the Key to a Happy Life not to mention a successful college career.

Things That Can Be Done at the Last Minute

  • Choosing a library book to read during summer break
  • Patting a friendly dog on the head
  • Warming up leftovers
  • Taking a nap

Things That Require Advance Work

  • Crossing the Atlantic Ocean on a raft
  • Producing Aida
  • Studying for exams
  • Summer homework

Message sent (and I assume received).

Love, Mom

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