Posts Tagged "turtle"

Newport Aquarium | A Few of Our Favorite Things

Dear Kid,

We really are lucky to have so many cool things to do in the Greater Cincinnati area. Yesterday we went to the Newport Aquarium (Thanks guys!).

Newport Aquarium. DearKidLoveMom.comIt was a gorgeous day so we didn’t mind waiting outside for the penguins. Yes, some of the African penguins make an outdoor appearance first thing in the morning.

African penguins???

Yep, African penguins. They come from an area in Southern Africa and are extremely rare (which the attendant told us). They are also known as jackass penguins, which somehow got left out of the presentation.

The penguins come out in a stroller, which is fabulous until you realize they are going to stay in their stroller. In plastic cylinders in their stroller.

Educational, but better for little kids rather than college-age kids.

Me: What was your favorite part of the aquarium?
Kid 1 (around a mouthful of Tom + Chee grilled macaroni and cheese): The yellow-finned window cleaners.

It really was fun seeing the scuba divers cleaning the tank.

Me: What was your favorite part of the aquarium?
Kid 2 (after chewing and swallowing her goat cheese grilled cheese): I wanted Mike to move.

Mighty Mike is the 800 pound crocogator currently residing at the aquarium. He spends most of his time imitating a statue.

Kid 2: I also liked the otter.
Me: Me too.

More about the otter tomorrow.

Don't question my dinner choices.

Me: What was your favorite part of the aquarium?
Kid 3 (also after chewing and swallowing): Loggerhead turtle and the divers.

Loggerheads are so named because of their big heads. They eat all sorts of things including jellyfish but they don’t typically eat Portuguese Man-o-War (Men-o-War? How do you pluralize that?) which is probably the only thing that prevents them from being on the Best Turtles Ever list.

Me? I had a great time everywhere. (My blog, I don’t have to choose a fave.) I really liked watching you and Pi identify so many of the fish you’ve seen in the wild.

Contrary to some of the idle speculation, I did not have an adverse reaction to seeing the jellyfish (none of them were PMoW).

The octopus was very cute (as usual) but she is laying eggs which means she’s near the end of her life which is sad. And there is nothing un-cute one can say about the penguins, because they are penguins.

In case you’re wondering, yes, I walked across the new rope bridge (4 miles of rope used to make the bridge). It was kind of cool to see sharks from that angle.

Shark petting at the Newport Aquarium. DearKidLoveMom.comShark! Not part of the petting pool.

Overall, I’m pretty sure my favorite thing of the day was spending time with the World’s Most Wonderful Children.

World's Most Wonderful Kids at the Newport Aquarium.

Love, Mom

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How Turpin High School Got Its Name (and Penguins)

Dear Kid,

High school soccer season has begun. And by “begun” I mean there was a scrimmage last night.

We played at Turpin, which is southeast of exactly nowhere.

I’m pretty sure the location moved while we were there because the drive home was significantly shorter than the arduous journey we took to get there in the first place.

Turpin (according to refers to an English highwayman named Richard Turpin.

The Turpin High School probably didn’t get its name from a thief who died a couple of hundred years ago, but their website didn’t give a more relevant explanation.

So, being the kind of mom I am, I will provide a little more information. (This explanation of course is coming from the unimpeachable source of I’m-making-it-up.)

There are quite a few conflicting theories as to where the name Turpin came from. Scholars have debated the origin for years, but evidence has finally come to light to Explain All.

How adorable is this little penguin? DearKidLoveMom.comThe first theory is that Turpin stands for Township Urchins Revere Penguins In Nests. This is of course pure nonsense as one doesn’t need to be an urchin to adore penguins and who uses the word “urchin” these days anyway (unless they are referring to sea urchins and we’re more than a few miles from the sea).

The second theory is that someone named Turpin died where the school is built. Which is probable but gory and one can see why they don’t brag about it on the website.

Another theory is that someone named Turpin gave a lot of money and/or land to the district, which sounds better but is highly unlikely since nothing else in the area is named Turpin and because they would have been screaming it in BIG LETTERS on the website if that were the case. (Mr. Donald P. Turpin, though he didn’t have children of his own, left his fortune of $14.17 to build this school on the family farm…).

The most logical explanation is that one day a terrapin fell out of the sky, landed on that very spot, and in the confusion of trying to explain what it was doing up in the sky in the first place lost a few of the more important letters in its name. Those letters T, R, P, and N mixed with letters already in the soil in that area and a school sprouted up.

One must be careful of having too little education. One must also be careful of having too much education.

I must be careful to go get some more coffee.

Love, Mom

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Things You Never Knew About the Scopes Monkey Trial (and Turtles)

Dear Kid,

Today is the anniversary of the end of the Scopes Monkey Trial. Celebrate with a banana.

To clarify: There is no such thing as a Scopes Monkey (although I think there should be). Scopes was the last name of a substitute high school teacher in Tennessee who agreed to be tried for teaching evolution.

Don't Bother Me With The Details. DearKidLoveMom.comThis was back in the 1920s and Tennessee had passed a law saying that A) teaching evolution was illegal (horrors), B) teachers had to use textbooks that included evolution, and C) the world was held up by a giant turtle.

Some people (like the ACLU) thought this was discrimination against intelligence and turtles and therefore decided a Case Needed to Be Made and Scopes (who wasn’t even sure he ever taught evolution) went along with the idea.

Lots of big name lawyers got involved and the whole thing became a media circus. Yes, media circuses existed back then. No they were not carried out in real time on social media.

The judge in the case, being firmly on the rabbit side of the tortoise and the hare story, had firm opinions about the case that did not necessarily have anything to do with impartiality. This is a long tradition in our judicial system, but don’t get me started about that today.

Anyhoo, since everyone agreed that John Thomas Scopes had taught evolution (except JT himself who wasn’t 100% sure) and everyone agreed that the law said that was illegal, it took the jury 12 seconds to determine that he was guilty (even if they didn’t like the idea very much).

Scopes was fined the minimum fine of $100 (about $1,300 in today’s dollars and 6 billion in Greek currency) and everyone declared victory for raising the issue and/or winning depending on whose side you were on.

The real winners were the textbook publishers who were able to print new versions of textbooks every 27 minutes depending on which way the political wind was blowing.

Turtles everywhere ignored the results.

In 1958, the National Defense Education Act (We Will Win the Cold War If It Kills Us) was passed stressing the importance of evolution.

Turtles continued to evolve and to ignore the results.

Turtles are not big on government ideas of education.

Neither are Scopes Monkeys.

Love, Mom

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