If you are between 8 and 108 years old and like to read middle grade books, then you are especially welcome here!

April Fool’s!

Posted: April 1st, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: T Writes | Tags: , | No Comments »

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When old sounds new

Posted: August 3rd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: T Writes | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Paraguay’s Recycled Orchestra is a children’s musical group that plays instruments made from recycled trash. The instruments incorporate everything from tin paint containers to spatulas.

The idea of turning something discarded into something uplifting came when music teacher Favio Chávez and trash picker Nicolás Gómez  joined forces in the city of Cateura to find a way to teach economically disadvantaged kids to play music in a place where a real violin costs more than a house.

The idea is nothing new, but the instruments are!

“Repurposing materials that are part of your everyday culture has been something that a lot of cultures have done for thousands of years,” says Dr. Daniel Piper, curator of musical instruments at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, Arizona.

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Making the best of a bad situation

Posted: July 18th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: T Writes | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Fun can always turn a frown upside-down, and it sometimes helps to use a Sharpie. But only on your own things!

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When small is big

Posted: June 2nd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: T Writes | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

⌃Paedophryne amauensis is a species of frog from Papua New Guinea. It is the world’s smallest vertebrate.

⌃The Lilliputian Violet, found in the Peruvian Andes mountains, grows to be only one centimeter tall.

New York City’s Little Free Library may be the world’s smallest lending library. Designed by Venezuelan architects Marcelo Ertorteguy and Sara Valente, it is one of ten mini-libraries in the city.

 

⌃This is the view upon entering this single-person space. It already looks crowded!

It has what we want, though. Books! And the instructions couldn’t be simpler. This library for people on the go is definitely a case where big things have come from something small.

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Yoda in a jar

Posted: October 6th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: T Writes | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Yoda looks at home in this terrarium by Minneapolis artist Tony Larson, and no wonder. It’s a recreation of the Master Jedi’s planet, Dagobah. Stop by Tony’s Etsy store, and you can enjoy a bit of your favorite Star Wars planetary system in your own home. Tony’s amazing terrariums include the Forest of Endor and the desert of Tatooine, where R2D2 is just about to meet his fateful encounter with scavenging Jawas. Watch out, R2!

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Happy Mother’s Day!

Posted: May 13th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: T Writes | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

On a beautiful day like today, I suggest you take your mom to a National Park!

Find a National Park near you.

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Just kidding!

Posted: April 1st, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: T Writes | Tags: , , | No Comments »

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Sometimes it’s okay to play with your food

Posted: March 14th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: T Writes | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

I’m gonna be round my vegetables

I’m gonna chow down my vegetables

I love you most of all

my favorite vegetable…

So sang The Beach Boys in their song “Vegetables.” Beatle Paul McCartney joined the band to chew raw vegetables for percussion effects on the recording.

The Vegetable Orchestra is an Austrian musical group that uses instruments made entirely from fresh vegetables. The group consists of ten musicians, one cook, and one sound engineer. A concert of the Vegetable Orchestra appeals to all the senses. As an encore at the end of the concert and the video performance, the audience is offered fresh vegetable soup.

Two brothers in China have caught the vegetable music bug. They’ve carved out an odd career, turning vegetables into musical instruments. The creative pair began their craft two years ago and spend most of their time scouring food stalls for the perfect pieces.

I’m never going to look at the veggies on my plate the same way again!

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Sing along!

Posted: December 19th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: T Writes | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

I have written about my distant relative, American songwriter Cornelius Power, and his fierce, artistic rivalry with his BFF, composer James Lord Pierpont, author of the immortal classic “Jingle Bells.”

Cornelius’s sleigh-ride song, “Horsey Snow Ride,” is not as well-known. The sheet music has been lost in the sands of time, sadly, but the lyrics can be sung to the tune of “America the Beautiful.” Whether or not it’s snowing outside, it makes a rousing holiday number. Let’s all sing along!

HORSEY SNOW RIDE by Cornelius Power (1821-1915)

Let’s take a sleigh ride on the snow

And travel to and fro

While snowflakes pile on our heads

As we cry, “Here we go!”

Oh horsey ride, oh horsey ride,

You are so fast and fun!

You make us glad that winter’s here.

God bless us, every one!

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Fowl play

Posted: November 18th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: T Writes | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Thanksgiving is almost here. And so is that bloated feeling from eating WAY too much. When all you want to do is flop on the couch and watch TV, consider this handy way of creating some fun entertainment with a minimum of effort. All you need is a bright light, a pair of hands, and a wall to create these fascinating shadow animals.

Now that you’ve practiced, it’s time to create the STAR OF THE SHOW … Tom Turkey!

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