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text 2018-09-16 04:10
Key West Book Post #2 - Only 1 picture in this one.
Sharks And Other Sea Monsters - Robert Sabuda,Matthew Reinhart
Deenie - Judy Blume
Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great - Judy Blume
Freckle Juice - Judy Blume,Debbie Ridpath Ohi
Ocean: A Photicular Book - Carol Kaufmann,Dan Kainen
Big Science For Little People: 52 Activities to Help You and Your Child Discover the Wonders of Science - Lynn Brunelle

Hemingway House and the Hemingway cats were just one of the book highlights of my 2.5 day trip Key West.  The other was a trip to Books & Books, a non-profit bookshop run by the only living author I turn fan-girl over.  Judy Blume.  It is not hyperbole or exaggeration of any kind to say this woman was the single biggest influence in my childhood and pre-teen years.  So, no WAY was I going to miss visiting her bookstore, even if odds of her being there were slim.


She was there.


She was lovely.  I was a blithering idiot, of course.  What I could manage to say was nothing, I"m sure, that she hasn't heard a million times over the years, and I'm kicking myself for not having enough wits about me to tell her what I really appreciated about her books (that all her characters had agency and didn't need adults or friends to tell them what was right or wrong), but she was wonderful, kind and patient nevertheless.  She was preparing for an extended trip and was in a meeting when I arrived, but she paused the meeting to come out and sign my books (because of COURSE I bought some of her books), and chat with me for a few minutes.



Aside from her books, and her very presence, Books & Books is a fabulous bookshop.  I went in with ZERO intention of looking at books beyond Judy Blume's because, as I think you all know, I had already managed to accumulate a fair number of books by this time.  (*cough*four boxes*cough*)  But as I was making my way to the counter, I found the newest of the Prehistorica pop-up books, Sharks And Other Sea Monsters, and when the woman behind the counter saw me squee'ing over that one, she showed me the wonder of Ocean: A Photicular Book, which has the best holographic images I've ever seen - they honestly look like little movies on the page.  I was entranced.  It was one of a series and it was killing me to just choose one. 


MT had stopped at a cigar shop before meeting me at the bookstore, arriving as I was just starting to chat with JB, and in those few minutes he managed to find 3 more books to add to the pile (two are future xmas gifts) and would have added 2 others had I not already started checking out.  If this had been the first stop on our holiday instead of the last, the damage we'd have done to their inventory and our finances would have been impressive.  There were just too many interesting books screaming for attention.


So here's my plug: if you ever find yourself in Key West, absolutely go to Books and Books - whether you go to fan girl(boy) over Judy Blume or not, the inventory is sure to appeal to any and all book lovers.  Bring a big bag.

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text 2018-08-21 07:56
How can climbing wall use in schools help boost student grades?

Having a climbing wall in a school can help improve children's grades. Benefits to health, academic performance & social skills can also be seen. And as such, encourages a number of different career pathways.


Improvements to physical & mental wellbeing


Children regularly participating in climbing wall activities can experience improvements in balance, agility & coordination.


Good for teaching scientific concepts. For example, forces involved in falling. Or use of pulleys to enhance pulling power.


Promotion of general health & fitness. Wall climbing is offered as a GCSE option. Moreover, children who find traditional sports difficult can often excel at climbing wall activities.


Better development of fine & gross motor skills. Climbing walls enhance many muscle groups in the body. e.g. core, legs, shoulder, arms & back. Climbing walls also develop fine motor skills such as handwriting & for small movement.


Improved decision-making skills. Children will need to work out how to navigate to the top of the wall. In order to do this successfully, they will need to make a number of decisions in the process.


Enhancement of problem solving skills. Puzzles are not dissimilar to climbing walls.

Children will need to work out which stones to step on & how they can successfully navigate to the top. One way to challenge kids in different ways is to change the location of stepping stones every week. Presenting them with a fresh challenge each time.


Increased focus & concentration. Navigating up a climbing wall requires 100% focus & attention. Which is also important for a child’s learning throughout school. Thus, climbing walls help children to focus on the task in hand. Rather than drifting to another activity. Overall, this improves the child’s learning.


Better perseverance. It is true that kids beginning rock climbing may find the task difficult. However, it is a good task to promote perseverance within children. Ensuring they use maximum effort to reach the end goal of reaching the top of the wall.


Higher level of confidence. It is fair to say that when you learn a new skill, it makes you feel more confident. Carrying out a climbing wall activity can encourage children to partake in other activities.


Stress relieving. Climbing walls are good for children feeling down or stressed out. It allows them to forget their problems & concentrate on the task in hand. The exercise can also help reduce stress levels.


Good for children with disabilities. Climbing walls can help with spatial perception, coordination & balance. Teaching of goal setting, communication, problem solving & planning skills are also developed. Children that have problems with gross or fine motor problems have opportunities to be part of a group. As well as develop new friendships & leadership skills in an inclusive setting. Cerebral palsy is a condition that can affect movement. Such as walking & doing exercise. Improvements can be seen in the ability to walk, jump, stand & run. As a result of three months of wall climbing. For children that suffer from sensory integration dysfunction, climbing walls provide a tactile environment. As such, climbing walls have colourful & varied shaped holds. Helping enhance interest & providing visual stimulation.



Improvements for career prospects


Climbing walls can offer a better route into taking up rock climbing as a more serious pursuit. Climbing walls can really inspire some children to take up climbing or outdoor activities as a career. One way this can be achieved may be to do the National Climbing Award Scheme.


GCSE options are available for climbing wall activities. However, not many people are aware of this. And this can inspire some students to take greater interest in the outdoor activities sector in general. There are a lot of careers available which are within the outdoor industries sector. For example:



Access to industrial ropes

Business & marketing

Retail work

Jobs requiring general knowledge of climbing & equipment involved in it


A child that has developed an interest in climbing may want to further this by carrying out a recognised qualification such as the National Climbing Award Scheme. This is a level 5 scheme which teaches basic climbing & bouldering skills. Which extend right through to high performance levels. However, involvement in clubs, competitions & youth meets can further stimulate interest.


Improves academic performance & social skills


Did you know that climbing walls are good for boosting academic performance of children? Particularly those at a disadvantage? Climbing walls are also good for boosting children's social skills. Moreover, research conducted by Newcastle University, NatCen Social Research & ASK Research discovered that rock climbing activities:


Encourage children to achieve more around age 11

Experienced improvements in behaviour, social & emotional wellbeing

Improved likelihood of allowing children to achieve level 5 in Maths

Children from disadvantaged backgrounds achieved better key stage 2 results after attending after school sports clubs





Studies have shown that children who regularly participate in climbing wall activities experience improvements in overall health. As well as academic performance & social skills. Climbing wall activities promote a range of benefits for physical & mental health. Such as development of fine/gross motor skills, stress relief & better focus/concentration. Amongst many other benefits.


Climbing wall activities are also particularly effective for children with disabilities. For example, improvements in walking, jumping, standing & running can be seen in children with cerebral palsy as a result of being involved in climbing wall activity.


Climbing walls are good for enhancing children’s career prospects by encouraging kids to take it up as a more serious pursuit or as a career. The outdoor industries sector is ripe with opportunities.


Climbing walls are good for improving academic performance & social skills. Particularly amongst disadvantaged children. Recent studies have shown that improvements can be seen in higher achievement, behaviour, social & emotional wellbeing. Moreover, it has been shown that regular wall climbing may increase the likelihood of children achieving a level 5 in Maths & better key stage 2 results.


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review 2018-07-03 02:00
Amazing look at Jedao before the Black Cradle
Extracurricular Activities: A Tor.com Original - Yoon Ha Lee

It was nice to see him before he'd been imprisoned in the Black Cradle, and inside someone else's head: he was much freer in so many ways, and it almost felt like a guilty pleasure, especially knowing what would happen to him later. 


I will devour anything this author writes in this universe, pretty much.

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text 2018-06-19 02:22
Reading progress update: I've read 38 out of 38 pages.
Extracurricular Activities: A Tor.com Original - Yoon Ha Lee

Incredibly satisfying ending!


And the goose fat.   I'm going to giggle if anyone ever brings up goose fat to me again!


I'm tired, and going to sleep.   I have a couple reviews to catch up on, but I've been reading mostly stuff that isn't in the system for the Hugo awards, and I don't particularly want to add them. 


I also wanted to finish this before I, ugh, try the medicine that may make me incredibly sick tomorrow.   Wish me luck!  I wanted to finish this before that, so I wasn't in pain when I finished.  I knew I'd love this, as it was about Jedao and I just love him so much.

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text 2018-06-19 02:13
Reading progress update: I've read 33 out of 38 pages.
Extracurricular Activities: A Tor.com Original - Yoon Ha Lee

The fact that Jedao says he has a devotion to weapons makes me love him more.  


He's one of those characters I want as a bf, so it kills me that he's meat.

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