Saturday, August 23, 2008


Next month, September, my school is hosting a Kid's Conference for our four contributing primary schools Year 6's and the Year 7's at my school. Some of the Year 8's, including me, are setting up ICT workshops in different classes. My friend and I are talking about Voicethread, but there will be others too, such as Google Sketch Up, Wikispaces, Photography, i-movie and blogs. It's going to be exciting! We may even have a night open to the public to drop in!


The other day I learnt exactly what you can use Viddix for! ( Viddix is a unique movie sharing site where there is a double screen, one of them the movie of you talking, and the other can show supporting text or pictures! Our class is using Viddix this term, because we are all going to write a fairytale.
The first step is to make a movie clip using i movie, Photobooth, or anything else that can convert your clip into a Quicktime, to be uploaded to Viddix. The rest is quite self explanatory.

Saturday, August 9, 2008


Yep, it's that time of year again! Everyday, Team C goes for a run to prepare us for the annual road race, coming up very soon! It used to be 2 laps, now it's 3 or possibly 4. That's quite hard!
Last year I came 115th, so this year I want to beat that.
Some people hate Cross Country and some love it, but I? I'm in the middle!


This year I did my speech on Intelligent Animals. Here it is for you to read! In the end, my class had a semi-finals to narrow down out top 4 to 2 or maybe 3, to proceed to the the Team Speeches. (The winner of each team says it to the school.) I was in that Top 4. Our class had three finalists and I missed out, coming fourth in my class, which is okay, I guess, but is my lowest record, over the four years that I have done speeches. I can but wait for my score!

Intelligent Animals

Humans are very intelligent! Just look at all the things that we have designed, created and invented to make life easier!
But animals, too are intelligent. In fact, we underestimate animals. They live differently to us, and just because they can’t speak as we do doesn’t mean that they’re dumb! They may even be more intelligent than we are! We don’t know!
So today, I thought that I’d let you in on a few secrets of the animal kingdom.
Research shows that the top 10 most intelligent animals go in this order:
1. Chimpanzee
2. Gorilla
3. Orang-utan
4. Baboon
5. Gibbon
6. Monkey
7. Smaller-toothed whale
8. Dolphin
9. Elephant
10. Pig
So, exactly, what can these animals do?
Some are obvious, monkeys and those in that family can act similarly to humans, peeling bananas and that sort of monkey business.
But I guarantee that you didn’t know about a horse named Clever Hans. It’s a true story! In Germany, Mr von Osten owned Clever Hans, and when his talent was discovered, many people came to see the “Wonder Horse”. You see, Clever Hans could be asked sums like, “What is five plus five?” and Hans would tap his hoof ten times! He could even be asked to pick up a piece of green cloth in an assortment of various coloured cloths and he would do it! Every answer he gave was correct. He fooled many experts, until Professor Pfungst experimented by asking questions that he didn’t know the answer to himself! Poor Hans couldn’t do it and bit by bit Professor Pfungst worked it out. It turned out that Hans would look at the questioner closely, and the questioner couldn’t help feeling tense, (I mean, what if Hans got the answer wrong in front of all those people?). When people are tense, tiny signs, like frequent swallowing or a muscle quivering show their emotions.
So, when answering sums, Hans would tap his hoof until he could see the person had relaxed.
Clever Hans wasn’t really as smart as people thought he was, but he could read tension, which is really quite amazing!
Another true story is about a dolphin called Tuffy. Tuffy was trained to save lives. This happened in 1965 when some divers practically lived under the sea for forty-five days with Tuffy. They ran drills. A diver would pretend to be lost with his air running out. He would then press a buzzer that Tuffy could hear.
First, Tuffy swam to the Sea Lab, where the divers lived. Next, Tuffy would swim back to the lost diver with a ring on his snout. The ring was attatched to a rope that was attatched to the wall of the Sea Lab, and the diver could swim back. Intelligent or what?
But a brief mention of Barry the dog cannot be missed. Barry lived with the monks in the mountains of Switzerland, when the only way to get through was through the pass. Barry was trained to save people too. One day, there was an avalanche. Barry sniffed out the three men who were buried under the snow.
During his life, Barry saved over 42 people.
Hopefully these examples have triggered for you a realisation of a higher intelligence in animals, for you have just heard for yourself how intelligent animals really are.
BUT A WORD OF CAUTION: Never teach your dog to text. What if he replied saying, “Fetch it yourself!”?