Friday, August 10, 2018

July in review & Perseids meteor shower : Look up to the stars !

Perseid 4 August 2018
credits: Eliot Herman, Tucson, Arizona

The stunning annual Perseids meteor shower's peak will appear in skies across the world this weekend, between the 12th and 13th August, so head to the darkest place nearby and enjoy the show.

Last year, the glare from a gibbous moon dampened the annual spectacle. But for 2018, the dark new moon arrives on August 11, only two days before the Perseids peak. That means the best part of the shower will coincide with just a thin crescent moon, which will set very soon after darkness falls.

A veritable ritual for summer stargazers, the Perseids are considered one of nature's best fireworks shows, with dozens of shooting stars an hour falling at peak times. 

This annual meteor shower comes as Earth passes through the tail of Comet Swift-Tuttle, causing bright streaks that appear as though they’re radiating from the constellation Perseus. The Perseids will peak this weekend between, when moonless nights will make for an especially dark sky.

The Perseid meteor shower is often considered to be one of the best meteor showers of the year due to its high rates and pleasant late-summer temperatures. This year’s shower peak, however, has the added bonus of dark skies courtesy of an early-setting crescent Moon. Combine these ideal observing conditions and high rates (an average of 60 meteors per hour at the peak) with the fact that the best nights for viewing – August 11 to 12 and August 12 to 13 – occur on a weekend and you have a recipe for successfully viewing some celestial fireworks!

Google Doodle tribute to Perseid meteor shower
doodler: Sophie Diao

In 2014, Google celebrated Perseid meteor shower with a beautiful video Doodle.

"I hope it inspires people to go out and see the meteor shower for themselves! But at the very least, be reminded that there's a meteor shower going on right above us, and that the universe is amazing!"

Sophie Diao, doodler

Perseid meteor shower
credits:  copyright 2018 Getty Images


My usual readers know I wrote different posts on Perseid meteor shower: 

For more information, students can visit NASA and arthSky.

Now, let's back to the theme of this post, July in review, a list of the most popular posts of the last month:

Here my list of the most popular posts of the month :

Hope you will enjoy, as a sky watcher, next 12 August or 13 August admiring the beauty of this annual awesome event.

Happy  viewing!


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July in review & Perseid Meteor Shower : Look up to the stars ! by G-Souto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Remembering Hans Christian Andersen ? Resources for schools !

Hans Christian Andersen

Hans Christian Andersen
credits: Corbis

Hello! Today, August 4, we are honouring Hans Christian Andersen's anniversary of his death in 1875. He died on this day at his home in Rolighed, Danemark. 

Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales and stories (about 190 in all, written 1835-72) are addressed to both adults and children and are stylistically and thematically deeply original. 

The special quality in his fairy tales is precisely the combination of poetry, fantasy tale and everyday reality.

Best Fairy Tales
H.C. Andersen
London James Burns edition

Best Fairy Tales
H.C. Andersen
translation by Jean Hersholt 
& illustrated by various artists, with an afterword by Ned Halley, 2016

In addition he wrote novels, travel accounts, he spent a large part of his life travelling abroad - Andersen visited Portugal (Lisbon, Sintra, Coimbra and Aveiro in 1866) - poems and works for the theatre, including libretti for operas and ballad operas. 

"Como tem este país todos os encantos !
Da Dinamarca, a terra, as searas, os verdes campos,
O cacto, a oliveira, no Sul abundante,
Ares tão puros, raios de sol brilhantes."

Hans Christian Andersen, visit to Portugal in 1866

Hans Christian Andersen's visit to Portugal 1866
credits: Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal

Although Hans Christian Andersen's work has its roots in Romanticism he is a modern spirit thanks to his social experience, his psychological insight, his belief in progress and industrial development. The special quality in his fairy tales is also precisely the combination of poetry, fantasy tale and everyday reality.

The only picture book made by Hans Christian Andersen

Here the unique work never published or previously offered for sale. It was consigned to a Copenhagen saleroom by a descendant of Marie Henriques (d.1944), the Danish child who received the picture book from the author for her third birthday (the lot came with a birthday letter from Andersen). Later, this child became a painter.

The only picture book made by Hans Christian Andersen

The picture book was made by H. C. Andersen in the period 1868-1869. It is a very soul picture book. Above the signature page with an original handwritten and signed by the author, dated Basnæs , June 26, 1869. The picture book is 168 pages with a lot of illustrations, in the form of paper clips, collages, drawings, clips, stamps, photographs.

The only picture book made by Hans Christian Andersen

Andersen was an artist not only in words. As a child he made costumes for puppets. Later in life he created imaginative, colourful collage, together with exquisite papercuts of swans, ballet dancers, courtladies and other figures to amuse the children at the Danish manor houses where he was often a guest.

Resources: films

Hans Christian Andersen, My Life is a Fairy Tale, familiar, fiction biography, 2003.

Hans Christian Andersen : My Life is a Fairy Tale
Philipp Saville, film 2003
A fictionalized story of the young life of Hans Christian Andersen, a young man with a penchant for storytelling but struggles to find his place in the world and gain the affection of the woman he adores. Interspersed throughout are brief interludes of the stories that will make Hans famous (The Nightingale, The Little Mermaid and The Snow Queen to name a few), which are intertwined with the events that surround his own life.

Age: 7-11

Hans Christian Andersen 
classical film, 1952

Hans Christian Andersen, classical film, musical, biography, 1952

The opening credits of this fanciful 1952 Samuel Goldwyn-produced for Danny Kaye say it all: ‘Once upon a time there lived in Denmark a great storyteller named Hans Christian Andersen. This is not the story of his life, but a fairy tale about this great spinner of fairy tales.’

Age: 5-10

Version en français: 

Le monde merveilleux de Hans Christian Andersen
Philipp Saville, film 2003

Le Monde merveilleux de  Hans Christian Andersen, familiale, biographie fiction, 2003.

Hans Christian Andersen a créé un monde imaginaire fantastique. A 15 ans, fils unique d'une pauvre famille danoise, Hans vit lui-même dans un monde de fantaisie. Il part pour Copenhague, où, lui a-t-on dit, les rêves peuvent devenir réalité. Il y est recueilli par Jonas Collin, un homme riche et distingué, charmé par ce curieux jeune homme qui transforme tout ce qu'il voit en d'extraordinaires contes de fées...

Other Resources: 

The Life of H.C. Andersen

"My life is a lovely story, happy and full of incident."

Hans Christian Andersen

Hope you are enjoying your summer holidays!


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Monday, July 30, 2018

Schools : International Day of Friendship ! Resources & stories !

credits: Elyx Yak

"Our world faces many challenges, crises and forces of division — such as poverty, violence, and human rights abuses - among many others - that undermine peace, security, development and social harmony among the world's peoples."


The International Day of Friendship is an initiative that follows on the proposal made by UNESCO and taken up by the UN General Assembly in 1997.
It defines the Culture of Peace as a set of values, attitudes and behaviours that reject violence and endeavour to prevent conflicts by addressing their root causes with a view to solving problems.

credits: United Nations

The General Assembly recognized that enormous harm and suffering are caused to children through different forms of violence. It emphasized that the promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence should be instilled in children through education

If children learn to live together in peace and harmony that will contribute to the strengthening of international peace and cooperation.
The Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace adopted in 1999 set 8 areas of action for nations, organizations and individuals to undertake in order for a culture of peace to prevail:

  • foster a culture of peace through education;
  • promote sustainable economic and social development;
  • promote respect for all human rights;
  • ensure equality between women and men;
  • foster democratic participation;
  • advance understanding, tolerance and solidarity;
  • support participatory communication and the free flow of information and knowledge;
  • promote international peace and security.

The International Day of Friendship is also based on the recognition of the relevance and importance of "friendship as a noble and valuable sentiment in the lives of human beings around the world".
The International Day of Friendship was proclaimed in 2011 by the UN General Assembly with the idea that "friendship between peoples, countries, cultures and individuals can inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities."

To mark the International Day of Friendship the UN encourages governments, international organizations and civil society groups to hold events, activities and initiatives that contribute to the efforts of the international community towards promoting a dialogue among civilizations, solidarity, mutual understanding and reconciliation.

Winnie the Pooh
by A.A. Milns
illustrated by E.H. Shepard

Curiosity & Resources:

In 1998, the UN Secretary’s wife, Nane Annan, named Winnie the Pooh as the 'Ambassador of Friendship' at the UN. 

Winnie the Pooh created by the English writer A.A. MilneMilne is most famous for his two Pooh books about a boy named Christopher Robin after his son, Christopher Robin Milne, and various characters inspired by his son's stuffed animals, most notably the bear named Winnie-the-Pooh

Christopher Robin Milne's stuffed bear, originally named "Edward," was renamed "Winnie-the-Pooh" after a Canadian black bear named Winnie, which was used as a military mascot in World War I, and left to London Zoo during the war. 

The real stuffed toys owned by Christopher Robin Milne and featured in the Winnie-the-Pooh stories

"The pooh" comes from a swan called "Pooh." E. H. Shepard illustrated the original Pooh books, using his own son's teddy, Growler, as the model. The rest of Christopher Robin Milne's toys, Piglet, Eeyore, Kanga, Roo and Tigger, were incorporated into. They are on display in the New York Public Library Main Branch in New York.

Winnie the Pooh
by A.A. Milns
ilustrated by E.H. Shepard
1st edition

Winnie-the-Pooh (1926) is the first volume of stories about Winnie-the-Pooh, written by A. A. Milne and illustrated by E. H. Shepard. It is followed by The House at Pooh Corner

The book focuses on the adventures of a teddy bear called Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends Piglet, a small toy pig; Eeyore, a toy donkey; Owl, a live owl; and Rabbit, a live rabbit. The characters of Kanga, a toy kangaroo, and her son Roo are introduced later in the book, in the chapter entitled "In Which Kanga and Baby Roo Come to the Forest and Piglet has a Bath". The bouncy toy-tiger character of Tigger is not introduced until the sequel, The House at Pooh Corner.

The House at Pooh Corner
Winnie the Pooh
by A.A. Milns
ilustrated by E.H. Shepard
1st edition

A. A. Milne's stories, and two characters – Rabbit and Owl – were created by Milne's imagination. 

Winnie the Pooh is, of course, the perfect Ambassador of Friendship. He is adorable and timeless. He believes in diversity and welcoming all friends. Pooh is an optimist and a ‘people bear’. He is committed to his friends... and honey! And, he is wise way beyond his years, especially for a bear with very little brain.

Note: Students can read or ear Winnie the Pooh online (1998 edition, original book). And share the special role played in their friendship by Winnie the Pooh.

The Complete Collection of Stories and Poems
A.A. Milns
E.H. Shepard

The beautiful new edition, re-designed for Pooh's 90th anniversary in 2016, brings together four volumes in one stunning slipcased gift book: 

  • Winnie-the-Pooh, 

  • The House at Pooh Corner, 

  • When We Were Very Young, 

  • Now We Are Six. 
A. A. Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh is nothing less than a true children's classic. Winnie-the-Pooh may be a bear of very little brain, but thanks to his friends Piglet, Eeyore and, of course, Christopher Robin, he's never far from an adventure. 

Adolescent boys practise parkour in Gaza


"Friendship & solidarity can inspire peace."
UN (United Nations)

"Through friendship - by accumulating bonds of camaraderie and developing strong ties of trust - students can contribute to the fundamental shifts that are urgently needed to achieve lasting stability, weave a safety net that will protect us all, and generate passion for a better world where all are united for the greater good."
International Friendship Day places particular emphasis on involving young people, as future leaders, in community activities that include different cultures and promote international understanding and respect for diversity.
The need to have an educational system which promotes the value of piece is so important! And that begins in younger ages at school.

Involving young people, as future citizens and young leaders, in school activities that include different cultures, promote international understanding and respect for diversity, and defending a shared spirit of human solidarity that takes many forms - the simplest of which is friendship.

  • Organise activities throughout the year that help raise awareness of Friendship Day by encouraging students, parents and community to join a Friendship campaign;
  • Small ideas and actions for culture of peace at the school level need to be contextualised in the greater level of world peace and the Global Goals;
  • Choose to mark the day, whatever the scale of students activity, their commitment matters;
  • Invite your students to create curricular activities at school and sharing with schoolmates from different schools, in different countries, using social media as an exchange project.
  • Help to spread the word about Friendship or attend an event in your city or community. 
Let us all work towards a movement for ‘everyday peace’, ‘total peace’, ‘noble peace’ where peace is a process not an event.


Copyright © 2018G-Souto'sBlog,®

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Schools : Intl Day of Friendship ! Resources & he Legacy : resources & stories bG-Souto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

References: UN