Category Archives: Just Having Fun

Spring Quiz

It’s time for elevenses! 🙂

Did you know that the autumn and spring equinoxes are the only two times during the year when the sun rises due east and sets due west? Let’s have another quiz! It’s good fun 🙂

I know a really good question!

What is the first day of spring called?
– Vernal equinox
– Spring equinox
– March equinox
– Northward equinox

In which of William Shakespeare’s plays is the poem known as “Spring” (entitled “Ver”) sung at the end?
– The Tempest
– The Winter’s Tale
– Love Labour’s Lost
– Two Gentlemen of Verona

In Vivaldi’s Four Seasons where does Spring occur when played in the correct order?
– First
– Second
– Third
– Fourth

Which flower is the symbol of the the Kings Park Wildflower Festival?
– Golden wattle
– Australian Everlasting
– Kangaroo paw
– Qualup bells

What is the rarest colour in flowers?
– Green
– Orange
– Blue
– Pink

Primavera, or The Allegory of Spring, is a famous painting by which celebrated artist?
– Michelangelo
– Titian
– Sandro Botticelli
– Leonardo da Vinci

What is the French word for spring?
– Printemps
– Hiver
– Enfance
– Orné

Who wrote the music for The Rite of Spring?
– Stravinsky
– Prokoviev
– Rachmaninoff
– Tchaikovsky

Who coined the term “Hope springs eternal…”
– William Shakespeare
– Alexander Pope
– Jane Austen
– St. Thomas Aquinas

Where did the tulip originate?
– Netherlands
– Turkey
– Iran
– Himalayas

Let’s go see some tulips!

Answers: Vernal equinox; Love Labour’s Lost; First; Australian Everlasting; Blue; Sandro Botticelli; Printemps; Stravinsky; Alexander Pope; Himalayas.

The Room of Requirement

Today the living room is a Harry Potter zone 🙂

Yesterday was Back to Hogwarts Day! Little bears were busy navigating fields of everlasting daisies

So today little Isabelle used her time turner to take everyone back to yesterday 🙂 They need the extra time to watch all the movies!

We are more than 20 years on from the publication of the first Harry Potter book and there are phenomena that come and go, but Harry Potter is clearly here to stay. Some of the early critics were not impressed, but their voices were soon drowned by the magical reviews of the books, the movies, the Universal Studio parks, the illustrated books, the Broadway play and the butter beer!!! in the evolution of the Harry Potter franchise.

The books won some thirty awards and the latest instalment in the franchise, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, won a record-breaking nine Olivier Awards in 2017 and six Tony awards in 2018, including best play. A Melbourne production will open at Princess Theatre in 2019. We have to go!

In 2015, the illustrated edition Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was published. It took Jim Kay, the award-winning illustrator, two and a half years to create the illustrations in the first book. Working 7 days a week, at least 12 hours a day! He started immediately on book 2, which took 8 months, at even more intense pace, and the book was published in 2016. By the end of book 3 Jim Kay was burned out and hallucinating. Wisely he took a break before starting on book 4. It will be a while before all the books are illustrated…

The Harry Potter illustrated editions are beautiful masterpieces and perfect additions to any fan’s library. The illustrations fill the gaps and expand the east and west of the Harry Potter universe created by J.K. Rowling.

Drawing of Buckbeak the hippogriff by Jim Kay, for The Prisoner of Azkaban (From the collection of The British Library)
Study for the phoenix by Jim Kay, for The Chamber of Secrets (From the collection of The British Library)
Study of Harry Potter and the basilisk by Jim Kay, for The Chamber of Secrets (From the collection of The British Library)
Diagon Alley by Jim Kay (From the collection of The British Library)
Portrait of Professor Severus Snape by Jim Kay, for The Prisoner of Azkaban (From the collection of The British Library)
Study of Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy playing Quidditch by Jim Kay, for The Chamber of Secrets (From the collection of The British Library)
Winged Keys by Jim Kay (From the collection of The British Library)
Study of Platform Nine and Three-Quarters by Jim Kay, for The Philosopher’s Stone (From the collection of the British Library)

Jim Kay’s sketches were on display at the British Library in the Harry Potter: A History of Magic exhibition. We saw it last year. The exhibition was organised to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the first Harry Potter book by J.K. Rowling.

The entrance to Harry Potter: A History of Magic exhibition, The British Library

The exhibition showcased Harry Potter artefacts drawn from author J.K. Rowlings’s private collection and the Bloomsbury publishing archives. It included her original book proposal, as well as sketches from her notebooks that reveal how she envisioned the layout of the school, and a calendar of events that chronicles where any given character might be and what they might be up to. The original artwork by Jim Kay offered ample visual aid without resorting to film footage of the Harry Potter movies. The original book material was interspersed with centuries-old treasures — sourced from the British Library’s collection and numerous other lending institutions including Cornwall’s Museum of Witchcraft and Magic — like 3,000-year-old Chinese oracle bones and scrolls from the 16th century detailing the supposed alchemical process to create a real Philosopher’s Stone.

Sketch of Hogwarts by J.K. Rowling (From the collection of The British Library)
‘You will have a lot of trouble’, in How to Read the Future with Tea Leaves, translated from the Chinese by Mandra 2nd edn, 1925 (From the collection of The British Library)
Sloane Scroll (From the collection of The British Library)
Harry Potter: A History of Magic exhibition view, The British Library
A phoenix, in Guy de la Garde, L’Histoire et description du Phoenix, 1550 (From the collection of The British Library)
John Evelyn, Hortus Hyemalis or collection of plant specimens, 1645 (From the collection of The British Library)

It’s through these rare objects and texts that one’s magical education truly begins — they tell a deeper story of real witchcraft and wizardry throughout human history. The real strength of the exhibition was the breadth of the stories, folklore and mythology from all different cultures and ages it weaves together. Did you know Nicholas Flamel was a real person?

Tombstone of Nicholas Flamel. Musée de Cluny, Musée National du Moyen Âge/British Library

The exhibition was structured according to the Hogwarts curriculum, the sections mirroring core courses such as potions, charms, divination, astronomy, herbology, defense against the dark arts, and the care of magical creatures. In each, the pages of the Potter books were brought to life by potion books for ailments both physical and magical dating back 500 years and brooms used in 19th and 20th century Wiccan rituals.

Harry Potter: A History of Magic exhibition view, The British Library
Harry Potter: A History of Magic exhibition view, The British Library

Check out the flying tea cups 🙂

Harry Potter: A History of Magic exhibition view, The British Library

Additionally, the exhibition showcased a 400-year-old celestial globe, enhanced with augmented reality technology thanks to Google’s Arts & Culture initiative, which allowed visitors to explore the constellations in the night sky — and reinforced the idea that magic can be seen as another form of technology.

Harry Potter: A History of Magic exhibition view, The British Library

The weird and wonderful items of the exhibition are also explored in an hour-long documentary by BBC. The documentary is narrated by Imelda Staunton and includes footage from an array of Harry Potter actors reading from the books – Evanna Lynch, Warwick Davis, Mark Williams, David Thewlis and Miriam Margolyes, among others. The documentary also interviews two men who have been making wands for generations.

Warwick Davis in the BBC documentary Harry Potter: A History of Magic

Little Isabelle might need to take everyone back to yesterday again! There is so much to explore! 🙂

Tuesday Funnies

The New Yorker
Does this jumpsuit make me look naked?
The New Yorker
OK, before we begin, is everyone recording?
The New Yorker
Beautiful. It would look terrific in the situation room.
The New Yorker
Unfortunately, a tiny percentage of the drones are opposed to violence.
The New Yorker
Yes, the President has requested his Space Force jammies this evening.
The New Yorker

Quiz Night

Ever wondered if you’ve got what it takes to be an astronaut?

With four rounds, this quiz is a combination of various NASA aptitude tests. It will examine your knowledge of physics, test your logic, and then ask you how you’d react when faced with various life or death scenarios. There’s also a NASA general knowledge round at the end.

Give it a go and see if you could make it as an astronaut, or if you should keep your feet firmly planted on planet Earth.

Round one: physics!

If an object is in motion, what kind of energy does it possess?

What does the “C” stand for in this famous equation E = mc2 ?
Speed of light!

What cannot happen to energy?
It cannot be destroyed!

What is a nebula?
A cloud of dust and gas!

Isabelle, that’s not how a quiz works! You don’t ask the questions and then answer them yourself.

But I know all the answers!

Look, you can have dessert first!


Ok bearyone, round two: logic.

Planet : Mars  –  Fabric : ?

  • Flexible
  • Denim
  • Trousers

Infancy is to nursery, as adolescence is to?

  • Youth
  • High school
  • Teenager

Threatening : Growl  –  ? : Rainbow

  • Weather
  • Omnious
  • Colourful

Medicine : Illness

  • Law : Anarchy
  • Hunger : Thirst
  • Love: Treason

Round three: psychological screening.

You discover a fire on board the space station. What’s the FIRST thing that you do?

  • Grab your oxygen mask
  • Call Mission Control
  • Try to extinguish the fire
  • Sound the alarm and leave

You’re trapped in a lift with 10 strangers. People are starting to get panicked. What should you do?

  • See if you can work out a logical way to get everyone out the lift
  • Close your eyes and stay calm – help is coming
  • Attempt to calm down the people who are most distressed
  • Start screaming. Loud.

During a mission to the Moon, you and your crew crash land 200 miles away from the mother ship. You have to walk there. Apart from your oxygen tank, what’s the MOST IMPORTANT thing to take with you?

  • A box of matches
  • Signal flares
  • 20 litres of water
  • First-aid kit

You’ve discovered alien life on Mars, and brought a sample back to the ship. What should you do next?

  • Send it back down to Earth so it can be tested in a laboratory
  • Isolate it, ensuring it has no contact with the crew
  • Immediately begin tests
  • Call Mission Control

Round four: NASA general knowledge.

Which NASA space shuttle exploded 73 seconds into its flight, killing all the astronauts on board?

  • Explorer
  • Challenger
  • Galileo
  • Saturn V

Which was the first Apollo mission to successfully land on the Moon?

  • Apollo 10
  • Apollo 11
  • Apollo 12
  • Apollo 13

What is NASA’s motto?

  • For tomorrow’s future
  • To infinity and beyond
  • For the benefit of all
  • Onwards and upwards

How many astronauts can live on the International Space Station at once?

  • 6
  • 10
  • 15
  • 20

I’ll just finish this 🙂

Looks like pizza and no dessert, bearyone…

How did you go? Are you joining the bears and Buzz on the ISS? 🙂

Buzz Lightyear on the ISS

Answers: Denim; High School; Colourful; Law : Anarchy; Sound the alarm and leave; Attempt to calm down the people who are most distressed; 20 litres of water; Isolate it, ensuring it has no contact with the crew; Challenger; Apollo 11; For the benefit of all; 6.