Farewell 2015 … Welcome 2016 … 127 things you could do …

firework 2016 

When John Goddard was 15 years old he wrote a list of 127 goals he wanted to achieve in his life. The list was entitled “My Life List”. It included things like climbing the highest mountain, exploring the longest rivers, reading the entire Encyclopedia Britannica and many other “not so easy” goals. He died in 2013 at the age of 88 years old after “numerous edge-of-death experiences” and accomplished 109 of his life goals.

Here is his “Life List”:

EXPLORE
No. Achieved Goals Comments
1

 Done

Nile River
2

 Done

Amazon River
3  Done Congo River
4  Done Colorado River
5 Yangtze River, China
6 Niger River
7 Orinoco River, Venezuela
8 Done Rio Coco, Nicaragua
STUDY PRIMITIVE
9  Done The Congo
10  Done New Guinea
11  Done Brazil
12  Done Borneo
13  Done The Sudan
14  Done Australia
15  Done Kenya
16  Done The Philippines
17  Done Tanzania
18  Done Ethiopia
19  Done Nigeria
20  Done Alaska
CLIMB
21 Mt. Everest
22 Mt. Aconcagua, Argentina
23 Mt. McKinley
24  Done Mt. Huascaran, Peru
25  Done Mt. Kilimanjaro
26  Done Mt. Ararat, Turkey
27  Done Mt. Kenya
28 Mt. Cook, New Zealand
29  Done Mt. Popocatepetl, Mexico
30  Done The Matterhorn
31  Done Mt. Rainier
32  Done Mt. Fuji
33  Done Mt. Vesuvius
34  Done Mt. Bromo, Java
35  Done Grand Tetons
36  Done Mt. Baldy, California
37 Carry out careers in medicine and exploration (studied premed, treated illnesses among primitive tribes)
38 Visit every country in the world (30 to go)
39  Done Study Navaho and Hopi Indians
40  Done Learn to fly a plane
41  Done Ride horse in Rose Parade
PHOTOGRAPH
42  Done Iguacu Falls, Brazil
43  Done Victoria Falls, Rhodesia (Chased by a warthog in the process)
44  Done Sutherland Falls, New Zealand
45  Done Yosemite Falls
46  Done Niagara Falls
47  Done Retrace travels of Marco Polo and Alexander the Great
EXPLORE UNDERWATER
48  Done Coral reefs of Florida
49  Done Great Barrier Reef, Australia (photographed a 300-pound clam)
50  Done Red Sea
51  Done Fiji Islands
52  Done The Bahamas
53  Done Explore Okefenokee Swamp and the Everglades
VISIT
54 North and South Poles
55  Done Great Wall of China
56  Done Panama and Suez Canals
57  Done Easter Island
58  Done The Galapagos Islands
59  Done Vatican City
60  Done The Taj Mahal
61  Done The Eiffel Tower
62  Done The Blue Grotto
63  Done The Tower of London
64  Done The Leaning Tower of Pisa
65  Done The Sacred Well of Chichen-Itza, Mexico
66  Done Climb Ayers Rock in Australia
67 Follow River Jordan from Sea of Galilee to Dead Sea
SWIM IN
68  Done Lake Victoria
69  Done Lake Superior
70  Done Lake Tanganyika
71  Done Lake Titicaca, S. America
72  Done Lake Nicaragua
ACCOMPLISH
73  Done Become an Eagle Scout
74  Done Dive in a submarine
75  Done Land on and take off from an aircraft carrier
76  Done Fly in a blimp, balloon and glider
77  Done Ride an elephant, camel, ostrich and bronco
78  Done Skin dive to 40 feet and hold breath two and a half minutes underwater
79  Done Catch a ten-pound lobster and a ten-inch abalone
80  Done Play flute and violin
81  Done Type 50 words a minute
82  Done Make a parachute jump
83  Done Learn water and snow skiing
84  Done Go on a church mission
85  Done Follow the John Muir trail
86  Done Study native medicines and bring back useful ones
87  Done Bag camera trophies of elephant, lion, rhino, cheetah, cape buffalo and whale
88  Done Learn to fence
89  Done Learn jujitsu
90  Done Teach a college course
91  Done Watch a cremation ceremony in Bali
92  Done Explore depths of the sea
93 Appear in a Tarzan movie
94 Own a horse, chimpanzee, cheetah, ocelot, and coyote (Didn’t own a chimp nor cheetah)
95 Become a ham radio operator
96  Done Build own telescope
97  Done Write a book (About his Nile trip)
98  Done Publish an article in National Geographic Magazine
99  Done High jump five feet
100  Done Broad jump 15 feet
101  Done Run mile in five minutes
102  Done Weigh 175 pounds stripped
103  Done Perform 200 sit-ups and 20 pull-ups
104  Done Learn French, Spanish and Arabic
105 Study dragon lizards on Komodo Island (Boat broke down within 20 miles of island)
106  Done Visit birthplace of Grandfather Sorenson in Denmark
107  Done Visit birthplace of Grandfather Goddard in England
108  Done Ship aboard a freighter as a seaman
109 Read the entire Encyclopedia Britannica (Has read extensive parts in each volume)
110  Done Read the Bible from cover to cover
111  Done Read the works of Shakespeare, Plato, Aristotle, Dickens, Thoreau, Rousseau, Conrad, Hemingway, Twain, Burroughs, Talmage, Tolstoi, Longfellow, Keats, Poe, Bacon, Whittier, and Emerson (not every work of each)
112  Done Become familiar with the compositions of Bach, Beethoven, Debussy, Ibert, Mendelssohn, Lalo, Liszt, Rimski-Korsakov, Respighi, Rachmaninoff, Paganini, Stravinsky, Toch, Tschaikosvsky, Verdi
113  Done Become proficient in the use of a plane, motorcycle, tractor, surfboard, rifle, pistol, canoe, microscope, football, basketball, bow and arrow, lariat and boomerang
114  Done Compose music
115  Done Play Clair de Lune on the piano
116  Done Watch fire-walking ceremony (In Bali and Surinam)
117  Done Milk a poisonous snake (bitten by diamondback during photo session)
118  Done Light a match with .22 rifle
119  Done Visit a movie studio
120  Done Climb Cheops’ pyramid
121  Done Become a member of the Explorer’s Club and the Adventure’s Club
122  Done Learn to play polo
123  Done Travel through the Grand Canyon on foot and by boat
124  Done Circumnavigate the globe (four times)
125 Visit the moon (“Someday, if God wills”)
126  Done Marry and have children (had six children)
127  Done Live to see the 21st century

 

I have never written down a “list” myself but I’ve got an idea of the few things I want to do. I hope the above list from John Goddard can be an inspiration to some and maybe you could write your own “life list” starting from 2016.

Thanks a lot to all my readers and followers for their ‘likes’ and support. It’s been a fun ride till now. Wish you all a great year 2016 and may you succeed in your endeavours!

 

Babylovedictionly Yours

Fardeenah

Advertisements

How NORAD became the world’s official Santa-tracker

Santa Claus norad

An interesting article I came across from Los Angeles Times, written by Karen Kaplan.

U.S. Northern Command Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Charles D. Luckey and volunteers take phone calls from children around the world. A misprint in a newspaper advertisement kicked off NORAD’s Santa-tracking activities 60 years ago.

December 25, 2015, 5:44 a.m.

It was December 1955, the height of the Cold War, when the red phone on Col. Harry Shoup’s desk at the Continental Air Defense Command began to ring.

Only an elite few knew the number. Odds were good that a four-star general from the Pentagon was on the other end of the line.

Shoup reached for the phone.

“Yes, sir. This is Col. Shoup,” he said.

No response.

“Sir? This is Col. Shoup.” Pause. “Sir, can you read me all right?”

That’s when Shoup heard the little girl’s voice.

“Are you really Santa Claus?”

For the last 60 years, officials at the North American Aerospace Defense Command at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colo., have tracked Santa’s whirlwind tour across the globe to deliver presents on Christmas Eve. Nearly 9 million people from more than 200 countries are expected to check in with NORAD’s Santa-tracking website before they go to bed on Christmas Eve.

And it all began with that phone call.

As Shoup later recalled in a home video, his first response to the unlikely query was that someone was pulling his leg — and he wasn’t amused.

“I said, ‘Would you repeat that please?'” he replied.

“Are you really Santa Claus?”

That’s when he realized two things: Something had gone wrong with his phone, and the question was genuine.

So he told the little girl on the other end of the line that he was, indeed, Santa Claus. Relieved, she informed him that she would be leaving him food by her fireplace, plus treats for his reindeer as well.

“I said, ‘Oh boy, they sure will appreciate that!’”

Then Shoup asked to speak to her mother. That’s how he learned that a Sears, Roebuck & Co. advertisement in the local newspaper had invited kids to call Santa at ME 2-6681 — the number for the red phone.

It was a misprint, of course, but that didn’t stop kids from flooding the line all the way until Christmas. Shoup assigned a couple of airmen to answer the line and act like St. Nick, Shoup’s daughter Pamela Farrell recounted to StoryCorps.

After a few weeks, someone at the Continental Air Defense Command (which is now NORAD) had an inspired idea. He went to the giant glass board where airmen tracked the planes in U.S. or Canadian airspace and added a drawing of a sleigh with eight reindeer. They were headed south from the North Pole.

Shoup studied the board. Then he picked up his phone, his other daughter, Terri Van Keuren, told StoryCorps.

“He called a local radio station and said, ‘This is the commander of the Combat Alert Center, and we have an unidentified flying object — why, it looks like a sleigh!’”

After that, Van Keuren added, stations would call every hour to ask for the latest on Santa’s whereabouts.

The military’s Santa-tracking efforts have become considerably more elaborate since 1955. NORAD’s online tracker plays Christmas tunes while flying reindeer pull a red sleigh over images of the Earth provided by NASA. The site shows Santa’s last stop and gives an ETA for his next destination. It also keeps a running tab of the number of gifts delivered.

Those who find websites passé can download the NORAD Tracks Santa app from the iTunes store, follow @NoradSanta on Twitter, “like” NORAD’s tracker on Facebook or keep tabs through a variety of other social media sites.

More than 70,000 children still call NORAD to talk to Santa on a toll-free line — (877) HI-NORAD or (877) 446-6723 — and another 12,000 or so send e-mails to noradtrackssanta@outlook.com.

All of this would have been impossible for Shoup to imagine as he spoke to the little girl who inadvertently kicked the whole thing off 60 years ago.

Before handing the phone to her mother, the girl asked a question that was certainly appropriate for an Air Force colonel: How is it possible for Santa to visit so many houses in a single night?

Years later, Shoup still remembered his answer: “I said, ‘That’s the magic of Christmas.’”

You can follow Karen Kaplan on Twitter @LATkarenkaplan and also ‘like’ Los Angeles Times Science and Health on Facebook.

Have you been tracking Santa with your kids or you’ve already told them that Santa is not real?

 

Holidays in Mauritius with a Toddler (Part 2/3)

 

Mauritius beach

Mauritius

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The holidays in Mauritius are still on and activities and outings are part of our everyday life now; there’s so much to see and do in this paradise island. Here is a list of a few other things we did these last weeks.

Trianon Shopping Park – Intresting shopping outlets

Trianon Shopping ParkWith around 80 shops, cafes and restaurants, cinema halls, this mall is one of the busiest of the island offering a wide variety of both local and international brands. There are many parking spaces and it holds regular events.

A big plus: an entertainment area for kids called Cocotown Kids. It has a huge climbing frame, many interesting activities for both small and big kids as well as a café/restaurant with small tables and chairs. The price charged for three hours is Rs 300 and there are lots to do in those three hours. My daughter loved Cocotown and so did I. We have to go again!

 

Mauritius Aquarium – Not recommendedMauritius Aquarium

After having been to the Sydney Aquarium – where more than 700 species are on display – I must admit that the Mauritius Aquarium was a big disappointment. True, my expectations may have been too high. However, to call the place an aquarium would be a hyperbole. There are many big salt water fish tanks and one very big water tank. There were a few interesting fish and although the website advertised for a ‘ray’, we simply couldn’t find it. The sharks were probably baby sharks and there were about two turtles. All this for the price of Rs 300 for an adult and Rs 150 for children aged between 2 and 12, which is quite a rip off I think with regard to what you get to see.

Mauritius AquariumThe water tanks are placed at quite a height, which made it very hard for my 2 year old daughter, my 3 year old nephew and my 5 year old nephew to see much, if not, anything at all. We had to hold them all the way through for them to be able to have a look. Not very convenient for anyone I must say.

Mauritius AquariumLuckily for us, the children were simply amazed with the turtles and the baby sharks. They know nothing about inconveniences – fortunately for them. They kept asking me about the ray as I had told them they would see one in the ‘aquarium’. Hmmm …

Mauritius beachAfter the ‘aquarium’ they went for a quick swim in the Trou-Aux-Biches sea, one minute drive from there. It was not a great beach but as I said earlier, children are so fortunate to see only the fun side of things, reminding me of the poems of The Lamb and The Tyger in Blake’s ‘Songs of Innocence and Experience’.

Casela – Great fun for kids

Casela Park MauritiusThis nature park has recently been uplifted and looks much better than it did two years ago. It is beautifully maintained and ‘visitor-friendly’.

Because of my daughter’s naptime, I could only spend around two hours in Casela; however, even a full day might not be enough to enjoy all the activities. We walked past the giraffes and straight to the petting farm. The ducks, geese, turkeys, chickens, turtles were all quite eager to be fed. We decided to go and feed the kids (baby goats) …… It wasn’t a good idea after all as my 9 year old niece really freaked out causing the other children to get scared too and I’m pretty sure the baby goats got quite scared with so much screaming.

Then we walked to catch the bus for the safari. The safari was quite interesting although the number ofCasela Park Mauritius animals cannot be compared to those from Perth zoo, for example. We saw mainly zebras, ostriches, 2 baby rhinoceroses, a few species from the antelope family. I was pleasantly surprised to see an oryx – the oryx is the national animal of Qtar, the UAE, Oman, Bahrain and Jordan. Unfortunately for us the giraffes and the ‘big cats’ were in separate enclosures.

The safari took a while and by the time it was over, it was 5.00 p.m. which was Casela’s closing time. We will definitely have to go back for other activities.

Here are a few more pictures of the beautiful place:

Casela Park Mauritius

Casela Park Mauritius

Casela Park Mauritius

Casela Park Mauritius

Casela Park Mauritius

Casela Park Mauritius

Casela Park Mauritius

Casela Park Mauritius

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emerald Park Shopping Centre – Okayish

Emerald Park Mauritius

Photo Credit: thunderpanths

This is a rather small shopping centre which is not really for kids. If you want to eat or drink something (healthy) with the kids, apart from one vending machine, there is absolutely nothing. I’d say, it’s somewhere you could go to buy clothes or toys for the kids (only 2 shops are relevant for that) but where they will get really bored.

Mr Bricloage which is a DIY type of shop is quite an interesting place. I bought a small swimming pool for my daughter and she absolutely loved it. It was relatively cheap. I really liked the fact that it is not an inflatable one so hopefully it will last a while. Lots of interesting DIY stuff for kids too.

The other shop is  Pridemark. It sells brand clothing at a bargain price. Although I could only find one shirt  for my daughter I bought 3 dresses for myself! If you like brands for affordable prices, this is the place to go.

I’ve got a few other things on my bucket list for the coming weeks. Would you have any suggestions?

Fish and Mercury — it’s important to know how much of which fish type you are eating.

children eat fish

Photo: tomolivernutrition.com

 

When discussing fish with my young niece, I became quite alarmed to see that she didn’t have a clue about mercury level in fish. She had marlin for lunch! I thought I’d draw mums’ and dads’ attention to ‘Fish and Mercury’ so that they are better aware of the risks involved with eating some particular types of fish.

The following article from the New South Wales (Australia) website sums it all up and can be quite helpful to choose how often to give which type of fish to children and also for pregnant mums and women planning pregnancy.

Fish and Mercury (Source: NSW Food Authority)

It’s good to eat enough fish, especially when pregnant or breastfeeding. Fish are a valuable source of protein, minerals, vitamin B12 and iodine. They are low in saturated fat and contain omega-3 fatty acids which are important for the development of babies’ central nervous systems before and after birth.

Selecting Fish

Most fish in Australia are low in mercury but some are higher and too much mercury can harm developing nervous systems. It’s best to know the mercury levels of different types of fish and how often to eat each type.

Pregnant & breastfeeding women & women planning pregnancy

1 serve equals 150g

Children up to 6 years

1 serve equals 75g

Eat 2-3 serves per week of any fish and seafood not listed below
OR
Eat 1 serve per week of these fish, and no other fish that week:

Catfish or Orange Roughy (Deep Sea Perch)

OR
1 serve per fortnight of these fish, and no other fish that fortnight:

Shark (Flake) or Billfish (Swordfish, Marlin)

 

Mercury from fish is generally not a health consideration for most people, it is mainly an issue for women planning pregnancy, pregnant women, breastfeeding women and children up to six years.

Ready-to-each, chilled seafood, such as raw sushi, sashimi & oysters or pre-cooked prawns and smoked salmon can be risk for pregnant women because of listeria. Our guidelines have more information about listeria and what to avoid during pregnancy.

Mercury in Fish

Mercury occurs naturally in the environment and accumulates in the aquatic food chain, including fish, as methyl-mercury. All fish contain some methyl-mercury, but most fish in Australian waters have very low mercury levels.

Mercury content is not reduced by processing techniques such as canning, freezing or cooking. Many fish have low mercury levels.

The following fish have low mercury levels and are also high in omega-3 fatty acids:

  • Mackerel
  • Silver Warehou
  • Atlantic Salmon
  • Canned salmon & canned tuna in oil
  • Herrings
  • Sardines

Other seafood with low mercury levels include:

  • All prawns, lobsters and bugs
  • All squids and octopus
  • Snapper
  • Salmon and trout
  • Trevally
  • Whiting
  • Herring
  • Anchovy
  • Bream
  • Mullet
  • Garfish

These fish can be eaten more frequently, up to two to three times per week.

 

canned fishCanned Tuna & Salmon

It is generally safe for all population groups, including pregnant women, to consume 2-3 serves of any type of tuna or salmon a week, canned or fresh.

Canned tuna usually has lower mercury levels than other tuna because tuna used for canning are smaller species that are caught when less than one year old.

Supplements

Fish oil products and supplements are not a major source of dietary mercury and there is no recommendation to restrict consuming them because of mercury.

Crustacea & Molluscs

Crustacea (including prawns, lobster and crabs) and molluscs (including oysters and calamari) are not a concern because they generally contain lower levels of mercury and are usually consumed less often than finfish.

Fish for Others

Breastfeeding mothers can continue to eat fish.

Fish are rich in protein and minerals, low in saturated fat, and contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for the development of your baby’s central nervous system, even after birth.

Although it’s important to continue to eat fish while you are breastfeeding, you need to be careful about which fish you choose. Some fish may contain mercury levels that can harm a baby’s developing nervous system if too much mercury is passed to them through breastmilk.

To safely include fish as an important part of a balanced diet while you are breastfeeding, follow the same guidelines provided to pregnant women.

Kids eat fishFish is good for young children

The healthy nutrients found in fish are excellent for growing children. Simply follow the guidelines for children up to 6 years.

 

Exceeding the Recommended Guidelines

Like all foods, fish should be eaten as part of a varied and balanced diet. Over-consumption of any single food group, particularly to the exclusion of other foods, is not recommended because it can lead to dietary imbalances and may increase your intake of potentially harmful substances, such as mercury.

If you have been eating more than 2-3 serves of fish in the past, you can follow the recommended number of weekly portions and your mercury levels will return to normal fairly soon.

Mercury levels will generally halve within several months, providing you follow the dietary advice and limit the amount of Shark (Flake) and Billfish (Swordfish, Marlin) you consume. If you are concerned about your mercury levels, your doctor can order a blood and/or urine test.

If you choose to eat more than 2-3 serves of fish per week it is important to eat a variety of fish, and avoid those that could have elevated mercury levels, such as Shark (Flake) or Billfish (Swordfish, Marlin).

Have you had any issue with mercury level in your blood or that of your child? When did you last have a blood test?