Category Archives: Arts & Humanities

Make Your Own Very Hungry Caterpillar

Here is a fun craft activity to do with the kids – how to make your own very hungry caterpillar. This could be an activity for your own kids or something you can do in batches for a group of children, e.g at a playgroup or preschool.

The result is this, the caterpillar before he ate through all that food and got a tummy ache!


What you will need:
  • green card (or paper or can be white)
  • red paper (again can be white)
  • white card
  • sticky eyes (optional)
  • lolly stick (optional)
  • green paint
  • yellow paint
  • glue stick
  • sellotape

Firstly paint your green card or paper with a very rough mix of dark green and yellow paint. Make sure the colours don’t blend together too well!

Mark up the back of the card with discs. If you are just doing one or two you can obviously make them much bigger.

Cut them out so that they all have slightly differing colours in them.

Cut a body shape out of white card and a head out of the red paper. if you don’t have red paper colour in some white paper with a red pen!

Use a glue stick to start gluing down the body pieces one at a time, overlapping each other onto the card body.

Stick on the head and then you can either use sticky eyes or else just draw on your own eyes (the rights colours are green in the middle and yellow outside but sticky eyes do just fine). Draw in his mouth with a marker or felt pen.

You can then use sellotape to attach the lolly stick to the back of the head so that you can move the caterpillar around – ideal to use with the story book.

And there you go, the finished hungry caterpillar:

How to make your own very hungry caterpillar


And if you want to buy the book…

Why is Everyone Dying?

In 2016 there have been a spate of celebrity deaths that actually kicked off just after Christmas of 2015 with Lemmy of Motorhead.

Obviously the big death that shocked everyone initially was David Bowie on 4th January 2016 but then it seems like a lot of high profile people have followed over the past few months.

So why are so many people dying you may ask? Well one theory is that popular culture really started kicking off in the 1950s and 60s and that is when television became much more widespread. By the beginning of the 1960s around 3/4 of the population had a television in their homes and so you could say that celebrity became much more common and accessible at that stage.

This enabled not only TV celebrities but also musicians to gain much more notoriety and in much larger numbers.

So those people who were becoming well known in the 50s and 60s were likely to be born in the 30s and 40s, which would make a lot of them in their 70s right now.

With life expectancy for men being in the 70s it becomes logical for many of the popular figures in the 60s to now be hitting that kind of milestone.

Obviously there are other factors involved too and in particular it seems that a lot of the deaths in 2016 have been from cancer including Bowie, Alan Rickman, Dan Haggerty, Johan Cruyff,  Victoria Wood and Billy Paul, but cancer is a big killer. Currently 44% of the population are expected to get cancer in their lifetime (in the UK) and of those 50% will survive for 10 or more years.

So really we have to think that maybe it is not a case of lots of well known people dying in 2016, but maybe more of the case that there are more well known people around so we are likely to hear about more celebrity deaths in the coming years as the generation that became celebrities in the 60s and beyond become part of the older generation.

It does seem that 2016 has started pretty badly, but overall life expectancy is getting higher each year and women in particular can expect to live until they are around 83 years old in the UK and 81 in the US. Men are a little behind with an average life expectancy of 79 in the UK, 76 in the US.

Life expectancy is rising continually so anyone born now could have a life expectancy in their 90s and by 2050-60, anyone born around that time may be expected to live until 100!

How To Use Manual Settings On A Digital Camera

SLR Camera Settings

If you have an SLR camera, whether it be digital or not, you have the option to choose different settings with which to take your photos. This gives you much more control over how your pictures turn out.

However, a lot of people buy a good camera and then just use it on the automatic setting so that the camera itself decides what speed and what aperture the lens will fire at. It may also choose the ISO setting for that shot. It is very easy just to keep using the camera on the automatic setting and you can get perfectly good shots by doing this, but if you want to be a bit more inventive with your photography then you need to take that step to learn how to use the manual settings.

So, if you want more control over how your pictures turn out, and you want your pictures to look more professional, then try experimenting with the different settings. The best idea is to actually read the instruction booklet that came with your camera but some of those are hundreds of pages long and realistically how many people do that?

So, there are some different settings on your camera – you may have the picture icons which will customise the kind of settings that you might use – for example if you choose the sport option you will get a faster shutter speed at the expense of depth of field and it may also automatically turn on the multi-frame option.

Otherwise you may have the following setttings:

Av – Aperture priority – where you choose the width of the aperture (this controls the depth of field)
Tv – Shutter priority – where you set the shutter speed and the camera chooses the aperture
M – Completely manual – you choose both settings which means that you need to make sure that you have the right combination that will let enough light in for the picture to be correctly exposed.

I will explain the first two options below.

Continue reading How To Use Manual Settings On A Digital Camera

Coldplay’s Mylo Xyloto on Pre-Order

Coldplay’s 5th studio album, Mylo Xyloto will be released on 24th October and is currently available on Amazon on pre-order. With their pre-order guarantee, if the price drops before the release date you will only pay the lowest prices, so it is definitely worth putting in a pre-order for this new Coldplay album that is set to be another best seller.

The new album includes the blockbuster single ‘Every Tear is a Waterfall’ plus a number of tracks that were heard at their big Glastonbury gig and other concerts that they have been playing around the world.

Coldplay’s Mylo Xyloto contains 14 new tracks and will be released on 24th October so get your order in now, whether you are in the UK or the US.



2012 Calendar – Mayan/Aztec Predictions and Books

Most people have heard that the world is supposed to end in 2012. Whether or not you believe this might happen there is plenty of information out there that says there will be an apocalypse on 21 December 2012. There are many skeptics out there (and I am one of them for sure) that say the 2012 calendar stories are just rubbish but we will not find out obviously until it is maybe too late.

There have been a few books written all about the 2012 calendar predictions and no doubt there will be a few more before the date hits us. Some people have been carrying out detailed investigations into the predictions which were made thousands of years ago. If you want to check out books on the 2012 calendar theory then take a look at this: