Why’d They Wear That? Fashion as the Mirror of History

Why'd They Wear That

I’m often amazed with the outfits ML creates from her wardrobe.  Usually, I refrain from asking her to change clothes.  Unless, it’s 30 degrees and she’s wearing a tank top and shorts.  I’ll save the clothing arguments for later years.  Her combinations mimic her personality.  Athletic, original and full of zest.

I knew when Why’d They Wear That? Fashion as the Mirror of History by Sarah Albee arrived, ML would love it.  The text is difficult to read for a 2nd grader; but I knew she would poor over the pictures.  She did.  For the first time in a long time, she did not resist a book recommendation from me.

Today, when I dropped ML off at carpool, we were greeted by a drummer boy and a man playing a fife.  Any guesses on “Why’d they wear that?”



Bugged: How Insects Changed History


Two of ML’s friends love science and history.  When I say love history, I mean LOVE history.  When Bugged:  How Insects Changed History by Sarah Albee and illustrated by Robert Leighton arrived at the library, I knew I needed to share it with the world.  Earlier this year, I posted about their book Poop Happened:  A History of the World From the Bottom Up.  It was fascinating.

I flipped through Bugged and already learned a few things.  Can you name nine Presidents who suffered malaria?  Ask Eli and Will after they read this book.  In the meantime, feel sorry for Zachary Taylor whose illnesses included yellow fever, malaria, dysentery and possibly cholera or typhus.  I admit my knowledge about President Taylor is limited to his name.  Anybody know why he contracted so many insect borne illnesses?

Science Friday – Poop, Scat, Do-Do

Truth Poop
Jurassic Poop

I have a new strategy to reduce the numerous poop conversations between ML and her friends. Give them a poop fact every time they say the word. Below are the books I am reading and a fact or two from each one.

The Truth About Poop by Susan E. Goodman and illustrated by Elwood H. Smith “While they’re hibernating, BEARS don’t poop at all. Their bodies create an internal plug made from feces, old cells, and hair that keeps them from pooping during their winter sleep.”

Poop Happened: A History of the World From the Bottom Up by Sarah Albee and illustrated by Robert Leighton
In medieval times a gongfermor enjoyed one of the higher paying jobs. Enjoy is probably not the best word. Gongfermors jumped into the muck of privy pits and carted the poop away.
A modern day issue, “. . .you’ll appreciate the problems faced by astronauts in a wieghtless environment. In older spacecrafts, the toilet was little more than a plastic bag taped to the astronaut’s behnd. Nowadays. . .” Sorry, you’ll have to check out the book.

Jurassic Poop: What Dinosaurs (and Others) Left Behind by Jacob Berkowitz and Steve Mack
Coprolite – Scientific name for fossilized feces.
Archaeoentomologist – Scientist who studies ancient insects.
Scatologist – Scientist who studies feces from living animals
Paleoecologist – Scientist who studies the relationships between ancient animals, plants and the environment.
Paleoparasitologist – Scientists who study ancient parasites.
I’m looking forward to asking, “Do you know what a Archaeoentomologist studying coprolites is looking for?

I need to tell ML a story about Uncle Kevin. Actually, I’ll wait until we visit Georgia so her Papa can tell it. I did not witness the event. However, it is vivid in my memory because my dad is one of the best storytellers in the world. My college graduation was outside beneath large oak trees. I bet you know where this is going. . . Yep, Uncle Kevin’s button-down, plaid shirt got hit by bird poop. Actually, I learned in Poop: A Natural History by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Neal Layton, birds poop and pee out of the same hole. The dark stuff is feces and the white stuff is their pasty urine. Who knew?