Label: Halloween

October 30, 2015

I know that I have many cat lovers among the readers of my blog, so I’ve been saving this adorable photograph to share today! 

If you and your friends are planning to trick or treat tomorrow, please remember these simple rules:


1. Wear bright costumes and put reflective tape on your costume or trick or treat bag, so that it is easy for drivers to see you if you are out at dusk or after dark.

2. Only trick or treat at houses that have their porch lights on, signalling that they are welcoming trick or treaters.

3. Never go into a stranger’s house - stay on the front porch.

4. Travel in a group - there is safety in numbers.

5. Don’t eat any candy or treats that are not wrapped and sealed. 

6. Be a helper for younger children who might be scared of the dark or the scary costumes. Little kids might be feeling shy or nervous and you can help them make their way up to the door and let them know that you are kind, not scary, no matter what your big kid’s costume looks like!


That’s it - simple rules that make the evening fun for everyone. Happy Halloween to all my readers!

- Seymour 

 



Posted by: Seymour Simon

(3) Comments  •   Labels: Animals, Cats, Halloween   •  Permalink (link to this article)

October 29, 2015

Are you as fascinated by bats as I am? I love to watch them come out just after the sun sets and begin to feed on insects on summer nights. I have not seen as many in recent years because we have a fungus called "white nose syndrome" endangering the Brown Bat here in North America. Scientists are still trying to find a way to protect our native bats. 

A different species, a large fruit bat known as the Spectacled Flying Fox, is facing its own challenges in Queensland, Australia.

It turns out that the problem for these bats is ticks, which dig into the bats’ skin and inject a paralyzing poison. Once their feet are paralyzed, they can no longer hang upside down from tree branches to sleep, and they die. 

The time of year when the ticks are most plentiful is also the time when most baby flying foxes are born, so rescuers realized a number of years ago that they needed to come up with a plan to save these orphaned baby bats.

Veterinarians in Queensland set up the Tolga Bat Hospital, and hundreds of orphaned baby fruit bats are being rescued each year and raised at the hospital until they can be released into the wild. 

Isn’t is good to see these magnificent wild animals being cared for by humans?

 

Photo: Jurgen Freund / naturepl.com 

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(4) Comments  •   Labels: science news, Animals, Conservation, Halloween   •  Permalink (link to this article)

October 28, 2015

Good morning and welcome to a special Halloween Writing Wednesday (which includes a ghostly Halloween treat at the end of this post)!

 

Today, we would like you to read a part of Seymour Simon’s book GHOSTS. As you read the page below, notice shades of meaning in the vocabulary. How does Seymour’s use of the adjectives "cold" and "damp" instead of just writing "castle" affect the mental image you create? As you read, look for other examples of vivid words that Seymour Simon uses, and tell us about how it enhances the selection. Write two or three sentences and tell us about which adjectives and word choices he makes to create a spooky feeling as he tells this story.

When you have finished writing, click on the yellow "Comments" link below to post your writing for others to read.


 

 

 

 

 

 

       

 

Calvados Castle is a gloomy-looking castle in France. It was built hundreds of years ago in the Middle Ages. Cold and damp, the castle hardly looks like a place in which anybody would want to live. If you saw it, you might think it was a perfect place for a ghost. And you would be right. Calvados Castle is haunted.

        The first record of ghostly happenings came in 1875. The family and the servants that lived in the castle were disturbed night after night by mysterious sounds. They decided to place threads across the open doors. They hoped that the threads would be broken so that they could learn where the intruders came in. The sounds continued, but the threads were never broken.

        The owner began keeping a diary of the strange events. The diary tells that on the night of October 13, 1875, a teacher employed by the family was alone in his room.


Halloween Treat! Seymour Simon had this book recorded by a narrator who has a famous "haunted" voice (he used to be a narrator for The Twilight Zone television series). Click below if you would like to hear a selection of the book read aloud. But we warn you, if you are someone who is easily scared, you might not want to press play!

 

 

Posted by: Liz Nealon

(1) Comments  •   Labels: Writing Wednesday, eBooks, Halloween   •  Permalink (link to this article)

October 27, 2015

This ghostly sight is known as the dB 141 Nebula. It is composed of the gassy remains of a supernova - the gigantic explosion that occurred when a huge star blew up. And since it kind of looks like a bunch of ghosts, it reminds me to wish all my readers a Happy, Out of This World, Halloween!

 

Photo: Credit: T.A. Rector/University of Alaska Anchorage, H. Schweiker/WIYN and NOAO/AURA/NSF



Posted by: Seymour Simon

(1) Comments  •   Labels: Astronomy, Cool Photo, Halloween   •  Permalink (link to this article)

October 29, 2014

Happy Halloween from the misunderstood animals in my book ANIMALS NOBODY LOVES!

 

 

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(1) Comments  •   Labels: Animals Nobody Loves, Halloween   •  Permalink (link to this article)

October 29, 2014

Seymour Simon and Dennis Kendrick have teamed up again for a new "Silly Jokes and Riddles" book, and this one is perfect for Halloween! If you are a StarWalk Kids Media subscriber, the narrated eBook is already in your collection. If not, it is available on both Amazon and BN.com

Posted by: Liz Nealon

(1) Comments  •   Labels: New Books, eBooks, Halloween   •  Permalink (link to this article)

October 8, 2014

 

 

 

Look at this great photograph that I just received from Tamie Williams, the School librarian at George Washington Carver Elementary School in Neosho, Missouri. Those are two of my books, and one by my friend and fellow StarWalk Kids author Caroline Arnold.

Thanks for including me in your Halloween decorations, guys! 

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(0) Comments  •   Labels: Cool Photo, Human Body, Halloween   •  Permalink (link to this article)

October 30, 2012

We are a little bit late with our posting of today’s Cool Photo of the Week because of the power outages here on the East Coast. But, we’re back online just in time to share this special, COOL HALLOWEEN PHOTO OF THE WEEK!

This ghostly sight is known as the Cygnus Loop Nebula, a supernova remnant that is about 1,500 light-years away from Earth. This nebula is the gassy remains of a supernova - the gigantic explosion when a huge star blew itself up.

And since the Cygnus Loop Nebula looks like a ghost, it reminds me to wish all my readers a Happy, Out of This World Halloween!

 

Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(0) Comments  •   Labels: Cool Photo, space, Stars, Halloween, Holidays   •  Permalink (link to this article)

September 21, 2011

Last week (before it got so chilly here in Columbia County, NY) Liz and I were sitting on the deck watching the sunset when we saw this swarm of gnats (pronounced NATS - silent "g". They are small, two-winged flies).

Click Ghost of Gnats to see the video. 

They were all moving, but as one big, spherical shape. I suspected it was a mating swarm, so I decided to do a little reading and check it out.

Turns out it was indeed a mating swarm. When this happens, a big group of male flies are irresistibly attracted to pheromones secreted by a female or females who are ready for mating.  Pheromones (pronounced FAIR-uh-moans) are a chemical substance given off by some animals, especially insects, that influences the behavior of other animals of the same species. The males detected the pheromones from hundreds of yards away, and all rushed to the same place to try to find the female.

You end up with this ball of almost all male flies, searching for the female who is somewhere in the middle. The expression for this is "a ghost of gnats." Isn’t that great? It does look a little bit like a ghost haunting in the sunset twilight, as all the gnats move as a big group. 

 

Photo: A Fungus gnat, courtesy Maine.gov

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(1) Comments  •   Labels: Video, Insects, Halloween   •  Permalink (link to this article)