Thursday, January 17, 2008

Of Sundials and Treasure Island

I mentioned the other day that the boys are studying time. We worked laboriously on a spectacular sundial.
Ok,, maybe not so much. Maybe we stuck something heavy in a box, made a big nail stick out of it and stuck a poster board circle on top.
Anyway, we took it outside yesterday and marked where the shadow fell. A little while later, we marked it again. The idea was just to show how the shadow would move.

We left it outside over night and through the next day to see if the shadow fell in the exact same spot the next day. It was PERFECT! If we marked out all the hours we could tell time by it! We left it out again. If we don't get snow tonight, we'll go make some more lines on it tomorrow.

Dad is still reading Treasure Island to the boys. We're all very into it and can't wait to read the next chapter. The boys are very interested in all the weaponry of course. Dad is working in a lot of history along with this reading. That's always good. Tonight we learned about Virginia Governor Alexander Spotswood's dealings with Blackbeard the pirate and why European countries hired privateers.

It all sounds so wonderful doesn't it? Well, perhaps I shouldn't mention that we also learned about why they call it the "Poop Deck"! From Wikipedia

In naval architecture, a poop deck is a deck that constitutes the roof of a cabin built in the aft (rear) part of the superstructure of a ship. The name originates from the French word (la poupe)[1] for stern, this makes the poop deck technically called a stern deck, which in sailing ships was usually elevated as the roof of the stern (or 'after') cabin. In sailing ships, with the helmsman at the stern, an elevated position was ideal for both navigation and observation of the crew and sails.

The picture shows the stern of the ship. The deck out of view above the after cabin is the poop deck. On modern, motorized warships, the ship functions which were once carried out on the poop deck are moved to the superstructure in the center of the ship (or the island on the starboard side, in the case of aircraft carriers), and the aft area, which is clear and flush with the main deck, is referred to as the fantail.

Pretty interesting huh? I thought so!

1 comment:

Chris said...

Very cool sundial! And I learned alot about ships on your blog too.