Don’t touch my moustache

Don’t touch my moustache.

I don’t know anymore who created that phrase, but almost every visitor to Japan will recognize it as the “you’re welcome” phrase. That is, if you speak little or no Japanese, you could say “Don’t touch my moustache”, and if you say it reasonably fast enough without articulating, it sounds reasonably similar to どういたしまして (doh itashee mashteh).

Meet 10-year-old Alfie. He’s really saying Don’t touch my moustache. You’ll notice he’s not saying please or thank you.


That spider is everywhere!

Carly Simon sings a version of Coming Around Again that includes a very mellow Itsy Bitsy Spider (you knew?).

Greg and Steve include an upbeat Itsy Bitsy Spider in their Mack Chicken Dance medley (you knew?).

Ralph’s World sings a philosophical – and highly entertaining – version of Itsy Bitsy Spider (you knew?).

Black Rattle calls itself America’s premier heavy metal children’s band and, well, sings a heavy metal version of Itsy Bitsy Spider (you knew?).

Super Simple Songs has the absolute most bestest and coolest version of Eensey Weensey Spider (of course you knew).

There are many many many more versions out there.

Any guesses on why Itsy Bitsy Spider is used so much? Is it the most popular of the nursery rhymes?

I wonder why.

P.S. Today’s is Duke Ellington’s birthday. Did he have a version of Itsy Bitsy Spider? I’ll bet he did!

Shiny Search

UPDATE (May 11, 2009): Want to uninstall Shiny Search? Follow the directions in the comment posted by Dragon Blogger on March 4, 2009 (the “how to remove” question was asked in the comment right before).


Normally I love the simple clean look of Google. I have enough clutter on my desk, I don’t want more stuff on my search engines.

But just like the teenager who likes to spend an afternoon putting together new outfits, sometimes I want to dress things up and change things around a bit.

Shiny Search has a whole bunch of backgrounds you can choose from and then set as your new custom search homepage. Some backgrounds are busy, and some are nice and simple. Seriously, try it, because the searches really work!

From this….

shiny-search…to this!


Now where are the spiders and turtles?

Bored? Try another! (Smart computer people: you’d make your own, right?)

Dots and Dashes, Dits and Dahs

April 27 is Samuel Morse's Birthday

April 27 is Samuel Morse's Birthday

Give your older students a copy of the International Morse Code and explain briefly about the dots and dashes. Then give the students a few minutes to figure out how to tap their names.

You can stop the activity here, because you’ll lose their interest if you spend too much time on it.

But if your 11- and 12-year-old mystery-loving students are anything like ours, they’ll scoot home and learn the rest of the code with their friends. You’ll probably notice a whole bunch of message tapping within a day or two.

Tip: You might want to make them take off their shoes and wear mittens during tests…..


Earth – the movie

I have watched many nature programs and movies.

Earth is going to be unlike anything I’ve ever seen.

It’s one year in the life of 3 animal families (plus a whole bunch of other equally fascinating animals who happen to live nearby).

The filmmakers made it with the whole people family in mind, meaning it’s kid-friendly, so kindly make plans to take your family to see it. Please.

Click on the polar bears to watch the video (embedding disabled by request).


I scream, you scream, we all scream for PB and J ice cream sandwiches!

Yes, that’s right: peanut butter and jelly ice cream sandwiches! It’s a PB and J sandwich…with peanut butter cookies! And peanut butter chips! And ice cream! Did I mention the peanut butter?

I am definitely going to make these. (If you can find peanut butter ice cream for me here in Japan, you’re my new best friend.)

I am definitely going to have trouble agreeing to share these.


Cook Eat Share, just so you know, has numerous recipes for non-vegetarians. If you’re okay with that, snuffle around.

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