Netflix Stream Team – a family pick of scifi, history and humour

Netflix Stream Team – a family pick of scifi, history and humour

So far this Irish Summer has been a bit of a washout. As I type, the wind is howling and the rain is sheeting down. We brave it when we can, and, when we can’t, we come up with indoor activities to amuse us. Sometimes though, there is nothing for it but to take out the blankets and turn on Netflix.

Here are some of our viewing recommendations this Summer. I’ve noticed a bit of a trend when comparing the adults choices to the children’s… both seem to include scifi, history and humour – not a bad mix!


Scifi – the  children were delighted to see Guardians of the Galaxy come to Netflix (this movie has a 12s rating) and it has already served them well as a ‘movie night’ option with friends.

Tech – We have introduced a bit more coding in the house this Summer, after a wonderful introduction from Galway’s Coderdojo classes. The children have loved the hour of code and have completed the Minecraft and StarWars challenges. This has sparked their coding imagination, and now they have found Gaming show (in my parents’ garage) they are completely hooked.

Gaming show IMPG

HistoryHorrible Histories is a constant entertainer in this house, even the adults have watched most of the episodes. It is amazing how the children are quoting historic facts, learned from the programme. When they finish the series they just start again from the beginning.

Humour – Apart from the giggles they get from Horrible Histories, the children are also loving the newest series of King Julien. I often pop my head in the room to find three laughing children snuggled on the couch.


Scifi – we stumbled across a scifi film called Push and loved it. It certainly deserves more than the three stars it currently has in the rating. The movie is about people with special powers, some can read minds, see the future, implant memories in people’s heads and move objects with their minds. And when the good guys and the bad guys have similar talents the story line keeps moving at quite a pace.

History – I am lucky if I get near the remote control these nights, since the second series of Marco Polo arrived on Netflix my husband has been binge watching. He is curious about the Mongol empire and enjoys the way the drama is portrayed.

Humour – The full second series of Better Call Saul is now available on Netflix. Although the plot thickens and the story gets a little darker, there is still plenty of the humour that so impressed us from the first series.


Image credit: Ben Leuner/Netflix

Regardless of what we watch, we usually round off the night’s viewing with a good belly-laughing episode of The Big Bang; It is consistently brilliant!


Disclosure: As a member of the Netflix Stream Team I have received a year’s subscription to Netflix, free of charge, and an Apple TV, for streaming purposes. As part of Netflix Stream Team I will be posting regular updates on what we are watching and what is on offer.  All opinions expressed are my own.

All in a spin – why does the earth spin

Phew, I really need to wake up alert these days… barely had a sip of tea in me this morning when I got bombarded with lots of questions; I was glad to see that the back of the box of Kelloggs multigrain shapes has lots of fun information about the Stars, Sun, Earth and Moon! (Well done Kelloggs!)  …but this lead to the question…..

photo credit: NASA Goddard Photo and Video via photopin cc


The earth spins because of intertia…. the tendency of a body of mass to remain in it’s state of motion unless acted upon by another force.  Bit of a mouth-full isn’t it?  What it really means is that an object that is at rest (not moving) will stay that way unless another force or influence changes that…. a stone on the ground will stay in place unless we kick it with our foot!  Likewise a moving object will stay moving unless a force acts on it to stop it!  Moving objects on earth stop moving due to friction (think of stopping your bike when you pull the brakes!).

How was the Earth made?

So how does all this relate to the Earth?  Well the Earth is formed from a pile of moving gas and dust created during the big bang! As these gases and particles collapsed under their own gravity they started to spin.  These spinning dust clouds continues to collapse until they formed planets – such as the Earth.  As the planets formed they kept spinning and, in the absence of a significant force to stop them, they continue to do so!

And that is why the Earth spins!

How fast does the Earth spin?

The Earth takes just under 24 hours to make one complete revolution – 23 hours 56 minutes and 0.4091 seconds to be exact. This is called the sidereal period (the length of time a body will make one complete orbit relative to the stars).  So what is the speed of the Earth in kilometres per hour (kph)?  It all depends of where you are standing!  If you were standing at the North or South pole, for example, the Earth would be moving very slowly!  If you were standing on the equator the speed of the earth will be moving at its fastest… that is to say, the circumference of the Earth is greatest at the equator and therefore must move faster to complete one revolution within a day!  To better understand this try holding your finger on a point on a globe while you slowly spin the globe!

Now for the maths…. the circumference of the Earth at the equator is approximately 40,000 km.  If we divide this by 24 (the approximate number of hours in a day) we get 1,667 kph (approx 1000 mph).

The Earth orbits the Sun at a speed of approximately 108,000 kph (67,000 mph).

Do all the planets spin?

Yes they do but not in the same direction or at the same speed.  The inner planets of Solar System (Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars) spin at a slower speed than the outer, larger planets ( Jupiter, Saturn,Uranus and Neptune).  They all spin in a counter clockwise direction – as viewed from the top (or in a west to east direction), except for Venus and Uranus.  The reason for this is thought to be the result of a significant collision during the formation of these planets .

What about stars?

Stars spin too.  The Sun is a giant star at the centre of our solar system and it rotates on it’s axis, taking 25 days to make a complete revolution!

Image source: NASA

Further reading:

The planets (National Geographic)
Solar System Exploration (NASA)