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Today’s BrainWOD: 102314

By October 23, 2014wod

Medicine Ball Suicide Run:

Use 4#, 8#, and 12# medicine balls. (You can use weights or other objects if you want.)

Mark a starting line, and place each of the balls 15 yards apart in a straight line, leading away from the starting line. Place the 4# ball closest and the 12# ball furthest.

The student sprints to the first ball, and carries it to the start line; then sprints to the second, etc.

Ages 3-6: 2 rounds, 1 minute apart

6-9: 4 rounds, :30 apart each

10+: 6 rounds, no rest.

Cut and paste the following text into Spreeder to test your reading speed:

Ages 3-6:

A woodpecker is a kind of bird. Woodpeckers are found all over the world except in the North and South poles, Australia, and New Zealand. There are over 200 different kinds of woodpeckers. The two largest woodpeckers, the Imperial Woodpecker and the Ivory-billed Woodpecker are most likely extinct. Animals that are extinct are no longer found on Earth.

Woodpeckers have sharp bills for drilling into wood, and short, stiff tails which help prop them up against tree trunks and branches. Woodpeckers also have very long tongues, which help them get at insects deep within trees. Woodpeckers are often heard drumming loudly on trees before they are seen. Woodpeckers can even become pests if they learn to drum on siding of a house.

Woodpeckers can easily be attracted to backyard bird feeders with sunflower seeds or suet. Suet is a kind of animal fat that is very tasty to woodpeckers and other birds.

Ages 6-9:

The Amazon is the world’s largest tropical rainforest. It covers an area of nearly 2.8 million square miles, which is nearly the size of the continent of Australia. The Amazon Rainforest gets its life from the majestic Amazon River, the world’s second largest river, which runs directly through the heart of the region. The rainforest itself is simply the drainage basin for the river and its many tributaries. The vast forest itself consists of four layers, each featuring its own ecosystems and specially adapted plants and animals.

The forest floor is the lowest region. Since only two percent of the sunlight filters through the top layers to the understory, very few plants grow here. The forest floor, however, is rich with rotting vegetation and the bodies of dead organisms, which are quickly broken down into nutrients integrated into the soil. Tree roots stay close to these available nutrients and decomposers such as millipedes and earthworms use these nutrients for food.

The understory is the layer above the forest floor. Much like the forest floor, only about 2- 5 percent of the sunlight reaches this shadowy realm. Many of the plants in the understory have large, broad leaves to collect as much sunlight as possible. The understory is so thick that there is very little air movement. As a result, plants rely on insects and animals to pollinate their flowers.

The layer above the understory is the canopy. This is where much of the action in the rainforest occurs. Many canopy leaves have specially adapted leaves which form “drip tips”. Drip tips allow water to flow off the leaves which prevents mosses, fungi, and lichens from occupying the leaves. Leaves in the canopy are very dense and filter about 80 percent of the sunlight. The canopy is where the wealth of the rainforest’s fruits and flowers grow. Bromeliads, cup-like plants, provide drinking pools for animals and breeding locations for tree frogs.

The emergent layer is above the canopy, and is the top layer of the rainforest. Trees in the emergent layer break through the canopy and may reach heights of 200 feet. Leaves in the emergent layer are small and covered with a special wax to hold water. Seeds are blown to other parts of the forest. Trees which rise to the emergent layer are massive. Many are braced by huge buttress roots. Trunks can be 16 feet in circumference. Many animals that survive in the emergent layer never touch the ground.

Ages 10+:

The Seattle Seahawks are based in Seattle, Washington and play in the National Football Conference (NFC) Western Division. Their history begins in 1972 but they were established in 1976. It was that season they joined the NFL as an expansion team along with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

In 1972, a group of businessmen and local community leaders came up with a plan to bring an NFL franchise to the city of Seattle. It took two years for it to work but the NFL announced the city would get a franchise in 1974. The Nordstrom family was the major shareholder. The team was initially going to be called the Seattle Kings, but ultimately became the Seahawks (another name for Osprey) as the result of a public naming contest. The team’s blue and green Osprey logo reflected tribal art from the region’s Native Americans.

The Seahawks are the only NFL team to switch conferences twice since the league merged into the NFL. It started out in the NFC West Division in 1976 before switching to the AFC West Division in 1977. The Seattle Seahawks then moved back into the NFC West Division in 2002. In 1984, under head coach Chuck Knox, the Seattle Seahawks made their first playoff appearance, defeating the Denver Broncos and the Miami Dolphins, before losing to the Los Angeles Raiders in the AFC Championship Game.

In 2002, the Seahawks were moved from the AFC West to the NFC West in order to balance the divisions after the addition of the expansion Houston Texans. As part of the move, the Seahawks replaced their silver helmets with steel blue helmets, and modified the osprey logo to look more aggressive.

In 2005, the Seahawks won the NFC Championship Game over the Carolina Panthers 34-14 and made it to their first (and to this point only) Super Bowl, where they were defeated by the Pittsburgh Steelers, 21-10.

Today, the future looks very bright for the Seahawks. In 2012, the team drafted Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson with their third round pick. Wilson quickly won the starting quarterback job, threw for over 3,000 yards, 26 touchdowns, and completed over 64 percent of his passes. He also ran for nearly 500 yards and scored four touchdowns. In 2012, Wilson and a stingy Seahawk defense led the team to a playoff appearance and victory over the Washington Redskins, 24-14, before suffering a heartbreaking loss to the Atlanta Falcons, 30-28 in the divisional round.

Read how “Hooked On Phonics” has slowed down the reading speed of a generation of kids.

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