Friday, 29 January 2016

The puzzling benefits of brainteasers

I love brainteasers!

Sometimes I help my dad with the Sunday crossword (well, help may be exaggerating a little.) 

And even though math is the subject in which I get my lowest marks, I have figured out how to Sudoku.

Turns out, doing puzzles and riddles is good for my brain. Did you know that they can enhance your memory and improve concentration (among other things?)

Of course, you can search different brainteasers and puzzlers on the internet, but because today is National Puzzle Day, I thought I’d start you going with three that I enjoy. Can you solve them? Share your answers in the comments—and then check back Thursday, when I’ll update the post with the answers. Good luck!

Which letter comes next?
A, C, F, J, O, _____

Read the following description and try to figure out what food is described.
Throw out my outer.
Keep my inner.
Eat my outer.
Throw out my inner.

This one’s a tough one!
What 7-letter, 1-syllable, past-tense verb becomes a 7-letter, 3-syllable, past-tense verb if you change it’s 5th letter from an H to a T?

Do you have any favourite brainteasers? Share them in the comments or on my Facebook page. Bet you can’t stump me!

Gotta jet! Have a great weekend!

— Chase Superman Duffy

Friday, 22 January 2016

Collecting Hobbies—and Coins!

I’ve started collecting coins. It seems silly, right? Usually when I have a couple of twonies, I spend them on comics. But it’s National Hobby Month and one of my New Year’s resolutions was to start a new hobby.

Last year, my dad and I took up photography. We had a lot of fun—but it can be expensive, and I still have a lot to learn. Like, how to take action shots or close ups of bugs and other small stuff. I’m going to keep working at it. And of course, I still love writing and reading, which are considered “hobbies” too.

But last weekend, my sister and I were up in my grandparents’ dusty attic and I stumbled on an old coin. It’s a nickel from 1926. Grandpa said I could have it! I started researching about it—that five-cent piece is not worth much right now—and got caught up in looking at all the old coins. Grandpa says he might even take me to an antique show or an auction soon so I can see some for real.

I don’t have a lot of money to BUY rare coins, but that’s okay. For now, my hobby is going to be researching old coins…and if I’m lucky, maybe I’ll find a few more in my grandparent’s attic, or my dad may let me have the $1 and $2 paper bills that he saved when the government switched to loonies and twonies.

What’s the coolest thing you’ve discovered at your grandparent’s house? Are you starting any new hobbies this month?  

Gotta jet! Have a great weekend!

— Chase Superman Duffy

Friday, 15 January 2016

What dragon will YOU appreciate tomorrow?

Reading more books is one of my 2016 resolutions, but I admit, aside from the Harry Potter books, fantasy isn’t really my genre of choice. I like mysteries, adventures, and pretty much anything written by R.L. Stine. (Spooky!)

But tomorrow is Appreciate a Dragon Day and so I thought it might be kind of fun to read a book with a dragon in it—since, you know, I don’t have a pet dragon or anything. (Do you?!)

I was doing an internet search when I stumbled on ERAGON, which is, of course a popular dragon story. It’s about a young boy named Eragon who finds a polished stone in the forest. He thinks it will buy his family food for the winter. Instead, it brings Eragon a DRAGON HATCHLING! Uh…that’s kind of awesome.

But you know what’s even MORE awesome? Eragon was written by a 15-year-old kid! That’s just a few years older than me! The book sold to a publisher (a BIG publisher) and now Christopher Paolini (the author) has an entire series of dragon books. Talk about serious inspiration. I sure hope I like Eragon!

What are you reading? Will you be appreciating any (fictional) dragons tomorrow?

Gotta jet! Have a great weekend!

— Chase Superman Duffy

Friday, 8 January 2016

Always Chase Your Dreams

If you’ve read any of the Superman Duffy comics, you know that many of the stories focus on real people who have, and continue to “chase their dreams.”

In Fields of Home, for example, Polish farmer Mr. Slovonuk has chosen "a better life" in Canada and helps write this country's history by being the first farmer to grow rapeseed (now canola) on his small Saskatchewan farm. 

Kevin Therres dreamt of building the world’s first Jet Engine Funny Car which runs on 100% canola biodiesel—and you can read about how he does it in Gotta Jet

Robert Thirsk always dreamed of going to space—now he’s one of the most famous astronauts in the world. And in It’s a Blast, Robert helps Chase (aka: me) send canola seeds in a rocket ship, just like he did for real many years ago. 

Inspiring, right?

January 13 is Make Your Dreams Come True Day, which got me really thinking about my dreams. If you follow my blog, you know I have a LOT of them. My top two are:
  • Become an Olympic track athlete
  • Write a story that is good enough to be published

I know I’m just a kid, but one thing I’ve learned from inspiring people like Kevin Therres and Robert Thirsk is that it’s never too early to start chasing your dreams. How? Good question! Here are three tips Mr. Therres shared with me:
  1. Give yourself permission to dream—if you can dream it, you can do it! (Yes, even your biggest dreams!)

  2. Visualize yourself accomplishing your dreams—this can spark your creativity and make you more motivated. (Sometimes, I picture myself winning a writing award or the gold medal. How cool would that be?!)

  3. Practice patience! Dreams don’t come true overnight while you’re sleeping. Reaching your goals takes time, effort, and patience—dream, practice, and repeat.

What are your dreams? This year, what steps will you take this year to achieve them?

Gotta jet! 

— Chase Superman Duffy

Friday, 1 January 2016

Kicking off the New Year with ice castles—and resolutions!


Dad surprised the family with tickets to the Edmonton Ice Castles for tonight—it’s the first time the castles have come to Canada and if you’ve looked at any of the pictures, you’ll probably agree it looks AMAZING. I’m excited to take out my camera.

Speaking of that, “Take more pictures” is on my (short) list of New Year’s Resolutions. This year, follow my Instagram (@SupermanDuffy) for my photo adventures. Maybe you’ll be inspired to take (and share) pictures of your own! <grin> I’ll be sure to post some pics from the ice castles this week.

Also on my resolution list this year:

Write more letters. I have friends across the country (and even some from around the world) and instead of just emailing, I am going to try and write at least one letter a month. It’s the perfect way to start Letter Writing Week on Sunday. 

Read more books. I know, this is always on my list, but I failed miserably at my reading last year. In 2016, I pledge to read at least 25 books, starting with a Science Fiction book to kick off Science Fiction Day tomorrow. Check my Facebook page to see what book I selected!

Start a new hobby. My mom says hobbies are important for personal growth (or something like that)—so I am going to spend the next week or so coming up with a new hobby. Something that won’t take too much time, but something really different. Any ideas?

I have some other resolutions too—like helping mom around the house more, spending more time with my sister, beating my personal running best, and writing at least three short stories in 2016.

What are your New Year’s Resolutions?  

Gotta jet! Have a great day and a wonderful 2016!

— Chase Superman Duffy