How Wild is Wild?

By ACS Distance Education on April 26, 2016 in Animals & Environmental Issues | comments

Wild animal populations are not always as 'wild' as we think.

Genetic research tracking wild junglefowl suggests that 'domesticated' genes spread further into wild populations than scientists imagine.

What's more, the presence of these genes, and the mix of wild, domestic, ancient and modern, might turn out to be the key to species survival.


Conservation of Animals

By ACS Distance Education on April 26, 2016 in Animals & Environmental Issues | comments

Teaching people to care about the animals of today is vital so that they will be there tomorrow.


Have you ever wondered where collective animal names came from? If you have, you would have seen some of the wildly colourful names attributed to these groups. They seem to capture the nature of the creatures they name in a most entertaining way!

Common thought is that they can be traced back to a book written in 1480 called the "Book of St Albans"; a compilation of writings about hunting. One of the essays was thought to be written by a Dame Juliana Berners (or possibly Berns) who was possibly the Prioress of a nunnery near St. Albans in the UK. She is traditionally believed to come from an affluent family, and there are two schools of thought concerning the motive behind the nouns: One is that they reflected the aristocratic wish that the names they attributed to game be distinguishable from the names the peasantry gave game, and the other is that they were written never meant to be taken seriously. But taken seriously they were! You will find many of these names used as accepted academic terms in scholarly articles.

Here are some collective nouns for your entertainment. This list is in no way exhaustive - and you may also wish to do an internet search for “collective nouns” to find that there are also some collective nouns attributed to another intriguing species: The human!

  • A bloat of hippos
  • A wisdom of wombats
  • A rhumba of rattlesnakes
  • A quiver of cobras
  • An unkindness of ravens
  • A memory of elephants
  • A mischief of mice
  • An intrusion of cockroaches
  • A crash (or stubbornness) of rhinos
  • A fever of stingrays
  • A murder (or storytelling) of crows
  • A parliament of owls
  • An ambush of tigers

Do you have a fascination for all creatures great and small? Perhaps a penchant for words?

For courses on pets, click here:

For courses on wildlife, click here:

For courses on writing, click here:



The Moringa or drumstick tree (Moringa oleifera) is often called the “miracle” tree, as many parts of this prolific plant (leaves, seeds, pods, flowers and roots) are all edible and nutritious and the tree is easily grown in warm climates.  The seed pods are long (up to ~30 cm) and thin with tapered ends, hence the name “drumsticks”.  The pods have a delicious taste, somewhat like mild asparagus, and are cooked in a similar ways to green beans.  They are especially delicious cooked with lentils (see picture above and recipe below), vegetable curries or mince (for non-vegetarians), enhancing the flavour of the whole dish. When young, the pods can be eaten whole, but when older the outside skin becomes a bit woody, so they are best cut into short pieces prior to cooking.  The insides can then be eaten after cooking—like artichoke leaves—scraping out the delicious soft insides with one’s teeth (discard the outer parts)!   The inside flesh can also be scraped out from the pods and then cooked with onion, garlic and spices for a delicious vegetarian dish which is eaten with rice. The leaves are small and are cooked in a similar way to spinach or kale (they taste similar to spinach), often best steamed or cooked with a little olive oil, onion and spices.


New Perspective on Education

By ACS Distance Education on April 7, 2016 in Jobs Success | comments

Society all too often tells young people to do well at school and your future is secure. This is an outdated concept though.

The world has changed.  A good education may have in the past, guaranteed success in a career.

Today you need more.