Sunday, June 21, 2015

Sunday Randomness #289: Fruits and Veggies in real life and a biologically diverse candy world

Here's a couple of examples of shopping lists made by Daisy, Mica and Hedgehog for recent grocery store trips:                          

  • tomatoes
  • peppers
  • yogurt dip
  • dried fruit and nut mix
  • avocado
  • black beans
and the second list:
  • tortillas
  • bananas 
  • cucumbers
  • garbanzo beans
  • apples
  • peppers (red, green, etc.)
  • milk
  • large carrots
  • spinach
I feel pretty secure that we eat fairly healthy and the kids know how to pick some fruits and vegetables and how to prepare them.  Then Hedgehog got an assignment from school based on a little bag of candy that she got from the teacher.  This is her take on a lighhearted assignment from biology:


"Crunch are generally found in cold environments because they are primarily composed of chocolate that would melt very easily in hot temperatures and have no secondary structure to hold them together. Crunch are well suited for high mountains terrain because the puffed rice in them allow them to store oxygen so they can survive in low-oxygen climates for long periods of time.

M&Ms  live in environments of mild temperature and low humidity. Their hard shells protect them from heat that other chocolate candies cannot, but their bright coloring can easily be rubbed off when a M&M comes in contact with moisture.

Sour Punch Straws live in hot temperatures with tall foliage.  Their long bodies allow Sour Punch Straws to reach food in tall trees and they won’t melt in extreme temperatures. Sour Punch Straws are not generally found in colder regions of the world because their soft bodies are very susceptible to chocolate based predators, many of which are immune to their sour poison.

Gobstopper live on the ocean floors of cold oceans. They are nearly unbreakable making them perfectly suited for the high pressure of ocean floors. Gobstoppers have no need for eyes in their near lightless environment but instead they use heat sensors imbedded in their most outer layer to sense pray and predators.

Starbursts are native to dry deserts. Their bodies are capable of storing large amounts of water to survive in hot, dry weather.  Starbursts are protected from the sun by their waxy wrappers so their soft flesh won’t boil in the sun.

Sweettarts make their home in tide pools surrounding oceans. Their hardened bodies protect them from the eroding tides and predators. Sweettarts’ indented center allows small sugar algae to settle there making them easy prey for the organism.

Laffy Taffy live in rainforests around the world. Their bright coloring allow them to blend in with fruit around the rainforest where they lay in wait to attack and eat their prey as they go to get fruit. On Laffy Taffy wrappers there are jokes that are meant to distract predators with laughter so the Laffy Taffy can run away or hide.

Twizzlers and Sour Punch Straws are very similar in size, structure, and environment so they are able to make viable offspring called Twaws, but they are infertile. Because this post-zygotic barrier, Sour Punch Straws and Twizzlers are unable to make a hybrid species and remain reproductively isolated from each other.

Gobstoppers and Crunch are spatially isolated from each other so they are unable to create hybrid offspring with each other. Gobstoppers live on the deep ocean floor and Crunch live on high mountain tops. If they ever were to cross paths, they would probably die before any reproducing could occur.

Almond Joys and Twix are behaviorally isolated from each other. Although they  would be physically able to create virile and viable offspring, their mating rituals are different, so they won’t reproduce with one another. To show off to potential mates, male Twix spin in very tight circles to show their strength of body and genes. In Almond Joys, males emit certain smells to attract mates and to ward off other competition for mates. Because they have such different mating rituals, they do not reproduce with one another.

Skittles and starburst both have the homologous structure of chewiness to help them store water in their bodies. Both Snickers and Twix have caramel as a homologous structure which allows these two species deter predators with the sticky substance that makes them seem as though they’re too much work to try and eat. Twizzlers and Sour Punch Straws both have lines in their bodies which help them to sweat and protect a majority of their skin from the harsh sun."

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Sunday Randomness #91: Continuing Inconsistencies in life

*Mica to new roommates on their first night around midnight in response to staying up and getting to know one another: "I'm old." And then she went promptly to bed.  (She was a sophomore and they were freshmen.)

     Me: We got cheated on our chicken noodle soup! (Upon the discovery of one lone noodle in the box of soup.)
     Hedgehog: No we didn't.  It's quite literal: chicken nooooodle  soup.
     (I should have noticed it was singular "noodle", not plural  "noodles".)

*  Remark at a restaurant that caused the rest of our table to erupt in laughter:  "We're all decapitated in one way or another."   (Since everyone knows that being decapitated is so close to being incapacitated. You just lose your head sometimes.)

     Response by daughter after I hung up their coat on the new coat rack after they threw it over a chair:  "Noooo, things aren't suppose to be used for their intended purpose!"

*Mica's opinion of Daisy's lackadaisical response to doing chores:"You're only a disappointment on odd days.  On other days you're just a pet peeve."

     How high mom rates on the list of importance:  "I gave you my junk e-mail address because my other e-mail address is for people I care about."

*"What!?!"  Reaction of daughter when finding out that the family stapler was also out of staples when they attempted to use it.  They had thought to use the family one instead of their own because they would have had to put in new staples.
This is also the same daughter that told me that: "If you notice your coca-cola supply going down (the case of glass bottles that are suppose to be for headaches), it's because we don't have any clean glasses and so there's nothing else to drink."

     Hedgehog: "I didn't remember to return your headphones because I was so enamored with them. They have such good sound and they block out the rest of you outside noise."




Thursday, April 30, 2015

Author #134: Springtime anytime books by April Pulley Sayre


Author April Pulley Sayre has written over several dozen books to date.  Read more about her other books at: http://www.aprilsayre.com/category/my-books/

Just to touch quickly on a couple of books pictured below: Let's Go Nuts!  features beautiful photographs of all kinds of seeds that we eat from coconuts to lentils and Stars Beneath Your Bed tells the the story behind where dust is found, its possible composition, and how it affects the way we see sunsets and sunrises.  There's a short two page informative section in the back that tells a lot more about dust.  


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Author #133: Retro graphics in a hilarious book by Bob Staake


A laugh out loud take on pet ownership!  Perfect for book lovers of all ages!  He's done a commercial for Intel!  See it here: http://www.bobstaake.com/intel/ !  More info at: http://www.bobstaake.com/ !

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sunday Randomness #123: Trying some exotic new fruit

Wrinkly exotic fruit. Oval purple passion fruit on the left, oblong star shaped starfruit on the right.And this is how they appear when you cut them up.  The starfruit have hard seeds in the middle like an apple that we did not eat. We thought it had a slight pear taste and was crunchy like an apple.  The passion fruit has a unique taste all its own-slightly like perfume with a tangy bite.  You eat the seeds and that yellow pulp around the seeds and the juice is delicious.  The seeds are crunchy and great as a topping.  Surprisingly, passion fruit seeds are high in dietary fiber and they also have a fairly med-high phosphorus content.  And yes, this is what a ripe passion fruit should look like-wrinkled outer skin with the pulp and seeds coming away from the bitter rind on the inside.