Friday, April 27, 2018

Science Project: Desalinization

I couldn't be prouder of the kid, he did a real science project. Here are the details and video of his science fair participation.

If you’ve paid attention to current events, you probably know that there are many parts of the world without adequate access to water. One in nine people on Earth don’t have access to safe water, and one in three don’t have access to a toilet. Only 2.5% of Earth’s water is freshwater (water that we can use), and we only have access to 1% of Earth’s freshwater. This means that we rely on 0.00025% of Earth’s water to support billions (people?). Imagine if we could have access to more of Earth’s water. That’s exactly what my project will explore. Recently, a new idea known as water desalination has emerged; in which, usually ocean water has its salt removed in to make it accessible to us. But when the salt is removed it also removes all of the minerals in the water, creating pure water; just H 2 0. This is called distilling. But I wondered if distilled water could sustain life, because organisms also need minerals for different vital functions. My experiment was testing whether a plant could get adequate minerals from its soil in order to determine if desalinated water can be used on agriculture, which is an industry that is deeply affected by drought.

Can a plant grow with pure water grow as much as or more than a plant that receives tap water or rain?

If a plant is watered with distilled water, then it won’t grow as much as plants watered with rain and tap water, because they have more minerals for growth.

First, I had to decide what plant to test. After researching this, I decided to do bean plants, due to the quick speeds that they grow at. My house doesn’t receive a lot of sunlight, so I purchased a grow light, and decided I would grow my plants inside. I learned that bean plants need about 4-6 inches of rain each week, so once every two days, I watered my plants with a dixie cup of water. I also realized that, in order to terminate flukes from my data, I would plant three plants for each water type.

● Soil
● 9 cups
● 1 dixie cup
● Bush bean seeds
● Grow light
● Tap water
● Distilled water
● Rain water

I planted each bean one inch deep, every day, I turned on the grow light for about 12 hours, once every two days, I watered each plant with a dixie cup of the water that I was growing it with. Every day I record the height of the plants.

The results showed that distilled water produced two plants which had larger growth than others (15.75 inches and 13 inches). Given that one didn’t grow and one grew almost sixteen inches, we can’t conclude which water type is best, because we only used 3 plants per water type. The results of each water type varied significantly, so we can’t draw a conclusion on which type is best.

However we can conclude that distilled water can be effective for growing plants, because ⅔ of the distilled water plants grew to an above average height for this experiment (10.9 inches). Which shows that a plant doesn’t need minerals in water to effectively grow.

Future Directions
This is the first time I’ve grown bean plants, I could’ve done many things that would’ve helped or hindered growth such as: Too much or too little water or light, or I could’ve used the wrong soil, or any combination of those. In another experiment, it would’ve been more accurate to grow 100 of each, and have more controls, but my experiment answered my question.

The results show that farming communities struck by drought can use desalinated water to continue to grow their crops.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Thankful For Spring

Today was a beautiful spring/summer day, with the temperature around 80 degrees. Every bud open and blasting pollen, announcing the official change of season.

I certainly enjoyed the light and color, but what really underscored my feeling of arrival was when I went through my photos from a few months ago -- I snapped the above to buy the right pills at the pharmacy.

I realize illness can occur anytime, but it seems worse in winter.

Monday, April 23, 2018

High Crimes And Misdemeanors: Pie Mutilation

The charge of high crimes and misdemeanors covers allegations of misconduct peculiar to dessert items, such as cakes, pies, doughnuts, candies – both wrapped and unwrapped.

Also included are:
  • Perjury of oath: “I only wanted a sliver”
  • Abuse of authority: “I bought the cake, I get to eat all of it”
  • Bribery: “Give me a cookie or I won’t love you”
  • Intimidation: “Give me a cookie or I won’t love you”
  • Misuse of assets: “The money I gave for the school project got spent on what?”  
  • Failure to supervise: “I only left the room for a minute”
  • Dereliction of duty: “I thought you were watching the kids?”
  • Unbecoming conduct: “I thought more would be bought so I ate all of it.”
  • Refusal to obey a lawful order: “Order schmorder.”

Sunday, April 22, 2018

We Are Crazy Rat People

In the photo, I'm reading a book about rat training only to have Irving check out the validity of the theory presented.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Rat Exploration #3

Every day more knowledge is gained about these frisky and intriguing creatures.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

M&Ms Continue To Be Consumed

One would think that after 77 years the popularity of M&Ms might wane (the delicious candy debuted in 1941).

Not so in our house.

Currently, dark chocolate peanut and peanut butter M&Ms are enjoyed.

We keep trying fancy stuff and always return to the beautiful mouthfeel of these candies.

A simple pleasure, yet a lift of the spirit.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

New Rat Pack Remarkably Rat-free Group

We were out on the town and feeling like the reincarnation of the Rat Pack. As we are now rat aficionados, we need to clarify that no actual rats accompanied us on our outing.

Also, alcoholic beverages were consumed only by those over 21 years of age.

Our camaraderie ran high as we partied the night away (9:45pm).


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Garlic Bread For An Improved Family Dynamic

This kid was so excited by the garlic bread, she composed lyric poetry and improvised dance moves.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Rat Consecration Goes As Planned

Above, Irving the Rat prepares for the consecration ceremony.

Here's the video:

Friday, April 13, 2018

Science Tickles Rats

Pet rat aficionados know rats like to be tickled. Here's the science:

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Cirque Du Soleil Crystal Is Awesome Spectacle

We went this past weekend to see the Cirque Du Soleil Crystal – a performance on ice.

I didn’t crave the experience, even though I had very much enjoyed a Cirque Du Soleil performance years ago. Somehow, I had forgotten about the avalanche of music, dance, acrobatics that go into such a production.

Of course, my mind was blown. Most exciting was the ability to project different computer-generated images onto an ice rink. But these weren’t static images, but landscapes that reacted with light and movement when a performer moved around. How was this done? Sensors? Motion detection? Who cares. A beautiful, dream-like carnival of dance and motion – on ice.

I suspect my initial reluctance was because I mistakenly thought the show would be more Ice Capades than avant-garde spectacle.

The range of performances, music, crazy flipping trapeze maniacs, snowball clowns, insane hockey players, all made for an event that leaves one elevated about the possibilities of the world.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Thesis Confirmed: Rats Don't Care About Basketball

The above behavioral scientist thought that as humans and rats share such a significant percentage of DNA that rats might enjoy basketball.

Unfortunately, after extensive research, a panel of peers (me) concluded that although the idea had merit, the rats just didn't "get" basketball.

Here's the video footage of the experiment.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

See the Laika Exhibit at the Portland Art Museum

Over the weekend we went to the Portland Art Museum to an exhibit about the art produced at Laika, an animation studio nearby.

Because Laika uses stop-motion animation, each movie generates tens of thousands of artifacts – dolls, sets, costumes. Although stop-motion animation has been around for over a hundred years, in Laika’s current manifestation all sorts of computers are used in the prototyping and filming of their movies.

For instance, to get a range of expressions for a character, around 40,000 faces needed to be printed from a 3-D printer. 

The exhibit highlighted the detail, range of materials, the richness of films such as: Kubo and the Two Strings, the Boxtrolls, ParaNorman, Coraline. 

If you are able, this exhibition is a must see.

P.S. This exhibition contained a zoetrope that produced a strobing effect and triggered me to relive my high school math class on another planet. Lucky for me, trained staff were on hand to redirect me to a more suitable space-time coordinate.