Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Some Things Better Left Unsaid

Diatoms, image from here.
Red Algae, image from here.

Kelp, image from here.

Science, my favorite subject. It was my love for chemistry that duped me into thinking a career in chemical engineering was perfect for me. Little did I realize how much math is involved in it. Though I am good at it, one level of calculus is enough for me. But I did love sitting in lectures talking about how milk jugs are made of stringy polymers and sand crushed in high pressures turns to glass.

So when a chance came to teach a science class to our homeschool co-op, my heart leapt out of my mouth before my brain could catch-up with it. Now I am happily scared out of my wits teaching a bunch of highschoolers marine biology. Which was about the only science class I did NOT take. (Now you get why I've been preoccupied and not blogging!)

Oh, don't get me wrong. It is fascinating. The only problem is the dolphin chapter doesn't come for a few more months. For now we are left studying weird stuff like diatoms. Pretty little glassy jewels of the sea. Neither plant nor animal but produces most of the oxygen we breathe. Nice safe diatoms.

Did you know we come across these everyday? It's ground up in our toothpaste! Yew! Better left in the ocean. Seriously, I love science but creepy crawly things really bother me, like yeast. Yew!We also learned that pudding and light Italian salad dressing has carageenan from red and brown algae. Oil and water don't mix but when you don't see Italian dressing separate, it's because it has that stuff in it. It's not bad for you. It's just weird. And of course sushi lovers partake of kelp. That non-plant organism that grows into 100ft underwater forests. All natural yet not a plant!

Sometimes, ignorance is bliss. Sorry I ruined some of that for you. But knowledge is power, right?

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