Monday, May 19, 2008

What I learned in Science Class (lots going on... sorry for the slow pace!)

I know the writing's been pretty fickle lately. There's been a lot going on, though! I will have a post about it all in just a few days.

Buuuuuuuuuuuuut back to the Law School Adventure. Today we find ourselves in Boston! We got in around 11 am on Monday morning after our weekend in Chicago. Yes, that would mean we caught as absurdly early flight. As in, our shuttle to airport came at 3:45 a.m., which totally sucks when you went to bed at midnight, but we made it there alive. Barely. Actually we may have died a little bit from sleep deprivation on the way. But technically our bodies were still moving on our volition when we arrived. So we were more alive than dead. Maybe like a 78%-22% split. Like a Mortal Kombat character who had just sustained its first major hit, and the only thing that is going to bring my life bar back up is to get to our hotel, drop our stuff off, change out of my galoshes, freshen up, and lay on a lump/bed bug free bed for a minute.

A small detail was overlooked, though. We got to the hotel at noon. Check in was at 4. Those dastardly hotel clerks! They thwarted us. I mean, come on, guys! Coooome oooon. 4?! Who has check in at 4?

Siiiiiiiiigh. So we were forced to just dump our crap off with the luggage guys and trek out in our sleep deprived, smelly, 22% dead state. First thing we did? Head straight to Faneuil Hall for some touristy goodness and some food.

Katie and I split one of my all time favorite meals: meat wrapped in meat.

Mmmmm. So meaty. Just like I like it. Don't be fooled by that tomato. I certainly did not eat any vegetables. We just threw that little thing at a pigeon. It was all about the chicken and bacon. Sitting down for a bit and eating actually did make everyone feel a lot better. So we were inspired to get up and do more touristy stuff since those hotel jerks were still not going to let us in. So the next stop on the list? The Museum of Science!

It was actually kickass, and not just because we got to watch a movie about the Alps on their Imax. We actually learned things. Like smart kids do. And I haven't forget them yet! You might think that makes me a nerd, but I actually just find it reassuring that our drunk brunch from the previous day didn't have any lasting effects on my brain function. So the things I learned at the science museum were:

1) Animal skull structure tells you a lot about their habits. (i.e. Eyes on the side, run and hide. Eyes in front, they like to hunt. Which translates to deer have eyes on the side of their heads, and foxes have eyes in the front. Pretty cool little rhyme, right?)

2) The beaver's prehistoric ancestor weighed up to 300 lbs! 300!!!!! The average beaver today only weighs 50 lbs. So these suckers were 6 times as big. What kind of dams do you think giant mutant beaver's build? I mean they could take one bite and cut down a sequoia. Or they could ever just lay across the stream and stop the water. Who needs a wooden dam when you're 300 lbs?

3) Evolutionarily speaking, humans are closer related to mushrooms than to trees!

4) There is a tree called the Quaking Aspen, named because it is always moving in the wind. In France, however, they call this tree "langue de femme," and in Wales they call it "coed tafod merehed." Both names mean woman's tongue, which is apparently a metaphor for incessant movement. I kid you not. Those old countries really are that politically incorrect. See for yourself:

Also I learned all about how a lung works with the heart, but I did actually forget most (ok all) of that information. That might have had a small part to do with the fact that I was less interested in the sciency words coming out of the ladies mouth and more interested in poking the lung.

That was almost the peak of my day, but then I started reading this little exhibit. It talked about the spread of genes over the world and how they mutate and what not. To prove a point it highlighted this one gene that let's you taste PTC. There are 13 different varieties, which leave some people not tasting it at all, some people tasting extreme bitterness, and everyone else at some level in between. The volunteers at the museum carry around little PTC sticks that you can suck on to see what variety of the gene you have. I have the gene that doesn't let me taste it at all, but I was curious to see what gene Katie and Erin had. So I went to find them and made them put the PTC sticks in their mouth. Turns out Asians must be carriers of the variety which tastes extreme bitterness because they were not happy with me. I tried to apologize, explain I didn't know that would happen, but I couldn't stop giggling.

Erin's face for that split second was the peak of the day.

No comments: