Sunday, July 13, 2008

Who says that learning is not fun

There is a species of fish called the Oriental Sweetlips. I don't know about you, but if anyone were to call me that I would blush, slap them and then laugh.

There are a lot of tiny, little, swimmy things that live in the ponds at Central Park. In light of this, I would not advise drinking or bathing in them.

Coral mate through a mass timed release of eggs and sperm into the water.
We could call that the oceanic equivalent of group in vitro fertilization or a collective coral spankfest.

There is a species of fish in which a school will have one male amongst many females. In the event that this lone male dies - is lost - gets sick - eaten - the largest and most dominant female will undergo a gender transformation and become the male of the school.

Bugs are arthropods. Crustaceans are also arthropods. When Jimmy dares you to eat that worm beetle, think of it as shrimp sushi. (edit with humble thanks to Kat E)

The Blue Whale is 23 feet long at birth. They grow up to be about 2-3 school buses long.

Chocolate is a food brought to us by the fermentation of the Cacoa bean. Another great food enabled by microbial beings.

These facts are brought to you by a visit to the American Museum of Natural History.

The LYM and I went to the Museum of Natural History to look at bones. I have been there twice. Once with ZS and her friends and another time with BBFK, Noel and Lever.

It's kind of a strange place. It's not a science museum. It's not an anthropology museum. It's not an art museum. It's not a zoo. And yet, it's all of those things (except for the having living animals on display part).

Most of the time, I run straight up to the dinosaur section. Which is awesome. Being up there and seeing them bones up close is a humbling experience. Some of them creatures have jaws large enough to snap me up in two quick bites. Humbling.

But this time the LYM and I came in through the subway entrance which brings you in on a lower level and went to the Whale room.

The Whale room is incredible. It's dark and blue and enormous. The ceiling has "windows" on which are shifting patterns of colored light. Most importantly, there's a giant model of a blue whale suspended in the air. I'm not sure that it's 2-3 school buses long but hugantic nontheless.

On the walls on two levels there are displays about oceans and ocean creatures and what not. Walking around and looking at all of it, I realized that impressive as Cai Guo-Qiang's Guggenheim exhibit was, he is not the first to do such things. He is just a more fanciful practitioner of the art.

They even had a room devoted to meteorites. All this time I thought that we had no plan in the event that a giant meteorite was spotted on a collision course with our fair planet. Fear not friends, a few solutions have been proposed. One of them is to paint the meteorite white and have light from the sun deflect it from its course. White paint will save the universe!

I am relieved. It's good to know that someone is on this problem.


Kat E said...

Well I hate to be a Nitpicking Nellie, but I am fairly sure that worms are not arthropods. ;)

But yes, the AMNH is quite awesome. I only visited once and didn't get to see much of it. Am looking forward to returning.

ergo said...

Dag Nabit. Thanks for pointing that out. I even had a little factoid I was going to put in this post about worms. My brain cells are not what they once were. For sure. Lol.

C-Belle said...

You lost me at "sweetlips." Was too busy looking around for someone to slap.