Wednesday, August 24, 2011

CSULB Marine Lab & Science Center

by Nate and Allie
We went to the Marine Lab and Science Center at CSULB. At the Marine Lab we learned about fish with eyes that bug out when they get caught and pulled out of the water. There was a researcher who found out that they can still see just fine when they get put back into the ocean. We saw an eel and learned that they can bite your fingers off. When they are babies they can bite off one finger, when they are a kid they can bite off two, when they are adults they can bite off your whole hand (according to Nate)! We saw sea stars and learned that they push out their stomachs to grab and eat their prey. We got to see sea urchins, sea cucumbers, and other creatures. Nate also got to help some of the researchers who were studying mussels. They added some water to their containers and fed them some micro algae that smelled really bad.

At the Science Center there were hands-on exhibits on things such as: optical illusions, bubbles, rocks and minerals, gravity, tornados, color, mirror images, scat, birds, eggs, and a plasma disk. Nate wants to go back and spend more time here.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Chocolate Exhibit at Muzeo

We had a great time at Chocolate -the exhibit at Muzeo in Anaheim the other day. It was very informational; we all learned a ton about chocolate. Here are some fun facts!

-Cacao trees grow in near the equator in places like Central and South America.
-The chocolate craze first started with the Mayans and then traveled to the Aztecs, Spanish and Europeans.
-The aztecs used cacao beans for money.
-Cacao was a luxury and sought-after drink. The aztec word for hot chocolate is chocolatl.
-They would put spices in the cacao beverage.
-The Europeans introduced milk and sugar being added to the cacao, so creating hot chocolate.
-Birds and different animals feast on cacao. A certain fruit fly called a midge pollinates the cacao flower and helps break down the cacao seeds into a rich fertilizer.
-Animals eat cacao pulp and spit out the seeds because the cacao seeds have caffeine in them which the animals don't like.
-A bird was found in the cacao trees in 1996 which was named the pink-legged graveterio. A disease called witches broom is wiping them out unfortunately.
-The Ivory Coast grows the most cacao: 1.4 million tons!
-Cacao pods contain 30-50 seeds, enough to make 7 chocolate bars.
-The swiss eat more chocolate per person than anywhere else in the world.
-There used to be chocolate houses where high class politicians went to sip hot chocolate and discuss politics in the 1600s and 1700s in England.

~post by Carly