Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Observational botany (step 1)

Who: All Js
Where: at the dining table (for future reference, this post has notes from 1 december 2014)
When: 5 minutes a day, before dinner

The author of Five Triangles made a suggestion somewhere (maybe his/her other blog?) that a great science activity is to plant a seed and make observations of the developing plant for a year. We are starting this with an avocado pit.

The pencil is a stand-in until our dental hygiene
catches up to our scientific zeal

J1's observations

  • The pencil smells like okra
  • It's red gray
  • It feels like my hair
  • I think it is 5 cm long
  • I estimate the mass is 1trn grams

J2's observations

  • The avocado pit smells like okra
  • It feels like your poop (J0:"My poop or your's?" "Your's daddy")
  • It is 36 feet (J0:"Long, tall, or wide?" "Every dimension")
  • It weighs 1000 pooplizes (J0: "what is 1 pooplize?" "The mass of all humans on the earth put together.")
As you can see, someone wasn't really taking this seriously

J3's observations

  • This is floss (pointing) and this is floss (pointing again) and a pencil (pointing for a third time).
  • It is not symmetrical
  • One side is round and the other is pointy (indicating the side down in the water as round and the end pointing up as pointy)
  • It is smooth
  • it has no smell
J3 also asked for the pencil I was using to take notes, then drew some scribbles on the page and said she was drawing avocado pits.

We made the following measures of mass:

  • Empty bowl: 107 gr or 3 3/4 oz
  • Pencil: 4 gr or 1/8 oz
  • Dry pit+bowl+2 toothpicks+pencil: 167 gr or 5 7/8 oz
  • water added: 133gr 

By implication, the pit and 2 toothpicks is 56 grams.

A general procedure for growing your own avocado tree (don't expect to eat the fruit, though);

As usual, wikipedia has something useful to say (my emphasis added):

Usually, avocados are grown from pits indoors. This is often done by removing the pit from a ripe, unrefrigerated avocado. The pit is then stabbed with three or four toothpicks, about one-third of the way up. The pit is placed in a jar or vase containing tepid water. It should split in four to six weeks and yield roots and a sprout. If there is no change by this time, the avocado pit is discarded. Once the stem has grown a few inches, it is placed in a pot with soil. It should be watered every few days. Avocados have been known to grow large, so owners must be ready to repot the plant several times.

In other news
Doesn't the icosidodecahedron look oddly, asymmetrically misshapen?

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