Sunday, December 28, 2014

Sprouting! (observational botany 2)

Who: All Js
Where: at the dining table and in front of our house
When: after lunch (observations from 19 December/day 18)


Our avocado pit has made some progress.

J1's observations
  • the root has sprouted
  • maybe it is actually upside down and the avocado is confused?
  • the pit split in the middle.
  • there is a sprout in the middle
  • some of the pit has peeled off
  • the exposed pit is a bit more rough than when we examined it last week. it feels like bumpy wax.
J2's observations
  1. Maybe it is actually upside down and the avocado is confused?
  2. the avocado pit looks like it is going to poop on us (referring to the emerging root)
  3. the exposed pit is smooth
  4. the calculator is 9.5 cm long
J3's observations <made at dinner, had been napping while the older two discussed>
  • There's a plant!
  • These are floss, we use it to clean our teeth (gesturing to show how)
  • Oh, some of the *this* fell off (noticing that dried skin from the pit was in the bottom of the water bowl from when one of the older two peeled it off and dropped it in).  
We also had a discussion about the division of the pit into two halves. When we started, there wasn't any clear indication that it would cleave along this line. We were wondering if there was some mechanism to prevent it from cleaving where we placed a toothpick, if the splitting location is random, or if there is a clear place it will split. I guess we add these to our curiosity list.

3 toothpicks: 0 gr on our scale, indicating that they are less than 1/2 gram
The avocado pit and 3 toothpicks together was 64 grams (J2 noted this is 8 x 8)

The sprout in the middle of the pit and extending down was 4.5 cm long.
J0's nose is 6 cm long
J1's nose is 4.5 cm long, so the same as the sprout.
From end to end, the pit and root sprout are 7 cm.
The root protrusion is 2 cm.

When we started, we estimated the pit's mass 56 grams, (J2 remarks, 56 = 7.4833147 x 7.4833147)

J1 measured me with the tape measure and proclaimed that I have 101 kg of fat. His reasoning: some 
distance around was 101 cm and he assumed I must be 1 kg per cm of perimeter along that slice.

J2 added, the following.
6 = 2.4494897
4.5 = 2.1213203
I asked J2 if these square roots had any meaning, in the context of our seed. He said, "no, it is just for fun."

Introducing: Orange seeds

Last sunday (13 December) we planted some orange seeds. Vaguely following these instructions, we used two methods:
  1. Planting in soil, keeping the soil covered and most: no developments yet
  2. Planting in a pool of water with some soil and dried leaves: interesting developments this week
Our "interesting" case this week

So, what happened with the soaking seeds? Here are our observation notes:
  • Oh, the seeds are sprouting!
  • Hmm, the sprouts seem to be wiggling!
  • Those aren't sprouts, they are larvae, probably mosquito larvae
  • Ooh, it smells like cows. It stinks
We poured it out on the street in front of our house, in the sun, and watched the water dry out. We observed the larvae moving around in the small puddle of mud as it dried and talked about what they needed to survive. J2 noticed that there was a storm drain a meter away from the puddle and asked what would happen if they went down the drain. Then we talked about whether the could get to the drain (having to cross a meter of dry ground) and how they could know that there was a safe destination on the other side. We made conjectures about their senses and ability to communicate:
  • probably cannot see/no eyes
  • probably cannot talk, but we guess the do have a mouth to eat
  • not sure about ears
  • cannot read or write
  • no ability to communicate with adult mosquitos, ants, humans, or other creatures
In summary, we concluded that their knowledge is restricted to the limited part of the universe that their limited senses can observe directly. Can you see the editorializing?

As you might expect, fire was introduced at some point in the conversation, we ended up burning a handful of dry leaves and some paper scraps. As you do, you know.

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