Monday, January 28, 2013


     Hey guys, sorry I haven't posted anything for a long time. I haven't been doing any super-duper-awesome  sauce science lately, but my friends and I HAVE been doing this video, Respiratory Style. We had to do a project about the respiratory system. We decided to do a music video and then we decided to do it as a parody to Gangnam Style. I was going to do the singing but I wimped out at the last moment. It was freezing when we shot the video. Driving around in the car took up most of the time. All of us had screens and we were playing them in the back seats. If we recorded our bloopers the ratio to actual serious filming would be 99999999999:0.

           I also made a cell poster while we were studying cells. Human and plant. I love nature so much that I decided my poster theme would be nature. I chose to use my dog's fur for the cytoplasm (the stuff filling in the spaces), because we just have so much of it! I went out dino-poop hunting with my grandpa and found lots. I used it as the waste removal organelle in the cell. We got to smash it to pieces for my poster! I put the glue down and placed the larger chunks first, then I filled in all the gaps with smaller pieces. I sat there with tweezers for what felt like half an hour!

     I've been taking a bunch of pictures of my dog for some reason. He has these odd lumps of skin on his bottom eyelids. They're tiny but, I hope they don't get infected or something. I haven't learned about that! And I know just about everything there is to know about dogs! If you look at my books in my room, They're almost all either about dragons or dogs. We taught our puppy to "Bow to the Queen", "Dance" and, "Go get Your Lamb!" (I'm his lamb). When I was little and my dad would pick me up, Flash (the dog) would freak out. He's a Border Collie so he's bred to herd sheep. He would nip my heels and I would have a bunch of bruises on my feet from him. I never remembered Flash biting me though. He kept on doing this until we taught him to chomp on a toy instead of me. Whenever something weird happens, we hear Flash bolt downstairs to grab a toy, and him bolting back up.

     Flash also has a lot of fears; some are: getting blown on, baths, water, big people, my brother in his new coat, fireworks, and us making any sort of popping sound. Luckily he's not scared of spoons and stairs anymore.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Appointment at the Ends of the World, er, at TVMSC

Today I met and interviewed Dr. Dave Whitacre, who is currently a teacher, but has spent many years as a zoologist in the jungle (click on that to see what he was up to!). He was very encouraging! My mom wasn't sure that I'd want a veterinary medicine degree in order to do field work with wild animals...but Dr. Whitacre says that it's totally something I could do.

A typical day may involve getting up really early, having tortillas for breakfast, zipping into the jungle on a motorcycle, and then sitting for hours on an observation platform. They tried to get into the observation area before the birds woke up! A good biologist or zoologist tries to note everything he or she is observing, and that can be tiring.

Dr. Whitacre says the worst part of field work is that you are away from your family for a very long time: from three months up to a year at a time! He also says that it's very fun, even if you sometimes have to wake up at 4 in the morning. The best part of field zoology is when you go to different places you feel amazed at the wildlife you love. It's a WOW feeling!

To encourage me, Dr. Whitacre gave me a really good book. It's called Appointment at the Ends of the World, which is a memoir by a veterinary doctor who worked with wild animals all over the world.

Thanks, Dr. Whitacre! I am very inspired to become a wildlife veterinarian!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Operation Smile

Did you know that it costs only $240 to help a child with a cleft lip? Operation Smile is a group that sends surgeons to poor areas to fix cleft lips and cleft palates. I'm working on a fundraiser for this. My mom tells me that the best way for me to make a difference is to take my little bit of money and make it into a lot of money. This might be another dog biscuit selling job, or maybe a raffle. A girl in my town used her allowance to buy 2 Webkinz that she raffled to raise money for the humane society. That's smart! I'll let you know what I choose.
My class is raising money for Pennies for Peace. My birthday is just after Christmas, and I'm asking my friends to donate pennies instead of bringing me a gift.
Kids can do a lot! I want to move to Africa right now and do surgeries, but I have to go to medical school first. ;)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Batty the Bat

I met some interesting people and bats at the FLC. Do you know what's so special about bats? If a bat gets a hole in its wing, it will heal because there are so many blood vessels. If you think bats are gross, it might be the other way around. Bats eat mosquitoes and other biting insects. I think this bat is cute.
I built a bat house. Bats like it warm, so we're painting it dark brown.
People from the Fish & Game department taught us about bats with a great slide show. I got to advance the slides!
I also met someone from Animals in Distress. They do good work helping sick and injured wild animals. On some days this spring and summer, I am going to sell my delicious homemade dog biscuits and some other items to raise money to help Animals in Distress. I already have permission to sell them outside a store.

I'm all heart!

Dissecting the pig hearts was stinky! My group and I found the atriums (atria?) and ventricles of the heart. You can remember which is which by making an A a V with your fingers. The atrium is at the top and the ventricle is at the bottom. They go: squeeze, squeeze, coast. In the first picture you can see I was working in a team with some 5th and 6th graders at the school where my Mom works. We also found the valves, and the chordae tendineae, which look like parachutes with cords. The chordae tendineae shut the valves. They're the white things in the second picture.

We also stuck our fingers through the veins and arteries. They are tougher than you think. Before we got to start dissecting, we met a man who has had a heart transplant.
I am blogging this late, sorry! The heart dissection actually happened on Valentine's Day. Ha!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Warning for sensitive people

Some of this will be gross. Beware. Please do not cry. These pigs that the eyeballs belonged to were killed for meat. These pigs are special because they helped me, and you, learn a lot.

My first dissection! Pig Eyes

We had three pig eyes to work with. We got them from the nurse at the school where my mom works, and she gets them from a packing plant. That nurse teaches lots of science to the kids there, and when I went to that school, she took care of me on a day when I was feeling bad. Hi Mrs. B, if you see this! Thanks for the eyes!

Here is the first pig eye. You can see that it still has a lot of muscle attached. There were even eyelashes on a bit of eyelid!

You can also see some brown pigment showing through the sclera (white part of the eye). The sclera goes all the way around the eyeball, except for where the cornea is.

Those are my new dissection tools. I was afraid of the knife at first. The scissors are hard to use, but they are sharp.

Here I am cutting around the cornea. My hand is the one in the wrinkly glove, the other hand with the tweezers is my mom's. You can see the vitreous humor coming out. That's the clear gel inside the eye. Before we started, I thought it would squirt out, but it didn't. It just oozed.

This is the lens. It pops right out of the eyeball when you cut around the cornea. It acts a magnifying glass. We used the receipt from my knife and scissors to show you.

This is the second eyeball. This one was white on the inside, but the first one was all black in there. That flap is the iris and cornea. You can also see part of the vitreous humor on the bottom right. We put some of the vitreous humor (the part with the pigment) on a microscope slide. Under the microscope, I saw black and red-orange. The black part looks like a bunch of little balls and the red-orange part was stringy-looking.

That stub is the optic nerve coming out the back of an eye. The optic nerve sends the view from the retina to the brain.

This is that second eyeball turned inside out. The knife is pointing to the blind spot. That's where the million nerve fibers of the retina and macula leave the eye and make up the optic nerve.

This is me stretching the vitreous humor. It is strong, stretchy goo. My brother liked playing with the vitreous humor from his pig eye, too.

I loved dissecting pig eyeballs! It was fun. It was a wonderful experience. I would also like to dissect a frog eye, but I don't have one. When I grow up, I would like to be an animal medical researcher and a veterinarian.