23 February 2009

Darwin Day

Sheesh! Can someone tell me what happened to February? I have been dithering from thing to thing, rarely finishing things before getting distracted by something else. Plus, a few days of deceptively spring-like weather has made us even squirrelier about enduring the snow and cold! So I have a couple of blog items to get caught up on. Here's the first.

For those of you not in the know, Charles Darwin's 200th birthday was the 12th of February (as was Abe Lincoln's...quite the auspicious day back in 1809!). As Kitty Daddy has been on a bit of a evolution kick lately (elbow deep in Stephen Jay Gould and we have been getting the videos from the PBS Evolution series out from the library), we were unnaturally excite about Darwin's birthday! First off, the weekend before, we went to a Darwin Day up at the University. They had tables set up with displays and activities for all ages. At some of the tables, we collected stamps on our tree of life leaflet to win a prize (a shark tooth fossil for each kid). One table that caught my eye was the Wisconsin Fast Plants. The guy who developed these bred them for a rapid life cycle, for use in educational settings. They can be used for activities at most any age level. For small fries, they can watch the life cycle unfold, learn about pollination, and harvest seeds. For bigger kids, they can change environmental factors and observe changes. For even bigger folks, there are different varieties of seeds available (fuzzy stem, purple stem, yellow-green leaves, taller species, etc.) so there can be experiments with breeding and genetics. We ordered some seeds and have been getting ready to grow some. I may or may not post some of our progress here, but for excruciating details, you can find them here.

For the actual day of Darwin's birthday, we made fossil cookies for Daddy. When I was growing up, I remember having made cookies with ceramic stamps, so I had my mom send a couple of the recipes that came with the cookie stamps and we used some of the kids' dinosaur toys to make our "fossils." Before baking:

and after:

12 February 2009

To all Beeb fans...

I have a few cute Beeb videos on YouTube that I don't want to post publicly, but would be happy to share with non-anonymous friends. If you aren't Namma, mamatee and Uncle J (who already have access), go here and add me as a friend and I can add you to the list of who's allowed to see the Beebster!

There will be a real blog post before too long...