bp's science: eat your vegetables

A recent study put a number on how important it is to eat your fruits and most importantly, your vegetables.  It was found that eating seven or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day decreases your rate of death by 42 percent.

So tell me, do you get seven or more servings?  What percentage of the population does?  That should be the next study.

What about five to seven servings?  If so, that decreases your rate of death 36 percent.

What about three to five? If so, that decreases your rate of death 29 percent.

What about one to three? If so, that decreases your rate of death 14 percent.

So, again, how many servings have you had today?  One serving is about 1/2 cup.  As full disclosure, it is 4:04pm on Monday afternoon as I write this and I have had three servings.  I highly doubt - no, I know - I will not reach seven servings.  That may be an interesting study for me: in one month, how often do I get seven or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day?  Can I do it?  We shall see.

grilled broccoli is a nice way to get a serving in


Surrounded by flowers

It's that time of the year again when our yard comes to life.  It is so beautiful, I get outside with the camera and shoot.  I am learning what these flowers are slowly but surely.  (*thanks to jo for her skills in helping me identify these flowers.) I can't get enough.


 *crocus (...I think...I need a botany class)

*purple aster

 white tulip, one of my favorites

and a happy bunch on Easter Sunday (We took a series of 3 self-timed shots and Oliver made different faces for each of them. This one with his tongue sticking out was the best shot of all of us.)


bp's science: what color blindness is like

Around here, we deal with pinks and light blues looking grey and greens and oranges looking brown.  Color blindness is just part of life and we certainly don't mind.  In fact, I think that it is cool and I love it.  It doesn't hurt either that color blind individuals tend to see better at night and can better distinguish objects in camouflage.

Recently, I was looking at an excellent site that shows those of us who see normal colors what a color blind person sees.  See below:

normal vision
[most common form of color blindness] deuteranomaly (reduced sensitivity to)/deuteranopia (unable to perceive) green light
protanomaly (reduced sensitivity to)/protanopia (unable to perceive) red light
[rare from of color blindness] tritanomaly (reduced sensitivity to)/tritanopia (unable to perceive) blue light

Fascinating, enlightening, eh?  See here or here for more info.


Happy Easter

I hope you all have a wonderful Easter weekend.

This year, I am trying to figure out a good mix of meaningful Easter activities with festive Easter activities.  I find that I am enjoying it.  And I am so grateful to be able to celebrate the blessings of Easter with the people I love (and enjoy some delicious chocolate covered fudge* eggs to top it off).

*side note: this month I told Oliver I was taking a break from sweets.  He said he would help me with my goal and try to take a break from sweets too.  He has enjoyed some treats this month but has been very vigilant in helping me keep my goal.  For instance, when I put syrup on my waffles the other night he said, "Mom, what did you just do?"  I then explained my act to which he replied, "but Mom, you are taking a break from sweets."


Jibber jabber

I tried to get a bp's science post up yesterday.  It was going to be about the lunar eclipse.  Did anyone see it?  I didn't, but the photos of it looked very neat.  Whenever I think of eclipses I remember this date I went on once during my college years.  I went with this dude from my physics lab. He was a very smart kid and quite funny, but I liked just being physics lab partners and nothing more.  After the date, he asked me if I wanted to go out again at 2am the following week to watch the lunar eclipse.  I had a big test the day after so I didn't want to stay out late and told him so, we didn't do anything else after that.  Isn't it funny how one experience can stay with you?  I think it's because I knew this person was neat and would do good things, but it wasn't with me and I had to let him know.  Okay, that's it, I've got to see a lunar eclipse soon and put another memory to the occurrence of an eclipse. 

How was that for stream of consciousness?  I think it best to stick to the scientific posts, right?

The reason I didn't get a post up was because I got a lot of other stuff done like a deep (and much needed) cleaning of the bathrooms, a trip to the park, and some lawn care.  And while I conclude this post with a lot of various tidbits, why don't I add a random spring photo of our fam into the mix?  Let's do it. A rare group photo of all of us. Say cheese!


What is it about 60-70 degrees?

This past week has been filled with delightful weather.  We've played outside so much Ansel is riding the scooter.  Yes, you read that right, Ansel puts one foot on the scooter and pushes with another.  It is slow but his form is surprisingly good. I am amazed at that child's sense of adventure and I-can-do-it attitude.  Oliver is very fast on this same scooter, riding on it sideways like a skateboard.  He asked to learn how to ride a bike the other week and so I am on the lookout for one...and a skateboard.

Then we had some crazy rainy and windy weather in the middle of the night.  So much so that it woke me up.  It woke up Oliver too.  Thank goodness it died down after a bit because it was alarming and scary to us, respectively.

The flowers are making their debut and we love watching our yard burst to life.  Jess and I know this means lots o minutes (or hours) tending to it, but it is worth it.  Plus, I've started some seedlings in the house and hope to plant them soon (as well as figure out the watering system) in the garden. 

Cheers for spring!


Two cheers for quinoa

I am always on the lookout to incorporate quinoa into a good meal. Key word being good. And I think I've found two.

1. Mix rice and quinoa for a delicious mix.  A great base for a number of meals.  

2. Quinoa burgers. A friend of mine from Peru made these for us and they were scrumptious.  She mentioned that they eat a lot of quinoa there (quinoa is from Peru!) and this is one great way to include it in a meal. She used red quinoa and added onions, paprika, sage, and cumin and grilled them up to perfection.


Making sense of it all, part III

Lately, Oliver's into Beatles music.  We like to listen to "Paperback Writer" which he interprets as "Take a Bath Righteous."  Listen to the song sometime, it does sound like that is what Paul is singing.  Another song, "When I'm 64" has a line it in that says "losing my hair" and Oliver sings it "losing my head."  Now come to think of it, four year-olds are not the only people who interpret songs incorrectly.

He thought the Sesame Street character Louise was call Nouise.  He calls trampolines, tramFolines.  And he calls Whitmore Library, "Whipped Cream Library."  I love it!

In the morning, Ansel came into Oliver's room and pulled the clock cord out of the socket.  Oliver declared, "Mom, the timer is now plugged out."

The other day Oliver exclaimed, "Mom, I am handsome and my voice is handsome."  Indeed.

"Mom, take a picture of my carrot whistle!"


bp's science: steri-strips

I don't know what it is, but poor Ansel is hardly ever free of a scrape or bruise.  It could be because he is very adventurous, or we have hardwood floors and a step in our family room, or he's the second child and we let him explore more, or he gets pushed around by his older brother, or it could be all of the above.  Whatever it is, this guy took a hard fall a few days back and bit his tongue and split his chin.  I was alarmed and not sure if he needed the wound stitched.  That's when I was introduced to Steri-strips, thin adhesive strips which can be used to close small wounds without stitches by applying them across the wound in a manner which pulls the skin on either side of it together, aka butterfly stitches. Given the length (1/2inch) and depth of the cut and the youngness of the patient, it was decided that Ansel would only need a Steri-strip.  I was very glad to learn this and wanted to share it here too.  Plus, first aid is science in action!  Ahh, gotta love simple care at home versus going to the ER to put in a stitch or two.

This post is dedicated to all of the individuals who assisted Ansel and me in getting through this somewhat intense event.  Thank you!


Overalls are back!

I think I am one of the most excited people to hear that overalls are back.  I am astonished and pleasantly surprised.  I love overalls and wore them into the early 2000s, which was probably not the best idea but I did it anyway.  So comfortable and, I thought, looked great.  I even wore overalls on dates.  But later, I was told (yes, I had to be told) that I should probably let that trend go and stop wearing them.  But now, they are back!  And I am ready to let the comfort begin.


bp's science: how a font can save money

I really like letters, font, calligraphy, and the like.  I will remember a person's handwriting after seeing it once and I will never forget it.  I love the way words look on paper and think often about how letters alone and strung together look.  Take for instance, the letter B.  It is a very cool letter and it always looks great in various fonts.  On the other hand, and sorry about this L, but you aren't all that cool when it comes to typeface, although when exhibited in lowercase and when it comes to handwriting, there are more creative and neat possibilities.  So in reality, no specific letter lacks coolness, but all have grand potential.  One of my dream jobs would be SIGN MAKER.  But, I digress.  In truth, my intro to today's bp's science got away from me and was designed to preface this:

Did you hear about the kid who studied the amount of ink differing fonts require and determined the government could save a lot of money using Garamond rather than Times New Roman?  In his first study, the teen printed out BIG versions of common letters (e, t, a, o and r) in four different fonts (Times New Roman, Garamond, Century Gothic, and Comic Sans) and determined how much ink was needed for the letters by weighing them.  From there he made estimates on how much money could be saved if the least costly font, Garamond, replaced Times New Roman in government documents.  And since all of us have bought a jet ink printer for $40 thinking it was an amazing deal (!) and then realized a cartridge of ink costs just the same and you'd have to replace that cartridge every time you printed out 12 sheets of paper; we know that ink is expensive and anywhere you can save makes a difference.  Props to this student for thinking outside of the box when it comes to science projects.

And let's just say I am very glad Comic Sans was not the least costly font.  I confess, I am not a fan of that font, even when it comes to the letter B.

p.s. this is no April Fools joke.  All of the above is true.  But happy April Fools Day!