Archive for February 19th, 2014

February 19, 2014

What I learned last week #5

by Janie Jones

I meant to post this Monday as I usual, but I have been having problems with WordPress over the weekend and then got crazy busy.  C’est la vie, as they say….

Things continue to plod along.

As usual, I’m tired and overwhelmed with homework, work, and life in general.  But I’m soldiering through.  And, to the casual observer, I might appear to be a woman with my poop in  a group.

For anyone keeping track besides me, we got our grades back for the calc test we had at the end of week 3.  Apparently I got the second highest grade in the class.  I was thrilled even though I later I had to wonder how bad every one else did, as I only got an 86%.  It’s totally respectable, but if that’s the 2nd highest grade a lot of people must be doing somewhat less than stellar.  I won’t let it go to my head, doubtless this is the highest grade I’ll likely get, as this first test was 90% algebra review.

In biology I learned that the Portuguese Man-Of-War is actually not a jelly fish.  It belongs to a class of invertebrate animals known as hydroids.  Interestingly, while sparing you the biology-geek details, it is not a single creature, but the whole Portuguese Man-Of-War is a colony of hydroids wherein some members take on very specific body shapes and functions to benefit the colony.

Portuguese Man-of-War, courtesy of Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portuguese_Man_o%27_War

Portuguese Man-of-War, courtesy of Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portuguese_Man_o%27_War

Because we are studying the animal phylum Cnidarians, which encompasses the class which both the Portuguese Man-of-War and the true jelly fish belong, here’s an interesting factoid about jelly fish. The largest species is called the Lion’s Mane Jelly Fish and the largest specimen known reached 7’6″ with tentacles up to 120′.

In Chemistry I learned that even though your separatory funnel containing a solution of sodium carbonate has stopped fizzing it doesn’t mean it’s stopped off gassing.  I also learned that it only takes a few seconds for the pressure to build up enough inside one’s funnel to shoot the glass stopper off and send it sailing across the lab bench to shatter on the floor.  Last week was not a good day in lab.  I also got 2/3’s of the way through my experiment and then the beaker tipped over in the water bath ruining my sample so I had to start all over again.