Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Tennessee Renaissance Festival

Memorial Day we went to the Tennessee Renaissance Festival. The first thing we saw was Birds of the Gauntlet. It was a show about birds of prey. Some of the birds shown were falcons, hawks and owls. Then I did Dragon Joust. You get on wooden horse that is on a wire, and the wire is hooked up to a platform. The horse goes down the wire, and you try to spear a ring that the dragon is holding. We then wandered around. Then we went to the real jousting tournament. There was an unhorsing (that is when a knight gets knocked off his horse). They wore a full suit of armor and the joust was full contact. There were several broken lances. My favorite knight was the one with the U.S. flag, but he didn’t win. The blue knight won. After the joust, we went to tour a castle. When we were going into the castle, we got soaking wet because of a humongous storm. We rode all the way home soaking wet!



Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Perch Dissection

I got a dissection kit for my birthday and a perch to dissect. A perch is a vertebrate ray fish in the class Osteichthyes (which means bony fish). A few days ago, we observed the external anatomy of the fish. We measured it, but the ruler they gave us was too short. So, we used Merkin’s ruler. The perch measured 21cm long. We took some scales off and later we looked at them under the microscope. The growth rings on the scales showed that the fish was 8 to 10 years old. Wednesday we did an internal dissection of the fish. First we removed the operculum to expose the gills. Then we cut along the lateral line and up from the anus. Then we cut along the bottom and lifted the side off. We located the liver and then tried to find the gallbladder, but we couldn’t find it. Then we took out the gonads. When we removed the gonads, the spleen fell out with it. Then we removed the liver. The swim bladder was above the gonads. There was some weird liquid inside of it. After that, we looked at the heart and the intestines. Merkin then cut the tail and head off. We then cut the head in half and tried to look at the brain, but it was cut in two. Finally Merkin poked the eyeball and all of the ooey gooey liquid flowed out. Then I put the whole Perch back together and made a Frankenfish!
See ya later, Dude Boy



Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Dude Boy's Piano Recital

Until I get a cable I need to hook up our video camera to the computer, here are a couple of photos from Dude Boy’s piano recital (which took place on his birthday last week). The accompanying music is one of the songs he played at the recital. It is called The White Squirrel and it is Dude Boy‘s own composition. He was the only participant who played an original composition at the recital.
Merkin


video

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Found on Google Earth . . . Genghis Khan

We are starting a new category for the blog . . . Found on Google Earth. Our first installment is an image of Genghis Khan on a hillside in Mongolia. We have been studying the Mongol Empire in history and by chance learned about it. It took a little looking, but we found it. It is located in the capitol city of Ulaanbaatar. Follow this link to see a ground level view of the giant Khan.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Bernheim Arboretum

Wednesday Merkin and I met William and the twins at Bernheim Arboretum. The first thing we did was go to the visitor center. It was a building that had grass growing on the roof. Then we went to the Canopy Tree Walk. It was very high. You could feel it move when you walked on it. The twins made music by brushing the protection bars on the rails. Then we went to the fire tower, but we couldn’t climb it because it was locked. We then went to the playground where the twins played hide and seek. On the seesaw I found that the twins together weighed more than me. I also found a fossil rock. After that more hide and go seek. Grant got sleepy, so they had to go home. Merkin and I got lunch at Taco Bell then returned to Bernheim Forest and did some hiking. We hiked Guerilla Hollow Trail. Guerilla Hollow was named after civil war guerillas stayed in the area. I recommend that you go there.