Saturday, March 7, 2009

Playing god in HON 240

Tuesday, in HON 240 lab (Science, Technology, and Citizenship), we watched marshmallows "freeze-dry" in a big scary machine. I'm sorry I can't give you a name--to be honest, I was much too interested in the fact that we got to eat the marshmallows after the experiment to pay attention to anything educational.

Sam and I then spent nearly two hours playing with somewhat dangerous gasses. Well, first, we created the gasses (carbon dioxide, oxygen, and sulfur dioxide) by mixing other materials (such as hydrochloric acid, iron chloride, and sodium sulfite) inside a baggie. Then we played with the gasses--like when we lit a wooden split on fire and then pumped our hand-made gasses at it.
We also studied how protozoa react to the gasses; oxygen and carbon dioxide didn't do anything, as far as we could tell, but the second Sam pumped sulfur dioxide onto our microscope slide, where the protozoa were, they all died! It was slightly horrific.

Since I ended up not being able to go down to Iowa for wrestling Nationals, and since I hadn't signed up in time to attend the Peace Prize Forum at St. Olaf, I spent Thursday watching An Inconvenient Truth--the makeup work for those not going to the P.P.F. I've seen it before, so it wasn't spectacularly entertaining or anything (not that it was the first time through), but it's definitely worth watching. It's a good way to get pumped about saving our environment, at least. Though, I did feel bad for Whitney (the conservative girl I once wrote a post about), because Al Gore, the man behind An Inconvenient Truth, made a number of stabs at the Bush administration's environmental policies. Not that I disagree with Gore: saving Earth was certainly not on Bush's agenda, but I felt a little uncomfortable for Whitney anyway.

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