February 15, 2008

Gratuitous Domestic Posting (TM) - Gearing Up For The First Skirmish

Pertinent to my post below about this weekend, I had to run out to the hardware store this morning to get some supplies for the eldest Llama-ette's science fair project. Remember what I said about the stubbornness of mules? Call her the Alpha Mule.

The project involves measuring and charting the rate of growth of seeds in various kinds of soil. Simple enough, right? In order to expand the gel's mind a little, I suggested that she ought to run the same experiment on three or four different kinds of seed, in order to see if maybe different plants might prefer different kinds of soil.

"No," she said. "Mrs. B [her teacher] said one kind of plant."

"Yes, but Sweetie," I replied, "That's all well and good, but a general principle of science is that the more data you collect, the more information you can get out of it. And it's not like you have to go out of your way - just set up a couple extra trays with the different kinds of seed next to the one you were going to do anyway."

"No!" she said. "One plant only! That's the rule! I'll get in trouble if I do more!"

"My dear child," I replied again, "You're certainly not going to get into trouble for taking extra steps to expand the scope of your project. And you might just be surprised and interested by the results."

"One. Plant." she said.

So when I went to the hardware store, I picked up corn, squash, beans and tomatoes. We'll see what happens when I show them to her when she gets home.

And because it's Friday, I'm going to go ahead and roll that YouTube vid you've been thinking of since you started reading this:

UPDATE: Point taken from those of you urging caution about the parameters of the project. I could be mistaken, of course, but as yet the gel has produced no evidence of it. Further, I know the gel and I know the teacher. Smart money says the gel either misheard or is just being lazy, either of which is in her eyes perfectly reasonable grounds for digging in.

As long as we're doing Friday vids, here's one for the six year old. She even has a lot of the same moves:

UPDATE DEUX: And here's one for the eight year old. Not that the song especially reflects her makeup, it just happens to be one of her favorites at the moment:

UPDATE TROIS: Science! Surprisingly enough, the gel was perfectly amenable to my suggestion after all when I presented it to her. Go figure. We've now duly planted (or rayther, she's now duly planted) rows of said corn, squash, beans and tomatoes in samples of topsoil, manure, seed-starter (peat and vermiculite), sand and ash. I expect fairly polarized growth figgahs.

Posted by Robert at February 15, 2008 01:16 PM | TrackBack

Oh, can I relate to that. I was likely to have reacted that way in my youth and the Spawn-of-Loin reacted exactly the same way.

Posted by: quasimodo at February 15, 2008 01:58 PM

Not to throw a wet blanket on a perfectly good rant, but you may want to check with the teacher on the outlines for the project. Once the project has been approved, deviation therefrom may well be penalized. Of course, I have assumed a number of facts not in evidence, but having led the Young Master astray once in a similar situation, I now tend to err on the side of caution.

Posted by: the gripping hand at February 15, 2008 02:17 PM

Or maybe have the other gels tend two of the other kinds and you take the fourth -- and turn it into a race of some sort.

Posted by: rbj at February 15, 2008 03:22 PM

Great idea Robbo. You say she refused your suggestion not once, not twice, but three times?

Happily you calmly responded by going to the hardware store, picking up corn, squash, beans and tomatoes.

I almost fell out of my chair. Chamelidae, meet thy Equus Asinus progeny.

Posted by: tee bee at February 16, 2008 11:00 AM

Sounds similar to what we're doing. We have 4 kinds of compost, plain top soil and Sta-Green pellets.

I no longer have a dining room, instead half the table is a green house.

Posted by: Sarah G. at February 16, 2008 10:24 PM

Oh, that takes me back to my middle school science fair project. Nothing like seeing how magnetic fields affect plant growth by embedding oh so strong refrigerator magnets. As I recall, I didn't lose too many points for experimental design so much for the Coolidge writing style. To wit, my conclusion more or less in its entirety: No difference.

Far more interesting was my brother's project: Determining whether people smell with a dominant nostril. It turns out, by a wide margin they do, a fact handy for any budding oenophile.

Posted by: OrgleFan at February 17, 2008 12:45 PM