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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Science Of It

Who would have thought that going to the fair would entail a science and history lesson....not I, said the fly. 

My son still loves to go see the tractors at the fair....local farm retailers bring in the latest models for show and sale (of course).  This year....what we saw was truly amazing.  We saw the largest combine that rolls the earth.  It was quadruple the size of any combine you have ever seen.  It's so's guided by GPS and is accurate within 2 inches.  The size of this thing is so just sit and stare in this is the technology that harvests the food that feeds our world....I thought....not just the local corner market.  This image is still not as large as the specimen we saw.Upon further analysis....I commented that it wasn't made so well....the spikes on what appears to be called the header were flimsy plastic....I was then corrected.  I thought they would easily snap as they tried to burrow in the ground....but was told those "spikes" can't be sharp because it would damage the crop (harvest). Ohhhh.....makes sense now that I understand your technology a little more. 

Understanding technology a little more.......don't we really all want to do that.  It seems in this age, we all crave info and have it at our finger tips......I think that we don't even realize what is in front of us at times.....and especially don't realize that science is all around us on a constant basis.

Our eyes meandered through the maze and we pressed on.  We walked smack into a planting accessory that would be used by that same colossal combine.  You could follow the flow of the technology by sight.....large seed bin to distribute the seeds evenly through hoses that went to 1 of probably 30+ planter arms.  Each arm had a blade to dig the soil, a source for dispensing the seed into the newly made opening and wheels to seal the opening and sow it into the ground.  Think about the technology that today's new farmers have compared to just 50 years ago (even 20 years ago). 

Every which way we turned, we found a new technology.  As we made our way to the end of the new models trucked in for the fair.......we found a barn full of old John Deer historical tractors, steam engines, generators and other equipment....of course displayed for the public to see the evolution.  Now....I could discuss this with the kids.....evolution of technology on the farm.....the engines, the methods of planting (manual planters vs. mass planting) and even the evolution of the wheel.  It was like we went on a field trip and the kids soaked it up like a sponge.  How amazing it was to see the progress we have made. ("we" I was involved with the inventions)

Even walking through the barns with was there too.....especially biological anthropology....watching the children connect with the baby animals and their moms.  They loved every minute of walking in those stinky barns and watching out for pellets of you know what.

And then there was the mud slingin' derby.....the demolition derby.  Do you think there's a science behind putting what looks like a beat up jalopy into a ring and ramming it into other pieces of metal that have an engine and continue smashing them until they die?.....well, there is.  Who can reinforce the metal trunk, smash it enough to compress the metal to actually make it stronger.....who can build the best motor....who can form an alliance with other drivers.....who can build a car that blows fire out the top.....who can put on a's all a part of the science behind winning the derby.  I still am intrigued.  My first time....I was appalled to even be in the vicinity of a barn, let alone with people who enjoy lounging in stalls next to animals with Sh#@ all over them and to be watching such ludicrous behavior....3,2,1 and I was hooked. It's strange, I know....but it's fun to watch and get into the science behind the every year we embark on a journey to the county fair and manage to have good old fashion family fun. 

As you walk among the science fair that unfolds before you everyday, our world....our community...our backyard......take a little time to smell the roses and ask a few questions or revel in the realm of our technology.  Remember, science is all around us.  Use every opportunity as a teachable moment....and spread the wealth of never know what kind of seed you may plant in an other's it metaphysics or horticulture. It's all about the science of it. Ciao for now.  Who 2Be 2Day 2Change 2Morrow.

"If your joy is derived from what society thinks of you, you're always going to be disappointed." -- Madonna

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