Friday, June 5, 2015

Rerun Article: Three Seeds Went to Sea, Sea, Sea to See Where a Seed Could Seed, Seed, Seed...

We literally have only ONE week till Jurassic World is being released! Isn't that crazy? Apparently there was a "private" screening a few days ago and the reception was generally received (of course, there were some negative comments from some of these viewers, but they you can't please everyone!). I can't help but be stoked about the film. Man, I mean, I've been waiting so long. I plan to see it on the 16th of June, which is the soonest possible time I can see it. Can't wait! Did I already say I'm excited about the movie?

Days till:
It is: 7 days till Jurassic World's theatrical release
It is: 14 days till Inside Out's theatrical release
It is: 16 days till Father's Day

In the Spotlight:
Yep, you guessed it, Jurassic World is in full swing and several video segments have been released. As usual, I will post a few of them below, all of which are pretty much spoiler free:

This clip shows several of the film's characters in the Control Room, including Simon Masrani and Claire Dearing discussing how to deal with the Indominus rex breakout.

This clip shows off the cool new interactive features of the Jurassic World Innovation Center.

This final video is of another TV spot.

Topic of the Week by Christian Ryan
Trees and other plants have an agenda of their own: get rid of their seeds so they can be ready to reproduce in the spring. But how do they do this? Well, many get rid of their seeds in a way of deception. Some for instance encase their seeds in delicious-looking (and tasting) nuts. This is when a cute little mammal comes into the scene: the squirrel! We have bunch of these guys living in a giant oak tree in front of our house. They chitter and jump around up there all the time. They now how to make a mess too! Acorns and leaves litter our driveway. Sometimes, an acorn will hit me square on the head! (But unlike Chicken Little, I don’t go around screaming, “THE SKY IS FALLING!!!”) As we all know squirrels will go nuts for . . . well, nuts! They spend a lot of their time collecting them and storing them underground. But sometimes the squirrel will forget a few nuts, so the nut has the opportunity to grow into a mighty tree! Squirrels are also being “green” this fall. Next time you go outside, see how many squirrels you can spot in a tree. If you’re quiet, you might even see them bury a nut for later.

As we all know, squirrels love these things!
Fruit has always been tempting to eat. Even back in Genesis, Satan tempted Eve to eat the forbidden fruit God instructed not to eat. Of course, today for the most part it is good to eat fruit (it wasn't that Eve eating the fruit was bad, it was the disobedience that was bad, but that's a whole other topic!). When humans eat fruit, they normally just spit the seeds out in the trash, depending on the type of fruit (it's very hard to spit banana seeds out, they are just too tiny). But animals don’t spit their seeds out a lot. They normally eat the fruit, seeds and all. Birds often eat fruit, but while the fruit’s flesh deteriorates in the stomach acids, the seed stays intact and comes out when the bird takes a “bathroom break”. The seed then falls to the ground and is ready to sprout, often times miles from the parent plant. The bird droppings even act as fertilizer for the baby seed. Some fruity seeds include, peaches, apples, bananas, raspberries, blueberries and sunflower seeds. This rule exists in other places too. Take the African Savannah for example. Antelopes, impalas, and giraffes can take seeds many miles across the Savannah! When you go outside, look for trees or shrubs with fruits on them. You can open the fruits up and check out the seed package inside.

The fleshy fruit surrounding the seed of a peach

Back to North America! Some seeds prefer a different method of getting around. Small seeds such as jewelweed, violets, and witch hazel come in little, leafy seedpods. Then at just the right moment, the seedpod will pop open and little seeds go whizzing through the air and land far from the parent plant. Neat trick! You can try out this trick! Try touching a seedpod and if it’s the right time, the seeds will pop and fly off to a new destination!

These pods look about ready to pop!
Some seeds like to get places a little quicker than that. They prefer to stick to moving objects, literally! The seeds of sticktights, burdock and a bunch of others have seeds called burs. You know those spiky objects your dog comes home with in its fur and they take forever to pull out? Those are burs. The bur trick of moving from place to place is to hitch onto to a passing object, such as a dog, a cat, a deer, or even your clothes. You probably guessed that the little spikes on burs keep them clinging on, and you would be correct. The burs simply stick onto whatever they stuck to until they either fall off or the animal (or person) scratches it off! Next time you get a bur on your dog or yourself, instead of throwing it in the trash, look at it closely in a microscope to see what these little guys look like up-close and personal (just don’t get pricked on those spikes!).

Did you know burs gave inspiration for Velcro?
Another way seeds get around is by whizzing through the air. Instead of falling off the tree, maple seeds just get carried off by the wind to lands afar. They have curved “wings” that help it spin in the wind like a helicopter blade does. My sister, Halle and I used to play with them all the time. We would pick up a bunch of them and throw them up in the air and watch them spin! What fun that was! You can give it a “whirl” too, just get some spinners and toss them in the air and watch the fun!

These little guys will appear to "flutter" to the ground after falling off a tree
The only problem with the “whirly seed” trick is that the landing has got to hurt if the seeds could feel pain, they would probably scream after falling. One seed doesn't just float in the air and plop down, it gently descends down to earth. You may often blow the seeds of dandelions, milkweed and other plants. These plants have their seeds in, or connected to little tufts of fine, silky hairs. Normally these hairs are tossed about by the wind before gently drifting down to the ground and growing up where they land. However, you can help with this process too! Just get a little dandelion seed and blow really hard. See how far you can get it. You could even have a dandelion race with your friends (just don’t breathe in or you’ll get a mouthful of fluff!).

If you were to blow on these,  they'd go up, up, up and awa-a-a-a-a-ay!
While drifting in the air and gently descending down is really fun, what happened if the seed fell in a pool of water? A pond? A lake? A sea? An ocean? The poor little thing would probably not have the opportunity to reproduce. Spinners, burs, and acorn-like nuts can’t travel across bodies of water easily (some fruity seeds can because they are inside an animal’s body while traveling). So therefore, most air-floating seeds can’t cross large bodies of water without falling in it. But some seeds can cross large bodies of water, even oceans. Some seeds such as coconuts can do this. So when a coconut falls into the water, it can float to new places such as islands. Talk about wide-spread! Coconuts aren’t the only water-floaters rocking the dock! Try to get some seeds where you live, toss them in a puddle or a pond and see if they float. (now hearing the rest of this posts title makes sense: . . . but the only place they could seed, seed, seed was the bottom of the deep blue sea, sea, sea! See?)

A Coconut sprouting a leafy stalk
Wow, seeds are way more impressive than what meets the eye! They really know how to get around don’t they. Seeds are just another example of a beautiful creation God has made for us to enjoy!

Disclaimer: Many (or in some cases all) of the photographs and images above are not mine. If you own one or more of them and would like them to be removed, politely let me know via my email address.

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