Doodle Science - February 2015

Circulated to schools, organisations and individuals - covering primary science and related bits and bobs.

Saracenia readii

Sarracenia Readii. Spring is on the way, this wonderful plant is a carnivorous trumpet plant from the southern states of America. Rather threatened as the traps have been collected for the floristry trade and the lovely swamps it lives in have been drained and "improved". The traps are modified leaves and do not just capture prey by it falling in, the top section secretes nectar that is narcotic to the flies and other creatures that come, then, worse for wear they fall in. Escape is next to impossible as the walls are very smooth and they eventually die and are digested. There are species spider that live in the traps and just wait, even frogs will move in for a free lunch.

Great Dates in Sci and Tech for February

3rd 1966 - Unmanned Luna 9 lands on the Moon
5th 1924 - The Greenwich Time Signal or the "Pips" are broadcast for the first time.
6th 1959 - Kilby of Texas Instruments patents an integrated circuit.
7th 1979 - Pluto moves inside the orbit of Neptune, it still is.
10th 1996 - IBMs Deep Blue computer beats Garry Kasparov at chess. I have great difficulty beating my phone
12th 1809 - Charles Darwin is born
15th 1564 - Galileo Galilei is born
18th Tombaugh discovers Pluto
28th 1953 Watson and Crick tell friends they have worked out the structure of DNA. They publish in April
Something to try. Making Sherbet
This is pretty easy, you will need two teaspoons of icing sugar, one teaspoon of dry citric acid crystals and half a teaspoon of baking powder. Mix these together and taste. The flavour will vary with the ratios of the ingredients so there is plenty of scope for experimentation. The way it works is that the sugar makes it sweet, the citric acid makes it lemony and the baking powder makes it fizzy. Baking powder is composed of sodium hydrogen carbonate that reacts with the other ingredient tartaric acid when they get wet and give off carbon dioxide. Health and safety Make sure nobody is allergic to the ingredients, do not each too much and make sure to brush teeth after eating sugary foods.

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