Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Midwest Fall ComiCon


I attended this year's ComiCon event in October with my nine year old son, Tommy. Here are some overall impressions I took away from the event.

Demographic:
- We saw people that ranged in age from birth to senior citizen. The bulk of the group probably fell into late teens through forty-somethings.

- Obviously all attending had a true passion for some aspect of comic books–whether it be the art, the fact that they could identify with a specific character, etc.

- At least 1/3 of the attendees were dressed in costumes.

Overall observations from a forty-something, mother of three, point of view (and not a comic con person):
- Fun, creative atmosphere
- Not my scene...now this is not meant as a slam, but it begs the question, "How could we lure in potential attendees/fans that are not typically drawn to this event?' Or, "Do we even care about luring non-fans to the event?" Better yet, "Do we care about increasing membership/is this a goal for the association?"
- Fave part: I loved the hand made puppets, the art, some of the unique comics that were very specific to certain demographics. (Autistic super hero, Fat Ladies in Space, etc.) I appreciated the humor in many of the product lines.
- Least fave part: I was confused. I felt an overall "I don't get it" feeling. I think the event needs a clear mission statement that incorporates ideas about bringing a community (of all things comic books) together. The event lacked a strong branding, directional signs, felt messy and disorganized. Lack of cohesiveness and order. This is coming from an outsider's perspective. I get that these are individual exhibitors, but there did not seem to be a singular common goal or focus. It really felt very segmented, like everybody was just "doing their own thing." It also felt a little intimidating as an outsider who really knows nothing about what was going on. I was not sure where to go, what to do when I got there.

Tommy at ComiCon


ComiCon Photo Booth



Overall observations from a nine year old boy's perspective:
- Kinda scary, intimidating
- Didn't like people in scary costumes
- Lots of toys, cool things
- Fave part: The shopping part was cool. Lots of fun toys for sale.
- Least fave part: Scary masks, costumes, "some people were really scary looking!"


ComiCon attendees in costume






What is goes on/is sold at ComiCon:
- collectible comic books
- comic book art: originals and prints
- comic book related merchandise: trinkets, toys, etc.
- handmade plush toys, pillows, jewelry, puppets (Did I mention that the puppets were awesome?)
- strange unrelated merchandise (used American Girl Dolls????)
- art supplies (Wet Paint had a booth there.)
- many attendees dress as their favorite character
- face painting
- picture booth





Cool Puppets




Face Painting




Recommendations:
- Strong(er) brand/identity of association
- If you'd like to lure in potential members/attendees, a clear mission/focus/vision needs to be (more) apparent.
- Organization at event (Make sections of vendors clearer. Neater exhibits.)
- Directional signs at event (Clearly mark sections, events taking place within the event.)
- Information booth at event (Maybe there was one there, but it was not clear to me.)
- Call attention to feature exhibitors with really special products/art/etc. (Contest for exhibitors for most creative product or booth??)




Tuesday, October 20, 2015

1 System and 3 Organism Superpowers


Calcium Sulfate Crystals in Jellyfish

  • The way jellyfish can tell direction is from tiny calcium sulfate crystals that roll around inside pockets lines with tiny hairs.  Based on the stimulation of those hairs as the jelly swooshes around, it gains a sense of which end is up and which is down due to gravity. 
  • Humans have a similar system in the ear, with calcium crystals in the inner ear moving over hairs to give the sense of acceleration or gravity. 
  • Jellyfish have been studied in space since the early 1990's!!! With a focus on the development of these structures in zero gravity. 
Jellies in Space Article 




AMAZING Jellyfish Superpowers

  • Jellyfish have been around for 500-700 million years! The oldest dinosaurs date back about 230 million years. 
  • Some jellies have the ability to completely renew it's cells when in danger. Immortality!
  • They have a network of nerves, but no heart or brain. 
  • The box jellyfish has one of the most dangerous venoms, with 15 tentacles and 5,000 stinging cells on each one, a sting can kill a human in minutes. Apparently the pain from one of these stings is enough to kill you before the venom does, however sea turtles are immune and eat these badass jellies. Article on Box Jellies
  • The box jellyfish may also be the only organism to see 360 degrees, with 24 eyes-two of which can see color. 




Biofluorescent Turtle!!!

  • A hawksbill turtle was discovered by chance near the Solomon Islands off Australia with the ability to reflect blue light into a spectrum of green, red and orange!
  • David Gruber, the marine biologist who discovered the turtle, speculates the red may be from biofluorescent algae, but the green is from the turtle itself. 
  • This is the first known reptile to exhibit this ability!




The Snottite

  • A snottite consists of cave-dwelling colonies of bacteria that live off volcanic sulphur. 
  • These bacteria create a biofilm micro-environment in which to thrive in the harshest cave environments on Earth. 




Phylum Loricifera 

  • Loricifera is a multi-celled organism capable of living without sun or oxygen in deep ocean sediments.
  • They also don't rely on mitochondria (like most organisms) for energy, they use hydrogenosomes, which are membrane cased organelles used to compartmentalize energy from metabolism.
  • Motochondria use oxygen for energy and hydrogenosomes are an equivalent which uses hydrogen for energy. 



Saturday, October 10, 2015

3 Superstar Organisms/System

Great White Shark



Shark research citations:

http://cnso.nova.edu/ghri/news-events/Sharks_Have_Some_Of_The_Coolest_Superpowers_In_The_Animal_Kingdom.pdf

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1XYa93Rz_Q

  • Sharks have super senses. They can detect prey from more than a mile away. They have a sensory element, called "the lateral line" that is made up of nerves that runs the length of their bodies and fans out at their head and jaw. It picks up subtle vibrations and pressure changes in the water. They can actually "feel" their prey. Specialized nerves found in pores in a shark's nose, called Ampulae of Lorenzini, can detect even weak electrical charges, such as heartbeats and muscle movements, of creatures hidden in sand.
  • Sharks heal from their injuries very quickly. In the wild, it has been observed that sharks can heal from major bite wounds and gashes very fast because they are proficient at replacing body parts such as teeth and fin spines.
  • Shark vision is 10X more sensitive to light than human vision. They can see very well in deep and dark waters. Plus they have a nicitating membrane that is a clear shield that protects the eye during attacks.
  • Sharks have cancer-immune skin. Experiments have shown that, in a lab, when a shark's skin was exposed to UV light 600X what we are exposed to, it did not develop melanoma. It just developed a really great tan! ;)


Mantis Shrimp



Mantis Shrimp research citations:



  • A mantis shrimp's compound eyes have so many neurons, they are capable of actually seeing cancer cells. Since polarized light reflects differently off cancerous cells than it does off of healthy cells, the mantis shrimp's sensitivity to polarized light would make them capable of deciphering the difference. This technology has been replicated in the medical world.
  • Energy is stored in a mantis shrimp's spring loaded arm. The energy is released in a wallop of a punch when it is delivered to its prey. It can break through the hardest of crustacean shells and even through aquarium glass, with the force of a .22 caliber bullet.

Water Bear/Tardigrade




Water Bear research citations:

  • Tardigrades, or Water Bears, are practically indestructible. They can survive in the most extreme temperatures, from absolute zero (-273.15 degrees Celsius or -459.67 degrees Fahrenheit) to well above the boiling point (100 degrees Celsius or 212 degrees Fahrenheit.)
  • They can endure pressures 6x higher than the deepest ocean trenches (6 x 36,000 ft = 216,000)
  • They can go without food or water for 10 years, reducing their water content to 3%.
  • They are able to withstand "ionizing radiation at doses hundreds of times higher than the lethal dose for humans to the vacuum of outer space." (Wikipedia)

The Endocrine System

Endocrine System citations:



  • The Endocrine system is a group of glands that produces hormones and carries them to major organs via the circulatory system. Major glands include the pineal, pituitary pancreas, ovaries, testes, thyroid, parathyroid, hypothalamus, gastrointestinal tract and adrenal glands.
  • The pituitary gland is located at the bottom of the hypothalamus at the base of the brain. It is responsible for secreting 9 hormones that control homeostasis, or equilibrium.
  • The pituitary gland also produces hormones that are responsible for growth, reproduction and lactation in mothers.
  • The thyroid gland affects growth, metabolic rate and development of bones and skeletal muscle.
  • The parathyroid produces a hormone that increases blood calcium by stimulating bone calcium release into the bloodstream increasing the absorption rate of calcium in the gastrointestinal tract and kidneys.


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

3 rainforest organisms











Red eye tree frog:

- colorful colors

- They are not poisonous

- They use there red eyes to scare predators



  Orangutan:

- Largest tree mammal in the world

- life span is from 35-40 years

- there diet is: bark, leaves, flowers, variety of insects, and 300 different kind of fruits






Toucans:

- use there beaks to reach fruit

-very colorful

- Have 2-4 eggs per year

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

3 Animals an a system


The Mantis Shrimp
  • Very Colorful
  • Very Strong
  • Known to break through aquarium glass
  • Strength of a gunshot


The Turritopsis Nutricula
  • Also known as the immortal jellyfish
  • End of life it folds in on itself
  • Then absorbs it's self
  • Finally returns to polyp stage to relive



The Axolotl
  • Also know as Frankenstein Salamander
  • Can regenerate every part of body
  • Including it's organ, head, and brain
  • Doesn't show scar tissue
  • Also can adopt any limb from other of it's kind

The Skeletal System
  • Stores Calcium
  • Framework for body
  • Protects vital organs
  • Produces red blood cells
  • 206 bones plus 32 teeth


Monday, October 5, 2015

3 Creatures & 1 System

CREATURES:
1. Jellyfish





1. Jelly fishes existed before dinosaurs. 
2. Mainly made out of water and protein.
3. Jelly fishes live less than one year.
4. They can clone themselves!
5. & Jelly fishes don't have brains.




2. Clownfish


1. Very aggressive fish. 
2. Mostly stays in warm seas.
3. All clownfishes are born male and when a majority group of female dies, males can convert themselves into females.
4. Can live up to 10 years.
5. Makes up over 40% of the global marine ornamental stage.




3. Sea Turtle


1. Lived on the Earth for more than 220 million years.
2. Temperature determines the gender of baby sea turtles.
3. Sea turtles have lungs and needs to breath atmospheric air.
4. They can hear vibrations and has excellent eye sight and sense of smell.
5. Can live for 70-80 years.




SYSTEM:

1.

1. Formed about 4.6 billion years ago.
2. 99.86% of the systems mass is found in the sun, 0.14% is found in the other 8 planets.
3. Jupiter has the biggest ocean of any planet.
4. Pluto is smaller than the USA
5. The hottest planet isn't closest to the sun. 






sources.
http://www.jellywatch.org/blooms/facts
http://infactcollaborative.com/animals/clown-fish-facts.html
http://www.softschools.com/facts/animals/sea_turtle_facts/14/
http://earthsky.org/space/ten-things-you-may-not-know-about-the-solar-system

Three Organisms and a System

Arctic Fox

  • hardy animal -- survives in 58 degrees fahrenheit
  • live in burrows -- protects from blizzards
  • their coat changes colour with the season
  • they eat veggies too!

Arctic Moss

  • gets very little sunlight
  • lives on the bottom of tundra lakes
  • doesn't have real roots
  • the slowest growing longest living freshwater macrophyte ever recorded!

Snow Leopard

  • uses its tail to balance when walking (when not, the tail curls around them like a blanket)
  • can pounce up to 20 feet
  • a solitary animal
  • enlarged naval cavities help them breathe

Library Circulation System

  • the circulation desk = point of charging out library materials
  • bookstacks (closed or open) = where materials are housed
  • circulation records section = clerical routines 
The library circulation system is how books are barcoded, processed, shelved, checked out and returned. The ideal system is easy to use, is quick, reduces cost and allows libraries to do other work. The system must answer some basic questions: Who has what item? When is each item due? How many items were checked out? The different categories of information collected include: Patron Information, Material Information, Loan Information, Collection Management Information, Statistical Information. 


References:

Three Creatures and a System!

Pit Vipers
 

-See in infrared!
-Has chambers connected by tubes and controlled by muscles that allow it to control air pressure on both sides of it's membrane!
-Can contract a muscle and shoot venom from glands!

Pink Dragon Millipede (Desmoxytes purpurosea)
-Largest in its genus! (1.2 in)
-Shoots cyanide that it producers at predators!
-Hot pink!

Honey Badger
-They're like skunks in that they have a gland that can shoot stinky liquid to mark territory or ward off predators.
-Their claws allow them to dig a hole larger than themselves in mere minutes.
-They have an incredibly thick (rubbery skin) making them immune to bee stings, snake venom, and even the occasional spear.
-Their teeth are powerful enough to bite through a turtle's shell.


The Feudal System
The infamous pyramid-style feudal system worked as a hierarchy with the king at the top holding all the power and the much larger, peasant class scraping by at the bottom. This system worked for such a long time because of the apparent quid pro quo mechanisms. The Kind provided the lords with peasants and land so they aided him and kept him in power, the lords provided the knights with status food and shelter, so they gave them military rule, and the peasant were left with little choice at the bottom and simply paid the rent and worked the land in exchange for food and protection. This system's downfall, though, was in the uneven distribution. The King was so far better off than the serf class, which held the majority, that it simply would not be allowed. Since their numbers were far greater than the numbers of the elite, a coup was possible. The failure of the feudal system is exactly why many countries attempted to move towards a more democratic ruling, which America eventually became the model for.

The Bear & The Circulatory System

There are more than 8 million species living on earth currently, but this number is always in counting. The beautiful thing is that not all species are vastly different. Many are in fact the same animal, bred differently to fit the needs of their environment. Darwinism at its finest. For example, take the bear. When somebody says 'bear', many of us think grizzly or brown or even a thick forest in the mountain somewhere. If this is true of 'bears', what are Polar and Panda Bears? The reality is, they are all the exact same bear, with different attributes to help them survive in the region they inhabit.

BROWN BEAR 
The Grizzly Bear is the largest subspecies of the Brown Bear and is most prevalent in the US and Canada. Their appearance is specific in that they have developed a large hump on their back, as well as a 'dished in' face and round ears. Currently, the Grizzly Bear numbers 58,000 and is the fastest growing bear species cross-continentally.

POLAR BEAR
The Polar Bear lives in areas of the world very few other animals are able to survive. They are a marine mammal and have evolved adaptations for Arctic life, such as large furry feet with sharp, stocky claws that give them good traction on ice. They are the one species of bear impacted by global warming the most, decreasing their population drastically.

PANDA BEAR
Native to South Central China, the Panda Bear has developed a black and white spotted coloring, which is speculated to be due to the need for camouflage in their environment. The Panda is higher endangered merely due to their reduced habitat and reproductive habitats in captivity.

THE CIRCULATORY SYSTEM: HUMAN VS. BEAR
The circulatory system of the generic bear works very similarity to that of a human. The bear has a 4-chambered heart, in which blood comes in the right side and enters the lungs to be oxygenated. The left side of the heart pumps the oxygenated blood to the rest of the body via the left atrium, left ventricle and aorta. This is the same for humans. The difference lies in the path of the blood after the heart. The bear has more veins, meaning more valves. Since humans stand on two legs, transfer of blood to the body is simple. With the bear, the increased amount of valves allow a more fluid flow of blood to the mammal, as they are on four legs.


http://www.bioexpedition.com/bear-species/
http://ezinearticles.com/?Introducing-the-3-Main-Species-of-Bears&id=9182474
http://theamericanbear.weebly.com/circulatory.html


Grey wolves (Canis lupus)

  • Can go up to 14 days without eating
  • Mate for life
  • Operate on a high level of social hierarchy, use a complex communication system that includes body language, barking, growling, dancing, scent marking, and howling
  • Fiercely loyal and affectionate towards family members, have been known to sacrifice themselves for another member of their pack

Red fox (vulpes vulpes)

  • Usually stay together in pairs or small families
  • Have a very acute sense of hearing, can sense the squeaking of a mouse from over 330 ft away
  • Have whiskers on their legs as well as their face that they use to help find their way around
  • Female foxes have been known to be assisted in raising their cubs by a non breeding sister (If I were a fox I would be the cool aunt)

Great White Shark (Carcharodon Carcharias)

  • Very large, can grow over 21 ft in length
  • Has an estimated lifespan of over 70 years
  • Great White Sharks try to avoid fighting for food. When there is only enough food for one, they have a tail-slapping contest. The sharks swim past each other, each slapping the surface of the water with their tails, and often directing the spray toward the other shark. The one who gets the meal is the shark that delivers the most tail slaps.
  • Is capable of rolling its eyes backwards, which protects the front part of the eye from being scratched.
  • In one year, a single Great White consumes about 11 tons of food.
  • Can go 3 months without eating after a big meal
  • Great White sharks can detect a tiny amount of blood from up to 3 miles away. They are able to do this because of a specialized organ called the olfactory bulb.

The Solar System

  • Consists of a star (our sun) and the planets, small objects (asteroids, meteors, etc), and dwarf planets that orbit it
  • The sun is the size of more than 1 million Earths
  • Each planet has a south and north pole
  • Different planets rotate around their axis at different speeds (some rotate "backwards")
  • The planets take different paths when revolving around the sun. The amount of time it takes to make one revolution is considered 1 planetary year.


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Zoo Experience



While at the zoo I felt at peace being surrounded by nature and animals. I wanted to capture the environment of the animals and how they connect with humans and there self. With the green plants they were breathe taking. I used Tracy to model for me as an example, to how nature involves us as a whole then just a plant. Nature is more precious then humans, and we need to appreciate it like we appreciate selfies.

Zoo Observations

People in the Zoo

I've always loved going to the zoo. What I loved about the Como Zoo was the emphasis on plant life. The wide expanse of flora really allowed visitors to see the diversity. It was amazing to explore the plants and see the variety of colour among them. It made me wonder why each of the colours were necessary adaptations to each plant. However, as excited as I was to explore the zoo and see the animals and plants, I really wanted to see the interaction of people with the exhibits. What I noticed was that people seemed to only be interested in documenting their visit. I've noticed the same thing at museums. Peoples priority seems to be taking as many photos of something cool as they can, snapping a bunch of selfies and making sure they have good snapchat coverage. I'm not going to lie, I got in the van and immediately started searching for the perfect instagram photo. I wonder if there is some way to incorporate this into the zoo experience. Unfortunately, some of the animals were far away, making zooming in with a camera the only way to see them up close. It's always great to have be able to see the animals up close, even if it is through a lens. 
-Eleni Leventopoulos



Monday, September 21, 2015

A Day at the Zoo






At the Como Zoo I noticed a trend In the exhibits I thought to be most successful. The animals in each of the exhibits I enjoyed had a high level of interaction with each other and their surroundings; there were things for them to do, which in turn made it easier for me to learn from them and see what they were all about. I feel like this is crucial when creating a habitat for a zoo that is going to be mutually beneficial for the animal and the zoo goer. I think this will be crucial to keep in mind when creating my biome exhibit with my group.