Thursday, May 9, 2013


I'm really excited to share my other favorite book, which maybe you never heard about it but I'm pretty sure when you start reading it you can't stop.The name of the book was different and kind of attractive " your inner fish", the more you read, it gets more and more clear. 
The first chapter’s introduction to the book was very amazing to me. When he describes his journey and how they ended up with Canadian Arctic to find evidence of how the fish species became land animals, I was really surprised at the effort put into looking for fossils to determine the growth of species. The discovery of tiktaalik, the transitional fossil, which is intermediate between fish and amphibians, was the most interesting part. So far in this book I learned about myself and about our histories and origin. The reflection of this chapter was that we and the animals around us are from one ancestors which soon evolved into another and another making branches and leaves wherever needed improvement just like in Darwin's natural selection. 

            Chapter two was kind of hard to understand, but it was a truly fascinating chapter. Having the same kind of limbs as other animals like birds, lizards, penguins, and seals it was interesting, But when the book started to talk about fishes, I was confused. Because it made sense that mammals and lizards can have similar limbs, but having similar limbs as fishes are just confusing also interesting. After reading chapter two, it helped me realize the importance of all the parts in the human body. Now that I understand how hard would be to do your everyday tasks without hands, I’m more appreciate. Also other parts in the body that are equally important to the hands or even more important, but as Shubin explains it "The answer must, at some level, be that the hand is a visible connection between us; it is a signature for who we are and what we can attain"(pg.29). I learned that some fishes have lungs. Once again tiktaalik amazed me when shubin and his team by removing his fins, discovered that it has a shoulder, elbow, and wrist similar to human arm. Another surprising fact about Tiktaalik was that they also find out it is capable of doing push-ups. It is really interesting to think of fishes as our ancestors.
Tiktaalik's fossil

            What was interesting in chapter three, was finding out that our body is made up of hundreds of different kinds of cells that give each of us our distinctive shapes. The most exciting experiment was on chicken and shark using ZPA and Sonic Hedgehog to create the mirror image of chicken’s wing and shark’s fin. It’s also interesting that a small, microscopic piece of ZPA have a huge influence on the shape of our hand. Also I learned that the skeletal structure of shark’s appendages is not similar to Owen’s theory "one bone-two bone-lotsa blobs-digits pattern." As you go further in the book you’ll find out how he makes the information interesting, and how he explained everything by showing pictures and helps us more to see what he was talking about. I really enjoyed this chapter; I hope that there are more to come about fossils. Every time I read a chapter of this book, I feel like I learn something new about myself.

The LAST week of school

I can say that I’m done with my project. And this week all I needed to do was to finish my poster for the presentation in the Estrella Mountain Community College conference. Like always Matt helped me a lot to make it perfect. Since it was my first time, it was a little bit stressful for me but I was able to get the third place. 


Also I was reading a really interesting book this week for my honors project, and I thought it’s a good idea to share my brief summary of each chapter of the book. The book’s name is “The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World”. The book has four different chapters about apple, tulips, marijuana and potato. You can read a short summary of it here and hopefully you enjoy it too.

The first chapter on the apple explains why apple symbolized the sweet landscape, and it was the sign of human habitation. The history of apple start from Europe and It brought with western European to America when they immigrant to America. Michael Pollan, talks about the desire for sweetness and describes the word sweet and how it was so important before. Basically, the apple was a reliable source of sweetness. And if people could keep them cool and dry they were last for a long time.
It was really interesting that the main reason of spreading the apple around the world was because; apple was a source of alcohol rather than food. And even more interesting how they used to get drink out of apple. The hard cider which is the wine of apple they just ferment it and drink it, it’s like 5-8 percent alcohol. But if they wanted a stronger drink they could make that too, which called “apple jack”. they took the hard cider and left it out in the winter, and the colder it got the part that wouldn’t freeze was alcohol, so they get rid of the ice and what was left was very potent apple jack. And the colder the winter the more ice they could remove and that would give them the stronger liquid.
Dionysus is a mysterious figure in Greek mythology, he’s the bringer of alcohol and also the bringer of agriculture, and he thought man how to use of nature. So Pollan, believes John Chapman, also known as Johnny Appleseed, he was the American Dionysus, because of all the values have been brought. Also he’s one of the reasons that the apple derived in America because all those cider orchards that he helped plant.

In tulip chapter, Pollan talks about how we messed with tulip like all other plants that we have messed around with and now a days the lost their values. We changed them to reflect our taste, beauty and our uses of them. Basically if we look at the modern tulips, compare to the old ones, they are very different. The modern tulips are just about size and color, we make them so cheap and common and we don’t know anymore how extraordinary they are. Tulips like many other plants don’t come through from seeds, which mean the offspring of tulip plant are different seed and were look nothing like it’s parents. Reproducing the good tulips is very slow and painstaking, but by taking the seed of this rare plant and planting them everywhere all these diversity was created in Holland. And when they found the good tulip, they propagate it from bulbs by cloning it and keep them stable. And that’s part of why tulips are precious.

Coffee and tea are also plant drugs; we’ve been using them for a long time. They both change your mood basically because of their caffeine. As Pollan justified, some plants can heal us, and some other can kill us, even more interesting than both of those. There are some plants that can change your viewpoint of reality altogether, these drugs get in the way of capitalist economy and marijuana is one of them. It diminutions the ambition and drive and makes people contemn with what they have so that maybe one of the reason that in our very fast achievement oriented society marijuana has been demonized.

In the course of human history the potato has much greater treasure than gold, and when it got to Europe it had a lot of trouble getting established there, because it was inside the soil and they consider it dirty. Also they are from night shade plant family which is poisonous plants and they have a bad repetition.
I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it to everyone.