Sunday, November 19, 2006

Loxodonta africana among other things...

It's been over a week since I last posted and I have no new knitting to show you. Life has been consumed with work, homework and studying. My mammology professor is making us memorize species names, families and orders of a whole hell of a lot of mammals. Did you know that that the duck-billed platypus comes from the family Ornithorhynchidae or that the scientific name of the chimpanzee is Pan troglodytes? Yeah, neither did I, but now I do.

I mentioned a while ago that there was a trip to the Toronto Zoo planned didn't I? Well we went. Aside from the rain (the cold, chill-you-to-your-bones rain) it was a good trip. We didn't get to tour around the zoo because we had limited time. What we did end up doing was watching a training session with the African elephants (Loxodonta africana). It was interesting to see these huge animals do things like open their mouths and hold them open so the keepers could inspect their teeth. They'd hold them open until the keeper gave the command indicating it could stop.You can see in this picture that the keepers work under protected contact which means no keeper physically goes in with an elephant. Did you know most cases where keepers have been seriously injured or killed have involved elephants?

After the training, we watched a presentation and spoke with a keeper and a supervisor on lots of different issues related to being zookeepers. It was definitely educational.

As for the rest of the time there (we only had about an hour to see things which certainly isn't enough time when you're at the Toronto Zoo) we made the most of it. And when I said "made the most of it" I meant fooled around in some of their more 'child friendly' exhibits. We had fun. I tell ya, if there's one thing I love about this program it's the people and how much fun we have.

In a totally unrelated topic, I'm in a club at school called the ZEW Club (Zoo and Exotic Wildlife Club) and we were doing this fundraiser that all the clubs in school participate in. It's were you raffle off tickets for whatever prizes the school is offering that year and the club gets to keep the proceeds. I tried selling tickets, I didn't try hard, but I tried. When I didn't end up selling any, I just bought a few for myself. I bought a total of 5 tickets. That's it. And guess what? I won! There were four prizes, an iPod Video, an iPod Nano and two iPod Shuffles. I won one of the shuffles! This thing has 1GB of memory in such a tiny little device. Don't believe me? Just look at how small this thing is:
I'm totally afraid I'm going to lose it!

So Thanksgiving is coming up. I have just a few days off since I still have to work, but let me tell you, I'm definitely going to be taking advantage of the time. I plan to knit... a lot. We'll see if I actually do or not because I have school projects that need finishing before the end of the semester which is only... oh... three (school) weeks away! Yikes!

10 comments:

Diana said...

That ipod shuffle is soooo tiny. I've just got to have one for when I'm at the gym.

LisaB said...

Ooh I love the elephants!
I haven't been to our zoo in awhile. It is one outing that I love, looking at all the animals!

That shuffle is soooo tiny! I hadn't seen the new ones before. You'll love it!

Katy said...

I see a brightly colored knitted ipod cover in your future. :)

When we went to the Tacoma, WA, zoo in August, they had one of the high-tech protective elephant areas. It was cool to see all the things they could do. Of course, my kids were thrilled b/c they got to see the elephant poop--definitely memorable.

Bean said...

I am so jealous! Now you can listen to your own music while knitting anywhere you go! By the way- miss cat lady... Cat mouse pad? Ironic isn't it....

BAM said...

Woohoo, IPods are great...although how quickly they upgrade all of their products is a bit of a racket. The yarn I used on the vest is YarnPicks Andean Silk (an Alpaca blend)....I love it and will definitely be using it again soon

Beak said...

Congrads! Great prize.

I had to give up my brief stint as a Bio major after my zoology class. I could never remember all those NAMES. I loved the subject; my poor feeble brain could not keep up.

amanda cathleen said...

you guys look like you are having tons of fun!
wow, that shuffle is tiny! Congrats on winning : )

sarah said...

Those new shuffles are so cool! I have one of the old school shuffles and it looks ancient compared to that. Enjoy it :)

JessaLu said...

Looks like lots of fun was had by all ;o) Congrats on winning! I agree with you - those new shuffles are SO tiny! I'd lose on in five seconds or less.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear that you had such bad weather on your trip to the Toronto Zoo. Even more sorry that you didn't have much time to see it all. I've not been there in a few years, but it's really a great place and you'd need a couple of full days to do it justice. I want to get back there again sometime but it's a 14 hour drive from here.

Good luck with the taxonomy. That memorization would tax my brain. I barely know what phylum I'm in, and I'm not sure the kids are even the same species. Oy.

Nice iPod. I've only got an older full sized model. I think if I had a shuffle the size of yours I'd mistake it for a mint and eat it in a moment of absent minded hunger. Remarkable how small they are. iPod earrings are likely just around the corner. Hey, if they come out with them, you heard it first here. I'll donate the royalties to a zoo. :-)

semi-anonymous anonymous