Tag Archives: Rhode Island

Body Worlds Vital

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Baby Loves <33

How is everything?! I wanted to share with all of you an AWESOME exhibit that I went to the other day. It’s called Body Worlds Vital and is currently in Rhode Island — I believe until January — so those of you that are in the area, I highly recommend you check it out. It’s relatively inexpensive and you’ll definitely learn something from it.

For those of you not in Rhode Island, keep an eye on where they go next. It travels all over the world and hopefully will come to you! If not, read on, as I will share some pictures and fun factoids. Happy learning!

The Orthopedic Body

Above is the “Orthopedic Body”, posed as a dancer. It is fitted with various artificial joints. Orthopedics corrects skeletal deformities.

Football Player
The Skin Man

Directly above is the “Skin Man”. The skin is our largest and heaviest organ. Despite being a few millimeters thick, we cannot obviously survive without it. It protects us from micro-organisms, stops us from drying out, regulates our temperature and provides information about how the outside world feels. Ageing of our skin happens when special elastic fibres within it are damaged. This causes the skin to lose its youthful recoil and stay in permanent wrinkles. The main cause of elastic fibre damage is UV light from the fun. This is why tanning, however good it may look in the short term, actually speeds up the ageing process -_- Repeated exposure to cigarette smoke alos seems to damage skin over time and enhance wrinkling.

"Relaxing"

Arteries

Thoracic Cavity

Directly above is a cross-section of a Thoracic Cavity. The bronchial passages in the lungs lead into clusters of tiny air sacs (alveoli) that give the lungs a sponge-like appearance. Each alveolus is surrounded by a network of capillaries where oxygen and carbon dioxide are exchanged. Each lung contains 300-450 million alveoli. Spread out flat, they would cover an area of about 850-1,300 square feet.

Gymnast

Pretty neat, right?! Some other interesting tidbits of knowledge I picked up:

  • The human hand has 27 bones, controlled by 37 skeletal muscles. They allow for a wide variety of movement with exceptionally fine control and a powerful gripping action. In particular, it is our ability to bring the tips of our thumb and fingers together that gives human hands their unique dexterity.
  • That “pins and needles” sensation you get is usually caused by sitting or lying in a way that restricts the blood supply to the area. Normal feeling is restored by changing position and letting the blood back in. The numbness is replaced y that prickling sensation, as the nerves wake up again and start sending messages to the brain and spinal cord.
  • The knee joint bones are not a perfect fit. To fill the gap, they have two crescent-shaped cartilage wedges called menisci. Only the outer edges are supplied with blood and therefore regenerate poorly following an injury.
  • A muscle can only shorten and relax. When we move, different muscles act on opposite sides of a joint, pulling it in different directions in which it can move. For example, the biceps flexes the elbow, while the triceps at the back of our arm does the opposite and extends the elbow. When the biceps contracts, balancing activity in the triceps inhibits excessive movement. This makes our movements fluid and controlled.
  • The cerebrum is the largest part of our brain. Almost two thirds of the brain’s surface are hidden in the furrows. Spread out flat, the cerebral cortex would cover about 16 square feet.
  • The biggest risk factors of a stroke are high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, obesity and high cholesterol levels.
  • Twins are conceived when a fertilized egg divides into two embryos or two fertilized eggs develop simultaneously. In the former case, the twins share the same genetic code and are identical twins. They are always of the same sex. In the second case, the twins are fraternal. They are genetically as similar or different as any other non-identical siblings and always have their own placenta.

Now you know! The body is an amazingly wonderful thing and I love learning more about it. Treat yours well 🙂

Rhode Island Oyster Trail

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Hello Everybody!

Phew, the last month was a crazy whirlwind of stress and fun! More details to come, but in a nutshell, I finished up my first year of Master’s classes, took finals, studied and took my Masters Comprehensive Written Exam, passed that damn exam (!!!!), spent 11 days in London and turned 25! Now, I’m back in the states and starting to do real life things again, so I will be back on my blogging grind. I also have a ton of pictures and stories from London, but that may take some time until it’s post-worthy.

In the meantime, you guys may know that I’m sort of obsessed with Oysters and Oyster Aquaculture, especially in Rhode Island. My mom introduced me to this amazing concept thought up by Bowen’s Wharf called the Rhode Island Oyster Trail, or “RIOT”, and I wanted to share the wealth with all of you. Please watch the video below. I also went on a free tour of aquaculture sites in Ninigret Pond the other day, so please keep your eyes peeled for that post as well.

Stay awesome and let’s start looking forward to summer — yeaa!!!

Recycling Facts: Caps/Lids/Tops

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Bonjour!

I’m taking a quick break from the work grind to bring you some useful recycling information concerning container caps/lids/tops. Cheers!

Plastic Caps from Plastic Containers: These can be recycled as long as they are attached to their mother container. Includes peanut butter jars, water bottles, DD iced-coffee cups, yogurt containers.

Plastic Caps from Boxes: When I say boxes, I mean milk, juice, broth/stock. These little screw-off plastic caps can also be recycled as long as they are attached to their mother container.

Lonely, Orphaned Plastic Caps: Unfortunately, these need to be thrown out.

Metal Caps from Glass Jars: Can be recycled as long as they are separated from the jar. Included items are ball canning jars (both sections), jam, pasta sauce jars.

Metal Bottle Caps from Glass Bottles: They are too small to be recycled on their own, so people suggest placing them in an aluminum soup can until it is half full. Then, crimp the can top so the bottle caps can’t escape, then place can in recycling. These include items such as beer bottle caps, soda bottle caps, Snapple, wine bottles caps, olive oil bottle caps.

Metal Discs from Aluminum Cans: This metal piece can be recycled. Best method is to have it slightly hanging and folded down into the can, or place at bottom of can and give can a little pinch so it cannot escape.

Straws: Cannot be recycled – throw out.

Now, this information caters particularly to Rhode Island – so I would recommend checking out the specific rules in your home state. Also, please make sure that the container is completely void of food and drink before you place it in the recycling bin. It’s even more awesome if you rinse it in the sink beforehand, too.

Thanks, guys! Happy Recycling 🙂

Awesome Oysters

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Happy Friday, Mes Belles!

Lately, for a project I have in my Ecosystem Science and Sustainability class, I have been doing a lot of reading and research on Shellfish – more particularly on Oyster Aquaculture in Rhode Island – and I wanted to share some of the interesting things I have learned along the way with you fine specimen. If you recall, I went to the Ocean State Oyster Festival back in the Fall, and it was amazing.

Let me start off by saying that Oysters are awesome. Not only are they delicious raw on the half shell (click here for a list of Rhode Island buck-a-shuck oyster bars; it’s something you won’t regret), but they are incredible filters, with an adult oyster being able to filter up to 50 gallons of seawater per day as it goes about its feeding business. What does this mean? Well, as some of you may know, water quality is a serious issue all over the world, and we have felt these effects throughout Rhode Island, namely in the Narragansett Bay and it’s surrounding estuaries. When you have a plethora of oysters, they are able to improve water quality by filtering out the impurities that arrive in the water via nitrogen loads from failing septic systems, discharges from sewage treatment plants, and the overuse of fertilizers by farmers.

Not only do oysters help clean our waters, but oyster/shellfish beds “provide important ecosystem and economic services, such as providing food and habitat for birds, finfish and other marine life, sustenance and recreation for people who harvest wild oysters, and coastline protection from waves and storm surge” (source). The problem that we run into, particularly in Rhode Island, is that we no longer have a significant population of wild oysters. Back in the day, we have a sufficient amount, but due to pollution, over-fishing and the Hurricane of 1938, our waters no longer support wild oysters. Our sea bottom has actually changed from the rocky, hard bottom that oysters prefer to a soft, sandy bottom that is more ideal for quahogs.

However, there is still a large demand for these tasty morsels in the restaurant business, which brings about the boom of aquaculture. Aquaculture is essentially a farm in the ocean, where humans buy “seed” (very small baby oysters), placing them in various mesh bags or in particular areas of the Bay to let them grow for 18 months before they are able to be harvested. It’s quite sad that we are no longer able to sustain wild oyster populations, but I guess it’s still a step in the right direction that we can keep the populations alive. If you are interested in seeing a local aquaculture in person, head over to Matunuck Bay Oyster Bar and Perry, the owner, will you give a tour of his farm.

I am not aware if Rhode Island is planning to do anything about increasing wild oyster populations, but I recently read an article focusing on a Massachusetts restoration project where they plan to restore 5,000 acres of native shellfish beds by 2050 (here for more information). That I can support! I think that’s probably enough oyster information for one day, but if anyone is interested in learning more please let me know as I have done some extensive research on the subject. I would also recommend reading “Rhode Island’s Shellfish Heritage: An Ecological History” by local RI resident Sarah Schumann. It’s from 2015 and free copies are available at the URI Bay Campus if you feel so inclined.

On that note, enjoy your weekend! It’s starting to feel like spring so make sure you spend some time outside soaking up the rays of sunshine.

E-Waste Recycling

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Hey Home Skillets –

Happy Monday! Mine is pretty jam-packed, but I’ve managed to read some interesting articles during my academic breaks. Since anyone reading this is assumed to own some form of technology – you obviously need it to access the world wide web and therefore, this blog – I thought that sharing this article with y’all would be pretty beneficial, even if you don’t live in Rhode Island.

Recycling E-Waste is a really serious issue that does not get the attention it deserves, so I feel as if I need to help spread the word. Also, I really hate it when I’m walking through some picturesque woods and come across a broken computer monitor that someone chucked down a dried up waterfall (this has been seen more than once). If you are contributing to this (or littering in general): stop now. Don’t be that guy/girl.

Therefore, pretty please with sugar on top read this article. I promise it’s relatively easy to digest and won’t take you very long, and in turn you will be educating yourselves on a serious, relevant topic.

Keep trucking my awesome folk and I’ll touch back later in the week! x’s and o’s.

Ocean State Oyster Festival

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Hello, Baby Loves.

The day isn’t even over yet and it’s been a good one – I hope you’re kicking off the weekend in a similar fashion. After all, it is the last weekend of summer!

Today, I successfully managed to drag Max to the Ocean State Oyster Festival. To my knowledge this is the first year of them doing it, but I could be wrong. Either way, it was my first rendez-vous and it was fabulous! Max even braved trying oysters for the first time.

Babe's First Oyster

Babe’s First Oyster

The festival was located in Riverwalk Park in Providence and included local beer, 18 local oyster farms, multiple food trucks as well as live music. It was basically a culmination of awesomeness; plus 10% of ticket sales went to Save The Bay. I wasn’t able to try all of the farms oysters, but here were the ones I slurped up:

American Mussel, Beehan Family Farm, Block Island Oyster Company, East Beach Oysters, Jonathan Island Oyster Company, Matunuck Oyster Farm, Salt Water Farms, Walrus & Carpenter

OSOF2

Every oyster was delicious, staff was incredibly friendly, and yeah… nothing bad to report!  Try them all out if you ever get the chance. For more information on this festival, click here. The day was also gorgeous, so that was icing on the cake.

OSOF3

After we had our fill of the fest, we trekked northward to Lincoln for a nice rock climbing session. Since Max and I are lead certified now (!!!) we did some mild lead climbing and I am officially plumb tuckered out.

OSOF5

On that note, I think I am going to hunker down with a good book – either A Wise Man’s Fear or The Catcher in the Rye – and see where this lovely summer evening takes me. Enjoy yourselves, my dears! Take advantage of these beautiful days, for as we know, winter is coming.

OSOF4

Peace Out, Unofficial Summer

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Well, well, September has arrived!
I start having meetings on Monday and classes begin for my Master’s program on Wednesday the 9th. It’s getting real, folks o_O. I’m cramming in as much bum and reading time as I can while my brain is free and able to breathe.

However, just because summer is unofficially over (the official date of Fall is September 23rd, for those who don’t know) does not mean I will succumb, and I hope you won’t, either. Enjoy the beautiful weather for as long as you can.

Don’t get me wrong, I really love Fall, but I also really adore lamping around down at my family’s beach house and soaking up some rays. I mean… who wouldn’t? I have to say, I made it to the beach more times this Summer than any previous one I can remember, and I freaking love it. ESPECIALLY when the beach is within walking distance and I can bring beers. Hehe.

A little off topic, but I read this article today titled, “Four Daily Habits of a Good Boss”, and I wanted to quickly share the four habits with you lovely folks. To be frank, I think these habits do not just pertain to a good boss, so ignore the title and take the tips in stride. I do these things most of the time, and I am not exactly a budding entrepreneur — at least not yet. *wink*

  1. Take time for yourself every morning. It sets a good pace for the rest of your day. Keep up with the routine! Here’s mine: wake up, take allergy medicine and probiotic, break my fast, drink beverage (either tea, hot water with lemon, or chocolate milk), drum up physical or mental to-do list, carpe diem. Boom.
  2. Eat Breakfast. I already mentioned this above. The article says to “think of your mind as a motor. Without proper fuel, it sputters and never really gets running strong.” My breakfast varies depending on how much time I have. If I have ample time, I make a juice or my favorite: two eggs over medium on healthy bread with a slice of cheese and either hummus or avocado spread on the toast (I also add ketchup and hot sauce but we can overlook that unhealthy bit). If I have a tiny bit of time, I will attempt to make a smoothie, and if I’m crunched on time I usually grab a banana, hard-boiled egg I previously made, or a healthy bar of some sort, because carbs are crucial early in the day.
  3. Catch up with your team. Okay, this is more boss oriented, but I twist this into just staying in touch with those whose company you hold dear. Friends, family, co-workers, etc., don’t be afraid to reach out and catch up. It’s nice to socialize.
  4. Ask what can be done better. Nobody is perfect. Sorry if anyone was under the impression that they were. There is always something that can be improved upon, and if you ask others and yourself on a regular basis how you can be the best possible person you can be, you’re sure to be an awesome individual. Life is an ongoing learning process; embrace it! Don’t stay stagnant, it smells.

There you have it, my turtle doves. My computer battery is perilously close to dying, so I’m going to have to sign off. Have a great Labor Day weekend and get outside in the sun!