Friday, August 28, 2009

The Snarky Farmer Visits the California Academy of Sciences

Today, our report is from Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, home of the new California Academy of Sciences. It's "an aquarium, a planetarium, a natural history museum, and a four-story rainforest all under one roof ," according to their PR department.
For gardeners, here is what I learned:
Butterflies like pretty flowers, especially if they are inside a $488 million rainforest dome.

Here is what else I learned:
According to this picture, zombie dinosaurs are threatening to eat all our plants. And, there is a serious shortage of butts.

And who knew that South Africa had amorous penguins?
Here is an actual conversation with a California Academy of Sciences docent at the South African Penguin Exhibit:

Me: Do you adjust the environment in that enclosure to give the penguins "seasons"?
Docent: Yes, we turn down the temperature at night.

Me: But more than that, do you attempt to replicate seasonal changes to reflect the environment in South Africa?
Docent: Yes, we give them more light now because it is summer in South Africa.

Me: I think it's winter there.
Docent: Oh.

Me: Do you know if the caretakers reduce the intensity or angle of the light on a seasonal basis?
Docent: See those three penguins on the rock? Two of them are females, they are sisters, and they are battling over the other one, a male. I have seen him mating with both of them. His name is Brendan. It's a regular soap opera!

Me: Thank you.

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