Tuesday, March 16, 2010

344/365 Raw sugar

Even though I enjoyed it, I didn't take many science classes after I started college. (Choosing to pursue a degree in the journalism school will do that to you.) Physics was my favorite science in high school for two main reasons: math came easily to me (and that's a huge part of physics), and I could see the concepts at work.

I could draw a diagram to help me solve a problem. "If car A is traveling at 60mph, and car B is traveling toward the same point at 45mph from a distance 32 miles farther away, how much longer will it take for car B to reach the destination?" I can picture the situation in my head.

Chemistry? I'm cool with balancing equations (more math). Biology? Get me past the minuscule cell-level discussion and you've got me. But mitochondria, ribosomes, cytoplasm... that was tougher. Because I literally couldn't see it.

The part of biology I did always enjoy was gazing into the microscope and seeing the makeup of minute objects with my own eyes. Ordinary materials we take for granted every day have characteristics that you just can't see with the naked eye.

For instance? Table salt and refined sugar. Any pint-sized prankster knows they look awfully similar. But under a microscope? Their structures are completely different.

I'm sure that's one reason I like raw sugar (pictured above). Not only is it a little better for your health, because it hasn't been refined as much as your standard white sugar, but it reminds me of discovering things under a microscope as a kid. I can even photograph it.

What about you? Is there an aspect of science class that you miss?

Camera: Canon 40D with 60mm macro lens and 430EX Speedlite, 1/125s, f/2.8 at ISO 500

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