Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Mayonnaise and the origin of life

Here's a quote from H. Morowitz, who wrote the essay "Mayonnaise and the origin of life."
" Individuality entered the world when the first membrane fragment wrapped itself into a closed shell and separated it's interior contents from the rest of the universe."

We've been discussing cell structure, and making mayonnaise-- Did you know the phospholipid lecithin in eggs enables the formation of a simple membrane, similar to that found in early (and modern)cells? Lecithin the molecule has love for both water (or lemon juice) and oil, and binds them together nicely. And mayo is yummy with tomatoes and eggplant in a sandwich.

Yesterday's project was DNA extraction from strawberries. During the lab, our neighbor Caleb came creeping up to the window in full fatigues, with a new brush cut, aiming a homemade (cardboard) rifle at us. He said he'd killed us all. He is 9, and his brother is being deployed to Afghanistan. We invited him in. He takes care of the animals and garden when we are away, and does a great job. When asked where each individual's DNA comes from, he answered God.

In other news, Joey and Eli planted a garden together, and spent an hour speaking Spanish. The chickens laid 3 eggs. The girls did some sewing from the scrap bag. Grace made cheese straws from the Lee Brothers Southern Cookbook.

Last night we saw "The Help" at $5 movie Tuesday. We had read and enjoyed the book. Our library has the excellent documentary on the Civil Rights Movement "Eyes on the Prize ", so we will watch it together.

Gone with the Wind generated some interest in the Civil War earlier this Summer.

Joey put up shelves for my sewing an knitting goodies this weekend, and I spent some time organizing my gear. It's put me in a crafting mood, though my scissors are missing.

It's becoming deliciously cool at night. I received the seeds I ordered for the fall garden.
Don't be jealous: little finger carrot, purple sprouting broccoli, dinosaur kale, viroflay spinach, romanesco italia broccoli, beaujolais sweet peas, red meat chinese radish.

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