‘Tis the season for buckled shoes, giant Snoopy balloons and L Tryptophan overload. In honor of the upcoming holiday, here are some Thanksgiving Fun Facts you can share with family over the turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce:
The average American eats 17.6 pounds of turkey per year, more than double the figure for 1970, according to the National Turkey Federation. To feed the growing appetite, some 273 million turkeys will be raised in the United States in 2009, and a good number of them will be consumed on Thanksgiving, after which many Americans will loll about, overstuffed, sleepy and in many cases intoxicated.
At one time, the turkey and the bald eagle were each considered as the national symbol of America. Benjamin Franklin was one of those who argued passionately on behalf of the turkey. Franklin felt the turkey, although “vain and silly,” was a better choice than the bald eagle, whom he felt was “a coward.”
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, more than 45 million turkeys are cooked and eaten in the U.S. at Thanksgiving – that’s one-sixth of all turkeys sold in the U.S. each year. American per capita consumption of turkeys has soared from 8.3 pounds in 1975 to 18.5 pounds in 1999.
In 1999, 2.7 billion pounds of turkey were processed in the United States.
In 1995, retail sales of turkey reached approximately $4.4 billion. They were expected to reach $4.7 billion in 2000.
Age is a determining factor in taste. Old, large males are preferable to young toms (males) because tom meat is stringy. The opposite is true for females: old hens are tougher birds.
A turkey under 16 weeks of age is called a fryer, while a young roaster is five to seven months old.
Turkeys are the only breed of poultry native to the Western Hemisphere.
Turkeys have great hearing, but no external ears. They can also see in color, and have excellent visual acuity and a wide field of vision (about 270 degrees), which makes sneaking up on them difficult. However, turkeys have a poor sense of smell (what’s cooking?), but an excellent sense of taste.
Domesticated turkeys cannot fly. Wild turkeys, however, can fly for short distances at speeds up to 55 miles per hour. They can also reach speeds of 25 miles per hour on the ground.
Turkeys sometimes spend the night in trees.
Turkeys can drown if they look up when it is raining. They can also have heart attacks: turkeys in fields near the Air Force test areas over which the sound barrier was broken were known to drop dead from the shock of passing jets.
The ballroom dance known as the Turkey Trot was named for the short, jerky steps a turkey makes
If you are looking for a place where you can experience some FUN, edu-taining science programs, look no further than The Lab in Wellington, Florida. The Lab offers afterschool enrichments, birthday parties, elementary workshops, mommy & me programs and much more! We recently participated in an afterschool program where we learned about plants and how they grow! We observed seeds and even dissected some sprouts too. The best part was when we got to eat our experiment – the sprouted seeds, that is! To learn more about The Lab, visit http://www.sciencemadefunsfl.net/ . To learn where you can find similar programs near you, visit http://www.sciencemadefun.net/.
On December 1, 2010, Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas will embark on her maiden voyage. The ship boasts many incredible experiences including rock climbing, a zip line, the flow rider surf simulator and much more. Even the youngest cruisers will have a great vacation as they enjoy the Adventure Ocean program! In addition to the many fun activities offered onboard, these young cruisers will also get to experience the FUN, hands-on science experiences provided by High Touch High Tech in the Adventure Science program. Allure of the Seas, along with her sister ship, Oasis of the Seas both hold the first Science Labs at Sea! Children participating in the Adventure Science program will enjoy making Space Mud, erupting volcanoes, exploring space, learning about the environment and making edible DNA all within their very own Science Lab. Over the past decade, children sailing onboard Royal Caribbean cruise ships have enjoyed the exciting and edu-taining hands-on science programs of High Touch High Tech. We look forward to another 10 years of fun on the high seas! Congratulations to Royal Caribbean for the launch of their newest and most innovative ship, Allure of the Seas! To learn more about High Touch High Tech, visit our website athttp://www.sciencemadefun.net/. To learn more about the Adventure Science program onboard Royal Caribbean, visit http://www.rccl.com
Recently, our very own “Dinosaur” Dan hit the beaches of Negril, Jamaica as part of the Beach Science program. Since 2000, HTHT and Sandal’s Beaches Resorts have been partners with one goal in mind…to provide entertaining and educational activities for children right on the beach!
For nearly 10 years, children participating in Beaches Kids Kamp have enjoyed FUN, hands-on science experiments with programs such as Buccaneer’s Bounty, Beach Ball, Rocket Launches and more. So if you are looking for a fun, adventurous, and luxurious vacation on some of the Caribbean’s best beaches, be sure to visit Sandal’s Beaches Resort in Jamaica and don’t miss out on the fun-fueled science experiments provided by High Touch High Tech right on the sandy beach mon!
For those of you who are fans of the gridiron, football involves more than touchdowns, field-goals, and interceptions. Believe it or not, there is actual, real science behind the punts, passes, and tackles made out on the field. Expand your science vocabulary and learn about “parabolas” and “vectors” with the NFL & NBC “Science of Football” series in cooperation with the National Science Foundation. Click on the link for the full story!
German physics professor Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen accidentally invented the X-Ray exactly 115 years ago today, but what a fortunate accident it was!
X-rays are a form of electromagnetic radiation that is basically able to penetrate solid matter and are used to make the inside contents of objects visible. The first “medical” X-Ray ever taken (and shown below) was of Röntgen’s wife’s hand. This technology led to tremendous advances in medical practice and makes it possible for doctors and dentists to properly diagnose an array of different conditions.
Let’s take a minute to thank professor Röntgen and wish X-Ray technology a happy 115th birthday!
On Friday October 29, 2010 we presented our program Gold Rush to the seniors attending the Grove Senior Center in Asheville, NC. The program was sponsored by Asheville Parks & Recreation. The senior participants had an opportunity to “roll up their sleeves” and become prospectors. We panned for gems, as the prospectors had done during the days of the gold rush. We learned all about gems, and did geological classification tests on the gems we found. Great fun and learning was had by all.
For the 3rd year in a row, Dinosaur Dan from High Touch High Tech, went to Blue Ridge Christian Academy in Landrum, SC to produce the Dig it program for the school’s Math and Science night, on September 30, 2010. Once again it was record attendance and Dinosaur Dan provided a really cool geology experience for students and parents. Students were able to search the crust layer of the earth and find, amethyst, quartz, fool’s gold, peocock ore, orange calcite, blue calcite, and more. Everybody got to keep all the gems they found!