Adventures in Ethics and Science

Last week, I noted that the Free-Ride offspring are off kicking it with The Grandparents Who Lurk But Seldom Comment, and that, to ensure that you would not have to endure a Friday without a Sprog Blog, I gave each of the sprogs a book to read during their visit with their grandparents and asked them to report back on their books via email. At the conclusion of the elder Free-Ride offspring’s book report, emailed to me last Thursday night, I wrote:

Major props to the elder offspring for doing blog-homework without any prodding. This sets the bar pretty high for the younger offspring next week.

Want to guess how the sibling rivalry played out here?

With no prodding whatsoever, I received an email report from the younger Free-Ride offspring this past Sunday night on this book:

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Antarctica: Land of Endless Water
by Michael George

What I Learned:

1) icebergs can be 2 miles thick
2) winds can blow up to 200 miles per hour
3) ice and snow have been accumulating in this area for 20 million years
4) Ade’lie penguins weigh up to 100 lbs.
5) they also breed in Antarctica
6) blue whales are 2 times the size of the biggest dino
7) other birds have the longest annual migration for any creature
8) Antarctica’s harsh climate is a result of Earth’s orbit around the Sun
9) it is far below freezing for most of the year in Antarctica
10) this is the coldest place on Earth

What I want to know:

I DON’T HAVE QUESTIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

All those exclamation points notwithstanding, I wasn’t so thrilled with that all-caps claim, so I emailed back:

No questions, huh? Well then I have some questions for you.

My questions and the younger Free-Ride offspring’s answers (which appeared in my inbox Monday night) follow. All emoticons in original.

Dr. Free-Ride: From the book, what animal that lives in Antarctica do you think is the cutest?

Younger offspring: I’d have to say baby harp seals.

Dr. Free-Ride: Which would be the scariest to be right next to?

Younger offspring: If I were a penguin, Orcas would be the scariest.

Dr. Free-Ride: Which would be the best animal parent (if you were that kind of animal)?

Younger offspring: I’m pretty sure seals will be the best parents.

Dr. Free-Ride: What do those Antarctica animals eat? Are there any vegetarian animals there?

Younger offspring: Most animals in Antarctica eat fish…..(I know some are egg eaters. )

:(

Dr. Free-Ride: What is it about Antarctica that makes it hard to be a vegetarian?

Younger offspring: Well, there isn’t many plants or veggies……

Dr. Free-Ride: If you were going to travel to Antarctica, what are some things you would want to pack?

Younger offspring: I’d totally pack warm clothes, and also food.

Dr. Free-Ride: If you were going to travel to Antarctica, what time of year would you want to go, and why?

Younger offspring: Winter: ‘Cause it will be warmer there. [I assume the younger Free-Ride offspring means Northern hemisphere winter, because otherwise …]

Dr. Free-Ride: How is global warming affecting things at Antarctica?

Younger offspring: It causes meltings of animal’s snow “houses”.

* * * * *

The sprogs return to Casa Free-Ride this weekend, but I’m seriously thinking of having them give me material for next week’s Sprog Blog by email anyway.