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Monday, February 3, 2014


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I read in a newspaper recently that General Practitioners are in the firing line because patients take affront when they look things up on Google while the patient is still in the room. I’ve had it happened to me and it didn’t bother me. 

I’d rather they check the medication they’re about to prescribe, than for me to wind up lying on the kitchen floor with my legs twitching in the air like a baited cockroach. As long as he or she wasn’t checking for information on Wikipedia.

However, I would draw the line at my doctor running back and forth from the computer, waving a cold speculum around whilst performing a pap smear on me.

People, even doctors, shouldn’t be expected to know everything.

The same must be said for primary school teachers. Or perhaps I’m speaking for myself.

We’re learning about the subject of plants this term and I thought I’d take the kids for a stroll around the periphery of the oval to look at leaves, roots and other botanical things. Someone picked a flower from a tree and handed it to me.

“When a flower is pollinated this part of the flower swells, the petals fall off and it transforms into a fruit!” I informed them knowledgeably. “Then seeds grow inside the fruit, the fruit drops to the ground and the cycle starts over again.”

I was on a roll with all eyes riveted on me. “Do you know the difference between a fruit and a vegetable?” 
I challenged, knowing this titbit would blow their minds.

“A fruit has seeds whereas a vegetable doesn’t.” I waited for the inevitable discussion about tomatoes.

There was silence. Finally one bright spark raised his hand, “So a banana isn’t a fruit, Mrs Poinker?”

I stared hard at the small boy trying to think of an answer. In my mind’s eye I imagined the pulp of a banana rotting in the soil. Surely a banana is a fruit. But I’d certainly never cracked a tooth on a banana seed.

“Pumpkins have seeds!” added another.

“So do cucumbers and capsicums!” chimed another.

It seemed I was out of my depth. The eight year olds had outwitted me and were circling like hungry hyenas.

As soon as we arrived back in the classroom, I surreptitiously logged on to Mr Google while the kids put their hats away.

“Does a banana have seeds?” I typed, feeling ridiculous.

And guess what? They don’t have seeds. They used to but now, according to Dr Karl, “The internal dark lines and spots inside today's banana are the vestigial remnant of seeds,” and the seeds were bred out of them many years ago for commercial purposes. But they’re still a fruit.

As for all those other vegetables the kids were throwing at me (not literally)… they’re technically fruits as well, but from a culinary perspective they aren’t sweet so they’re vegetables.

Google came in handy this morning too when a student came in rubbing her throat and complaining her cat had scratched her. “I was asleep,” she whispered confidentially to me. “You know how cats think you’re dead when you’re asleep and try to eat you? Well my cat tried to eat me.”

I was fairly sure this wasn’t true but I Googled it just to make sure.

This is what I found!

A cat will begin eating a human body just a few hours after death. Even if the cat has plenty of food.

* This FACT about cats was brought up during a presentation of crime scene photos by a homicide detective at Eastern Michigan University. He said that it was common for cats to do this. He mentioned he has never seen a dog eat human flesh, but it probably would too if it got hungry enough.

Cat's just like fresh meat a lot more.

I knew it! (I'm not going to credit my source because my cat's looking over my shoulder licking its lips.)