HillcrestBlog by "San Diego News Service" (619) 757-4909

"San Diego News Service" covers hard news, features and reviews for local and national print media, and maintains, "HillcrestBlog." Address: 3907 Georgia St., #15, San Diego 92103-3548. Our editor is Leo E. Laurence, J.D., Copy Ed.: Martin Brickson. Member: Society of Professional Journalists, Latino Journalists of California. Call news tips to (619) 757-4909 (days), Nights: (619) 220-8686 (fax also). leopowerhere@msn.com Copyright 2008 by San Diego News Service

Friday, September 26, 2008


Balboa Park -- "You won't believe the most disgusting creature I just saw."
"Yeh, tell me. I've seen some really strange ones.
"Well, for one thing, they are really BIG. At least 10 times bigger than we are.
"They are almost hairless, except for a few blotches in certain places, and in those places there is a lot of hair.
"That's just the beginning. They poop and piss in a special spot, which is OK until you discover they all share the same spot.
They stink something awful and they know it.
"They can be quite ferocious.
"Oh no, here comes one now.
"I'm outta here!"
That is a simulated conversation between two bugs, talking about humans, from a book Animal Grossology by Sylvia Branzei and illustrated by Jack Keely. It's the foundation for a new and dramatic exhibit just opening at the Ruben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park.
Kids - and adults - will love it because they will learn when a loud FART is totally natural . . . and, acceptable.
"What (a cow) doesn't need from its food, it expels in a burp or a fart," said Paul M. Siboroski, the Fleet's Exhibits' Director in an interview.
"That is vividly demonstrated by a life-size, animated cow with a clear Plexiglas side. It's stomach is represented by a Rube Goldberg-type machine that hilariously describes a cow's bizarre, 4-stomach digestive system," explained the Fleet's Public Relations' Director, Jeremy Pyle in another interview.
"The process of loudly burping and farting is part of the (cow's) whole digestive process. It all works together," says Siboroski.
Another of the 16 inter-active exhibits in Animal Grossology at the Fleet just opening is a 6-foot-long, animated talking fly. This is technology that Walt Disney invented for Disneyland back in the 60's and for movies like the Pirates of the Caribbean.
"Basically, it's a robotic creature that look real. His name is Frankie and he has a New York accent.
"You press certain levers and it talks about its manners, hygiene and locomotion; such as how a fly can walk on the ceiling, and why it vomits on food before it eats it. They don't have teeth, so they have to dissolve food before they can consume it," Pyle explained.
"This is a highly-coveted exhibit that will be here for 2-1/2 months until January 9th, and will even be open Christmas Day," Pyle added.
The entire Science Center includes over 120 exhibits - including Animal Grossology, in 10 collections.
School classes can call for a student field trip by calling the Fleet's client services at (619) 238-1233.
Copyright by journalist Leo E. Laurence leopowerhere@msn.com or call (619) 757-4909.


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