Friday, November 17, 2006

Poop Is Always #1 With Us!

How ever you look at it, poop is probably the most useful stuff on Earth! - I'm serious; to most of us poop is nothing more than a "waste," but poop can be used for a plethora of things from fertilizer to building materials, and maybe even rocket fuel...If you can think of it, poop is probably used for it, and I'm not just talking about people. Animals use poop in amazing ways too! Did you know Michelangelo used to age his sculptures by scrubbing them down with animal feces? Makes you question his artistic "genius" doesn't it?

I know what you are thinking, what's with all the talk about poop? Over the past month the Youth Services staff has been hard at work researching our "gross" bodies. That's right folks, Grossology, the study of really gross things. And believe me I have learned more than I care to about my body and its various functions; for instance: the average person farts fourteen times a day, never put anything smaller than your elbow in your ear, humans swallow about a quart of snot a day, the medical word for vomit is "emesis", and that's not even mentioning all the functions of poop. I never would have imagined all of the useful possibilities of poop, or that I would have enjoyed talking about it! Once I got past the initial taboo of the word, my eyes were opened to the wonderful world of kaka!

Poop comes in all shapes and sizes, and each species of animal has its own distinct kind. Anyone want to take a guess at the largest poop on the planet? Here's a hint: it comes from the largest animal on the planet...The turd from a Blue Whale is about a foot wide, and several yards long. Aren't you glad no one has to scoop its poop? To find out more about what it is, where it goes, and what we can learn from it (scientist have even found fossilized T-Rex droppings!) be sure to check out two of my new favorite books: Poop, A Natural History of the Unmentionable by Nicola Davies, and The Truth About Poop by Susan Goodman. Interested in other bodily functions? Then be sure to stop by the second floor of the Kankakee Public Library and check out some of our other "gross" books.

Joanna Thompson
Youth Services Staff


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