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Audrey AmaraRSS Feed of this column.

I'm a Journalism graduate from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and I recently spent two years in Bulgaria as a volunteer in the United States Peace Corps where I worked as a high school English/Literature

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The popular phrase, "I have nipples, Greg, could you milk me?" from the 2000 movie "Meet the Parents", is similar to the widely held belief that tomatoes, because of their seeds, are really fruits instead of vegetables.

Botanically, tomatoes are fruits but cucumbers, zucchini, pumpkins, nuts, corn, peppers, peas, and other vegetation that may not seem like it also fit into this fruity category.

Botanists define fruit as any part of a plant that contains both its seed and the ovary that produce that seed. However, of all the botanically fruity plant pieces we commonly call 'vegetables', tomatoes are one food with an especially controversial history of classification.

Five years ago, Edith had a problem: Her goldfish of 25 years, Mr. Fish, had dropsy, a disease characterized by a swollen or hollow abdomen and in most cases fatal. In her last attempt to save her pet, on a whim, Edith wrote a message on GoldfishConnection asking for help.

Rick G. Copeland, the specialist at the goldfish site, recommended some Medi-Gold pellets. Two years later, at age 27, Mr. Fish swam around his tank as if his close call with death never happened.

Mr. Fish may not have the 49 year-old record of the oldest goldfish ever, but he's working on it. In the meantime, Mr. Fish is competing with the millions of other pet goldfish around the world.

It’s almost as if the grape varietal known in the U.S. as Isabella is being hidden, protected, or that the E.U. ban on Fragolino, made from Isabella grapes, is a hint that this North American grape said to have transported the phylloxera to Europe in the early 1800’s, is cursed.

Also known in over 50 aliases including Raisin De Cassis, Fragola, Framboisier, Alexander and Black Cape, it is many times mistaken in Italy for the Clinton grape for a variety of reasons, most importantly having to do with its strawberry oriented taste and immunity to the grape killing pest phylloxera.

All Native American vitis labrusca species are immune to the pale yellow phylloxera insects. The dark purple skinned Isabella grape, necessary in the creation of Fragolino wine, was born out of its cross with an unknown European vitis vinifera. It has a powerful strawberry taste, hence its name Fragolino—fragole meaning strawberry in Italian.

In a perfect zoo there is Zoo Doo.

Some zoos in the U.S. offer an exotic way to fertilize their gardens through a unique method of recycling waste from zoo animals.

At the Louisville Zoo in Kentucky where the mix is called Zoo Poopy Doo, the product consists of hoof stock manure from animals including elephants, rhinos, camels and giraffes. This is blended with hay, straw and wood shavings.

The product was first introduced at the Louisville Zoo by Assistant Director Mark Zoeller. Experts at the zoo say it gets its appeal by improving the aeration of the soil and increasing root penetration and water retention, which together reduces crusting of the soil surface.

Last April the Zoo celebrated its novel recycling technique in the form of Zoo Poopy Doo by holding festival sale Saturdays honoring the exotic fertilizer. The sale Saturdays that extended into May were held in the parking lot of the zoo where interested persons could support the zoo and recycling for $30 a scoop.

On the 17th of June 2008, The Richard Green Library, a collection of rare scientific books was put up for bid by Christi’s Auction House.

Of the 289 lots sold totaling $11,019,688 the most notable was De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri V, 1543 (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres), the seminal work, by Nicolaus Copernicus, in which he explained his theory of heliocentricity.

The book, which is often referenced as the beginning of modern astronomy was sold for $2,210,500, the most expensive of the lot.

A $2500 bottle of Château Latour wine that scored a 98 on the Wine Spectator point scale is not for amateurs. The sobering business of the high end wine trade involves scientists on a variety of different levels. One big problem is that wine—especially superb wine—goes bad. A chemist at U.C. Davis has found a way to tell if a bottle is fit for the Queen of England, or for the Queen of Wishful Thinking.

In the basement of the chemistry building at U.C. Davis, associate professor Matthew Augustine works with a unique nuclear magnetic resonance device of which there are only two in the U.S. Besides being able to do things like locating liquid explosives in sealed containers such as turpentine and nitro glycerin, Augustine has used the NMR to test the quality of wine.