Need a Low-Maintenance Pet? Try a Tarantula!Written by V. Berba Velasco Jr., Ph.D.
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I do recommend reading up on tarantula care, so as to learn proper care requirements for specimen that you choose. Be aware that some species can be quite aggressive, and are not recommended for beginners. These species are less commonly available though, and are generally obtained via mail order. If in doubt, start with a Chilean rose hair, as this is an excellent beginner species.
Owners should be aware that even within docile species, there can be some individuals that are more aggressive than others. In addition, there is always possibility of an allergic reaction if you are bitten. In theory, this could result in a potentially fatal anaphylactic shock, although I am not aware of any circumstances in which this has actually happened. For these reasons, new owners should learn how to read a tarantula’s body language, and should stay away from species that have a reputation for biting without provocation.
Also, do remember that you never have to actually hold tarantulas—just as you never have to actually hold your aquarium fish. I recommend reading up on handling techniques, so that you can move animals around without having to touch them. This can be helpful for those who are squeamish, or who simply wish to be cautious. When in doubt, err on side of safety.
If you’re not intimidated by prospect of keeping one of these wondrous creatures, then I recommend them highly. They can be quite addictive, and they never fail to entertain.
V. Berba Velasco Jr., Ph.D. is a senior electrical and software engineer at Cellular Technology Ltd (www.immunospot.com, www.elispot-analyzers.de, www.elispot.cn).
How Beer is MadeWritten by Jason (The Snob)
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Yeast is catalyst that makes it all happen. In short, yeast is a living organism that feeds off of sugars in malt. The yeast will convert sugars to alcohol and carbon dioxide in a process called fermentation. There are many strains of yeasts (even in air we breathe). In order to get results needed for making beer, a specially cultured beer yeast is required. The yeast will also impart taste and mouthfeel qualities to beer.
The Beer Making Process:
To summarize, malt, hops, and water are boiled for a period of time. This mixture is called wort (pronounced wert). Then wort is poured into fermenter and allowed to cool. Next, prepared yeast is pitched into fermenter and an airlock is placed over opening. Now it’s yeast’s job to do its thing. The yeast will multiply like crazy as it consumes sugars in brew. After a period of time, usually within 7 to 10 days, yeast will have consumed all that it can and fall to bottom of fermenter. Finally, beer is bottled and set aside for a couple of weeks to mature and carbonate. Making beer at home really is a fantastic hobby and can be a great social activity. Have some friends over and let them try your new brew. Better yet, get them involved and see who can make best batches. Have blind taste tests with your buddies. Most of all, have fun!
Author of the 2BASNOB.com website about the enjoyment of coffee, tea, wine and beer.