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Batties!!

The hearing aids are proving worth every cent. I went with Vicky and Hillel to the LA Museum of Natural History for a presentation on bats today, and despite being in the back third of an auditorium full of noisy kids, I could hear every word the speaker said. Leastwise they quieted down when the presenter, Rob Mies brought out four live bats, one at a time and showed them to us. The first was a Big Brown bat which, despite the name, was easily tiny enough to hold in the palm of your hand. Cute, too. After gently showing her wingspan, the speaker held up a bat detector which picks up bat calls and lowers them in frequency enough for us to hear the clicks, and showed how actively the critter was echolocating, then gave her a mealworm. Which she crunched up cheerfully (the sounds from this also came through the detector), after which Mr. Mies put her back in her carrying container. Next he brought out three larger bats, one at a time, and carried them around the room so we could all get a good look. These were all Megachiroptera aka fruit bats, finishing up with a member of the largest species of flying fox in the world. The last got to stay on the branch they'd set up on the stage after the show, where we could all walk up and look at her without getting close enough to make her too nervous. I noticed her ears were constantly flicking in all directions, but she seemed calm enough. Vicky drew sketches of her whilst I picked up a copy of the presenter's book on bats in the US (autographed) and a couple of buttons with pictures of bats on them. Very professional presentation, and the bats were quite comfortable despite all the noisy kids and a lot of people with cameras. A lot more calm than I think I would be in equivalent circumstances. Especially since, as usual for such things, these were bats who had taken wing damage and couldn't fly well enough to be let loose on their own.

We then went over to the Science Center, bumped into obishawn in Jedi garb, who informed us of the Star Wars exhibit in the building, which somehow I'd failed to hear about. So we went upstairs, took the Millinium Falcon "ride" and checked out the rest of the exhibit. Alas, it was late enough that we didn't have time to see the whole thing before the place closed - must remember to get back before it ends.

All in all, a fun day!

Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
digitalsabre
Mar. 11th, 2007 09:03 am (UTC)
<3 bats.

And I'm going to forward a link to this to a friend of mine. Friend <3 bats, too.
dewhitton
Mar. 11th, 2007 09:37 am (UTC)
BATS! STARWARS! BATS! I missed it! Bugger. You go to the coolest things.

I really want a heterodyn bat detector. The best ones can record/slow down playback the calls.
kayshapero
Mar. 12th, 2007 06:16 am (UTC)
Cool! When Vicky was little she used to be able to hear the local bats. Which is how I found out there WERE local bats.
kayshapero
Mar. 12th, 2007 06:20 am (UTC)
Oh - I'm going to try and get back to the StarWars exhibit before it closes in April and bring my camera. Will try to post photos on my website if I get some good ones.

It was fun watching Vicky at the exhibit - she's been studying every kind of art there is over at Santa Monica College, including stagecraft, costuming and fashion design, so was pointing out all sorts of interesting details of fabric and construction on the costumes. Apparently Princess Leia's celebrated white gown was constructed very simply - take one long oblong of fabric, fold it over, cut open a hole, then cut inward to make the sleeves so that there is one long seam on each side. But it used two kinds of rolled hems.
(Deleted comment)
(Anonymous)
Mar. 12th, 2007 01:08 pm (UTC)
Your hearing aids
What make are they and do you cover them with your hair?
kayshapero
Mar. 12th, 2007 11:07 pm (UTC)
Re: Your hearing aids
Elan Divas. They're small and fit on the back of the ear, with a conduit to a small speaker you put in your ear (there's a picture on the web page). My hair does come over them - kinda hard to avoid when something's sitting on the back of your ear unless you've got a crewcut or something.

BTW, just out of curiosity, who are you?
(Anonymous)
Mar. 13th, 2007 10:00 am (UTC)
Re: Your hearing aids
I was doing a blog search on "hearing aids" as it forms part of a uni dissertation that I am doing on disability issues, majoring on the use of hearing aids and all I was wanting to know was the type of hearing aid people wear to form a chart of the types people wear - nothing more sinister than that. I hope this has put your mind at rest!
kayshapero
Mar. 13th, 2007 10:56 pm (UTC)
Re: Your hearing aids
Nothing sinister assumed; I was merely curious. What sort of data do you need besides whether or not my hair covers my hearing aids? I would think any type but the ones that plug up the ear would be covered by hair long enough to reach the ears. FWIW, I'm female if that helps. I suspect these things would be pretty inconspicuous even with no hair to complicate the picture, though perhaps the purple ones would've stood out. :)

Also you should probably consider the prices of hearing aids, since this will heavily affect what sort people wear. This model is quite expensive; if I'd had to depend solely on my health insurance, I would not have been able to buy them.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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