Berkeley Lab

Tuesday, 9/8/15

A car from Hiroshima University came to pick us up at 8am to drive us to the university. The main campus is about an hour away from downtown Hiroshima, so it took a while. There, we visited their synchrotron radiation center and got a tour. We then visited the building for amphibian biological sciences, where professor Takahashi showed us around. This was particularly interesting, because they specialize in frogs, and they have 80 different species of frogs, and 30,000 frogs in total. They particularly have many frogs with mutations, for example albino frogs that they study. One frog is almost translucent, and you can see its heart through its skin. The picture of the frogs below is of one species of frog; with the darkest one you can see being the actual frog. The others all have mutations, turning them multiple shades lighter than usual. These mutations of course make it pretty much impossible for them to live in the wild, since camouflage is one of their primary defense mechanisms. We were then shown their food; crickets. They feed about 2 million crickets per week. In the blue container in the picture, there are about 2,000 crickets. The other picture contains baby crickets, which are used as food when they are that size for the smaller frogs and the tadpoles. We took our picture next to the largest caught salamander in the world, a Japanese Salamander.

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We then went to have lunch in the faculty lounge with multiple professors, and were then driven back to our hotel. After a small break, we took the subway to the ferry terminal, to ride over to Miyajima, an island that is a popular tourist spot. One of its attractions is the floating torii, a red gate out in the water where visitors used to have to go through before visiting the island. One thing that I really like about the island is that there were deer everywhere, and they seemed to not mind the people at all. We took a ropeway to the top of Mount Misen, where there were beautiful views of both the mainland and the various islands in the bay. On top of the mountain, the radiation was 0.12uSv/hr, so about 1mSv per year, which is still completely normal.

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We then went back to Hiroshima, and had dinner near our hotel, in a Chinese restaurant. While at the restaurant, we noticed a group of guys next to us, who also spoke english. When they got, we saw that they were really tall, and then realized that they were the USA mens volleyball national team. We looked up why they were in Hiroshima, and found out that the world cup is going on. We decided to try to see if we could go to a game the next day, but unfortunately the USA team was playing in the evening, when we had to go back to Tokyo.