The Stinging Machine

Emily Walker


Imagine having no control over your body, your tentacles are a weapon, a you are a feared creature. The Portuguese man-of-war’s striking appearance, short life, and fishy diet make it hard not to notice. Although they would easily be mistaken for a jellyfish because of their tentacles and jelly like body, they really aren’t.


Now you’ll definitely know what you’re looking at if you see a blueish creature that looks like an oversized jellyfish. With it’s noticeable appearance, brief life cycle, and basic diet the Portuguese man-of-war is one of a kind. Next time you go to Florida, Australia, or anywhere tropical keep an eye out for these stinging machines.

Think Tank!

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For Think Tank I made a comic strip including the Portuguese man-of-war, some fish, and the loggerhead turtle.


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We made a diorama of a coral reef. we had to include our topic animal, coral, and 6 additional organisms that you could find in a coral reef.

Go Fish!

For Go Fish we had a budget of $250 and had to set up our fish tank and buy fish. I got two clown fish, one blue tang, two starfish, and two puffer fish. I spent $249.95 and needed 13 gallons to support my fish.
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Chef's Corner!

Although lamingtons are served throughout the year, they are mostly made on Australia Day. They are a sponge cake covered in chocolate and coconut. There are two versions of how they became a very delicious cake in Australia. One involved Lord Lamington’s maid accidentally dropping a sponge cake in chocolate. The other involved a stale sponge cake being the only thing in the cupboard. Which ever one it really is, who can resist a chocolate take on a boring sponge cake!

For the cake

4 eggs

200g (1 cup) granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

200g (1 ⅓ cups) all-purpose (plain) flour

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

110g butter, melted and cooled

For the icing

75g unsalted butter

250ml (1 cup) milk

65g (1/2 cup) cocoa powder

435g (3 cups) icing sugar

To assemble

Around 6 cups desiccated coconut

Method for the sponge

Preheat the oven to 350˚F/180˚C/gas 4. Grease and flour a 20cm x 30cm pan, lining the base of the pan with parchment paper. Beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl with a hand mixer (medium-high speed) until pale and thick (around 3 minutes). Sift the flour and baking powder over the egg and sugar mixture and use a rubber spatula to gently combine the dry ingredients. Add the melted butter, about ⅓at a time, gently mixing with a rubber spatula until completely combined, then pour the mixture into the prepared pan.

Bake for 25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. The cake should spring back when lightly touched in the centre. Turn cake onto a wire rack to cool.

Cut cake into even, bit-sized pieces about 4-5cm. You will probably end up discarding the edge pieces, as they won’t be completely square. At this stage you can refrigerate the cake for a few hours or leave the cake overnight in an airtight container, because a slightly less fresh cake will be easier to dip in the chocolate icing.

When you are ready to dip the cakes, set up an area large enough to accommodate bowls for the cake pieces, the chocolate icing, the coconut and also a large tray topped with parchment paper and a cooling rack. You will need to work quickly to dip the cakes so having everything organised in advance will help.

Method for the icing

Sift the icing sugar and the cocoa powder into two different bowls. In a large saucepan, melt the butter, then mix in the milk. Next, using a whisk to stir, start to add the cocoa powder. Once the cocoa powder is completely dissolved, add the icing sugar about a cup at a time, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. When all the icing sugar is combined, pour the chocolate mix into two separate bowls – that way when one mix gets full of crumbs you can switch to the next one.

Working quickly, using a fork, dip the cake cubes into the chocolate mix and roll them around with the tines of the fork to completely coat. Drain any excess mixture off the cakes then drop them in the coconut and roll them around lightly to coat evenly with coconut. Set the cake cubes on the cooling rack placed over parchment paper to drain. You can refrigerate the cakes to help set the icing, then bring them to room temperature before serving.

Sources: Eat, Little Bird and

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The Portuguese Man-of-War