I think I can. I think I can. I think I can. The mortal words of the anthropomorphic little engine that did while face the seemingly undoable task of scaling a steep mountain grade. Much like the little engine, bound to travel the rails laid before it, science too has little choice but to take head on the obstacles and its path.
There are less treacherous tasks to tackle in life than those of astrophysics quantum unification and autoimmune disease. There are much smaller mountains to master than those of global climate, cancer or the multitude of mental afflictions that assault the human line.
And just like the moralistic little engine tail, it is the belief that anything can be accomplished through persistent thinking and doing that science ultimately makes a grade.
And while making the moralistic mental grade, much like the following hour of our programming, does not necessarily represent the views or opinions of the University of California at Davis, KDVS or its sponsors, the plain old fashion pluckiness of science continues to push us to new heights chugging away with pistons of persistent PhDs patiently plodding out data proofs like pops of smoke from the stack of a story book steam engine.
“I think I can” unify all forces under one theory. I think I can cure cancer. I think I can put a man on Mars. And while the plucky mountain climb continues, other trains are just now returning to the station here on This Week in Science, coming up next. Continue reading “Transcript: TWIS.ORG April 14, 2009”
It is said that a little knowledge can be dangerous. By this logic, having no knowledge at all may make you safe. Well, the following hour of our program is potentially lethal. More accurate perhaps is to say that too little knowledge can be an annoying thing — like finding a subtype strain of human-swine-avian flu that had not been previously documented and freaking out based on zero information, assuming that it can persist to a pandemic proportion.
While fear of such scenarios may be warranted, action out of that fear is not. And we attribute to the unknown the properties that lurk within our worst case scenarios our worst fears and then act on that fear without any true information, we spread the fear, incubate misinformation, making the potential or false fear and ignorant actions become a global pandemic freak out.
Enough with the surgical masks already! With patient to patient observations, we will learn that this flu is likely just a flu and therefore defeat-able. Fear served no purpose in solving such things. And then our best solution is soap and water, covering mouths while coughing, not leaking fixtures in public places and to avoid kissing pigs.
While licking fearful farm animals in public, much like the following hour of our programming, does not necessarily represent the views or opinions of the University of California at Davis, KDVS or its sponsors.
We live in a world with the mysteries of disease are few. A world with a source and transmission of most illness is generally well known, identifiable and preventable, a world in which science has concurred many mortally challenging ailments and will continue to do so into the future. We will do so by seeking a lot of dangerous knowledge by gathering a lot of dangerous information and by acting out of reason, not fear.
Being brilliant is easier than you think. All it requires from you is that you learn, teach or otherwise share information. Sparking of new neurons ever small or seemingly uneventful is the very thing that all human knowledge is based on.
From a student perceiving the previously unknown, the furrowed brow of confusion that follows and following that in illuminating detailed explanation leading to a nodding head of newly acquired knowledge.
As though defying the thermo dynamic laws of conservation, new knowledge has been created and nothing has been lost. This ability, incredible ability to learn, to create something out of nothing is in the hands of both teacher and student. The patience to teach, the desire to know and the willingness to be mindful for a few moments in time that such thing is giving and getting information can be productive for the greater and personal good of all mankind.
While the nodding heads of mindful, thermodynamics much like the following hour of our programming, do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of the University of California at Davis, KDVS or its sponsors.
Every discovery that brought about the enlightenment of the modern age from fire to the Phoenix Lander, from the first water wells to the latest in stem cells could not have come about if not for the simple acts of people talking, thinking and sharing.
If we all take advantage of our ability to spark new information, the future will not only be bright, it will be down right brilliant. Speaking of simple acts of information sharing, get ready for This Week in Science, coming up next. Continue reading “Transcript: TWIS.ORG May 26. 2009”
Justin: Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary, Online searching for a story of sciencey news lore. While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my farmhouse door. ‘Tis just Kirsten”, I muttered, “tapping at my farmhouse door – Only this and nothing more.
Open here I flung the portal, when, with many a flirt and flutter, In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore. Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he; But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my farmhouse door – Perched upon a bust of Plato just above my farmhouse door – Perched, and sat, and nothing more.
Then this ebony bird beguiling my late night study into smiling, By the grave and stern decorum of its countenance it wore, ‘Though scientific names escape me, I bet Kirsten, she could name me. Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the nightly shore – Tell me what is new in science on this night before the show. Quote the raven…
Justin: Disclaimer! Disclaimer! Disclaimer! “The unexamined life is not worth living,” said Socrates in defense of his life lived in endless pursuit of examinings, so what of an unexamined universe?
While many people find the unexamined universe worth living in, they are likely the same truck of folk living the unexamined life, never questioning, ever mindless of the vast intricacies of the oceanic abundance of the reality that surrounds.
It is an illness of mental potential. Have they ever stopped for a moment to consider why it is that they don’t examine themselves or the world around them, they would be cured of this mindless fate?
While the following hour of program does not necessarily represent the views of the University of California at Davis, KDVS or its sponsors, it does attempt to keep you on the path of mindful pondering, endless examining and tireless thinking.
Now is not the moment to panic. Yes, there’s a war waging in the far off land. Yes, the economy tethering on the brink of an untold turmoil. Yes, the waging and the tether are taking native focus off the impending collapse of our fluctuating climate.
Yes, the content of the following hour of programming does not necessarily represent the views of University of California Davis, yes, the same goes for KDVS and its sponsors.
Yes, This Week in Science is in potential danger of becoming an evening commute, rather than morning drive time broadcast, but for Douglas Adam’s sake people, don’t panic.
The fact that we live at the bottom of the deep gravity well, on the surface of a gas covered planet, going around the nuclear fire ball 90 million miles away, and think these to be normal and not worth panicking about is obviously some indication of how skewed our perspective tends to be.
And should allow some level of comfort that things really are much stranger than This Week in Science, coming up next.