Monday, April 21, 2008

エヂソンの母とどして。 (Edison no Haha and Why?)

Another funny program with Misaki Ito (伊東美咲). She really is a good actress and seems to find good scripts. But besides being very entertaining (and having Misaki Ito!!) the story of Edison’s Mother (エヂソンの母) brings up an important issue – curiosity. More importantly, the drive to satisfy curiosity. How can you not have curiosity? And how do you nurture curiosity in others? Everyday I wake up my day usually begins with some burning question. Here’s a partial list from the last year or so:

At what point did viruses evolve? How did the first cellular plasma membranes form? When did the cytoskeleton arise? Is the solitary nature of orangutans genetic? Could a long drought and brush fires have contributed to the demise of mastodons in North America? What makes ‘Broken-Heart Syndrome’ more serious in older people than younger people? Why do people differ in their attraction to acoustical sounds? Does blue light (long wavelength) from a digital alarm clock disrupt melatonin production during sleep compared to red light (short wavelength)? Why does the heart rate of an animal under anesthesia suddenly jump when the first incision is made? Did dinosaurs have the telomerase enzyme?

What force is causing the acceleration of expansion in our universe? Given the relationship of energy and mass, how does it happen that the production of a high energy gamma ray does not decrease the mass or atomic number of an atom? Why do the North and South magnetic Poles exchange positions every few hundred thousand years? Could this change have an effect on our global atmosphere? How can parallel universes have different laws of physics if they were created from the same set of physical laws?

What caused the collapse of Minoan civilization? When the water ran out, where did the millions of Mayans go exactly? What technology was used to build Nan Madol in the South Pacific? Why do actors’ facial expressions look more realistic when they talk to a person or a puppet instead of an imaginary, blue screen character? Why do CGI shadows usually look fake?

Why is Misaki Ito so awesome? どして。 (^_^)

Some of these questions already have answers and some don’t – not yet. Exploration. Discovery. Intellectual enrichment. These are things that make life worth living. Sometimes they’re tedious and sometimes they’re fun but for some people they hold great value. I know they do for me. Oh - which just reminded me that I need to write a research proposal this week.

Incidentally, I also tried to fly when I was a small boy. I jumped off the roof of our house with an umbrella. I thought holding an umbrella would slow my descent but I was wrong. I ended upside down in the bushes with lots of scrapes and a terrible headache. Oh well, back to the drawing board.
- Just a peasant