Tuesday, December 24, 2013

On the teachers we choose, and the lovechildren of Art and Science

It occurs to me, in times such as this, to reflect on the things that define you.

One of my first crushes was Jacques Cousteau. I never missed an episode the the Undersea World. This proved useful later in life. The only time I ran into a shark in open water ( I was about 14), I froze at first, completely terrified but didn't panic. I realized after a few moments that it was not a dangerous species, and continued my dive. Thank you, Jacques!

 I watched a cool doc called CORPUS - about what you can do with your remains when you die, and now am seriously considering mixing my ashes with cement to become part of a Florida reef system.

Imagination, passion, knowledge and enthusiasm are compelling. In these days of TED talks and YouTube docs, we can pick and chose our teachers, unlike days of yore when it was a bit of a crapshoot. I know... I know... Books have been an alternative, but the spoken word hits another level inspiration if the person is emotionally involved with their subject. It's contagious. And not everyone can pull it off.

Over the years I have been enthralled by Carl Sagan's CosmosJames Burke's Connections, Robert Adams book review lectures, Mary Beard's Meet the Romans, The Time Team, Andrew Graham Dixon's Renaissance series, Prof. Jim Al Khalili's series on Mathematic and ElectricityMonty Don's Around the World in 80 Gardens, Michael Palin's Pole to Pole, Bettany Hughes documentary on Hypatia, Prof. Iain Stewart's How to Grow A Planet and so many others, like Neil Oliver above, who wax loving and enthusiastic about the the places, things and events they are passionate about.

These are the people that make the hair rise on the back of my neck. This is where Art meets Science and their lovechildren - Imagination and Knowledge - seed dreams and ideas for the future.

Remember when cell phones where just a nifty device only seen in Star Trek episodes?
3D Printers can now make functioning human organs. How far off is a HoloDeck?

Grok on, people!

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