Monday, March 24, 2008

Cells and Easter wrap up

On this day in which the American death count in Iraq passed 4,000, I offer a visual distraction. Check out this video from Harvard and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. It's a handsome depiction of some basic cellular processes.

In reality, the action of these molecules isn't so graceful; at that atomic level, movement is messy, frenetic, and quite random. An accurate depiction would have made for a seizure-inducing video, so we'll let that one slide. The specific physics don't really matter, just keep in mind that most of those processes are going on in your body trillions of times a second. There are a bunch of other videos on YouTube of course, but also here.

Yesterday was Easter Sunday. Not unlike any other Sunday for me; I watched Food Network over breakfast, went to lab, blogged about cereal. I also ventured to Best Buy to return a wireless-internet router, only to arrive at an empty parking lot. Best Buy gave their employees the day off to hunt eggs and eat chocolate bunnies, it would seem. This was irksome, sure, but luckily the adjacent Borders was open. I bought two books (that I have no time to read).

More disturbing was the "CNN Presents: The Mystery of Jesus" special I viewed when I got back. In an attempt to delve into the controversial history of the life of Jesus, CNN interviewed several religious scholars on his prophetic exploits. What is pretty certain are the main biographical elements like his place of birth, teaching, and crucifixion. What of the rest, such as the purported miracles and resurrection? Well CNN took a less than critical line on these events, concluding that "science can't account for them" but never questioning that they happened in the first place. (Just like science can't account for, ahem, the Easter Bunny?) The lone source material for all of this deep inquiry - the four gospels of the Bible. No mention of the myriad other accounts of Jesus' life, nor the contradictions implicit within the New Testament. To put a big disturbing cherry on top, CNN gets Liam Neeson to narrate. He might as well have been proselytizing the midi-chlorians.

Oh, I'd hate to end on such a cynical note. Here's another video (cell wars).

No comments: