So, admittedly this blog has taken a rather abrupt turn towards pure no holds barred cynicism. To do my best to alter this trend and send things in a lighter direction I've decided to make a list, which will probably be updated from time to time, of things that I think make the world rather great. Here are five reasons making the universe was probably a good call (in no particular order):
1) Anyone can make waves
So, apparently, in Oahu, Hawaii there is a place called Waimea River Beach where every year a dam of sand builds up and cuts the Waimea River from the ocean. Typically it takes months for the dam to wear away naturally, but for this ragtag crew of surfing enthusiasts, "months" is entirely too long; they prefer maybe a couple of hours. With the aid of their hands, surfboards, and a couple of shovels the team digs a trench, connects the bodies of water, and surfs the day away. Just something to think about next time you're bored.
2) 2 (maybe 3) words: Non-Newtonian Fluid
If you're a huge nerd like me (or you spend any time on the internet at all) you've probably seen/heard of this stuff. What you may not have known is that you can make it with a simple mixture of cornstarch and water. I think the video speaks for itself, and if you want more non-Newtonian fun make sure to google "non-Newtonian fluid on a speaker."
I also figured I'd provide you a recipe, just for kicks.
3) Anis Mogjani
If you have a soul Anis Mogjani will touch it. If you don't have a soul Anis Mogjani will make one for you and then touch it. I wish I could provide a sufficient description of this one, but I honestly couldn't do it justice. Seriously, guys, just watch the video.
4) DNA Replication
Alright, I know it may not seem to be the most interesting thing in the world, but trust me, this is amazing. You may not remember all the details from your freshman bio class, but that's okay. All you need to know is that somewhere in your body right now this is happening. Constantly. And what the video fails to mention is that these little enzymes can do this up to 50 times a second. Think that's impressive? Bacteria tops about 500 times per second. Can I get a "Holy shit," anyone?
5) Michael Pritchard's Water Bottle
I'm a moderately size fan of TED.com, so I figured I'd embed this video directly from the source. If you're not familiar with TED and the kinds of projects that come out of it then you should really take a look around the site, it's pretty wonderful. All this aside, it's not TED I want to tell you about right now, it's Michael Pritchard's invention that I think is a testament to why we deserve to be here. He has managed to create a portable water filter that purifies water COMPLETELY (none of that Brita filter bullshit). If you watch the video you can see that not even the smallest bacteria and viruses can make it through the filter. More amazing than that is the fact that it's cheap. Crazy cheap. Like, 1/2 a day. Cheers, Mike.
Duolingo hasn't launched yet, which is why it's in the bonus round, but I love the idea. Basically, you translate the web while simultaneously learning the language you're translating from. Odd? Yes. How does it work? I dunno, but if they pull it off it could be revolutionary. Besides, Google Translate kind of sucks anyway.
So, as you can see, though the world may seem drab and boring at times, there are still things to get excited about. People are still inventing, innovating, and discovering ways to make the rest of us seem, well, unproductive. I mean, shit, even our cells work harder than we do... But, I hope what you get from all of this is that if you just tried you could do something to be proud of too, and if you ask me, that makes the world pretty great.
Think you have a pretty good reason the world shouldn't go up in flames quite yet? Feel free to post a link in the comments!