Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Getting Psyched About Science

As happens every year, I have spent the time between Christmas and New Years being sick. January 1st found me lying on my couch, tissue box cradled in my arms like a new born, staring at the television. If how you spend the first day of the year defines the 364 to follow, then things are looking pretty bleak.

On the plus side, the Discovery Channel had a Mythbusters marathon on. Seeing as I would watch hours of that normally, I was pretty content (despite being physically discontent). For those of you who haven't seen the show, they take commonly known urban myths and test them scientifically to prove if they are true or not. For some reason, a large amount of these tests involve a large amount of explosives. So in this sense, the show satisfies both my desire to feel like I'm learning something and my boyish glee at seeing things blown to pieces. Win-win.

It's also made me realize that I need to go back and revisit those small informational pockets named "math" and "science" again. Having been a "word nerd," my skills in those fields dropped off exponentially (see, I know some science-y words) the minute the ink dried on my high school diploma. Mainly, I thought they weren't important to my life. And while I have been able to function relatively well without them, I realize how much more enjoyable the world would be if I had a better scientific foundation.

Sounds weird, I know. But think about it this way- I like etymology (not entomology). I like to dismantle language and understand all its component parts. I think that's "fun." So I'm envious of the folks who can do that with the physical world.

So back to the books I go in the effort to become a more well rounded nerd.
posted by jw