Monday, June 01, 2009

This n that redux

These are the films I've purchased over the last year or so that I show in class. I used to just rent the films but after having rented several several times, I realized purchasing them was more economical. I'm missing the Devil Wears Prada because I lent it out, but all the rest are fair game. Oh except Same Time Next Year. Why did I remember it being so good? Now it seems kind of lame. Freaky Friday was the same. I wonder if the remake was better. This week is Devil and Swimming with Sharks.

I was reading an interesting article yesterday about the air we breathe and how many different things we inhale. It reminded me of an article I saw last month about a Russian guy who had a pine tree growing in his lungs. He had apparently inhaled a seed and there it grew. Anyway, the article was talking about how we are breathing molecules of the paint in the house, of the meat being barbequed down the street, of the nail polish the woman is applying next door, of the exhaust from cars, of the pollen from plants and on and on. None of those things are bad necessarily unless they reach a level of toxicity. Anyway. This was the line that got me. Each breath we take contains 10 to the 22 (I don't know how to make it look like it's supposed to) molecules but there are only 10 to the 44 molecules in the entire atmosphere. Therefore, with each breath there is a 98% chance that at least one of the molecules in that breath was shared by the dying breath of Julius Caesar. Or any deceased relative really. I don't know why, but that makes me feel intimately connected to all of humanity. I may not have met you, but we have surely shared molecules. Cool huh?

22 comments:

Mel said...

The standard way to write exponents when you can't do superscript is to put a caret after the number x that you're multiplying to the yth power - e.g., 10^22 or 10^44.

David loves "The Devil Wears Prada" because it's full of little industry references that make it even funnier if you're in the fashion business.

CoffeeDog said...

I had to read the last paragraph over a few times, too early for comprehension I guess.

Birdie said...

Pretty eclectic mix of movies. Do your students see the entire movie or just a scene or two? What do you do with it in class? If you want to mess with their heads, show them 2001: A Space Odyssey. Even people who speak English can't figure out that one. (It's my favorite movie.)

Each time we smell something, we are ingesting particles of it. There are times I wish I didn't know that.

TED said...

I'll thank you to keep your lungs off my molecules.

I think what you want for exponents is the sup tag, but it isn't allowed in the comments.

It's also very useful for footnotes.

Roxrocks said...

I'm not concerned with inhaling other people's lung molecules, it's their ass molecules that skeeve ME out!

Patrick said...

Yes, this is one of those ways 'we're all one' becomes quite concrete. I want to hear the rest of the story about the guy with a pine tree in his lungs though! I love the scent of pine, but I'm assuming things didn't turn out well for him.

GayProf said...

I also have a classroom selection of movies. Some I am really tired of seeing.

Anonymous said...

So we breath the same molecules? Now I'm really glad you quit smoking! ed

Mrs. Rita Brodzinski said...

Sixteen Candles was a major part of my young 80's life!

Laverne said...

I can't do math. Wouldn't it be a 50% chance?

Good thing they keep me away from numbers.

Anonymous said...

The movie The Ice Storm contains a very cool bit of dialogue from Elijah Wood, regarding breathing in molecules of something, and the effect of doing so. Watch the movie, and then you'll understand (***spoiler: it's poop related).

wcs said...

Et tu, Brute?

Rick said...

I thought I smelt something.

Patrick said...

Back again, curious about what criteria is involved in choosing films for a language class? I'm assuming that especially the ones you bought (because of the repeated play) have specific attributes you find useful in your classes. Care to share a few thoughts?

Luuworld said...

i like this thought about being connected with all of humanity through molecules!

Anonymous said...

Laverne: no, 10to the 22 (10^22) is 10 with 22 zeros after it. 10^44 is 10 with 44 zeros. Adding a single zero to the end of a number makes it 10 times bigger.

Earl Cootie said...

I remember hearing back in middle school about the particles and the smelling. I think of that every time I pass a fresh patch of dog poop.

dirkmancuso said...

Ooooooooh, I loved PERFUME.

REAR WINDOW is really good, too. Grace Kelly was gorgeous.

latt├ęgirl said...

By the same thinking, we can all have breathed a molecule once breathed by HITLER. Isn't that a comforting thought?

Java said...

Educating Rita!! Harold and Maude!! I should buy those for myself. I used to have Educating Rita on VHS, but I got rid of it when our VCR died. I've liked Harold and Maude for, like, EveR!

pocha said...

In what context do you teach Foul Play? So curious. I'm thinking that dwarfs and albinos might have something to do with your response, no?

Blobby said...

Yayyyy Sixteen Candles, Hannah & her Sisters, and the original Freaky Friday.

Now we just have to get you What's Up Doc?


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