Tag Archives: John Green

The Science of Us: Hank Green’s Crash Course in Anatomy and Physiology

As a professor, it’s probably not surprising that I like to learn. Even though I’ve completed a few degrees, I still try to make time to learn new things — daily. In fact, I’ve even shared these learning experiences. There was the Harvard University’s course on Justice with Professor Michael Sandel (I also went through one of his books chapter by chapter), there was my series on cognitive biases, there was MRUniversity’s course in economics, and before all of that, there was Crash Course.

This was probably one of the first video series that I came across that I felt like I actually learned (and remembered!) something 20 minutes after the video finished. I first went through John Green’s (the same John Green who wrote The Fault in Our Stars) crash course in world history. Later that year, John’s brother, Hank, did a crash course in ecology. John also did a crash course in literature. I didn’t realize it, but Hank also went on to do a crash course in psychology.

There are more crash courses than what I’ve just shared, but those are just a few to give you a taste. Anyway, the reason I’m writing today’s post is because I just learned that Hank is doing a crash course in anatomy and physiology.

Anatomy and physiology are two subjects that I’ve always wished that I spent more time with. In fact, they’re two subjects that I think we all should have spent some time with when we were younger. I used to have the idea that it seemed like a good idea if as part of our basic education, we learned anatomy and physiology and not as some form of “punishment” (as I understand some people don’t necessarily like these subjects), but because anatomy and physiology is/are us. Anatomy and physiology are the reason that you’re alive right now. This seems an appropriate reason to try and understand it.

More specifically, ‘anatomy is the study of the structure and relationships between body parts and physiology is the science of how those parts come together to function.’ Hank calls it, “The Science of Us.”

I’m not going into this expecting to remember every minute detail, but I am expecting that I will have a better understanding of how some of the parts of the body come together to function to make me, me! As an example, I was speaking with a massage therapist the other day and she told me that massage therapists often have to translate what their clients tell them. For instance, a client will often come in complaining that they want to work on their shoulder, while reaching for the area immediately adjacent to their neck. As it turns out, our shoulder is actually far closer to the place where our arm connects to our body. The place that this person was pointing to was, in fact, their neck.

50 Common Misquotations, but no Howard Thurman

Mental Floss, Mental Floss List Show, Mental Floss YouTube, Mental Floss Salon, Mental Floss Screen Shot, If you follow my Facebook page, you certainly know that I like quotes. For the last 200 days or so, I’ve shared a quote of the day. Sometimes, two! I’ve also written about quotes here on the site. So, when I saw that Mental Floss‘s latest list video was about misquotations, I was pretty stoked!

Most of the quotes in the video I had heard of and knew that they were misattributed, but there were a few surprises. Most of all, I was disappointed not to see one of the quotes that I’ve written about before on the list. I understand that there are lots of misattributions with regard to quotes and 50 is only a small sample, but I really had hoped to see it in there — because it’s a good one! Watch the video and afterwards, I’ll remind you of the quote to which I’m referring.

There are some really good quotes in there, don’t you think? I’d be interested to hear which one’s your favorite — let me know by leaving a comment.

Anyway, the quote that I wanted to see in there:

Do not ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.

It’s often attributed to Harold Thurman Whitman (which isn’t actually a person). My guess is it’s some amalgamation with Walt Whitman and the real author of the quote: Howard Thurman. I wrote more about the quote a couple of years ago.

 

Ecology: Systems Theory in Action

John Green‘s crash course in world history has ended (it had to some time, right?) and he’s now onto a new topic: literature. This version of crash course is going to be smaller (only about 12 weeks), but I’m still excited for it. He’s already two weeks in, so if you’re interested — I’d check it out.

As John Green’s crash course ended, I thought I’d check up on what Hank Green’s new crash course was going to be. Hank, being John’s brother, also does crash course. His first crash course was in biology. As much as I enjoy learning about “life and living organisms,” I didn’t think that my time (at this point) was best used by keeping up with this course. In fact, I did watch a couple episodes to see if I might be wrong (but I wasn’t).

So — what’s Hank’s new crash course? Ecology! I am so in!!

Ecology is a branch within biology that deals with the relations/interactions between organisms and their environment. In essence, ecology is a perfect example of the importance of systems theory. Aside from my elementary school days, my only exposure to ecology was when I picked up Integral Ecology at Chapters to thumb through it — on several occasions.

Hank’s already into the third week of crash course ecology, so if you’re interested, it’s time to catch up! Here’s the first one:

The World — as we know it — is in its Infancy

After watching this week’s Crash Course: World History on decolonization and nationalism, I have a newfound understanding (respect?) for the current state of the world. I used to think, ‘my goodness, humans have existed for so long, why are we still fighting?’ This presupposes that the makeup of the world had stayed relatively the same. And this, of course, is wrong.

According to modern scientific thought, humans have been around for 200,000 years. I always thought that with our being around for so long, we would have ‘figured it out’ by now and would be “nice” to each other. After reading Wilber and delving into Integral Theory, it adds a unique lens on why some groups of people are different from other groups of people, with regard to their development. Still, that wasn’t enough for me to “get it.” I still thought that development should have “happened” such that we treat each other better.

It wasn’t until I watched “Decolonization and Nationalism Triumphant” yesterday afternoon that I realized how young the world is in its current form. At most, we’ve existed in this way for about 70 years. Crazy, huh? When it’s put in those terms, that’s less than a lifetime! It starts to make more sense that certain conflicts haven’t yet settled and that there is still a desire for guns.