It’s been a while since we’ve got anything out of the bunker, a much needed vacation, election news and the cricket tamasha have been keeping us busy these days. It also means that our sleep cycles have been put out of sync which results in drowsy meetings! This past weekend we got a jolt straight from heaven that jump-started our blogging juices and hence this post. Sometime last week, top chef N sent me a url asking for my opinion which essentially means silly yet nonsensical comments! At first I felt it was the story of some whiz kid since N has a fetish for awe inspiring and inspirational stuff, but then having known me it’s quite certain that she would reserve such stuff for classier audiences. A closer look allayed all my fears of N suddenly discovering shards of intelligence in me, the article was about a ‘Creation Science Fair‘ and well in my alley. Regular readers will know that I’m not quite a rationalist and hence I shall try to write this post with a straight face which seems to get exceedingly difficult byt he passing minute. Oh we sure believe in God for after all we have an in-house philosopher who regularly chats them up for spicy banters that get featured in this space! However we clearly know where to draw the line and never mix religion and science, the former relies on faith while the latter is driven by logic. It’s almost like walking to a bar and asking for a shot of ‘vibhuti‘ and vodka, the two can never be found in the same place unless you are a priest masquerading as a DJ at night to earn some extra cash! Now that we have cleared that out, folks waiting to flame us for slandering religion can take a hike. It sure was entertaining and at the same time discomforting to know that the future of a country would be shaped by kids like these. Read on as we dissect some of the experiments and also demonstrate one of our own!
There were three levels of competition and here’s what bagged the prize at the elementary school level.
1st Place: “My Uncle Is A Man Named Steve (Not A Monkey)”
Cassidy Turnbull (grade 5) presented her uncle, Steve. She also showed photographs of monkeys and invited fairgoers to note the differences between her uncle and the monkeys. She tried to feed her uncle bananas, but he declined to eat them. Cassidy has conclusively shown that her uncle is no monkey
Oh how we wish, the Turbanator could have read this before his trial in monkey-gate! All he needed would have been to feed Symmo a bunch of bananas and any signs other than snatching the bunch and running away would result in the inference that Symmo was no monkey! It would also help resurrect the falling fortunes and empty cash registers for Delhi-6, all they had to do is feed Jr.AB a bunch of bananas and refusal to eat them would clearly evince the fact that he was no monkey-man! That would spare moviegoers the extra 10mins of footage of seeing two dudes share a jalebi in heaven!
Well if you wished to ignore a 5th grader, after all they are smarter than a majority of us according to the great saarugan! Here’s what the middle school level winner threw up.
1st Place: “Life Doesn’t Come From Non-Life”
Patricia Lewis (grade 8 ) did an experiment to see if life can evolve from non-life. Patricia placed all the non-living ingredients of life – carbon (a charcoal briquet), purified water, and assorted minerals (a multi-vitamin) – into a sealed glass jar. The jar was left undisturbed, being exposed only to sunlight, for three weeks. (Patricia also prayed to God not to do anything miraculous during the course of the experiment, so as not to disqualify the findings.) No life evolved. This shows that life cannot come from non-life through natural processes.
Isn’t that a beauty,and what sheer brilliance to discredit the theory of evolution! How I wish kids like these sat for the IIT, that would ensure duds like me sailing into Powai or Kharagpur. Since when did a multi-vitamin tablet become a rich source of assorted minerals? Mind you, this is 8th grade we’re talking about here! It reminds me of a girl in school who after discovering that there is no tooth fairy, decided to bury her teeth and wailed when nothing germinated! So I assume we are supposed to believe that seeds germinate into plants only via divine intervention, and it must also hold true for rocks to sprout saplings via prayers!
The high school project however takes the cake in this case, with some mind boggling findings!
1st Place: “Using Prayer To Microevolve Latent Antibiotic Resistance In Bacteria”
Eileen Hyde and Lynda Morgan (grades 10 & 11) did a project showing how the power of prayer can unlock the latent genes in bacteria, allowing them to microevolve antibiotic resistance. Escherichia coli bacteria cultured in agar filled petri dishes were subjected to the antibiotics tetracycline and chlorotetracycline. The bacteria cultures were divided into two groups, one group (A) received prayer while the other (B) didn’t. The prayer was as follows: “Dear Lord, please allow the bacteria in Group A to unlock the antibiotic-resistant genes that You saw fit to give them at the time of Creation. Amen.” The process was repeated for five generations, with the prayer being given at the start of each generation. In the end, Group A was significantly more resistant than Group B to both antibiotics.
Such eloquence and that to from Xth graders is so overwhelming I say. At a time when we were writing about nuclear fusion in our exams, kids here have superior levels of intelligence to research antibiotic resistance. Subjecting bacteria to antibiotics and then using prayer to improve their resistance is purely unparalleled. It’s quite ingenious we must say to even come up with such theories, let alone proving them.
This past week the AC adapter of my laptop conked out, leading to an exercise that involved retrieving my old laptop and restoring it to a minimal working condition. Its a 64-Bit AMD chip with a 1-gig RAM machine, nothing spectacular considering the fact that it’s three years old. Now for the technically challenged, it means that the dame turns into burning coal within minutes and using it without a pillow will lead to your progeny being born with burn scars on their face! The feisty dame was exceedingly slow to boot up and was heating up and shutting down every ten minutes. In a moment of absolute stupidity it occurred to me that a fresh install of the operating system might help. Now in the geek world this may seem a routine procedure but when you have a machine that is acting weirder than Britney Spears it’s not quite as simple. So in went the WinXP disc and there began the trip down la-la-land as once the install began she shutdown owing to the heat. So here I am with one laptop whose adapter has given up and another which is is devoid an operating system. After multiple unsuccessful attempts, one of which included placing it right near the vent of the air conditioner on full blast I looked up towards the skies. Inspired by the above experiments, we decided to seek divine intervention and try out our own experiment though unworthy of a science fair entry! In a momentary lapse of reason it struck me that the coolest option on hand would be my refrigerator. The pic above should serve as evidence for the dastardly act as I shoved her into the lowest rack, but in vain. But two failed attempts after 52% led me to believe that even the fridge is no good for this hottie. Well the only other cooler place I could possibly think of was the freezer and there she went! After some prayer, for that was the last resort the cold air finally balanced out the heat emanating from the processor. This ain’t no joke but for real and only in the controlled environment of Mr.Freeze did she condescend and install. That my folks reassures our faith in the almighty and also goes to prove the title of this post that ‘There exists a god in the freezer‘!