Whirling in the cyclone of my mind, I find neither Spirit nor sweet Melissa, as Barry Manilow intimates in his tender ballad, “Could It Be Magic“. Within this cyclone whirls stuff certainly less sweet and, lately, absolutely more scientific.
However, I am definitely not a scientific sort. Although I do enjoy the basic principles of physics and find the Periodic Table of Elements quite stirring, things scientific are not what move or inspire me. So why is it that I cannot get the following three things out of my mind:
- Punnett Squares — and a discussion in a biology class about why we don’t see evidence of some dominant traits, e.g. webbed feet (the answer involved the sad sad fact that webbed feet are generally not considered attractive [although the kid in I Wish That I Had Duck Feet thinks otherwise], and no one wants to fuck a duck [or at least a human with duck feet]; hence, therefore, and ergo, the trait eventually loses steam and no one sees much of it except in textbooks and sideshows).
- Excited electrons! I never quite cared what they were or what they did, but I did wonder, much as I do now, why they were always so revved up. And of course I loved the peppy exclamation point. Whenever I see the “E!” representing the entertainment channel, I automatically think, “Excited electron!” and get all caught up in some sort of nebulous hubbub that I can’t quite identify.
- The word “ribosome” It is physiologically impossible for me to hear this word without defining it, silently, inside my head, over and over, in a crazed montone: “Site of protein synthesis, site of protein synthesis, site of protein synthesis.” You’d be surprised how often this happens, now that the kids on the street have adopted “ribosome” as some sort of wacky slang!
If someone out there is willing to do a scientific study to tell me why oh why these items will not leave me alone, I will bake that person a nice batch of Punnett squares (from scratch! none of that boxed stuff for me!).
If not, I’ll just have to conclude that it very well could, indeed, be magic!