You Oughta Know | 01/17/08
I'm 28 years old and I have a bunch of papers taped to the walls of my office from various institutions of higher learning asserting that I am smart. While I'm sure this is true for everyone, I nonetheless feel like I have some very big holes in my general knowledge of the world. I'm not talking existentialism here but rather basic things that I think I should know that I just don't. Today I'm going to unabashedly list those things in the hopes that you, wise readers, will be able to answer these things and perhaps share some of your own.
Where is DNA? For that matter, let's say I have a cell. How far away from the atomic level am I? If I have gene therapy done does it need to be applied to all my cells or does once one have it it somehow get transfered to the rest?
How does the computer know what to do with my code? This one is particularly embarrassing because I am a computer programmer. Surely this would have been covered in some computer science course had I taken more than the Let's-Get-Started-With-PASCAL. I know there is "machine language" but when I type the letter "B" how does the monitor know to light up pixels to spell out that B?
What's wrong with carbohydrates? I might, and I stress might, know this one. Is it because they're difficult for your body to break down so it's easier to store them as fat instead of churning them into energy?
How do your eyes work? This question started as "how does a camera work" but then I realized that I don't really understand how your eyes work either; how they're able to "grab" 3D data and make your brain "see" it.
Ok, let's start with those four. Congratulations to T-Chris, who got 5 questions right on his first try on the Secret Quiz from yesterday. Almost everyone got 2 on their initial attempt and several people stayed the course and ultimately got them all right. I'll reveal the answers tomorrow for those of you who did not take it yet.