Una altra escola, és possible?

December 22, 2009

Imagina (i sé que és molt imaginar) que el primer dia de classe a l’Institut, en la primera classe de Biologia que has tingut mai, el professor, abans de dir bon dia, de demanar els noms, de mirar suspicaçment els alumnes, comença així:

Your cells are a country of ten thousand trillion citizens, each devoted in some intensively specific way to your overall well-being. There isn’t a thing they don’t do for you. They let you feel pleasure and form thoughts. They enable you to stand and stretch and caper. When you eat, they extract the nutrients, distribute the energy, and carry off the wastes but they also remember to make you hungry in the first place and reward you with a feeling of well-being afterward so that you won’t forget to eat again. They keep your hair growing, your ears waxed, your brain quietly purring. They manage every corner of your being. They will jump to your defense the instant you are threatened. They will unhesitatingly die for you—billions of them do so daily. And not once in all your years have you thanked even one of them. So let us take a moment now to regard them with the wonder and appreciation they deserve.

I que, abans que hagis aconseguit fer pestanyejar els ulls, continua així:

If you could visit a cell, you wouldn’t like it. Blown up to a scale at which atoms were about the size of peas, a cell itself would be a sphere roughly half a mile across, and supported by a complex framework of girders called the cytoskeleton. Within it, millions upon millions of objects—some the size of basketballs, others the size of cars—would whiz about like bullets. There wouldn’t be a place you could stand without being pummeled and ripped thousands of times every second from every direction. Even for its full-time occupants the inside of a cell is a hazardous place. Each strand of DNA is on average attacked or damaged once every 8.4 seconds—ten thousand times in a day—by chemicals and other agents that whack into or carelessly slice through it, and each of these wounds must be swiftly stitched up if the cell is not to perish.

Per acabar d’aquesta manera:

When cells are no longer needed, they die with what can only be called great dignity. They take down all the struts and buttresses that hold them together and quietly devour their component parts. The process is known as apoptosis or programmed cell death. Every day billions of your cells die for your benefit and billions of others clean up the mess. Cells can also die violently—for instance, when infected—but mostly they die because they are told to. Indeed, if not told to live—if not given some kind of active instruction from another cell— cells automatically kill themselves. Cells need a lot of reassurance.

Ara deixa d’imaginar i torna al llibre: Tema 13, La cèŀlula. La cèŀlula es compon de membrana, citoplasma i nucli. La membrana…

(excerpts from Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything)

3 Responses to “Una altra escola, és possible?”

  1. marta Says:

    Qué bonic que seria!

  2. julio Says:

    El mío no era tan tan bueno, pero se acercaba mucho. Fue una gran suerte y una de mis asignaturas favoritas en el instituto gracias a eso.

  3. Toni F. Says:

    That’s a very nice excerpt. I like the faculty Bryson has to describe facts in a very entertaining way. While I must say I have only read two of his books (Notes from a Small Island and Mother Tongue) I think his aptitude for fluid prose and easy reading (and fun and witty!) must be rather generic in his work. Combine this with the instructive contents his books all seem to have and you have a best-selling author well worth the reading.

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