THINGS THAT AMAZE ME

  1. You can type anything into Google and it can show you all the web pages in the world that mention it ranked quite well by relevance. In milliseconds. From California.
  2. There are little molecular machines in each of the billions of cells in your body unzipping your DNA, transcribing it, duplicating it, correcting errors, and stitching it back together again. Right now.
  3. The act of opening this list caused an unimaginably long cascade of micro-instructions to be executed by a tiny solid state Turing machine inside your iPhone across hundreds of coordinated pieces of software. Instantly.
  4. One man, William Shakespeare, wrote the complete works of Shakespeare.
  5. When I move my visual focus from one thing to another my brain puts my vision on hold while my eyeballs move so I don't have to see the world whiz by. And I never noticed.
  6. My heart has never stopped beating since it's very first beat months before I was born.
  7. A photon generated by the fusion reaction at the center of the sun takes a million years to worm its way up to the sun's surface. We see by very old light.
  8. Modern humans existed for maybe 200,000 years before we bothered to invent writing. And it seems we only thought it up to facilitate commercial transactions.
  9. Your body is an incredibly complex arrangement of specialized materials and carefully mediated chemical reactions. For the most part it will work fine for close to a hundred years.
  10. Once there was just a lot of hydrogen. And then [stuff happened] and now I'm writing a list about it. And I'm made of it. And so are you. And so is this phone. And so is my brain.
  11. Your brain is a complex coordinated set of neurological systems operating independently that gives you the illusion of a single self in control of itself. We can literally cut it in half and you'd hardly notice. We can make you laugh by poking the right spot and you'd swear something really was funny.
  12. A hundred thousand years ago squirrels ran around on trees gathering nuts and hiding them. A hundred thousand years ago humans couldn't write, couldn't work metal, couldn't do math, and didn't wear clothes.
  13. The sense of significance is the creation of a cluster of cells in the brain. It can be stimulated to make an arbitrary attribution.
  14. The universe is, for the most part, statistically speaking, basically empty.
  15. My 14 year old nephew cannot speak. He cannot sign or gesture richly. But when equipped with the right tool he can write eloquently. We only figured this out a year ago.