Tag Archives: competition

Those Smarty Plants!

Have you ever wondered about plants?

I know, weird question.

It actually all started with stumbling upon David Suzuki’s “The Nature of Things” video segment entitled “Smarty Plants”. While watching this video, I began to give these seemingly docile creatures a little bit more thought. I mean, they are everywhere and yet we pay them very little attention. But, what if they are smarter than we humans had thought? What if they “talk, forage, wage war and protect their kin” (CBC Television, 2012)? If you watched the video, what did you think? Did they display a higher consciousness akin to us OR was it simply mechanisms set in place “in favour of selection”, as one commenter pointed out?

Well, hopefully following the lead scientist and ecologist, Cahill, helped solve that question for you. His quest to find these “smarty plants” definitely uncovered some plants that blew my mind, such as the dodder vine favouring its victims based on their biochemistry. Another aspect discussed that intrigued me was how plants let out “chemical screams” to repel certain species of animal and insect, or attract the higher-ups on the food chain to avenge that specific plant from the unwanted invaders. Suzuki even points out that the smell of freshly cut grass is actually the grass letting out their “chemical scream”… to whom? … Now that’s a good question isn’t it. To whom indeed.

So, this entire video got me thinking… is it too bold to conclude that the grass might be formulating the right “scream” to get rid of us?

What do you think?

*****

Source:

Smarty Plants: Uncovering the Secret World of Plant Behaviour. (September 27, 2012). CBC Television. Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/natureofthings/episode/smarty-plants-uncovering-the-secret-world-of-plant-behaviour.html

Propelling Michael Phelps

Right now I’m watching a news broadcast on the jaw dropping (and not in a good way) results of Michael Phelps’ 400 IM event in the London 2012 Olympics; the same prodigy athlete who dominated swimming in the 2008 Olympics. Now when I say dominated, I mean won by a ridiculous amount of time, every single time. It really was a genuine treat to witness such mind-numbing, perpetually achieved victories. But oh how the tides have turned. According to the article “London 2012: Michael Phelps admits he swam a ‘crappy race’ vs. Ryan Lochte” in the National Post, Lochte beat Phelps by 4 seconds in the 400 IM event. Yikes!

Now back to the broadcast. The anchors and specialists were not only talking about how disappointed fans must have been, but also touched on the reason as to why the disappointment was so intense. Ever since that picture of Phelps smoking marijuana surfaced, his career and reputation took a nosedive. They went on to state that the North American culture is to “propel people on a pedestal too quickly”, thus causing an intense negative reaction when they fail to meet our standards…

To me, this sounds all too familiar as I did write about a similar subject in a previous post of mine called The Plight that is Teaching. Needless to say, I could not stop grinning as I witnessed this theme weaving its way through this broadcast and how it was taken one step further. In my post, I had talked about how we tend to do this to our teachers, but of course this can be applied to our idols whether they are celebrities or teachers.

To be honest, I think we need to keep things in perspective and not put our idols through ridiculous standards. Once we realize that they are indeed human beings as well, we don’t risk suffering needless, severe blow to our psyche.

Competition

Competition.  It is one thing we all share in common, an innate and instilled instinct that drives us to be better than someone in whatever facet of life, whether that be in sports or homemaking.  Sports is actually one of the more healthier forms of competition, as the winner is decided on the playing field and based on pure talent.  At the world Olympics, nations are put to the test; may the best nation win.  I remember, while viewing one of the Olympic games, telling my dad that if you really think about it, it seems that the Olympics prevent world wars.  Seems like a pretty valid theory doesn’t it.  The best country isn’t decided over guns and death, but athletic ability.  Definitely a MUCH better option, don’t you think?  The Olympics create national pride among citizens, as they cheer on their nation’s representative.

Even though the Olympics were introduced by the ancient Greeks, it only came to light in the modern world in 1894 because of Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the creator of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) (Wikipedia: ©2012). He created an amazing outlet for countries to channel their competitive nature. So instead of going to war over land, we now compete fiercely with each other through athleticism to determine the best nation.

So that goes to say that a little competition is good, acting as a motivator to be the best you can be.  But, when does it reach a point where it starts becoming too much?  Sometimes, competition can turn ugly, creating a type of crab bucket among people (read my post titled “Crab Bucket” in reference to what I mean).  The worst feelings can set in if you are not prepared and are unwilling to face the facts that you cannot beat that one person.  To be honest, and I will be frank with you, I go through life with this mentality: There will always be someone better than me.  There’s no escaping that fact.  But, instead of wallowing in this apparent “defeat”, knowing this helps me grow.  It is up to me to be the best I can be, but not at the expense of being consumed by what others are doing.

So, here is my question to you my dear readers: When does competition cross the line from being healthy to a silent killer?

Sources:
Wikipedia.com. “Olympic Games”. ©2012 <http://bit.ly/zKenoG&gt;
Wikipedia.com. “1894”. ©2012. <http://bit.ly/AnM9ad&gt;