Liberal Arts Blog — The Orion of You (and Me) — Three Systems, Four Organs
Liberal Arts Blog — Wednesday is the Joy of Science, Engineering, and Technology Day
Today’s Topic — The Orion of You (and Me) — Three Systems, Four Organs
Anatomy is complicated. Physiology is complicated. What can any student possibly remember at the end of elementary school? Middle school? High school? Just random tidbits from multiple science classes. Are any random collections of memories as good as any other? I think not. But I don’t feel particularly qualified to take on the job of filtering through the massive amount of facts, processes, and principles. However, as the old saying goes, someone’s gotta to do it. Once more, Orion to the rescue. No more than seven items. Top three must be singled for the central belt. The most important of these is the central star of the belt — Alnilam. In this case, your brain (as re-defined in a recent post as your entire nervous system, not just the part that happens to be under your skull). Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.
MUSCULAR/SKELETAL (“do”) — NERVOUS (“think”) — GASTRO-INTESTINAL (‘eat”)
1. You. have direct, conscious control of three systems: the “do” system, the “think” system, and the “eat” system.
2. What you do, think, and eat has short, medium, and long term consequences for the health of your vital origins, most notably the heart, lungs, kidney, and liver.
3. All choices of what to do (eg. how much and what kinds of exercise to do), to think (how much to do it, and what methods to use), and what to eat (how much and what kinds) are not created equal.
THE HEART (the pump) AND THE LUNGS (the bellows)
1. Heart beats 100,000 times per day, pumping 2000 gallons of blood. Think about it. Every day. Show it some respect. Show some appreciation. Don’t give it extra work to do (eating too much). Help it out (with exercise).
2. Your lungs breathe in and out 20,000 times per day! Show some appreciation. Help make them stronger (exercise), not weaker (smoking).
THE LIVER (the nutrifier) and the KIDNEYs (the scales)
1. The liver performs 500 functions but the critical one is nutrification of the blood. The hepatic circulation is the forgotten step sister. The missing link in the cardio-pulmonary-hepatic circulation.
2. And, oops. there is a second forgotten step sister. A second missing link in the cardio-pulmonary-hepatic-renal circulation. Yes, the lowly kidney, like the comedian Roger Dangerfield, just don’t get no respect. But homeostasis is the game of life. And the kidney is no bit player. The kidney sets both blood volume and blood composition. Your kidney processes 200 liters of blood per day. Again, show a little respect and appreciation. Eat less, exercise more. Take a cue from your kidney. Lead a balanced life.
Now we just need a lyricist to tell the story in rhyming couplets and a musician to match the verses to an already well-loved tune in the public domain.
A LINK TO THE LAST FOUR YEARS OF POSTS ORGANIZED BY THEME:
ATTACHMENT BELOW — “39 Songs, Prayers, and Poems: Keys to the Hearts of Seven Billion People” — handout from Zoom presentation made to Adams House Senior Common Room in November 2020.
Please share the coolest thing you learned this week related to science, engineering, or technology. Or, even better, the coolest or most important thing you learned in your life related to science and engineering.
This is your chance to make someone else’s day. Or to cement in your mind something that you might otherwise forget. Or to think more deeply about something dear to your heart. Continuity is key to depth of thought.