People: the bright side

On the most recent "Modern Family" (do you watch "Modern Family?" You probably should. Oh, but it is droll.) Phil and his son Luke are watching a documentary about a tightrope walker. They are both slack-jawed with amazement.

Phil: How awesome are people?
Luke: So awesome.

And that's how all this makes me feel. First of all, Radiolab is unfailingly fascinating and charming and makes you feel curious but never stupid. It is extra heartening that producer Jad Abumrad got a MacArthur Genius Award, which means he'll be able to do even more smart, life affirming things in the future. Ira Glass likes him too.

In a recent episode, there was a segment about whale fall, that is, what happens after a dead whale sinks to the ocean floor. It turns out a lot of things happen. In fact, a dead whale can support a whole host of organisms for 50-75 years. This is something it had never even occurred to me to wonder about. That's the beauty of Radiolab. Those guys are apparently sitting around thinking, "hmmmm. What happens to a dead whale?" and next thing you know you're saying, "Yeah. What does happen to a dead whale?" And then, suddenly, you know.

But wait! There's more!

These women heard that same story and were inspired to illustrate it thusly . It's quite beautiful. I recommend watching the full-screen version.

Whale Fall (after life of a whale) from Sharon Shattuck on Vimeo.

How awesome are people?

So awesome.