July 05, 2008
The best way to explain it is with some typical random values spit out by the site...
|Water locked up in ice worldwide||3e+7 cubic kilometer|
|Number of African clawed frog eggs|
laid per spawning
|Number of alveoli in human lung||274 to 790 million|
|Length of E. coli flagella||15 microns|
This site is no doubt useful to biologists who sometimes have to put their finger on a number related to their work, in much the same way that a chemist sometimes really needs to know the melting point of Tungsten. But me, I just like viewing the quirky disjointed parade of values as yet another way to appreciate the extraordinary range and wonder of the living world.
The perils of perfectionism
There's a good article in Psychology Today about all the ways that being a perfectionist screws you up. In addition to the more obvious things the article discusses... such as how perfectionists are filled with anxiety and low self-esteem... the thing that caught my attention was how being a perfectionist can actually make you less likely to achieve perfection...
The truly subversive aspect of perfectionism, however, is that it leads people to conceal their mistakes. Unfortunately, that strategy prevents a person from getting crucial feedback—feedback that both confirms the value of mistakes and affirms self-worth—leaving no way to counter the belief that worth hinges on performing perfectly. The desire to conceal mistakes eventually forces people to avoid situations in which they are mistake-prone—often seen in athletes who reach a certain level of performance and then abandon the sport altogether.
See the article on PT's website.