Life Lessons from Movies

Up

In Fantasy, Movies on March 27, 2014 at 7:05 PM

Trailer: Up

Up (2009) is an animated fantasy co-written and co-directed by Pete Docter and Bob Peterson about an elderly widower, Carl Fredricksen (Ed Asner), who moves his house with the help of a young boy, Russell (Jordan Nagai), to South America, in order to fulfill a lifelong wish he shared with his wife Ellie.

Life Lesson:

Caring for living beings is more meaningful than caring for material possessions.

Movie Scene:

Russell: “Sorry about your house Mr. Fredricksen.”

Carl: “You know, it’s just a house.”

Evolution

In Documentary, Movies on February 26, 2014 at 4:05 PM

Evolution: Darwin’s Dangerous Idea (2001) is a documentary co-written and co-directed by David Espar and Susan K. Lewis about naturalist Charles Robert Darwin and his theory of evolution, published in 1859, that established that all forms of life on Earth are related because they descended from a common ancestor via natural selection, a process whereby individuals better suited to their environment survive and reproduce while those that aren’t well suited perish, thus creating genetic changes in populations which overtime can become so great that a split from the original population occurs, leading to the formation of new species.

Life Lesson:

Biological evolution (genetic change over time in populations via descent with modification through genetic inheritance) is caused by four mechanisms: natural selection (individuals better adapted to their environment tend to survive and reproduce, thus passing their genes to their offspring), mutation (a change in the structure of a gene), migration (gene flow from one population to another) and genetic drift (a change in the frequency of a gene in a population due to random chance).

Movie Scene:

David Page: “In the 19th century, in Darwin’s time, it was audacious to claim that humans and chimps were closely related. There wasn’t that much scientific evidence. But since that time, the evidence has become strong. First, we saw the fossil record appear. Evidence of human ancestors that had apelike features established the plausibility of the idea that humans and chimps had common ancestors. And then in the last twenty years, we’ve seen the emergence of a whole new type of data that’s established a close relationship between chimps and humans. And that comes from the analysis of DNA. This is DNA. We’ve got DNA. Chimps have got DNA. Bacteria have got DNA. Petunias have got DNA. Crabs have got DNA. Every living animal, plant, fish, frog has got DNA, and if we compare the DNAs of any two species, we can establish how closely related they are one to another. [...] Here we’re looking at the DNA sequences of one particular gene that’s found in human and chimp and what’s immediately evident is that humans and chimps have DNAs that are 98% identical. They’re basically the same, there are just a couple of spelling changes. Why are there only a couple of spelling changes? Because we and chimps had a common ancestor only a few million years ago. And these few spelling differences have accumulated during the propagation of this DNA during those few million years. If more time had passed since we had our last common ancestor, more spelling changes would have accumulated.

Narrator: “If the same gene from a rat is compared, many more spelling differences are seen.”

David Page: “That’s because our common ancestor with the rat lived about 80 or 100 million years ago, and there’s been much more time for spelling differences to accumulate.”

Steve Jobs: One Last Thing

In Documentary, Movies on February 12, 2014 at 6:50 PM

Steve Jobs: One Last Thing (2011) is a documentary directed by Sarah Hunt and Mimi O’Connor about Apple co-founder Steve Jobs that covers his work with Steve Wozniak, another co-founder and the inventor of the Apple I and Apple II computers; his work with Dean Hovey on the design of the one button mouse; his influence on the design of computer fonts; his envisioning of the iPad; his founding of NeXT with funding from Ross Perot; his buying of Pixar; and his remaking of Apple with the iMac, the iPodiTunes and the iPhone.

Life Lesson:

You don’t have to be just a consumer, you can be a creator.

Movie Scene:

Steve Jobs: “When you grow up, you tend to get told that the world is the way it is, and your —  your life is just to live your life inside the world: try not to bash into the walls too much, try to have a nice family life, have fun, save a little money. That’s a very limited life. Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact, and that is: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you, and you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use. Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.”

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