It seems hard to believe but it has already been a year since Michael Jackson passed away and last Friday, many of his fans worldwide met to celebrate the anniversary. In Malaysia, a number of documentaries and tributes were shown on TV.
In his later years, his behaviour did seem rather eccentric and he was probably in need of help and perhaps even intervention which sadly and regretably, he did not get. I really do not think he was the best role model for young people as some seem to make him out to be.
However, he clearly was an entertainer extraordinaire. He was innovative and creative. He has influenced and changed music and dance in a way that very few have ever done. Among the innovations that was attributed to Michael Jackson was his famous “moonwalk” dance steps in which he would seem to glide effortlessly backwards.
In the world of science, I often contend that man rarely discovers or invents things which Mother nature has not already used. In fact, many discoveries are made by the study of how nature works. Swept-wing airplanes? Look at hawks. Radar? Bats got there first. Gyroscopes? Dragonflies.
Same is also true of architecture. Taiwan 101 was modeled on bamboo. Beijing Olympic Stadium was inspired by a bird’s nest. Sydney’s Opera House mimics the curves of seashells. The examples are endless.
However, it did surprise me to learn just recently that a bird beat Michael Jackson to the moonwalk. It seems that a family of birds (Piprdae) or the Manakins, whose home range is from Mexico to South America, was the original inventor and performer of the dance. Kudos to Kimberly Boswick of Cornell University who studied the birds and made the discovery known in 2005.
Nature and its biodiversity. There is so much more to discover. Let’s stop the loss of forests and gems such as these. Enjoy the video.