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.


11 thoughts on “Moonwalking”

  1. Joyce,
    I am sorry for the loss of your friend. May God give comfort for those who remain.

    My, you are a skeptic, aren’t you? I did my best to check that it is real but it is true that there are a lot of fakes out there.

  2. Hearts,
    I now go bravely into the unknown in search of an animal dumb enough to have invented breakdance. I expect that said animal will be somewhat……broken. 🙂

    I am always honored when you deem something here worthwhile to show your sons.

  3. Mosquitoes invented the hypodermic needle; wasps, paper; and cetaceans, sonar. Geckos do that thing with their feet that utilizes van der waals force ( ; sharks knew about the electromagnetic patterns in the earth long before we did; fireflies make their own cold-light glow-sticks; and of course, eels were using electricity eons before Edison.

    Nature, indeed, fascinates! Great post, LGS!

  4. I did show it to my son – he thought it was great. At the end, when it was showing the biologist dancing, he laughed and said, “Scientists!” Which was funny, because I had a similar thought about academics – that the woman was so unselfconsciously nerdy that it made the sight of dancing badly somehow not embarrassing.

  5. ECD,
    That’s quite a thorough list of nature’s wonders that you gave. I am impressed by your depth of knowledge in this area. Now if we could only find the next great discovery by observing nature, we could get rich!

    Secret Agent Woman,
    I am confused. Was your son impressed by the bird or amused by the dancing scientist? I guess I should not post that video of me boogieing any time soon.

    All I know is I can do neither; moonwalk or what that bird is doing. Or actually any form of dance. Too clumsy. Sad really. How old are your kids? Toddlers, pre-teens or teens?

  6. I wish I had moves like the bird – I can’t dance either. My children seem to have inherited that quality too. Poor things. I’m not ready to call my kids pre-teens yet (6 & 8) but they both show signs of a teenage “attitude”. 🙂

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