I was noodling around on the internet wondering what I was going to post about this month when I discovered Arvind Gupta. He won the Padma Shree on 26 January (India’s Republic Day) for his work in literature and in education, particularly scientific education. He’s an engineer, toy-maker, scientist, teacher and book-lover who spends much of his time making toys from trash to demonstrate scientific principles. And he’s delightful to watch, see here (it’s about 4 minutes long, but it seems far less):
Doesn’t he make you fall in love with science? I wish I’d been taught by him. And didn’t he say, somewhere in there, that, ‘Rubbish [waste, trash] is the birthplace of creation.’ When we’re struggling to find ways to recycle the mounds of plastic we’ve decided it’s sensible (not) to use and breaking our hearts over our own stupidity, Gupta shines a benign, practical and humourous light.
And the thing I’d love to have invented in a parallel universe where time is infinite and anything is possible is also connected with rubbish, plastic in this case. Norway’s plastic-bottle recycling idea recycles 97% of all their plastic bottles. (That’s 97%.) This BBC News article describes how the Norwegian scheme not only recycles, but repays you for the cost of the bottle when you return it and reduces the need to make more plastic bottles. That must be good. (And it seems we in the UK might adopt the Norwegian scheme. I hope hope hope we do.) Here’s the YouTube vid from the beginning of the BBC News article.