Something “Old ” Under the Sun…Now “New”

Dear Reader:

I don’t know if any of you saw the segment on CBS Sunday Morning News about Biomimicry...the study of finding solutions to present-day problems from nature…thus creating new innovations… I was fascinated!

In the title photo…the study of jelly fish and the way their tentacles fan out to ensnare plankton inspired a specialized filter that can capture cancer cells in blood. Isn’t this amazing?

It doesn’t stop there, however. When the Japanese created its first bullet train (travels over 300 mph) there were some glitches…mainly the booming sound as the train left the exit tunnels. It scared the wits out of people and affected nature and animals negatively also.

One day a Japanese bird-watching engineer (Nakatsu) watched a kingfisher diving for fish and marveled at the smooth transition into the water at high speeds…hardly a ripple and no sound. With continued research on how the kingfisher was able to do this…(the design of its beak in relationship to the head)…the problems with the bullet train were solved.

When George de Mistral was hiking in the Alps burs kept sticking to his clothes and his dog’s hair. He took some home to study them and what made them able to stick to objects for long periods of time (unless physically removed) and the innovation from this study was ultimately… Velcro.

Even though clothing industries shied away from Velcro initially NASA immediately saw the benefits for their program and off it took!

Buzz Aldrin showing off his Velcro watch band to Neil Armstrong

Janine Benyus was one of the first scientists to document these innovative ideas stemming back to nature itself.

She takes us into the lab and out in the field with cutting-edge researchers as they stir vats of proteins to unleash their computing power; analyse how electrons zipping around a leaf cell convert sunlight into fuel in trillionths of a second; discover miracle drugs by watching what chimps eat when they’re sick; study the hardy prairie as a model for low-maintenance agriculture; and more.

When I look at a tree, I think now that it’s a pretty amazing chemistry operation going on, silently,”  author Benyus says.

But while the scientific field might be new, there’s nothing new about being inspired by nature.

“We need new ideas,” Benyus admits to match the resources.

Correspondent Faith Salie said, “So what you’re saying is, the newest ideas are the oldest ideas, and they’ve been there all along?

Exactly!“By one estimate, biologically-inspired innovations could contribute $425 billion to the country’s gross domestic product by 2030.

The irony in this revelation is how man must reconsider who and what is the smartest way to find solutions to make the world a better place…by using what earth has given us since life appeared on it (millions of years of testing) or keeping on trying to make up new innovations without our planet’s input.

After all…the plants and animals we learn solutions from to solve our daily problems would no longer exist if these same obstacles hadn’t already been solved. They would be extinct.

When I am sickened and saddened at the mess we have made of God’s gift to us environmentally…our home on Earth…movements like this give me hope. There still are researchers and just ordinary people who are curious enough and filled with wonder enough to return to our greatest source…God’s gift to us. The answers have been there all the time. Another example of not seeing what is right in front of us. God must chuckle a lot over this.

So until tomorrow…God fill us with the wonder of your world and help us see the answers to so many of our own on-going problems that  lie within our proximity to discover solutions in the most mundane parts of life.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

*And speaking of going back to basics for answers…it is my trusty little rabbit of old with one eye and one broken ear who has taught me that when one gets low on faith…perseverance can take the lead until our faith is restored.



So on this first day of the month, of April, the Easter month…say “Rabbit” first thing this morning and then have a wonderful amazing month. It is even starting off with a strong chance of April showers here which we earnestly need  in the low country…a good sign.

It is also April Fool’s Day and I have blood lab work scheduled this morning…but I am looking for improving results and no pranks popping up…Happy April everyone!


Congratulations Rutledge (Left) for being selected Student of the Month at Phillip Simmons School! So proud of you!!!!



About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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5 Responses to Something “Old ” Under the Sun…Now “New”

  1. Rachel Edwards says:

    God’s Beautiful World…a song that popped in my head reading your blog. Simply amazing but then all things cone from Him. Happy April’s Fool Day. Prayers for positive bloodwork. And Rabbit…Rabbitt…


    • Becky Dingle says:

      For the first time there were no “critically low” red letters beside any of the blood category results in almost two years…and I feel it…finally I have some energy…my cancer medicine has been lowered and I start back tonight but if the numbers drop again…we are going off that medicine and switching to something else…. right now I am happy just to feel “with it” again! Hopefully erasing the foot problem has freed up the immune system to just work on the breast cancer and nothing else.


    • Becky Dingle says:

      A great day…read the comment below…I will take this April Fool’s Day in a skinny minute!


  2. Beverly Dufford says:

    Really enjoyed this most informative blog. That book would certainly be interesting to read. I remember Mother finding some kind of roots in swamp and boiling them for some kind of tea that really helped when we had fevers, etc. I also roomed with two pharmacy majors who had to learn to recognize drugs in every form. It was amazing how many came from plants ( roots, stems or leaves). Maybe we should have written down what the American Indians found as cures for so many ailments? Nature has so much to offer. Thanks.


    • Becky Dingle says:

      Jo…I thought the same thing about the Native-Americans and how the shaman used herbs and weeds to treat wounds on the prairies…now here we are generations later going back to the first Americans for answers….we are never as cultured and superior as we think we are over those who went before us…sometimes…just the opposite. Life is fair if you live long enough to see it. 🙂


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