Saturday, 22 September 2012

Lung Volumes

Having taken on board some advice, i have produced another video, which has so far proven rather hard to edit:

This is actually a remake.  A year or so back, i had a policy of deleting any video which got under 144 views in a week.  I have now stopped doing this, possibly ill-advisedly.  Unfortunately there are still a number of mistakes in this video, notably in its delivery and also a couple of factual errors.  I need to get more lively.  Anyway, the advice i've taken on board includes the plainer backdrop and the absence of glasses.  The framing is not too good here either.  I suspect that some people will also find it too quiet.  I was a little concerned that there'd be a crossover with the other channel here but it didn't happen.

On the subject of the video, one of the remarkable things about lung volumes is that, like many other aspects of the human body, we spend most of our lives in a narrow range of capacities despite having the potential to go much further.  The tidal volume, which is how much we breathe when at rest, is only about a tenth of our vital capacity, which is the maximum volume we can inhale and exhale.  There are lots of other examples of this.  We spend most of our lives not achieving our potential in so many ways, and some of these are physical as well as mental.  The 10% figure here - tidal volume as 10% of our usable lung capacity - reminds me of the 10% myth that we use only 10% of our brains.  Of course it's not the case that we only use 10% of the neurones in our heads, and if we used 100% of them it would be equivalent to a seizure, but it wouldn't be at all surprising if in fact we only achieved 10% of our intellectual capacity, partly for existential reasons but also partly because of deficiencies in our education.