Random But Useful Things I Learned From Lost

The Dural Sac

In the legendary Lost pilot, Jack (Matthew Fox) tells Kate (Evangeline Lilly) a powerful story while she’s sewing up a deep cut on his back. In the story, Jack—then in medical residency to become a spinal surgeon—accidentally ripped open a patient’s dural sac during surgery. The dural sac is located at the base of the spine, where it contains nerves inside a “membrane as thin as tissue.” Luckily for Jack—and his patient—the sac is easily reparable, at least after five seconds of sheer bloody panic.

“Babies Like To Feel Constricted”

In season 2, when Locke (Terry O’Quinn) is suddenly becoming best buddies with Claire (Emilie De Ravin) while Charlie (Dominic Monaghan) quietly loses his mind, Locke imparts this wisdom for Claire’s wailing newborn. Babies feel safest when they are constricted; this is the principle behind swaddling, a technique which immediately silences the small siren of baby Aaron—much to Charlie’s chagrin.

Moses had a brother

There are plenty of ways a young Hindu girl can learn about the exotic mysteries of the Bible, and my way was always through film and television. Shortly after baby Aaron’s birth, Mr. Eko (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) remarks upon the baby’s name with the biblical story of Aaron, brother of Moses. According to Mr. Eko, Aaron forever lived in his brother’s shadow. The more you know.

(Possibly) Useful Korean Phrases

Thanks to the boldness of Lost producers and ABC executives, I was able to learn and effectively retain a slight but respectable collection of Korean words and phrases from Sun (Yunjin Kim) and Jin (Daniel Dae-Kim). Among these are “What?” “I am,” “Thank you,” and my favorite: “11:15.” This is more Korean than I ever expected to know, and I am immensely proud of it.

How to Diagnose (and Treat) a Collapsed Lung

In one of my all-time favorite episodes, “Do No Harm,” Jack is stretched to breaking as the life-saving de facto leader of the castaways by tending to Boone’s (Ian Somerhalder) severe injuries. Boone is carried into the caves in a palpable sphere of panic, which is almost immediately justified when his lung collapses. Because I have watched this episode an inordinate amount of times, I’m quite familiar with the raspy, sporadic breathing that accompanies a lung collapse—or, more aptly, I know what it sounds like when an actor is pretending to have a collapsed lung. I’ve heard it on other shows since and it sounds as real as Lost once made me believe. Once it’s diagnosed, I just wait for another character to stab something narrow and pointy into the patient to let the air in. Can I have my honorary medical degree now?

Medicines Ending in “-cilin” are Antibiotics

See above comment re: medical degree.

The Entire Plot of the Bollywood Movie New York

New York (2011) was a problematic Bollywood movie for me, because it was part of a small series of foreign films that tried to write their characters into the 9/11 narrative. While it was undoubtedly a global issue, 9/11 is not a plot point. In my mind, it does not need further imagining. Lost premiered when terrorism was at the top of the international mindset, but it gave us distinctive stories from a protagonist (Naveen Andrews’ Sayid) trapped in an evil snow globe. New York , on the other hand, almost directly copied the Sayid-centric flashback of Lost ’s “The Greater Good,” then stretched it into a three-hour film with shoddy writing, acting, and useless sub plots. If you want an exceptional human story about lives devastated by terrorism, watch “The Greater Good.” It doesn’t need revamping.

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