I was inspired with today’s word “camera” to share mostly photos rather than words, although some explanation is required. You see, I have a penchant when we travel for capturing the interaction between humanity and monuments. What tends to catch my eye is potential humanity, in particular, which is to say children being children.
The earth is 4.5 billion years old, humans around 6 million years, and civilization about 6,000, so you might say the rocks have it all over us. As Virginia Woolf once said,
The very stone one kicks with one’s boot will outlast Shakespeare.
–To the Lighthouse
Yet while we stand around in reverence, snapping photos of the million-year-old natural rock bridge or a Michelangelo masterpiece, children do what they do, which is to say play games, be naughty, and generally act as if they own the place. Which they do, in the most essential way. I first observed this at Arizona’s Canyon de Chelly back in 1993, where a late April water gully created a stream where a dozen Navajo children played. The sight of the massive rock edifice and 500-year-old abandoned Anasazi ruins carved out of the walls, set against the kids splashing water around and shrieking with laughter was both incongruous and perfectly natural. To me, it was like our genetic potential breathing.
Those are highfalutin’ ideas, but I frame them around this “photo essay” to help explain why these photos were taken in this way.
OK, it’s not Stonehenge, it’s Carhenge in Alliance, Nebraska. But wouldn’t be cool if you saw a toddler running through the sarsens erected by the ancient Celts?
It doesn’t take much to get me going down a rabbit hole for facts. I’m on the hunt now, I’m on the trail. Harper’s published a factoid in their current issue’s Index which said:
Distance, in feet, by which the Earth’s axis of spin has shifted since 1899: 34
Estimated percentage of that shift that is due to climate change: 40
—Harper’s Index, Dec 2018
Thirty-four feet? Really? How do they know that? I do understand that climate change is occurring, however I also like to understand the facts behind statements. How do they know it’s due to climate change?
Start With the Wobble
First, we have to visualize the earth spinning on an axis and having a wobble.
No, not that kind of Wobble.
Start with the earth. It leans. What does lean mean? It is a matter of perspective. For example, many of us have been brought up to believe that north is up:
But, in fact, there’s no reason to view the world that way. People who happen to be standing in Antarctica don’t stand on their heads. From their point of view, the world map would look like this:
With election trauma behind me and turkey recipes in front of me, I needed a little nudge in writing today’s entry, and my friendly neighborhood bloggers suggested Daily Word Prompts of chemical and freeze. Put them together and voila! today’s topic: cryonics.
Get Your Batsh*t Crazy Freezing Definitions Straight
First off, learn the distinction between cryonics, cryogenics, suspended animation. Cryonics is the science of freezing bodies with the hopes of future re-animation, after medical technologies have advanced to reverse aging or cure whatever ailed the body. Cryogenics is the branch of physics dealing with low temperatures. Suspended animation is inducing a cessation of body functions, perhaps through a low metabolic state, that preserves the body over an extended period of time. Suspended animation has been successfully extended to mice for a few hours, but not on anything as big as sheep or pigs, so unless you squeak, this is not a viable option yet.