Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Star Stuff

We've been streaming documentaries about how the universe works and physics beyond Einstein and I've been listening to Richard Feynman on Audiobooks lately.  It's fascinating stuff.  Frankly, I don't understand it at all, but it gives me lots of grist for random philosophical thoughts.

For example: I love the idea that we are made up of star matter and that the cells in our bodies are constantly renewing themselves.  I forget how fast this happens, but all the cells in our bodies are completely different from the cells we had just recently.  The man who said that mentioned how amazing it is that we stay the same even though we have no single cell in common with those we were made of a few days ago.

I've also been sorting, scanning and publishing all the slides my dad left behind.  They go back more than 60 years and there are a lot of them. I can tell you personally that MY cells have not been replicating themselves exactly for the last 60 years.  There is a big difference!  It might be a gradual evolution, but I'm definitely not the same person I was.  Looking at the photo of me beside the fossil "zebra" I found in 1965, you can easily believe that young girl shares no cell with me.

I'm clearly not the same collection of cells as this high school graduate in 1969 either.  Oddly, we have almost the same hairstyle...

You can see more of my family photos at if you are interested.

This idea that I move through the universe as a random, loosely connected, bunch of atoms with a bit of consciousness intrigues me.  This bunch of atoms will someday loose their cohesiveness and that flicker of consciousness will shuffle off this mortal coil and um do something else.  (Or not.)

This bunch of atoms I call me landed here and has been traveling through the illusion of time for a bit, but it is closer to the end of this interlude than the beginning.  I'm thinking a lot about that since my 60th birthday.

My parents both were very active into their 80's and I hope to follow in their footsteps.  My mom is still running things, but you can't deny she's slowing down.  So I think it is safe to say I probably have a few decades left in me.  But I'm about 75% done.

Or maybe I'm just 75% ready for the next big thing.

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