Friday, December 3, 2010

Feel the Artistry Moving Through

Observe the wonders as
they occur around you.
Feel the artistry moving
through and be silent.

~Jalaluddin Rumi

Of Note: Scientists are finding new things every day and delight in putting a name to every discovery--it defines their very existence. In the last week such discoveries included several new species found at the ocean's crushing depths and an arsenic-loving bacterium found in a quiet stateside lake. A Scripps Institution oceanographer was beside herself after finding a 3.7 inch (9.4 centimeter) squid worm at a depth of 1.7 miles (2.8 kilometers) using a remotely-operated submersible and exclaimed: "I was really excited. It was so tantalizing because the animal was different than anything previously described, with the fantastic headgear." (Apparently, she had not seen the protagonist in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.) Not to be outdone, NASA-supported researchers found a new bacterium, which they promptly named GFAJ-1, living in a California lake that has substituted arsenic for phosphorus in its DNA. One of them triumphantly pronounced: "The definition of life has just been expanded. As we pursue our efforts to seek signs of life in the solar system, we have to think more broadly, more diversely and consider life as we do not know it." This paradigm shifter will require a change in textbooks since arsenic is not one of the six basic building blocks of all known forms of life on Earth. However, because of mankind's predilection to explore and name the unknown, the textbook publishers might consider waiting awhile. Greater discoveries than these may be on the near horizon.

Today's Weather Report: This morning was the first of the season below zero. Some had -9 degrees Fahrenheit, while here we had -3. That's COLD. At this moment, however, it is 20 degrees Fahrenheit. What a difference that 20 degrees makes! The new heating system connected to the wood boiler is now installed in the house, and the house temperature is pretty much the same all over for the first time. Before, there were pockets of hot and cold with space heaters required here and there. No more. The indoor plants will be singing the new system's praises as well. Progress is good. Progress of this kind is VERY good.