Friday, March 29, 2013

The transformational nature of matter



Definition of TRANSFORM
a : to change in composition or structure
b : to change the outward form or appearance of
c : to change in character or condition : convert

Definition of MATTER
a : the substance of which a physical object is composed
b : material substance that occupies space, has mass, and is composed predominantly of atoms consisting of protons, neutrons, and electrons, that constitutes the observable universe, and that is interconvertible with energy

Image courtesy Cellar Door Films - WANA Commons

 I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the transformational nature of matter.

Not thinking in an Einstein-ian sort of way, or even a Sheldon-ian (Cooper) sort of way... more like thinking about stuff and such in layman’s terms in general and as a writer in particular.

See we live in a sort of self contained bubble called the Earth (in a microcosmic sort of way) and also in the galaxy and the universe (in a macrocosmic sort of way). All matter, every single thing that was ever created or will ever be combined to create what we as puny humans will call a “new creation” have and always will have existed in this contained structure.

In summary, there is nothing new under the sun.

So, if there is nothing new since the original creation, and there will be nothing new ever again, what’s going on? How is anything EVER made? How are we born?

Into this comes the idea of “TRANSFORMATION”.

Image courtesy Cellar Door Films - WANA Commons

Matter exists. Period. All that we see, feel , hear, smell... all these things are matter. At the point that we first encounter a thing it has already gone through whatever process was necessary to combine its material substance into some sort of corporeal existence with which we can interact.

Take water.

Combine enough “H” and a little “O” and you got the wonderful wet-the-whistle liquid they say is required for life.

But turn around. Look away for a while.

Now, look back. If the temperature has dropped enough that water you thought you had seen is not longer there. It has changed. It has “TRANSFORMED” into ICE.

Now look away and look back a little later.

If the temperature has changed enough in the other direction that ICE is now VAPOR!

Incredible, right? Three totally different states for what we had thought was just one type of matter that could never ever possibly change into another state.

But it did.

It transformed, and if we were patient enough we could watch the transformation right before our very eyes.
But... did the individual components of that matter ever at any point get totally destroyed?

Yes, some. But not all. Never.

And even in the “destruction” of the matter, there really is not utter and complete destruction. In fact, there was actually a little bit more of that strange “transformation” going on.

Freeze it, boil it, heck you can even take it apart using electrolysis... but it’s still there.

So what does that say about us? We humans?

We are at first two totally separate components. Sperm and egg.

But add those two together under just the right conditions and we get the miracle of “CONCEPTION”.

Now that is one heck of a transformation.

And it doesn’t stop there. We’re born, we grow, we learn, we mate, we live and then... we die.

What then?

What comes after the greatest transformation ever?

Eternity.

It’s amazing to think that we are allowed to live in this world, this bubble, this hothouse that gives us all that we need to live for what is comparably a very short period of time.

But once we are done with this place, when this place can no longer sustain our ever transformational needs, we will GO ON. We will be moved to a new location, leaving behind these earthly trappings.

But... to where?

Where is this next place? That is THE question, isn’t it?

For me, as a human... when the time comes, that is... I will be very anxious to find out.

For me as a writer, these ideas are what drive me to write, these existential musings and imaginings of what is and what is to come. The idea of TRANSFORMATION.

What drives you?


Later

PPC


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

This stuff just got real



Folks, I can’t believe the news I heard yesterday isn’t being heralded as top news. This should be front page above the fold banner headline top center extra extra read all about it shouted from the rooftops freaking shove it in your face and listen to this rhyme beotch cuz this stuff just got realz yo!

I’m talking about the fact... that’s right I said FACT... that NASA has received confirmation from the Mars Space Rover Curiosity that at one time in the past of the planet Mars there were the elements and minerals that DEFINITIVELY could have sustained at the very least microbial life!

Life on Mars? Oh boy...

 WTF???!!!

Are you serious!!???

Yep.

Proofs in the pudding, or in this case, in the gray powder drilled out of the bedrock of the (currently) barren planet.


A quote from NASA:
“Scientists identified sulfur, nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and carbon -- some of the key chemical ingredients for life -- in the powder Curiosity drilled out of a sedimentary rock near an ancient stream bed in Gale Crater on the Red Planet last month.”

Ahem. Wow. Did they just say “stream bed”?????

Yep.

More:
“The patch of bedrock where Curiosity drilled for its first sample lies in an ancient network of stream channels descending from the rim of Gale Crater. The bedrock also is fine-grained mudstone and shows evidence of multiple periods of wet conditions, including nodules and veins.”

I don’t know about you but I’m getting shivers just reading that!

If you don’t at least stop for a second and say “Hmm... that might be something there...” then you are a rock hard stony faced nerveless bastard and I no longer care to converse with you.

JUST THINK ABOUT THAT FOR A MINUTE!

Water on Mars? Sulfur, Nitrogen, OXYGEN??!!!

WOWSER!!!

Sorry folks but in my opinion this is some really stunning information.

My guess is that either 1) they (NASA, et al.) are going to be making some truly AMAZING announcements on some other new findings very soon OR 2) they already KNOW what’s going on there on Mars and are too scared to tell us about it because they fear there will be riots and gnashing of teeth and rending of clothes and tearing of hair and wearing of sackcloth.

And I can’t say that I would blame anyone for doing any of those things.

Folks, if it turns out that there was at the least microbial life on Mars, and then we also find that there was life even more advanced than that (animal... or for the love of all that is good some kind of INTELLIGENT life...) I don’t know but I might just do a little freaking out too.

Hell, I am ALREADY sufficiently in awe that they have found the things they have already announced they have found.

Ugg. Not sure if I can take anymore.

So, pass that jug of Whiskey... things are getting freaky.


Later... (I hope)

PPC


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Sick of all the crappy news? Then get CREATIVE!



I gotta tell ya I am SICK of all the crappy news. That’s all we hear anymore. It’s been the same, day in and day out since 2008, an echo chamber of contradictory slinging monkey feces that never ceases 24-7 365 days a freaking year!

Hey... that's my poop! (image courtesy Shannon Esposito WANA Commons) 

The economy’s gonna tank. The economy’s getting better.

Europe’s gonna fail. Europe’s all fine.

Iran’s gonna attack Israel. Israel’s gonna attack Iran.

They’re coming for our guns. They’re stockpiling guns to come after us.

There’s gonna be a new Pope. The new Pope is gay.

I tell ya, I am SICK OF THIS CRAP!

As an artist, a writer, a creative type, this type of news is sometimes and quite often GOOD to hear, fodder for the muse, a 72 ounce can of Red-Freaking-Bull-Nuclear-Brain-Booster-Bunker-Buster-One-Way-Ticket-To-Imaganation Land!

Yea, it’s kinda like that. News tweaks the nerves that spew the juice that makes us write what we write.

But sometimes, and for me lately it’s more and more frequent, the news Just. Starts. To. Suck.

So, what’s a poor boy to do?

I’ll tell you what to do.

Get creative.

When the news or the world or the things that you typically use to get the juices flowing start to suck, STOP SUCKING AND START WRITING!

Hey, didn’t some cool guy write a book named something like that?

Why yes... yes he did. Get it here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007QDXHIG

But that’s not even what I am talking about. (OK, go buy the book... whatever... it’s only $0.99)

No, what I really mean is that when the world gets you down use your imagination to create a world that doesn’t get you down!

Write a new world.

Make new characters who always do the right thing. Make a country where there are never any bailouts, there’s no unemployment, there’s no hunger, a land where the Attorney General never says that a particular company is too big to prosecute so we’ll just ignore all the corrupt and illegal things they have done.

My point is that we do not always have to write about negative stuff.

We can be POSITIVE too!

We can create a world that has ALL the things we could wish there ever could be in our world.

Life isn’t Doom and Gloom ALL the time, even though much of the media coverage of news would have you believe it is.

But let’s get real... I am NOT saying that you SHOULD write stuff that is unrealistically positive or write stuff that ignores reality completely.

But if that’s what floats your boat then DO IT!

I’m just saying don’t let the MAN get you DOWN!

When the world hands you piles of slinging monkey feces make Poop Pies.


Later.

PPC

Monday, March 11, 2013

The thin veneer we call “civility”



There is a covering over life, a thin veneer we call civility that allows us all a margin of neutrality in which we execute the daily rituals we must perform to allow our survival. That thin veneer makes these rituals palatable and gives us the capability to label the collection of those actions as LIFE.

Quite often though the veneer cracks and we get a moment (and sometimes more) when we are able to gaze beneath and see the true workings of the mind and the spirits which drive us.

Image courtesy Dave R. Farmer WANA Commons

It’s easy to get tired, to find yourself mired in the day-to-day, to become weary beyond belief at the constant and repetitive nature of the tasks we assign ourselves that we come to believe are necessary and required to maintain our lifestyles.

Internally it is common and perhaps even necessary to allow the civil veneer to fracture so that we can look inside, examine our morals and our intended direction to ensure we are still on the expected path.

It is quite another story altogether when that veneer cracks in public.

Recently my wife experienced an incident in which a man who had (supposedly) recently lost his job came into her place of business threatening others and eventually wielding a gun. He seemed to want to commit suicide, or, as others suggested, to commit suicide-by-cop.

No matter what his desired end result had been, the fact that his veneer of civility cracked and exposed his dark and seedy underbelly in the way it did put many other people in harm’s way (least of all my wife, but I will not over personalize this drama.)

I understand it’s rough out there.

I know there are many millions of people losing jobs out there.

I know prices are high and seemingly getting higher on a never ending slope.

I know many feel utterly and irrevocably alone in the world and believe there is no way out and no good end to anything and what does it all matter anyway?

Folks... please, please please do not let it get so bad.

You CAN find a good way out of the mire.

When all that is left are your instincts, when it’s nothing left but survival, when the Grand Fa├žade burns away...

REACH OUT!

There IS a tomorrow. You CAN rebuild your life, from scratch if necessary. Please folks DO NOT give up so utterly and entirely that you decide the only way out is to END IT ALL.

And DO NOT BY ANY MEANS allow it go so far that you want to hurt others or that your actions put others in danger. It is one thing to feel the pain and suffer alone, but do not inflict that on others.

Get some help!

You can GOOGLE suicide prevention and find there are NUMEROUS groups out there where you can get free counseling and other help.

Do it!

For others yes, but do it for YOU! You CAN remake your life and find a way to make this place at the least a “livable” proposition.

Good luck and God Bless.


Later

PPC