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Posts tagged ‘nova scienceNow’

Science Day: Thoughts on origins of life–snottites and all

(I’m continuing to repost earlier blog posts until I am ready to being new postings – soon. So, in honor of my snotty cold – eww – I repost this that includes Cave Snottites in Mexico. Hoping in the months to come to have some science, some book/writing related, some health related; whatever strikes my wittle fancy)


134Where did life come from? I am here to explore. I am here to say what if and wow and imagine and Can you believe that? And could that have really happened and–to Discover!

Did we come from outer-space? Sounds weird, doesn’t it? Well, aren’t we now in “outer space?” Isn’t Earth a celestial body? We’re hanging about in the air just like all the other planets, stars, moons.

Imagine Early Earth as this fiery ball bombarded with meteorites and comets. What if the basic beginning of life was deposited here by those meteorites and comets?

download (1)Look at the oldest fossils found, a few billion years ago, and there were microscopic “life forms” that caused our earth to change from that uninhabitable ball of fire and raging heated lifelessness to one like we now know.  And how did they survive on the earth that was so roiling and boiling?– I like the scientist character’s assessment on Jurassic Park: “Life Finds A Way . . . . ” So, here are these tiny forms of life Finding Their Way, and what they did was transform our Earth! These microscopic entities created the oxygen that sustains the life forms inhabiting our Earth.

Sometimes I wonder: what if I were suddenly transported back a thousand years, or two or three thousand, how would my breathing be? What would the earth smell like? How would my feet feel upon the ground, my eyes see color and texture? My blood circulate? And if someone were transported forward to thousands of years from now, evolving instantly along the way, how would they breathe? How would their lungs and circulation work? What would the earth smell like to them?

evolutionIf one took the soft tissue of someone from a thousand years ago and compared it to my soft tissue, what would the differences be? How have we evolved because of the changes to our atmosphere, and what we eat, how we move about or don’t move about, and how we live our everyday lives in response to happiness and having things and not having things, to the stresses and joys and overwhelming possibilities of just where are we headed and how life is lived now and our responses to each other as humans with varied thoughts and beliefs—how would we differ from the earliest “intelligent life?” How has Earth Evolved? Are we only a big Circle of Life and Destruction? To begin and end and begin and end and begin and end, round and round and round we go.

So, evolution doesn’t happen in a sudden way where we can look and say, “Hey, I have an extra vein that leads from my brain to my spinal cord because . . . . ” Instead, the changes are insidious. Human Animals and Non Human Animals adapt to our environments. Some become extinct, some alter they way they fit in the world–survival versus extinction. We can’t remain as we are, and hundreds of years from now, what will our bodies be like? What will our brains be like—how will we see and hear and think and discover? Who will we be?

But, I digress; don’t you love to hate my digressions?

These tiny micro-organisms were creating the oxygen to change the atmosphere of our Earth to one where A Life Form would simply be vaporized if they stood upon the earth’s surface to one where we can walk along a garden and pick a fresh tomato and eat it while a rabbit sniffs the carrots and a butterfly sips from a flower and a tree shades a dog and a cat eats a mouse and a child is born and it is protected (or it is not), to where we can be arrogant about the very air we breathe.

In Ancient Earth, meteorites bombarded—carbon arrived. Things began to change.

downloadIf you imagine our sun as weaker, and that light from it was weaker, if you imagine the hydrogen sulfide and stinky fumes and the amount of carbon dioxide, this inhabitable fiery place—this sounds more like a Biblical apocalypse, doesn’t it? As if the End of The World in the book of the Bible is not really the End of the Earth, but the beginning of it. So, here’s this Earth with a stifling atmosphere and a red-orange color, and oceans that were a weird slug green color. Comets and meteors pounded the crap out of our Earth, vaporizing waters, creating this noxious rain, and it is in this environment that Life Finds A Way.

300px-Dscn1976aIn Mexico, an example can be found as to how Life Finds A Way. In the tropical rain-forest, in the cave Cueva de Villa Luz. In this cave is a nasty smelling place of hydrogen sulfide—much like scientists believe the earth was a few billion years ago, maybe four billion. Scientists study this cave, since they think it represents Early Earth for clues to how Life began. Inside the cave (and to enter this cave, you have to wear gas masks, for it is deadly), are these single-cell bacteria that dribble this slimy ick that the scientists call snottites—because, yes, they look like snot. How original! Those silly ole wacky scientists have a sense of humor! But, the snottites are “alive” and they are in that hostile environment, thriving.

Bacteria. The most ancient form of life on our Earth. They adapt to what they need to adapt to (and isn’t that a scary thought—think about it: we spend millions in attempts to be bacteria free—well, if these little organisms are that tenacious, if they are the origins of life, if they stubbornly insist on BEING HERE, then don’t you think they will Find A Way? Dang.)

So, the bacteria begin to thrive, grow, adapt, reproduce. In the single-cell bacteria there is a molecule of DNA—and we all know that DNA is the Code of Life—allowing them to multiply. Inside the snottites are millions of bacteria. And in this cave, which represents Earth billions of years ago, there are towns and cities and continents of bacteria, which depend on their environment instead of being consumed by it.

Neil deGrasse Tyson says, “Conditions on early Earth may have been far worse, but these bacteria suggest that primitive life could have thrived in extremely hostile environments . . . For more than a century, scientists have known that life is the result of chemistry, the combination of just the right ingredients in just the right amounts.”

downloadAnd those ingredients, folks, for every living organism, are: oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorus—elements that are common in the universe, with our buddy CARBON as the Main element, good ole flexible Carbon (you’ve all probably heard our “carbon footprint” environmental stuff, right?).

imagesLife Is Chemistry—we are a chemistry experiment created by whatever you choose to believe: Chance or God or Both or All or Some or Chaos or Design or Science is God or God is Science or Big Bangity Boom Boom Boom—but we are chemistry, y’all. Beautiful gorgeous lovely interesting fascinating chemistry experiments.

Now go live the wonderful Earth life those bacteria worked so hard on creating for you.

Friday: Linky/video Love. Unromantic Queen, Physicists Crushes, Russian Love?

Valentines Day:

GMR never has to worry about Valentine’s Day, for he knows I couldn’t care less, and in fact, have grown to dislike Valentine’s Day – bleah!

I gave a nod to it by reading the posts on BelleBooks/Bell Bridge Books blog for their Valentines Week blog posts. (I have one called The UnRomantic Queen but this is a repeat post from some time back, so some of you may have already seen a version of this–see, couldn’t even inspire myself to write up something new for V’s Day -haw!).

Diane Estrella had a “how cupid shot me” bloghop – so if you are looking for something a bit more romantic, bleah romantic bleah (but not bleah on her blog, which is wonderful!), then go by and take a look at the offerings others have posted there (look in the comments section for their links or on the linky thingee there).

And I’ve just discovered (again, for a friend had a poem published here a few years back) Hyper Text where the V’s Day offerings are eclectic, and where fellow blog-buddy Kristin Bair O’Keeffe from Writerhead has fiction.

Enough of V’s Day (once again: Bleah!).

Rose & Thorn:

There’s a new blogpost every Wednesday on Roses & Thorns (our R&T blog) – we hope you’ll sign up to subscribe to posts–we never give away your email address, and your support really does mean ever so much to us and to our writers, poets, and artists. Every other Wednesday is our new addition–our Art Gallery with mentions by our new Art Director Alaine Benard, and on the alternating weeks are Back Story (our poets/artists/writers give us a peek into their artistic process, how they crafted their stories, etc) or general blog posts. Please come  join us! We’re also on Duotrope Digest, and have an Editor’s Interview if you want insight into what we are thinking/looking for/etc. Come follow us on Twitter, and on the right sidebar is a link to “like” R&T on Facebook. As I said, your support is important and we appreciate you!

My physicist crush:

My other “physicist crush” (besides Neil deGrasse Tyson who hosts Nova scienceNow) is Professor Brian Cox, who hosts “Wonders of the Universe,” and when I write that, I keep saying it as he does “Wonders of the U-nee-vuhse” teehee, what a cutie. There is a mathematician-scientist whose name I can’t recall, though I can see his face, and wish I could pull that name out of my blackholed brain, for he is fascinating as well. Dang. I *heart* physicists/scientists :-D

Online Journals/Magazines:

The Nervous Breakdown, an online magazine/journal, sends me a newsletter to remind me of its eclectic offerings – check them out, sign up for their newsletter.  Yes, I realize/recognize that I am a Publishing Editor of an online journal (above!), but someone else’s success or great-ta-tude does not take away from the enjoyment and love Angie Ledbetter, I, and our Managing Editor Cynthia Toups (and all our wonderful staff) have publishing our little journal. TNB puts their all into their endeavor and it shows! I believe we should all support and tout about one another–this goes for authors, too.

Russian (and Washington) Kat Lovers?

I sometimes go look at my website (kathrynmagendie.com) stats just to see where people are clicking from. I don’t know who they are, just where they are from. Like my State Department friend(s) who visit daily–could Hillary be a closet Kat novel-lover? reading my books under the covers with a flashlight? *teeheehee.* But the last couple of days I’ve had a lot of visits from Russia. Tender Graces and Secret Graces are going to be released there (so far?), but I don’t know when or how that works. I did find this page that has that airbrushed photo of me  that I hate (where I look like my much younger twin teeheehee) and everything else is in Russian, so I’m clueless–there is a “lib” in there; library? Dunno. Maybe I’m now a Russian bride and will start receiving mail from creepy .  .  .  uh, I mean lonely  .  . .  American men until they realize I’m an almost 55 year old American woman *haw!* Some of the pics at the bottom made me laugh :-D. If you know Russian, maybe you can clue me in!

Videos that made me go “Haw!” or “aww” or “lawd” . . . :
GMR just shakes his head, or at least he used to when these commercials would air, but it makes me laugh every danged time – I’m laughing now! *they have a PEPPER BAAAAR!* laughing . . . lawd.

And my poor brother *laughing* – he spent hours doing this and keeps saying “No one likes it! Huhn . . . well, shoot . . .” and I just laugh, because it’s so silly, but it still makes me laugh at how he spent hours on this, moving the dogs and doing all this stop-action and cutting and pasting and etc, and, well, um, see for yourself *laughing* . . . oh, of course I mean, *poor brother* teehee.

Finally, last video – this is wonderful and must have taken hours and hours (take a lesson brother *HAW* -okay, just kidding . . . lawd). I love the idea of magic happening once humans have left a building/room.

That’s all for now. You all have a wonderful weekend and I’ll see you Monday for Monday Classroom. I have been trying to visit around on social networking, but soon I’ll have to bury my head in the new book and that will really curtail my visiting–I’m writing something even more Supernatural this time. My books have ‘hinted’ at it or touched on it, but this time I’m giving myself full reign to use my imagination–release the hounds! :-D

Linky Love Day! – Something for everyone . . .

I have two posts to direct you to this morning on Writer Unboxed. If you haven’t been to this group yet, or joined us on Facebook, then please do check them out – writers, readers, agents, professionals of this and that and the other, something for all. First, the post Community – What’s In It For Me? by Vaughn Roycroft, where he writes of community in this thang called social networking, and beyond. I make no secret I adore Vaughn.

And next on Writer Unboxed, Surviving the Publishing Industry’s Looking Glass by Christopher Harris, ESPN and sports journalist for Yahoo sports and ESPN the magazine, among others, about his journey to self-publishing his book, despite his “platform.” You know, Platform? The thing we writers are told we must have? Well, seems even when you have one that doesn’t guarantee you a contract.

And because I love to read/watch Science, biology, etc: Nine Stubborn Brain Myths That Just Won’t Die, Debunked by Science

And because those who know me know I have crushes on Physicists, and scientists, and sometimes genius mathematicians, I hope you all visit/watch Nova scienceNOW. And, I also make no secret of my love of Neil deGrasse Tyson. *Grin*

Update – Now Live!: Vine Leaves Literary Journal. Now, you may wonder why I’d talk about another literary journal when I am Publishing Editor of Rose & Thorn Journal – it’s the same concept/reason/idea behind why I write/talk about other authors more than I do my own books – I love promoting/discussing/crowing about new, and old and in between, ideas, places, people!

The Huffington Post, for which I frequently stop by for book/publishing news (and they have more to peruse), now has Huffington Post Book Club. I’m excited to see what they’ll be doing – and of course, I have the wish they’ll choose one of my books, even if that wish is far-fetched (but, see Threadbare Gypsy Soul – brick walls were made to break though, right? Right! If I don’t dream, then what’s the point?)

I love visiting other bloggers and don’t always have the chance to do so as often as I like. I’ve been linking to bloggers, a few at a time. If you stop by, feel free to tell them Kat sent you! *smiling* Today’s offerings are:

The wonderful and supportive of other writers – Kimberly Brock: “What She Would Have Said, Tales of a Storyteller. She will have her debut out this year! Exciting! The River Witch, a women’s fiction novel. to be released by Bell Bridge Books in late May 2012. A fellow BelleBooks/Bell Bridge Books Author.

Threadbare Gypsy Soul – Beautiful, poignant, and thought-provoking.

From the Book Blather, where my Bellebook’s blog post Write What You Know (just another take) has made it’s journey to -Marilee writes:  “If you love to blab about books, welcome!”

And though some may see him as naughty and fraught with f-word bombs and all the like, I love reading this blog – I’m a new

reader so I’m just exploring myself. “Terribleminds” by Chuck Wendig, a novelist, screenwriter, and freelance penmonkey.

No Reason Whatsoever: Cathryn Louis  She writes, “In Louisiana (where I’m from), we tend to speak a little differently. Instead of saying we’re doing something because ‘I want to’, you’re more likely to hear ‘oh, no reason’, ‘just because’ or my favorite ‘no reason whatsoever’. Or sometimes it’s ‘no earthly reason whatsoever’. . >”

women’s fiction writers: no heroes. no zombies. no high heels. well, maybe high heels. If that title doesn’t make you want to go by there, then do it because Amy is smart and funny and she has wonderful guests to her blog.

And we’re having a nice discussion, via FB, e-mail, below, in the “letter” I “sent” to Indie Booksellers. Join in if you like.

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