M. McLeod Young

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i once saw a scientist
on television.
and she was speaking generally
about science things
(being a scientist and knowing science things
etc.)
and, speaking generally
i am not a science
person,
and while i respect them,
i do not have much interest
in scientists
or science things.
so i went to switch the channel
at the precise moment that the presenter sitting beside the scientist asked:
what,
in your opinion,
is the most ASTOUNDING fact
about the universe
?
and this stopped me.
because it is not often that television presenters ask such interesting questions,
and the scientist was pursing her lips in a thoughtful way that made me think
i wanted to her her answer
to the interesting question.
after a pause,
she did not look directly at the
camera,
but directly at the presenter.

did you know,
she said,
that there are atoms in your body.
the presenter laughed.
of course,
he said.
what else would my body be made of?

well,
said the scientist,
and i did not need to look at the television screen to know
she was smiling.
do you know where those atoms came from?
well,
said the presenter.
and he did not say anything else.
i snickered from my place in the armchair
and the scientist smiled again.

the most ASTOUNDING fact that i have ever known,
she said,
is not a fact, specifically,
but the story of every atom on this planet.
the ones that make up the grass and the sea and the sand and the forests and the human
body.
these atoms came
from stars.

the presenter sat forward and so did i.

stars,
continued the scientist,
are mortal
like humans.
they die,
and, in their later years,
are unstable.
it pains me a little to say it, but a star’s death
is far more dramatic than a human’s.
is it? asked the presenter.
the scientist was looking at him still,
and i felt strongly as though i was listening in on a very private
conversation.

it is, the scientist nodded. the stars
i am referring to,
she said,
collapsed and exploded a very long time ago, and scattered their enriched guts across
the entire universe.
here, she paused, and her words caught in my mind in a way that made me wonder
if she was a scientist
or a poet.
their guts, she said whilst sipping from a glass of water, were splayed across every
inch
of time and space.
these guts were made of the
fundamental ingredients
of life and existence.
carbon and oxygen and nitrogen and hydrogen and all the
rest of it.
all in the bellies of these stars that flung themselves across the universe in protest when it was their time to die.

and then? asked the presenter.
the scientist’s lips quirked upwards. and then, she said.
it all became parts of gas clouds.
ones that condense and collapse and will form our next solar systems -
billions of stars with billions of planets to orbit them.
and these planets have the ingredients of life sewed into the very fabric
of their own lives.

so, she said, smile still playing on her lips -
where do your atoms come from?
from those gas clouds, said the presenter.
no, said the scientist.
from those stars.

every atom, every molecule, every inhale and exhale and beat of your heart, is traceable
to the crucibles that cooked life itself.
and you are sitting here and so am i and so are your viewers at home,
and we’re all in the universe, aren’t we?
yes, said the presenter.
but i’ll tell you what’s even better, the scientist smiled wider.
the universe is in us. your atoms and my atoms and your camera men’s atoms came from those stars. you’re connected and relevant without even having to try. you are made of stardust and the fabric of the universe.
that is the most ASTOUNDING fact
i can tell you.
the presenter smiled and the scientist smiled wider and i smiled too,

and later i switched the channel to something less scientific
and wondered if i should feel small,
tiny and insignificant in relation to the stars that collapsed and exploded and
threw themselves everywhere.
and that is how my mother found me,
sitting on the sofa.
and she asked me what was
wrong,
and i said,
nothing. i’m just a lot smaller than stars are.
my mother is very literal woman. as such, her natural response was:
of course you’re not. don’t you see how small stars are?
that’s only from a distance,
i said.
maybe you’re looking at yourself from a distance too, she said.

and she left the room and it is years later now, but i still
think about the scientist and what she said
and my mother and what she said
and i still see the presenter on television.
and i still think that the stars are very big
but now i think,
they are in me.
so i am big too.

- 'the most astounding fact' - j.c., inspired by neil degrass tyson’s talk of the same name (via girlonfired)

startraveller776:

huffingtonpost:

When did doing something ‘like a girl’ become an insult?

Watch the full Always commercial that seeks to answer this question.

The part that gets me is at the end of the commercial, when they ask one of the first ladies if she had a chance to do her demonstration of “running like a girl” over again, what would she do differently and she says, “I would run like myself.” I legit cried.

archiemcphee:

Awesome Anamorphic Artwork isn’t restricted to walls, floors and sketchbooks. There’s a whole amazing subset that, instead of having the viewer stand in just the right spot, requires looking at flat image or sculpture reflected in a cylindrical mirror in order to see it properly.

Last month the folks at Bored Panda assembled a fascinating collection of 23 examples of this mind-bending art form. Here you see pieces by István Orosz, Jonty Hurwitz, Vera Bugatti and Awtar Singh Virdi respectively.

Click here to view the entire post.

[via Bored Panda]

el-tango-de-roxanna:

4gifs:

[video]

Never have the words ‘unadulterated horror’ sprung to my mind so quickly

el-tango-de-roxanna:

4gifs:

[video]

Never have the words ‘unadulterated horror’ sprung to my mind so quickly

(Source: ForGIFs.om)

asylum-art:

Wang Ruilin Sculptures

website | on Behance

gothiccharmschool:

theblacklacedandy:

eeeee cutie pumpkin bat!

This is one of those things I always reblog. Stop pretending to be surprised.

gothiccharmschool:

theblacklacedandy:

eeeee cutie pumpkin bat!

This is one of those things I always reblog. Stop pretending to be surprised.

(Source: lushghost)

I have spent a good many years since ― too many, I think ― being ashamed about what I write. I think I was forty before I realized that almost every writer of fiction or poetry who has ever published a line has been accused by someone of wasting his or her God-given talent. If you write (or paint or dance or sculpt or sing, I suppose), someone will try to make you feel lousy about it, that’s all.

- Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft (via maxkirin)

asylum-art:

New Backlit Paper Sculptures by Deepti Nair and Harikrishnan Panicker

At Black Book Gallery

“Where I Belong” is a paper cut light box installation work of hand cut watercolor on paper assembled in a shadow box that is backlit with LED lights. The work is a collaboration by Hari & Deepti

sinobug:

Great Nawab Butterfly “Dragonhead” Caterpillar (Polyura eudamippus, Charaxinae, Nymphalidae)  The larvae of the butterflies of the Nymphalid subfamily Charaxinae are blessed with impressive head ornamentation appropriately earning them the title of dragonhead caterpillars.   They are also quite fearless, constructing a mattress of silk-woven leaves to sit out the daylight hours, often fully exposed to the elements and potential hazards.  by Sinobug (itchydogimages) on Flickr. Pu’er, Yunnan, China  See more Chinese caterpillars on my Flickr site HERE…..

sinobug:

Great Nawab Butterfly “Dragonhead” Caterpillar (Polyura eudamippus, Charaxinae, Nymphalidae)

The larvae of the butterflies of the Nymphalid subfamily Charaxinae are blessed with impressive head ornamentation appropriately earning them the title of dragonhead caterpillars.

Dragonhead Caterpillar

They are also quite fearless, constructing a mattress of silk-woven leaves to sit out the daylight hours, often fully exposed to the elements and potential hazards.

by Sinobug (itchydogimages) on Flickr.
Pu’er, Yunnan, China

See more Chinese caterpillars on my Flickr site HERE…..

(Source: flowerfood)

Malcolm Davis - Shino Warrior