Things Above Us and Below
Once again, I have topics brewing (as if I had press deadlines looming).Â One, in particular, I think if I can pull it off, I’ll submit to the op-ed page of the Roanoke Times. But that, along with most of the rest of our previously-“normal” life, will have to be postponed indefinitely until head-room presents itself in which two actual thoughts connect. Today, it’s AGAT. All Gandy, All of the Time.
So I’ll share a couple of visually interesting items, both again, worthy of quite a few hundred words on their own, but you’ll get off light this time.
I love it when you experience an AHA! while discovering the answer to a question you have held for years–decades perhaps. (Classroom teaching OTOH is too often providing answers to questions students never asked. So don’t expect so many AHA’s, poor teachers.)
Such was the case for the apparent paradox of seeing the shadows of contrails ABOVE them. There is an explanation. Go here to see and discover. AHA! Now I get it!
Secondly, looking down from space rather than up into it, view this swirl of phytoplankton from orbiting telescope aimed downward. The image and story fail to give a sense of dimension (I’m guessing it could be miles across) and offers no explanation for the counterclockwise vortex in which the billions of organisms are swirling.
I’ve written before about both the importance of and the peril to phytoplankton, and here’s how these “plant floaters” are described at Gizmodo:
“Phytoplankton is crucial for planet Earth, as they produce more than half of the oxygen in our atmosphere, fix carbon and serve food for krill and other fish. They are the foundation of the sea and our planet.”
So the fact that ocean warming and acidification are killing off phytoplankton at an alarming rate ought to be something that gets equal press to the latest grotesque music video, sports figure misbehavior or wardrobe malfunction. Nah. This is America. We invented pop culture. Let’s tweet while Rome burns.