I am a PhD student in the biochemistry department of a medical school, working with the proteins that cause Alzheimer’s and Mad Cow disease. I created this blog to share my views on all things (science or otherwise) with the one or two people who might show up here (Hi, Mom!). Mostly this is a writing exercise and a way to vent those semi-obsessive thoughts that get stuck in my head while I am showering in the morning. I mean, I could just keep ranting at my cats, but I think we’re all happier this way.
The name of the blog, for those interested, is from a quote in Critical Path, by R. Buckminster Fuller. The beauty of the phrase “Fire is the Sun unwinding from the tree’s log” has stuck in my head since I first heard it. Here is the quote in full:
“Nobody is born a specialist. Every child is born with comprehensive interests, asking the most comprehensively logical and relevant questions. Pointing to the logs burning in the fireplace, one child asked me, “What is fire?” I answered, “Fire is the Sun unwinding from the tree’s log. The Earth revolves and the trees revolve as the radiation from the Sun’s flame reaches the revolving planet Earth. By photosynthesis the green buds and leaves of the tree convert that Sun radiation into hydrocarbon molecules, which form into the bio-cells of the green, outer, cambium layer of the tree. The tree is a tetrahedron that makes a cone as it revolves. The tree’s three tetrahedral roots spread out into the ground to anchor the tree and get water. Each year the new, outer-layer, green-tree cone revolves 365 turns, and every year the tree grows its new tender-green, bio-cell cone layer just under the bark and over the accumulating cones of previous years. Each ring of the many rings of the saw-cut log is one year’s Sun-energy impoundment. So the fire is the many-years-of-Sun-flame-winding now unwinding from the tree. When the log fire pop-sparks, it is letting go a very sunny day long ago, and doing so in a hurry.” Conventionally educated grown-ups rarely know how to answer such questions. They’re all too specialized.”
Or less loquacious. I don’t think any child would fail to come out of this response with the glassy eyes and dazed stare that results from complete mental overload, but it has a poetry nonetheless.
Current title photo:
“Dual_Neuron” by Scott Ingram. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC-BY2.0). Accessed 16 April 2016. https://www.flickr.com/photos/scingram/100212089/
It should go without saying, but this is a personal blog. Views and content expressed in this blog are in no way reflective of the views or opinions of my employer.