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Posts Tagged ‘life on earth

“I find it hard to believe that human beings are the crowning achievement of life on earth. Something better than us has to come along”*…

 

Data From: Reader, John. (1986). The Rise of life. London: Roxby Prehistory Press. – Lutgens, Frederick K. (2006). Essentials of geology. Pearson Education. Inc.

click here, and again on the image, for a larger version

From Columbian designers Carlos Ramos, Zamira Saab, William León, The History of Life As We Know It.

* Doug Coupland

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As we put things into perspective, we might recall that it was on this date in 1922, after a 10-year hiatus, that the muse of the Duino Elegies returned to Rainer Maria Rilke, who completed his hugely-influential cycle of poems in a week.  

Rilke had completed the first two elegies and drafts of the next two in 1912, while staying at the Duino Castle as a guest of Princess Marie von Thurn und Taxis.  But his experience as a conscript in World War I threw him into a deep depression.  News of the death of a close friend of his daughter’s shocked him out of his funk.  On February 2, 1922, Rilke set to work on his Sonnets to Orpheus (in which he frequently refers to his daughters departed friend).  On February 9 he began working on the The Elegies as well; then having finished the remaining eight, completed the Sonnets by February 23.  Rilke’s February fecundity has come to be known as his “creative hurricane.”

A sketch of Rilke by Leonid Pasternak (father of novelist and poet Boris Pasternak)

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Written by LW

February 9, 2014 at 1:01 am

I, for one, have always wanted to know…

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Readers will know the Large Hadron Collider, the massive particle accelerator built to answer such questions as “Is there a ‘God Particle” (Higgs Boson)?”  The LHC accelerates two counter-rotating beams of protons to nearly the speed of light and then brings them into collision inside giant, cathedral-sized detectors that study the subatomic debris that comes flying outward.  The folks at CERN, who operate the LHC, hold the world’s record for the highest energies ever achieved: the collisions of more than 10 billion protons per bunch at a total energy of 2.36 trillion electron volts, or TeV, per collision.

But the LHC raises as many questions as it hopes to answer…

Who hasn’t wondered, for example, what happens if one puts one’s hand in front of the beam?  Happily (if not conclusively), the folks at Sixty Symbols have gathered some answers:

As we think hard about wearing gloves, we might recall that it was on this date in 1969 that a number of meteor fragments fell near Murchison, in Victoria, Australia.  Analysis of the fragments has identified over 14,000 compounds in the carbonaceous chondrite; almost 100 of them, different amino acids, only 19 of which are found on earth…  encouraging proponents of “panspermia”– the proposition that life on earth was “jump-started” when key ingredients in the primordial soup dropped in from the Heavens.

Murchison fragment

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