Friday, February 24, 2012

Nature is Amazing

Good morning! I was going to open this post with some angry words about Rick Santorum calling global warming a hoax,followed by more angry words about the gas-drilling industry's invasion of my hometown, but it's the weekend and anger is not my Saturday morning emotion of choice. 

Last week I learned in school that nature is amazing. The earth's atmosphere is full of oxygen because of bacteria that lived two billion years ago. Oxygen in the atmosphere made it possible for lots of exciting new creatures to evolve. Two billion years. Two billion years ago the most general type of cell that we are made of did not even exist yet. Life on earth was completely different. How can we even grasp how long two billion years is? We humans get maybe 80 years, 100 years if we are lucky. That is nothing compared to the age of the earth. 2 followed by 9 zeros. Just think about what it means in time for 2 to be followed by 9 zeros. It's rare for people to get even two zeros in their age. We hardly get any time to live on this amazing planet. 

Look how amazing this network of rivers is. The green parts are mangroves. 
From the BBC series Planet Earth, episode "Freshwater."

And these are snow geese migrating up the east coast of the United States. I love the way the geese look like a low wispy cloud, and the way the marshes contrast with the blue of the water. It's like an analog of what earth looks like from space. 
Also from the BBC series Planet Earth, episode "Freshwater."


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