Sunday, May 11, 2008

Meme: Passion Quilt

I've been memed! My first time. Momo tagged me with the Passion Quilt meme, which asks that you post and label an image of what you are most passionate that students learn.

I'm not a teacher, but here's something I learned that changed my perspective on existence, and which I would passionately love to share with absolutely everyone:

You Are Made of Stars

Our bodies contain material that ancient supernovas (exploding stars) spewed into the universe.
As Joni Mitchell sings in "Woodstock":
We are stardust, we are golden,
We are billion year old carbon.

NASA took the above image in 1994, of an event in a galaxy 52 million lights years from Earth. The bright spot in the lower left is a supernova. Supernovas are some of the brightest and most energetic events possible in the universe. From Cosmos Magazine.

All but the lightest elements on Earth were formed in the heat of stars.
Physicist Edward Zganjar studies the creation of heavy elements in supernovas.
These explosions of massive stars expel most of the star's material into space, resulting in the death of the star and the creation of new bodies in space. [image of exploding star is an artist's representation for NASA]

Aganjar says, "The iron in our blood and the calcium in our bones were all forged in such stars."

Because we're carbon-based.
Carbon is the base of all life on Earth.

That doesn't mean, of course, that all life in the universe is carbon-based.

My favorite noncarbon Star Trek alien, the Horta (right), is silicon-based, which is odd, since it looks like a pepperoni pizza mated with a carpet. I guess the carpet could be silicon. (Heh, heh, you didn't think I'd forgotten about Star Trek, did you?)
[Images from "Devil in the Dark" episode from Trek Movie.]

Star Trek teaches that there's no need to be carbon-centric!
Look: Mr. Spock, who is carbon based, can mind-meld with the Horta (left).
Star Trek posits that certain concepts are universal, in fact, and that that's why the Enterprise crew can communicate with all other life forms.
This is highly unlikely and problematic. Forget the universe, Star Trek's claim that "male" and "female" are baseline norms, for instance, doesn't even apply to all life forms on Earth.

If this meme appeals to you, consider yourself tagged! You don't have to be employed as a teacher--if you're writing a blog, you are one.

Here are the guidelines:
+Post a picture or make/take/create your own that captures what YOU are most passionate for people to learn about.
+Give your picture a short title.
+Title your blog post “Meme: Passion Quilt.”
+Link back to this blog entry.
+tag five other educator-type blogs. Include these guidlelines.
And I don't know who I am,
But life is for learning'.

--Joni Mitchell, "Woodstock"

1 comment:

momo said...

Wow, this is lovely! Thanks for taking it out to the universe, and for working Star Trek in at the same time.