<note to self>
Neil DeGrasse Tyson, former host of Nova, knows we are stardust, literally, because we are made of star stuff. Tyson believes he ‘was called by the universe’ to become an astrophysicist. ‘I had no choice in the matter’. In answering the call, he sought a kind of union. Ram Dass (in Be Love Now) advises us to seek unity. But our egos prefer plurality, with winners and losers. However, from the ego’s point-of-view, you don’t lose, you surrender. Dass notes that in our culture, ‘surrendering means giving up our power, and it usually has to do with ego power or sexual dominance.’ But without ego, we can seek unity, and realize we are stardust….
Joni Mitchell’s ‘Woodstock‘ (perhaps better known by the words from the chorus, ‘We are stardust’).
You may remember Matthews Southern Comfort’s soft rock version….
Or the edgier version by Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young (pictured in 2006).
Talking about stardust, this is kinda freaky: ‘In 1909, Mark Twain is reported to have said: “I came in with Halley’s comet in 1835. It is coming again next year and I expect to go out with it”…. And he was true to his word: Mark Twain died on this day in 1910, a day after the comet’s closest approach to Earth.’
Earth Day (April 22) was ‘first observed in 1970, but its roots go back to the 1962 publication of Rachel Carson’s landmark book [Silent Spring].’
bj here. later, susan went to the movies, but i stayed home and watched invisible universe revealed.
The Huronia Land Trust preserves, protects, and restores ‘the significant natural and cultural lands of Huronia … for their own sake and for present and future generations.’
‘The larva of the Monarch butterfly specializes on milkweeds….[Herbicides have] played a significant part in the monarch butterfly’s dramatic population decline.’
Saturday, 2015 April 25
David Bird lists ten reasons for making the grey jay (also known as Canada jay or whiskey jack) Canada’s national bird:
- found in all 13 provinces and territories
- not the official bird in any of province or territory, nor anywhere else
- member of the Corvid family (crow and raven), possibly the smartest birds
- feeds willingly out of the hand
- stays in Canada year-round
- figures strongly in settler and in First Nations folklore
- not an endangered species, thus not at serious risk of disappearing
- prominent in the boreal forest, a region worth protecting (so raising its status will raise the forest’s)
- neither a hunted nor nuisance species, thus not shot
- in deciding our national bird, currently third, behind the loon (Ontario’s official bird) and the snowy owl (Quebec’s); so making it the jay avoids acrimony between Ontario and Quebec
Sunday, 2015 April 26
reading about euell gibbons (he threw “wild parties”, ‘where guests were served dishes prepared from plants gathered in the wild…. he often pointed out that gardeners threw away the more tasty and healthy crop when they pulled such weeds as purslane [pictured] and amaranth’); reading about us, in the social animal: ‘your unconscious wants to entangle you in the thick web of relations that are the essence of human flourishing…. of all the blessings that come with being alive, it is the most awesome gift.’
reading about the altberg nature reserve and the carden plain, which straddle the canadian shield and the great lakes-st. lawrence lowlands, typical of ‘the land between’, exhibiting great diversity of plants and wildlife. (tx, sh)