Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Life Changes with Learning

Quicky Hail Storm March 15, 2014
It's been a crazy winter for everyone.  Because of it, we've all learned a new term: Polar Vortex.

Now, I'm sure this isn't something weather people suddenly came up with, but in all my years, I can't remember ever hearing it.  Yeah, that many years.  And now I sound like my mother. *grin*

As I posted on Facebook this past Saturday, I heard the rain, thought one of my car windows was down a couple of inches, and ran outside to roll it up.  I'd just opened the car door to climb inside, when the hail started.  Hail?  Oh, hail, yes!  And it was coming down hard and heavy.  Aha!  It's spring!  Well, for a while.  We had snow flurries during the night.  Or at least I heard we did.  Just a touch of winter to remind us that it's only March.  Don't get your hopes up.  Temps of 78 or so for a day don't mean anything.  Mother Nature enjoys teasing the mortals.

That's the micro version of life.  That's the kind of thing we notice.  But later that night and thanks to a friend on Facebook, I sought something much bigger.  Something macro.  Something huge, enormous, gigantic, (fill in your own adjective) that boggled my mind.  Yes, boggled.  I watched the first installment of Cosmos: A Space-time Odyssey.

Yeah, me, watching a science show.  That, in itself, is mind-boggling.  Before entering 6th grade, I loved
 science.  I loved it so much that I begged and pleaded for a microscope, which I got for Christmas when I was 11.  All the neighbor kids offered fingers for bloodletting, so we could see it on a slide under the microscope.  We found dead bugs and checked out their legs.  Bits of leaves and flower petals were scrutinized.  My life goal emerged.  I wanted to be a research scientist.  Jump forward to a year later, and I had a science teacher who totally burned me out on science.  I've never had the tiniest bit of interest in science since then.  Don't believe it?  Fast forward to July 20, 1969.  Does that date ring a bell?  The first man walked on the moon.  I remember leaving my bedroom and walking through the living room, while my parents, watching TV, asked where I was going.

"Out," I answered.  "Down to the park.  Wherever."
"Aren't you going to watch Neil Armstrong (and Buzz Aldrin) walk on the moon?"

I have no idea what they said after I closed the door behind me.  I'm sure there were sighs and the shaking of heads, followed by the bemoaning of what would become of me, more than likely.

My dad worked at Boeing for just short of 25 years (mandatory age 65 retirement) and was a part of that company's involvement in the Space program.  As a person who had only received a 7th grade education, he broadened his mind and learned more than I ever have with reading.  He knew a lot about a lot of things.  One of his favorite things to read was Carl Sagan's Cosmos.  That and National Geographic Magazine were his mainstay.  He loved to learn new things.

So there I sat on Saturday night,  watching a show on my computer that I wouldn't have dreamed of watching all those years ago, my eyes wide with wonder and astonishment.  Age and maturity sure do make a difference.  Afterward, I told my daughter how amazing it was, so she found it on TV, and we watched it together.  The second in the series aired on Sunday night, and we were there again, fascinated by everything we saw.  And we'll continue to watch.

I'm not going to debate the Bible vs. Science.  For me, the two can easily be interwoven.  For those who don't agree with that and would avoid watching Cosmos?  You're missing some of the most beautiful images ever produced by God, nature, and, yes, even man.  (P.S. It's on the Fox Network.)

Give it a try.  Check it out.  More information and previous episodes can be seen via computer at cosmosontv.com. Let me know what you think. ;)

That deep emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God. ~ Albert Einstein

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