Sunday, April 03, 2005

suzuki style

David Suzuki is awesome. He told this great story about an astronomer named Howard Shapley, who proposed to follow a breath of air using the inert argon as tracers (because it doesn't react in our lungs, it's just expelled). There's millions of argon atoms in a single breath. So within minutes, everyone in the room is breathing gazillions of argon atoms that one person had just breathed out. The atoms are also diffusing out into the atmosphere, and off across the world to Japan, and Iraq, and Brazil, a year later, if we were back in that same room, we would be breathing at least 15 argon atoms of that original breath. So this means that we are breathing the same air that Jesus and Joan of Arc breathed. It's an especially entrancing story when it's told by a tiny old Japanese man with arms flailing in the air, shouting with disbelief that we don't treat the air as some kind of sacred connection to all life on earth; it blew my mind.

Looks like it blew his mind too.
DSC01791
inspire me

1 bric à brac

Blogger Tudor said...

Wow! that stuff on air was deep, you're right. he's a wonderful little man to say that we inhale each other and even Jack Layton's farts.

I wish I was there ...

12:07 AM  

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