Love affair with science (was: Re: Greens)

From: Amara Graps (
Date: Sat Nov 18 2000 - 16:13:42 MST

From: Nicq MacDonald <>, Fri, 17 Nov 200

>If "real science" is so great, why did my love affair with it end when I was

Ahh... then it's time to wake up the child in you!

Have you ever imagined looking at the world through a child's eyes,
when everything is fresh and new and interesting, and you can't
help being curious about what it all is?

Hmmm ...

(Still having trouble waking up that inner child?)

Then perhaps seeing some words from some children can help.

Here are questions that I was asked by some children when I was
working at my previous job, during which some of that time,
I spent teaching kids about the Sun.

-----begin children's questions-----------------------------------

Can a space man go to the sun at night so it will not be too hot?

How come the sky looks blue from earth and black from a rocket ship?

How much bigger is the sun than Germany?

Does sun turn like the earth turns?

Because the sun is so bad for your skin, I don't usually stay out
in the sun very much anymore, but I like looking healthy. Is there a
safe way I can get a tan like that actor, George Hamilton?

In the movie Lost In Space, the ship they were in flew through the sun.
Could this ever be possible? Wouldn't the ship melt?

How is the Solar System related to math??

How can you cook marshmallows by solar heat?

If the sun is a star why can't we see it at night?

If there were two suns in one solar system, would they pull one another apart
because of the gravitational pull?

How did atoms form?

Planets in the solar system have moons that orbit them. Do moons have
any objects that orbit them?

I was told by Joe Phoenix that if i went up in outer space
in a rocketship i would not be able to see the sun as we see it on earth.
In other words he is saying you cannot see the light of the sun from space.
Please say it ain't so!

How was the Sun born?

The planets currently use names that are based on Greek or
Roman gods. At one time our sun was called Helios or Sol.
Why do we not call the sun by those names? When did we start
calling the sun "Sun"?

Why doesn't the hurricane on Jupiter ever stop?

Why is the Oort Cloud so far from the sun?

What is the tornado on Neptune made of?

Is human life possible on any other planet?

What causes a harvest moon?

What is it like to fly in a spaceship?

Do blackholes really suck things?

What happens to a burned out star?

Are there other planets besides the 10 in the milky way?

For a class asiment we were asked the question HOW DOSE THE
decided to ask of your knowlage. See when I grow up I want
to be a Physicist. I haven't chosen what feild yet. Please
help me with this answer.

(BTW, this last was from a little girl.. Yahoo!)

-----end children's questions-----------------------------------

I don't know about you, but seeing questions like these can't help
but make me think that the Universe is a remarkable place, and help
me feel that it's all worthwhile.

I've been in my scientific field for about 20 years, and I've
"rediscovered" it again and again. Even though there were times when
my enthusiasm for it faded, I could/can trust that some triggering event
will jar my knot of dissatisfaction loose, and I'm bouncing away
with it once again.

Here I show one rediscovery of my love of science, when I wrote the
article about Fiorella Terenzi about 5 years ago for Extropy mag:

And here is something that I wrote more recently -- A kind of
"stream of consciousness poetry"


I am alive.

I press the dust on my canvas with my finger and examine the print.
My print of unique cracks through which my ageless eyes observed the
events of my life.

The dust wakes out of its slumber and I follow its passage.
As the dust marks my past, I laugh, despair, risk, care, learn, bleed,
love, dance, scream, change, and give, striving to be more.

My fingers close around my memories and I fall into a waking dream.

The dust glides through the universe from moons to planets and up to
... oops ...and around, into disks of new stars and through comet breezes.
The dust is a piece of me, or am I a piece of dust?

We fly from the ecliptic brightness, feel comforted by the local fluff,
and have a ceylon tea at the cosmic tea table with our friends from
beta Pic. They don't laugh at my jokes but I smile anyway.

I am alive.

[Amara Lynn Graps
Heidelberg, Germany
November 2000]


So wake up that child inside of you. It's there. Trust me. :-)


Amara Graps | Max-Planck-Institut fuer Kernphysik
Interplanetary Dust Group | Saupfercheckweg 1
+49-6221-516-543 | 69117 Heidelberg, GERMANY *
        "Never fight an inanimate object." - P. J. O'Rourke

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