Whirlpool galaxy drawing

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This took a few hours to draw on the old sketchfu website. I do love astronomy. This is not accurate, it couldn’t be with the limited tools that were on the website but it was fun to try and get a reasonable representation of it. Space is so infinitely beautiful. It makes me realise how tiny I am, how small our planet and solar system are in relationship to the mass of stars in a galaxy and the smallness of galaxies in relation to the infinity of the universe.

How important we think we are, we have so much on this world that we are using up. We are big in comparison  with insects and smaller still bacteria. Then even smaller viruses. The smallest things, molecules, Atoms  and sub atomic particles.

Apparently we are halfway on the scale of size in the universe. Halfway between the infinitely massive and the incredibly tiny. Perhaps in realising this we can see we are not very important after all. I think we should take more care to preserve our tiny/huge planet so that humankind can continue to survive and flourish.

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Moonlight

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Fly me to the moon was Stella’s favourite song. She’d heard it as a child and whenever she saw the moon she would either sing that, or sometimes twinkle twinkle little star.

It was 3am and the moon was a half circle, flying high, dancing in and out of broken clouds. A few moonbeams made it into the kitchen as she switched on the kettle and waited for it to boil. She was careful to pour the liquid into her coffee mug. In the dim light she didn’t want to spill it onto her toes.

There was a flash, she looked around and saw, nothing. The world looked the same.

There was another bright flash. This time she was a meteor streaking across the sky. Far brighter than a normal shooting star. And there was another. These are fireballs, she thought. They must be high up. The shadows they cast shot across the kitchen rapidly. One particular one was so bright she thought it was going to hit the house. It made the windows rattle.

Then it just stopped. She waited minutes for another one. Nothing. No sound, no wind, no huge explosion. What had they been? In the morning none of her neighbours had heard or seen anything. She went to work, came home, made a coffee.

Turning on the six o’clock news.

“seven space vehicles have landed near Washington” “no response from them” “civilians are warned to keep away”.

She wondered what would happen next?

Sun seeker

 

It’s sunny by the sofa and our tom cat never fails to find the sun. As the light moves across the room he will follow it. Eyelids drooping as he naps. Head nodding. Whiskers splayed in the sunlight. Plants display phototropism, bending towards sunlight. Is this an example of ‘catatropism’ (or would that be humans moving towards cats?).

 

In the case of these seedlings I have to turn them round because they bend each day towards the light. True phototropism. But the cat has also moved again. _20190411_111757

He’s a true sun seeker.

Wow signal?

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Peeeeep she heard it on the radio. A loud pulse  then it was gone. What was that? It had been a piercing squeal.

But it was gone. A disturbance in the aether, a cosmic scream perhaps??

She checked the Internet. It was all over Facebook. At precisely 4pm Greenwich mean time a signal had slashed into the Earth’s atmosphere. So strong it was picked up by transistor radios and radio telescopes alike. The Internet was calling it a Wow signal based on a signal heard by a radio telescope on August 15th 1977.

Could it be interference from Earth? But the signal had eminated from the milky way galaxy. Millions of light years away across the sky from us.

Speculation increased  Could it be aliens? Or the voice of God? Maybe there was a new astronomical phenomenon.

For now the sky remained annoyingly quiet and the world waited with mixed fear and hope to see if it would happen again or what would happen next.

Red sky morning

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How odd, she thought. The sky was just red in one patch. The rest was grey. And the red was in the wrong place. Not easterly where the sun rises  but north easterly.

She went downstairs to make a coffee. The red glow had increased in the few seconds that it had taken to get to the kitchen. She looked out over the garden  The leaves on the trees were tinged with red.

What was going on? She turned on the radio. It crackled to life but the reception was really bad. She heard the announcers voice through the hiss.

“The star we.. Nova…. It is about …. Milli… Miles away……….. No threat to life but…. .May see two shado…… The eff… Ct on Radio and TV… Ignals is ex… Ted to worsen…… Gamma Ray’s hav… Ready hit.

Small loss of…………. Expected.  Stay . Uned.

She switched off the radio. We’ve been star struck she thought irreverently.

What is in my head?

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There’s a lump of stuff like blancmange or jelly inside my head, your head, and anyone who has lived on the planet.

This soggy lump controls your life, your heart, your breathing, movement, and other functions.

It also helps control the world, either personally or by electing or following what other brains think. No telepathy exists, so we only know what a brain is thinking by communication on TV, with books, in newspapers, social media and miriad ways of talking.

My pink jelly brain is mostly water. It’s surrounded by layers of protection to stop it being damaged. The pia mater and dura mater are two of these layers. It’s split into a hind brain, the most primitive part, the mid brain and two halves split between the right and left hemispheres that make up the main part of the brain. It is supplied by a ring of arteries and veins and oxygen and fluid pass from these into the brain through the blood brain barrier. Veins take away waste products back to the heart and lungs and lymphatic system.

Your brain is a tangle of synapses and neurones, nerve cells that use electrical signals to make your body move, allow you to see, talk, feel, eat. Control subconscious activities, control your organs and muscles (although research has shown that the gastric system including the stomach has its own system of nerves equivalent to the brain capacity of a rabbit).

Brains are weird. The left side of your brain controls the right side of your head and body, and vice versa. By the time you notice something has happened, it’s too late to do anything so your brain has to be able to react or predict what is happening before you even realise it.

This pinkish yellowish lump has taken us under the sea or to the top of everest. It has allowed us to go to the Moon, send probes to Mars and the planets and explore the universe with immense telescopes. It has also let us build microscopes to see microbes and even Atoms. It has even given us the skills to build machines to see inside our own brains!

Pink blobs rule! Let us just hope that people start to use them to try and bring peace and sense to the world.

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Holly tree

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There is this Holly tree I keep seeing. It’s variegated with dark leaves and pale edges, but then on top of it is a pale leaved sport. I think it might be genetic. A mutation which has lost some of its chlorophyll.

Holly’s come in male and female types. There are many varieties and some have berries in the autumn and winter but some don’t.

I like their glossy, shiny leaves. Spikes can occur just round the edges but also across the surface of the leaves. They are an evergreen species so don’t lose their leaves. This can be a problem in a small garden as they can shade out other plants.

I have a variegated one which has had its lower branches chopped off to let light in. Unfortunately it is top heavy and the crown of it is bending over towards the ground. We gave also cut the lower branches of a dark green Holly Bush/tree but that is bushing out at the top and shading more garden. My idea was to trim them to look more like tall cylinders but they got out of hand and they are too prickly to easily cut back!