“Forget stardust—you are iron. Your blood is nothing but ferrous liquid. When you bleed, you reek of rust. It is iron that fills your heart and sits in your veins. And what is iron, really, unless it’s forged?
We live in a rusty universe. Oxygenated heme is the color of life, the color of passion, the reason we see red as ripe and warm, the reason we see it as dangerous and frightening. Blood, breath and Earth, we’re all rusty.
“Physicist is both to my mouth and ears so awkward that I think I shall never use it. The equivalent of three separate sounds of “i” in one word is too much.”—
Michael Faraday (1791-1867) was not fond of that new-fangled word “physicist”.
Instead, he was an “experimentalist”, a “natural philosopher”, or simply a “scientist”. It seems a modern trend, this need to hyper-specialize both our questions and our means of answering them. Fight it.
“I will simply express my strong belief, that that point of self-education which consists in teaching the mind to resist its desires and inclinations, until they are proved to be right, is the most important of all, not only in things of natural philosophy, but in every department of daily life.”—Michael Faraday
It’s Okay To Be Smart cracked 80,000 subscribers on YouTube today. The 79,999th and 80,001st are just as important as the 80,000th, but round, divisible-by-ten numbers are easier to commemorate.
That’s a lot of people. May that number encourage me and not paralyze me. Ahh, the curse of creation.
As I write this, I’m sitting in a hotel room, preparing a speech for the national meeting of the American Physical Society tomorrow, who invited me to talk about science and the internet, because of all this. (I’m going to show them GIFs, don’t worry)
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again and again, none of this PBS/YouTube/people wanting to listen to me stuff could have happened without this Tumblr, so thanks to everyone. Just know I re-write this post with every new video and every new person who decides to come along for the ride, easily-divisble-by-ten or not.
I’m coming for ya, 100K (and *insert next number here*) … at which point we’ll be re-writing this post, with new numbers, and even more happy feels.
On one thing most physicists agree. If the amount of dark energy in our universe were only a little bit different than what it actually is, then life could never have emerged. A little larger, and the universe would have accelerated so rapidly that matter in the young universe could never have pulled itself together to form stars and hence complex atoms made in stars. And, going into negative values of dark energy, a little smaller and the universe would have decelerated so rapidly that it would have recollapsed before there was time to form even the simplest atoms… .
We are an accident. From the cosmic lottery hat containing zillions of universes, we happened to draw a universe that allowed life. But then again, if we had not drawn such a ticket, we would not be here to ponder the odds.
We want to create an index of the lady scientists on Tumblr, much like shychemist did for all scientists. (Have we thanked you lately?!) However, it’s a bit more challenging as not all of you announce your gender on your blogs. So, if you identify as a woman/female,* let us know if you want to be included!