Work versus space drama

Oh, you caught me. I do worry about work tomorrow as much as the next working fool. I do have people who depend on me to get stuff done, a performance review every three months, and thousands of dollars in student loans to pay off. So, you’ll forgive me that I do.

But I also appreciate that my feet are solidly on the ground on some large chunk of rock floating millions of miles away from a giant ball of gas. And that at any moment, our unfathomable universe could kill me and all the people I hold dear. And I’m still in awe of it.

Yes, I know – “we are all made of stars”. It’s a cliche now, thanks to certain guys who drop science so hard they need a TV show to catch it. I’m about to talk about one such dude, Neil deGrasse Tyson.

I confess – I am a huge fan of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. It’s cheesy, with the whole Ship of the Imagination thing (think Ms. Fritz’s magic school bus, but douchey), and Neil deGrasse Tyson overdoing it in front of a green screen. But the things I learn every episode, it blows my mind! It’s a total upgrade from the Childcraft books I had as a child.

There’s only one season of C:ASO out (yes, I know … I’m a geek, roll with it!)(also, can anyone confirm that there will be no more seasons???), but the episode that most resonated with me is episode 5, Hiding In The Light.

To keep it short, in this episode, various geniuses throughout history take centuries to discover that light separates and shows all its colors when shown through a prism. Between certain colors, there are black vertical lines, like gaps in the colors. The most astounding discovery (oh, and you’ll know because Tyson apologizes for getting emotional) is that these black gaps in the light spectrum, when reflected from an object, allow us to identify what kind of element(s) that object is made out of!

Tyson getting emotional over Fraunhofer lines
Tyson getting emotional over Fraunhofer lines

This discovery basically allows us to identify the elements prevalent in celestial bodies – no big deal. Pretty not mind-blowing that this gives us the power to reverse-engineer planets and gas clouds.

In case you couldn’t tell, that was me being sarcastic. That really rarely happens. BUT UM, HELLO! Light and detritus from exploding space titans touch me every day, and mere humans with advanced degrees in astro-mumbo-jumbo can tell what their guts are made out of?!?!  Greatest. Thing. EVER.

My point is, yes I’m temporarily preoccupied by work, Mr. Blue Mar Ten with your judgmental tweet. But that doesn’t mean I’m not indefinitely, if not permanently, riveted by the beautiful and terrifying titanics above me.

DAY 7 ASSIGNMENT: Let Social Media Inspire You

One of the goals of Writing 101 is to tap into new and unexpected places for post ideas. Today, let’s look to Twitter for inspiration. Don’t worry — you don’t need an account to participate in this prompt. Even if Twitter isn’t your thing, you might be surprised that you can find starting points for our own writing in other people’s tweets.

Below, you’ll see five tweets, and we hope one will elicit a response from you.

Today, write a response to one of these tweets. Shape your post in any way you choose — agree or disagree with the tweet, or use it as a starting point for a story, personal essay, poem, or something else.


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