Frontyard Sense/Backyard Science V

Frontyard Sense/Backyard Science V

Snow Day:
Snow is a magical phenomenon; it’s just that in the cold country we take it for granted because it commonly covers everything and I mean everything in the wintry outdoors. However, snow requires specific conditions to even be.

Snow forms by sublimation. Water exists in three stages due to Earth’s typical atmospheric and climatic conditions complimenting water’s properties. The three stages are: solid, liquid and gas (vapor or steam as we call it, when seen). 

Actually, all elements exist in these three stages but the conditions on Earth usually don’t allow it to be observed. Metals to gases can exist in all the three stages of gas, liquid and solid. We think of iron as a solid and oxygen as a gas because conditions mostly keep them in those states, but yes they can occur in all three states. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a naturally occurring gas in Earth’s atmosphere, which contains the solid, carbon and the gas, oxygen. When pressurized above a 5.1 atmospheric pressure, CO2 will become a liquid and if frozen at ۔78.5 °C (۔109.3 °F) it becomes a solid known as dry ice or cardice as chemists sometimes call it. Before we drift off too far away, let’s get back to snow.

In explaining the rare characteristics of water sublimating into snow, we know when water is a block of ice, if one applies heat, the water will change into a liquid. If one continues to apply heat onto the liquid water, it will further evaporate into a gas. The same applies in reverse. When water in the gaseous state hits cold, it will condense and with further cooling will condense into its liquid phase. Subjected to further colder conditions, the liquid phase will turn into the solid ice phase.

For snow to form, water must first sublimate to form the snow crystal. In sublimating, the gas phase skips the liquid phase and goes directly into the solid phase in the form of, not a block of ice, but a six-sided crystal. In addition, for this to occur there must be a nucleus for the crystal to form around. Normally in Earth’s history, this nucleus was a dust particle suspended in the atmosphere.  Unfortunately today, after man’s intervention, this particulate is most likely a pollution particle.
Nucleated Snow
To divert away from natural snow again, we’re going to mention a synthetic snow of sorts due to pollutants that is now being called ‘nucleated snow’. With pollutants increasing as the nucleus of snow formation, snow is now beginning to sublimate more in reverse going from a solid directly into a gas. In particular with higher amounts of aluminum, barium and trace percentiles of strontium, arsenic and molybdenum, snow in heavily congested pollutant emission sectors, when exposed to higher temperature elevations is going from solid to gas by evaporating while mostly skipping the liquid phase. These pollutant point sources are primarily from heavy industry, mining and jet plane entrails.

One can check out the differences between natural snow and fully nucleated snow for themselves, by using frost from an older freezer. Frost is a drier form of solid water than natural snow, but it also, since it is shut out from the ambient atmosphere, is formed almost exclusively from pollutant particulates originating from the manufactured freezer.

To compare, scrape some of the freezer frost and form a snowball from it. Go outside collect some fallen snow and also form a snowball around the same size as the frost snowball. Carefully expose both to a constant heat source like holding them near a small heater or suspended over a pan being heated on a stovetop.

From your observations, you will note that the natural snowball begins to melt almost immediately while the nucleated snowball may display only a few drops of liquid after minutes have elapsed. The nucleated snowball may be getting smaller, but that is due more to it sublimating through evaporation. So, why the difference; well it all has to do with the endothermic reaction process.

The metallic pollutants absorb and retain heat while liberating cold that shields the melting components of the nucleated snowball. But as it evaporates, one can also sniff a whiff of a putrid smell emanating from the nucleated snowball’s evaporation. Further, ya might want to let the water drips from both snowballs dry out and see which residue is harder to clean up.

Pollutant endothermic reactions in the atmosphere are also playing an effect on localized climate. Locals may be experiencing ambient temperatures above freezing, but with the heavy concentrations of pollutants absorbing heat from the ambient atmosphere and releasing cold, this can cause snow to fall regularly at surrounding temperatures far above freezing.

There is a certain element to climate change deniers that are now speculating that global warming may be occurring, but not due to man. So, to counter they’re insisting that putting up even more pollutants into the atmosphere will act as an offset by cooling down the atmosphere in creating nucleated snow. This is a continuous demise in ignorant thinking. More pollution is no solution to pollutants’ harmful effects. It’s like the old saying of ‘fighting fire with fire’ when a little water would have a much greater impact.

 In getting back again to just plain snow, have ya ever wondered why it is white when water is naturally clear? When you shave a block of clear ice, the shavings are white, which is the same reason why snow is white. In shaving the ice block you incorporated air. Air reflects all the solar color wavelengths and when combined appear white when reflected into your eye. The same is true for snow.

The reason for snow having more air than water is its six-sided crystal structure. The six facet pinnacles take up more space allowing it to trap air. When the crystal begins to fall, it congeals with other snow crystals to form a snowflake. This process further traps air.

Dependent on freezing temperature range, snow is anywhere from 4-10% water; the rest is air. The reason being is that the snow crystal is not only always six-sided, but, as mentioned the six elongated facets trap air by taking up more space for air to become entangled into the snowflake matrix.

To measure water and air in a snowfall, one uses the ‘snow water equivalent’ (SWE) factor. If there was a good snowfall measured at 20in/50.8cm, to find the water percent let’s simply fill a volume graduated marked container with fresh unpacked snow. Mark the level and allow it to all melt. Mark where the lower water level is and convert the two numbers into percentage points. To do this, say your snow level was at level 60. Once the snow melted, your liquid level was at 4. Now, in converting to percentage you have .60 and .04. Dividing .04 by .60, you get .024 or as a percent, 2.4% water. In using SWE, we would derive from the formula: 20in/50.8cm x .024 = .48in/1.22cm the amount of water in the snow.

Fresh snow density ranges from ~5% at 14° F/-10° C air temperature to ~20% at 32° F/0° C air temperature. Due to ambient conditions older snowfall becomes denser caused by gravity, wind packing, refreezing and recrystallization. For the intermediate numbers, one can interpolate.

First, the midrange between 5% and 32% is 18.5%. The midrange for Fahrenheit would be 23°. Therefore, ~18.5 = 23° F. Then you could find the lower midrange between 5% and 18.5% and the higher midrange between 18.5% and 20% and so on with the temperature midranges.

With SWE and density, we can determine the total depth of snowfall with the simple formula: SWE ÷ Density = Total Depth.

If SWE has been measured at 26.4in/67.1cm and density is at 28% (.28), then 26.4/67.1 ÷ .28 = 94.29in/239.64cm total snow depth.

To close out the snow section we’re going to have a bit of fun. First off, if you want your next snowball fight to be a bit more colorful, simply get some food dye to color your snowballs with. Mama, don’t worry about staining as most food dyes will easily wash out.

Instead of calculating SWE to determine a fresh snowfall’s depth and liquid water percent, let’s go the simple path. After a snowfall, simply measure it’s depth with a ruler. Try to pick a spot where wind didn’t have any effect creating any distortions like snow drifts, or in the opposite where wind blew snow away.

Once measured, collect the snow in a cup, don’t pack it and bring it all inside into the warmth of the house. Stick the ruler to the side of the cup, or inside if the ruler is plastic. Measure the level of the snow, record or remember it then allow the snow to totally melt. Now record the water level, but keep in mind if you put the ruler inside it displaced some water, so would give you an inaccurate higher water level reading, but that would be technical and we’re only after good estimates.

A good rule of thumb is that for every 10in/25.4cm of snow there is 1in/2.54cm of water. Check to see how your measurements compared.

Now to really compare, let’s talk about the conservation law of mass. If you weigh the cup and snow before melting starts, then weigh them after the snow has melted, you will note that the weight is pretty much the same even though the volume has drastically been reduced from the solid snow to the liquid water. The reason being is that in the conservation law of mass in a closed system, matter is neither destroyed nor created. So the mass (the cup, and water in solid or liquid form) should exhibit the same weight. We weren’t so technical in making it a truly closed system by putting a lid on the container and ensuring no precipitate ever collected on the outside of the container, no, we’re just having some fun looking for close approximations.           

If it’s really cold out, say at, 5° F/-15° C or below, this little bubbly experiment works really well. Get a hold of some bubble solution either from bubble bath or those 5 & Dime store bubble solutions that come with a wand. Pour out a certain amount into a metal pot and heat it up until it is warm to the touch. Have the kids and the adults that behave like kids then go outside and start making snow bubbles. The bubbles will freeze almost instantly and can be, not only therapeutic, but quite artistic as the photos attest to.

Inferno Blitz:
Since opposites attract we’re gonna divert from the watery cold of snow and do a few fire experiments. In the video below, please watch it first where the directions will be explained before the experimental demonstrations unfold. Then below the video I’ll explain what is going on in each experiment. 

The ‘Candle Re-flame’ is a pretty nifty sight to behold. The reason the candle reignites is that the flame travels back down the smoke from the candle’s extinguished wick. How this is accomplished is due to the fact that smoke is minute particles of matter. The upward flame reignites the smoke particles that travel down to the point source in the wick and relights it. Remember, in order to have fire three things are required: oxygen, fuel source and heat. The ambient air is the source for plentiful oxygen. The minute smoke particles as the fuel source have a very low flammability flash point and while, if one reacts to reignite the smoke trail rather quickly, enough heat is retained to reignite the smoke that carries the heat to reignite the still warm smoldering wick. Classic stuff, huh!

The ‘Candle See-saw’ is simple physics. When one side first drops a wax dripping, it causes a loss in weight balance sending that side upwards until the other side drips sending it upwards and the other side downwards. This will repeat itself over and over creating the see-saw effect. The physics witnessed here is a preponderate influence. Preponderate explains greater convincing weight that affects an evenly balanced event into a favor sided event.

In the ‘Fire & Water’ experiment a lot of physics and chemistry apply here and to explain it, unfortunately mathematics is also involved.

The chemical aspect: Combustion is taking place from the burning of the candle’s hydrocarbon components. Here is the chemical empirical formula: n=1 CnH2n+2(s) + (1.5n+0.5) O2 (g) = n CO2 (g) + (n+1) H2O (g). For n=1, two moles of oxygen reacts with a mole of CH4 to produce three moles of product molecules. The number of moles of the product molecules is 1.50 times that of oxygen. During combustion, the consumption of oxygen does not create empty space, but rather the number of product molecules in the jar increases over that of the consumed oxygen, thus giving rise to an increase in overall pressure within the jar.

The physical aspect: As the candle heats the air inside the jar, the air expands. This cancels the depletion of the oxygen temporarily and the water level stays down. When oxygen is depleted within the jar, the candle goes out where the air begins to cool. The volume of the air decreases causing the water to rise in occupying the space the air once held. The ambient temperature change inside the jar delays the rise of the water. Water as an initial gas condensates and helps to delay the effect.

The mathematical aspect: To mathematically interpret the physics and chemistry, perhaps this linear algebra suffices: (1+3n) O2 + 2 Cn H 2n+2 = 2n CO2 + (2+2n) H2O.

For a larger n, it is 1/3 instead of 1/2 of the oxygen amount which matters. With 21 percent of oxygen in air, we get about 8 percent of the air volume removed inside the sealed jar, although some has been converted to CO2, where about 1/11 to 1/12 of the air has been replaced by water.

The ‘Jet Pulse’ experiment deals in vapor pressure volume and pulsation created by the outtake of emission gases that create a vacuum. This induces the intake of the outside atmospheric air containing the oxygen to maintain the burning fuel. The vacuum coaxes the dancing of the liquid fuel. The intake and outtake are being conducted through the constricted lid hole, therefore in the taking turns of gas out and gas in, the pulsation is the result. Again, to note here, be very careful, for most likely due to the pressure and heat, the jar will shatter at one point.

The pressure is created by the combustion of the isopropyl alcohol in a semi-sealed glass unit. With a boiling point of 760 mmHg (millimeter of mercury) and a vapor pressure of 33mmHg, this makes for a 727 mmHg of partial air pressure. 33/760 equates to 4.3 volume percent of isopropyl alcohol, which is adequate enough under heat to shatter a glass container under short term exposure. The lower explosive level (LEL) for isopropanol (isopropyl alcohol) is 2 volume percent.

The ‘Fiery Erupting Volcano’ is fairly straight forward. By rotating the jug, the isopropanol begins vaporizing filling up the jug’s air volume, while leaving a thin wet film adhering onto the walls. With enough of fire’s requirements, (fuel, oxygen and heat), the flame will reach into the jug then out of the jug’s neck seeking further oxygen enrichment.

The ‘Fire Tornado’ all has to do with angular momentum. Try doing the spin without the screen and no matter how many attempts, you will fail to create the tornado. The reason is that, although you have the ambient air molecules rising due to being heated. The spinning without the screen only heightens surface area of the heated air. But, coupled with the screen in the spin, angular momentum kicks in causing the heated rising air molecules to collide with the strained air molecules entering through the screen mesh. The angular momentum of the rotating screen air molecules, transfer their rotational movement to the vertically rising heated air molecules that we can see as fire. As the heated air molecules are more rapid than the entering screen air molecules, the lag collisions create the twisting effect; thus your tornado. As long as fresh air fuels the fire from the bottom, the rest of the flame’s collisions will twist.

On a much larger tornadic fire scale is in the potential of a forest fire, where the cause of angular momentum is in the trees replacing this experiment’s screen.  

With all of this fire play, it would not be responsible enough on my part if I did not include a fire extinguisher. The handy self-made or homemade extinguisher could come in handy at any household.

The equipment and material to make it are:
1)    empty plastic water bottle
2)    water
3)    vinegar
4)    a squirt of liquid soap
5)    two sheets of toilet paper
6)    baking soda         

The instructions:
A. No matter the size of the water bottle, premix the water and vinegar at 2 parts water and 1 part vinegar, then a squirt of liquid soap to act as an emulsifier.
B. Fill the bottle to two-thirds full with the mixture.
C. Take the bottle cap and drill or bore a 1cm/.4in hole into the center of it. Be sure there is no serration along the rim of the hole that might easily tear paper.
D. Take the 2 sheets of toilet paper, lay them out flat and sprinkle ~2 level tablespoons of baking soda lengthwise in the center of the paper up to a ½ inch away from both ends. Carefully spread the baking soda evenly down the center and be careful not to go beyond the ½ inch borders of each end.
E. Once the baking soda is evened out all along the two sheets of toilet paper, fold one end longitudinally to the center of the baking soda then fold the other opposite end to the center. Grab the two ends by the ½ inch borders; fold them inwards together as to bend the whole into a loop at the center.
F. When you have both ends together, twist the two tip ends together.
G. Holding the two twisted tip ends together, get the cap and from the inside of the cap, carefully thread or twist the tip ends through the hole from the bottom to the top of the cap. Be sure the hole is adequately snug and sealed by the toilet paper.
H. With the paper containing the baking soda now snug in place through the hole, screw the cap back onto the bottle, but be sure the loop end does not touch your liquid mixture inside the bottle.
I. We now have a homemade extinguisher. Set it aside right side up until needed ensuring the paper roll is free from getting wet by the liquid mixture. Once it is intended to be used, first shake the contents then aim it at the fire you intend to put out and squeeze the bottle.          

Watery Grave:
If I told you that there was this compound, dihydrous oxide where just a spoonful could cause respiratory failure, kills millions each year and being linked to hydroxyl (OH-) ions corrodes all kinds of metals; would you keep the stuff handy around the home? Well I’m quite sure you would, because we cannot exist without it. Definitely you are more aware of its formula, than its chemical name, so I’ll give away what dihydrous oxide is in revealing its formula; it is...H2O...that’s right, water.

Yes, in order to live and survive, we need water. Anywhere from 57-67% water, the human body is of a mean average, composed of 62% water. The biology it conducts on life down to the cell is critical to life’s existence, but yet water is a killer and in ways you might not be thinking about. We know a lack of water in our body will kill us, but also an excess of water in our body will too. Water is the ‘cum eo’/‘sine qua non’ (with it/without it) to life’s provenance, but also to life’s doom.

Besides drowning, we usually don’t equate water much as a killer, but pure water can kill if a certain amount is drunk. Public water at safe levels of purity still has some contaminants, such as percentiles of dissolved salts, sugars or dissolved minerals or elements from the piping or hose water transports. Since pure water is tasteless, impurities is what gives water any taste. In addition to taste, these impurities affect a property of water called tonicity. Tonicity is the ability of any solution to draw or repel water from adjacent solutions when separated by a membrane.

In biology, there are two types of tonicity solutions in, hypertonic and hypotonic circumstances. Hypertonic refers to a concentration of solutes that are greater outside a cell than inside it. Hypotonic refers to the opposite, where the concentration of solutes is greater inside the cell. Hypertonic solutions therefore gain water, while hypotonic solutions lose water.

Cytoplasm in cells has a tonicity. So, when they are exposed to hypertonic solutions, the cells themselves lose water and shrivel up. When they are in hypotonic solutions, they gain water, swelling up and can burst like a balloon.

With absolutely no impurities, pure water is a most hypotonic solution. So, if you drink enough of it, your cells will start absorbing water. This disrupts the balance of electrolytes (electrically conductive ions) in your body and creates cellular havoc. In this water poisoning, the brain is the most immediately affected, causing damage, coma and even death. So, be a little more vigilant on those bottled water commercials that claim they only market the purest of water.

Speaking of water, yes one can drown from it when inundated to it exteriorly, but one can drown from it from within as well, due to amount and time. In getting back to the cells that makeup our body, if one decides to drink a sizable amount in the smallest amount of time...cells will drown.

While I was attending college back in the last century, there was a news report of an Indian student that wanted to purge his body and purify his soul, so he drank a gallon (3.79 L) of water within a minute’s time. He died. There are even more reports of this happening in this century, such as a California woman dying in a 2007 water drinking contest and a 2005 California State University, Chico fraternity hazing in making an initiate drink excessive amounts of water. In abusing ‘ecstasy’, folks have died after attempting to quench the thirst the drug induces with excessive amounts of water.

Two things occur with the consumption of excessive water within a short period. Cells transport solutes from outside to inside through an osmosis membrane that allows solutions in, but not out. Kidneys cannot handle and eliminate an excessive amount of water. When too much water is incoming with none outgoing, this causes cellular mayhem in rupturing cells.

Another excessive water result is hyponatremia, a condition describing insufficient levels of salts in blood. Normal sodium salt concentration levels are from 135-145 millimoles per liter (0.4-0.43 ounces per gallon). By drinking excessive amounts of water, the salts in blood are diluted down below 135 millimole thresholds. This waterlogs the blood and begins seeking normal sodium salt levels inside cells. This inundates the cell where again, causes it to swell beyond its flexibility so bursts.

Water can even be detrimental to those organisms that live in it. It’s very difficult to freeze pure water without any impurities even well below freezing. You can demonstrate this by attempting to freeze pure water contained in a plastic bottle inside a freezer. Pure water will not aptly freeze long after impure water has. But if you take the bottle out and stick a pin through the bottle into the water it will then begin to freeze reaching outward throughout the bottle from the pin. A brinicle, or brine icicle in nature presents the same phenomenon.

Brinicles are supercooled salt concentrated (brine) water that seeps from underneath icebergs into the surrounding lower liquid water freezing it as it flows and descends by gravity in being heavier than the surrounding seawater laden with the brine concentrations. Freshwater sea ice freezes only after the salt content has been squeezed out. Of course most icebergs are already composed of freshwater originating from land glaciers. That’s exactly why they float, for fresh water has less density than saltwater which makes icebergs buoyant in salty oceanic waters.

As super saline water is being produced by the extraction of salt from the freezing sea ice, the super saline water begins to flow and as supercool, forms an outside frozen skin. This frozen skin, or wall, is further thickened by more supercooled brine water continuously flowing through hindering any melt from the warmer surrounding seawater. As ice accumulates in the brine stream, the brinicle becomes stable until finally reaching the seafloor, instantly spreads out its freezing effect on the seafloor and every living creature that was in its path. Benthic sea animals are simply too slow in mobility to move away from the freezing flow’s deadly grasp.

The above video is an excellent film of brinicle formations and its effect on life too slow to escape its frozen clutches.

Lastly, the original rains of Earth in its early beginnings before life would’ve been deadly to all organisms. This rain however wasn’t liquid water, it was liquid metal.

Due to cosmic impacts, such as the constant bombardments on early Earth by comets, asteroids and planetesimals, iron was vaporized and shot up into the atmosphere. The high speed impacts caused the vaporized iron to plume over the earth’s surface then condensed enough, would rain out as droplets of iron. It is a good thing however that Earth’s atmosphere was thick enough to contain the iron vapor, for if the iron vaporized farther out into space, there most likely would not have been enough iron to form Earth’s core and thusly, no electromagnetism to shield Earth from deadly solar rays hence, would’ve wiped out any chance of life to take hold.

Why is it that when our astronauts are up in space they can float around seemingly as if they have no weight? If you answered  it’s due to lack of gravity, you’re wrong; in fact you are so, so very wrong, as it is totally the opposite reason. Heres why...

In explaining, we’ll start with Earth where we are accustomed to gravity’s effects. No matter where one stands, sits or lays on Earth, gravity is pulling in one direction downwards towards the center of Earth’s mass. This creates an imbalance of gravity’s force placing impact of a unidirectional path. Now just suppose we could reach Earth’s center, what do ya suppose would happen there? You would experience weightlessness, because all the unidirectional gravity pulls, as a resultant of Earth’s mass, would neutralize and cancel each vector out, for they have reached the critical target point...the center of Earth.

This is what is happening out in outer space. Do not think that gravity is only a force here on Earth, for it is everywhere distributed evenly throughout the vastness of the universe since inception. The only points where gravity fluctuates is where there is considerable mass. The reason is explained by Albert Einstein’s work. If you understand Einstein’s ‘General Theory of Relativity’ then you know that body masses warp space-time influencing the direction of gravity’s pull. This warping scenario by mass, confines gravity into an ambient unidirectional pull down towards its center, just like here on Earth.

With a very negligible gravitational pull of mass composed of the space capsule and astronauts, there is not enough influence to create a unidirectional gravity pull, so the astronauts experience equal multidirectional gravity pulls resulting in weightless effects.

However, in the much larger scheme, Earth is still floating through space, just as the astronauts, but as a minor component, it’s not so evident as being tied into our solar system in which makes Earth appear to be stationary in space time. As well, our solar system does not appear to be floating through space due to being contained in another object that is much greater than it; our ‘Milky Way Galaxy’.

Being able to not detect motion on bodies of mass contained within larger bodies of mass through simple observation, is due to what I call ‘the sum effect of the components to the total,’ for there is simply no reference point to gauge subset velocities within the confined set. But nonetheless, from you to our galaxy, we are traveling through space-time at a solar system warp speed of 828,000kph/515,000 mph. That’s a turtle walk though, for in pun fashion, the overall traveling speed of our galaxy is an astronomical, 2.1 million kph/1.3 million mph.

Now ya might think that if larger bodies create larger warps of space-time, therefore inversely affecting the attractive force of gravity, why doesn’t Earth and all the other planets fall into the sun? Why doesn’t our solar system fall into the center of our galaxy?

Sure, we all know gravity attracts, but once neutralized in gravity balancing out from two bodies, it also repels. In going back to Einstein’s relativity thesis, as gravitational density increases, the attractive forces are changed to repelling forces. This is known as the gravitational wave. Gravity waves prevent two objects from collapsing into one another by generating spin, or as we call it here on Earth...rotation about the axis. This wave/spin motion acts as a tidal force that repels rather than attract.

Being a gas, the sun spins deferentially opposite of Earth’s spin, which is composed of liquid rock and metal. Where the Earth’s spin is slowest at its equator and quickest at its poles; the sun’s equator spins faster than its perimeter poles. This rotational spin and gravitational influence has balanced Earth’s orbit around the sun.

Mind Game:
Look at the picture below and quickly read the simple slogan.
You may have been able to immediately detect the error, as my eleven-year-old daughter did, but most of us, me included, didn’t.

There are various illusions that deceive our interpretation of an event. To name a few are tactile illusions which are visual and optical rivalries. Auditory illusions deal with deceptive sound interpretation. Ambiguous illusions are images exploiting graphical similarities between two distinct images. Physiological illusions work by excessive stimulation utilizing brightness, colors and/or movement. Paradox illusions are consciously deemed as impossible, but yet optically appear as real. The one illusion demonstrated above that tricked you in not seeing the word, ‘the’ written twice is a cognitive illusion which is based on worldly perceptions of an individual leading to unconscious inference.
In seeing a familiar phrase within a triangle sign, we feel through experience that we are adapted to quickly interpret both quantities (slogan/triangle), so the mind misses the smaller ‘the’ in favoring the larger to be only noticed. In other words, instead of constructive observance, we rehashed an assumption that we already felt we knew.

Miracle You:
Ya know;, yourself are not only a miracle but a miraculous miracle of miracles. In you, if the big time Las Vegas wagers had to bet on you in coming into existence, they would’ve hedge funded against you a billion fold, for the odds were totally against you.

Human diploid cells contain 46 chromosomes. Haploid cells, in a person contain half the number of diploid chromosomes at 23. In mammals, the only haploid cells are the germ or sexual cells. The male carries spermatozoa haploid cells while the female sanctuaries the ovum/egg haploid cells. Once the haploid sperm cell fertilizes the haploid ovum cell, they form a diploid cell known as a zygote.  

For you to have become you, in arising from this single celled zygote, your parents had to meet, then become romantically involved enough to procreate. In doing so, out of your father’s sperm, only that particular one out of millions in competing for fertilizing bragging rights could fertilize that one particular egg that your mother had dropped from the hundreds of thousands she has still basketed in her ovaries.

If that one haploid sperm that made you was a bit slower and another was a little faster, you would not be you. If your mother’s body decided to drop another mature egg, besides the one she did, you would not be you.

If the fertilization had happened a microsecond earlier or a microsecond later, you would not be you.

For you to have been conceived, all these steps had to occur with your parents’ parents and their parents and their parents and ad infinitum...

Not only of what has been stated above that you beat the odds in being you, but a composite of trillions of drifting atoms that are the same atoms even at the other end of the universe had to come together to composite you. This atomic assemblage is so intricate that the arrangement to define life in you is so finite, it will only occur once in convening you in the entire universe’s existence.

These atoms will do their atomic duties in life to assure that you remain as you throughout your life even though in keeping you as you is not a guarantee on an atomic level. Indeed, these mindless atoms that compose you really don’t give a hoot about you; yet steadfastly devote their services in keeping you as you.

An unfortunate happenstance is that atoms are flighty and will turn you to dust on average in 74.2 years, or 27,083.3 days, or 650,000 hours. However, your death makes you even more of a miracle in exemplifying your rarity. Nonetheless though, you overcame those tremendous odds and became an entity in life as a specificity of this universe. So let’s not view life in any form as mundane simply because we are surrounded by it, while today, feeling births are so commonplace. You are a purely miraculous event...

In Telling the Tale,








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