On a Beach Walk: No. 7

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I like walking the beach as it is good for the body, mind, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

The sands display a myriad of shells. Different shapes, sizes, colors, and patterns. Although they now lay idle on the sand, each was once a home for something alive – a clam, oyster, scallop, whelk, conch, or other Molluscan relative. Home for a comparatively simple life – a life born to eat so it grows and survives so it can reproduce then die. A life aiming at perpetuating the species so that species can fulfill its niche in nature.

A life with a collection point of nerves serving as its neurological center – but not a center of with emotions, intellect, problem solving, and complex communication. But a simple brain – one geared for operating body functions, movements, sensing, and responding. Sensing the presence of food or predators, the current’s direction, the water’s temperature, and more – to sense to react.

The numerous shells I see tell only a fraction of the story of what life in the water must be. All those shells contained a life – a life starting as a simple cell floating free in the water. A life that developed into a free-swimming larva or served as food for something else. A life that continued to develop into a young shelled organism or food for other organisms. Finally developing into an adult that can reproduce, yet also be a food source for other life.

No wonder adults release so many eggs as not all will get fertilized. Not all will survive the free-floating stage or as free-swimming larvae. Not all will develop into reproductive adults. No all will live a full adult life.

That’s the life of a mollusk – a clam, oyster, scallop, whelk, conchs, and others. Compared to ours, a life that is simple, but one that is ecologically important. Each fulfilling a niche in the intricate web of life on our planet.

This is what I ponder as I see the shells on the beaches that I walk. After all, walking is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

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On a Beach Walk: No. 5

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I like walking the beach as it is good for the body, mind, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

I am not a sheller, but they form a line as to say “Walk this way.” I am not a sheller but I give them the quick once-over as I walk. Even though I am not on a stroll or a hunt, sometimes one catches my eye – a design or a color – a fragment or a whole – small, medium, or large – so I stop to look as the water continues to refresh my feet.

I am not a sheller, but their colors begin to grab me as I pass. The colors of the rainbow they are not, but that spectrum occasionally shows itself on the inner surface if the light is right. Most of the outer colors are ranges of brown and gray. Sometimes the brown combine with red to provide orange – but sometimes the red appears. Some grays with so little white that they are black – yet a few with so little black they are white – let alone when they combine in different arrangements of colors in bands, streaks, or blotches.

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The colors tempt me to create my own spectrum with shells – yet I resist by keeping my steady pace – but over time, I cave in to my urge.

Colors that can signify a species or possibly an age – even a variation of colors within a species just as the colors of human hair differs from person to person.  But the more I walk, the more the colors and designs affect me. Oh the diversity of life!

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I am not a sheller, but as I walk its defined line on the sand, I notice the ridges and grooves. Some are quite pronounced, yet others are so slight that we think the surface is smooth – at least until our light touch moves across the surface. Pattern can be vertical, horizontal, or both – and even random – yet the frequency of these pronouncements of nature can be many or few.

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So many patterns that must signify different species within the a beautiful living world. Patterns and colors that are present for a reason that are part of the adaptations and variations in the intricate web of life.

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Wonder fills the nature around us in our slice of creation – even in the half-mooned shells of calcium carbonate found along the sand as one walks … but only if one takes the time to look as they walk and refresh the feet.

On a Beach Walk: No. 4

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I like walking the beach as it is good for the body, mind, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

I am not a sheller, but shells serve as a reminder of where I am – walking along the boundary between two worlds that offer many similarities and differences. Two worlds – one to my left and one to my right. Two worlds – one that I live on and one whose mysteries and beauties I only encounter through videos and still images.

I am not a sheller, but shells remind me of all the life that is in the waters. Yes – out there in the shallow and in the deep and everything in between. Life abundant that is woven together into intricate complexity of beauty and stability. Just like my world on land.

I am not a sheller, but shells remind me of the life that is just below where I walk – where the water refreshes my feet. That life below is sometimes submerged in water, but always covered with sand. A life that is adapted to the daily tides – but they are different from the life that is adapted to living in the pools along the rocks where I do not walk.

To some I’m walking in nature, to others I walk in creation – yet to me they are one in the same. Nonetheless, I like to walk the beach for it is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

On a Beach Walk: No. 3

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I like walking the beach. Walking is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

Pelicans are on the water and in the sky searching food. – but all the pelicans are oblivious to my presence. Sanderlings are ahead of me using their fast-moving feet in what appears to be a frantic search for food – but they are very aware of my presence. I can see a Great Blue Heron ahead staring across the water – and no doubt oblivious to me. These are a few of the things happening as the persistent waves wash across my feet as I walk.

Some of the pelicans fly amazingly close to the surface while others soar above then suddenly turning their glide into a dive. I wonder about the pelican’s design – its adaptations allowing it do so – its adaptive features for its necessity – including diving without breaking its neck. I wonder about the success rate of their dives.

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I glance ahead to the sanderlings with their beaks in the sand and moving quickly where the water just passed. I know they are searching for food as small crustaceans, crabs, crab eggs, aquatic insects, and worms. I wonder if they have a way of separating water, sand, and food. That I do not know, but they are like the pelican because they are adapted for what they do. The next wave comes, but they quickly move as if saying “You aren’t going to get me”, then the search for their necessity resumes as the water retreats. Meanwhile, the Great Blue Heron stands and stares.

sanderlings

Sanderlings and pelicans in their daily routine. Each doing something that the other cannot. Each doing what they need to do, but in their own way. Each searching for food – food to survive so they can survive to reproduce so their next generation continues tradition. And the Great Blue Heron doing the same – but doing so by patiently standing and staring.

Isn’t creation grand! All this as I walk and the water refreshes my feet.

On 39

Image from cooltext.com

Image from cooltext.com

April 2, 1977 – that was the day of our wedding in a Cleveland (Ohio) suburb. It was cross-state from my home, but a good group of my family and friends attended.

I graduated the previous June, then came to Cincinnati for my first job. She graduated a few weeks before the wedding, then joined me in Cincinnati after our honeymoon in Hilton Head, SC.

Since then, she knows I love trivia – or in her terms – useless information – this is the perfect post for our celebration – more useless information the number 39 in one place than one ever imagined. Yep – I’m quite the romantic.

In Language
Тридесет девет (Bulgarian), Trenta nove (Italian), Tridsať deväť (Slovak), Trettio nio (Swedish), Ba mươi chín (Vietnamese), XXXIX (Roman numerals) … Know any others?

In Mathematics
39 – a natural number, an odd integer that is divisible by 1, 3, 13, and 39

39 – a distinct semiprime number, a Perfect totient number, a Perrin number, Størmer number

39 – the number of edges on a F26A graph

39 – the sum of consecutive primes (3 + 5 + 7 + 11 + 13) and the product of the second and sixth prime (3 x 13)

Image from cooltext.com

Image from cooltext.com

In Chemistry
39 – the atomic number of yttrium, whose neutrally charged atom has 39 protons and 39 electrons

In Biology
Brodmann area 39 (BA39) – part of the human brain’s parietal cortex

39 – Number of chromosome pairs in the cells of African wild dogs, Chickens, Coyotes, Dholes, Dingos, Dogs, Doves, and Golden Jackal

In Astronomy
39 – the Saros series number for 73 lunar eclipses over 1298.1 years

39 – the star number that is in many constellations including Andromeda, Aquarius, Auriga, Boötes,Cancer, Draco, Eridanus, and more

In Religion
39 – according to Halakha, the number of activity categories prohibited on Shabbat

39 – the number of mentions of work or labor in the Torah

39 – the actual number of lashes given by the Sanhedrin to a person meted the punishment of 40 lashes

39 – according to Protestant canon, the number of books in the Old Testament

39 – the number of statements in Anglican Church doctrine known as the Thirty-Nine Articles

Papyrus 39 – an early papyrus manuscript of the New Testament in Greek of the Gospel of John, but only John 8:14-22

Psalm 39 (Prayer for Wisdom and Forgiveness)

39 – other than numerical designations for pages, chapters, etc, 39 does not directly appear in the Bible

Image from cooltext.com

Image from cooltext.com

In Arts and Entertainment
39 – Comedian Jack Benny’s perpetual age after 40

39th Tony Awards – winner include Biloxi Blues, Big River, and A Day in the Death of Joe Egg

In Literature
The Thirty-Nine Steps – a novel by John Buchan (1915), which has been transformed into multiple films (info later), a play, a television feature, and a video game

The 39 Clues – a book series revolving around 39 clues hidden around the world.

Sonnet 39 by William Shakespeare

In Television
39 – the number of days contestants compete on Survivor (the CBS reality show)

39 – the number of episodes done the 1955-1956 season of The Honeymooners (commonly referred to as the “Classic 39”).

The 39 Steps is a 2008 BBC adventure feature-length adaptation of the John Buchan novel The Thirty-Nine Steps

39th Emmys – winners included Golden Girls (Best Comedy) and L.A. Law (Best Drama)

Image from cooltext.com

Image from cooltext.com

In Film
Based on The Thirty-Nine Steps – the novel by John Buchan (1915) – are four versions:

  • The 39 Steps (1935 film), directed by Alfred Hitchcock
  • The 39 Steps (1959 film), directed by Ralph Thomas
  • The Thirty Nine Steps (1978 film), directed by Don Sharp
  • The 39 Steps (2008 film), directed by James Hawes

Glorious 39 – a 2009 drama film set at the beginning of World War II

39th Academy Awards – Oscars go to A Man for All Seasons (Best Picture), Fred Zinnemann (Best Actor), and Elizabeth Taylor (Best Actress)

39 Steps (band), a rock band appearing in Woody Allen’s film Hannah and Her Sisters

In Music
39 – a song by The Cure and Tenacious D

FabricLive.39 – a 2008 mix album by DJ Yoda

Fabric 39 – a 2008 album by Robert Hood.

39 Steps – an album by guitarist John Abercrombie (2013)

Now 39 (aka Now That’s What I Call Music! 39) – the 39th release of music featuring top singles i the UK.

Symphony No. 39 in G minor – written by Joseph Haydn 1767/1768)

Image from cooltext.com

Image from cooltext.com

In World History
39 – Forty save one: the traditional number of times citizens of Ancient Rome hit their slaves

39 – the duration (in nanoseconds) of the nuclear reaction in the largest nuclear explosion ever (the Russian Tsar Bomba detonated on 30 October 1961)

39 – the number of Scud missiles Iraq fired at Israel during the Gulf War (1991)

Year 39 CE

  • A common year starting on Thursday
  • Tigellinus, minister and favorite of the Roman emperor Nero, is banished for adultery with Caligula’s sisters.
  • Philo leads a Jewish delegation to Rome to protest the anti-Jewish conditions in Alexandria.
  • The Trung Sisters resist the Chinese influences in Vietnam.
  • Born – Lucan (Roman poet) and Titus Flavius (future Roman emperor)
  • Deaths – Seneca the Elder (Roman rhetorician)

Year 39 BC

  • A common year starting on Friday, Saturday or Sunday or a leap year starting on Saturday
  • Sextus Pompey (self-proclaimed “son of Neptune”) controlled Sicily, Sardinia, and Corsica
  • Born – Antonia Major (daughter of Mark Antony, grandmother of Nero and Messalin),
    Julia the Elder (daughter of Caesar Augustus)

In US History
39 – the number of signers to the United States Constitution

39th President of the United States – Jimmy Carter

Number 39 – the Federalist Paper essay by James Madison describing the nature of the United States government as a new idea. (The Conformity of the Plan to Republican Principles,
published January 18, 1788)

Title 39 – the United States Code outlining the role of United States Postal Service

39th Congress – served from 4 March 1865 – 4 March 1867 during the presidencies of Abraham Lincoln (1 month) and Andrew Johnson

Image from cooltext.com

Image from cooltext.com

In Sports
39 – the number of wooden boards normally consisting a bowling lane

Retired #39 Uniforms
MLB – Roy Campanella (Dodgers)
NFL – Larry Csonka (Dolphins)
NBA – none
NHL – Dominik Hašek (Sabres)

Super Bowl XXXIX – New England Patriots defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 24-21 on February 6, 2005 at Alltel Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida

NASCAR #39 – in 422 races, #39 won 4 races (all by Ryan Newman)

In Geography
39th Parallel north – crosses land in Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Iran, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Iran, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, China, North Korea, Japan, and United States

39th Parallel south – crosses land in Australia, New Zealand, Chile, and Argentina

39th Meridian west – crosses land in Greenland and Brazil

39 Meridian east – crosses in Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Saudi Arabia,Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Mozambique

National Highway 39 – found in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany
India, Iran, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and United States

Pier 39 – a shopping center and popular tourist attraction built on a pier in San Francisco, California

I-39 – a US interstate highway from Normal, Illinois to Wausau, Wisconsin

In Miscellaneous
The 39 Steps is video game adaptation of Buchan’s book

39 – the international code for direct-dialed phone calls to Italy

ICL Series 39 – a range of mainframe and minicomputer computer systems released by the UK manufacturer ICL in 1985

Curse of 39 – the belief in some parts of Afghanistan that the number 39 is cursed or a badge of shame associated with prostitution

39 – Japanese Internet chat slang for “Thank You” when written with numbers (3=San 9=Kyuu)

Lace – the traditional gift for a 39th wedding anniversary

On Exploring a Giant

Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works. (Steve Jobs, business professional)

Green is the prime color of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises. (Pedro Calderon de la Barca, dramatist)

In the game of life, less diversity means fewer options for change. Wild or domesticated, panda or pea, adaptation is the requirement for survival. (Cary Fowler, business professional)

Modification of form is admitted to be a matter of time. (Alfred Russel Wallace, scientist)

Biology is the study of complicated things that have the appearance of having been designed with a purpose. (Richard Dawkins, biologist)

On Selection

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What initially attracts a person to another? To some, it’s the eyes. To others, it’s the face, physique, height, or butt. Then again, it could be breasts, hair, skin tone, or a combination of any of the listed. We could get into the finer details involving hands, personality, or cheekbones, yet the question remains – What initially attracts a person to another?

From a biology perspective, I see human commonality with the rest of the living world. After all, organisms select mates based on color, strength, the ability to sing or dance, and rituals. in the end, it’s about the best genes getting together to increase the odds of the species’ best genes being passed on to the next generation. Keep in mind that the biological purpose of any organism is to grow and survive so the species can perpetuate.

Yes, that’s natural selection – as opposed to artificial selection when humans decide which domestic organisms breed. In terms of passing along the best genes, artificial selection is similar to natural selection, but it occurs outside of the rules of nature. Breeding dogs and other domestic animals is big money because pedigree is important. Breeding race horses is even bigger money, but in the end, it’s artificial selection.

In general, celebrities fascinate the masses – and how often to we see attractive celebrities with another attractive person. The parents pass these attractive genes to their offspring, but that’s natural selection, not artificial selection.

But the initial question remains – What initially attracts a person to another?

A ratio is a relationship between two numbers. Mathematics provides the Golden Ratio, which some artists, designers, architects, and others apply this because they believe the Golden Ratio is the most beautiful and most pleasing shape.

Maybe a ratio is what first attracts one person to another. If so, which one?

Various ratios influence what a person finds attractive. Shoulder-waist ratio, waist-hip ratio, torso length to leg length, face length to face width, and other facial ratios.

Whatever the ratio or body feature that initially captures one’s attention, it’s different for each of us. Gender, age, and culture account for some of the differences in our preferences. In the end, these are selection factors – yep – natural selection.

… and I couldn’t resist these fitting musical selections …