Janet Kuypers bonus poem from the “Periodic Table of Poetry” series 3/13/13
You know, us Carbon-based life forms always wonder where we came from, how we got here.
And with science on our side, we’ve looked beyond guessing and story telling to find proof in our answers.
And still, we look beyond what we know around us to find out how we were formed here on earth.
A couple of asteroids just flew perilously close to the earth. Asteroid 2012 DA 14 intersected the iridium constellation, flew through all of our global communication satellites. An asteroid turned meteor blew up in the atmosphere above the Ural mountains; every Russian on the road filmed the sky explosion with their dashboard cameras, before the sonic boom shattered windows everywhere and injured over a thousand people.
And over two thirds of our planet is covered in water, just think of all of the impacts we’re missing out on; I mean, our news feeds don’t come from the middle of the ocean…
So we seem to think that these stellar explosions are becoming more and more rare, because our planet is pocked with massive impacts from the earth’s early history. But now that these scientists have been scanning the skies and studying the meteors buried in Antarctica, they’ve learned that many asteroids and meteors colliding with our planet’s crust actually carry atanine and guanine.
Asteroids carry major structures that form DNA.
It’s very possible that throughout the early history of earth, asteroids collided with this planet, leaving their Carbon-rich DNA structures behind to help start life, and populate the earth.
I mean, Scientists have always wondered how the elemental sextet of life: Carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, phosphorous, nitrogen, calcium, how did these elements got together in just the right way to eventually create earth’s Carbon-based life forms.
I guess it would help that primordial soup if some asteroids brought along a little bit of DNA, so some of our building blocks came ready-made.
Astronomers say that we’re all made out of stardust, because all of our atoms originate from the explosion of stars, but for this Carbon-based life form, it’s cool that some of these asteroids and meteors carried our Carbon — and some of our DNA — here to planet earth, to jump-start our creation and get our genetic gears going.
Janet Kuypers bonus poem from the “Periodic Table of Poetry” series (#013, Al) – 4/1/13
On our wedding anniversary, I try to remember annual anniversary gifts: we’ve passed wood, copper, iron, and are just passing tin, steel, and aluminum now. What on Earth do I buy for a gift that’s aluminum? And how does Aluminum represent a marriage?
Oh, I suppose the pliability of aluminum shows how our marriage needs to be flexible and durable, and like aluminum, which can be bent without being broken, we have to learn to bend to each other’s wills so that we can be stronger when we’re together. And we are.
So, because of Aluminum’s durability and pliability, we see aluminum used a lot because it mixes well with others.
But in the body it competes with calcium for absorption, so it might even lead to Osteoporosis…
So I guess that rules out Aluminum cookware for our anniversary…
This is really getting on my nerves, trying to come up with an Aluminum gift — I better make sure my antacids don’t contain Aluminum, ‘cause although it’s not good for my insides, it’s used in so many other things around us…
In the meantime, I’m going to grab some leftovers from the fridge, get it out of the aluminum foil and eat while I brainstorm what his anniversary present should be.
But wait, maybe a picture frame would be good, because if WE work well together, an Aluminum frame would be a different way to hold us together, too.
The media shoves it down your throat now: how important it is to have Calcium, especially women. Make sure you don’t get osteoporosis and take Calcium. Drink an extra glass of milk each day. It’s healthy.
And you know, I take my supplements and have to take two Calcium pills daily just so I can say I’ve ingested what the USRDA says I should consume, but I’m sure those pills barely get absorbed, so I should at least eat more cheese (since as an infant at six months I rejected milk, and I can’t understand why it’s smart to drink milk from another species as an adult, when no other species would ever do the same).
But really, the more I think bout it, the more I wonder: adults didn’t suffer with osteoporosis before the seventeen hundreds. Was osteoporosis not discovered because they didn’t know how to discover it, or was it not discovered because no one had it? And if it didn’t exist before, what has changed in our society to make osteoporosis (porous bones) a real concern for so many people as they get older?
Just watched a documentary recently that advocated a plant-based diet. They even had a segment showing the global promotion of meat consumption so you could have enough protein in your diet. And this documentary showed how China had lived for millennia without excess red meat or processed food in their lives. And now with dietary modern “luxuries” in China, alone with new record highs for heart attacks, youth were interviewed on the streets of China and asked why they needed to eat more meat. They all said… for protein. So it makes me wonder how vegetarians can do it, or how vegans with a plant-based diet can get enough Calcium into their bodies to save them from bone decay and osteoporosis.
So as I looked into how to get Calcium, I found that on earth it’s seldom alone, but is chiefly found in sedimentary rocks, and over the years us humans have even used Calcium in construction (makes sense, if we need Calcium so we can have stronger bones). Calcium carbonate is used in concrete and mortar, lime and limestone, and can even take part in glass manufacturing. I mean, when researching, I found Calcium is even used as a refracting agent in the extracting of other elements, like uranium, zirconium and thorium… It’s a deoxidizer sometimes, it’s even used as an alloy agent in the production of aluminum, beryllium, copper, lead and magnesium.
Then again, Calcium arsenate is an insecticide. Calcium carbonate can be used for acrylic torches. Calcium chloride, in addition to it’s other uses, can even provide body to car tires. Calcium hydrochloride disinfects swimming pools.
Calcium phosphate is used in animal feed, and Calcium is a food additive in vitamin pills.
Which brings me to Calcium in the body, because ninety percent of all of our Calcium is in our bones and teeth (which we wanna keep strong). And some wonder if there’s a link between too much Calcium (like twice the USRDA) and testicular cancer, but hey, I’m just worrying about getting enough Calcium in my diet in the first place, you know, to ensure I won’t get osteoporosis (much less rickets, or difficulty with blood clotting).
And while researching this, I found an additional place for getting Calcium: egg shells. Yes, literally grinding them up to add to your diet can give you lots of Calcium.
But when looking for ways Calcium is used, here’s where the learning jackpot paid off for me with food and health: when making cheese, Calcium ions influence the activity of rennin, to actually make the milk coagulate.
So seeing this bonus application for Calcium in this pizzatarian’s favorite food (cheese), it then made me wonder if this “plant-based” diet can actually provide enough Calcium… And it really made me feel good to know that although cow milk (i.e., drinking the lactations from another species as an adult) is an excellent source of Calcium, soy milk and other vegetable milks are fortified with enough Calcium to make then a just-as-rich in Calcium alternative to milk from an animal.
I know, I know, Calcium and it’s ions are used in a ton of different things, but I’m stuck on obsessing over my bones right now.
And granted, Calcium carbonate (that stuff that also aids in the creation of acrylic torches) is the same form of Calcium in diet supplements, and I do make a point to take them twice daily with food, but… It made me smile to learn that a doctor in a study found that as women got older, if they took Calcium supplements, they tended on average to gain five pounds less than other women. (Granted, that doctor even said he’d really be “going out on a limb” to link weight loss with Calcium supplements, but I’ll take whatever I can get, or at least laugh at the coincidence.)
And hey, even though this relatively non-toxic Calcium can be hazardous as Calcium metal (found in cleaners), and taking too much Calcium carbonate in antacids (like Tums) can lead to serious health problem, doctors have still found that enough Calcium may seem to prevent some cancerous pollups…
So yeah, even though we’ve found a ton of other uses for this element, I’m sticking with possibly dairy (you know, for this pizzatarian) — and definitely vegetable sources — for getting this vital element into my extended bones.