Archive for January 15th, 2011

Dovetail tools, bless 'em ...

I have almost no idea why two particular stories in today’s news dovetail in my mind, but for reasons perhaps only the severely disturbed might grasp, they do.

First is this piece on some little dudes who’ve managed to stay alive for … get this … 34,000 years.

It wasn’t long ago that a whole new life form was discovered, and here we are again learning that the impossible is … well … not.

“It was actually a very big surprise to me,” said Brian Schubert, who discovered ancient bacteria living within tiny, fluid-filled chambers inside the salt crystals.

Salt crystals grow very quickly, imprisoning whatever happens to be floating — or living — nearby inside tiny bubbles just a few microns across, akin to naturally made, miniature snow-globes.

“It’s permanently sealed inside the salt, like little time capsules,” said Tim Lowenstein, a professor in the geology department at Binghamton University and Schubert’s advisor at the time.

Ah … the stuff we don’t know until it bites us on the ass. (Okay, until science folks dedicated to the looking find. Not the same as an ass bite, sure, but it’s not like the stuff didn’t exist before the finding, is it?)

A quick mention of the fact that both these discoveries come out of California, as do I, and I’m liking that and trying to think of a clever link, but failing.

Perhaps because I’m so far out on the linking limb already in tying that story to this one titled: Is John Paul ll Being Fast-Tracked To Sainthood?

Sure, there’s a time thing they have in common … 34,000 years alive and six years dead … but that’s a stretch, isn’t it? Maybe it’s something to do with bacteria in general?

Or maybe it’s the whole miracle-makes-saint deal …

Pope Benedict XVI has recognized a miracle attributed to Pope John Paul II, bringing the late pontiff one step from sainthood a mere six years after his death, the Vatican announced on Friday (Jan. 14).

By signing a decree accepting the miracle, Benedict completed one of most rapid beatifications in the modern history of the Catholic Church. Another miracle attributed to John Paul’s intercession will be required before he can be declared a saint.

Where am I going with this? (That’s a question to self, btw.)

Let’s try this …

Some old git kicks it back in 2005, the crowd goes wild shouting “santo subito” in that We-are-all-individuals! sort of way and sets up a chain reaction that ignores the fact the dead guy was up to some nasty shit before biting the dust yet does manage to dig up a nun who started feeling better a couple of months later. Okay.

On the other side of the planet, life goes on as it has for the last 34,000 years within some salt crystals.

Both stories make today’s news. One is no surprise at all while the other is an astonishing discovery. One adds to the body of human knowledge as the other points out how pointlessly inane people can be. One recognizes a new and unexpected push at the edge of the envelope we call life while the other bestows honors that are only awarded to dead folks.

I’m thinking 34,000-year-old bacteria actually trump anything that managed to stick around for less than 9 mere decades, so perhaps it would make some sense if the popester were to convey some sort of holyosity on the microorganisms for toughing it out.

Nah. What good would that do them?

But, then again …

What good will it do John Paul at this stage of the game? He’s more bacteria than anything else by now anyway …

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