Safe Passage, Dr. Hawking

We interrupt today’s planned social issue entry to bring you this breaking story:

Stephen Hawking: Visionary physicist dies age 76

We still have his words, his thoughts preserved for future generations in his writings, videos, and the memories of those who personally knew him.

Dr. Hawking was 76. He contributed to the understanding of the mechanics of the universe, made science cool, and brought a sense of wonder about the workings of the world to the not-so-scientifically oriented.

Not only did he make physics accessible to the lay person (Amazon’s posting that A Brief History of Time had a huge spike in sales after the word came out early this morning in North America. As if selling ten million copies in various languages hadn’t been enough), but he showed that humor, passion, and academia are not incompatible. Stephen (I think he would have preferred that over Dr. Hawking) appeared on “Big Bang Theory,” “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” and many talk shows, including David Letterman.

He’s already missed.

Peaceful journey, Dr. Hawking.

 

 

 

Advertisements

Carrots

Image courtesy of Old Design Shop

 

I’m past the saturation point of stories about Harvey. The hurricane. I can always watch the gentle movie with James Stewart, but I am burnt toast from the images from Texas. I donated a little, and will donate more. But today I needed a break. I played in the garden and let the sun and the dirt work their magic.

Today’s lunch consisted of egg salad on whole wheat bread (Hubby) or crisp bread from Ikea (me) with the carrots that I pulled this morning. Oakley had a couple of hardboiled eggs with a scoop of the freeze-dried dog food on the side. He doesn’t like carrots unless they’ve been grated and mixed with other food. Even then, he still manages to pick them out and spit them out on the mat beneath his dish. I don’t have to step in a pile of them or chewed-up peas twice to get the hint.

These weren’t just any carrots, however. These had history behind them. Before the 1600’s, carrots were more likely to be white or purple than orange. I’d bought them from the store where I do my big bi-weekly shopping, but wanted to try growing them. They taste a little more carrot-y. The unexpected visuals of purple and white delighted the eye even if they temporarily confound the mind .

Carrots became predominately orange at that time due to hybridization and selective breeding.  According to The Carrot Museum, the story was that the scientists wanted to honor the House of Orange, the royal family of the Netherlands, and so developed the carrots in the color we know best today. That hasn’t been substantiated, but I still think it’s kind of cool.

Whether it’s true or not, carrots still provide beta-carotene among many other antioxidants (depends on the color) as well as being pretty.

They were fairly easy to grow. They were a little smaller than expected due to inadvertent overcrowding. Next year, I will thin them out, or take tweezers to the seeds. They aren’t much bigger than grains of salt and love to stick to your slightly sweaty fingers.

Even though planting them was a bit challenging, the tops waving in the breeze looked really pretty this summer. The ivory and purple roots added a note of royalty to lunch. More wait in the garden, waving the summer on in the wind.