Looking At Time With A Capital T

Written by Maya Talisman Frost


I keep a fossil on my desk at all times. Whenever I feel rushed or find myself creating a sense of urgency, I pick uprepparttar fossil and caress its polished surface. Itís over 200 million years old. Suddenly, returning that phone call or meeting that self-imposed deadline doesnít seem nearly as critical. My ancient arthropod reminds me that, inrepparttar 110122 scheme of things, this moment is indescribably insignificant. I find that remarkably comforting.

True story: I broughtrepparttar 110123 fossil with me as a sort of visual aid for a presentation I was giving on sustainability at Intel. As I openedrepparttar 110124 car door inrepparttar 110125 Intel parking lot,repparttar 110126 fossil slipped out of my bag. It crashed torepparttar 110127 pavement,repparttar 110128 asphalt shatteringrepparttar 110129 tip of my favorite piece of history. Iím trying hard to avoid seeing any deep meaning in that disturbing little incident.

Anyway, Iíve been stroking that poor broken fossil a lot this week. Iím not freaking out about anything. Iíve just been spending some time thinking about time.

Is life a function of time, or is time a function of life?

This is worth spending a considerable amount of time (or life?) contemplating. For those of you in a hurry, Iíve got this short sound byte answer: It depends on what kind of scope youíre using.

My brother has worked for a nearby scope manufacturer for over twenty years, so my answer is colored by my familiarity with lenses andrepparttar 110130 way they magnify reality. You might come up with a response based on, say, your connection to compost. Or combustion engines. Or maybe blood cells. Me? Iím going with scopes.

I would say that time is a function of life whenever we are simply going throughrepparttar 110131 motions ofrepparttar 110132 day or looking at our accomplishments or failures overrepparttar 110133 course of our lives. We can divide periods of living into convenient packagesóthat wondrous year in Miss Greenís first grade class,repparttar 110134 bust-your-butt blur of college,repparttar 110135 home-as-preschool phase,repparttar 110136 years inrepparttar 110137 old house on Birch Street, and on and on. We use time. It allows us to keep things organized, both in our day planners and in our minds. Itís a helpful ordering mechanism.

Itís hard to get a grip onrepparttar 110138 enormity of time when we view it in appointments, lunch hours, and television time-slots. If we pull waaayyy back and look at it, then life becomes a function of time instead ofrepparttar 110139 other way around.

We donít tend to pay attention to any of that while getting ready for work inrepparttar 110140 morning. We donít look at Time with a capital T. Thatís because weíre looking throughrepparttar 110141 lens ofrepparttar 110142 microscope. Well, haul outrepparttar 110143 telescope. Take a look at gigantic periods of time. Consider unfathomable chunks of eternity.

Weíve been inrepparttar 110144 Cenozoic era for about 65 million years now. It started way back withrepparttar 110145 extinction ofrepparttar 110146 last non-avian dinosaurs. The most recent Cenozoic period,repparttar 110147 Quarternary, started a mere 1.8 million years ago, and has seenrepparttar 110148 development of humans fromrepparttar 110149 very earliest use of tools and rudimentary language torepparttar 110150 present flip-phone/camera/email devices that are allrepparttar 110151 rage today. Thatís quite a progression.

It's OK to Use the Free Stuff You Get in Junk Mail

Written by Mark Jeantheau


According to several pieces of junk mailrepparttar Grinning Planet offices have received this year, we can get 37 CDs for just a penny! Fine, as long as we don't have to listen torepparttar 110121 complimentary copy of "Megadeth Plays Liberace."

We're really here today to talk about some ofrepparttar 110122 stuff you get inrepparttar 110123 mail that may actually be usable. Most of us have received all sorts of supposedly usable stuff in junk mail--free return-address labels, blank greeting cards, calendars, even reeeaaaally flat sponges. Well, we may be very pleased to find out that some junk-mailer considers us "sponge-worthy," butrepparttar 110124 larger question is, should we use this stuff even if we don't send a contribution to "Saverepparttar 110125 Down-Sized Rich People" or whatever group sent it to us?

Considerrepparttar 110126 case ofrepparttar 110127 free return-address labels. The organization sent them to you hoping that you would send them a donation. If you're not inclined to donate, it is NOT unethical for you to userepparttar 110128 labels. From an ecological perspective, whether you sendrepparttar 110129 organization money or not is irrelevant. The labels have already been manufactured, packaged, and mailed--those financial costs and resource costs have already been incurred. If you can make use ofrepparttar 110130 free labels instead of throwing them out and buying similar replacement items, then it's a "win" for resource utilization andrepparttar 110131 environment. The group that sent yourepparttar 110132 labels isn't any worse off than if you'd just thrownrepparttar 110133 labels out. The same logic applies to ALL ofrepparttar 110134 free goodies you get inrepparttar 110135 mail.

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