crystals ice politicos

snowflake

Everything good the House did to craft a meaningful and progressive energy bill was stripped and whipped by Senatorians anxious to deliver something Bush would sign before graciously shaming the Dems for not giving him more of what he really wants (Iraqi oil? A hard man to shop for).

We lost the renewable energy standards that would have kicked solar, wind, and geothermal R&D into high gear and got a gluttonous ethanol commitment instead. (If you still don’t get what’s wrong with ethanol, and we never thought we’d hear ourselves saying this, but: check in with the Heritage Association.)

And, of course, taxpayer subsidies the House left out (likely in response to those thousands protesting such) for new nuke plants got slipped back in.

Across the road, the EPA has meanwhile smothered state efforts to regulate greenhouse gases and fought down suggestions that cancer-causers in the air are, by nature, bad and ought to continue to be removed from the industrial process.

lab crystal growingSo stung by this idiotic string of losses, how is one to rest at ease with friends and family during this federal holiday of tannenbaum quietude? I take a cue from my Colorado sister — stung by her own string of interpersonal injustices — and meditate on the wisdom of snowflakes. (Thanks for the link, Sis!)

Not a simple transition, but I’ve come to trust in my sense of outrage. It doesn’t flicker off even if I neglect it for a few days. Imagine my luck.

So I can allow myself to drift in simpler thoughts. Consider my daughter’s snowflakes made two weeks back in science class with pipecleaners, string, and a borax solution. Been a long time since I busied myself equally marveling. Without the climatic opportunities, I’ll allow myself to drift inside Caltech’s little ice crystal infoshop. Thanks to prof Kenneth Libbrecht and some overworked grad students I can marvel AND learn a bit, tho retention is another matter.

Enjoying the geometry, I can’t help summon Emoto’s work on water, so inspiring to metaphysicalists worldwide. Hate to even imagine the construction of a sad or an angry snowflake. But the fact I’m even thinking about such things now, rather than, say, Speaker Pelosi’s effusive insistence the new energy bill is anything to be proud of, well, that’s a good thing. A great thing really.

Thanks, Kenneth! Thanks, Sis!

snowflake graph

* You can send Kenneth Libbrecht a thumbs-up at kgl@caltech.edu. Sure he’d love to hear from you. Not nearly enough cross-border love entering the natural sciences, you know…

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