Tuesday, 23 April 2019

~~~ above the water line

fancy going to a road trip?
who am I to say no!
we drove to the Herault
to an abandoned village by a lake
Celles is on the shore of Lac du Salagou
merely 143m altitude
it should have disappeared
submerged in the late 1960's
but this didn't happen
the lake is quite otherworldy
with its deep red soil and basalt black rock
volcanic landscape
martian palette
Celles remains abandoned
but protected by chain fences
maybe one day reawakened 

Sunday, 21 April 2019

:::: lost in translation

learning a language 
is easier when you live where it is spoken
you pick up the slang, the abbreviated
the phrases and sayings
and the nuances of regional dialects
here being Occitane, Ariegois and Catalan
you worry less about the le and the la
the correct tense and endings
you just go with it

but when it's 2am 
and you're feeling fine
with wine
try explaining cockney rhyming slang 
it ain't bright and breezy to bubble and squeak, treacle

Monday, 15 April 2019

~~ keep your balance

the human body is full of bacteria
some good
some bad
E. coli is the best known bacterium 
that regularly associates itself with humans
it is the most studied of all bacteria
a sequence of 4,288 genes on its chromosome
but we don't entirely understand
its relationship with humans
and their normal flora
both host and bacteria benefit from each other
and the feeling is mutual
nutrients, a stable environment, protection

there are also parasitic flora
who live at the expense of the host
opportunistic infectors
striking when defences are let down

sometimes the relationship between them
can't be deciphered
where there is no apparent benefit or harm to either
a commensal relationship

thinking on this
when you visit a new country
or become close to people
your flora can be unbalanced
your normal shaken up
it takes time for you to adjust
but it's up to you to notice
wait for things to calm
or take action to make it right

Thursday, 4 April 2019

t = [ ln (Nf/No) / (-0.693) ] x t1/2

getting back my reading mojo
delving into books
I never thought I'd enjoy
or get past the first few pages
or even understand
but this book 
I can't put down
carbon-14 is in all living things
when living things die
they stop taking in carbon-14 
and so the radioactive clock is reset
reliable detective work for carbon dating
if the thing is less than 60 000 years old
we all know about counting tree rings 
it's called
each ring a year of growth 
tell tale by it's size
changes in climate, weather, illness
trees keep growing until the die

the creationists debunk
the conspiracists conspire
instead of convincing us it's not true
maybe show us how it is?