Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Sunlight kills many of the floating micro-organisms hacked up from diseased lungs and sickly bowels. But enough of the organisms attach to the coffee cups and plastic bags that cram the storm drains that rush to the sea.
This is just a picture of some water in a plastic pot that used to be clear.
It used to be free of horrors.
There used to be mosquito fish (which ate the mosquitoes) and damsel and dragon flies (which ate the fish and mosquito larva and adults).
Then we poured pesticides and other PAHs and plasticizers and mercury and lead and zinc and Tylenol and estrogen and drugs that prevent psychotic episodes in people - all the stuff that run down our streets into the sea and lakes and rivers and streams.
First the fish died. Then the dragon flies died. Then the algae and cyano-bacteria pulled up from the soil which covered floor of the pots. There were greasy globules of oily substances that kept things floating in suspension, There grew a skin of a sort that slowly rotated in the changing temperatures of the day. The water never settled out. Then the fungus grew. Bubbling thick masses of black and pink burped musty puffs of spores. You can smell the fungus for many meters from the pots.
Then one day, floating on the top were many mosquito eggs. The larvae hatched. They wiggled to the surface to sucked in their first gulp of fresh air.
They ate the algae and shed their skins of chitin and toxins.
Then another batch emerged.
The first batch died then the second ate the dead of the first. Little round heads of mosquito larvae bob at the bottom of the pots. With each new batch of mosquito larvae, the water cleared. With each new batch of mosquito larvae, they became more and more tolerant of the pesticides and other toxins that might kill them. Finally, the adults emerge from their pupas, ready to mate ... hauling out their shoulders from the slick surface. Masses of flies dancing in the pools of dwindling sunlight. ... and then the females, ready to take their first blood meal so they can lay the next generation of mosquito - able to tolerate the insecticides that killed its predecessors....
Friday, April 14, 2006
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
There were a few other times when our planet went through such changes in a short period of time. The first great death happened when the first organisms to photosynthesize created so much oxygen it killed the methane breathers... Then there was another great death when atmospheric oxygen plummeted from 21% to less then 12 % in only 20 million years. Land vertebrates at sea level had the same amount of oxygen as if they were at present day 9,200 foot mountain ... The Late Permian Early Triassic saw 90 % of the ocean organisms die and 75 % of the land plants and animals die. What a horrible death it must have been for not only did the oxygen vanish, but CO2 increased and with it temperatures. The earth became a steamy hot box with not much to breath...
The initial idea of a painting is exciting. Then the sketches begin. So many of the sketches that you produce are not up to the ideas that you think you have done in the past... doubts creep in... but that is all part of the fight. With a blank canvas, hope is renewed but then so are the new worries. For most of the painting, you hate it. Love returns only near the end where you just can't get enough of the brush strokes, the colors, the shapes. Damn!
Liters and liters of water must be collected in hopes to capture the tiniest amount of some chemicals. The water must be prepared for storage, and then carefully kept from light. Many times the tiniest amounts, perhaps in parts per million (even trillion), can have dire effects on those (people and other animals) who drink or swim in the water. Then to isolate and find those compounds which have been shown to produce adverse affects, the equipment for finding them must be calibrated (and sensitive) to those amounts. Then the number of times the water must be collected (or for any other scientific study... the number samples ) must be high enough to demonstrate a trend - in other words - to have significance.