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I stepped out the front door of the theatre last Saturday night just as the first drops of rain fell. The drops felt as big as marbles.
I ran for my car.
Then the rain came pounding down. Too much, too fast, for windshield wipers to keep up.
Driving home, I counted the gaps between flashes of lightning. Three to five seconds. Once, I got to ten seconds before the next flash.
Water coursed down the gutters. Tree branches, bent under the weight of water running off their leaves, thrashed in gusts of wind.
And I was not in the Bahamas. Where Hurricane Dorian had wreaked utter havoc earlier that week.
Categories: Sharp Edges
Tags: water, Hurricanes, oceans
Towards the end of the cross-country ski season, a friend mused, “Does snow feel pain when I jab it with my ski pole?”
We all laughed.
“Why not?” she persisted. “Aren’t we all made of the same stardust? Everything in the universe came from the Big Bang. Whether it’s snow or trees or me, we all consist of the matter that was created 14 billion years ago. So why should I assume that I’m the only one who feels pain when I get jabbed with something sharp?”
A physicist will tell you that all matter is made up of particles. For convenience, we call them electrons and protons. But there are no exclusively human electrons and protons; no uniquely human quarks or gluons. At the sub-atomic level, water is made of exactly the same stuff as humans.
So why can’t water feel pain?
Categories: Soft Edges
Tags: life, Snow, water, pain