Friday, February 12, 2021

Friday Poem

Environmental & Science Education, Poetry, Art and Environment

Ed Hessler

Greetings from Saint Paul on February 12, day 43, 1032 hours or 11.78% so far gobbled up by 2021. It is clear, cold, sunny and not too windy.

Sunrise is at 7:18 am and sunset is at 5:36 pm which gives us 10h 19m 24s of daylight. Can't help but notice the sun now sets past 5:30 pm.

On this day in 1809 there were two birthdays of marked significance, one revolutionized the biological sciences; the other of a president who led this country through multiple crises--constitutional, moral, and political: they are Charles Darwin, Shrewsbury, United Kingdom and Abraham Lincoln, Hodgenfeld, Kentucky. 

Potent Quotes: "It is interesting to contemplate a tangled bank, clothed with many plants of many kinds, with birds singing on the bushes, with various insects flitting about, and with worms crawling through the damp earth, and to reflect that these elaborately constructed forms, so different from each other, and dependent upon each other in so complex a manner, have all been produced by laws acting around us. These laws, taken in the largest sense, being Growth with reproduction; Inheritance which is almost implied by reproduction; Variability from the indirect and direct action of the conditions of life, and from use and disuse; a Ratio of Increase so high as to lead to a Struggle for Life, and as a consequence to Natural Selection, entailing Divergence of Character and the Extinction of less improved forms. Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone circling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved.--Charles Darwin. (This same concluding " tangled bank " paragraph did not include the phrase "by the Creator" in the first edition of November, 1859.  It was inserted under popular pressures into  the second edition of January, 1860 and subsequently retained.)

"A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free.I do not expect the Union to be dissolved - I do not expect the house to fall - but I do expect it will cease to be divided.It will become all one thing, or all the other."--Abraham Lincoln, Republican State Convention, Springfield, Illinois, June 16, 1858.

Today there are two events:  Darwin Day: see here and here. The second is complicated because Lincoln's birthday, never a national holiday (one in some states, e.g., Illinois) is included in President's Day,  Monday the 15th. The history, a tangle is explained in the second link.

And it is national peanut butter and jelly day. Foodimentary provides some facts about peanuts and some events in the history of food. 

Today's poem is by Robert Hayden.

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