Wormhole’s Shadow Might Be Detectable, Fascinating and Confusing #poem #poetry #physics #wormhole #space

ship thru a wormhole

Wormhole travel, though maybe only for a microscopic ship

Wormholes are hypothetical,
So hypothetically,
They may leave traces in the sky
That telescopes could see.

Where space-time is so warped,
Photons
might trace a ring,
While others falling through the pipe,
Leave dark where light had been.

Not my own reflector
To search for wormhole tubes,
But radio astronomy
Linked across the globe.

Confirming wormholes would confuse
What we know of gravity,
But since that force still puzzles us
They’d mesh abstractedly.

Kate Rauner

Thanks to livescience¬†for pointing out this possibility. For some reason my poetic creativity has been on vacation for a few weeks – hope it’s back now.

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Some Mushrooms in the World Drive You Crazy – but insect feasts are the target #poem #poetry #poems #mushroom

Many kinds of mushrooms
Occupy the lands,
Genetics lets a scientist
Distinguish distant aunts.

Perhaps a virus grabbed some genes,
Transferred them here from there.
Horizontal gene transfer
Could explain this share.

‘Cause more than once these fungi
Have made a wild find,
Psilocybin chemicals
That alter human minds.

But that can’t be the reason
‘shrooms would develop this,
They sure don’t care if you or I
Are sent upon a trip.

What good does psilocybin do
For a mushroom fighting rivals?
Suppresses insect appetites!
Ensures its spores’ survival!

Kate Rauner

Since highs are often associated with the munchies in us humans, I thought it was funny that this chemical might suppress appetite in bugs. Thanks to livescience for this hypothesis, and also for an article on the possibility that psilocybin may relieve depression in cancer patients.

Psychoactive mushrooms grow around the world

Psychoactive mushrooms grow around the world

This is Mud Season, one rain quickly changes everything #poem #poetry #season #nature #weather

Nature and science poetry - Kate Rauner

Clouds are prettier than the mud they bring

I grow an inch
with every step.
Clay grips my boots,
clay turned to mud.

The dog whimpers
as I towel his feet.
Between his toes are
balls of mud.

The car slides, slow motion
Across the drive
Till tires grip grass
at the edge of mud.

Some people have spring
summer
fall
And winter.

I have wind
fire
drought
And then the mud.

Kate Rauner

Ah, life in rural mountains of New Mexico. It won’t last. Sigh. When you live in a desert, you really can’t complain about rain.

Update: 5th day with rain! Compared to typical Februaries near Silver City NM USA, this year’s February is wetter than 95% of Februaries (I have 100 years of rain data by month), and the month’s not over!

Shelter in the deepest pines #haiku #poem #poetry #winter

Science and nature in poetry - Kate Rauner

Not going up there – nope – not going

Branches sway and bounce
Cold and harsh are winter winds
One lone bird blows by

Kate Rauner

Exo-Atmospheres Send Photonic Clues #poetry #astronomy #telescope #space #planets #alien

Exoplanets - check out Kate Rauner's science inspired poetryStars wobble in our telescopes,
Luminosities diverge,
And from such tiny signals
Their planets do emerge.

Thousands of stars host planets,
Giants of swirling gas,
And some that seem more earthly
In their orbits and their mass.

But each of these is distant,
Lifetimes away for certain.
How ever will we know if
There’s life upon the surface?

Light filters through their atmospheres,
When atmospheres they own.
Molecules split spectra
Into patterns that are known.

Life creates imbalances,
However strange to see,
Disequilibrium
Points to biology.

And so we have a protocol
As we gather specks of light,
Photons that passed through planets’ air
On their interstellar flight…

Will tell us if there’s oxygen,
Or methane, CO2,
Water vapor, nitrogen,
Or ozone in the brew.

And tease us with the knowledge
That, beyond our current grasp,
Creation may have left its mark,
A hand we’ll never clasp.

Kate Rauner

Inspired by an article from the latimes

Space Age Problem We Didn’t Bargain On – Trapped on Earth By Our Own Stupid Mess? #poem #poetry #space #NASA #Earth

Space Junk - read science inspired poems - Kate Rauner

NASA’s computer-generated image representing space debris as seen from high Earth orbit.

Space is vast and empty,
But not space close at hand,
Not the space around the Earth.
Our orbit now is jammed.

Every satellite we launch
Will someday be defunct
And hang above us, orbiting,
As billion dollar junk.

Everyone who’s serious
About the new space age
Has a plan for dealing with
Our quickly-closing cage.

Perhaps we’ll net the pieces,
Or blast each till it falls
To burn up like a meteor
In our atmospheric wall.

The million pieces of debris
Could trap us on our planet
Since even just a fleck of paint
Could crash a ship titanic.

Where is ET, we wonder?
Why don’t aliens
come to us?
Perhaps they’re trapped on their own worlds
By spheres of
their own
space junk.

Kate Rauner

The scifi movie Gravity began with space junk smashing a Shuttle, and that could happen in real-life. Read about laser and giant electric whip proposals to clean up near-Earth space. There’s a video here.

When Banned Foods Turn Good – What in the World is Going On? How Will I Know it All? Why Do These Things Happen? Cause It’s Hard #nutrition #science #research #data #poetry #poem #humannature

Science inspired poetry by Kate Rauner

Rats are easier to study

It’s hard to study humans,
They live so very long.
Observing generations
Can’t complete before you’re gone.

They fib on every survey form,
Eat more than they say,
Exercise much less than claimed,
And forget along the way.

Confounding factors multiply
Throughout the lives they lead.
Their choices vary wildly,
Statistics can’t succeed.

They’ll never match a rat for tests,
But if you lure them
to your lab,
You’re not allowed to lock the door,
It’s enough to drive you mad.

By Kate Rauner

Brought to mind by a Forbes article suggesting an ounce or two of cheese a day, even full-fat cheese, may not be bad for you and could even be beneficial. The new study was published in the European Journal of Nutrition. Researchers used data from 15 earlier studies that followed their participants for 10 years. I’ve often seen articles contradict each other over nutritional and exercise claims. Part of that is, the popular media tends to make too much of a fuss over each new study because no one clicks on “maybe,” “suggests,” “slight change,” or “never mind” in the headline. But part of the problem is, it’s hard to study humans in the wild.