My daughter woke me around 11:50 last night. My wife and I had picked her up from her friend Sally’s birthday party, brought her home, and put her to bed. My wife went into the bedroom to read while I fell asleep watching the Braves game.
"Daddy," she whispered, tugging my shirt sleeve. "Guess how old I’m going to be next month."
"I don’t know, beauty," I said as I slipped on my glasses. "How old?"
She smiled and held up four fingers.
It is 7:30 now. My wife and I have been up with her for almost 8 hours. She still refuses to tell us where she got them.
whenever i’m sad i like to imagine what possible crime Steve Irwin’s ancestor committed to warrant him being sent to Australia like some Victorian gentleman escorting a lady to the zoo past the crocodile enclosure and going “do you see that great wyrm sunning itself there? quite a striking creature, is it not? I do believe I shall engage it in fisticuffs.”
Damn right you’re iron, and do you know where iron comes from? Do you know how iron gets here? Let me tell you.
It does start with a star, but it’s not some dismal castoff from an eternal beauty, it’s so much more. Everything that makes our world came from stars, but nothing had as much effect on that star as iron.
See the sun burning in the sky? The light you see and the heat you feel are created when the sun fuses elements, the building blocks of our world, into new and heavier elements. The sun lives because more energy comes from that process than is needed to support it.
UNTIL IRON COMES ALONG.
Fusing iron — burning it to make a star shine — is nigh on impossible. Iron is strong and iron is heavy. Iron is so strong and so heavy that to make new elements from iron takes more energy than it produces. The star can’t keep up, it starts to die.
The iron that flows through your veins KILLED A STAR.
Those other metals that we so value, like gold, owe their existence to iron. As the star died it collapsed, crushing itself and making gold and platinum and other precious and powerful things. Then it exploded and scattered those metals throughout space.
Chief among them was iron. The iron whose formation was the death knell of the star. The iron whose intensity made other metals possible. The iron that was the last thing the living star could make.