Saturday, April 20, 2013

Out-of-this-World Gift from a Mad Scientist

Apr.15.13 (03) @ Duke University
Piece of the Chelyabinsk meteor
A piece of history was sitting on the desk. I asked if I could take a picture of it. Picking up a white envelope from the desk, the Mad Scientist took a slip of paper from it and muttered, "Here is the train ticket." A Russian train ticket. Who rode the train, I didn't ask. I was told to rearrange things on the desk, but I didn't want to contaminate that special piece of rock meteorite. I couldn't believe this was from outer space.

Apr.15.13 (07) @ Duke University
From Mars
The shelf held several pieces of fragments from outer space, all placed haphazardly. Soft spoken as he was, I tried repeating words from the Mad Scientist as I heard them. Chondrules and chondrites -- phantom words to me. The one piece that piqued my interest was the one from Mars. "From Mars!" I could finally exclaim in comprehension. We've all heard of Mars, another planet.

Apr.15.13 (10) @ Duke University
A Mad Scientist
While going through his collection, the Mad Scientist said to himself (I believed he was speaking to himself), "I need to find something for class tomorrow." I let him get on his task. Taking out a plastic food container full of stones, he selected a little grey piece. Something for his class tomorrow, I thought, as he ambled to a glass tray of water and started polishing the stone. I figured my little tour was over. Maybe I could spot a time-travel machine on my own...

Just so unexpectedly, he returned to our corner and said most monotonously, "A present for you."

Apr.15.13 (13) My souvenir from Duke
My gift from the Mad Scientist
As the little tour of the Mad Workshop continued, I admired the polished surface of the meteorite that had glittery bits in it. (Shiny...) From among the clutter of gadgetry spare parts in an old fume hood, Mad Scientist picked up a small tin and shook it. Did he just find his misplaced tin of rocks? He opened the lid and peered into it. 

"Want one?" he asked. Sugared almonds. I declined. Sugared almonds are too worldly for me now.

3 comments:

  1. Oh such a fun post - how come you got to hang out with a mad scientist? :D

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  2. WOW! Juanita, that's an amazing gift!!!

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  3. So fascinating! A nice souvenir you got there :)

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