Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Deep time

So as I complete yet another orbit around this pleasant G class star, I find myself approaching not just a new year, but a new epoch. I don’t know if it should be called the late thirties or the lower thirties, but it is certainly a greyer tick of the clock. Trouble is, introspective and profound aren’t strengths of mine. So instead I’ll talk about geologic time, the scale of which might actually make me feel young again.

All the world's a stage,
And all arachnomorpha merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
A trilobite in time plays many parts,
His acts being seven periods…

The stage of the day is the Boomerangian. I came across this term reading some background stratigraphy, and had to look it up to make sure it wasn’t a joke. It struck me as the kind of name that someone might throw out there, only to have it come around and hit him in the ass. But lo! It exists, in the upper middle Cambrian. From 504 to 501 million years ago, the Boomerangian was the new Undillian. Evidently, it is still today famous for its agnostoids and a carbon isotopic excursion.

Alas, for all their evolutionary advancement and spiffy new cephalons, they didn’t see the late Cambrian coming till it had ground them into the calcarenite of history. They would be totally forgotten by time, had not James Ogg driven a golden stake through the heart of their final resting place half a billion years later.

So I’m off to celebrate my last night in the early thirties in style- maybe if I drink enough beer, I can make the contact uconformable. Where is my beer...?


Ron Schott said...

Happy Birthday, Chuck!

Kim said...

Happy birthday from me, too!

Mel said...

Happy Birthday!

C W Magee said...

Thanks, guys.