Geologic Time on the Human Armspan

Yes, I’ll admit it. I have trouble visualizing geologic amounts of time. Then again, you probably do too. I doubt that there are many people for whom the span of time “a hundred and thirty-five million years” makes immediate, intuitive, graspable sense. This still doesn’t make much sense for me… but at least now I have an idea of “Paleozoic,” of “Mesozoic,” of “Cenozoic,” relative to the age of the earth, via a visualization from Basin and Range, by John McPhee. This is a school read, so I copied the helpful concept into my science notebook, then figured that I’d share it on here!

Haley’s Latest Fan: A Short Story

Kyim breathed deeply and stared at his bedroom wall. Then he stretched his stiff neck, rolled onto his side, and read the acknowledgements and the author bio. He almost always did. That way he could stay inside the book for as long as possible, even if he wasn’t reading about the characters anymore. At last he had to close the book. It was a physical one, paper and covers and ink. Kyim liked a book he could hold. This book was Haley Ferrier’s Ichthus: a Planet. He thought for a moment. Yes, he had read it five times now. Each time he wanted it not to end. A good book, he thought, should be like that: at the end you should feel both that it had to end there and that you wanted it to go on and on forever. Each time, too, he wondered about the second-last acknowledgement: To Kyim, who showed me all about the Leaf. Who was this mysterious person with his name? And how had this Kyim of hundreds of years before known how to describe a piece of modern technology so perfectly, even to the name? In her teen journals, Ferrier occasionally mentioned when she’d been alone for afternoons, even when she was sixteen, his own age. If only…

Kyim was getting the vacuum cleaner out when he realized: of course he could! He followed the silent little machine around, lifting chairs out of the way for it, in a daze. It would take some doing, of course. It wasn’t easy to secretly finagle a trip into the past, even when your dad did work in ACTeR, and that was short for Authorized Cross-Temporal Researches. But if Cora could do it, he could. And his sister had used it to go to some twentieth century Olympics or other!

Whoever wanted to go to the Olympics?

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