So on Friday, my health and science reporting class took a road trip to Fermi Lab, about an hour outside of Chicago.
They’ve got a particle collider there, and they smash protons and anti protons together to see what happens.
Over the years, they were responsible for the discovery of three primary particles, including the bottom and top quarks.
It was a fascinating trip, even though the weather was against us. The campus is large, and primarily looks like prairie. You wouldn’t know there was a particle collider there, unless you saw the huge earth birms from above.
At a certain time of day, specifically, a little bit before 9 AM, if you exit onto the street at the Monroe stop on the Red Line in the Loop, you’ll see that the light reflected off the shiny glass building on the west side of the street illuminating the buildings on the east side of the street.
Well, I asked Google, and I found this metafilter page, which helpfully has an answer from one of my heroes, Robert Anton Wilson:
Robert Anton Wilson called it “metanoia”: Paranoia = “everything wants to destroy me”; Metanoia = “everything wants to help me”. I’m not sure if he was getting that somehow from John Lilly’s metanoia, RD Laing’s metanoia, the New Testament’s metanoia, or just made it up on his own.
Good enough for me.
It’s been seeming like the city’s been talking to me lately. For instance, there must be an “Ian” that lives (or has lived) in Rogers Park before me, and he’s taken it upon himself to leave little notes stuck all around the city:
Found on a newspaper distribution box outside the Rogers Park Post Office, on W. Devon Ave.
There’s another one stuck on a newspaper box right on the corner of Sheridan and Lunt as well. I walk by it practically every day.
Then Tuesday night, I’m having a little bit of supper with some friends between classes, and what do I see as I’m walking out of the restaurant?
It’s actually called ‘The Irish American News’.
So you got my attention, Universe. What’s the message?
The beach at Loyola Park in Chicago. It’s thawing out, and starting to look really nice.
Today’s another pretty nice day. It’s not as beautiful as yesterday, but still pretty nice.
I went and walked around a little bit in Loyola Park, which is actually my backyard.
It’s starting to thaw out, finally, and the park is really great now that it’s a civilized temperature outside.
I wish I had taken my camera out yesterday, when I walked essentially the same route. There was an excellently creepy old snowman that someone built on the beach, probably a month ago. It was dirty and melting, and standing in the sand with weather-worn gloves serving as his snowman hands. The image of a melting, filthy snowman on the beach was kind of horrifying, in a nice way.
Alas, today, the snowman had melted away completely.
Birds use the melting icebergs near the shore as landing pads.