05 June 2005

Polar Bear Hair

The spacious heavens declare the glory of our God; the firmament displays his handiwork abroad. -- Psalm 19:1 The last few weeks of incredible weather have been just absolutely mind-blowing. No matter where I found myself, from Whidbey Island to Denver, Portland, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Puyallup and Santa Fe. Every place has offered me a new insight into the magnificent array of splendor that I sometimes take for granted. Okay, that's not entirely true. Hang out for even a little while with me and you'll quickly tire of my exhuberance over the environment. Beauty is so easy to spot and like my dad taught me, you should rejoice every time you see it. So there I'll be clapping my hands like a child because the reflection of the sunset off the mountains knocked me on my behind...again. Lately though I have been particularly cognizent of my surroundings. Like in movie when the hero wakes up to fresh air and draws a deep breath as he surveys the blue and green around him. I do that in my hotel room or living room couch or wherever I happen to be. I just can't seem to not do it. Is God to truly be found in the night sky? Some would say only His handiwork but not truly Him. I would disagree. One of the early Soviet cosmonauts supposedly came back from orbiting the earth and said that God must not exist because he didn’t see him out there. For me, it isn’t just the extravagence of the universe (even our little part of it) that declares God’s glory. He is also to be found in the delicate balance of lifes minutia. Take for example the outrageously precise movement that makes something like a solar system and a life-sustaining planet like ours possible. Better yet, ponder for a moment how even the progression of humanity is phenomenally diverse, abundant, and surreal. Dennis Leary, Tiger Woods, Magic Johnson, Bruce Willis, Scarlett Johannsen, Molly Parker. You'd be hard pressed to not see the hand of the Almighty in the intricate construction of intelligence, talent and personality. It is a little cliche to say "Look at nature", but let's do that. When making a point, I am never above taking the cheap shot. Consider polar bear hair. Polar bear hair is not actually white, it's clear. Each strand is a waterproof hollow tube, which makes it lightweight and buoyant when swimming. The unique form funnels heat to the body similar in behavior to a fiber optic tube. They provide excellent insulation because each hair has its own air space. In fact, polar bears are so well insulated that it’s hard to get them to show up on an infrared photograph; because so little heat escapes their bodies! Researches have spent decades of time and millions of dollars and never come close to designing something better equipped for cold weather than the hair of the polar bear.

No comments :