Slow Thrills

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  • Thursday, May 16, 2013
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  • Dave
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  • There are many life forms that seem inert to the naked eye of a hot-blooded mammal, and yet, when sped up, they reveal a sleepless onslaught of purpose that is Lovecraftian in its ingenious and rapacious machinations. Plants, starfish, clams, mushrooms – these seem dormant, inanimate by our clocks. But when we remove seconds and minutes and hours from that clock these background decorations come to life: a life that is quite often terrifying to behold.
    By Warren Fahy

    Elaborate designs hidden in DNA are hatched and constructed before our eyes as complex strategies perfected over eras are carried out, purposeful goals are insidiously deployed, and certainly attained. By looking at the slow world around us in time lapse we see a fast and suddenly horrifying world that is the stuff of thrillers.
    Take, for instance, the giant Amazon water lily. Behold this plant in time lapse and remind yourself it is not some kind of alien beast that has invaded the Earth:
    (Incidentally, the 2-day life cycle of the lily’s flower, and its amazing beetle-trapping mechanism, prevents the plant from fertilizing itself in much the same way that Geoffrey Binswanger in my novel FRAGMENT proposes that life span does in animals.)
    Or take a look at the static creatures which seemingly cling to the bottom of the sea from our time perspective after we have focused on their temporal frequency:
    Like slow-motion nuclear explosions, fungi erupt with menacing drama when observed in their spectrum of time:
    Or the alien antennae-like display of Corallocarpus grevei tendrils twisting:
    And, of course, such temporal shifts in perspective yield thrills of wonder as well as fear, such as this suite of flowers blooming, pulsating and undulating like anemones:


    Steve Manke said...

    All of those ranged from cool to creepy. But the Amazon water lily strikes me as deceptively malevolent!

    Kate Jones said...

    Simply gorgeous. Gives one pause to marvel at nature's amazing variety of tricks for preservation, replication, and symbiosis. Thanks, Warren, great stuff.

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