We've all heard it and are constantly reminded to stop and smell the flowers. Ironically, the statement is normally given by some two-bit writer in New York City trying to access their philosophical side and push deeper into the crux of human emotions in order to trigger the primeval urge, present in all of us, to just slow down and take it easy and appreciate the world around us, as they stand in a crowded Starbucks howling at the Barista because they used whole fat whip instead of the organic non-fat whip while simultaneously flicking off the person next to them, simply because they can, and creating the scene for what will become headlines on the 6 o'clock news; "Mass riot unfurls after minor scuffle over whipped cream spills into the streets" which has the inevitably tragic, yet poetic, conclusion of the entire block being set aflame, vanquishing the local flower population.
I digress. Look up the next time you're outside. Maybe it's my philosophical side and my urge to slow down and appreciate the Universe (at least a riot on Earth can't destroy that!), but it's something people rarely do. We live in the age of technology, which, while infinitely good, has created a nation of robots staring down at little screens, typing senseless combinations of letters that to any normal person would seem like a toddler got a hold of their parents phone and started smashing buttons (LOL!? ROTFLMAO!?). It seems that a lack of curiosity has begun to set in amongst the younger population (namely those I've come in contact with) who care more about Kanye's recent act of idiocy further proving how ignorant and disrespectful he is; thus raising his "coolness" factor by a whopping [insert random made up number]%.
Maybe this is just the rant of a disgruntled astronomer who has seen the History Channel take Astronomy and turn it into a joke science of soothsayers predicting the death of the Earth any second now... wait for it... damn. We're all still alive, but just wait until 2012, it'll be bigger than Y2K. Remember that? Did you hoard toilet paper to prepare for the end of the world and the beginning of the age of Toilet Paper Currency? Silly? I remember seeing it on the news. Can a disaster of astronomical proportions destroy the Earth? Yes. Right now, though, I'd be more worried about a disaster of economic proportions than a GRB.
So before I completely lose track of what my initial intention was for writing this post, look up, smell the air and stare at the stars... just get out of the street before you do and avoid the riot progressing down your street from Starbucks.
Look up, imagine, and wonder... why are WE here and give pause to the miracle that is life, all that had to go right for even a single cell organism to form. I do believe Carl Sagan put it best, we are currently the only known mechanism for "the Universe to study itself".