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Books, Humor, Satire

ONE PERCENT SOLUTION . . . (one page per day) Page 53 of 252


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A satire of dysfunctional politics and economic disparity.  

Chapter VI: Day/Page 53 CONTINUED FROM YESTERDAY. . . .  She glances around the shack. Seeing nothing she can use for a mirror, she strokes her new face curiously with both hands, noting the boxy, slightly-elongated jaw and moist canine nose, erect pointy ears and long mane of ebony-black hair flowing over her head, down past her shoulders to the middle of her back. (How weird. This is me now. At least they’re descended from dogs—imagine if it were lizards or snakes? Yuk!)

It is not surprising that the basic physiology of the canine life-forms on the Blue Planet is similar to the avian ones from Sofia’s world. Although life’s varieties are infinite, the fact is, when it comes to advanced, intelligent class-1 life, at least, the fundamental archetype is fairly consistent across the cosmos, because it is derived from a similar evolutionary process.

All known class-1 life is carbon and phosphorous based, and uses oxygen to fuel the flame of life. Carbon is the fourth most abundant element in the universe, after hydrogen, helium, and oxygen. It is also the hardest of all elements and has the highest sublimation point—meaning it rarely melts into a liquid, preferring instead to jump directly from solid to gas. But its greatest characteristic of all is the four electrons spinning in its outer-valence shell which tirelessly seek four more electrons to complete the octet ring. This gives carbon the ability to readily form strong tetrahedral, four-way bonds with other elements, including other carbon atoms, allowing it to build complex chains of compounds, which are the basic building-blocks of life.

Life, in turn, resourceful as it is, uses this atomistic trait of carbon to form increasingly-complex compounds by diligently and tirelessly adding infinitesimally-small modifications to the previous design in order to fashion a more sophisticated model—and it does this for billions of years. In fact, carbon forms more unique compounds than any other element—theoretically hundreds of millions, some say potentially billions.

Carbon, like other fundamental elements used by life, is formed deep in the heart of a star. Virtually all new stars fuel their combustible light by fusing two hydrogen atoms together—with one electron each—to make one atom of helium—which has two (1H+1H=2He). After fusing hydrogen into helium for billions of years, stars eventually run low on hydrogen, while becoming helium rich. As the heavier helium-rich core contracts, it gets denser and hotter, until it is hot enough to fuse three atoms of helium together to make carbon (3*2He=6C), and four atoms of helium to make oxygen (4*2He=8O). Then, at even higher temperatures still, carbon fuses with hydrogen to make nitrogen (6C+1H=7N), and eventually phosphorous (15P) is formed, giving us the elemental Spark of Life.

And so, from the stellar womb of this fiery furnace the genesis of. . .  TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW. . . .

Available on Amazon , Barnes & NobleKobo, and Smashwords in Digital and Paperback versions.

 This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, organizations, places, events, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © 2013 by Gregory James    All rights reserved

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About Gregory James

After 20 years working and living overseas, I returned to the US and was disgusted by how partisan and polarized the country had become. Civility and compromise are now quaint things of the past, replaced by intolerance and the rule of extremes. So I gave up a lucrative career for staring at blank pages and searching for words, in the hope that words might help enact change. Stupid. . . . I know! But after 9 months of labor I birthed forth a book, entitled ONE PERCENT SOLUTION. Reminiscent of Vonnegut, with a dash of Saramago and Fforde, this humorous, satirical, often irreverent romp mocks the absurd we accept to be normal, ridicules the ridiculously low bar we set, and challenges all of us to demand more of ourselves by making light of what is sacred that shackles us.

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