Bacteria Appreciation

My friend who had her ear cut off had at another time another ear problem.  I forget when but she had some ear infection and had to go on an airplane and went to a doctor to get something for the infection, so he gave her some powerful antibiotics that went and killed off the bacteria, I guess, but along with that bacteria some other strain of bacteria that lived down in her colon.  This set off an ecological crisis in her colon, but this bacterium had apparently made its living by feeding off another type of bacteria.  So when these bacteria died off, the other type just went crazy growing.

Then my friend began to have horrible dizzy moments and moments of occasional horribly frightening blindness.  Turns out the bacteria that were out of control were “s…t…g” up a storm and the feces from the bacteria was going to my friend’s brain.  So she was being “s…t” to death by bacteria.  To restore the ecological balance in her colon, the doctor said she had to eat nothing but protein for three months or something like that.  The idea was to starve the crazy bacterium back into submission because it lived on carbs not on protein.  I guess it worked because my friend got better.

I was thinking about this because I was watching the Jon Stewart show and they had some science guy on who said that in one centimeter of the colon one could find more bacteria than all the people on earth.  That’s nuts.  More than six billion bacteria in one centimeter.  It’s a strange thought to think or at least I find it strange to think that these bacteria that live in our colon see us and our colon as in the same way a beaver might see a river.  Our colon is an ecological niche; our colons and the bacteria that live in them have co-evolved over millions of plus years. Thank god for these bacteria since they are essential to helping us digest and utilize stuff particularly as I understand it vitamins and minerals. 

Let us take Michelangelo’s David.  Well, that gives us a representation or depiction of the human body in space, but space only.  It’s a beautiful depiction I guess, but only an abstracted husk, as it were of the real thing, the thing as it exists in time.  If we could view the human body in time and also microscopically we would get an entirely different picture of the human body. 

First the surface area—the skin itself—would not be clearly define.  Instead, where the skin should be we would see this kind of haze or fog of bacteria and other microorganisms living on and just off the surface of our skin.  We would not even be able to see the features of the face clearly because of this haze and when the body breathed in and out there would be this sort of tidal ebb and flow of mouth bacteria.  Also occasionally big hunks of stuff—skin—would come flying off the surface.  As we moved along it would appear that we were in a constant state of disintegration. Then, in this time lapse picture, if we could see inside the body we would see blood and fluids sloshing all around and shooting this way and that and deep down there in the core a veritable volcano caldron of bacterial activity.

Which brings me to the question of the day?  I know that a bullet moves too fast for us to see it, and is it also true that a thing can move to slowly for us to see it.  I mean honestly, I have never seen a tree grow one iota.

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