Last weekend, I took my car in for an oil change. The low oil indicator came on and off I went to Jiffy Lube. I waited in the waiting room for a couple of minutes and then went out to talk to the Jiffy tech to see how he was doing.
He said he should be done after he removed the nest out of my air filter.
I said, “Nest?”
He said, “Yeah, looks like a mouse or squirrel’s nest is sitting on your cabin air filter.”
I said, “Cabin air filter?”
He said, “Yeah, you have been breathing mouse or squirell…”
I said, “Oh…”
The tech moved over to the other side of the car and started to ask the standard questions, “You are aware this car needs synthetic oil? Are you aware that your windshield wash fluid is low?…” I answered his questions but was still trying to process the nest in the air filter.
I started to rationalize the nest thinking that this must be a rare occurrence. Non human mammals living inside of a moving car?
I said, “I had this car in storage at my in-laws over the winter and the mice must have gotten in then.” Darn in-laws, I thought. Time to get them a cat to balance that habitat.
I asked the Jiffy tech, “Is this rare?”
He said, “Oh no, I see this two to three times a week.” He continued saying, “I have seen them in cabin air filter, engine filter even just inside the engine. They are just looking for a place that is warm.”
I said, “Wow, they must be small nests given the space and the fact that cars are moving around.”
He said, “Not really, take a look at your nest there over in the trash.”
So basically, rodents are learning how to nest in cars. They follow the warmth of this big metallic thing that comes in and out of the garage. They vacate when the car turns on and come back when the car turns off. You have to wonder at the math and long term evolution of mice born in air filter. Maybe someday the rodents will change the oil.
In the meantime, I have to compliment the Jiffy Lube team – they had me in and out in no time. They did a great of finishing everything up quickly and thoroughly. I was especially grateful for the new air filter!
More broadly, this is another small example of how Mother Nature is increasingly commingling with what I have called Father Nature.
PS – This is of course not a sponsored post by Jiffy Lube!
The next time you are on a plane, look down. I mean really look down. Not when you are taking off and you expect to see urban society but when you are at cruising altitude over land. Even over the most barren and remote landscape you will find the traces of man.
Now step up to space and look down aboard the International Space Station (“ISS”). I never grow tired of watching the incredible timelapse videos from the ISS showing the pervasive lightening strikes, nightime starbursts of cities and the thin highlighting glow of atmosphere at the earth’s edge ( http://ow.ly/1SEHVO ).
Now imagine you are watching a stereoscopic mash up of over 120 satellites launched by Nasa and other international space agencies to study the earth. Such is the mind blowing splendor of Nova’s Documentary – Earth From Space ( @novapbs ). So novel and astonishing is this satellite documentary that I refer to it in this blog’s title as a “Satumentary”.
The documentation for this production is coming from a fleet of satellites in space at various orbits ranging from a few miles to 25,000 miles. Each satellite reveals a different piece of the puzzle. The beautiful colors of visible light from space are greatly amplified by computer aided visualizations of the many satellite cameras that are recording non visible spectrum. As the narrator describes:
You see the world as one huge system all linked with atmosphere and oceans revolving around the sun … With the invisible revealed we can see earth as an interchangeable system with seemingly local events often triggered by systems far away.
One of the stars of the show is Nasa’s Aqua Satelite:
Aqua, Latin for water, is a NASA Earth Science satellite mission named for the large amount of information that the mission is collecting about the Earth’s water cycle, including evaporation from the oceans, water vapor in the atmosphere, clouds, precipitation, soil moisture, sea ice, land ice, and snow cover on the land and ice.
The video takes the feeds from Nasa’s Aqua and other satellites to produce stunning visualizations. Visualizations show how water vapor is directly transformed energy from the sun. You can see how tropic storms formed off the coast of Africa spring to life when 1 million square miles of ocean reach 80 degrees and water starts evaporating at enormous speed. You can also see why these storms then become hurricanes landing all the way across the Atlantic in North America.
As I described in my blog post The Overview Effect, Beyond The Mayan Ending, seeing the earth from space cannot help but produce a change in consciousness. In this vein, I encourage everyone to take the time to watch Earth From Space. The production lives up to its bold opening comment:
For the first time we can understand how earth, fire, wind and water combine together to shape life in all its forms.
For me, I am excited and grateful for these satellites to provide the objective data we need to begin to learn how to replenish the earth.