Wednesday, June 9, 2010


 is when energy as released as light from a chemical reaction, and what occurs when you see the summer night sky illuminated by the peaceful, blinking fireflies. It is also what we have been attempting to recreate in my chem lab. The active compound we have been using for this is luminol, if you were curious as to the chemical symbol pictured. 
I must admit there is a thrill in mixing the different chemicals in a cell well, waiting for one to spark, or glow, even if just for a few seconds. What is even more fascinating is the fact that this occurs in nature, inside of a tiny fly. Imagine if we walked around and could be our own personal flashlight, lighting up to attract that cute boy or girl across the street. Then again, I think we all have our own way of shining and catching attention. 
This experiment made me remember these beautiful fireflies and how they lit up my world and seemed like a shining bit of hope at night. Every summer at the beach I would catch these bits of magic and place them in jars. I would bring them onto the porch overlooking the garden, allowing the whimsical glow of the mason jar be the light for our evening conversations. 
Every summer I get excited about watching my night light up with their glow, but it seems there are less and less fireflies each year. I don't know if this is because my curiosity and awe have left me as I get older and I forget to recognize these tiny miracles, or if something really has changed. I am hoping that our tendency to disregard nature in the path towards getting the things we want in life has not started to affect the firefly in a way that lessens its tendency to glow. I worry about these things sometimes because I don't always take the time to notice beauty as it happens and I don't want to miss anything. It is frightening to know the destruction that we can cause, but also amazing the power we have to do good. Did you know that we actually have the ability to change the tilt of the earth?
I guess i just wanted everyone to remember the lights of a firefly and how absolutely amazing it is that they have this ability. To remind everyone to take the time to cherish and find that childish curiosity we still possess. To remind everyone to BE AMAZED, nature is an amazing creation. And to turn this into your own light and guide, allowing you to do something just as amazing. Let your light shine and be a glimmer of hope to someone else who needs a reminder that they can do incredible things in life. Each of us makes a difference and when we do something good, sure enough we rub off on someone else, who rubs off on someone else. And soon enough we are lighting up a dark sky, bringing happiness into everyone's lives who take a minute to cherish small wonders and recognize the joy a small action can have on another being.

A cool little eco friendly light has been created that mimics this jar of happiness. It is on and it is called a sun jar. Plus you get this great affect without harming the sweet flies. The sun jar uses solar energy and lights up once it gets dark, definitely a great alternative to candles or small night lights. 

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