Ballpoint. Ballpen. Biro. As if I am to look at the point-that-is-no-point and notice instead a ball. In reality it is a ball-bearing. An ingeniously self-contained system that does in a single revolution what scribes did in a series of gestures while attempting to keep ink to quill. Think of all they had to do to obtain a system of delivering ink to a pulverized and pulpy mash of cellulose spread out evenly, until it dried homogeneously.
It was inkless, but certainly not carbonless. To add pencil to paper is to introduce long-lost relatives, perhaps so far removed from contact that they do not even know of their connection. It is an oxymoron, a chain that necessitates our freedom. Except for water, the solvent in this chemical repository we call a body, we are carbon. We are a chain. And it wrapped around your heart, and through your heart, and just sometimes the chain binds two chemical reactions together enough so that a new soul can be chained to this world, and praises are sung at this new chained soul brought into being.
These chains are but pigments found in a foundation of membranes. For we are water but we are separate from it. We are the ocean, we carry it within ourselves, and yet we walk upon the land. By what miracle does this occur? Is our skin the only membrane preventing us from washing away or is there within it a prison? I think it not prison but something, perhaps not sinister, that creates in us an identity separate from the world around us.
Lipids are molecules that contain hydrocarbons and make up the building blocks of the structure and function of living cells. Examples of lipids include fats, oils, waxes, certain vitamins, hormones and most of the non-protein membrane of cells.1
Or perhaps this one is more to your liking.
Lipids constitute a broad group of naturally occurring molecules that include fats, waxes, sterols, fat-soluble vitamins (such as vitamins A, D, E, and K), monoglycerides, diglycerides, triglycerides, phospholipids, and others. The main biological functions of lipids include energy storage, as structural components of cell membranes, and as important signaling molecules.2 3
Forget about the dark variables for a second and let us concentrate on what we do know,
Carbon. The chain that holds life together, preferring hexagonal structure one can safely assume that Carbon has a friend in the number six. But nature is usually mutually beneficial, and even if it is a number in its purest Platonic form, perhaps there is something that six gets out of the deal. The chain. Almost like DNA in its confounding double-helix that rips and repairs those chains in a never-ending process we quaintly call life.
They are continents in a briny, nutrient-filled ocean. There are so many animals swimming through our bodies not only knowing but doing their purpose. For in this they find happiness. They were not given free-will and they did not fuck everything up. They merely exist for a purpose and do it to the best of their abilities. Quite amazing, then, just how much of what these lower life forms have that coincides with the self-help aisle.
Hydrogen. This should top the list. Atomic hydrogen comprises about 75% of the elemental mass of the universe.4 It was there at the beginning, the primordial element, not baked in stars, and not created in massive fusion-star processes. Hydrogen is the canvas we were given at the beginning and were told to paint. Paint large, paint in detail, paint outside the lines. Or throw out the canvas and create a better one. At this point we have created elements not found in nature and not created in stars, but we have the humble proton thanks for it and it sits justly atop the throne at first place.
Oxygen, the very air we breathe. Sure the air we breathe is mostly nitrogen, and Oxygen is a flame's best friend, but it is also the best friend to the many fires burning in our body right now. It is fuel. Luckily for us it is not fuel for the vegetation of this world, no, CO2 (carbon dioxide) holds that place, and it is this symbiotic relationship that we seem hellbent on destroying that keeps this fragile ecosystem going. We are at no pinnacle. Sure, we have mastered technology as no other animal before us, and yet we are still locked into a symbiotic relationship with a green plant, do not forget this. There are so many viable, good alternatives on the table, but your masters want none of it. They can still make tons of money from a readily available resource with all the infrastructure in place. Don't think for a damn second that they care about the environment (whatever that means) or that they wish to improve community standards (whatever that means). They exist as corporations, and corporations are legally responsible to their shareholders to make as much money as possible. Let me repeat that. They are REQUIRED by law to make as much money as possible for their shareholders, and everything else be damned. This is the absolute truth. This is not an intended evil, and therein lies its sinister nature. It is merely the system that plays out when humans have organized themselves by nation states, corporations and powerful gangs, and it is they who have the power and the wealth. Until this organization can be changed, with more empathy wreathed into its design, we will not survive, and that is the truth of things. This community, nation, and planet are very much driving toward destruction at full speed. But this is not a political polemic, this is a fracking piece on the universe's most popular elements.
Nitrogen, estimated at about seventh in total abundance in our galaxy and the Solar System. It is synthesized by fusion of carbon and hydrogen in supernovas.5 For the most part inert, nitrogen comprises most of the air we breathe. People become a bit giddy and light-headed when breathing pure O2. I knew a club once where you could sit at the O2 bar and order your flavor of O2. Seemed like a rip-off to me; I was breathing flavored air for all I knew. It's like bottled-water. Who the hell is going to pay for water in a plastic bottle when it comes directly from the tap any time you want it, practically free-of-charge? OK, bad example. BUT, when combined with a sappy Bush song, you get Nitro-Glycerine. I hardly doubt that's the chemical formulation of nitroglycerin but I'm pretty sure Gavin Rossdale is involved somehow.
2. Fahy E, Subramaniam S, Murphy R, Nishijima M, Raetz C, Shimizu T, Spener F, Van Meer G, Wakelam M and Dennis E.A (2009). "Update of the LIPID MAPS comprehensive classification system for lipids". Journal of Lipid Research 50 (Supplement): S9–S14. 10.1194/jlr.R800095-JLR200. PMC 2674711. PMID 19098281.
3. Subramaniam S, Fahy E, Gupta S, Sud M, Byrnes RW, Cotter D, Dinasarapu AR and Maurya MR (2011). "Bioinformatics and Systems Biology of the Lipidome". Chemical Reviews 111 (10): 6452–6490. 10.1021/cr200295k. PMID 21939287
4. Palmer, D. (13 September 1997). "Hydrogen in the Universe". NASA. Retrieved 5 February 2008.