Some not-very-scientific musings about atoms

I do a lot of my best thinking right before bed. This can drive Daniel crazy, because when he goes to bed, he's going to sleep. When I go to bed, I'm tucking in for at least an hour of thinking and reading. I read somewhere that lying on the floor (or in bed) and staring at the ceiling can help you think through problems from a new angle, which I find to be charmingly literal and surprisingly reliable advice. I don't usually do it for problem-solving, but it's great for all-purpose thinking.

Last night, I got into bed and started thinking about how strange atoms are. Everything is made of these tiny magnets! And we can move through some of these little magnet parties (liquids, gases), while others (walls, rocks, this keyboard) are pretty dang resistant, and others (animal bodies, plasma) are kind-of resistant (or "gooshy" as I like to say). And while there are the occasional exchanges of atoms when things bump into each other, it is INSANE to me that every thing is not naturally way more transient. For instance, isn't it crazy that atoms don't just gas around and occasionally form a body, then disintegrate again, then form another different body? And what I mean by "body" here could be anything: a human body, a flower, a bottle of pills, curtains. Isn't it crazy that when two bodies come into contact, they don't merge together into a superbody? 

Ok, sure, they will merge if they are similar liquids, or if you put them into a blender, or if you apply liberal heat. And in terms of extra-geological time, we are pretty dang momentary, so maybe the universe already sees us like this: a bunch of transient magnets floating around in an atomic ballet, bumping together to make a human or two for just a moment. 

Anyway, it's pretty crazy and beautiful that anything exists, that we get to exist right now, that our magnets are arranged to make us sentient, and that they are arranged just-slightly-differently in every person. It's pretty crazy and beautiful that itty-bitty magnets are responsible for complex biological systems, like animals being able to eat and reproduce (which, when you think about mammalian reproduction, especially, is NUTS). And it's pretty dang crazy that we are mostly a bunch of carbon magnets and we somehow aren't all just pencil lead.