We're star stuff, sure. What isn't?
With rib of Adam did Jehovah craft Eve. Pandora (the All-Endowed) slips idly open her *pithos*, catalyzing a khamaseen's explosive decompression: lugra, nosoi, ponoi...but also Elpis.
Our stelliferous ancestors? Rude coruscant belches of supernovae from another spiral arm. Nebulae shrugging off expanding gossamers, pappuses gently borne on the dissipating breath of stellar winds. From this awesome cosmochemical lineage originate too dimethylmercury, thalidomide, and maggots. Rot and rabies and black molds in the lungs are star stuff; every purulent discharge and perineal cyst can trace its parentage to the heavens. Carbon fused aswirl as gamma rays rendered asunder neon, yielding the prime chalcogen. That same oxygen braved megakilometers of open space before finally becoming a crucial part of your painful colorectal polyps. Would you deny ass cancer its stake in God's plan?
Cyanwasserstoff, Blausäure, hydrogen cyanide, a Bad Year at Auschwitz-Birkenau: call it what you will. Triply-bonded carbons and nitrogens feasted richly on the mitochondrian iron of European Jewry, maintaining acquaintance with old friends. It is star stuff's calcium that instills a human body with form; it is stuff from that same star which erupts as osteosarcoma, that packs the body bloated and bursting with stumbling, half-mad leukemic mucilage. A tumor sinks new vessels, siphoning off food for its manic growth, and like the Sorcerer's Apprentice summons home siblings from strange aeons. Everyone you know will experience fratricide on the part of some celestial brother.
Star stuff. The emptied ash of the Creator's smoldering bong.
Among the bosonic matter with which you, Constant Reader, and I are familiar, the vast majority was fused or accumulated in stars. The exceptions huddle on either side of the curve of binding energy, and indeed on the line scored by time's arrow: promordial hydrogen, both with a neutron and without. Alpha particles with sundress-clad leptons at the Helium Ball. Some trace lithium; a pinch of beryllium. Behind them swarm only quarks and gluons and inflatons and mysteries. Far along out on the other side, assembled much more recently, are the heavy transactinides, pear-shaped and lethargic from gorging on beta decay.
Get together enough of the latter, squeeze it tight, admit some bare neutrons, and you can destroy a city. The first annihilating emissions, screaming out from Hell and hohlraum, are in the form of x-rays, a terrible pressureweight of light. Murmur *lux fiat*, as your Father did before you. Direct them at some of the former. Lithium-6 plus a neutron breeds tritium *in situ*, a third isotope of hydrogen, one unloved by the gods. It will exist for only a split-second. Compressed and heated, vernal tritium seeks out deuterium literally as old as the universe itself. Get together enough of this, and you can destroy a world.
Star stuff. Why rent when you can own?
previously: "Theory and Practice of Sprixels" 2021-03-29