The Center of the Universe - Raspberries, Rum, Hot Metal, Ozone, Gun Powder, and Charcoal

The Center of the Universe - Raspberries, Rum, Hot Metal, Ozone, Gun Powder, and Charcoal

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The center of our universe is raspberries and rum? In a vast dust cloud at the center of the Milky Way there is an abundance of ethyl formate, a simple aliphatic ester found in the smell of rum and raspberries. To these elements, we've added notes from astronauts' descriptions of the smell of their suits when they return from space walks - freshly welded metal, gun powder, seared steak in an iron pan, burnt almond cookies, charcoal, and ozone.

"Just where that star above Shines with a cold, dispassionate smile -- If in the flesh I'd travel there, How many, many a mile! If this, my soul, should be Unprisoned from its earthly bond, Time could not count its markless flight Beyond that star, beyond!"

- William Stanley Braithwaite, 1908

Art: Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh,1889

 

Gratitude to the University of Michigan Humanities Text Initiative American Verse Project