108 – Pyramids

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I like to walk on the beach. It is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

On my way toward the shoreline for my morning walk, I passed remnants of someone playing in the sand. One structure was simple but significant enough to spark my thoughts for this day.

I think of pyramids as geometric structures with a wide base and triangular sides meeting at the top to form a point known as the apex. The number of sides on a pyramid is related to the number of sides on its base. Besides, the pyramid’s wide base can support a great weight.

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When it comes to pyramids, the ancient ones in Egypt are an immediate thought for many. We associate these wonders of the ancient world with names such as Giza, Valley of the Kings, Luxor, the Nile River, and tombs for pharaohs with the Sphinx as their guardian protector. 

I think about how the Egyptian pyramids are both magnificent and mysterious – but I haven’t seen them in person.  They made each pyramid with many stones, and each stone weigh tons. This ancient civilization knew the required wide base, yet how they moved large stones to that height without modern-day machinery remains a mystery.

I think back to my days in school when math classes involved calculating volume and surface area for different pyramids. Today I chuckle about that application to bottle shapes.

To me, but not to everyone, today’s skyscrapers are modern pyramids because a wide base to a pointy top is evident. The wider the base, the higher the skyscraper can go. Today, architects disguise the wide bases as storefronts, grand lobbies, and parking facilities occupying an entire city block.

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I think about visiting the World Trade Center site a year or two after the horrifying 9-11 attacks. Among other thoughts, I recall thinking, “That’s one big hole.” Yes, to go that high, the base has to be that wide.

I think about pyramid-shaped objects in today’s world – prisms, gazebos, perfume bottles, outdoor cafe umbrellas, paperweights, Christmas trees, wedges of cheese, and various aspects of decor.

I think about how the pyramid represents people in a variety of ways. How many children must learn to play the piano for one to rise to the level of Chopin or Horowitz?

How many workers must one business hire to develop one front-line manager?  Every hire will not lead a department – let alone become CEO?

How many painters must there be to get one painting in the same museum as a Rembrandt?

How many kids must be involved in youth football for one to be inducted into the NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame?

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As a former science teacher, I think of biology’s ecological pyramid. The wide base represents the producers – the many green plants that make their food because they can’t capture it. The same green plants start most food chains forming the foundation of all life. Therefore, it takes many producers to support the life of top-level predators like eagles and lions. 

The same pyramid represents populations. Therefore, it takes many base-level producers to support a much smaller population of top-level consumers. I look across the sea to note the waters are required to contain many more algae than great white sharks. 

I think of the nutritional pyramid with a wide base representing fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats and oils – yet red meat, sugar, and salt are at the top. Grains are one level up from the base, then dairy products. 

I think about how these pyramids also illustrate energy transfer. This means the amount of energy available to the next level decreases for various reasons. Physicists will also relate the same concept when energy transforms from one form into another.

Although there is much we don’t know about the great pyramids of Egypt, I realize pyramids are very useful in today’s world. From the simple to the mysterious, pyramids gave me more to think about than I imagined. That’s what happens when we think. And a beach is a delightful place for thinking. After all, I like walking on the beach because it is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

See what other bloggers have posted about Pyramids

Next Post: Frontier – Saturday 29th January @ 1 AM (Eastern US)

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94 thoughts on “108 – Pyramids”

  1. When I saw your title, the towering Egyptian kinds flashed into my head. Your post turned out to be more and offered much food for thought. Now I’m thinking of a food pyramid and strangely, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Ok, now I need to hop off this train of thought, Frank. Superb post as usual.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. And not to forget the pyramid structures in built by the Myans and Incas.. They have stairs on them so one can climb to the tops…
    And my father had some rough diamonds, tiny but majestic pyramids, double sided! I think there are some other crystals with a shape of a pyramid. Pointed that is. An obelisk seems to me to be a very skinny type of pyramid as well, like the one in Washington DC. And those little things we used in science classes to bend light, are they also not a small pyramid!

    Yes, pyramids are amazing structures, and even the hierarchy in the work place is amazing if it can work smoothly with all the members else it might crumble.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marina,
      As you know, the opening video is the ocean sounds. Unexpected to me, it was taken down – but I’ve replaced it. Thanks for the concert. I imagine many musicians imagine a concert with the pyramids in the background. After all, what magical, mystical place. Yamas! .

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I kinda dig how you went there, to ask how many somethings build that pyramid. I wonder how many quarterbacks have to start with Pee Wee football, move to high school and college football and then get drafted into the NFL before the Miami Dolphins finally score their franchise quarterback.

    I don’t think there is a pyramid that goes that high . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marc,
      Just for a QB to make it to the NFL is quite the feat. And to think that some hang around a long time as a career backup. Others are journeymen QBs – that blend of starter and back-up. A few have good careers but are not consider to be among the elite. Franchise QBs aren’t that common. Take any point in history and try to count them. More teams don’t have them than do. Besides, how many were drafted to be the franchise, then turned out not to be. Remember this year of the QBs drafted – Tim Couch, Donovan McNabb, and Akili Smith – drafting 1, 2, 3 in 1999.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Nothing wrong with being a backup. In fact, me and some peeps were talking about that very thing some time ago. Like, where would you want to be a backup QB?

        My top five list was, as follows . . .

        Miami
        New Orleans
        San Diego (Sshhhh, this is hypothetical)
        Dallas
        Denver

        Excepting for Denver, all warm weather climes where I can enjoy the best these places have to offer without having to worry about getting all scuffed up.

        That draft! I think it was ’99? Ugh! I remember everyone talking up Couch . . .

        Okay, true franchise QB’s today.

        Mahomes
        Allen
        Burrow
        Herbert
        Rodgers
        Brady (asterisk, since he might be leaving)

        And maybe Russell Wilson if he’s past his injuries.

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  4. Frank,
    I stood in amazement in front of the pyramid at Chichen Itza in the Mayan peninsula. How this little people created such a huge structure with so much significance: The four sides for the four seasons, the corners pointed at exactly the proper axis, the way the light at a certain time will shine exactly at the right place. Between them and the Egyptians, we have much to keep learning, don’t we?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Back in the day when I visited Chichen Itza, we were allowed to climb to the top. The steps so steep you wonder, considering how small the Mayan people were/are! there was a chain going down the middle of the side we were allowed to climb to help us it was that steep. I have heard that it is no longer allowed. Too bad, the view was amazing.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. John,
      I haven’t seen the Louvre Pyramid. Pcitures share its beauty, but I haven’t thought out it as being “not French” – but it does seem out of place. Thoughts of being iconic and out-of-place seem to be a contradiction, but it also seems to fit. Thanks for sharing and I hope to see it sometime in the near future.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Gwen,
      Thank you and glad you enjoyed this walk. You are one up on me because I haven’t seen the Egyptian pyramids or the Louvre. Might as well add the Central American pyramids to the list. So I look forward to see my first ancient pyramid because Los Vegas Luxor doesn’t count.

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  5. Excellent thoughts! I had never considered how intricate the pyramid is in our lives. And then I remembered Maslow’s theory. Perhaps the pyramid shape is an integral part of our psyche and we instinctively gravitate towards it. I got some thinking to do…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Who knew there was so much to think about pyramids? My daughter married an Egyptian and one of her in-laws works for the tourism department in Cairo. So he was able to get her and her husband in for a private tour a couple of years back. Doesn’t that sound wonderful?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. That is interesting: the ancient Egyptians, Aztecs, Italians, Khmers, and so many others built pyramids. Why are we so fascinated with pyramids, then, and now? And I wonder if our modern day pyramids (I like the analogy!) will last as long as those ancient ones? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Endless,
      Great point – Pyramids have been around for a long time, yet we have a fascination with them. Why is a pyramid on the back of a US dollar bill? I don’t know – but somebody does. No doubt in my mind that skyscrapers are modern day pyramids. In my mind, I can’t see them lasting as long. Then again, time will tell. 🙂

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  8. I enjoyed how your walk had you contemplating the pyramids and how incredible their structures are for civilization, Frank. But you also discussed the social and biological aspects of pyramids which was just fascinating all around. I am linking this to this Sunday’s post as I explore the elements for Sunday Stills and my word of the year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Terri,
      Thanks for the kind words. When I approach I walk, stewing on the thought usually takes me in different directions – and so structures, the biological, and social came forth. Keep in mind that my science background also comes into play. And the fact that you are linking this on your next Sunday Stills is an honor. Thank you.. Reader reaction to this walk has been a pleasant surprise.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Thought provoking post, Frank, especially tying in the ecological pyramid. Another interesting use of a pyramid model are those of various learning theories. I’m most familiar with Bloom’s Taxonomy (I’ve even given presentations on how it applies to music education) but there are several other learning theory models, including STEAM (adding the Arts to STEM). Perhaps it is the 3D aspect of the pyramid that works in our 3D physical world as a model for hierarchy and proportion.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lynn,
      Bloom’s Taxonomy is a great addition to this walk … and given my teaching background, how did I not remember to mention it! Although I preferred a different model (I believe it was called the Application Model), both directed to higher-order thinking! You also mentioned STEAM and STEM, which may be closer to the Application Model. Thanks for adding these models!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I have seen and been inside these pyramids, Frank, and their structure is great to ponder. You do it so well. Thank you for your walks and thoughts…associations. Impressive they are. Interesting that we still build according to this structure.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ann-Christine,
      Oh wow …. I believe you are the first to say they have been in the pyramids of Egypt. They must be fascinating! Thank you for the kind thoughts. I take my time in preparing each walk. I can only think of one that I quickly developed. Thank you, again!

      Like

    1. Michel,
      Thanks for the kind words and also making me chuckle this morning. Yes – the science teacher is very much in me, and it comes out on many walks – but some more than others. Then again, your background will pick that up! I have not yet had the pleasure to visit Paris, but I know of the Louvre Pyramid. Hopefully someday I will get there.

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  11. The Louvre pyramid is one of my favourite Parisian sights these days, especially lit so beautifully. Not sure that I’d want to see the originals any more, Frank. Probably easier to retain their mystery that way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jo,
      I have not yet scene the Lourve Pyramid for one reason – I haven’t been to Paris yet – but hopefully someday soon that will be solved. I know what you mean about the Egyptian pyramids. Fascinating, but I’m hesitant. However, friends of mine loved their trip there a few years ago.

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      1. A Nile cruise was always on the agenda for me, Frank, and I would have expected to see the Pyramids en route. Times have changed, though, and my mindset is a little different these days. But yes, you should see Paris! 🤗💗

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Thank you for opening my eyes to the wonders of pyramids, Frank. Of course, I was familiar with the Egyptian ones as well as the ones from geometry class and the food pyramid, but I’d never even considered all the other ways of looking at them. Very cool walk today!

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  13. I was amused at how all I could think of was only the ones from Egypt at the first mention of the Pyramids. Then I was in agreement and amazed at so many perspectives that you brought to thinking of the pyramids. I enjoyed this post thoroughly.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Reading this one brought back a memory of watching and being totally enthralled with “In Search of Ancient Astronauts” with Rod Serling years and years ago. It sure pulled me into a different world way back then – I dreamed of being an archeologist but it was only dreaming. I really had hoped to see the pyramids but I won’t. But your post is about so much more than “those” pyramids of course. Life is a bit like a pyramid in a way – we work our way up from the bottom slowly but surely reaching the top which is the closest point to the sky and the end (or the beginning). Reading this post yesterday had me thinking about many things – your walks always do stir up my thoughts and that’s a GOOD thing.

    Pam

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pam,
      Good morning. Your comment caused a good smile. Thank you because it’s a good way to start the day. Just so happens watched the sunrise a few minutes ago. As it was coming over the horizon, I noticed its reflection in the water – a reflection that looked like a base of a pyramid. I imagine pyramids on my mind probably influenced my thought, but very interesting. I like your application of life to a pyramid. That’s so good, I wish I would have thought of that one for this walk! Thanks not only for your kind words and for your visits, but for also what you do at your end. 🙂

      Like

  15. An interesting subject, Frank. My first thought went to a collection of tiny plastic pyramids I use in my workshop when painting or staining material. Their wide base is very stable and the pointed top leaves a very small mark.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Fascinating post, Frank!
    The Pyramids are a mystery in many ways.
    I never thought of the other types of pyramids you have mentioned here… food, populations, building, etc.
    Some shaky people will organize “pyramid schemes”.
    Hey, did you ever hear the one about; if you made a perfect pyramid structure and hung/put a dull razor blade in the exact centre, it would self sharpen?
    Thank you for this Beach Walk!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Love pyramids. I have several crystal pyramids. Back in the day when my hands were more creative than my mind, I used to make them from card. Better yet were obelisks. Yes, I do have a mathematical turn to my brain! I did a duodecahedron once. All scored and folded from one sheet of card

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Thanks for including the Yanni video, live from the Pyramids. I haven’t thought of him in years and I used to listen to him all the time when I was in my 40s… Geometry was never my strong suit but I enjoyed reading your thoughts on the features of pyramids and how useful they are in illustrating various concepts, like the food pyramid, which keeps changing…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Barbara,
      I always appreciate feedback about the closing videos, so thank you! … and I’m glad I could renew your joy for Yanni. Once I found the video, I knew I had to use it. Pyramids are in our live in many ways – and I’ve probably only scratched the surface. Thanks for walking along – and good luck with the monster storm!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Such an interesting “review” of pyramids, Frank. I must admit that beyond being aware that the Egyptian pyramids are an ancient wonder, and thereby fascinating, I haven’t given them much thought. A pyramid is a fascinating shape and structure, but I couldn’t have outlined the specifications as you did here. Your scientific observations were truly on display here, Frank, and I enjoyed!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Debra,
      Thanks for the kind words. Thinking of pyramids first takes us to Egypt, but pyramids are around us more than we realize. Somewhere in the comments I mentioned the pyramid on the back of a dollar bill. Thanks for walking along. Hope all is well in So Cal.

      Like

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