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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.
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.
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?
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
- Six Pyramids (a poem)
- The Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon: A Journey to Teotihaucan (a travel essay)
- The Ecological Pyramid (information and graphics)
- A Natural Pyramid (a photo)
- Private Pyramid (a photo essay)
- A Pyramid Advent Calendar (a craft project)
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