Sunday, 5 October 2014

Counting fifty millionths of a nanosecond...

I'm involved in a wonderful project for Manchester Literature Festival: Tales from the Towpath. It is based around the waterways of Manchester, and, unsurprisingly, the story is all about water... I don't mean water simply as environment, but the threat that is facing water. The biggest issue I think is that no one knows what the consequence is. Yes, we know seas are warming, becoming more acidic, and that obviously threatens the marine life already balanced to the chemical make up of the sea, but what actually will happen is really anyone's guess.
Our story is not concerned with the sea, per se, but the water in the canals and rivers of Manchester. (Although you could argue, that just as all oceans are the same body of water, the cycle is delicate and connected) There is a prophetic element in our story, dealing with the various possibilities of what will happen to our water in the future.
We found research about water memory suggesting that water is more fragile than we'd suspected, to the point where the hydrogen bonds within its molecular structure can be broken down within fifty millionths of a nanosecond. This has potentially disastrous outcomes when you consider the ongoing degradation of plastics - what generally ends up in the water: be it canals, drains, the sea. All the plastics that have been made are still in existence in some form. Plastic breaks down and breaks down to microscopic particles, but as yet it has not completely disappeared. Water, fragile as some suggest, is vulnerable to this morphing of plastic. In some, possibly not too distant, future it may no longer be written as the familiar H2O compound but a new unfamiliar descendant. Cue mythological creatures that have adapted to such an environment....
The story trail opens tomorrow, Monday 6th October and runs, for free self-guided tours, for the duration of the festival, until 19th October. There is a performance on Friday 17th October, at Castlefield Basin on a traditional narrowboat, which will be a first for me 

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