In the beginning, there was physics. “Physics” describes how matter, energy, space, and time behave and interact with one another. The interplay of these characters in our cosmic drama underlies all biological and chemical phenomena. Hence everything fundamental and familiar to us earthlings begins with, and rests upon, the laws of physics. When we apply these laws to astronomical settings, we deal with physics writ large, which we call astrophysics.

Like the microscopic strands of DNA that predetermine the identity of a macroscopic species and the unique propertires of its members, the modern look and feel of the cosmos was writ in the fabric of its earliest moments, and carried relentlessly through time and space. We feel it when we look up. We feel it when we look down. We feel it when we look within.

In high altitude astronomical facilities we routinely discharged large amounts of nitrogen gas into closed spaces. We were never informed by the astronomy management team about the abnormally low oxygen environments that the use of liquid nitrogen creates, how long term exposure to it manifests itself in human health and the resulting abnormal mental behaviors.

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