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insomnia

Can’t sleep. Guess spending most of the last month in a mild doze has taken up all the sleep for a while. I’ll have to get at least a little though, stuff to do tomorrow and I need to get something vaguely resembling a stable sleep cycle by next week. I know how to fix this, wine & philosophy. I even have some chocolate if things get desperate.

Here’s a thought that blows my mind. The universe is 13.7 billion years old, and 48 billion light years in diameter. This means that, averaging since the beginning of time, the distance between the far edges of the universe grows at nearly twice the speed of light. Yet no object can move faster than light relative to any other object.

What’s happening is that spacetime itself is expanding. This is a difficult concept to wrap my head around, and I’m still not sure I get it, so bear with me. The usual simile I’ve read is a balloon with dots on it. As the balloon inflates and expands, the dots spread farther apart. In the same way, galaxies spread farther apart as spacetime expands. In every direction at once. I’m starting to get a headache again.  Read the rest of this entry

There’s a point at the fulcrum that does not move.

I suppose I’m still feeling introspective. I looked at the latest Zen Pencils and found a Sylvia Plath quote that I could deeply relate to. Go take a look at it.

I’m not familiar with the fig tree analogy, though, I usually heard about it as a hallway filled with doors, all open and filled with opportunity and just waiting for you to step through.

It always seemed appropriate to me, when I took it to its logical conclusion. You have all these doors, but you don’t really know what’s behind them until you step through. You don’t know what other doors may be through there, or what horrors may be hidden within that pleasant-looking room. You’re never sure how far you can go before you reach a dead end, and you can never be certain which doors will be locked while you’re exploring a particular room.  Read the rest of this entry

Forged in the heart of a star

In my last post I mentioned our connection to the stars and the universe, and I’ve been thinking about that some more. Consider for a moment that every atom that makes up your body was part of a star once. Think about some of the implications.

There’s a young Earth creationist group whose favorite tactic is the phrase “Were you there?” They train children to ask this question in schools, at museums, anytime someone talks about something happening millions of years ago. It’s every bit as childish and annoying as you imagine, all the irritation of a four year old repeatedly asking “why?” with none of the actual curiosity.

The thing is, from a certain point of view it’s a perfectly honest answer to say “Yes”. Yes, I was there when the dinosaurs died out, and so were you. The atoms that make up my body were already here, in the air, the ground, the oceans, and the plants and animals, even in the dinosaurs themselves. Scattered across the world, unbinding from one molecule and binding into another, and passing down through the ages until the time when, for a brief while, they would come together to form me. The same is true of you and everyone else who’s ever lived. Read the rest of this entry

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