Fri

April 27, 2012

Happy Fri. Nice day here. Started out at 33 and will go up to the 60s. The bird sounds in the yard are diversifying. The steady tooting of chickadees and chipping of redpolls has been augmented by the ringing of a junco and the churbling of a robin. And at different times Pam and I both thought we heard a flycatcher. More are on the way. And the leaves are beginning to unfurl.

Yokelly not too much going on. We’ve been watching a Harvard professor lecture on the universe. Pretty heady stuff. Under the rubric news you can use, our bodies are made up of elements created when suns collapsed in their last stages of life, causing hydrogen to mutate into helium, iron into silicon, and assorted other chemical elements into others. This occurs in nuclear fusion requiring unimaginable heat and pressure, and the slag it produces created the atoms in the dirt you stand on and the chair on which you sit, not to mention what you sit with. Who knew?

The distance from here to the center of our unremarkable galaxy—unremarkable except for the fact that it has such wonderful life forms as we are, and our pets—is about 25,000 light years. A jet flying at 600 mph around the sun’s surface would arrive back at its starting point in about six months (if it could do that without being burned up instantly in heat ranging from 3500 to 5500 degrees Celsius. The visible universe (visible from earth and from the Hubble Space Telescope) contains about 125 billion galaxies. The closest galaxy to us is about 2 million light years away. There are vast stretches of empty space in the universe. Etc. All of these observations are subject to correction.

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