Friday, December 21, 2012
There is no heaven. There is no rebirth. After this, there is nothing.
Or is there?
Everything in your body, everything you see around you, everyone you ever met or ever will meet, is made out of elements that were made in suns. The byproducts of 10,000-degree-hearths, this star-stuff sank to the center of suns as they burned and burned and burned, converting from one fuel to another and changing color from white to red, burning dimmer and brighter, growing and shrinking and growing again.
And in the atomic flash that marked the end of each star's too-short life, all those atoms were blasted by the ton into the black. There they drifted like plankton in an eleven-dimensional infinity of nothingness, forever.
They twisted into kaleidoscopes of elements and energy, melding into neon and silver and sodium, until faint wisps of gravity pulled them into orbit around a new helium yellow glow. A few trillion short days later and they'd formed into all the rest of the elements on the periodic table (and some we haven't found yet).
They poured together into magma and oceans. Bathed in the sun's killer glow they got together to form squiggly creatures and fish and plants. Reptiles and mammals and birds (in that order).
And we partied on for eons, kissing and killing.
And in a handful of billions of years from now, when it's all over and our star is no more and our world is no more, all that carbon and uranium and calcium and mercury, all those molecules -- our molecules -- will float once again among each other, among the heavens, bathing in the dim glorious halo of a million billion galaxies...
...Until they begin to feel those familiar, gentle wisps of gravity tugging at them once again.
Friday, April 13, 2012
Friday, February 3, 2012
Ah, the happiest place on earthTM. This is the actual official map of Disneyland that they give you at the front gate (click to enlarge):
In the legend at the bottom, there is a warning. An exclamation mark in a yellow circle: "This attraction may be frightening for children."
Now you might expect to find this warning symbol on a lot of rides at Disneyland.
Thunder Mountain or Space Mountain... these are fast rides with twists and turns.
Or how about the Jungle Cruise with the guide firing blanks from a pistol?
Or how about just the decor in Adventure Land, with skulls impaled on spears (my personal favorite)?
The only place on the whole map that this warning "frightening for children" appears is...
Starring Michael Jackson.
Credit: Thanks to Scott Lipsey for pointing this out.