More on Astronomy
Yesterday's news about the Planck spacecraft led me to a little further reading and I came across the following statement from a 2003 article that reported on a then new estimate of the number of stars in the universe: "The result [of the calculations] is said to be more stars than there are grains of sand on all of Earth's beaches". Imagine that! That's what I call unfathomable. Do an experiment. Take one handful of sand from the beach. Just one puny handful. Try to count the grains. You'll get tired of it before long. Imagine a whole beach. Miles of beaches. Thousands of miles of beaches... Feeling kind of small? And every grain of sand, every star, separated by billions and billions upon billions of miles. I'm feeling dizzy. Maybe it's all just a joke. God is playing an incredible joke on us, right? When he senses that we're closing in on the answer he'll say, ok, enough already, I was just kidding... That's the optimist's, the dreamer's view. More likely, we are so small and insignificant, not even God remembers us. In fact, the very idea of God is just a strange evolutionary coping mechanism. Back to the rabbit: yes, the universe is so big that it's quite reasonable to imagine seemingly absurd realties. So big... that it's perfectly normal to imagine another world on which a being just like me is writing these very words at this very moment. Maybe the only difference is he's a rabbit. And I'm a human (so they say) and like to eat well. Last night Danny, Asun and I had the world's greatest eggplant at the Fogón Argentino, right here in the neighborhood. Then we followed that up with the boletus edulis croquettes at the Dehesa Extremeña. Wow! I believe you could search entire galaxies before coming across something so delicious! And the Belgian chocolate ice cream from Trastevere to wash it all down was not bad either.