Saturday, June 09, 2007

The Scale of our solar system, and beyond...

Currently, at http://greybishop.blogspot.com/ there is a great presentation about our planet Earth. Check it out!
Greybishop's cool presentation was my inspiration for the "Scale of things" link.

12 comments:

Lady-in-Gray said...

Cool, Sawsee!

And all of that "mass" added together is still just a drop in the bucket.....

Sawsee said...

Hi Lady!

I know! When I stare up at the nightsky, it puts life into perspective. Years ago, late in the night, I was driving down an empty highway when a meteorite slashed through the sky landing about 100 feet from where I was. I could see red hot embers as it flashed to the ground. If it wasn't so late at night, and if I had a flashlight I would have tried to retrieve it. At the time, I never realized how rare it was to see one land.

Lady-in-Gray said...

Yes, they usually burn up in the atmosphere. I'd have been so tempted to go back and find it. If you had gone after it that night, you probably could have found it by it's "glow" but I'm sure it would have been too hot to pick up!

Greybishop said...

Like Lady said, a drop in the bucket.

Like GB said, while watching: "Holy crap."

The universe is just SO much cooler than we have even begun to realize.

It's always a "Wow" moment when I stop and think how we tiny, insignificant creatures are somehow able, even on the most basic level, to grasp the immensity of what's out there.

One of my favourite "GB-isms" that came out of a night of furious writing, fueled by too much coffee and nicotine (I don't miss smoking, but I do miss the constant companionship it provided at times like that) was this: "All that is is very, very small. It can be contained in a single neuron."

Obviously that's a VERY simplistic and undoubtedly incorrect interpretation of how the human brain works, but it gets the point across.

We CAN understand the universe. It isn't easy, but the capacity to understand what's going on around us, even when the scale is so completely unresolvable in a tangible way, is something that is (so far) uniquely human and beautiful.

Sawsee said...

Yes, it is amazing how we, as species, can comprehend something that is, virtually, beyond our reach.

What is amazing, to me, is how people like Pythagoras blazed a new path of comprehension (without the help of the internet!).

Greybishop said...

We owe a debt of gratitude to men like Pythagoras and Galileo who taught us about existance of that which is beyond the easy reach of our senses. Often at great peril to their own existance.

Our species needs men and women like them to continue to expand our understanding of the universe and ourselves.

Greybishop said...

I recently watched the 1970's BBC production of "connections". Among other things, it points out that Humanity's inventiveness (both for good and ill) ALWAYS grows exponentially whenever there's a new and better form of communication introduced.

The building of Roman roads, the development of a "Medievil telegraph" consisting of monks and priests working as a sort of "post office" for European scholars, the introduction of regular "mail", the invention of the telegraph, and then the telephone all mark the starting points of explosions of knowledge and invention.

Just think what the 'net will allow us to achieve...

Sawsee said...

GB! I loved the Connection shows!

That's a great point about the growth of ideas related to new media or communication devices.

For the vast majority of people, the internet has been useful in the last 15 years; a very short time in our history. In that 'Wikinomics' book it talks about a new collaberation between anonymous thinkers. e.g. Linux OS. Who would have imagined that programmers would willingly share valuable code with no monetary reward and very little, insular, recognition. I guess the world is changing!

Greybishop said...

"Connections" is STILL relevant and fascinating.

If you could update the bits about computers and change those horrid leisure suits that Burke is wearing, the show would appear to have been written and shot in the new millenium.

On top of great material, Burke is just really fun to watch, leisure suits notwithstanding...

Greybishop said...

And yes, I agree. The net will change the world in ways that are inconceivable, even now.

Just look at two little blogs. Yours and mine. We share ALL sorts of ideas back and forth, exchange knowledge and theory, pretty much instantly. Now imagine that we're REALLY smart, have a LOT of money between us and cook up a BIG idea this way. Only 25 years ago, that BIG idea would never get past the idea phase, since we'd never have "met" the way we did.

Of course, there's no guarantee that a "BIG" idea is necessarily a "GOOD" idea, but it's truly mind-boggling to think that entirely NEW ideas and inventions are going to arise in the near future, ideas and inventions that would have died aborning without this medium.

Personally, I'm looking forward to my own robo-maid. ;o)

Sawsee said...

GB! Lol!

First off, can you imagine a more cliche fashion symbol of the 70's, than a polyester leisure suit --ideally with large stitching!

I assume you could buy/rent a dvd of the 'Connections' series?

Yes, it is so cool about the exchange of ideas and the tiny possibility ideas could be built and realized! Ideas like 'Literary Linen Service. Pickup, delivery AND installation, weekly', by robo-maids'.

Yes, a robo-maid would be great! I wonder if they could clean gutters, and do small roof repairs too?

Greybishop said...

A buddy of mine had a copy...

He was kind enough to remind me of it AND loan it to me.

Had to fire up the VCR.