Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Once upon a time there was a place called Earth. It was a large sphere floating in space. The surface of Earth was covered with water, fertile soil, sand, massive mountains, ice, deep crevices and vast plains. On this Planet were many living things including both flora (vegetation that grows, replenishes, dies and even disappears) and fauna (animal life – including beings endowed with the capacity to think, perceive and communicate, on occasion.) 
According to the keenest thinkers Earth was very old. Some estimated that it had existed more than 4.5 billion years. Other fauna thinkers determined that Earth was shaped like a ball and calculated the distance directly through the middle of this ball to be about 8,000 miles. They called this the diameter. It was further determined that this most vulnerable sphere had been subject to violent revulsions, clashing land masses, exploding mountaintops, torrential fire storms and ravaging ice slides. In the most recent 2 million years of its existence it is said that this ‘Earth’ experienced approximately 12 ice ages and 12 warming periods. 
Earth resided in something called a Universe that included solar systems, galaxies, planets, stars, stellar groupings and nebulae. At some point and somehow someone figured out how to measure the size of this universe. It turned out to be so huge that normal numbers could not adequately define how big it was. So they made up a term called a Light Year to help make it simpler to understand. A Light Year is the distance that light travels in one Earth Year. A Light Year is equal to just under 6 trillion miles. A trillion has 12 zeroes. 
Now, here’s where this story takes the first outrageous twist. The best and brightest of Earth’s thinkers calculated that the Universe in which Planet Earth resided was 156 billion Light Years in diameter. So, to calculate the width (or depth) of this Universe the arithmetic looks like this:
6,000,000,000,000 x 156,000,000,000 = 
(I will be humbled by your kind correction but I believe this number is pronounced 93 sextillion, 600 quintillion.) Planet Earth, a massive 8,000 miles across, exists within a neighborhood that is 93.6 sextillion miles across. 
Onto Planet Earth arrived a fauna boy child who grew up reading books, put on a uniform, wrote words, read more books and then became the most useless form of all fauna – a politician. He had moments of brilliance as a politician, not the least of which was his early support of the development of the Information Superhighway that has enabled everyone on Earth to have access to instant communication, infinite information, pop-up ads, spam, unnecessary commentary called blogs, pornography and medicine that makes erect the male fauna’s withering flora. He is also to be celebrated for his role in establishing an environmental Superfund that was used to clean up toxic industrial waste at a place called Love Canal. However, after these heroic efforts Super Boy unraveled, falling to the utter depths of political addiction by attempting to become the leader of his country. It didn’t happen. 
At this point Super Boy got pretty steamed. In fact, he got hotter than Hell and decided that everyone else was too hot, too – including Planet Earth. So he gathered some friends and scientists and made an awesome film portraying his thesis on the culmination of 4.5 billion years of violent and catastrophic expansion in a universe 93.6 sextillion miles across and its impact on an orb 8,000 miles in diameter. For this he has become a modern day hero – receiving international acclaim including an Oscar and a Nobel Prize.
Some people think he’s full of shit.