Tired of reading about the Kardashians? Sick of egocentric politicians? Disgusted with endless war in the Middle East? Getting bored reading these monthly Outlooks? (Not that bored or you wouldn’t be reading this).
Here’s some “breaking news” that I find really interesting and I hope you will too. It’s a recent summary of some things that scientists have discovered over the last few decades. Prepare to be amazed.
- Velocity and gravity can make time stand still – relatively, that is. Einstein’s concept of “spacetime” proposes that the gravitational pull at the center of a black hole freezes the stopwatch of time. If you could live there, billions of years in the universe could pass, and you would not have aged one second. Similarly, time stops if an object travels at the speed of light. Even by traveling at 450 miles an hour in an airplane, your “time” relative to a stationary friend on Earth would pass more slowly than hers. To be “relatively” immortal, forget about cryogenics – just go fast, or live in a dark hole.
- The universe has trillions of identical but separate twins. Two different “particles” separated by light years in space – one at one end of the universe, the other at the opposite, can influence each other. If one turns “right," the other one will turn “left” and at exactly the same time. Quantumly spooky!
- Scientists have shown that “particles” can suddenly appear out of nothing – even a vacuum – and then disappear again into nothingness. It seems strange that you could get something from nothing, but that there once was nothing 15 billion years ago, and now there is a universe, is evident proof that you can. One theory behind the creation of our universe is that a small “particle” showed up completely from a “void” and then “expanded” exponentially into the universe we know today. Big Bang? Yes – most know this – but the “singularity” from nothing? Mind blowing.
- Something can either be here or not here, depending on whether you’re looking. Remember the old twister about “if a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, does it make a sound?” Science says “no." Observation matters. This is the puzzle of “Schrödinger’s Cat." Hidden in a box, this quantum “cat” can be alive or dead depending on whether you look inside. Be careful then, about how you treat your own Tabby. Check on it often to make sure it’ll be there tomorrow.
- Carbon and all the heavier elements of which we are composed (a little gold by the way) were manufactured or cooked by Supernova stars at tremendous heat. Those stars eventually exploded and the elements somehow coalesced into other stars and planets, eventually to make us. So we are “golden – we are stardust” – Crosby, Stills and Nash were right. And by the way, you and I are composed of some of the identical atoms as Genghis Khan and Columbus were. Not Elvis though. Nature hasn’t had enough time yet to spread him around.
- Dark Matter – So 2/3 of the universe is made up of dark matter – matter that supposedly doesn’t emit or reflect light. This one’s mysterious to me but I’m going with it because scientists seem certain the universe couldn’t stay together unless it was there. And God said, “Let there be dark matter!” Have to change a few verses in the Bible, I guess.
- Global warming is a fact. Nah, I won’t go there – they haven’t really proved it, now have they? After all, if a cat can either be here or not here depending on whether you’re looking, then global warming deniers just need to avoid looking for the signs, and it won’t exist. See – science is on their side after all.
Some of this isn’t actually breaking news, but then for Fox and CNN, everything is. So I’m just following their example. If you’re incredulous or just mad by now, go back to the Kardashians. Caitlyn has a new wardrobe she is just dying to show off, and the war in the Middle East will still be going on.