Wednesday, May 26, 2004

CHEESEBURGERS IN PARADISE II. There is an interesting article at today, by Robert Roy Britt, about the size of the universe. I know, I know, you’re more worried about the size of your waist than the size of the universe, especially after that post about McDonalds. Plus, most of us do not plan to travel the universe, if for no other reason than there are no Starbucks there.

But, guess how big scientist now say it is: 156 billion light-years wide!

Guess how they did it. They “examined primordial radiation imprinted on the cosmos.” I kid you not. Ha, you didn’t even know there was such a thing a primordial radiation, did you, much less that it was imprinted on the cosmos.

O.K., I don’t know what any of those things are either.

But, I’m concerned. I mean, what effect will primordial radiation have on me? How do you get it off? I don’t think I want it imprinted on me. Am I part of the cosmos?

Scientists also think the universe is about 13.7 billion years old. That is really old. That means light we see from the earliest known galaxies left home 13 billion years ago. No wonder ET wanted to phone home.

I actually went out last night to see some light from the earliest known galaxies. It was hard to tell. So, I just went on to Starbucks. At least I can recognize it.

What does light from the earliest known galaxies look like? It is old and wrinkled looking light. It also looks really tired from traveling all that way. The traffic was terrible, what with all that old light traveling around. And think of how many times the baby lights asked “are we there yet?”

To make it worse, it is really hard to get anywhere in the universe, because the universe has been expanding since the beginning of time. That is like going to visit your grandma in Vernon. When you left it was 120 miles away. But, when you got to Wichita Falls, the sign tells you Vernon is now 200 miles away. You’re going to need a lot of DVDs on your way across the universe.

Does this mean that the universe might not be that old, but just expanding really fast so light is farther away than we thought? Is that scientific? I feel like the king in The King and I. That’s scientific!

The article also said scientists studied the cosmic microwave background. That sounds like something a hippie would make popcorn in.

Here’s a great quote: "The problem is that funny things happen in general relativity which appear to violate special relativity.” Doesn’t that sound like something John Kerry would say. “When I voted for relativity, I meant special relativity, not general relativity. Did I mention I fought in Vietnam?”

Finally, the scientists concluded that the universe has started expanding again. Distant galaxies are moving away at a rate that is increasing. Wow, even galaxies do not want to be near us. It must be the greenhouse gas.

All this is making me weary. I think I’ll go watch a DVD. Maybe “Back To The Future”.

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