hatman: HatMan, my alter ego and face on the 'net (Default)
( Aug. 31st, 2014 10:46 pm)
I should probably post something here. It's been a long time. It's just been a crazy summer and I haven't had much chance to catch my breath, let alone organize my thoughts. I've been neglecting all my social media.

The last month or two of my life... )
hatman: HatMan, my alter ego and face on the 'net (Default)
( Aug. 31st, 2014 11:37 pm)
Wrote this a few weeks ago, after I finally gave up on getting any sleep on the plane whatsoever:

Light is amazing. It moves as fast as it is physically possible to go. And it moves across impossible distances.

Somewhere, 10,000 light years away, a star burned. It sent out light in all directions. Some small portion of that light traveled, not in our direction, but towards where we would be 10,000 years later as the Earth sped and spun through the vastness of space.

It went between stars. Past planets and moons and comets and asteroids and more.

It came to Earth. It headed right for you. But it was daytime, and you didn't notice. You couldn't sort it out from all the much younger light around you.

Still it came. This time at night. But it was a cloudy night, and so it was blocked.

Still it came. On a clear night now. But you were in the city, surrounded by street lights and house lights and car lights. So you didn't notice.

Still it came. But you were indoors, and the light couldn't make it through the wall.

Still it came. You were outside on a clear night, far from the lights of civilization. But your eyes were closed. Or you were looking in the wrong direction. And so you didn't see.

Still it came, but it was in the frequency we call ultraviolet, and so you could not detect it.

Still it came. And this time, everything was right. It had come so far. Not a million miles; it could do that in a matter of seconds. Not billion miles; it could do that in under a day. It had been going that fast for 10,000 years. Since before the dawn of human civilization.

A photon came all that way, and it crashed into a single electron in the back of your eye. And that electron gained the tiniest jump in energy. And that jump got turned into a signal.

At the same time, another photon, this one from 5,000 light years away, hit a different electron in your eye.

And another from 15,000 light years away.

And more from incredible distances apart, all converging on your eye, where they are absorbed. In a way, gone. Their journey over.

But the signals from all those absorptions combine in your brain, and you can see it. The Milky Way.

You look at it in wonder and see its beauty.

And then you blink, and the light bounces off your eyelid. And then you go inside to sleep.

And somewhere in your body is a tiny bit of energy from a star 10,000 light years away.
.

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