Sunday, May 29, 2011

A long time ago, in a continent far far away...

Even before Xmas, THAT long ago. Fay and I went to an astronomical observatory in Mamaluca, Chile. We were introduced to the amazing Stellarium (google it). A free computer program which lets you pick any point on the globe, and look thousands of years into the past or future at the night's sky. Fascinating stuff. The stargazing itself was hampered by the sky being lit up by a full moon and it being the longest day of the year. But we did learn things. One of those things is that we are all stardust. All of us are made up of matter that has been there from the beginning of time. When the big bang happened, we were all there, with ringside seats. BOOOOOOOOOOOM. It's a difficult thought to contemplate, like trying to stop the room from spinning when you lie down to sleep after a night drinking Vermouth. Science can explain many things. There is a huge telescope in Chile, imaginatively named the 'Very Large Telescope' which is run by the European Space Agency. In order to keep up with the Jones', the USA are developng a new larger, 'Very Very Extraordinarily Large Telescope' that we were told will be able to see so far, and hence so far into the past, that we will be able to look at the dawn of the universe. But there remain many things science can't explain. Like frappucinos, goatee beards and Simon Cowell. That what is essentially stardust can evolve to be a goatee wearing, frappucino drinking, sentient being is, well, a bit nuts isn't it? Whilst I remain FIERCELY agnostic (?), if there is a god, then one thing is for certain, she's not normal.

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