Where Random Happens

Posts tagged “earth

UNIVERSAL PERSPECTIVE


Referring back to my blog on June 6th, The Distance Between Us, here is a visual perspective I found all over the Internet in various stages. I don’t know who began this, I do know the full creation has been a group effort (probably thanks to either the Reddit or 4Chan communities or both).

Then some goof added the lame last stage, a cosmic yet local punchline to it all (probably thanks to either the Reddit or 4Chan…)perspective

COMEDY –

I used to work in Comedy. I went pro and got as far as Feature comic (middle between Opener and Headliner) before I gave it up for marriage. I preferred sleeping in a bed with my wife to sleeping in the same room with a bunch of young faux-worldly semi-psychos, vigorously pursuing various addictions to see which one agreed with them, and all crammed together in a Roach & Rat infested Comedy Condo.

As I pursued this path, aging Headliners who never quite got a TV or movie gig (but were sagely comfy with the addiction their youthful fool-self found for them), would scare up a few extra bucks by teaching method comedy to the rest of us. Everything from setting up the punchline, callbacks, to something as seemingly simple (but unbelievably important) as Microphone Etiquette.

Seriously, to people who have never performed professionally with a microphone onstage? You have no idea how simple a thing as the way you hold your mike throughout a performance can enhance – OR – torpedo your act.

Depending on the headliners that month, I’d scrounge to pay my $50 per class at least once a month, sometimes twice. I was serious about the clown craft.

That punchline up there? That would get silence. Crickets would chirp.

Perhaps a few self-styled posturing atheists in the crowd would laugh uproariously because they secretly believed in a God, but were calling themselves atheist because they were Mad at “him” and thought disavowal would hurt “his” feelings.

Huh! God has cheesed me off! Well I’ll show HIM!

Anyone in the crowd who was a god believer and had more than a cursory knowledge of the New Testament might openly scoff.

You can misquote someone and make it work, but it has to be a misquote that still defines or encapsulates what they would say or how they talk.

Tina Fey misquoted Sarah Palin for laughs and it worked, not because Sarah actually said “I Can See Russia from My House”, but because the carefully molded media narrative of the time made it seem like that was something Palin would say.

NEW TESTAMENT –

“Don’t masturbate” doesn’t remotely seem like something Jesus would say. The New Testament pretty much smashes the Old Testament. Throughout the NT, Jesus, while surrounded by all manner of sinners Guy *and* Gal, is constantly revising the ancient laws and confounding all who confront him or try to trip him up with the old text.

Whether or not you believe in the Bible (and I don’t care one way or the other), the New Testament gives readers a clear-eyed view of those who pretend to be Christian, yet gleefully deny him to spout contradictory OT whenever the gospel of JC doesn’t suit them. Particularly for unbelievers, the NT is a step by step method of spotting the self-righteous phonies who come at you.

The image above has a wonderful setup, but a flop punchline.

END


wb2016If you believe you enjoy my writing, buy my book,
WILLOW BLUE.
It’s my second collection of critically acclaimed short stories with all of the Weird Sex, True Love, Monsters and Mayhem, you’ve come to expect (or should by now). Available in paperback for $8.00 or in Kindle for only $1.99. Buy the paperback at Amazon and the Kindle eBook is free! The tales will last you longer than latte!

Enthused for more? Buy
PERPETUAL BULLET: A Science Fiction Collection.
It’s a veritable trove of previously published Science Fiction Horror Thriller tales – plus bonus stories
Featuring: Weird Sex, True Love, Monsters and Mayhem!
Now on sale for $9.00 in Trade Paperback and in eBook for $1.99 and available for your Android Tablet, iPad, Kindle, Nook, and every other “E”!
Find it at (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Diesel, !ndigo, iTunes, KoboBooks, Smashwords, WHSmith, and more).
Buy the paperback at Amazon and the Kindle eBook is free!

Have you become a fan?

Look for my story Cedo Looked Like People, in the anthology, FEAR THE REAPER, edited by Joe Mynhardt. Available from Crystal Lake Publishing and available in Print for $12.99 or eBook for $2.99.

Also available from Crystal Lake Publishing, the film making guidebook, HORROR 201: The Silver Scream. Reap the rewards of movie making experience from the likes of Myself, as well as  John Carpenter, Tom Holland, Jeffrey Reddick, George A. Romero, Keith Arem, Richard Gray, also the late  Ray Bradbury, Wes Craven, plus many more. $19.99 in Print or $3.99 in eBook.

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THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US


SpaceMapPlanets

I’d like to take a moment to mention scale. See that NASA approved map of our solar system? Lots of kids buy that at NASA in Florida, Alabama, Houston, and hang it on their wall.

Now you and I know it’s not to scale. Hell, we ALL know it’s not to scale. But damn, how many people appreciate just how far off the chart this map really is?

Wildly Inaccurate doesn’t begin to describe it.

By scale I mean, in this case, sizes and distance. People see posters of our solar system like the NASA approved one above and may read the fine print that accurately tells them the sizes and distances, but they still don’t have a clear frame of reference.

You tell them of the miles each planet is from the sun and they nod. Then you later find out they didn’t really Get It. Then they go off and make “intelligent” movies like THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL, where movie critics say, “Gosh! That’s smart science fiction!”

NO! No it is not.MichaelRennieOn that NASA approved poster, the visual scale of both planet size and distance is so grossly exaggerated to an astronomical scale that most folks don’t understand just HOW horribly exaggerated it really is.

The mistakes of distance and scale of our solar system, even to people who write Science Fiction, dominate literature and cinema.

So I want to talk scale in regards to size and distance. Planet sizes in the following images are rounded up to the nearest pixel.GroupDISTANCE-

I’m talking approximate distance, averaged out, since the planets (except for Mercury) are on a long elliptical, not basically circular, orbits around Sol (even our moon travels an elliptical orbit around earth). Also, some orbits are more elongated than others.

Earth40pxEarth is approx. 98 million miles from the sun. 98 Million Freaking Miles. If you could launch from the surface of the sun and were traveling as fast as the International Space Station, 5 miles a second or 17,150 miles an hour, it would take you the better part of a year, a little over 238 days or approximately 7 months, to reach the earth. That 98 million miles from Sol puts us around 30,760,000 miles from Venus and 43,100,000 miles from –

Mars22pxMars, at nearly half the size of earth, is 141,100,00 miles from the sun. We’re closer to Mars than our own sun.

Jupiter448pxJupiter at 483 million miles from Sol, and 2.5 times more massive than all of our other planets combined, is about 4 times farther from earth – 385 million miles – than we are from the Sun, and close to three times farther from Mars than Mars is from the sun.

Okay, so now we’re in the realm of Jovian planets, and this bears repeating: all solar system maps I’ve ever seen – and I’ve seen plenty – are visually inaccurate to a fantastic degree. They all give the proper numbers in distance, but we should really understand the distances here.

Saturn225pxlSaturn, Jupiter’s closest Jovian neighbor, is slightly more than half the size of Jupiter (not counting rings, of course) and over 888 million miles from the sun.

The distance I’m talking here means that Jupiter is closer to earth (385 million miles) than it is to Saturn (405 million miles).

Uranus160pxlNext is Uranus, which is 1.784 billion miles from Sol, making it farther from Saturn (896 million miles), than Saturn is from the sun.

Let me repeat and bold a few things here.
Saturn is about 888 million miles from the sun and Uranus is 896 million miles from Saturn.
Not only is Jupiter closer to earth than it is to Saturn, even Saturn is closer to the sun than Uranus is to Saturn.

You’ve likely read or heard that planets Mercury through Mars are the “inner” planets. That’s true enough but now we clearly understand “inner planets” doesn’t visually paint the whole picture in context, when far flung Saturn is closer to Sol than the very next planet beyond it – Uranus.

It took the straight shot of the Voyager crafts (1 & 2) about 1 year and 3 months to reach Saturn. They reached a maximum traveling velocity of approximately 38,000 miles an hour, they flew 24/7 non-stop, that entire time, and it took a year and three months.

Neptune159pxFinally there is Neptune, which is 2.795 billion miles from the sun. Making Neptune farther from it’s closest Jovian neighbor, Uranus, than Uranus is from Saturn which, again, is closer to the sun than it is to Uranus.

The relative distances between all of the planets of Mercury through Saturn, can fit with plenty of room to spare between the orbits of Uranus and Neptune.

To put that another way, if Uranus was the sun, Neptune would be farther from Uranus/sun (over 1 billion miles) than Saturn actually is from Sol.

Those poster maps of our solar system aren’t even close!

TAKE A TRIP!

How long would it take you to reach Pluto if you could travel twice the speed of light?

Find out at Josh Worth’s award winning webpage,

moonpixel2

REFERENCES –

There are many known planets beyond our solar system, xkcd offers their relative sizes compared to our own.

All space images from NASA archives, used in accordance with NASA’s Media Usage Guidelines.

The Day The Earth Stood Still, 20th Century Fox.
Pandorum, Constantin Film and Impact Pictures

TOOLS –
https://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/horizons.cgi

END


pb300Do you personally wish there was some way you could thank me for this blog?
Lucky for you, there is! Buy my book,
PERPETUAL BULLET: A Science Fiction Collection
Is a trove of previously published Science Fiction Horror Thriller – plus bonus stories
Featuring: True Love, Weird Sex, Monsters and Mayhem!
Now on sale for $9.00 in Trade Paperback and in eBook for $1.99 and available for your Android Tablet, iPad, Kindle, Nook, and every other “E”!
Find it at (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Diesel, !ndigo, iTunes, KoboBooks, Smashwords, WHSmith, and more).
Buy the paperback from Amazon and get the kindle free!

Do you have too much change left over from that $20?

Look for my second collection, WILLOW BLUE and Other Stories
Five critically acclaimed tales featuring my literary twist on Weird Sex, True Love, Monsters and Mayhem! $8.00 for the paperback, $1.99 for the kindle reader or app. As always, buy the paperback from Amazon and get the kindle free!

Do you have a gift card to empty?

Look for my story Cedo Looked Like People, in the anthology, FEAR THE REAPER, edited by Joe Mynhardt. Available from Crystal Lake Publishing and available in Print for $12.99 or eBook for $2.99.

Would you also like to read more of my non-fiction?

Also available from Crystal Lake Publishing, the film making guidebook, HORROR 201: The Silver Scream. Reap the rewards of movie making experience from the likes of Myself as well as Ray Bradbury, John Carpenter, Wes Craven, Tom Holland, Jeffrey Reddick, George A. Romero, Keith Arem, Richard Gray, and many more. $19.99 in Print or $3.99 in eBook.


Addressing the Ghost in the Room


I don’t want to pick on George Dvorsky as he certainly isn’t the only one who believes this way. But I have to start with someone or else this post will come off as a Strawman and I’m left arguing with air.

AndromedaSG

The Andromeda Galaxy! Coming soon to a galaxy near you!

First, his 2013 article at io9,
11 of the Weirdest Solutions to the Fermi Paradox

I’m not going to address his 11 Weirdest Solutions, as they are a fun read and I’m a man who enjoys a fun read even if it’s Terry Pratchett fantasy (and I’m a man who enjoys Terry Pratchett fantasy).

Instead I’m going to address the initial false conjecture, which is based entirely upon Taking Things for Granted at a galactic scale.+

The launch supposition,
“Most people take it for granted that we have yet to make contact with an extraterrestrial civilization. Trouble is, the numbers don’t add up. Our Galaxy is so old that every corner of it should have been visited many, many times over by now.”

Is gargantuan-ly incorrect*. Our galaxy is so old and YET so expansive (100,000 to 180,000 light years from end to end. The writer *really* needs to let that sink in.) that every part of it couldn’t possibly have been visited within the space of 9.5 billion years. Imagine the life forms that possibly rose, gained intelligence plus technological advancement, turned their technological advancement to other systems, and had the ability to visit those other systems across a galaxy (assumed to be spiral barrel shaped like the Andromeda Galaxy~) that is – to be stressed – 100,000 to 180,000 light years diameter and over 20,000 light years deep. We still don’t know if our galaxy is 100,000 light years across or double that.

Such monumental travel is something we have not begun, though we’ve had the initial capability since the 1950s. Now add the optimistically broad assumption that all went so well for said Aliens that they advanced to the next stage beyond us.

Well just how far is that?

We have no idea.

Ray Kurzweil posits that the next stage is Singularity and that means anything from centuries added to our lives and becoming Super Beings to the Robot take-over to humanity becoming beings of energy. In other words, the next watershed event in humanity could take us to the point that who we are now would and/or could not recognize ourselves as life forms, any more than amoebas could recognize a whole human being as a technologically advanced single life form.

This is a logical progression when you account for the fact that our solar system didn’t form until about 10 Billion years after our galaxy formed (our sun is the progeny of other stars that were born, existed, died, and exploded). The first billion years of the Sol system, as we’ve come to regard it, didn’t have its planets form until after about the first billion years of our sun’s existence: our sun is about 4.5 billion years old.

Even if we said that our area of the galaxy may have been visited many times over during the first 10 billion years, the overwhelming result of that would have been aliens looking at a primordial, gaseous cloud, in turn possibly containing planets: uninhabitable and so devoid of life.

In the last 2 billion years? Maybe one of the smallest planets, dangerously close to its star, developed simple life forms. Then that planet got wiped out by another planet.

A few hundred million years later, this now hybrid planet showed single celled life forms again.

They wiped themselves out by polluting their atmosphere with oxygen.

Billions of years later, less than half of our sun’s age,  Prokaryotic single cells appeared (first cells, no nucleus). This generously occurred about 2.1 billion years ago.

Actual multicellular animal life forms rose about 600 million years ago and fell, rose and fell: mass extinctions on an epic scale never seen before or since. Eventually the age of the dinosaurs ceased forever – when the earth no longer had enough oxygen in the atmosphere to support such land-based megafauna – and then came the age of the mammal.

And then it happened all over again. Entire species rose and fell, rose and fell: mass extinctions on a smaller scale yet still epic enough by comparison to never be seen since.

To any of the multitudes of passing aliens keeping track over the course of their species’ lifetime – and let’s make the fantastical assumption that they found and translated long dead historical transcripts of other long dead ancient planetary species that had come and gone into singularity in the multi-billions of years that had gone before – earth must have looked like one hellishly inhospitable place!

The earliest stage of true human, you and me, Cro-Magnon, didn’t appear until about 43 thousand years ago and we didn’t become technologically advanced (I’m being so very liberal with this concept) until about 5,000 years ago – the Bronze Age.

Humanity couldn’t attempt communication with possible alien life (transmit and receive a recognizable communication) until less than half a century ago. Once analog is completely gone from our modern tech – gone the way of punch card and punch tape computers – it will be impossible to find any analog xenoform signals.

And! AND! AND!  This is entirely under a STUPIFYINGLY obtuse concept, which is:

“Well Of course Intelligent Aliens would communicate across the Vast Gulfs of space using a Weak Analog Radio Signal;
Virtually Indistinguishable from the massively powerful random analog radio signals being spewed out by their own Star AND Every Single Star along the route –
ALL within this Strictly Narrow slice of ALL radio spectrums;
In Turn within this Strictly Narrow slice of the sky we are looking at;
Using a technology that was Old when we created Big Ear in 1956;
That’s been receiving signals ever since that We Still Can’t Comprehend using Strictly Narrow parameters
WE Created for understanding Alien Communication in the First Place –
A
nd On Top Of All That
Within the Strictly Narrow confines of a language that we can recognize!

DUH?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?”

Triple-facePalmWe can’t even use a digital receiver to recognize a digital signal – our OWN digital signals – from the rest of the universal clutter or “static” unless we first have the codec/software to translate it.

Analog receivers are blind to digital. That’s under the Facepalm preposterous idea that technologically advanced aliens would – naturally – be using 19th Century analog or 20th Century digital radio signals to communicate! The only aliens we stand a chance of communicating with would have to exactly match OUR level of technological advancement.

Oh, I forgot still another thing – they have to be within 1,000 light years of us. Outside of that, you know, the other 199,000 light years across and 19,000 light years depth of our galaxy alone, we’ve got nothing. No way to hear anything.

So the “Great Silence” that covers less than a 1,000 light year freckle of our galaxy and a 50 year molecule worth of time out of our system’s existence – is nothing to a life form so technologically advanced that galaxy hopping Faster Than Light (FTL)  is a snap.

With all of that stacked against us, how can anyone reasonably entertain the preposterous notion that intelligent life does not exist on other planets … Because WE haven’t found it?

END

+ Just look at how people, perhaps you, take things for granted at a mere Solar system scale. Check out Josh Worth’s If The Moon Were Only 1 Pixel.moonpixel2

~ FUN FACT: Our Milky Way galaxy is on a collision course with the Andromeda galaxy. Theoretically the collision/merging/tearing asunder may have already begun (we’ve no true idea of how wide our galaxy is. We can’t see that far from our point of view). We’ll know for certain anywhere in up to the next 100,000 to 180,000 years. In any case, since we’re in the outer arm spiral of the Milky Way, it’s possible that our solar system may be ripped out of our current galaxy long before our star is set to expire.

I say current because it is within the realm of possibility that our solar system was captured by the Milky Way in the first place – possibly (again) from a prior collision – instead of being born here. A whole hell of a lot can happen to a universe in 14 or so billion years.

*Again, this is based on one widely accepted initial concept which Dvorsky is postulating upon and not at all on George’s list of wild theories. George wrote an enjoyable read, backed by real-world suppositions from actual scientists and it’s worth checking out. I could have picked someone other than George as my starting point, but their articles are all rather dry.^

^Which is not to say that George’s article is all wet. I’m not new to the ‘Net. I know how some folks love to look for a safe keyboard courage fight, you scurrilous bastards.


pb300The answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything (and it’s not 42 – Please forgive me, I’m sorry I had to say that) can be found in
PERPETUAL BULLET: A Science Fiction Collection
It’s a trove of previously published Science Fiction Horror Thriller – plus bonus stories
Featuring: Weird Sex, True Love, Monsters and Mayhem!
Now on sale for $9.00 in Trade Paperback and in eBook for $1.99 and available for your Android Tablet, iPad, Kindle, Nook, and every other “E”!
Find it at (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Diesel, !ndigo, iTunes, KoboBooks, Smashwords, WHSmith, and more).
Buy the paperback from Amazon and get the kindle free!

Looking to burn a whole $20 and maybe buy a sucrose infused torus?

Look for my second collection, WILLOW BLUE and Other Stories
Five critically acclaimed tales featuring my literary twist on Weird Sex, True Love, Monsters and Mayhem! $8.00 for the paperback, $1.99 for the kindle reader or app. As always, buy the paperback from Amazon and get the kindle free!

Then go buy the doughnut.

Got a gift card to empty?

Look for my story Cedo Looked Like People, in the anthology, FEAR THE REAPER, edited by Joe Mynhardt. Available from Crystal Lake Publishing and available in Print for $12.99 or eBook for $2.99.

Also available from Crystal Lake Publishing, the film making guidebook, HORROR 201: The Silver Scream. Reap the rewards of movie making experience from the likes of Myself as well as Ray Bradbury, John Carpenter, Wes Craven, Tom Holland, Jeffrey Reddick, George A. Romero, Keith Arem, Richard Gray, and many more. $19.99 in Print or $3.99 in eBook.


The Perfect Weapon


I invented the perfect weapon years ago. It renders inoperable all combustive fuel weapons (bullets, rockets, missiles, etc.). It’s wireless-ly hooked up to a hacked GPS, via my cross-talk application, that allows me planet-wide access to foreign and domestic satellites in orbit: Even the ones that are obsolete and no longer in official use. If its still up there, and can still transmit, I can use it

When I press my finger down on the button, all combustible weapons, across the face of the earth, fail to work. When I remove my finger from the button, they all operate again.

I got bored with it a while back, but sometimes I reach up and press the button when I walk by.