Kicking Tires

How We May Spend Our Lives
Before Something Else Happens

Socrates got it. A great number of scientists get it. Even Christians, Muslims and Jews often get it too. Most of what we do from the moment we wake up to the moment we go back to bed is a disguised effort to shield us from one thought: we’ll all going to die, regardless if in fifty years or right after we finish this anguishing sentence.
But cheer up; such desire of winning over the inexorable impermanence of our days on Earth may only lend meaning to our achievements as a species. From forming a family to building a tower, from writing books to curing diseases, we’ll all outlive our flesh and blood by the sheer reach of our deeds, and the ability to live on through our kin.
While our faith in the future is conditioned by what we choose to believe, either being the elaborate dogma of religion, or the unwavering pursuit of a notable life, we’ve been around the block a few times to know when such beliefs are enough to give our lives depth, and when such invisible power ceases to have any relevance.
It’s futile to complain about the brevity of our time here. Much wiser is to contemplate the miseries of the human body when it grows old and frail and sick. For our experience to last longer, we can always borrow that of those who came before, and turn them into our own shared Continue reading

Whole Shebang

Biggest Black Hole Ever Found &
Metaphysics of Perforating Tunnels

Planets have craters, caves, volcanoes. Our bodies have cavities, orifices, crevices. Thoughts have depths, flaws, gaps.
In the 1960s, there were four thousand holes in Blackburn, Lancashire, according to John Lennon. Right now, there’re billions of massive ones, swallowing whole galaxies across the universe.
For such a geographic, anatomic accident, we give holes a huge amount of attention, and scientific research keeps piling up.
Let’s see what’s that about, from the vastness of outer space, to the rarified atmosphere of improbable research, to that ground hole that may already have our name printed all over it.
10 BILLION SUNS
One of the noblest things to be said about Albert Einstein is that he never let his deep religious beliefs interfere with his scientific quest.
When he theorized that there must be something like a black hole, a Continue reading

Counting Electric Sockets

Conference Focus on
Excitement of Boredom

Now here’s a gathering of like-minded people like no other: a day-long conference titled Boring 2010. Sorry, you’ve already missed it by a few weeks, but it was so successful its organizers plan to hold another one later this year.
Topics as riveting as “Listening to Paint Dry” to “The Intangible Beauty of Car Park Roofs” to “My Relationship with Bus Routes” were followed attentively by the audience, when it was not nodding or eating energy bars to remain awake.
The conference was a hit but the fact that it was freezing in Continue reading