Tag: Unknown

Day 1000: How It Ends

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Inside this cubicle the air is thick as honey, with asphyxiating flecks of the mundane bracing against the irrefutable promise of a golden weekend. Outside these pin-cushion partitions – and indeed inside as well – every tiny molecule in the universe is saying its goodbyes to its neighbors and preparing to splash into the unknown permutations of a distant someday. My fingers hammer at these tiny plastic letters, fully ignorant of what’s to come.

Or are they? The hallowed fingers of esteemed science – no doubt similar in size and shape to my own, only tasked with a far more specific purpose – have combed back the hair of the observable now and picked at the scalp-nits of projection. The fields of astronomy, physics, mathematics, and a cabinet full of –ologies have given us a map of what’s to come. A timeline of time’s last hurrah.

And the best part? If any of these predictions are wrong, every record of them will likely be destroyed before anyone finds out. That’s my kind of science.

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Within 10,000 years, human genetic variation will no longer be regionalized. This won’t mean we’ll all look the same – the blonde gene will still speckle crowds and set up offensive jokes, but it will be distributed equally worldwide. This forecasted panmixia is far more optimistic than astrophysicist Brandon Carter’s Doomsday Argument, which places our present at roughly the halfway point of humankind’s civilized journey, and projects a 95% likelihood that we’ll be wholly extinct in 10,000 years.

If global warming hasn’t already soaked us into a Kevin Costner-esque hellscape by then, we may also be facing the melting of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet, which will raise the sea levels by 3 or 4 meters above wherever it will be once we lose the rest of the polar ice caps, which should happen long before then.

Long term forecast: buy a big-ass boat. Read more…

Day 708: Beware The Deadly Hypotenuse

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As a life-long cynic and devoted doubter of lore and mystery, I find myself always checking the sleeves of an unexplained tale, searching for my card anywhere but inside the deck. I don’t poke under my bed for ghouls, nor do I hold my breath as I drive past a cemetery for fear of angering the dead. I don’t even try to restore my family’s good mojo by saying “bless you” when they sneeze. I find the whole thing a little weird.

The photos of the Loch Ness Monster are grainy and doctored, and that film footage of Bigfoot is nothing more than a guy in a cheap Wookiee costume. David Copperfield used perspective and mirrors to send the Statue of Liberty into a temporary void, and rapping one’s knuckles on a wooden table will do nothing to summon a fortuitous sway of luck.

Nevertheless, when a mystery pops up with no easy solution, I find my heart doing a little flap, brush and shuffle, and my interest simmers to a healthy shade of piqued. I marveled at the recent David Blaine TV special, not because I believe the man possesses otherworldly powers (though if ever a case could be made for someone, it’d be him), but because I still embrace the visceral squoosh of the unknown.

So despite my doubt-encrusted heart, I still find my pulse tip-tapping a little quicker when I read about mysteries like the Michigan Triangle.

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Dangling like a limp and uninterested phallus off the side of the Great Lakes, Lake Michigan is known for being cold, huge and deep. One wouldn’t think there were many connections between Bermuda and frigid Green Bay, but their common bond is a three-sided cloud of mystery and disappearance. Actually, the Michigan Triangle begins in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, just south of Green Bay, and connects with Ludington and Benton Harbor on the Michigan side. Read more…