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A humbling realisation

Discussion in 'Cheeniya's Senile Ramblings' started by Cheeniya, Mar 29, 2007.

  1. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    I had recently gone to my dentist to pay my annual dole. His elegant waiting room was filled to capacity with patients and the soft music that floated around the room could do nothing to wipe off the look of terror on most of the faces. I suddenly remembered a limerick that I read long back about a dentist who in his mental depravity filled a wrong cavity and I smiled to myself. My smile produced a reaction among the patients which ranged from incredulity to irritation. The dentist was known for stuffing his waiting room with magazines of quite a vintage and the grapevine was that he bought them by the kilo at a nearby waste paper mart.

    I picked up one of the magazines from the heap and started browsing through the soiled pages. It was then I chanced upon an amazing news about the sensational discovery of a star 11 billion light years away by the Hubble telescope. The news was almost lost amidst the plethora of items on the cricket world cup, like an aging satellite in a star-studded sky. Imagine what it means. If there is a person in that distant star who is endowed with the capability of having a clear view of this earth and its inhabitants, he would be viewing it as it existed 11 billion years ago. In other words, he would be able to read this blog of mine only 11 billion years hence! It’s indeed mind-boggling that even traveling at the incredible speed of 30000kms per second non-stop for 11 billion years would not take us anywhere near the periphery of this Universe. What makes it even more difficult to comprehend is that The Universe is expanding at an incredible rate.

    True this particular discovery by the Hubble is not of much consequence to us,people of the earth, except that it will give some clues to astronomers about the collapse of stars, black-holes etc. Even before Hubble in space, astronomers knew about many other closer stars like... 'Alpha Centura' one of 3 'alpha-stars' closest to mother earth. Alpha Centura is estimated to be just 4 million light years away! Hubble has gathered lots of new information about our universe including Alpha Centura...all of which are still in NASA files.
    One day NASA will publish all things of consequence to us discovered by Hubble telescope.

    [An aside: some chinmaya mission pandits (who are also physicists) have said that the Universe according to Hindu mythology is just about 4 million light years old (1/2 a day for Brahma the creator!..since the universe is still expanding with HIS creative day still incomplete) and so lot more exciting things are yet to come!]
    [one calculation by the said mission pandits equates 4 million light years to all the earth-years on KrithaYuga, TretaYuga, DwaparaYuga and what is spent of KaliYuga...perhaps one can speculate that the earth people of today had links with SatyaYuga people (@ Alpha Centura?) from whom we are drifting away as the universe is expanding...and perhaps come away to our current space 4 million light years from Alpha ]


    I once overheard an underling assuring his boss that he would travel to every nook and corner of the universe to track some paper that the boss had misplaced somewhere. I have also heard some overly ambitious executives telling the numero uno that they would go any distance to achieve the corporate goals. Lovelorn youth are also known to make similar promises to their consorts in the heat of the moment. Confront them with the Hubble discovery and they would just shrug away their promises as a mere idiomatic expression. In fact after reading about this celestial discovery, I strongly feel that these men must stick to more earthly idioms like ‘leaving no stone unturned’ (not that this task is any simpler!) rather than going into areas which are difficult even to comprehend.
    There are occasions when I do get a feeling that I am the monarch of all I survey. I now realise that what I survey is not even a trillionth of what really exists. In future whenever I get that high and mighty feeling, I am sure to be back on the terra firma in a jiffy.

    “Knowledge is like the sinking star beyond the utmost bounds of human thought” said Tennyson in Ulysses. We now know that there are stars, not just a sinking star but billions of them beyond the utmost bounds of our thoughts. And even if we travel at the incredible speed of light from the day we are born through the entire span of our life, we would have taken just a small step towards crossing our home galaxy, The Milky Way! For the academically inclined, The Milky Way with a diameter of 100000 light years is home for some 200 billion (Present estimate 400 billion) stars besides our own Sun! While that should put us in our place, it is not beyond the realm of possibility to aspire for a place in the Sun.. The rider, of course, is that a place in the Sun will require us to travel at an incredible speed in order to be there when it really matters. That speed lies dormant and untapped in our mind and just needs to be unleashed. Want to know how? just ask David Jonathan Livingstone Seagul, a marvellous creation of Richard Bach
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2007
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  2. sudhavnarasimhan

    sudhavnarasimhan Silver IL'ite

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    Dear Cheeniya Sir,

    This was a good write up ....starting at the dentist's waiting room...and going into the vast Universeand thinking about a star 11 billion light years away.....taht was a mind boggling writeup with a lot of hard facts......some went above my head!
    But the last line where you have mentioned Bach and his Livingston Seagull, wow that gave the final touch to this writeup.:yes:
     
  3. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Sudha
    Some went above your head?
    Dont tell me I have started becoming unintelligible!
    Senilty is the thing I dread most!
    sri
     
  4. sathya

    sathya Gold IL'ite

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    hello

    ouch...
    pallu udanchu pochu
    ithanai padithuthaan
    sudha sonnathu pol
    silathu grahangalaai
    ....paranthathe vaanil..
    therinthe irundaalum
    athanay alasum paniyil
    eedupada mudiyavillai
    double degreeye padikkavillai
    doctorate etharku?


    sathya
     
  5. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Kannan kaattiya vaayil
    Anda sarasaramum terindadu pola
    Thangal kavithayil
    Pallum adakkam
    Prapanchamum adakkam!
    Sri
     
  6. abhatv

    abhatv Senior IL'ite

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    Hello Cheeniya sir,

    I totally agree with Sathya. It is a bit too much. I prefer the lighter vein that you had used in your earlier notes.

    Regards,

    Abha.
     
  7. Vidya24

    Vidya24 Gold IL'ite

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    Dear Cheeniya,

    I liked this one too. It was a bit long winded and often I felt that I was back in my Geography class. But you connect well. And when we really apply ourselves to it, what are we in this universe? Just a speck of earth dust, not even stardust or moon dust.

    regards
    Vidya
     
  8. sudhavnarasimhan

    sudhavnarasimhan Silver IL'ite

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    Dear Cheeniya sir,

    I did not mean that you are unintelligible or going senile....no way.....you are a great thinker...and me though i was a physics student too and did appreciate all the studying and knowledge i had acquired on Light years etc ( by the way it all looks so faraway now...maybe a few thousand light years since i attended college....oh no, now i am going mentally :icon_frown: , he he?), i seem to have lost the passion and the deeper understanding needed for these thoughts...thats what i meant!
    Also i agree with Vidhya, all said and done we do feel humbled at this thought that there is a vaaaast universe which we are totally unaware of! And as you have rightly answered Sathya, kannan vaayil andasaraasaramum therinthatu, but am i capable of comprehending all that in my small miniscule brain( half of which is lying redundant!).......:mrgreen:
     
  9. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear abhatv
    Thy shall be done! :)
    sri
     
  10. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Vidya
    I wrote this to lay emphasis on my signature tune here, 'Love is the greatest unifying force of the Universe'
    When we realise that all of us of this planet put together would occupy as much place on a pinhead of the Universe as a microbe would occupy in a football ground!
    Once that realisation comes, wont we find ourselves less egoistic?
    Sri
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2007

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