We decided to end last year, not with another political article, but on a spiritual/historical melody about Christmas and the birth of the West. Today we begin 2016 on a spiritual/scientific note.
Our New Year’s resolutions are (1) to continue to live and learn, and; (2) survive Obama and his last rancid excretions – before a person who will undoubtedly be better takes the oath of office in 2017.
We have no doubt that 2016 will be a horrid year. We do not doubt that Barack Obama, like a wounded animal thrashing about, will continue his attempts to rip the Constitution and the fabric and future of the country. We also do not doubt that the next president, to be elected in 2016, will not merely “occupy” 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue but inhabit the White House with a commitment and love for America’s highest ideals and love for the nation and all its people. But first we will have to survive Obama’s last mile. We will survive, then thrive.
Today, a bit of beauty and truth.
We recall our school years and the science taught. We fondly remember that globe in science with the sun at the center and lovely balls supposed to be planets in their perfectly circular orbits about the blazing queen at the center.
How we laughed at the ancients for thinking the universe revolved around the earth! Oh, we of the modern world were so much smarter than those before us, we chortled in arrogance. To think, we mocked, that the ancients believed in the Ptolemaic model with the earth sitting pretty at the center of everything.
We moderns were so much more enlightened with our logical spheres and the heliocentric model as the Earth was reduced to but an orb circling the massive fireball which itself was a minor fireball in a cosmos filled with massive fireballs and massive objects. Our new god became Galileo Galilei and darn those who were not happy with his confirmation of Copernican theory.
Eventually we learned that the more we learned we learned even more that we had so much more to learn and how little we have learned. We vowed to continue to live and learn.
And so, on this New Year’s Day, we look to the heavens to note that today marks a point in a long trip we are on. Life continues to be more complicated and more beautiful than ever. The more we learn the more we live.
That yellow globe with the perfectly circular orbits. Ah, there’s so much more:
Our planet is rotating around its axis at a rate of 1,000 miles per hour, and our moon is swinging around us. We race around the sun at 67,000 miles per hour, along with all the other planets, dwarf planets, asteroids, comets, and centaurs trailing along at their own pace as they make the journey around the sun.
Our sun, light of our lives and the gravitational glue binding our solar system together, is itself no lazy creature, spinning at 4,400 miles per hour. The star and its twisting disc of planets make the long marathon along the outskirts of the galaxy at 43,000 miles per hour, bobbing through the galactic plane. Even our Milky Way is in a steady dash, moving at 1.3 million miles per hour with respect to the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation.
With all this running around of orbits around orbits, what does it all look like?
A few years ago, a Youtube tried to put it all together so we could see how it might work. We knew way back in our school years that things were moving about and astounding speeds and distances but it is something quite lovely to see and not have to imagine.
There’s a lot to quibble about with that Youtube visualization (especially that spiral business), as the article we link to so intelligently notes. But the basics are there, we think, and it helps to explain how the seasons change and the point we are on the trip today which we call New Year’s Day, we think. And because we think, we’ll continue to learn.
If you think this website, this nation, humanity, has been on a long strange trip, add the cosmic tourism we’re all involved in to your considerations and enjoy the great beauty as we pass through the stars without leaving our homes.
As new facts, new “truths”, new beauties, new circumstances, new experiences, new friends, enter – and add to our earlier facts, truths, beauties, circumstances, experiences, friends – we resolve, again, to continue to live and learn.