Space, the final frontier (like really, really final)

QUICKIE: Quote from Vincenzo: “You have a hairy bottom.” (But don’t expect me to tell you which parent this was directed at.)
It’s hard to find anything funny to blog about because I’ve been obsessively worrying about the LHC they built in Switzerland. You know—the machine that will isolate the center of atoms so that we can power the earth without fossil fuels…unless it accidentally creates a black hole and sucks us all into it. After calling Kevin at work repeatedly to tell him goodbye in case they turned the machine on today and to ask how badly it was going to hurt, Kevin sent me the following information to calm me down.

If you were caught by the pull of a black hole, you would be sent into free fall toward its center. The pulling force would increase as you moved toward the center, creating what’s called a “tidal force” on your body. That is to say, the gravity acting on your head would be much stronger than the gravity acting on your toes (assuming you were falling head-first). That would make your head accelerate faster than your toes; the difference would stretch your body until it snapped apart, first at its weakest point and then disintegrating rapidly from there as the tidal force became stronger than the chemical bonds holding your body together. You’d be reduced to a bunch of disconnected atoms. Those atoms would be stretched into a line and continue in a processional march.

Quite calming, really. Very Zen-like, don’t you think? The part meant to calm me down was a sentence in the next paragraph that stated this would all happen in one one-billionth of a second. Oh goody I can go back to my bon-bons now.

I keep freeze framing my day to imagine what my family would look like our last second on earth. Wouldn’t it be nice to be in a big embrace, looking up at the sky? Or running through a grassy park with flowers in our hair? But no, no, our family would look nothing like that. There Vincenzo would be, chasing the cat with the gigantic Styrofoam boxes strapped to each of his hands; there I would be pretending I was a dog by bringing cups to the table in my mouth and wagging my bottom like a tail; there Kevin would be, repeatedly slam-dunking his own head through Vincenzo’s basketball hoop. Scientists in Switzerland, are you reading this?

All this has left me wondering, how will the universe ever survive without us? And for how long should I lay off the dog-setting-a-table act?

Chili with Cheddar Biscuits
Asparagus. Cooked, I suppose.

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