Archive for the ‘Science’ Category

how many fingers am i holding up?

Last night, me and the boy were watching a show on National Geographic called “Known Universe“.  This particular episode was all about the infinite nature of the universe and the possible existence of the multiverse.

It reminded me of a conversation we had driving down the road a week or so ago:

The Boy:  “Hey daddy, how many fingers am I holding up?”

Me: “3?” (knowing it was a trick question somehow)

The Boy:  “Nope, 2!  The other one is a thumb!”

Me:  “Hey ‘the boy’, how many fingers am I holding up?”

The Boy: “I don’t know, I can’t see your hands.”

Me:  “Well assuming that there are infinite universes, that our universe is infinitely big, there exists infinite numbers of parallel dimensions, or any combination of the above … I, and all of the infinite other me’s, are possibly holding up an infinite number of fingers … Regardless of the fact that the ‘me’ currently occupying this portion of time/space is only hold up a single finger.”

The Boy:  {silence}

The Wife:  “I have a single finger for you…”


Check this out:

It’s a little post about different modern telescopes and how far away observable objects are.  It mentions the James Web Telescope that will allow us to see objects 13.5 billion light years away; that’s scary close to the time of the big bang.

So, the question was posed:

“I wonder if we will ever be able to get to the point of watching the Big Bang itself.”

It got me wondering if such a thing would even be possible?  If our entire universe was once condensed into an infinitely small space and then instantaneously began to expand, I’m not sure there would be an observable flash point.  I’m thinking that any such phenomenon would be on the leading edge of the expansion.  Seeing as we would have been part of the bang, and not on the outside of it, it would not be observable?  I don’t know.

Or perhaps we would see the back side of the opposite leading edge as it existed 13.7 billion years ago.  I makes my head hurt a bit, but it’s interesting to ponder.

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The human brain’s ability to recall things from memory (without you even knowing) is remarkable.

I just walked out to my car to get something I left there earlier, and on my way back into the office I typed in the code to the cipher lock on the door and went on my way.  I didn’t think about or try to remember a combination; I just typed it in and opened the door.

As I walked back down the hall, I started to think about all the numbers I have memorized:  phones, ATMs, lock combinations, online passwords, smart card pins, security codes at work/home, etc.  I attempted to make a mental list and put all the codes/passwords to the right application, but it just started to get confusing.

It’s really a miracle that I can walk up to an ATM or go to a web site and enter the proper credentials without conscience effort.  I can dial my wife’s phone number without a second thought, but if you asked me to tell you her number I’m probably stumble through it.

We are amazing machines.