Behold a scale! They but now who seemed
In bigness to surpass Scuti’si giant mass,ii
Now less than smallest pools, in zero’d room
Throng numberless–like that Googolplex spaceiii
Beyond the Holy mount; or faery grace,
Whose divinities divine, by sweeter-side
Of finitude, some precious Processiv sees,
Or dreams it sees, while overhead our Moon
Sits obscured, and nearer to our Earth
Veiled in pale grandeur: they, on their starry dance
Intent, with melancholy music tear’d;v
At once with joy and fright souls sets free.
Thus immeasured Things to smallest forms
Reduced their Thingness, and were at large,
Though without number still, amidst the core
Of that eternal court. But far within,
And in their own dimensions foreshadow’d,
The great Seraphicvi Bees and Butterfliesvii
With such delight, secret conclave sat,
A Googol demi-Plex of wondrous feats,
Frequent and full. Renewing then,
And titles read, the great consult began.
With apologies to John Milton (1608-1674) and very, very large numbers.
- UY Scuti, the largest star in the known universe, has a diameter 1`700x that of our Sun with a circumference of ~6 billion kilometres, meaning that it would take 450`000 years to circumnavigate it at the fastest speed ever recorded for a manned spacecraft (40`000 km/h).
- Consider that ~1 billion Suns could fit inside Scuti, ~1 million Earths could fit inside our Sun, and ~1 quadrillion adult humans could fit inside the Earth, and Scuti is still just one pointlessly small star in the absurdly vast expanse of the Universe. Quoth Douglas Adams in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy:
Space is big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist, but that’s just peanuts to space.
And yet here we are: as significant as the cosmos themselves. Go figure! ↩
- What does Googolplex look like written out? It looks like 1 with a hundred zeroes of *volumes* of 400 page books with 2`500 zeroes per page
You can view them all here and even order your own hardcopy! ↩
- Speaking of “process,” can you think of a better description of the Universe than that?
Oh and if you still think JB Peterson is more “controversial” than, say, recycling, you might need your head checked.↩
- Which reminds me of a little movie scene that played out IRL this week.
(Methhead accosting but not outright abusing nor stealing from Elderly Woman using a walker on the downtown street nearby where Pete and The Girl are walking)
Pete: (In the midst of reading Iain McGilchrist’s “The Master and his Emissary,” and wanting to due justice to his own often diminished right-brain, which favours holistic integration, a sense of humility, selflessness, and community-mindedness, approaches scene and asks Elderly Woman, with concern and enough confidence to hopefully diffuse situation) Excuse me, are you alright?
Elderly Woman: Yes, thank you, I’m just heading inside. (She slips away from the confrontation into her apartment building entrance).
Methhead: Hey fuck you! What do you think you’re doing? That’s my mother! Fuck you man, hey fuck you, what the fuck! You think you’re such a tough guy, fuck you man! Hey mom come back! (Elderly Woman continues walking inside, doesn’t turn around). Hey what the fuck! Do you know what you just cost me, man? That’s my fucking mother and I haven’t seen her all week! You just cost me a fucking week with my mother, man! What the actual fuck!
(Pete and The Girl keep walking, not looking to escalate, but are pursued by Methhead.)
Methhead: (shouting after Pete and The Girl) You think you’re so fucking tough buddy! What the fuck, do you know what you just cost me?! Hey which of these cars if yours eh? Maybe I’ll take your little wifey there and bend her over it and fuck her in the ass! How’d you like that eh?!
(Pete turns around to face Methhead approaching, The Girl keeps walking another 30 feet to keep a safe distance. Methhead catches up to Pete and takes a swat at Pete’s coffee in anger, missing as Pete moves the coffee out of the way of the laggardly swat. Pete lets the second swat make contact, dumping the half-sweet almond chai latter into the sidewalk snowbank. The two face-off, similar height (185cm) with Pete having the slight advantage in weight (185 lbs vs. 155 lbs). They’re about two feet apart, well within striking distance of each other, neither appears armed)
Methhead: Do you know what you just cost me, buddy?! That was my mother back there and she has cancer and Alzeihmer’s and she doesn’t even know who the fuck I am! Do you even fucking know what that’s like?! Huh?!
Pete: (calmly, making strong eye contact, which isn’t natural given his semi-autism) I’m sorry.
Methhead: Fuck you’re sorry? You don’t even fucking know man! She doesn’t even know who the fuck I am and I’m her son, man! Fuck! Look me in the fucking eye and say “I’m sorry Tyler”. That’s my name, Tyler. Say it, bitch!
Pete: (pausing) Why the name-calling?
Methhead: You don’t even fucking know what you just cost me! Fuck!
Pete: (pausing) I understand.
Methhead: How the fuck do you understand?! How the actual fuck man?!
Pete: (pausing) Because my wife just had a stroke. That’s her over there. I understand what it’s like.
Methhead: (Looks over at The Girl) What the fuck man… are you fucking bullshitting me right now?!
Pete: (pausing) No, she had a blood clot in her brain and it’s very tough right now. I understand.
Methhead: (tearing up) Jesus Christ man I’m so sorry… she’s so young…
Pete: She’s 36-year-old, about half the age of most stroke victims.
Methhead: What the fuck man I didn’t know… you seem like such a nice couple… I didn’t know man! I’m so so sorry (tearing up more). Oh Jesus Christ man I didn’t know. I didn’t mean… oh jeez… you’re not bullshitting me? No no no I’m sorry…
Pete: (softly) We’re sending you love…
Methhead: No man fuck… what am I… I’m so sorry… I didn’t know… Really I’m so sorry… (extends hand to shake, they shake)
Pete: Keep well…
Methhead: You too man, oh jeez…
(Methhead walks back. Pete and The Girl keep walking, only one of them enjoying their chai latte)
- “Seraphic” is a new word for me but Chat has the low-down:
The word “seraphic” is an adjective that comes from the Hebrew word “seraphim,” which is a type of celestial being in the Bible. It means of or relating to seraphim, typically having six wings and being associated with light, love, and purity. Seraphic can also be used to describe something that is angelic, or having a sweet or innocent disposition. Additionally, it can also be used to describe something that is fiery or passionate, similar to the seraphim being associated with fire.
- Bees and Butterflies are both bad guys in Galaga. And yes, our precocious 4-year-old is still hooked on the arcade game. He’s now cracked 100`000 – with a current top score of 106`410 to be exact – and by the time you read this it will probably be higher still.
In a moment that makes the sometimes challenging task of parenting worth it all and then some, after hitting 6-figures, our Little Lefty raised both fists in the air in a mix of triumph and self-astonishment – his cheeks beet-red – he jumped up into my arms, buried his head into my neck, and burst into tears with surprised pride and absolute accomplishment. I’ve had tears like that myself once – on my wedding day – but never before nor since. It’s really quite something to see in one’s children. Not sure that anything else could possibly be more precious.
So if a video game other than Mario can possibly be wholesome, it’s gotta be Galaga. ↩