the universe

In the event of my death…

On a whim, I thought of what I want done with my body when I die, which hopefully isn’t for another half century or more, but who’s to say? Since I’m sure wordpress will be around for that long, I’m putting it on here.
I hereby request to, upon my death, be interred in perpetuity in one of the following three ways, the first being preferred if at all possible at the time of my death, followed by the second, and then the third.
1. Put me in a tiny little rocket box and fire me off into the universe in a random direction. Maybe directed at a distant galaxy…
2. Bury me in a biodegradable shroud and plant a tree over me. Do not use any formaldehyde or non-biodegradable chemicals to preserve my body. I’m dead, I’m gonna get worse looking, just accept it. I prefer a place where the root system won’t disturb nearby graves, so something outside a designated public graveyard would be great. It probably shouldn’t be a fruit tree, since it might feel a little weird to eat fruit from it. On second thought, go ahead and make it a fruit tree. But pick something like apples at least. Or oranges, if the climate is right. Oranges are awesome.
3. If neither the rocket nor the tree burial can be worked out, cremate me and spread me over the Pacific. Anywhere is fine, since I’ll likely cover parts of the whole ocean floor at some point.

China and Tibet. And the Dalai Lama.

The Dalai Lama was here in Madison recently, and though I didn’t get tickets in time to see him, he was there to open the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Center for Investigating Healthy Minds. He’s been an idol of mine, someone whose attitudes towards life and existence we could all benefit from.

It is my firm belief that any group of people who would exile someone like the Dalai Lama are a bunch of fucking tools. That means the government of China. Good luck to the people of China getting those assholes out of power.

Origin of the Universe?

Like anyone else, I want to know how we came to exist. We’ve discovered so much about our origins, but it is clear we still know so very little. I’m enchanted and convinced by the idea of the big bang being the origin of the universe, but not entirely satisfied. Some credit a deity of cosmic power to not only the creation of the universe but to the development of life on Earth, which, to us, is still the only known life-bearing planet in the universe. Many scientists are positive that in a universe so mind-bogglingly large as to escape understanding, at least one other planet is likely to be inhabited by what we call life. So one must look beyond that question and ask the next. How did the uncountable atoms in the universe, and joules of energy between them, come to exist? Why are the laws of the universe the way they are? Suppose opposites repelled rather than attracted, or there wasn’t any bond between positive and negative charges at all. Imagine a variation in the laws of the universe had occurred during the Big Bang that allowed only for the existence of energy, or reversed entropy and made chemical reactions create more energy than it took to cause the reaction.

Origin of Life Metaphor.

Picture a vast kitchen, filled with every ingredient you can imagine. Now picture if you threw these ingredients all over the room, coating every surface and mixing them all together. In some places they could conceivably come together and make the mixture for chocolate frosting. In others they could become bread or chicken noodle soup or any type of food. In the same way, all the ingredients for planets existed in the universe and came together in various areas, and on our Earth, we were lucky to have just the right ingredients come together to create life.