A man trying to understand the nature of God asked him: “God, how long is a million years to you?”
God answered: “A million years is like a minute.”
Then the man asked: “God, how much is a million dollars to you?”
And God replied: “A million dollars is like a penny.”
Finally the man asked: “God, could you give me a penny?”
And God said, “In a minute.”
I had originally called this post ‘Time And Relativity’ but I thought that would put some people off reading it. But that’s what it is actually about.
We have all heard about Albert Einstein and his theory of relativity, which is when he basically demolished Isaac Newton’s theories of mechanics and replaced them with the theory of relativity and how time can be effected by space, gravity, velocity and so forth.
Like Einstein (who am I kidding LOL) I have two theories of relativity, a General Theory and a Special Theory. That I am afraid is where the similarity ends because being neither a physicist nor a genius my theories are of necessity much simpler, although I would argue no less valid.
If you’ve got the time read on….
1. The Fasab General Theory of Relativity
The Fasab General Theory of Relativity simply states that the more interested you are in something the faster time passes.
Contrary to what a lot of people have been taught and believe, widening your variety of activities and experiences will not slow down your perception of time passing, it will in fact speed it up if you are interested in and enjoy those activities and experiences.
We have all experienced this phenomenon. Sit down at your computer and get engrossed in the fasab blog 🙂 , do a bit of work on your own blog, or just look for information on something you are interested in, and hey presto two hours have disappeared before you know it.
Same if you are watching a really good movie or play or show. It may last for two hours or more, but it seems an awful lot less.
And there are people you know and meet who are great company, are funny, tell good stories, and/or can hold interesting conversations on a variety of topics. Time seems to pass so quickly and so pleasantly when you are fortunate enough to be in that sort of company.
Conversely, the more uninterested you are in something the slower time passes.
Ever gone to see a film that was particularly bad and that you thought was never going to end? Or a lecture by a boring speaker who made an hour seem like a day and your bottom give up and go to sleep? If you have you’ll know exactly what I mean.
I used to have an old aunt who had Alzheimers and occasionally I would go to stay with her to give my cousin a few hours break. Her sensible conversational skills were approaching zero at that stage in her disease, tv seemed to irritate her and so on, so there was little to do to pass the time.
I would go in to her house, sit down and glance at my watch. It would be something like, say, 7.30pm.
I’d try to coax a little chat out of her and fail; then read the newspaper for a while; then just close my eyes and have a rest or a think about what I needed to do tomorrow; and then after what I thought was at least a good 30 minutes or more I’d check my watch again.
It would say something like 7.34pm! Those 4 minutes had taken a half hour to pass. It was awful.
Then there are the drones, people who seem to be able to slow down time with their excruciatingly boring and meaningless conversation. A friend of mine from University days who went on to become an accountant turned into to one of those, obsessed with whatever budget he was trying to perfect he droned on and on and on about it. I don’t see him much these days.
And that is the Fasab General Theory Of Relativity.
2. The Fasab Special Theory of Relativity
The Fasab Special Theory Of Relativity is a different concept to the General Theory just outlined. It is also harder to ‘prove’ in that the ability to experience it is not quite so immediate. But once again we have all experienced it, so here goes.
The Fasab Special Theory of Relativity states that time is perceived to pass faster the lower the proportion a unit of time is, when compared to how long we have lived.
Have you ever heard people say, or even said yourself, that the older you get the quicker the months and years seem to pass?
I’m sure there is a complex mathematical formula for something like this and if anyone cares to send it to me well and good. But for now let’s not bother complicating things.
The Fasab Special Theory of Relativity in simple terms can be summarized as Y/L = P, where ‘Y’ is a period of 1 year or 12 months; ‘L’ is a person’s current life term or age stated in months; and ‘P’ is the proportion of your current life that 1 year represents. The older you get the lower is the value of ‘P’ and the faster time is perceived to pass.
For example, when you are a child a year seems like a long, long, long time. That is simply because when kids are five years old, twelve months is a large proportion of their lives, 12/60 or 1/5 or 20 percent.
However, by the time you reach 50 years of age, a year or 12 months is a much smaller proportion of your lifetime, 12/600 or 1/50 or just 2 percent.
Therefore the older you get, the quicker a year, or any unit of time for that matter, seems to pass.
I’m not happy about this. Time appears to be going in far too fast already. But like everyone else I seem to be stuck with it.
And that is a summary of the two Fasab theories of time and relativity.
It might be interesting to speculate how the two theories combine and what effect that has but, oh my goodness, is that the time? Must go!
Today we have ‘significant’ number thirteen, unlucky for some.
The number 13 seems to give a lot of people trouble. Indeed the fear of the number 13 is so pervasive that it even has a phobia named after it – triskaidekaphobia.
In the Bible.
At the Last Supper in Christian theology, there were 13 dinner guests, so that number is unlucky because Christ was betrayed.
Thirteen famines are recorded in the Scriptures.
The destruction of Jericho is stamped with the number thirteen, because the city was compassed once each day for six days, and seven times on the seventh day, making 13 times in all (6+7).
All the names of Satan are divisible by thirteen.
In Mark 7 Jesus mentions thirteen things that defile a person (evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride and foolishness).
The ancient Hebrews thought 13 was unlucky because the thirteenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet is the letter M, which is the first letter in the word “mavet,” meaning death.
In Norse mythology, 12 benevolent gods were gathering in a hall and the evil god Loki attacked the group. Loki was the 13th guest, and the god Balder was killed in the melee.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt was quite fearful of the number 13, and he took great pains to avoid hosting a meal for a group of that size. It is said that if he had a cancellation and it looked as if there might be 13 people to lunch, he would invite his secretary to join them so there wouldn’t be 13.
Industrialist Henry Ford wouldn’t do business on Friday, the 13th.
Multimillionaire Paul Getty once stated “I wouldn’t care to be one of thirteen at a table.”
Some speculate that a fear of the number 13 is the reason we recognize only 12 constellations in the Zodiac, omitting a thirteenth… Ophiuchus ( the Serpent Holder) that, by its location, could be included.
Years ago, London bakers were subject to harsh penalties if they were caught selling bread in what was called short weight. The bakers would add an extra loaf to each dozen to be sure the sale met the minimum weight requirement. They avoided the word thirteen and the process of adding an extra loaf became known as the “baker’s dozen.”
Some airlines do not have a 13th row.
Most tall buildings do not have a 13th floor.
Many hotel guests refuse to stay in Room 13, so rooms are frequently numbered 12, 12A, and 14.
The 13th card of the Tarot is the card of Death.
The composer, Arnold Schoenberg, was a noted triskaidekaphobe. He died as he had predicted at the age of 76 (7+6=13), on a Friday 13th at 13 minutes to midnight.
In April 1970, NASA launched Apollo 13 at 1313 hours Central Time from pad 39. The flight was commanded by James A. Lovell with John L. “Jack” Swigert as Command Module pilot and Fred W. Haise as Lunar Module pilot. (Swigert was a late replacement for the original CM pilot Ken Mattingly, who was grounded by the flight surgeon after exposure to German measles.) They were scheduled for rest periods beginning 13 minutes past the hour and on April 13 at 21:07:53 CST (55:54:53 Ground Elapsed Time) an oxygen tank exploded and the mission had to be aborted. The rest is history – and a movie, Apollo 13, based on ‘Lost Moon’, Jim Lovell’s and Jeffrey Kluger’s book about the event.
Friday the 13th Myths:
If you cut your hair on Friday the 13th, someone in your family will die.
A child born on Friday the 13th will be unlucky for life.
If a funeral procession passes you on Friday the 13th, you will be the next to die.
In the United States
the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution officially outlaws slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime.
thirteen colonies rebelled against British Rule and King George III in what led to the American Revolutionary War and the eventual birth of the United States of America. The colonies were Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts Bay, Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia, New York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.
there are thirteen stripes on the USA flag to commemorate these original colonies.
Some situations in life or business or whatever call for a bit of creative thinking. “Thinking outside the box” is the trendy phrase that’s used. It means sometimes forgetting a lot of what we have learned or applying it a little differently.
If you ever find yourself in that kind of position some of these thoughts may help.
Indecision is the key to flexibility.
You cannot tell which way the train went by looking at the track.
There is absolutely no substitute for a genuine lack of preparation.
Happiness is merely the remission of pain.
Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.
Sometimes too much drink is not enough.
The facts, although interesting, are irrelevant.
The careful application of terror is also a form of communication.
Someone who thinks logically is a nice contrast to the real world.
Things are more like they are today than they ever have been before.
Anything worth fighting for is worth fighting dirty for.
Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.
Friends may come and go, but enemies accumulate.
I have seen the truth and it makes no sense.
All things being equal, fat people use more soap.
If you can smile when things go wrong, you have someone in mind to blame.
One-seventh of you life is spent on Wednesday.
By the time you can make ends meet, they move the ends.
Not one shred of evidence supports the notion that life is serious.
The more you run over a dead cat, the flatter it gets.
There is always one more imbecile than you counted on.
This is as bad as it can get, but don’t bet on it.
Never wrestle with a pig: You both get all dirty, and the pig likes it.
The trouble with life is, you’re halfway through it before you realize it’s a ‘do it yourself’ thing.
It’s Tuesday and we have another selection of those questions that are worth asking, but hardly anyone asks. Should we just accept thing the way they are, or should we start to question what is happening around us a little more?
Here we go. Enjoy!
You know the expression, ‘Don’t quit your day job?’
Well what do you say to people that work nights?
Why is the ‘0’ on a phone after the ‘1’ and not before the ‘1’?
If the president were gay, would his husband be the first man?
If you were a genie and a person asked you this wish, ‘I wish you would not grant me this wish’ what would you do?
Did Noah have woodpeckers on the ark? If he did, where did he keep them?
Why doesn’t the armpit hair have split ends?
Do pyromaniacs like to wear blazers?
If you don’t pay your exorcist, do you get repossessed?
Why is something funny called a ‘knee-slapper’ when you actually slap your thigh?
Why do we teach kids that violence is not the answer and then in school have them read about wars that solved problems?
If money doesn’t grow on trees then why do banks have branches?”
Why does someone believe you when you say something like, “There are four billion stars,” but check when you say the paint is wet?
What would happen if Batman got bitten by a vampire?
Why can’t we spell creativity however we want?
Do infants enjoy infancy as much as adults enjoy adultery?”
Has your mate ever called you at work to ask where the remote control is?
Was the person who invented the Express Lane at the grocery store ever properly thanked?
Why do you seldom if ever see ads for advertising companies?
Why is it that when things get wet they get darker, even though water is clear?
No, I’m not tilting at windmills, not just yet anyhow. And despite the play on words in the title, nor am I referring to Cervantes character Don Quixote. This post actually does concern a donkey, though. In fact animals in general.
It is a little known fact that donkeys kill more people than plane crashes. And at the end of August I read about a small town Texas mayor who was killed in an attack by his own donkey. He was Bill Bohlke and he was Mayor of Hollywood Park in Atascosa County, Texas.
That unfortunate event set me thinking of a number of things.
First I asked myself how the heck you pronounced his surname.
Then I wondered if Mayor Bohlke was a Republican or Democrat and how macabre it would have been if the donkey had done away with his elephant man rival.
And then I thought about the amazing and different ways people find to leave the mortal coil. I bet, like most of us, the last thing Mayor Bohlke thought was that some day he would meet his end from an attack from a randy donkey!
And then I marveled at how so many people, for no logical reason, have a romantic fantasy notion that animals are not inherently dangerous. They are.
And this is true for people who work with them every day and should know better.
For example, when I was growing up I would spend time at my uncle’s farm. He had a herd of one hundred or more dairy cows and every evening when I was there my cousin and myself would be sent out to the fields to bring the cows in for milking.
We had a couple of great little collie dogs to help us, not that much help was needed because the cows had a routine and once they heard us calling for them they made their way to the field gate and up the lane to the milking parlor, glad no doubt that they were about to be relieved of their burden once more.
With them came the bull. A huge brute of an animal and unbelievably strong. But he was docile enough, walked up with his herd of ‘wives’ and while they made their way into the queue for the milking machines he would usually lie down in the hayshed and munch on some of the hay.
As innocent (dumb) kids we would sometimes sit down beside him, even using him as a prop to lean against. He didn’t seem to mind a bit, we thought he was glad of the company perhaps.
Then one day as the herd was being ushered back out to the fields Mr Bull totally out of the blue decided he would like to kill my uncle.
Luckily us kids had our chore done in bringing the herd in to get milked. When the time came to take them back out again we were engaged on other vital business, I can’t remember exactly what but I’m sure it involved football, playing cowboys and Indians, fending off some galactic foe who was attacking earth that day, or some such vital stuff. But we could hear the commotion in the distance.
Furious about something, only he knew what, the bull roared angrily and ran towards my uncle who had been leading the way. With his head lowered he hit my uncle between his lower back and his knees and threw him up into the air like a rag doll – and my uncle was a BIG man. Very fortunately the bull tossed him into the air with such force that he went clean over the raised fence and hedge on the right hand side of the lane and ended up in one of the fields.
The crazy bull then tried to go after him but couldn’t get up the steep embankment on which the fence had been constructed. Another cousin, quite a bit older than us, saw the attack. He was in a tractor and he immediately had the presence of mind to use that to take the bull’s attention away from my uncle. The distraction seemed to work, because as suddenly as it had started it was over and things were back to normal.
But my uncle had learned a valuable lesson. Animals can be dangerous.
So had I, even though I wasn’t there at the time, but from then on I haven’t been a fan of bulls – not in Chicago or Wall Street either come to think of it.
Unfortunately Mayor Bohlke wasn’t so lucky with his donkey.
They’ve been ‘beautiful’, they’ve been ‘big’ and they’ve been ‘unusual’. Today we have the number seven, another of what are known as ‘significant’ numbers, so-called because of their use and the beliefs surrounding them.
The number seven is the most mystical of all numbers. It is considered by a great many people to be ‘lucky’.
It is a number that is mentioned many times in the Bible where it indicates perfection and has its roots in ancient Jewish history.
In the Old Testament for example,
The Creation established the pattern of a seven day week.
The seventh day was a day of rest.
Land was to lie fallow every seventh year to allow it to recover its nutrients.
Noah led the clean animals into the ark in sets of seven pairs for each species.
Solomon took seven years to build the temple in Jerusalem.
The Torah mentions that the Sabbatical, or holy year, occurred every seven years.
The Israelites were told to march around the walls of Jericho seven times, and their enemies would be defeated.
The symbolic Jewish candlestick has seven branches.
This view of the number seven continued in the New Testament.
A disciple asked Jesus, “How many times should we forgive our brethren?” Jesus replied, “70 times 7”.
Revelations 1:16 states, “He had in his right hand seven stars.”
Also in Revelations, the number of seals is seven.
And beyond the Bible, we find the number seven in other religions and societies.
The ancient Greeks considered the number seven to be lucky. They believed it to be the perfect number.
In ancient Egypt there were seven paths to heaven.
In ancient Babylon there were seven branches on their tree of life.
The Arabs carried on this belief and built seven holy temples.
The Goths made sure they worshiped the seven deities.
The Japanese also had seven gods. (In 1995, to celebrate the Japanese Emperor’s seven year reign 17 runners ran 7,777 meters round the imperial palace at 7 minutes past seven on the 7th day of the 7th month.)
The Chinese saw seven as the number governing female life.
Even the Scottish Masons made sure the number seven had relevance in their rites, and their aprons were made with seven tassels on them.
In the US too there are examples of the occurrence of the number seven.
The Founding Fathers declared independence from Britain during the seventh month.
There are seven articles to the US constitution.
And the city of Washington D.C. was built on the 77th longitude.
The number still occurs because of it being thought lucky such as the drink 7-Up and the Boeing airplanes which are always 7?7.
Then there are the Seven Wonders of the world.
The original seven wonders were:
Great Pyramid of Giza
Hanging Gardens of Babylon
Statue of Zeus at Olympia
Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
Mausoleum at Halicarnassus
Colossus of Rhodes
Lighthouse of Alexandria
(The earliest lists had the Ishtar Gate as the seventh wonder of the world instead of the Lighthouse of Alexandria.)
In 2001 an initiative was started by the Swiss corporation New7Wonders Foundation to choose the New7Wonders of the World from a selection of 200 existing monuments.
Twenty-one finalists were announced January 1, 2006. Egyptians were not happy that the only surviving original wonder, the Great Pyramid of Giza, would have to compete with the likes of the Statue of Liberty, the Sydney Opera House, and other landmarks, calling the project absurd. In response, Giza was named an honorary Candidate.
The results, announced on July 7, 2007, in Lisbon, Portugal, were:
Great Wall of China
Christ the Redeemer (Brazil)
Machu Picchu (Peru)
Chichen Itza (Mexico)
Taj Mahal (India)
There have also been several atempts to compile a list of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. The main candidates include:
Great Barrier Reef
Harbor of Rio de Janeiro
And, of course, in the field of entertainment the number seven has featured in several memorable movies, examples of which include: