Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Last Light Bulb of 2011

The bare 40 watt light bulb just outside the sliding glass doors powers the eco-system that is my patio. Ok. I am being pretentious, but I am also being truthful. When I turn that dim little sucker on, the moths bump into it, rest next to it. Recently, I have noticed a large spider web against the eve of the house. The web is on the other side of the sliding glass door but it is close enough to the light bulb that some moths with poor senses of direction get caught. Then, to watch it all my cats sit next to the glass door. I have even put a chair and an old sleeping bag near by so the cats have a comfortable place to lay and watch their MTV (Moth Television). I stand in the doorway between the kitchen and the living room watching the cats watch the moths.

See, that little light bulb attracts more life than you would think possible from an 80 cent piece of glass and filament. Well, it is not the same light bulb. I have to change it out every few weeks. I always use 40 or 60 watt bulbs that I buy at the grocery store. I like the ritual of changing out the bulb and I like that there is no fixture to undo so that I can change it. I just reach outside, un-screw the old and re-screw the new.

What am I going to do now that lightbulbs are becoming more efficient? And why am I not even excited by this efficiency? I should be glad that I can buy a fancy pants bulb that spits out light using less energy. I should be glad that I can find a new-fangled bulb that won't require me to change it constantly.

Still, I will miss the old-fashioned light bulb and it's dim, expensive glow.


Friday, December 9, 2011

Physicist, Stoner or Five Year Old?

".... the farthest place in the Universe is the back of your own head." (whoaa, that is gnarly)

Who said this? A scientist or a drug addict or a kid? is one of those head scratcher ideas that sometimes comes out of the mouths of babes or sometimes comes out of the mouths of a stoned college student or sometimes comes of the mouths of a college professor. It's profound.

Think about it. If the Universe were circular and you stood with a telescope looking for the farthest point, you would look all the way around the universe and end up at your own backside. And if you are like me, you would ask yourself "are my butt cheeks uneven? my right side is bigger than my left." or " i forgot to comb the back of my hair today!"

I read about this in Michio Kaku's book Parallel Universes (mkaku. org). He was talking about science but I don't really understand physics so I have been musing on this idea more like a stoner would. I stop, occasionally, and think "wow... I am the closest to myself and the farthest away from myself at the same time!"

Of course, this concept comes in handy in a practical way. I repress and hide all sorts of flaws, disappointments and embarrassing facts about myself . I shove these unwanted thoughts of loneliness and frustration to the back of my head, apparently because that is farthest place I can send them.