Big Universe, Small Box……

1 Apr
The Aurora Borealis

The Aurora Borealis

‘From the outer edges of the observable universe to the beauty of our planet, all may just as well be unreachable from the relative position of the very small box which imprisons by body and mind, stifles my imagination and limits by ability to discuss ideas……’

My Box……

The box which imprisons both my mind and body is 15 x 25 feet square.  It is a philosophical prison and one from which my escape is limited by the same thing that limits almost everything we do as human beings: money……

My Universe……

Yellowstone Park

Yellowstone Park

Unlikely to ever be able to leave the surface of planet Earth, my universe is made from light.  Some of that light left its source many hundreds of millions of years ago.  This does not impede my ability to study it.  What stops me from seeing it with anything other than the naked eye is money.  To be able to clearly see some of the faintest objects in the sky one requires two things; the ability to be able reach somewhere with the minimum of light pollution and an observational instrument with which to view them.  Both of these resources need money.  Not a huge amount of money, but enough for a reliable vehicle (as you are heading into open country) and, a telescope of sufficient quality to see your chosen object with clarity.  This would cost you approximately £2,000, even on the second hand market……

Angel Falls  - Venezuela

Angel Falls – Venezuela

The World we live on……

Our planet is covered in fascinating landscapes, diverse cultures and archaeological gems.  During my life thus far I have visited many places, some quite beautiful others no so much.  What they all have in common, with the exception of North America is warmth.  I’ve generally followed the tourist trail to the Mediterranean; Spain, France, Greece, Italy and islands to numerous to mention.  Although some have had a few archaeological sites of interest, the majority have been the standard ‘two weeks by the pool’ kind of destinations.  Great for a sun tan and cheap larger, not so good for the cultural expansion of ones horizons……

Chichenitza - Mexico

Chichenitza – Mexico

To see the things I’ve missed……

On our own planet the things I’d like to see are archaeological sites of scientific interest.  Most are in fairly inaccessible places like Machu Picchu in Peru, the Pyramids in Egypt, Mexico, Cambodia and Tikal in Guatemala amongst others.  Then there’s Petra in Jordan, the Terracotta Army in China and the statues on Easter Island.  This is only a few of the places I’d like to see but all are inaccessible to anybody without substantial sums of money.  Then there are the natural wonders of the world; the Galapagos Islands, Yellowstone Park, the Great Barrier Reef, the Grand Canyon and Angel Falls in Venezuela to name but a few.  Again, all of this would take a lot of money; money I don’t have and money I am unlikely ever to have……

‘So here I am, stuck in small box inside an unimaginably, if not infinitely, large universe, unable to visit the places that physics dictate can be reached and unable to see the objects that physics dictate I can only see given the right optical equipment……’

 

New Zealand

New Zealand

‘It’s a big universe and a small room.  It adds a whole new dimension to Einstein’s General Relativity……’

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