12 July 2012
A FEW DIVERSIONS
Links to other lives. Let's pretend for a moment that reincarnation exists. Let's pretend further that in your prior existence, you were a person, not an insect or a rodent. Lastly, let's assume that at death, one's 'soul' immediately transfers to a fetus or newborn infant. So how might one decipher who one was before this lifetime?
One way to narrow the field of possibilities is to Google the phrase "died month date year", inserting the specifics of your birthdate. Voila, you will have before you pages of the names of people, famous or otherwise, who died on the day you were born ~ each the possible preincarnation of your own sweet self. Alas, such a Google search is probably limited to the country in which you live, and we can't assume you didn't spend your prior life elsewhere. But it's a start.
A similar curiosity is to learn the names of famous individuals (living or dead) who share the date of your birth. Here is one resource for learning just that. The link takes you to today's date ~ simply use the calendar at upper left to cycle to the month and date of your own birth. The same caveat applies regarding a limited sampling based on your nationality and culture. But it's all in fun. My co-birthers happen to include Reese Witherspoon, Lena Olin, William Shatner, Stephen Sondheim, Andrew Lloyd Weber, Bob Costas, and Orrin Hatch ~ a definite mixed bag. BTW, happy birthday, Michelle Rodriguez!
Eyesight. The website xkcd ("a webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math and language") yesterday posted this excellent image of how our eyes work. Click on the image to enlarge.
Swimming through the forest. Imagine an alpine valley which is a dry park in the winter, and partially submerged beneath snowmelt to form a surreal lake in summer ~ surreal because the underwater landscape looks like any other fresh-air forest or park, with trees, footpaths, park benches, and shrubbery, just .... underwater (see image above). Austria's Green Lake is precisely that. Click on the link for astonishing photos and a video. I'd love to go diving there someday.
Relativistic baseball. Thanks to friend Bill for the link to this Q&A ~ "What would happen if you tried to hit a baseball pitched at 90% of the speed of light?" The physics contained in the answer are easy to grasp, illustrated, and still shocking.