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Thursday, January 25, 2018


Today I continue my quest to make my readers appear to be smarter than they really are, but for the next few days, the smartness represents a pun, although for the more cynical, perhaps only a double entendre. Yes, there is a difference.  And if you can figure this out, that automatically makes you smart.

First, you need to be aware of some basic facts.  About Planet Earth, the following are scientifically factual (and seriously disputed by many with highly religious proclivities, especially Americans, and particularly followers of President Trump, led by himself):
  • Our solar system began to form 4.6 billion years ago from "dust and gas," with the Sun gravitationally sucking up the lighter gases, like hydrogen, leaving rocky and remaining materials to accrete into planets in a circular disk around the Sun.  
  • Soon thereafter, said to be 4.54 billion years ago, Earth formed.
  • These relative sizes should impress you about the size of our Sun (which you can barely see in the second graphic, for the diameter of Antares is 700 times that of our Sun):

  • But Antares is something called a Red Giant, and when our Sun attains this status in a bit more than 7 billion years, its diameter will expand by 256 times.  If you're planning to live on this globe for a long time, keep in mind that only in 3.5 billion years the Sun will be 40% brighter and our oceans will boil.
  • As long ago as 4.1 billion years ago biotic life began, with hominins, the first sign of us, appearing only 14 million years ago...but that will be my posting tomorrow:  Be Smart About Humanity.
Global warming?  World War III?  Aliens?  As dumb as organized Humanity has been in history, particularly today, we, and any intelligent life in the Universe, will not be able to willfully destroy Planet Earth.  Thus, the title is neither a pun nor a double entendre.  You can, however, bother yourself with these potential calamities:
Of course, ten billion years from now there will be no Planet Earth.  My fate of eternal gloom is similar.  So time is that determining factor.  How long will civilization continue?  Return tomorrow.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average again broke it's all-time high, up 141 to 26,393:


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