Tom R. Saxe

Tom R. Saxe
Location
Worcester, Massachusetts, USA
Birthday
December 22
Bio
Humorous artist shopping various graphic platforms and strategies for technical and design potential; My interest is in the 20th Century tradition of "gag" or magazine cartooning, also referred to as editorial illustration. Still, I cannot apologize for the liberal education received before my career. Currently using Federal benefits and personal skills living in a small New England city(town) full of retired obese white men and their impaired relatives. Separated from BMW and F-150 America by using subsidized transit, I offer either two cents or Nine Scents on a variety of subjects.

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MARCH 6, 2011 4:29PM

What We Wait 4

Rate: 1 Flag

The current issue of New Scientist has a summary of 21st Century Cosmology: "Dark Matter".  The article itself is most accessible; Different fields of work in this complex science are related.

Our species is awaiting the outcomes of several experiments designed to produce or detect a substance that, by definition, cannot be produced or detected. Our existence (universe) depends, it turns on, the existance of this First Substance.

Our own solar system is located about 28,000 light years from galactic center of the Milky Way. It orbits the centre of the Galaxy at a speed of 274 kilometres per second. So how long does one orbit take?

Hint #1: You're not going to need a scientific calculator, just Excel-we'll do this "sailor style" (memo to Captn. Kirk-we're not computing for time warp.)  Use this first. Remember the formula for the circumference of a circle? We're going to divide this by distance/year: Speed times the seconds/year.  The scientific notation factor for the number of seconds in a year is remarkably similar to pi, so these will cancel.

Modern Anthropology holds that "civilization" (agriculture) began about 12,000 years ago. Exactly how this could be detected from any point above the Earth's atmosphere totally baffles me - Unless a 2001: Space  scenario can be proved plausible. Modern Anthropology is totally baffled by the time frame for the appearance of H. Sapiens (us) so we'll ignore this.

Hint #2: Taking the fraction 2/274 as a factor 7.3x 10-3, multiply

 Minus aliens all we have is the invention of radio: Marconi sent and received his first radio signal in Italy in 1895. By 1899 he flashed the first wireless signal across the English Channel and two years later received the letter "S", telegraphed from England to Newfoundland. This was the first successful transatlantic radiotelegraph message in 1902; That's 107 years ago or .892% of the span of civilization.

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Comments

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Absolutely nuts when you think of it.
I cannot use what we have now due to lack of brains.. But I think I cold still master Marconi's invention.
Great blog and rated with hugs
Interesting that they mark the beginning of civilization with the beginning of agriculture. Will we see the end of it with the end of it?
OMG, did not realize that number was so big: I thought the answer was 200 thousand years instead of 200 million years. Spent yesterday checking my work, but the answer is 193 million years. My shortcut makes the answer a little short and there is disagreement on how big our galaxy really is.
So picture this: You're a citizen of the planet Xmbpwt in the Andromeda galaxy and you've just gotten your Elppa Inter-Galactic Sentience Detector 77G. It works by movement; The problem is that for 2/3 of the last rotation the signal from earth showed nothing but species headed for extinction: Man's reign as a civilized animal has only lasted for .006% of one galactic rotation.