Monday, February 05, 2007

In Praise Of Cosmic Vacuum Cleaners

How do you clean up a galaxy? What’s going to pick up all the zillions of dust particles, the odds and ends of stars that revolve around the central core? It’s a big place out there, where it takes light 10,000 years just to go up thru the middle and 100,000 years to go from edge to edge. We’re talking some huge frequent flier miles here, folks; this isn’t just a trip to the sun.

Our tool of choice is a larger version of an Oreck vacuum cleaner, called a Black Hole. It has a gravity so great that when anything gets near it, the poor victim (be it dust, star or even light itself) gets sucked in never to be seen again. Where does all this stuff go? And who empties the bag? Those answers we just don’t have. Possibly it spurts out into another universe or another dimension.

It would be nice to have a very tiny Black Hole we could keep in our closet and bring out to clean our houses. The ultimate office shredder. A larger model to be used as a landfill eliminator or to remove large buildings, instead of tearing them down.

Everybody has a story.
Maria Shaw, a local resident, passed away a few days ago. “She was an accomplished ballet dancer. As a member of Ballet Caravan, Maria toured the United States, Canada and South America under the artistic direction of George Balanchine. She lived an interesting and active life. She made 11 trips to India; her most recent was when she was 86 years old.”


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