Weird Things I Wonder About

You guys are probably used to my bizarre musings, but just in case the needle on the weird-o-meter hasn’t been pegged lately, allow me to give it a nudge.

I’m a huge classical music fan (as you no doubt know) so I’ve often felt sad thinking about people who lived before Mozart was born and never heard his music, or Handel’s Messiah, or Bach’s Brandenburg concertos. As a lover of words and devourer of books, I can’t imagine never becoming acquainted with Shakespeare, or Jane Austen. Of course the flip-side to that is: What are we going to miss that hasn’t happened yet? IΒ  bemoan all the great books already written that I will never have time to read. I also regret all the great music yet to be composed that I will never hear. And I wonder how many geniuses, alive now or before we were born, are/were out there who will never be heard or read.

So to take this to a new level with my astronomy interest, today we have this article:

Astronomers anticipate 100 billion Earth-like planets

Holy hell. :::picks self up off the floor:::

Think of that. 100,000,000,000. One-hundred-billion planets, potentially teeming with life. Think of all the people we’ll never meet, the societies we’ll never know about.Β  All the fabulous beaches and sunsets we’ll never see on alien worlds. What if Mozart was reborn out there somewhere? Shouldn’t we be trying to find him?

M42: Inside the Orion Nebula
Image Credit & Copyright: Reinhold Wittich

I wonder if they tuck their children into bed at night, if they even HAVE beds. Do they tell stories around a campfire, or are they enmeshed in their own space race? Do they have music? Do they even hear?

Then again, if I could meet them all, just think what my Christmas card list would look like. I’m imagining something like this, neatly categorized by galaxy, quadrant, solar system, planet, species…


But, just in case you’re out there, we’ll leave the light on for you.

Milky Way large

15 thoughts on “Weird Things I Wonder About

  1. A very thought provoking post. I remember the summer after 9th grade when I took part in a school camping trip to Roosevelt National Forest in Colorado. We were up in the mountains close to the treeline. At night, we told stories around the campfire…yes, many were ghost stories. Soon the fire turned into just glowing embers, and everyone went to their tents for sleep, I stayed outside. I was already an avid amateur astronomer, and I couldn’t believe how beautiful the night sky was. The Milky Way was SO prominent, even the colors of some of the stars were extremely vibrant. It was amazing being miles and miles away from any kind of artificial light and witness its absence with a sky full of glowing jewels. They say that dimmest naked-eye stars are 8th magnitude, but that night…and the subsequent nights, I would argue that I saw more. Like Carl Sagan, I saw “Billions and billions” of them.

    BTW, in regards to music, I love classical, too. The Baroque Period is my favorite. Each day, I try to listen to some Vivaldi or Bach…that’s my writing time.

    As for there being 100 billion Earth-like planets. Why is our Earth the one that got stuck with Justin Bieber? πŸ˜›


    1. That must have been breathtaking up there in the mountains. The light pollution in urban and suburban areas is washing away the stars. My neighbor across the street has a couple of very bright motion-detector flood lights that he occasionally just leaves ON, drives me crazy. I usually doing my stargazing from my front yard, and I’ve been so tempted to get out a bb-gun… πŸ˜‰ I have to drive a couple hours to get away from all the sky-glow from Portland, I can’t even see the Milky Way here.

      Vivaldi is wonderful. Perfect stargazing music, too, if you ask me.

      Perhaps we can ship Bieber off to one of those 100-billion worlds? πŸ‘Ώ


  2. Glad to know someone else thinks about this stuff too! πŸ™‚

    I am often asked if I could have just one wish what would it be.

    I usually ask to be immortal. Not because I am afraid to die, and i understand what it would mean to outlive everyone I love.

    I would just love to be there when all the things you talked about are discovered.

    Would be an amazing thing to see.

    Nice post, DD. Very thought provoking.


    1. I’ve often wished the same thing, like Harry Seldon in “Foundation” chasing his 240th birthday around the globe through all the time zones to make it last longer. Never enough time. All we can do is use our imaginations and hope they’re big enough to encompass some of the wonder that’s out there.


  3. What an absolutely mind-blowing post!
    There is nothing more humbling than the realization we are not as great a civilization as we like to think we are — or rather, we are not alone in our struggle to find beauty and meaning in the world around us.


    1. If only more people could understand the perspective of how small and insignificant all our petty squabbling is. Deepak Chopra once observed when discussing the impact of someday locating extraterrestrial life, “We’ll have to give up our tribal behavior.”


  4. And are we, in fact, already in communication….be very quiet, be very open, reach in….

    Sent from my iPad…possible errors


    1. Wouldn’t THAT be something? Everytime I watch “Cosmos” (the movie with Jodie Foster) I end up outside at night staring up at Vega and waving, just in case… πŸ˜‰


    1. Thank you, Chris! πŸ™‚ The Orion Nebula is pretty spectacular, although we only naturally see it in black & white. This image is so stunning, though, I had to post it. I hope the photographer doesn’t mind.


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