More sun and moons and stars

It’s a big universe*** out there.

Regarding which fact there is some Meaningful Lesson apparently to be learned, but I’ll be damned if I know what it is.**

Meanwhile, arresting images from our little corner and far, far beyond, from “The Cosmic Gallery” in The Guardian.

Screen shot 2013-04-02 at 12.35.09 PM

(photo credit: NASA, ESA, SSC, CXC and STScI via The Guardian)


**We are nothing in the great scope of things? We are one with everything? From stardust we are come, and stardust we shall become again? We should seize every moment, savor every taste? We should be mindful of what is before us? ***

Or possibly: the universe doesn’t give fuck-all what we think?


***Puts me in mind of “The Ultimate Final Exam (see “Continue Reading”),” which has been floating around at least since my ye college days, which, without putting a precise date on them, I can tell you took place at a time when the mimeograph was still in regular use. Remember faintly damp, inky-smelling mimeograph sheets? Not if you’re under 40, you don’t.

Ultimate Final Exam

Instructions: Read each question carefully. Answer all questions. The time limit is four (4) hours. Begin immediately.

Sociology of History
Describe the history of the papacy from its origin to the present day, concentrating especially but not exclusively, on its social, political, economic, religious, and philosophical impact on Europe, Asia, America, and Africa. Be brief, concise, and specific.

Sociology of Medicine
You have been provided with a razor blade, a piece of gauze, and a bottle of scotch. Remove your appendix. Do not suture until your work has been inspected. You have fifteen minutes.

Public Speaking
2,500 riot-crazed aborigines are storming the classroom. Calm them. You may use any ancient language except Latin or Greek.

Create life. Estimate the differences in subsequent human structure if this form of life had developed 500 million years earlier, with special attention to its probable effect on the English parliamentary system. Prove your thesis.

Write a symphony. Orchestrate and perform it with a flute and drum. You will be provided with a pitch pipe.

Estimate the sociological problems which might accompany the end of the world. Construct an experiment to test your theory.

Explain the nature of matter. Include in your answer an evaluation of the impact of the development of mathematics on science.

Based on your knowledge of their works, evaluate the stability degree of adjustment, and repressed frustrations of each of the following: Alexander of Aphredisias, Gregory of Nicea, and Hammurabi. Support your evaluation with quotations from each man’s work, making appropriate references. It is not necessary to translate.

The disassembled parts of a high-powered rifle have been placed in a box on your desk. You will also find an instruction manual in Swahili and an Afgani dictionary for translation. In ten minutes a hungry Bengal tiger will be admitted into the room. Take whatever action you deem appropriate. Be prepared to justify your decision.

Political Sociology
There is a red telephone on the desk beside you. Start World War III. Report at length on any socio- political and/or economic effects this may have.

Social Theory
Sketch the development of human thought; estimate its significance. Compare it with the development of any other kind of thought.

General Knowledge
Describe in detail. Be specific and objective.

Extra Credit
Define the Universe; give three examples.


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