Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Ruminatae Esotericata

In catching up on old mail, from, as luck would have it, old males, which tells you all you need to know about my friends and lifestyle, the Star of Bethlehem controversy rears it's nebulous head and since Brian's next original thought will be the first I'm left to ponder what infamous oracle has pandered this old saw back into the mainstream eye for the easily agog'd guy.

Yawn, it's too early to think but the Star of Bethlehem story goes something like this. Long ago, astronomers joined in the search for evidence that anything in the new testament might have a ring of truth to it, and "truth" is too harsh a term implying that lies might have been involved but you get my drift. So what WAS the Star of Bethlehem? Besides being described as everything from the planet Venus to alien spacecraft, some serious astronomers have found that more than one super-nova may have been visible at around 4 -30 B.C. One of the nova's might very well have had a decent solar system attached, as gravitational anomolies suggest the remains of a planetary system that might have rivaled our own.

So maybe a star just like ours blew up several thousand years ago, and the light reached earth two thousand years ago. The fleeting remnant of what might have been the only other place in the universe harboring intelligent life passed us by to be remembered only as a herald for one of the worlds most enduring religions/superstitions. Now, all of this comes from memory so please don't ask for links, but the "evidence" was being gathered as far back as the early 50's when computers were getting powerful enough to plot star charts that went far back into time. There might even have been a science fiction story or two springing from such postulation but I just don't remember and am not in the mood to spend a beautiful morning googling esoterica.

And until we can harnass dark energy we're not going back into time to have a look so it remains mere speculation, and of the fanciful sort at that. Oh yeah, and when we do work out a dark matter machine? Remind me to go back and tell myself to pay more attention to my grandfather when he was buying stock in that company with the queer name of Micro-soft.

"So what does it stand for? Tiny and squishy? Yeah, that'll catch on."

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