The more you know: space — when will it all explode? –pm ehh eek

Erik Wyse

I am proud to bring back the more you know series. I was saving it for NOVA, but my credentials were nonexistent. I wanted to write about love again, but I figured I should be more successful in love before I continue to talk to other people about it — we will see how long that lasts.

So, moving away from love for the time being, I went to the next most obvious topic: space. Space and love are both wonderful and mysterious. The supernova appears just as unattainable as the supermodel.

What is space? As a kid I used to think space was an elaborate invention by Albert Einstein, something that only existed in pictures, moving pictures and moving novels. The world of outer space was so different from the concrete, structured world I lived in. I sought more information on this elusive world that so intrigued me.

I started my search with the great Star Wars. I couldn’t believe it. How could a robot in a different galaxy have a British accent? It just didn’t make sense. Longing for more, I next became enthralled with the stars themselves. The stars were great big shining lights in the night sky that kept me from knowing where I was walking. To this day I run into things at night because my gaze is upwards towards the celestial field.

What explains my fascination with space? What explains anyone’s fascination with space? Space provides a jumping-off point for the imagination. The first great stories this world heard were stories involving the heavens above.

Even with all the knowledge modern science has provided us, there is still just as much interest in space today. Astronauts always stir up a little envy in me — that is, until I realize they sleep standing up, pee in tubes and eat frozen cardboard for their meals.

Space is the other, the unknown, the final frontier. We don’t know all that is space so we create what isn’t seen. The sheer size of it all would make Texas blush. There could be anything out there: planets that have donut trees of all varieties, beings that are eight feet tall, blue and great at basketball — thanks a lot, James Cameron, for combining Pocahontas and Space Jam and not casting Michael Jordan. What were you thinking?

But I digress. Thinking of outer space leads me deep into my own inner space, the thoughts I project outwards. It’s lonely out there, after all. The spaceman is a lone space ranger. He glides through solar systems in search of space rocks to complete a rock garden for NASA. It doesn’t matter whether he succeeds or not, he is a hero for his bravery. Astronauts, heroes of the deep space. If I had to name my favorite astronaut, that would be easy: Kevin Bacon.

All this talk of space has me worried, though. When will the next asteroid threaten earth, demanding a crew of beautiful actors to save the planet? When will the next star war be? Is the emperor down for good? Is George Lucas done whoring himself out for millions?

I can’t say for sure, but I think you might know the answer. At least, you should be able to find or create the answer for yourself. After all, what is space but the greatest canvas for the storytelling and lies that inspire us? I’d like to again end with a poem, a space haiku.

Supernova explodes

Light Years Away

A moment in space