Wednesday, October 3, 2012


The Void Is Staring Across You

If you're having A Day, please immediately read the Wikipedia entry for "The Universe," because, whoa, you guys, what the hell is the universe? Seriously! WHAT DO YOU THINK THE UNIVERSE IS? Or reality? Is it inside a snow globe or what? Turtles all the way down?

Let's discuss it quickly, figure it out once and for all, and then go back to never thinking about it at all, ever. Taylor Swift and John Mayer, etc. Opaque tights. Carbohydrates. J.K. Rowling wants quote approval. "The Hobbit" is three movies. Eric Clapton is Dog.

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"The totality of existence." Woooaaaah. Really gives you some perspective.

Speaking of which I bought these really cool navy blue opaque tights at Nordstrom Rack.


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love this! :-)@l


The Hairpin smokes pot together, part 1.


@gigglefest The one and only time I got stoned, I thought that the entire universe was inside my body and I started crying. (This is why it was the one and only - SO STRESSFUL. I'm clearly not made for that sort of recreation.)

fondue with cheddar

@KeLynn The first time I smoked pot I was watching Alive.

Tuna Surprise

It's amazing to think that in a universe that's at least 89 billion light years in diameter, and contains billions if not trillions of start and planets, there is a small planet inhabited by us. And on this small planet, there are billions of people scattered across its surface with infinite possibilities for interaction. How humbling to witness the cruelty of the cosmos as two of these people, with comically oversized suitcases in hand, managed to block my path and therefore make me miss a train when I was already late to a meeting this morning because they couldn't decipher a detour sign that was just a giant arrow, pointing the direction that they needed to go.


@Tuna Surprise

It truly makes you feel insignificant! Which may explain why yesterday a student on campus took her time lifting her skateboard up over the curb (and blocking me from biking past her to the bike rack) so that she could skateboard fifteen feet to her building, get off again, and walk in. In comparison to the totality of existence, I'm barely here.


Okay, whoa. DUDE. Theories? What is dark matter, really? I always like to think of it as a parallel universe existing on top on ours that can't see us & we can't see them. (I don't know anything about science. But science doesn't know much about dark matter, apparently, so perhaps my theory is plausible!)


@fabel If you haven't read Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials, I highly recommend that you do, based on the content of this comment!

maybe partying will help

@fabel, martinipie

Seriously this is uncanny.


@fabel Also because His Dark Materials taught me how to believe in science and also wonder!


geez I was already halfway down the rabbit hole wiki'ing Joaquin Phoenix, cults, etc. (saw The Master last night) but I guess I'm just not doing ANY work today...


@Lucienne Also, is this the place where I admit to being a modal realist . . .? No? I'll see myself out.

Sydney C

Oh, I am SO having A DAY, so thank you! The entry on the ultimate fate of the universe is great too. I want to name my band Heat Death



Look, can we just turn this thread into another discussion of Doctor Who? (Given the post I think that's sorta legit.) I am way behind and I just met River Song and WHAAAA please no spoilers but jeez.


@Sorbee What do you think of River Song?


@Verity First, I'm very happy to see that actress again. I adored her on ER and I like the spunkiness to the roles she plays. She's very good playing off the Doctor as well. I'm glad to see someone in (what I assume to be) a romantic relationship with the Doctor who manages to be on somewhat equal footing with him (vs Martha's unrequited puppy love, which was annoying.)

But, mostly, being introduced to her just raises way way way more questions (like: when is the Doctor allowed to reveal his name? I hope it's when little Time Lord babies are born! NO SPOILERS.) One of the reasons I like Doctor Who so much is how much the show holds back but then dangles little bits of mythology to chew over. Contrast to Lost, the last show I mainlined in a matter of weeks, this show doesn't get so wrapped up in WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN and still allows us to have weeks with little more going on than The Doctor Does Something Awesome Followed by Convenient Resolution. It just makes the heavier/denser stuff even more interesting, y'know?


@Sorbee Yes, the Doctor Who writers like raising questions. It keeps the audience on their toes! But yes, River is great, and seeing her on an equal footing with the Doctor is lovely. (Not a romantic relationship, but what do you think of the relationship between the Doctor and Donna? I love it. She refuses to allow them to be on different levels.)


Can we also turn this thread into a "What in the UNIVERSE is Dear Prudence smoking?" review of yesterday afternoon's column? *facepalm*


@Alli525 I am for this.


@Alli525 I don't know, but lately her default advice seems to be "Maybe you should rethink your entire relationship!" when all the letter writer wanted was advice on how to tell his partner he's kinky, or something.

sudden but inevitable betrayal

@Alli525 OK, but she did make a Chanticleer reference... I'm just saying.


@Alli525 I've mentioned before, but her kink-and-general-sex-negativity means I just can't deal with her anymore. (I suppose it makes the name more appropriate.) I just want to sit her down and say, "kinky sex is just more complicated sex. Some people like complicated things in their lives, some people don't. But it's really no different from one person preferring Twilight Imperium III on board game night, while the other prefers Hungry Hungry Hippos. Mismatched couples can learn to compromise, or they can find other partners who prefer d20s/yelling "uno", but neither one of them is a gross weirdo who deserves to be shunned. And acting like it just makes you look like the only kid in class yelling "nerd!" at the kid who likes doing her math homework."

Nicole Cliffe

Perhaps you would like to expand on those thoughts and then email them to us because INTERESTING.


@ThatWench what Nicole said. because this is relevant to some interests a friend of mine has.


@Alli525 I KNOW. What is UP with her?


@ThatWench I think, for all references to "kink," she just automatically fills in the weirdest/most dangerous/grossest thing she can possibly imagine and goes from there.

I was REALLY stunned, in the previous chat, when she answered the question about sexual harassment and then expressed SURPRISE and OFFENSE that other people in the chat were sending messages about how the woman who'd asked the question was a slut who'd deliberately set out to sleep her way to the top! GOSH, PRUDIE, WHERE COULD THEY HAVE GOTTEN THE IDEA THAT WAS APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR IN YOUR CHATROOM.


but in my experience, the person who likes Twilight Imperium III is more likely to also like kinky sex (my local SM club has a games day once a month).


@Blushingflwr Correct, hence the invention of Geeky Kink Event. (I am a Catan-level player in both worlds)

@nicole significant fan girl action over this idea. You will hear more from me once I regain access to an actual keyboard.


I love love love this interview with Joaquin Vierira about, basically, the universe. So charming!

Harbinger of Something

This video that I mostly understood (without actually knowing science) is about the Higgs Bosun and it is the best! http://www.phdcomics.com/comics/archive.php?comicid=1489

RK Fire

This seems appropriate, as long as it works..


@RK Fire OH MY GOD THIS IS THE GREATEST!!! Catch you later, that Oprah Bees gif.

Oh, squiggles

Terrifying or freeing?


@RK Fire Oh my God, this is amazing.
@OhMarie But boy do I love Oprah and those bees.

RK Fire

@Awesomely Nonfunctional: I think that anything that is freeing is also a bit terrifying. So.. both?

@all: I am also partial to the Oprah bees gif. The gifs can coexist!


My favorite theory about the end of the universe is the Boltzmann Brain hypothesis, which says that as entropy (disorder) in the Universe increases, it might arrange itself into something so complicated, it's self aware. A brain, basically. Our universe might become a brain. A BRAIN. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/15/science/15brain.html?pagewanted=all

Oh, squiggles

@jesslyn Fuck yes. That sounds right. And that would make us, as small little parts, just neurons or cells in the giant universe brain!

give cheese some pants

my favorite Stoned Universe Idea (I have soooo many) is that there are an infinite number of universes, and between them every single possible event is played out. so every event you can fathom/daydream about on the reg has happened, or will, somewhere. it follows then that imagination is just a form of inter-universal space travel.

did I just blow your mind? no? here, hit this again.

Lisa Frank

@give cheese some pants Is this string theory? I like thinking about this. I also like the theory that the universe has actually expanded and shrunk multiple times before and will do so multiple times again. And so everything that is happening has happened already and will happen again, but do we have the power to change our destinies!?

hahahaha, ja.

@Lisa Frank: It sounds like the "Many Worlds" interpretation of quantum mechanics, or the more general notion of parallel universes. Personally, my favorite universe is the one in which James Franco and I hook up. A lot.


@Lisa Frank - if I remember string theory correctly from high school (so, you know, my basic lesson has been filtered through 10 years of my life so I could possibly be all wrong about this), this isn't string theory, but it's the theory of parallel universes which is pretty much thought about by the same scientists.


@hahahaha, ja. Change the name "James" to "Dave" and I'm with you.
@KeLyn Yeah, I think the idea is that string theory allows for the theory of parallel universes.


@hahahaha, ja. My favorite alt./parallel universe is definitely the one where I am James Franco and I hook up with myself a lot.

hahahaha, ja.

@bibliostitute: Not gonna lie, that sounds like a sexy parallel universe. I would pay good money to open a hole in the time-space continuum to watch James Franco hook up with himself.


@hahahaha, ja. @bibliostitute Will you guys settle for his eminently hotter brother? Because, um... http://www.gotchamediablog.com/2011/08/funny-or-die-dave-franco-fucks-himself.html

hahahaha, ja.

@katiemcgillicuddy: Aaaaand in one fell swoop, you have just provided me with a new favorite a) Franco brother, b) 'pinner, and c) bedtime fantasy.


@hahahaha, ja. Oh, so happy to spread the Dave love ;). Yeah, just go ahead and start the Dave Franco Google Image Search Marathon now, nothing else really matters at this point.


@katiemcgillicuddy late to the game on this one, but what a beautiful man


I think about this all the time. Not always in a I Am Thinking About This way but it is simmering there in the back of my brain almost constantly, and sometimes lets out a puff of steam that I can trace for a while until it dissolves back into my mind, which is essentially constructed the same way the universe is, anyway.


@martinipie - I know this is always in the back of my mind, and I feel like I spend a lot of energy trying to push it back, because at least for me it's hard not to become depressed and hopeless when I really THINK about the UNIVERSE

miss lonelyhearts

I went to the Museum of Natural History last month and stood watching this video for several minutes until my boyfriend told me I could just watch it on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17jymDn0W6U

I would have stood in place much, much longer if he hadn't forced me up to the dinosaur floor, because the "light from an earlier universe" thing blew my mind. WHAT. There was an EARLIER universe? No no no, it's all too much!

maybe partying will help

@miss lonelyhearts

I confess, I learned about that from a Star Wars Expanded Universe novel. I suspect your experience was far more profound.


@maybe partying will help - speaking of novels, I started reading The Hitchiker's Guide to the Universe just a few months after I finished up my theoretical physics class, and I remember being surprised and delighted by how much legitimate science was in that series.


@miss lonelyhearts I could basically watch that video forever. But I think when it says "light from a younger universe," it means light from our universe, when it was younger. Not that there couldn't be earlier universes, though, which is totally a mindblowing idea.


Funny you should ask, I AM having A Day, A Hell of a Day, in fact. Plus I already have this sort of tenuous relationship with The Infinite, so naturally when I saw this post, I burst into tears all over again. Awesome.


@kfizz A Bad Day hug for you, then, from another person having a Bad Day. ((()))


@dale Back at you, love.


@dale Bad-day-havers unite!!!

Oh, squiggles

I could literally spend the rest of my life discussing this topic. With or without herbal refreshment.


Hey there, existential dread! You're here early today. What was that about tights again?


Yes, but what does Taylor Swift think of all this?


Is this where I admit that I ordered one of those "Great Courses" deals about Quantum Revolution and Relativity and all that good stuff, maaany months ago, and yet it remains in it's original plastic because I can barely get through the first paragraph of the Wiki page on Quantum Physics? Yes.


I'm going with "What is a chaotic mass of ever-shifting stardust in which we are all alone?" for 300.


How do we know if we all see the same colors? What I know of as red could be yellow to you! Think about it!




I'm sorry, no one else made that joke, and I just needed some Hank up in this thread.


I promise I'll go read the article now.


I'm a professional astronomer, so I think about this shit all day. Except even we get bored with work sometimes and blow an afternoon on The Hairpin. Whoops.


@celestrix that is not blowing an afternoon. that is a good use of time.

hahahaha, ja.

@celestrix: Suuuup! I'm in grad school to become one right now. Astro fistbump!

Nicole Cliffe

Please, please tell us what the Universe is.


@hahahaha, ja. is it like that phd comics movie?

hahahaha, ja.


hahahaha, ja.

@theotherginger: Oh lordy, I haven't actually seen the movie, but the comics are a little too close for comfort.

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