Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year, 2015!

This is the time of year when lots of newspaper and magazine ink, TV airtime and Internet bits and pixels are spent on celebrating and mourning the best and worst of the year. These retrospectives are always full of international mischief, celebrity departures, political nonsense and, of course, technological breakthroughs like the explosion of devices to measure how much you walk and share it with the world. (Because we’ve become so data-centric, we naturally think more data is the answer to all life’s problems. Out of shape? No problem. Get a Fit-Wit!)

But you know what? Screw it! Personally, 2014 was one of the worst years of my life, in the same league as 2013 and 1978. It, frankly, sucked.

But, for another thing, years don’t exist. Not really. It’s just an approximation of how long it takes the earth to voyage around the sun, starting at a random point. In fact, the earth doesn’t even return to the same point, because the whole solar system is travelling through the galaxy. The frequency of energy cycles of the caesium-133 atom is much more reliable, and is the basis of atomic clocks. But somehow, saying “Happy New Caesium-133 Cycle!” just doesn’t sound as catchy. Besides, there are over 9 billion cycles per second, so you’d have to say it really fast.

So I’m wishing us all Happy New Caesium-133 Cycles, Seconds, Minutes, Hours, Days, Weeks, Months, Years and so on. Here’s hoping each new moment is better than the last, for some definition of “better.”

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