Into the Void

The discovery last August of a largish hole in the universe has left me awake at nights. This void, a billion light years in diameter, is situated in the constellation Eridanus some 6 to 10 billion light years away. Some have proposed it’s actually the interface of our universe with another, possibly weirder parallel universe.

In the event, the void is a whole lot of nothing. Literally. And it’s huge. Really, really huge. Imagine the earth is the size of a golf ball, and place it, oh, say, in the middle of the intersection of Yonge and Bloor, Toronto. Now imagine going insane trying to proportionally convert one billion light years into millimetres so you can grasp how big this thing is. Even if the calculation doesn’t drive you mad (how many zeros?) the size of the thing is so great you still couldn’t understand it, at least intuitively. And as an added attraction, it would be completely dark and cold, like a vacation in Winnipeg.

The possibilities are endkess

The possibilities are endless

The size of the void is suggestive, even provacative. This is what worries me. What keeps me up is what to do with it. This is something that definitely begs for human exploitation — and the distance is a mere bagatelle. When you travelling 10 billion light years, speed is hardly an issue. It’s going to take a bloody long time regardless. And it’s human nature, when faced with an indeterminable void, to fill it.

Some suggestions:

  • Carbon Sequestration Pit
  • Hansard Reference Library
  • Toronto’s garbage
  • Bear Stern stock certificates
  • Annex for Brian Mulroney’s ego
  • Depository for Conservative Party’s Climate Change policy (Tory MPs ride for free)
  • Hell
  • Wal-Mart Central Distribution (Plenty of room for Chinese slave labour out back)
  • Rabbits (Given their reproductive rate, they would fill the void in 47.3 days. Feeding might be an issue, though.)
  • Backbench MPs (used to being in the cold and dark)
  • Star Trek (All of it. Conventions, Trekkies, DVDs, warp drive, phasers, the whole kit and kaboodle. Mr Spock too. Going where no man has gone before, etc.)

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