Monday, January 29, 2018

At the Corner of Loose End and No Way

          As reported last week, my muse's local seems to be on strike, and he's out walking the picket line (and hopefully gathering new stories for us to tell).  I'm still conflicted about writing, though I am penciling in outline material on both Beyond the Rails IV and the Darklighters spinoff I set up in Book III.  I don't know which, if either, might take off, or if anything ever will again, but while I wait, I'd like to present some material I put together for my blog yesterday.  It was fun to assemble, and as I don't really have anything else to show for a week's rest, I'd like to share it with a few more folks here.
          We've heard a lot over the past week or so about budget battles, government shutdowns, and the trillions and trillions of dollars being thrown around like we're talking about some kid's allowance.  Most people in the modern world have some idea of what a billion dollars is (if you don't, it's about 10% of an aircraft carrier), but a trillion dollars...  We might be talking about the distance to the center of the galaxy for all that means to the average citizen, so I decided to do a bit of research and basic arithmetic, and see what a trillion might be compared to.  Buckle up, you're going to love this!
          If Jesus had sued the Romans over his treatment at their hands, and the courts of the day had awarded him a billion shekels (or whatever they used back then) to be paid at the rate of one million per day, it would have taken them two-and-a-half years to finish paying him.  If he had been awarded a trillion shekels, to be paid at the rate of one million per day, they would be paying him until the year 2739.  Pretty amazing, huh?  But I'm not finished yet, not by a long shot.
          Let's say you won the SuperLotto or a settlement for $1,000,000, and it's going to be handed to you in crisp new $1,000 bills, crisp and new so they lay close together with no air spaces making the stack fatter.  How tall do you think that stack will be?  If you guessed 6½ inches, we have a winner!  If you win a billion dollars, you'd better bring a full-size pickup, because that stack will come in at 550 feet, about the same height as the Washington Monument.  A trillion dollars?  Ninety-five miles high.  The International Space Station will have an excellent view of the tallest structure on earth as it comes over.
          One more?  All right.  I particularly enjoy this one.  Approximately one billion seconds ago, John F. Kennedy was having his famous series of presidential debates with Richard Nixon; one trillion seconds ago, man was discovering fire.
          Okay, that was fun!  That's all I have for you this week, so take it with you and dazzle your friends while I try to sort out whether I'm still a writer, and what I'm going to do with this blog if I'm not.  You may have just gotten a sample, as I look to make it a Museum of the Weird.  At least the name goes with anything, right?
          Play nice, look out for one another, and get out there and live life like you mean it!

~ Jack


  1. Hi Jack! I'm looking at my Cool San Diego Sights stats this morning and see someone has tried clicking over to your page to read the free chapters of Stingaree, but now I notice you've locked up those chapters again! I'll edit my post and add the necessary PassKey if you'd like (I forgot what it is), or delete the post. Let me know what you'd like! Richard

    1. OMG, say it ain't so! I turn those to Private to edit, and I must have gotten distracted by a bunny or something, and forgotten to turn them back on... And I haven't worked on that for a couple of months. Safe to say that this is the most valuable comment I've gotten in a good long time! Headed over now to correct— Oh, what was that...?

  2. Somebody really wanted to read it: they clicked the link a couple times. Hopefully whoever it was comes back! Have a great Super Bowl Sunday!