The World’s Ending, so What are You Doing Today?

Today is December 21st, 2012.  Supposedly, the Mayans predicted the world would end today.

The world is not going to end today, but for the sake of argument let’s say that it is.  I’m choosing to spend as much of this day as possible writing.  I suppose if today really is the end of the world and we’re all going to die, no one will ever read what I write today (aside from this short blog post).  That doesn’t matter to me.

I’m choosing to spend these allegedly final hours of existence doing the thing I love most.  I hope you do the same.  I hope you spend your whole life doing something you love every day, whether the world is ending or not.

So what are you doing today?

Breaking News from Tomorrow: the World Didn’t End

Tomorrow, end of the world enthusiasts will be disappointed to learn that the Earth will not be smashed by an asteroid, the magnetic poles will not spontaneously switch, nor will humanity suffer any other global catastrophe.  In fact, tomorrow may mark the beginning of a major economic recovery as large numbers of people who decided to ditch their jobs and burn through their savings partying before The End will begin to reenter the workforce.

So the world will not end tomorrow, but the Tomorrow News Network can report that Tom Rutherford of Scottsbluff, Nebraska will die a horrible, horrible death.  Our sympathies to the Rutherford family in their time of mourning.

Star Wars Action Figure Christmas Tree

Let’s face it: Christmas is and always has been about toys.  Even today, now that I don’t play with toys, the best Christmases I remember still involved toys.  Specifically Star Wars toys.  In fact, my best, most favorite-est Christmas was the year I came running down the stairs and saw an Imperial AT-AT Walker–unwrapped and fully assembled–standing over all my other presents like a guard dog.

Star Wars Tree 1 Wide Shot

Sadly, I grew up, and toys don’t hold my interest like they used to.  But this year, my Christmas tree commemorates what is still, in my opinion, the true meaning of Christmas: Star Wars toys.  I’ve turned my old action figures into ornaments.

Please note, I did not damage or deface the figures in any way.  I’d never commit such sacrilege.  All I did was take pieces of black string, tie them into loops, and slip them around the figures’ arms.  For the probe droid, it went around its “neck,” for the B’omarr Monk around its “abdomen.”  Tying over one hundred loops of string may sound tedious, but it took roughly an hour or two to do that and hang all the figures.  Obviously I can save the string and do this again next year.

Total cost out of pocket: nothing, since I already had the tree, lights, and action figures.  The string was left over from some previous art project–I think it cost a dollar at an arts and crafts store.  Commemorating childhood Christmas memories: priceless.

So what are your favorite Christmas memories and traditions?

Static on the TV

As regular readers of the Tomorrow News Network know, the Tomorrow News Network broadcasts the news backwards through time.  It’s usually bad news–death and destruction kind of news–and they let everyone see it except the people directly involved.  Those people see only static.

I’m currently on vacation in Las Vegas.  Yesterday, I walked into a casino and had the great misfortune to see this:

I’m screwed.

Why You Should Go Stargazing

The other night, I was playing with the apps on my phone when one of them told me the International Space Station was about to fly over my house.  Naturally, I grabbed my coat and ran outside to catch a glimpse.  I’ve seen the ISS a few times before.  Many apps and websites and at least one Twitter feed will tell you when it’s going to pass over your neighborhood.

After the ISS was gone, I wasted a few more minutes just standing outside staring up at the stars.  I have a few favorites in the sky, like the Orion Nebula and the Andromeda Galaxy.  Orion can be seen with the naked eye.  Andromeda’s not so easy.  I’ve only seen it once, on a dark night when I was out in the middle of nowhere with a pair of binoculars, but I know exactly where it is: right between the constellations Cassiopeia and Pegasus.  When I look up at all those distant stars and nebulae and galaxies, I like to imagine there’s some squishy creature with three eyes, a few tentacles, and buckteeth staring back at me.

We humans are so small and all the things we think are big problems–they really don’t matter in this huge universe of ours.  Even the International Space Station, one of our greatest accomplishments, is insignificant compared to everything else that’s out there.

Sometimes the pressures of mortgages, dental appointments, and gas prices can be overwhelming.  Sometimes the troubles of the world can be depressing.  Sometimes it’s just really frustrating when the TV remote stops working and you don’t have any spare batteries.  Those are the times when maybe we should stop, look up at the stars, and put ourselves in perspective with the rest of the universe.  The universe is a beautiful thing.  We’re just lucky we get to be part of it.

P.S.: Want to know when the International Space Station will fly over your house?  Here’s NASA’s webpage.  Just go to the “Sighting Opportunities” section and select your country, state, and then town.