Another Unexceptional Day | Reflex.cz
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Another Unexceptional Day

Steve Fisher28. září 2012 • 06:00

Last night during dinner my wife asked me, "How was your day? Did anything interesting or unusual happen?" I tried to think back about what had happened to me during the day, but nothing extraordinary seemed to stand out.

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The day had started like any other, when I awoke to find myself on a planet that's located approximately 38 million kilometers from the nearest other planet in our solar system and roughly 30,000 light years from the center of our galaxy.

 

The reason for my having woken up was – again, like every day – the fact that the planet's 1,450-kilometer-per-hour rotation had directly exposed my location on it to the light emitted by a yellow dwarf star with a G2V stellar classification, consisting of hot plasma interwoven with magnetic fields, located some 150 million kilometers away.

 

In other words, nothing out of the ordinary.

 

While that star continued its estimated 4.5-billion-year existence – generating energy through fusion of 620 million metric tons of hydrogen nuclei into helium every second – I got up out of bed and went to the kitchen to make myself a cup of coffee.

 

As always, I filled up my coffee maker with water from my tap, which is available thanks to a complex system of collection, storage, treatment and distribution involving thousands of kilometers of piping, as well as the addition of chemical compounds to adjust the water's pH and remove contaminants plus chlorine to kill biological toxins.

 

Then I turned on my coffee maker, utilizing the electric current provided in my home through the process known as electrical conduction – in this case specifically metallic conduction, whereby electrons travel through the nation's tens of thousands of kilometers of copper wiring driven by an electric field that propagates at nearly the speed of light.

 

Still, nothing unusual so far.

 

While I waited for my coffee maker to heat up, I went to the bathroom to brush my teeth. Since my toothbrush is also electric, I again took advantage of the current available in my home, some of which is produced through a process known as "fission," in which uranium is bombarded with neutrons, completely rupturing the nucleus of the uranium, which results in the release of additional neutrons and a self-sustaining nuclear reaction.

 

By the time I finished bushing my teeth, my coffee was ready. I had a roll, but it was a day old, so I decided to soften it up by heating the polarized molecules in it with some non-ionizing microwave radiation at a frequency of 2.5 gigahertz and a wavelength of 122 millimeters. As usual, the roll's molecular electric dipoles – with their partial positive charge at one end and a partial negative charge at the other – rotated, hitting other molecules and putting them into motion, thereby dispersing energy as molecular vibrations and resulting heat.

 

No, nothing interesting yet.

 

I took my coffee and my roll back to my bedroom and set them down at my desk, where I used some more nuclear fission-generated amperes to turn on my computer. Then, as usual, with just a few mouse clicks, I was suddenly within near-instant reach of billions of people around the world.

 

Computers are nothing new, of course. They've been around for more than half a century. Admittedly, the one that I have is just a fraction of the size of the original ones, which took up an entire large room, and it's a billion times more powerful, too, thanks to its integrated circuits of transistors and photolithographed semiconductors.

 

Like I said, same old, same old.

 

I spent most of my day working on my computer – sending written messages, documents and pictures instantaneously to people in places around the world that used to take days or weeks or even months to reach. In the afternoon, I called my mother in America and was able to tell her how well she looked, since we were seeing at each other on live streaming video from 10,000 kilometers away.

 

"Anything interesting going on in your life?" I asked her.

 

"No, not really," she said.

 

And that's basically the same thing I told my wife when she asked me whether anything interesting had happened to me yesterday.

 

But who knows? Maybe something interesting will happen today, as our planet moves another 1.6 million kilometers around the Milky Way.



Klíčová slova: rxrxstevefisher



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