Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A little bit of perspective, please!

Let 1 inch equal 1000 years. Some distances that result from this conversion are:

The Universe was formed 221 miles from where I stand (essentially, the driving distance between Los Altos and Truckee, California).

Two-thirds of the way from Truckee towards Los Altos, the Earth forms. (71 miles from Los Altos -- essentially, at Manteca.)

Traveling 13 miles closer to Los Altos (you're now in Tracy -- 58 miles away), life appears on Earth.

Life evolves, but it isn't until we're only about 3.5 miles from my home that the first dinosaurs appear. They stick around for about 2.5 miles, disappearing at about 1 mile from home. (The Petrified Forest in Arizona is at about the 3 mile mark.)

At about 200 feet from me, Homo Habilis (the first species in the Homo genus, and the first known use of tools) appears.

It takes awhile for Homo Sapiens (modern man) to appear -- finally arriving on the scene at about 17 feet from me. But it takes another 16 feet (that is, until they're about a foot from me) before they develop agriculture and depart from a strictly hunter-gatherer existence.

The first instances of writing (and thus the dawn of history) occur only 6 inches from me.

The pyramids in Egypt were built 4 1/2 inches from me.

Jesus at 2 inches.

Columbus discovers America -- at half-an-inch!

Declaration of Independence -- quarter-of-an-inch!

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