Chicago - Sep. 24, 2018
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A discount-store employee is time-warped to a medieval castle, where he is the foretold savior who can dispel the evil there. Unfortunately, he screws up and releases an army of skeletons. (tvguide.com)
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The [Tuesday] Papers

"Supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies can get absurdly huge, sometimes reaching masses billions of times greater than our Sun," George Dvorsky writes for Gizmodo.

"The rate at which black holes grow can vary, but Australian astronomers have detected one such object with an unusually intense appetite, making it the fastest-growing black hole ever detected in the observable universe."

This is the kind of news I wish would get more attention. I mean, my god!

*

"This bloated supermassive black hole has an equally bloated name, QSO SMSS J215728.21-360215.1, or J2157-3602 for short. At 12 billion light-years away, it's not close, so we're observing this bright behemoth not as it is today, but as it existed some four billion years after the Big Bang."

Are you fucking kidding me? Four billion years after the Big Bang! Come on, people! How can we even see that?!

*

"Observations show that J2157-3602 is the size of about 20 billion suns, and it's growing at a rate of 1 percent every million years."

I'm reminded of a quote often attributed to Joseph Stalin: "One death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic." Is that why this isn't the day's biggest news?

I mean, yes, we have life, death and tragedy right here in front of us on Earth every minute of every day to occupy us, but . . . the nature of the universe is . . . the story of our time? Of our own existence!

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"Every two days, this black hole devours a mass equivalent to our Sun, gobbling up dust, gas, bits of celestial debris, and whatever else it can suck in using its powerful gravitational influence. Astronomers have observed fast-growing QSOs before, but this one is a record setter, making it the fastest-growing and the brightest-glowing black hole ever detected."

Ever. That's news!

*

"Indeed, J2157-3602 is glowing with mind-boggling intensity. Its rapid rate of growth is causing it to shine thousands of time more brightly than an entire galaxy."

I'm only the zillionth person to say this, but maybe if we thought about the immense mysteries of the universe more, we'd have more perspective and less of the ridiculous pettiness that infects our everyday life in ways tiny and tragic.

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"We're only human," I can hear some people say.

Yes, and that only reinforces the notion that we are a failed species.

Have a great day!

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Or perhaps the awe-inspiring universe is simply a cold, dark, mechanistic master that has made us this way, instead of a wonderworld to behold, and we are only doing the best we can in the conditions we find ourselves in, having evolved from inert goo.

Either way, Bruce Rauner is a bad person.

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New on the Beachwood . . .

Any Educational Reform That Ignores Segregation Is Doomed To Failure
White parents and charter schools are killing us.

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ChicagoGram

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ChicagoTube

Former NFL Star Running Back Eddie George Is Starring In A Toronto Production Of Chicago.

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BeachBook

What A Family's Murder Reveals About Chicago's Chinese Gangs.

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Remembering The Brilliance Of SCTV.

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Hunter S. Thompson's Misrule.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: First mover.



Permalink

Posted on May 15, 2018


MUSIC - Christgau Loves Chicago Neonatologist.
TV - Amazon & The Way Of The World.
POLITICS - The Political Odds.
SPORTS - Another Week Of Trubisky Analysis.

BOOKS - Writers Under Surveillance.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Original Warrior.


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