Welcome to Earth where the, as yet, unsuccessful search for intelligent life (extra-terrestrial or otherwise) goes on. Perhaps the next meteor or asteroid that crashes through our roof will host some kind of creepy, crawling organism with a synapse that we can cheerfully proclaim to be the “Contact!” Earth has been waiting for. Don’t hold your breath.
So, what does Earth have to do with astrology and horoscopes? Absolutely nothing!, or absolutely everything (if the Rooster does indeed make the Sun “rise” in the morning). Early astronomers (and astrologers) busily looking into the sky didn’t consider Earth a planet but, the de facto center of the Universe. The Sun and everything else in creation revolved around Terra Firma as it dawdled along on the back of a giant tortoise.
The Earth is actually rotating at about 1,000 mph. And as we orbit the Sun at 63,048 mph., our Solar System, as a whole, lazily circles the drain at the center of our galaxy at 450,000 mph (give or take a few thousand). But, not to worry, one revolution of the Black Hole at the hub, takes roughly 225 million years. Still enough time for a couple of beers and a quicky.
Galileo, Newton, Darwin, Einstein and Alfred E. Neuman
One clear night in 1610, peering through an empty Mezcal bottle, Leo Galilei was shattered by views never before seen and thoughts never before recorded. “Oh My God, it’s full of Stars”, he exclaimed of the vastness beyond human vision. (Arthur Clarke would later steal this line for his movie “2001”.) Noting that Jupiter appeared to have moons of its own, and that Venus was actually a “crescent” (the Sun must be orbiting it also), he collapsed to the floor with his arms outstretched and held on for dear life (much as Dean Martin would often later do).
The “Holy Fathers”, in celebration of this incredible discovery, quickly rounded up some faggots from around town for a barbeque in the old man’s honor. Our intrepid scientist, allergic to hickory smoke, immediately confessed to the Inquisitors that besides the cactus juice, he had been hitting the pipe and eating “Shrooms” with Li-Lo at the time, and therefore must have been hallucinating. Satisfied, the ecclesiastics returned the Earth to its glory, and Leo to strict house arrest for the remainder of his life, and no more associating with heretics Nicky Copernicus and Johnny Kepler.
Around 1666, as Sir “Izzy” Newton was lying in the shade and picking his nose, he found himself ground zero of a galactic collision as the Earth crashed headlong into a hapless worm piloting a Granny Smith Inner-Planetary Vehicle (GSIV). Jumping to his feet, the genius shouted, “Eureka, I’ve got it!”, and wiped a booger onto his blue, velvet trousers. No longer terrified of Bloody Mary and the “titty twisters”, Newton loudly proclaimed that he had “invented” a new mathematics; and that the world was upside-down and would end sometime after the year 2060. (Newton’s dead body was found to contain massive amounts of Mercury.)
In 1838, Charles “Bushmeat” Darwin, feverishly gnawing on the drumstick of some soon-to-be-extinct avian on the malarial basin of the Amazon, was struck by the observation that only humans and birds were bi-pedal, and that there must be a connection. Remembering that a spinster aunt of his had gone “ape-shit”, and had begun picking fleas off the family dog and refusing to go to bed without a banana, he made a cosmic assumption. The only difference between a man, and a chicken, ape, (or worm) was a pair of “designer genes” (some “egg-heads” are still debating this).
The history of Earth (estimated at 5 billion years give or take a few hundred million) is man’s most enduring and exhaustive preoccupation. There was a long “time before time” – before flowers and trees and green monkeys. And, there will be a long “time after time”. Life is very, very recent in geological terms. New discoveries are made every day pushing the boundary of blood-pumping existentialism farther and farther back into the hot and steamy past.
A trillion year old dinosaur egg was recently discovered under Benny’s Bo Fiddle Bar in Toledo, Ohio. Whereupon a bunch of sweaty palmed government agents descended on the find with hopes of extracting a bit of DNA and cloning several hundred T-Rexes to be immediately released into the tribal areas of Afghanistan. But that won’t work! As soon as the Dinos wander into the Taliban’s poppy fields and nod off like Dorothy into a technicolor catatonia, the pious “Rag-heads” will resume their “Holy War” against the modern world and edible underwear.
The last so-called “monkey’s uncle” unearthed (an aunt in this case named Iris or something) was recently acknowledged as 2 million years older than the previously excavated 3.5 million year old “Aunt Lucy” (what did happen to all the “uncles”?).
Scientists have been unable to tell if Iris ever looked heavenward and said (in Oxford English of course), “Hello, it’s Me – Is anybody out There?” The professors think she had probably not developed such a level of consciousness as it appears she was yet without fire or lipstick.
Hmmm,…Sorry to break the bad news folks, But, you can forget about Star Trek, Avatar, E.T., and any little green men out there that might have been our salvation. We were a blip on some cosmic timeline that will not be remembered because there is no one “out there” to ever mark our passage. And our spinning, smoking, cinder will eventually pull-up and park itself on the edge of the event horizon, where all time will have stopped and where eternity begins.
But, Hey cheer up! You could be Lindsay Lohan.
Back to the top of The Earth.