12.8.11

The second second.





"Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen."

- Louis L'Amour


I've seen as far south as Phoenix, and as far north as the Arctic Circle. As far east as Toronto, and as far west as... well, Vancouver.

I've seen the Northern Lights, and I've seen meteor showers. I've seen curious bears and starving foxes. I've seen hail storms that have collapsed malls, and clouds of insects too think to breathe. I've seen this car buried up to its wipers in a snow-filled ditch, and I've seen it locked in shell of ice a centimeter thick.

I've surprised old friends in faraway cities, and made new friends who I'd never met until I opened my car door and offered them a ride. I've met hitchhikers who celebrated their freedom, and those who cursed their luck.

I've seen the moon rise so full and yellow that I couldn't even recognise it at first, and I've seen the sun reduced to a pale red glow above forest fires.

I've seen myself in that rear-view mirror, over the course of eight years in that driver's seat.




I've driven my Hyundai Accent 300,000 kilometers. That's 3x10^8 meters: the distance light travels (in a vacuum) in one second. The second light-second begins today.

You could make the argument that a photon did a better job of covering that distance... but I would say that's relative.

Congratulations, Atanarjuat.

2 comments:

Abe said...

I still say we could have used another car with A/C and cruise contol on the drive up to Yellowknife. Well done none the less.

Stefanos said...

Until photons figure out how to describe their journeys as well as you, I wouldn't worry about it.

About The Author

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Canadian explorer. Chemist by training, biologist by nature. Long-time supporter and participant in National Novel Writing Month. Known as "Aquadeo" in most Internet circles. Also known as "that guy with the pants" to people who have seen me in certain pants.