April 13th, 2007
Welcome to Friday the thirteenth!
If you’re one of the millions of people who suffer from paraskavedekatriaphobia, then I guess you won’t be going out today.
So to pass the time, why not see how many words of three letters or more you can get from PARASKAVEDEKATRIAPHOBIA. No plurals, no proper names, etc. Your time starts now!
I haven’t really had time to write anything this week. I’ve been busy playing the guitar every spare moment, trying to harden up my fingers again, and learn a few new songs, as I may have managed to sort out a couple of gigs. More about that another time.
But I thought you might like to know the answer to one of the questions I posed on Monday – How fast am I travelling through space?
Well, the circumference of the earth at the equator is about 25,000 miles. The Earth takes 24 hours to rotate about its axis. Therefore a man standing on the equator is travelling at just over 1000 miles per hour. So here in Larnaca at 35º N, I’m doing just over 600 miles per hour.
It’s amazing that I even manage to stand up!
But that 600mph pales into insignificance compared to the speed at which I’m travelling round the sun every year. It’s quite a distance, so I have to leg it a bit. I’m actually doing about 66,000 miles per hour.
But wait! That too is fairly insignificant…
Our solar system is in the Milky Way, a spiral galaxy which rotates on a 250-million-year cycle. The Sun is in one of the spiral arms and I’m rotating round the galaxy at a speed of 560,000 miles per hour. Help!
The Milky Way is one of a group of galaxies which all rotate around each other at a speed of 670,000 miles per hour.
And don’t forget that the universe and I also have one thing in common… we’re both expanding!
So all in all, as I stand here in Larnaca, I’m doing nearly 1,300,000 miles per hour.
Give or take…!
So, given that we’re all hurtling through space at well over a million miles per hour, why is it so funny when someone falls over?
ps in case you were concerned, I did manage to find myself a chocolate Easter Egg, so there were no tears at bedtime. Ironically, it was a Milky Way one, since you asked.
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I had no idea there were so many different phobias until I looked them up on a site called The Phobia List.
I think my favourite has to be Arachibutyrophobia – a fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth!
I thought it was a joke, but it turns out to be genuine. Love it!