Last Friday I offered a two-minute video history of the world (and a few words on slime-based intelligent life forms on other planets).

Did you miss it?  And how about the column I ran here 16 years ago with my own brief history of the universe, lifted from a book I had out at the time?  Did you miss that one, too?  What am I going to do about you?

You have to keep up.  And — as one who can’t himself keep up — I will be first to admit it’s not easy.

You saw that Syria’s just finished handing over the last of its 1,300 tons of chemical weapons?  The Syria situation remains a nightmare.  But this piece, at least, is done.

“President Obama’s critics excoriated the deal,” reports the New York Times, “but they have been proved wrong.  The chemical weapons are now out of the hands of a brutal dictator — and all without firing a shot.”  Imagine if we had taken the same approach with Iraq.

You saw that as outraged as the Senate has been about President Obama’s recess appointments — which they sought to thwart by pretending to be in session when they weren’t — it turns out he has made just 32 of them, compared with 171 by his predecessor.  If the Republicans were outraged by those 171, they didn’t show it.

You saw that the Supreme Court has sided with the anti-abortion folks?  Rachel Maddow sums it up, “From inside their own protective buffer zone, the Supreme Court issued its majority ruling striking down the one outside abortion clinics.”  What?  You didn’t know the Justices protect themselves with a huge buffer zone — free speech be damned?  Watch the clip.  It’s long, but that’s because she takes the time to make a compelling case.

And there’s so much else going on to keep up with!  The World Cup!  ISIS advancing on Baghdad.  Amazon’s new phone!  The Ebola outbreak!  John Oliver’s new show!  Immigration!  The minimum wage!  Marriage equality!  Honduran gangs!  Ukraine!  Egypt!  It’s dizzying!

Cut to:


The vast, infinite, ever expanding universe.  Our teensy, tiny blue space ship endlessly circling one of hundreds of billions of stars in one of hundreds of billions of galaxies.

Tom Stolze:  “Try these:  A two-minute flight through the universe 2 billion light years away.  An only slightly longer evolution of the universe.  And if you have another four minutes, an MIT supercomputer recreating the evolution of the cosmos.”

Of course you have another four minutes: there’s a long weekend coming up.  Is there anything better than the Fourth of July?  It would be so easy to get this great, idealistic country moving again.  All those of us who “believe in” science and logic and stuff have to do (it’s not logical to think that cutting taxes on the wealthy will reduce our deficit and revitalize our infrastructure) is take just a little time to register and vote.

Have a great weekend.




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