How does everybody feel going into 2012?
And you Mayan calendar devotees can just zip it right now. You're still gonna have to get up for work next December 22nd. Got it?
Honestly, I'm pretty darn excited.
This is going to be an amazing time in human discovery and achievement.
The Voyager 1 just left our solar system, we have another probe about to park itself on Mars, and we have now caught glimpses of the elusive particle that might explain why mass exists in the universe – answering some pretty dang fundamental questions of our existence.
Let's put it this way. I like to sometimes think about the big picture.
Capitol "B" Big.
Here we are spinning around the sun, which itself is zooming through a galaxy, amidst billions upon billions more galaxies, encompassing an almost unfathomably large universe, that itself may likely be a part of an even grander multiverse.
Meanwhile, as we gaze into the macro – the microverse is becoming equally fascinating, now that concepts of physics move from drawing boards into empirical fact.
From the tiny to the grandiose, wrapping your brain around these concepts might make one contemplate how truly insignificant we are. And as this grand picture of the micro and macro coalesces, it confirms that we are indeed an infinitesimally tiny blip in a vast sea.
Hold that picture in your mind.
This picture is the crux of my atheistic beliefs.
In the vastness of the cosmos, a collection of particles glommed themselves into our planet, and eventually us. This being a completely random occurrence is perfectly fine in my mind. I truly prefer it this way.
The odds of us being here at all – on this particular planet – in a ginormous universe, are almost impossible.
Humanity rolled a "7" in the biggest crap game that ever existed. Existence itself.
Now that we're all high-fiving ourselves at what awesome luck we have – go wander over to the 'ol internet. Have a quick gander at all those posts, articles, ugly sweater party pictures and status updates.
We are an awesomely silly bunch who take themselves far too seriously. This is the crux of why I do comedy.
Myself – I'm want to make sure I have a first-class ticket on the science train. We're well on the road to transcending some fundamental laws of physics, perhaps even re-writing a few.
Anything that would get Isaac Asimov's nipples hard is something I'm gonna pay my attention to.
So for 2012, I toast these great thinkers, these brainiacs who can actually wrap their minds around the micro/macroverse. I'm not about to go back to school for years to figure it out for myself, but I'll keep the champagne chilled for you guys, OK?
And now I'd like to close off with a quote from a comic friend of mine, York Underwood. He was speaking on the recent death of author and journalist Christopher Hitchens. Not because I'm too lazy to finish off the article on my own, but because he beat me to a succinct punch.
"While we all try to figure out what we're doing on this rock hurdling through space, the more ambitious amongst us treat contemporary greats in any of our fields of interest like friends we haven't met yet.
"This great party of people getting things done is raging in the penthouse suite and if they only just wait awhile longer, we are sure to join them. It's a fact of growing up that most of our heroes will have already made their toast, downed their drink, and left the party before we arrive.
"However, at least they kept notes for us and left the music on."
Happy New Year!