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Black Holes

Posted Nov 30 2010 9:14pm

The weekend before Thanksgiving, I took my daughter to the Franklin Institute to see the Cleopatra exhibit. Our ticket included the Franklin Institute, the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology and Anthropology and a planetarium show. The planetarium show my daughter wanted to see was about Black Holes.

My daughter has expressed interest in becoming a chef, a designer and a restaurant owner. She has notebooks full of sketches and a collection of cookbooks. She recently informed me that she wants to be an astrophysicist. Her college of choice is MIT.

Did I mention she is only eleven?

We only had a few minutes to race across the museum in order to see the planetarium show. She picked the perfect seat and sat down. Once the show started, she raised her fist in a manner reminiscent of a rock concert rather than a program about black holes. During the show, my daughter whispered commentary throughout the program. I thought the show was interesting but my daughter expressed disappointment in the lack of detail.

One particular term caught my attention. The event horizon is the boundary of the black hole. "Nothing inside the event horizon can ever cross the boundary and escape beyond it, including light. Thus, nothing that enters a black hole can get out or can be observed from outside the event horizon." The planetarium show illustrated this by depicting kayakers trying to paddle upstream to avoid an impending waterfall. There comes a time when there is no way out.

The term event horizon aptly describes this busy season at work. There have been so many problems...late product, manufacturing delays, reduced staffing, errors and discourteous customers. When I told one customer his shipment would be sent the next business day he yelled..."Do you know who I am?"

Tomorrow, we anticipate another product shortage. It is going to be a long day.

Thank you for bearing with my lack of posting and commenting. I walked into dojo tonight and one black belt asked "Do we know you?"

Hopefully, I will be recognizable soon! :)
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