Thursday, February 14, 2013

40/40



As I come down from the sugar high of fat Tuesday, and the copious amounts of pancakes consumed in a last chocolate filled meal for the foreseeable future, I started thinking. While I starve myself of M&M’s, cream eggs and an assortment of other chocolaty treats for lent what else can you do with 40 days other than contemplate giving up on giving something up.

There are 960 hours in 40 days and let’s say that we spend 7 hours a day sleeping; that still leaves enough time to watch the whole Star Trek franchise, all six Star Wars movies, the three Lord of the Rings extended editions, and still have time to catch up on Game of Thrones before the next season starts on Easter Sunday. 

But let’s be more realistic, while the Earth spins away on its axis granting us 40 days and 40 nights it is traveling just over 9% of its annual procession around the Sun. In this time the International Space Station and its inhabitants will orbit the Earth a staggering 640 times traveling a distance of over 8.5 million miles. If you think that is a long way, in 40 days Voyager 1 will have travelled a further 37 million miles away from our solar system stretching the boundaries of humanities reach at 35 thousand miles per hour. If we head out further afield 40 days takes on a whole new meaning. In just 40 days 12 years will have gone by on Alpha Centuri Bb our closest exoplanet neighbour, where an equivalent portion of its year would last only 8 hours. Now even the most chocoholic of us could last that long. 

If that is not enough to make you think; over the next 40 days there will be nearly 4 million commercial air flights from over 9,000 airports, over 160 million cups of Starbucks coffee will be sold in America, and the world’s population will increase by over 8 million.

40 chocolate free days don’t seem so strange now do they?