Ralph Higgins

Ralph Higgins
color pencil sketch by Gayle Higgins

Quotes I Like

“Everyone is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

-Albert Einstein


Saturday, May 29, 2010

Do You Have The Time?

“Time began with the world – or after it.” Judaeus said that sometime in the first century (Philo Judaeus. 20 B.C.– 40 A.D.). What does that mean?

Well, according to Albert Einstein and his Theory of Relativity, it means that “If matter and its motion disappeared there would no longer be any space or time.” So prior to the existence of matter - the physical universe - there was no time.

I always think of it as holding a pencil between my thumb and forefinger and thinking of that pencil as “time.” It has a beginning and it has an end. The space around the pencil is eternity. People think in terms of concepts like “eternity” as being an extension of that pencil far into the future. The pencil goes on and on endlessly. This is the notion that time extends for ever, but that isn’t the case. In a timeless world there is no future. There is only "now."

Time has a beginning and it may very well have an end. So our existence, our universe and time itself is like the pencil floating in a vast sea timelessness.

Time could actually be an aberration. It may only exist in the physical universe. It may only be a factor in our existence. If there is a God, he must exist outside of space and time. Outside of our reality and our limitations. You wouldn’t find Mozart in one of his symphonies, for example, or God within his creation. But that’s another subject. The point is that a Creator would exist outside our time/space continuum.

Remember…you can’t have space or time without matter and motion. “Eternity” is not an extension of time. It is the absence of time.

It’s an interesting concept and one that has always fascinated me. It’s cud for rumination.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Embarrassing Teenage Moments

I keep forgetting to update my blog, so I thought maybe this time I’d get personal and divulge some of the most embarrassing things that happened to me as a kid. Like most of my writing, this is off the top of my head.

The earliest thing I can now recall is when I was in elementary school and had a favorite shirt. My folks didn’t have a lot of money and my poor little brother ended up with some of my clothes as he grew. But I did have a favorite shirt. I can still picture it. It had blue and white vertical stripes.

Evidently I wore it daily for at least a week until a pretty girl boldly asked me if that was the only shirt I had. You know…I honestly didn’t think of it until just now, but that girl may have been my wife. She’s blunt and would say something like that. We did go all through school together, although we didn’t meet again and marry until sometime in our fifties. Yep. It could have been her. But now she’s buys my shirts, so she can’t complain. I hate shopping.

Another embarrassing moment was on a first date. I was always shy with girls as a kid and so awkward that my first date with a good looking girl at a drive-in movie was torture. I was determined to kiss this girl, but every time she turned to me, I turned my head in the opposite direction and pretended to look out the window. I don’t think I kissed her until about thirty years later at a class reunion.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Hug a Tree

Back in 1947 a Norwegian explorer and writer named Thor Heyerdahl built a raft called the “Kon-Tiki”. He sailed for over 100 days across the Pacific Ocean and made a documentary in 1951. I saw the film and one particular point that he made never left my memory. He said that not a day went by that he didn’t encounter trash floating in the water. This was over a half century ago and pollution of the ocean was well on its way even back then. Frankly, I found that upsetting enough that I have never forgotten it.

More recently scientists have discovered a floating island of trash in the Pacific ocean estimated to be somewhere in size between Texas and the continental United States. This mass of trash consists primarily of plastic, which doesn’t biodegrade. It photo degrades and does breakdown into smaller particles, but it never actually “goes away.” Plastic kills sea life and even when broken down into small particles it is passed through various forms of sea life and eventually to fish that we eat. Evidence indicates that there may be a connection to various health problems in humans as a result.