Jack Ohman

Dying universe ends the dream of immortality

According to new data from a Galaxy And Mass Assembly survey – a compilation of astronomical data from the world’s telescopes – astronomers now believe that the universe is dying.

Simon Driver, the lead astronomer on the project, cheerfully observed that “in about 5 billion years the sun is going to swell up and swallow the Earth; in about 10 billion years it’s going to collide with the nearest galaxy, the Andromeda Galaxy; and in about 100 billion years the universe will be so expanded and producing so little light that we basically won’t see anything.”

No word on the future of newspapers, nor if there is any proposed congressional action on the death of the universe. But the news that the universe is dying brought to mind a conversation I had with one of my sons the other day.

“Dad thinks he’s going to live forever, an immortal.”

“I don’t think that, but I’ll need to live that long to hit all the tuition payments.”

The concept of a dying universe pretty much blows the whole concept of immortality anyway. If I were to live as long as the universe, though, I have some thoughts about what it would be like to live 100 billion years, clearly beyond the life of any known pacemaker battery.

Age 118: Should have put more into my 401(k).

Age 168: Where are all my friends?

Age 267: Finally, they wrapped up “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.”

Age 566: I was wondering who the last president of the United States was gonna be. President George H.W.P. Jeb! Bush. Ver. 8.0, goes into exile on Mars.

Age 25,888: My knee is still bothering me a little. Oh, well.

Age 134,001: Hey, you kids! Get off of my virtual lawn or I’ll turn on the force field.

Age 2,990,876: Now I really can’t see the buttons on the remote.

Age 213,996,335: Whoa! That is one long drought.

Age 455,976,455: They finally got the Bay Bridge fixed.

Age 667,214,735: Willie Brown finally retires.

Age 768, 997,557: I really enjoyed meeting Gov. Brown yesterday. I wonder if he’ll run again.

Age 1,653,902,008: I still don’t care for soccer.

Age 4,445,002,367: Yes, it is getting rather warm. Better crank up the AC.

Age 4,899,023,773: Hello, Cal Fire?

Age 4,999,806,002: Man, talk about being able to fry an egg on the sidewalk!

Age 4,999,999,999: Rut roh.

Age 7,888,653,321: If they can put a man on the moon, why can’t they rebuild this planet that has been consumed by the sun?

Age 9,222,999,775: I’ve always wanted to see the Andromeda Galaxy up close.

Age 9,889,777,429: Is someone going to call State Farm about this? This looks like it could be pretty bad.

Age 9,999,999,998: This is gonna make the sun explosion look like an M-80.

Age 10,000,000,001: Like I have the time or energy to clean this up.

Age 99,999,025,099: Now I can’t even see the remote.

Age 99,999,999,996: I wish I had put in those energy-efficient bulbs.

Age 99,999,999,999: Upside: I can’t see my wrinkles.

Age 100,000,000,000: I made bank on all these lifetime warranties.

Age 100,000,000,001: No, Gov. Brown. I’m not voting for you again.

Jack Ohman: 916-321-1911, johman@sacbee.com, @JACKOHMAN