Sky 21

About "In the Sky"

Because I include photographs in all of my presentations, I am a firm believer in the old saying that “a picture is worth a thousand words." Since the average speaker uses approximately 150 words per minute, this means that a 10-minute speech will produce 1,500 words. An hour presentation will entertain an audience with approximately 9,000 words. Since I speak very fast, it would be difficult to count how many words I speak during a two-hour, four-hour or all-day presentation.

While writing this I had an amusing thought (at least to me). If a picture is worth a thousand words, my speaking fee should be the same for speaking one hour OR showing ten pictures. Since I routinely talk for an hour or more AND show at least 100 pictures, I am giving audiences the functional equivalent of ten hours of information, so I am clearly not being paid enough. Oh well, if the world was fair, I should be required to pay others to listen to me for so long and look at my pictures.

What does any of this have to do with “In the Sky?” Nothing, other than the fact that the last picture I use in every presentation is not my own, but it is something in the sky, and it’s the most fascinating picture I have ever seen. The image was taken by the Hubble telescope as part of its Ultra Deep Field mission. From our earthy perspective, the image captures a tiny speck of the universe that is only one tenth the diameter of the full moon, yet it reveals 10,000 points of light. These lights are not stars, they are galaxies each containing over 100 million stars of their own.

When I put those numbers into my calculator, I get the following:


I have no idea what 1e+12 means except that the universe seems to have an infinite number of galaxies, stars and planets, and it is glorious.

So, even though my gallery pales in comparison, I hope you enjoy a few things that I have seen with my own eyes and camera that exist somewhere “up there”, near and far.

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