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I watch way too much science fiction.  The question I started to research which goes along with light speed is, “how long would it take a traveler from outside our solar system to get here?”  “How fast would they have to travel to get here in a reasonable length of time?”  The first thing I’m always struck with is just how far away things really are.  The nearest star outside our solar system is Promixa Centuri.  It’s just a mere 4.2 light years away.  Doesn’t sound so far.  But that over 24 trillion miles.  Let’s say if you traveled at a million miles an hour, you would travel a little less than 9 billion miles a year.  It would only take about 2700 years to get there.  That’s the time span from ancient Egypt to today.  That’s too long.  The speed of light is about 67 million miles an hour which in our understanding of physics is beyond the speed matter can travel.  But to make it in a single life time, let’s say we have to go about 30 million miles an hour.

So how advanced to you need to be to figure out how to travel at 30 million miles an hour?  Anybody’s guess, might be easy might be hard, might be impossible.  If you can get your speed up, there are 32 star systems within 14 light years.  That’s a quick 84 trillion miles.    It’s hard to imagine how far away a trillion miles is.  If you traveled 100 miles to work and back everyday, it would only take forever to travel a trillion miles.

These are only our close neighbors.  The milky way galaxy is 100,000 light years across. That’s 6 quintillion miles and how knows what a quintillion is anyway.  The nearest galaxy is Andromeda only 2,500,000 light years away.  It seems that you won’t be able to do intergalactic travel by bus.  Don’t worry plenty to see in our galaxy.  There are about a billion stars in the Milky Way so you won’t run out of things to do.

Let’s imagine this situation.  Your traveling from Earth to the Andromeda galaxy at light speed.  You’ll be arriving in about15 million years.  It’s likely in the 15 million years that technology will advance so that people born millions of years after you will get there first.  Well no other point, I was just thinking about it.  Great video to watch:

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On the Road

I’m on the road this week doing learning paths.  I’ll try to share some new insights when I return.  Until then I’d appreciate hearing your ideas on how to speed up the learning process.  I’ve got another blog carnival ready to post as well

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Uploaded by TowerGirl

I just got back from a business trip and the last restuarant served something that made me deathly ill.  It was acutally just a salad.  I guess it can be a little dicey eating anything that isn’t cooked. 

I’ve been watching some of the cooking reality shows which have become a new spectator sport.  While the food looks great, it makes you worry everytime you eat in a restaurant.  What gets me the most is that they do most of their prep and finishing work with their hands.  Not very sanitary. 

My favorite has been watching Kitchen Nightmares.  However, in most of the kitchens their growing all sorts of mold and weird things.  The whole restaurant as gone past the freshness date.  The other thing that’s an upsetting trend is when the restaurant buys frozen food and the microwaves it. 

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I just spent most of the day flying to beautiful Chowcilla California.  Yes I had to look it up as well.  It’s just North of Madera in the farm land of California.  When I got to the clients location, the field across the street was filled with sheep.  There were also a few rabbits, geese and a couple of hawks.

 This is actually a big step up from the client in North Carolina where they had a chicken factory in the middle of town.

Any business travel isn’t a vacation.  Even if you’re in Paris or London, you end up spending your time on an airplane, in meeting rooms and hotel rooms that all seem to look the same. 

I’m going to see what’s for dinner.  No lamb please.

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This article was sent to my by Marc Mancini. Marc is a travel industry speaker and consultant who teaches at West Los Angeles College.

Is there a name for those goofy, often clever lists that your friends email to you? I don’t know if there is, but they certainly have brightened my inbox on a lackluster day. More important, they often reflect certain truths that otherwise go unrecognized. That’s precisely why the best ones have probably circled the globe 132 times.

Recently I received one such e-list called the Airline Dictionary. Understand: I have great respect for airlines employees. These days, they must toil in a stressful, challenging environment, one often shaped by a corporate philosophy and attitude that isn’t exactly people-friendly.

Sitting in a middle seat on a four-hour flight, pondering the enigma that as Americans have become larger, seat space has become smaller, I decided to write my own version of the Airline Dictionary. Here it is:

  • Open-jaw: What clients do when they find out what their full-coach airfare will be.
  • Airfare: (Mathematics) Unstable number that changes so fast it cannot be measured.
  • Passenger: Cargo that talks.
  • Airline club: Paradise-like kingdom guarded by dragon-like creatures.
  • Fog: Weather condition generated by airports.
  • Luggage carousel: Mechanical device that always turns in a direction opposite to the one you expect.
  • Airline sales rep: Underpaid demigod expected to perform superhuman tasks. Rare species.
  • No rec: The passenger went online and booked his own flight.
  • Tunnel between UA terminals at O’Hare: Passageway built to create flashback hallucinations in Baby Boomers.
  • Direct flight: (1) Connecting flight in disguise; (2) What civilians think a nonstop flight is.
  • Security checkpoint: Place where TSAs make fun of people’s socks.
  • In-flight snack: Little treats sealed in a bag impervious to all but chainsaws.
  • Baggage sorting area: See “Bermuda Triangle.”
  • Code-share: Magic trick in which aircraft from several different airlines leave from the same gate at the very same moment.
  • Gate announcement: Vital information delivered over a sound system rejected by Taco Bell.
  • Overhead reading light: Light that points to anyplace but where your book is.
  • Remain seated announcement: Phrase that creates an instant urge to go to the lavatory.
  • 737: Response to overwhelming customer demand for more middle seats.
  • 747: Pregnant 737.
  • Commuter jet: 737 before it grows up.
  • Blankets and pillows: (Archaic) Sleep-inducing objects said to have existed in primitive times.
  • SkyMall catalog: (1) Collection of items thought up by mad geniuses; (2) Things that could have made you rich if you had thought of them first.
  • Minimum connecting time: Time it takes for an Olympic Gold Medal sprinter to run between two gates.
  • Hotel shuttle: Vehicle subject to paranormal effect. While waiting, every hotel van will come by multiple times – except yours.
  • Overhead luggage: Rectangular object expected to magically shrink from the size of a refrigerator to the size of a loaf of bread.
  • Frequent flyer programs: Airline’s term for Pandora’s Box.
  • Skycap effect: Uncontrolled urge to watch what happens to your luggage after you check it at curbside.
  • ARUNK: Sound passenger makes when sitting between two very large people.
  • On time: Obscure term, meaning unknown.

Marc is currenlty trying to use an upgrade coupon, with no expiration date, that he has been trying to use since 1987. He failed again.  

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bls_emblem.gif  There’s all sorts of good and free information that is very useful for both training and human resource management.  I recommend a quick visit to www.bls.gov and you’ll be surprised what you can find.

I’ve used this information for helping travel agents select a targeted base for leisure travel.  The success in selling leisure travel is to target people who take a lot of trips and can take advantage of higher end packages and cruises.  So how many prospects are there and where are they located?  The Bureau of Labor Statistics has that information.  I like this as a source because it’s relatively unbiased and has a stake in presenting clean data. 

I’d be interested in any other sources that are comprehesive and clean.

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