Ask a Terrier: Not a Black Hole Lot of Excitement for Dogs
I’m filled with awe and wonder that scientists have captured the first images ever of a supermassive black hole. Some describe it as the Eye of Sauron, others as a glowing one-way portal to eternity. Looks like my right eye in junior high after I took a line drive to the face.
Still, awe and wonder!
As the darkest entities in the universe, black holes are impossible to see, say astronomers. I totally understand their mathematical reasoning: An intense gravitational field that…something, something. Einstein’s theory…something, something…time and space. Really, really big…something, something…Star Trek.
Despite my excitement, Anka, my Shar Pei, shows no interest in black holes. I’m sure that she understands as I’ve explained their importance. (“Anka! Outer space…something, something…cookies!”) But she just rests her head on my knees and seems bored. Well, not about the cookies.
How can I ignite her scientific curiosity since I’m running low on dog treats?
Sincerely, Miriam and Anka, science geek and disinterested dog, Atlanta, GA
Dear Miriam and Anka,
Which ones are Shar Peis? With the wrinkly faces, right? Maybe Anka’s excited but you can’t tell.
More likely, black holes bore her. They bore me and most dogs. Probably because we see them everywhere all the time.
That’s going to annoy Science. But Science is always vexed about something. Look how Giant Scientists scribble on their chalkboards. So angry!
Black holes just aren’t that mysterious. OK, they’re a little mysterious. Like the washing machine. Also a bit scary. Like the washing machine’s dark, front-loading companion. That thing gives me the willies!
The angry scientists brag that the black hole they photographed is some 55 million light years away. But it’s only half that distance if you’re on four legs. They also claim their photo reveals the all-consuming nature of a black hole – a singularity so voraciously hungry even light waves cannot escape.
Brisby, my co-dog, eats like that. His food and mine. And everything three feet above ground and lower. Yet nobody scribbles angrily on a chalkboard about him.
While like Anka, I don’t share your excitement, Miriam, I can tolerate it. These photographs confirm the theories of your Giant Einstein who apparently was smart as a Border Collie, although poor at herding. Still, the data gathered by more than 200 researchers and eight telescopes worldwide was significant enough for six simultaneous international news conferences carried on multiple television networks. Although not on Animal Planet.
So…kudos, I suppose.
Just don’t expect canine enthusiasm over news of a fuzzy, glowing, orange doughnut with a dark chocolate center. That’s not going to excite dogs. Except Brisby. He’s so hungry.