How Far is it From the East Coast to the West Coast?

How Far is it From the East Coast to the West Coast?

A little rocket science goes a long way.
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2,092 miles is the shortest distance from the East Coast to the West Coast. It would take you about a week or so to get there at 60 miles an hour. But how far would you drive to get from one coast to the other? In other words, how many miles do you actually go?

You might be thinking "There's no way he can refute that, 2,092 miles is 2,092 miles!" Well I can't, but one man can... Einstein and his special relativity!

BOOM! Half of the people reading this just slammed their computers shut and set them on fire. The other half of you bear with me, I promise it's worth the wait. (Unless you want to skip the explanation and see the end, I won't be upset.)

The speed of light is the speed limit of the universe, nothing can travel faster. Yet, an interesting paradox arises from this thought experiment: Imagine you are in a truck driving 30 miles an hour and you throw a ball at 40 miles an hour out of that truck. Relative to you in the truck, the ball is going 40 miles an hour. Relative to an observer on the side of the road awkwardly watching you throw a ball out of a truck, it is traveling 70 miles an hour, because the velocities add together. 

Now imagine the same scenario except instead of a ball, you decide to shine a flashlight out of your car. How fast is the light traveling to an observer (why is he watching you like that) on the side of the road? The speed of light. It doesn't matter how fast the truck is going, the light will not go any faster.

Trippy.

Now imagine the same truck, but with a flashlight in the bed. The flashlight is set up with two mirrors some distance from each other, so that the light bounces back and forth between the two straight up and straight down. You are in the back of the truck going 40 miles an hour and there is still that same random guy on the side of the road. 

When the light bounces from mirror to mirror, you see it go up and down in the truck. Since the truck is moving, however, Creeper Guy sees it very differently than you do. He sees it going in a triangle. In other words, he sees the light (traveling the same speed to both him and you) go a longer distance in the same amount of time.

Or is it the same?

Velocity is the distance you travel in a certain amou. If the velocity remains the same and the distance changes, it is physically impossible for the time to remain the same. In other words, time itself moves slower for you because you are moving.

If your brain isn't blown up yet, consider the consequences; If time slows down when an object is moving, and distance is the only other part of the velocity equation, distance must change as well. When you are traveling at any velocity, distance literally contracts, even if only by a small amount.

So how far is it from coast to coast? For someone standing still, it's 2,092 miles. For me taking a late night road trip in my space shuttle (any of you girls want to have dinner with me in space?) at 1,000,000 miles an hour, it's about 2,091.998 miles. How about if I could travel at 92% of the speed of light? Then it's only 819.89 miles across America.

One more fun experiment, this time with time dilation: You send your 45 year old parents on a surprise anniversary trip for two years in space, and their space shuttle goes 99.9% of the speed of light. When they get back from their two year journey, they are now 47. You, who was 20 years old when they left, are now a ripe 64.

Next year, just get them a blender.

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This Is How Your Same-Sex Marriage Affects Me As A Catholic Woman

I hear you over there, Bible Bob.
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It won't.

Wait, what?

I promise you did read that right. Not what you were expecting me to say, right? Who another person decides to marry will never in any way affect my own marriage whatsoever. Unless they try to marry the person that I want to, then we might have a few problems.

As a kid, I was raised, baptized, and confirmed into an old school Irish Catholic church in the middle of a small, midwestern town.

Not exactly a place that most people would consider to be very liberal or open-minded. Despite this I was taught to love and accept others as a child, to not cast judgment because the only person fit to judge was God. I learned this from my Grandpa, a man whose love of others was only rivaled by his love of sweets and spoiling his grandkids.

While I learned this at an early age, not everyone else in my hometown — or even within my own church — seemed to get the memo. When same-sex marriage was finally legalized country-wide, I cried tears of joy for some of my closest friends who happen to be members of the LGBTQ community.

I was happy while others I knew were disgusted and even enraged.

"That's not what it says in the bible! Marriage is between a man and a woman!"

"God made Adam and Eve for a reason! Man shall not lie with another man as he would a woman!"

"Homosexuality is a sin! It's bad enough that they're all going to hell, now we're letting them marry?"

Alright, Bible Bob, we get it, you don't agree with same-sex relationships. Honestly, that's not the issue. One of our civil liberties as United States citizens is the freedom of religion. If you believe your religion doesn't support homosexuality that's OK.

What isn't OK is thinking that your religious beliefs should dictate others lives.

What isn't OK is using your religion or your beliefs to take away rights from those who chose to live their life differently than you.

Some members of my church are still convinced that their marriage now means less because people are free to marry whoever they want to. Honestly, I wish I was kidding. Tell me again, Brenda how exactly do Steve and Jason's marriage affect yours and Tom's?

It doesn't. Really, it doesn't affect you at all.

Unless Tom suddenly starts having an affair with Steve their marriage has zero effect on you. You never know Brenda, you and Jason might become best friends by the end of the divorce. (And in that case, Brenda and Tom both need to go to church considering the bible also teaches against adultery and divorce.)

I'll say it one more time for the people in the back: same-sex marriage does not affect you even if you or your religion does not support it. If you don't agree with same-sex marriage then do not marry someone of the same sex. Really, it's a simple concept.

It amazes me that I still actually have to discuss this with some people in 2017. And it amazes me that people use God as a reason to hinder the lives of others.

As a proud young Catholic woman, I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQ community with my entire being.

My God taught me to not hold hate so close to my heart. He told me not to judge and to accept others with open arms. My God taught me to love and I hope yours teaches you the same.

Disclaimer - This article in no way is meant to be an insult to the Bible or religion or the LGBTQ community.

Cover Image Credit: Sushiesque / Flickr

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All Good Things Are Wild And Free, Right?

Free your soul and be happy.
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The word 'free' can allude to many things. My mom always says that nothing is ever free. But what about your soul? Is it free? Does everyone have a free soul? I think that everyone has the potential to have a free soul but whether or not they decide to live that lifestyle is up to them.

Until recently, I never thought of myself as a free spirit, but I am. Although I didn’t begin with a free soul, I evolved into one. Life throws you trials and tribulations and it's meant for you to grow from these obstacles. And I have.

People always question me about my careless attitude. Careless meaning that I don’t care what others think. I never actually answer the question, but here’s the answer: once you figure out that you can’t make everyone happy by the decisions you make and start doing the things that make you happy is when you become free from others.

The phrase “damned if you, damned if you don’t” applies here perfectly. People will find something wrong with you and your life decisions no matter what you decide. There’s no way to make everyone happy, it's just not possible.

I don’t wake up in the mornings to please anyone but myself. To have a free soul you must do the things that make you and you alone happy.

Free souls are happy souls. Finding inner happiness takes time. It takes being at rock bottom to find your own happiness. Being happy within means that you don’t have to rely on anyone to be happy, and that’s how it should be.

When you give other people the privilege of holding the key to your happiness chances are they’ll fail you. Other people can contribute to your overall happiness but always remember who you are and put your happiness first because if you’re not happy with yourself then how do you expect to keep someone else happy?

Do you, boo. It’s so cheesy, I know, but it’s how to keep you and your soul free from others control. Live your life and live it like there’s no tomorrow. Don’t live your days full of worry, regret, and unhappiness. Do the things that are necessary for you to be happy, who cares what other people think. If you’re unhappy and they’re happy, how is this benefitting you? It’s not.

Be selfish. Be selfish with your happiness and your freedom.

You don’t owe anything to anyone. Once you figure out that your own happiness should come first that’s when you begin to be free. And just a hint, the people that you’re trying so hard to please and make happy, don’t care about your happiness. So why should you care about theirs?

If you want to be free, then do you. Do the things that make you happy, stop caring about what others think. Find that inner happiness that is guaranteed every day, because it’s your own.

Cover Image Credit: Kallee Gambrel

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