A scientist with the most super-duper clock ever reminds us that the farther away from gravity-bending bodies like the big ol’ earth that I get, the more quickly time moves. What’s funny here is that he measured “farther away” on a scale more familiar to many of us: in the more mundane terms of feet and inches, instead of earth-to-space miles.
Yep, that’s right, my landlord failed to inform me that the reason my fifth-floor walkup’s monthly rent gets a tasty discount is because, my god, I am aging faster than all those lucky s.o.b.’s on the fourth floor and below.
Not only that, my brain, because it’s above my kneecaps, is galloping toward the grave more speedily.
Don’t worry, the scientist says, it’s too small of a difference to notice. No big deal. We’re just talking nanoseconds. The researcher’s mouth wastes precious moments of its life as it goes on and on about this point in InsideScience:
“The difference at a foot of height over 100 years would be about 100 nanoseconds, said Chou. “That’s about a hundred billionths of a second.”
I can do a lot in a hundred billionths of a second, than you very much, but I guess I can take some comfort because I live in New York.
Another scientist tells me urban population density helps our genes figure out defenses against disease. Great! But jamming all the ants in a jar also spreads more disease. Bummer.
That makes me want to see if I can find a nice 1-bedroom in a black hole. All the theories tell me that time would move so slow in there, the tick of one second would move so languidly as to seem to not be moving at all. Think of all the scientific studies I could terrorize myself with given that much time.