Sunday, June 20, 2010

Hey, a few billion?

One of my favorite singers is Ketevan (Katie) Melusa from England. (As a kid, she was from Georgia, USSR). And one of my favorite songs of her's is "Nine Million Bicycles." The song includes this:

"We are twelve billion light years from the edge
That's a guess
No one can ever say it's true
But I know that I will always be with you."

A British astronomer, Aimon Singh, took umbrage. The "edge," such as it is, is 13.7 billion years back, he harrumphed, not 12 billion. Katie was flaunting science! On a BBC talk show, she sang a version of the song, with Singh in the audience, that included ""we are 13.7 billion light-years, according to estimates, in agreement with error bars." Singh had to admit that it probably wouldn't sell.

A cool performance.

Melua goes on to sing, "There are six billion people in the world, more or less, and it makes me feel quite small, but you're the one I love the most of all."

Hey. Six million. Close enough. Bicycles? Close enought. Just let me hear her sing.

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