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Saturday, June 29, 2013

A Crack in Space


It had been quite a while since I’d made any Yorkshire puddings, so I was checking the amount of flour I needed as I took the second egg from the box and cracked it on the side of the bowl.

When I looked down….

I’m not sure, but I think there is a creation myth of one of the many hundreds – if not thousands – of religions humankind has invented throughout its history, that says something about the universe emerging from an egg.

Whichever religion it was – if it was one – was right.

There, floating a few inches above my bowl containing the other – normal – egg was a dark cloud, already twinkling with stars forming as it expanded. The dark cloud spreading and growing, not so much a big bang as a slow splurge, spreading out over the kitchen as I stood watching it.

Maybe it was slow because it had merged from a cracked open egg, maybe it was slow because I’d just taken it from the fridge, but universes are supposedly cold places, so maybe that was not it.

Of course, it is not every day that a new universe appears in someone’s kitchen, so at the time I was gob-smacked, dumfounded, paralysed by wonder and – quite possibly – a bit of fear too, as I wondered whether I would be subsumed into this new universe that was now spreading dangerously beyond the mug tree towards the microwave.

I remembered something about microwave radiation and the big bang from some science programme I’d half-watched and decided that something this big, something on the scale of a universe appearing in the kitchen was too big for me to handle on my own.

So I did the only wise thing I could in the situation.…

I called for my wife to come and help.

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