We've come a long way, baby


The earth is, on average, 93 million miles from the sun. Given that, we can determine that the circumference of the Earth's orbit is_ 93m * 2 * Pi = 584 million miles. That's the approximate distance which the earth travels in one year.

The circumference of the earth at the equator is around 25 thousand miles, but at different latitudes, it's significantly smaller. For St. Louis, it can be calculated as 2 * Pi * (3963) * cos(38.54) = 19,476 miles. This is the approximate distance that the earth's rotation moves a person in St. Louis each day.

So if we take [584,000,000 + (19,476 * 365)] * 24, we find out that as I've hurtled through space for a little over 24 years, I've put about 14.1 billion miles on my personal odometer.

Who says I'm not well-traveled?

Let's try something else that may put this into a scale we can appreciate. The average human's heart beats about 100 times per minute. Thus, my heart has beat about 100 * 60 * 24 * 365 * 24 = 1.26 billion times since I was born.

If we divide these two numbers, we get a number that's a little over 11 miles. Picture someplace that's about 11 miles away, on the other side of town. (For those of you still living in Kirksville, that's more like two towns away). Now, place your finger on your pulse, and picture travelling that distance every time your heart beats.

So, next time someone tells you to get moving, you can smile and say, "Oh, but I am".

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