Ridin' down the highway ...

Have you ever noticed how it's always 'down' the highway? No one ever rides 'up' the highway. Regardless of their direction. It's always down. Unlike rivers, which are up or down.

Paths and trails are the same as rivers. Up or down. But no one ever talks about riding up the road. In fact, about the only time you hear about up the road is when some yokel gives you directions. 'Just up the road a spot.'.

But who really cares. I don't. I only care that my roads are well maintained. And that isn't likely to happen anytime soon. I honestly think local politicians feel it's their duty to keep as many potholes in the roads as they can so they have something to promise the people they'll fix come election season.

Did you know it's Tuesday? Of course you did. I know you did. How do I know? Why, I'm psycho, of course. I mean psychic! I'm psychic! Heh heh heh...I'm not psycho. As far as any of you know. And since it's Tuesday, I should probably come clean about yesterdays post. After all, it isn't just Tuesday; It's Tell The Truth Tuesday!

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It was true. Dr. King was born in January and Anne Frank was born in June, both in 1929. Both had an impact on the world. One after she died and people heard her story. One during his life as people watched his life unfold.

But, yeah, I was telling the truth. I debated adding Barbara Walters into the mix, but thought that might just make it lame. But Baba Wawa was also born in 1929.

So, what can Otter tell you about roads that his loyal reader will consider odd?

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Hmm.....

How about the fact that those white lines that separate the lanes on the interstate highways are actually 10 feet long? They have to be that long so all the speeders can see them as they fly down the highway. (see....'down' the highway...)

Or, how about the fact that, if your speedometer ever breaks you can use the lines in the road to keep from getting a speeding ticket. Just use the lines to keep time while you sing the song 'Duke of Earl'. As the lines go by, pace yourself with them by singing "Duke duke duke duke of Earl Earl Earl.....'. If you dukes and your earls match the lines, you're going 55 miles per hour.*

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And that's all the amazing road facts I care to share today. I know it's not much, but my subject wasn't even going to be roads today. It was going to be the Rubicks Cube. You remember that torture device I'm sure.

I sure do. But I actually used to be able to solve the damnable things. When I was in 7th grade, I found a book that told you how to solve it. So I used the time on the way to and from school on the busses to memorize the patterns. I never told anyone how I learned how to solve it. And it really didn't take me long to do it. maybe a week? A week and a half?

It was sometime after high school that I finally forgot how to do it. To this day I can still remember how to get it to one side with the top two rows on the 4 side solved. It's just that last row and the last side I forget. None of the solutions I can find online are the same as the one I originally learned 34 years ago, and I'm not able to just transpose the remembered part on one of the existing solutions and just memorize the rest.

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I know. I suck. Otter fails.

But when the cube was first marketed, the maker claimed it had 'Over a billion different combinations' for the squares to be in.

Too bad that was a lie. but they had to lie. Because no one would believe the real number. I've said before that most humans have a hard time comprehending large numbers. And the number of possible combinations you can have on a Rubicks Cube is actually 43,252,003,274,489,856,000. Thats 43 million trillion combinations. Still have no idea how big that number is? Well, thank the world we have college students who have nothing better to do than figure out big numbers and put them into a sense of scale for us peons.

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If you arranged one Rubicks Cube for every possible combination there is, and then laid them end to end, anyone want to guess how far they'd stretch? Around the equator once? Twice? Seventy times? To the Moon? To the sun?

I'll just tell you because you wont guess. If you laid all the possible combinations out end to end, they would stretch for 261 light years. How far is that? Well, consider the fact that the Sun is a whole 8 light minutes away, and 261 light years is a looooong way away. The closest star to us besides the Sun is Proxima Centauri which is 4.24 light years away.

If someone was standing on a planet 261 light years away from us, and he looked at Earth through his telescope, they would see Maj. George Washington surrender Fort Necessity during the French-Indian War in 1754.

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Big numbers. That's why I used those lame road oddities to warm you up. I don't want to be responsible for spraining your brains this early in the morning.