In September, the editors of Time magazine plunged fearlessly into the Internet, facing the risk of drowning in the vast sea of information overload, to retrieve answers to all sorts of questions about culture, science, human behavior, food, the arts, etc. The result is The Answers Issue: Your Guide to Everything You Didn’t Know You Need to Know — 56 pages of fascinating and entertaining infographics to make any trivia geek salivate. Although the editors explore a number of softball issues, they do not shy away from the really tough questions: the questions we thought had no answers. Here are some highlights:
How soon will mankind discover alien life?
In 26 years. The Milky Way galaxy has more than 100 billion star systems that might support life. The number of active alien civilizations is estimated to range from 10,000 to 1 million. Although scientists have examined only a few thousand star systems, the rate of analysis doubles every two years. At that rate, scientists will have examined 1 million systems by 2035, 10 million by 2040, making it likely that we will find a friendly alien, like ET, or perhaps a hostile creature, like that creepy monster from the Alien movies.
What is the capacity of the human mind?
The human brain has the capacity of 1-million-gigabyte hard drive. The drive is formatted by the DNA operating system.
What would happen if you fell into a blackhole?
Hard to say exactly, but it would be excruciating painful for a very short time: 0.31 seconds.
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For further reading: Time magazine, September 15, 2014 issue, The Answers Issue by Michael Grunwald.