Friday, September 9, 2011

A History of Ridiculous Ideas: The Edge of the Universe

People often tease me because I always seem to come up with ridiculous theories to explain all sorts of random stuff (like why guys are jerks and girls are stupid). However, this tendency is not new. Ever since I was a little kid, I would always think of crazy ways to explain the world, or come up with ideas that seemed quite logical at the time, only to be quite absurd. This is one of those ideas...


If anyone ever spends any time thinking about the universe, the idea of “the edge” surely will pop up. Is there an edge? How could there be an edge? What is beyond the edge? Does such a concept even make sense?

As I kid, I would think about this a lot. Edge or not, I thought that either way, it was crazy! However, one day I stumbled upon what I thought was the answer.

I was thinking about Super Mario Bros, and how if you get the Game Genie, you can jump over the flag pole at the end of the level and just run forever. Unfortunately, I was never able to run very far, because the timer would run out, and I would die. But assuming I had unlimited time and was able to have Mario run far enough, I figured he would eventually hit something. I wondered what it could be! Seeing that Mario’s world is mostly made out of bricks, it seemed reasonable that he would end up running into a brick wall.

I’m not sure why I then extrapolated this logic into the real world, but I did. I figured that if I was able to get in a space ship and just shoot off into space, eventually, I would hit a brick wall, just like Mario would. It seemed perfectly reasonable at the time-- brick walls always seem to be stopping me from getting somewhere, be it in Super Mario or in real life, so a brick wall was most likely what was at the edge of the universe.

Quite proud of my “discovery”, I went and told my mom. Her reaction was simply “so what is behind the brick wall?” And with my mind blown, that put an end to my great, so-called discovery!

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